For background, i’m looking to upgrade from my barista express, and despite hours upon hours of research (to the point where i am starting to drive my wife nuts!) i’m still no closer to making a decision, if anything i’m more confused. My current situation is that both my wife and I drink coffee, so every day I will make two Americanos in the morning, and two lattes in the afternoon - when making the two it will pretty much always be back to back as we would tend to have our coffees at the same time. Then every couple of weeks we will have guests who will often drink primarily lattes, so i will often end up making 3-4+ in those instances.
So, to where i am struggling. Although it may sound a little weird, with the amount of money i’m spending the look of the machine is very important to me. The other important thing is that i want it to last a very long time. What i’ve been looking at most are the ECM technika V Profi, and the ECM Synchronika. I love the look of them both, and from what i’ve read they will be very long lasting. I know with the HX vs dual boiler question, most people seem to suggest go with the dual boiler - would this work out best for my needs? Also, i would be open to other coffee machines, but my preference is definitely with the levers over knobs that i would have to turn.
The other issue is that i live in Cambrdigeshire, and the water is considered hard to very hard. Ideally i would like to plumb in my machine, is this possible with such a hard water area? Again i’ve read quite a lot about this, and quite frankly it seems a little overwhelming! I’m really not very handy, so I would most likely be paying someone to do this for me. Final question, has anyone paid to have their machine plumbed in that could suggest what the rough price for this would be?
A lot of questions i know, so thanks for taking the time to read!
Edit- forgot to say i have a niche zero on the way for the grinder.