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another 1st time buyer seeking advice
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hazmatt
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Portland, OR
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Zassenhaus 169DG
Roaster: Fresh Roast Plus 8
Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008, 3:55pm
Subject: another 1st time buyer seeking advice
 

Hi -
I've been checking out this site and reading the forums, so I'm somewhat prepared to ask for this advice ;)  I've also read the buying guide on this site.  

I'd like to get an auto or semi-auto home espresso machine in the $150-250 range.  I have a Zassenhaus 169DG grinder that I got several years ago.  I haven't used it much since it's so much work for a pot of coffee.  However, I'm willing to give it a try for espresso shots.  I'd like to learn to make a great shot, but I don't expect to be upgrading to a more expensive machine anytime soon.  I'm willing to consider a refurb.  I like straight espressos and americanos so steaming is not that important.  I expect to be using 3-5 times a week.  I'd prefer one with fairly easy cleanup and not a huge counter footprint.  I do roast occasionally and intend to use those beans in my machine - would that make any difference?

The Gaggia Carezza seems like a decent choice.  I've seen several people recommending it here in the forums.  Do you think it's a good choice.  Are there others I should consider?

thanks in advance,
-Matt
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davethebrewguy
Senior Member
davethebrewguy
Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 1,228
Location: The Brewery
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Fiorenzato Bricoletta,...
Grinder: Compak K-6, Baratza Maestro...
Drip: Saeco Renaissance
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: another 1st time buyer seeking advice
 

You are certainly on the right track in thinking about a Gaggia. I haven't used any of the current models (mine is 19 years old) but I have heard mostly good things about them. The only negatives are the small boilers (larger boilers are well out of your price range) and some users aren't thrilled with the ergonomics of the Carezza. A better choice might be the Evolution or Espresso Pure.
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sweaner
Senior Member
sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,129
Location: Yardley, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, OE Pharos
Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: another 1st time buyer seeking advice
 

A Gaggia is a very good choice.  The Carezza was my first "real" espresso machine.  It does have some ergonomic issues such as a small drip tray.  Not much room for a cup, so a naked portafilter is a big help.

If you could find a used Gaggia Classic that would be better.  Search eBay.

Scott

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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hazmatt
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Portland, OR
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Zassenhaus 169DG
Roaster: Fresh Roast Plus 8
Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008, 9:03pm
Subject: Re: another 1st time buyer seeking advice
 

Thanks for the quick replies.

So it's reasonably safe to go with a used one?  The Gaggia machines hold up well then?  Are there specific questions that I might want to ask the seller?  Maybe about common things that wear or break easily?  Getting a used Gaggia Classic is definitely appealing.
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,277
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008, 10:10pm
Subject: Re: another 1st time buyer seeking advice
 

These guys have refurbished ones.

http://www.wholelattelove.com
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Nov 17, 2008, 2:40pm
Subject: Re: another 1st time buyer seeking advice
 

For your grinder, you might want to take a tip from Alton Brown's pepper grinder, he uses a cordless drill set to a slow speed to turn the shaft that the handle is on. Be careful not to go too fast or you will burn the beans but it would take the work out of the process anyway.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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