Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Espresso equipment for $450?
Home Espresso Machines
Watch videos with Gail & Kat, Rocket, Jura Capresso, Saeco, Rancilio, Quick Mill, Nespresso
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Espresso...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 4 last page next page
Author Messages
bkazez
Senior Member
bkazez
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 76
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Not since visiting Italy!
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 7:12am
Subject: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

What is the best combination of espresso equipment I can get for $450 or under?

I did some research and decided against the Rancilio Silvia, since it appears that it requires a grinder. Then the Starbucks Barista looked great until I read somewhere that every espresso requires a grinder. Is this true? Is there a grinder that is cheap enough that I could get it along with the Barista or a better machine?

I'm not sure if it's possible to get a complete espresso setup for $450, but I guess I'm about to find out!

 
Ben Kazez
http://www.benkazez.com/
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JohnF
Senior Member
JohnF
Joined: 19 Oct 2003
Posts: 286
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Carezza (in the nude) :)
Grinder: Rocky
Vac Pot: Yama on the way....
Drip: Pour over and presses...
Roaster: 2# Buzz Roaster & SC/TO
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 7:40am
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

You can do what I just did and get a Rocky grinder with a Gaggia Carezza.

If you just don't want to get a grinder you could either look at Nespresso systems or pod capable machines like the F.F.

Or, even still you could wait a few weeks until 1st-line offers the Lelit machines as one of them may have a built in "lux?" grinder.


Jay

 
"coffee is bag to me. It always follow me like bag. I do love coffee. Its taste & aroma make me sweet~ . I happy happy day with coffee"
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
tconnell
Senior Member
tconnell
Joined: 7 May 2002
Posts: 38
Location: austin, tx
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Syncrony, Rancilio...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Bodum Antigua
Vac Pot: Press Pot: Bodum, Moka Pot
Drip: CAPRESSO ELEGANCE THERM,...
Roaster: Hearthware Precision,...
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 11:03am
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

I would suggest getting a burr grinder and Barista for starters.  Any (just about) machine does not REQUIRE a grinder to operate, but getting pre ground espresso roast beans defeats making your own.  Once the beans are ground, they lose their freshness, favor, etc very very fast. A Bodum Antigua Grinder is around 60.00 and a good starter grinder IMO.  A Solis SL70 Espresso seems like a good starter as well for around 350.00.  I have a Barista and had no problems with it as well.  I have both the Bodum and Barista and they were my starter ones to learn and play on.  Have had both of them since '97 and as long as you keep them both clean and decalcified they will run until you have to have the bigger better badder models!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JR
Senior Member
JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,833
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: New but inop Quickmill...
Grinder: Baratza Forté, Cunill...
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 11:24am
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

bkazez Said:

What is the best combination of espresso equipment I can get for $450 or under?

I did some research and decided against the Rancilio Silvia, since it appears that it requires a grinder. Then the Starbucks Barista looked great until I read somewhere that every espresso requires a grinder. Is this true? Is there a grinder that is cheap enough that I could get it along with the Barista or a better machine?

I'm not sure if it's possible to get a complete espresso setup for $450, but I guess I'm about to find out!

Posted January 11, 2004 link

I hope you will take a little time to browse this forum before you buy.  Lots of the members here were in your position not too long ago.  Most will agree that if you're on a tight budget, you need to start with a good grinder and a moderately priced machine (some of us have learned this by getting the wrong grinder).  I wish I'd bought a Gaggia MDF rather than a Solis Maestro.

In your price range, you can get a Gaggia Espresso and Gaggia MDF (the combo, with "bar" is $419 at Wholelattelove).  This beats anyting Starbucks has to offer at any price.

Jack

 
www.PainFreeComputing.com
http://www.GaggiaUsersGroup.com
www.IsuzuPup.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
Rhinoevans
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 179
Location: Las Vegas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1, Starbucks...
Grinder: Rocky DL
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 11:50am
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

There are lots of good starter machines in that price range for new Baristas.  Not sure what there is so much HATE for  Starbucks machines on this forum.  For $199 and a 2 year warrenty, it is good machine.  Mine has not failed me once in the last 20 months.  Does it make espresso as good as my New La Spaziale S1..No, but for the last 2 years my wife has refused to get espresso out, just because what I made at home was so much better.  From a Starbucks barista, none the less.  In fact, I have had the S1 for a few days so far, trying to get use to the new machine, and all that it can do( which well excedes my skill level), and the current wife comments is..."This is not much better than from the Starbucks machine"...I am sure it is currently operator skills, and not machine defiency.  The recommended grouping above from WLL is probably as good as well.  I have NO experience with this set up.  But for me, The Starbucks Barista and a Rocky Doserless, is another good combo for that kind of money.  Happy Hunting. In fact, sometimes I think the Hunt is more exciting than the catch.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
bkazez
Senior Member
bkazez
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 76
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Not since visiting Italy!
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 12:44pm
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

Thanks for your help! I'm taking a look at the Gaggia Espresso, which is starting to look like a cheap but good substitute for the Barista.

As far as  grinder: it looks like I could get one and still stay in my price range (especially with Whole Latte Love's deal), but I'm still wondering if I'll be able to get acceptable espresso without one. I've got a Bialetti Moka that I use for morning caffe latte, and I've been using Illy coffee that was carried back from Italy last January, then ground several months ago, and stored on a kitchen shelve for the rest of the time. Frankly, the coffee is acceptable: not bitter or sour or anything else remotely unpleasant, but obviously lacking in body and crema, simply due to the machine I'm using.

Is it possible that I wouldn't need a grinder after all, even with a pump machine operating at three times the pressure of my current Moka?

 
Ben Kazez
http://www.benkazez.com/
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 1:02pm
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

Rhinoevans Said:

There are lots of good starter machines in that price range for new Baristas.  Not sure what there is so much HATE for  Starbucks machines on this forum.

Posted January 11, 2004 link

Hi Mike...
There are a few here who seem to hate Starbucks, perhaps viewing them as an evil conglomerate where coffee is just another flavor among many choices who don't care about customers  and put out inferior shots etc. etc. etc.

Perhaps some of that affects people in their choices and recommendations of machines...but not everybody. The reason most recommend other machines than the Solis (or whomever is currently manufacturing the machines badged by Starbucks as theirs)...is they are better machines.

I think more recommendations in this group are based on either:
  1. I wish I had bought this instead of that...
  2. I bought this because...
  3. If I had it to do again...

Right now in the $400-500 price range, the Gaggia machines seem a really good choice because of professional sized PF assembly, water dispenser, and ability to pull great shots. (very important considerations). They even offer 3-way valves in machines in the $350.00 category.

In addition, the Gaggia MDF and the Cunill Tranquillo grinders are superior for espresso grinding to any other readily available - and similarly priced - grinders.

While people can 'make do' with other machines, why would I opt to 'just make do' when I can buy pro-grade gear for the same money?

So I am fairly certain many here do not hate Starbucks...and secretly go there and enjoy themselves, and still make better espresso at home without complaining about Starbucks.

L  a  r  r  Y

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Ron_L
Senior Member
Ron_L
Joined: 25 Nov 2003
Posts: 601
Location: Batavia, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex MK II
Grinder: LSM SM90, SMP
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Chemex. Clarity
Roaster: RK Drum, Gene, SC/GG, P1 x2,...
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 1:10pm
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

bkazez Said:

Thanks for your help! I'm taking a look at the Gaggia Espresso, which is starting to look like a cheap but good substitute for the Barista.

As far as  grinder: it looks like I could get one and still stay in my price range (especially with Whole Latte Love's deal), but I'm still wondering if I'll be able to get acceptable espresso without one. I've got a Bialetti Moka that I use for morning caffe latte, and I've been using Illy coffee that was carried back from Italy last January, then ground several months ago, and stored on a kitchen shelve for the rest of the time. Frankly, the coffee is acceptable: not bitter or sour or anything else remotely unpleasant, but obviously lacking in body and crema, simply due to the machine I'm using.

Is it possible that I wouldn't need a grinder after all, even with a pump machine operating at three times the pressure of my current Moka?

Posted January 11, 2004 link

I'm sure that if you compared the year-old Illy to freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee in your moka, you'd be able to tell the difference.  The process of making espresso would accentuate the difference even more.  You've stated that your budget is $450.  JR pointed out a Gaggia Espresso/MDF combo on WLL that is within your price range that would be a great starting place.  1st Line, Chris'Coffee and others have similar combos as well.  I was all set to buy that same combo when I came across a used Silvia/Rocky combo that I bought instead, but the Gaggia combo would have served me very well.  Take a look at the reviews here and at WLL and you'll see that the Gaggia line performs well, especially for the money.  The Barista seems to be a solid machine as well, but most folks who buy one eventrually end up replacing the pressurized portafilter with a non-pressurized version, which adds anoth $40 or so to the total cost of the machine.

Don't rush into your decision.  Read through the forum and you'll see a consistent theme...  There are a lot of folks out there who want to save a few bucks by using pre-ground, and virtually all of them end up buying a decent grinder because they find that they can't achieve consistent results without one.

Good luck, and stop back and let us know what you decide and how things are going.  The help of the folks on this forum was invaluable in getting me up to speed (well...  up to walking instead of crawling, at least.  I've still got a long way to go!).

...ron

 
...ron

Ron Lewen

Izzo Alex Users Forum
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/izzo_alex?hl=en
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

bkazez Said:

Is it possible that I wouldn't need a grinder after all, even with a pump machine operating at three times the pressure of my current Moka?

Posted January 11, 2004 link

No.

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Elankat
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2004
Posts: 35
Location: Midwest
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Miss Sylvia
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo
Drip: Bodum press pot & 1 cup pour...
Roaster: Heat gun/dog bowl
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: Espresso equipment for $450?
 

Have you thought about looking into "next-to-new"/refurbished equipment from various dealers? They are usually backed by warranty. What about used equipment? If you are willing to consider used or slightly used, there are even more choices.

For example, you can get a refurbished Solis SL70 for about $275 if you call Baratza. Refurbished Solis Maestros are $75 from them. That leaves enough money to buy your accessories like better baskets, thermometer, pitcher, etc.... or even a roaster. Many of the retailers have similar deals on refurbished stuff. If you are willing to purchased used equipment (not backed by warranty), then you can probably find even better deals.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 4 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Espresso...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Jebana from Ethiopia
Ultra Low Tech, for the CoffeeGeek with everything. Beautiful, and Functional too.
www.coffeeproject.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.575074911118)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+