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Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Help me buy a...  
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wbaguhn
Senior Member
wbaguhn
Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 980
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Ponte Vecchio Lusso
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Cory DR
Drip: Vietnamese gadget, AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 6:40pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

At the risk of sounding like a lecture:

Have you checked out this very helpful guide on how to buy an espresso machine?  It covers a lot of things, and helps you figure out which currently available machines you might like.

I bought a machine first.  I got lousy results until I bought a capable grinder.  There is a night and day difference between a lousy grinder (in my case, a faux-burr), and a real grinder, even with a low end machine.  (The lousy grinder gave muddy water, just like I'd expect from pre-ground.  The real grinder gave espresso.)



I think in your price range, one of the Gaggia machines has potential.  Without a grinder, however, it'll make mediocre coffee.



Edit: fix the link to the guide
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justpete
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 6:41pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

finally got some good info.

 
One thing I've learned after being on the internet for so long - if you ignore the trolls, they'll go away.
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 683
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Faema D92/A1 Smart
Grinder: B VARIO, Krups Conic
Drip: Manual Pour-Over, Bodum...
Roaster: Redbird, Metropolis
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 6:47pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

justpete Said:

This has to be a the most annoying forum in the history of the internet.  Congrats.  What a waste of time.  I'm sorry I came here.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

Since you know everything and everyone else is annoying, that begs the question, why do you ask others for advice in the first place?

 
Load and Lock.
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justpete
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 6:50pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

wbaguhn Said:

At the risk of sounding like a lecture:

Have you checked out this very helpful guide on how to buy an espresso machine?  It covers a lot of things, and helps you figure out which currently available machines you might like.

I bought a machine first.  I got lousy results until I bought a capable grinder.  There is a night and day difference between a lousy grinder (in my case, a faux-burr), and a real grinder, even with a low end machine.  (The lousy grinder gave muddy water, just like I'd expect from pre-ground.  The real grinder gave espresso.)



I think in your price range, one of the Gaggia machines has potential.  Without a grinder, however, it'll make mediocre coffee.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

look, a helpful post.  How novel.  Thank you.

And yes, I did check out the guide - but I was still over-whelmed with the number of choices.  I thought there might be a solid go-to brand that is normally recommended.

My Breville is so bad that it barely heats the water enough to make a decent cup of coffee.  I can live with not having amazing espresso, but I definitely need a better machine to get me to a drink-able espresso.

 
One thing I've learned after being on the internet for so long - if you ignore the trolls, they'll go away.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 6:51pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

Yes, well . . .

Total Forum Members: 51,641   Total Threads: 65,154  Total Posts: 510,144   Total Views: 116,818,733

As those in the province to your right might say, c'est la vie . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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justpete
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 6:54pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Yes, well . . .

Total Forum Members: 51,641   Total Threads: 65,154  Total Posts: 510,144   Total Views: 116,818,733

As those in the province to your right might say, c'est la vie . . .

Posted February 27, 2011 link

Was that intended to impress??

 
One thing I've learned after being on the internet for so long - if you ignore the trolls, they'll go away.
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BigStormGirl
Senior Member
BigStormGirl
Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 122
Location: Indiana
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina
Grinder: Baratza Vario/Peugeot Bresil
Drip: CCD
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 7:00pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

justpete Said:

This has to be a the most annoying forum in the history of the internet.  Congrats.  What a waste of time.  I'm sorry I came here.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

You got some good recs here, so what was annoying?  If you think this place "has to be a the most annoying forum in the history of the internet", I take it you haven't been on the internet that long.
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justpete
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

BigStormGirl Said:

You got some good recs here, so what was annoying?  If you think this place "has to be a the most annoying forum in the history of the internet", I take it you haven't been on the internet that long.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

There was one brand suggested, and one specific model (which I do like) -  both helpful, but the other posts have been more annoying than helpful, and some downright rude as well.

 
One thing I've learned after being on the internet for so long - if you ignore the trolls, they'll go away.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 8:16pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

justpete Said:

Was that intended to impress??

Posted February 27, 2011 link

Clearly not, but it was intended to suggest that there are a number of others who might not perhaps share your point of view.

You don't need help to pick out a machine that looks aesthetically pleasing. Only you can tell what looks good to you.  Other than that, it's really quite simple:  you stated that you were formerly a barista -- that indicates to me that you already know something about espresso machines (which, in turn, makes me wonder exactly what it is you want to know).  So it seems to me that it shouldn't be that hard . . .

That said, apparently I was wrong.  It is that hard.

OK, you're in Toronto.  Check out (east to west)
-- idrinkcoffee.com (Milton, ON)
-- Caffe Tech (Edmonton, AB)
-- Espressotec (Richond, BC)
and find one that looks good to you in your price range.

With a price range of $500-$800, you're in the price range of an SBDU -- frustrating territory to say the least, if you want "great espresso, good steamer."  Especially without a decent grinder!

Oh.  Wait.  I'm not supposed to say that . . . wouldn't want to upset a newcomer.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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justpete
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 27, 2011, 8:47pm
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

Perhaps "great espresso" was an over-statement.  I just wanted to show that the espresso was more important than the steaming functionality, so I wouldn't be advised to purchase a product with an incredible steamer that only produced so-so espresso.  It appears that this was the mistake that set you guys off.  My fault.

In any case, I am unfortunately limited by a few un-changeable circumstances with regards to a grinder:

a) I live in a condo, so the real-estate of my kitchen counter is extremely valuable.
b) my SO and I drink different kinds of coffee due to a type of allergy - one of us cannot ingest caffeine in it's very potent form in an espresso, so switching beans back and forth to grind when trying to make breakfast is somewhat impractical.
c) my current espresso machine is a Breville esp8xpl, which, by all accounts, is a horrible espresso machine due to it's "thermo-blocking" technology

All these circumstances dictate my focus on a better espresso maker, as opposed to a grinder - I thought all the information I provided without going in to too much detail would lead to a number of pertinent suggestions, as opposed to a series of posts "tee-ing off" as to why I was mis-guided in my focus.

In addition, I was a Barista about 10-12 years ago - I can scarcely remember the name of the espresso machine that I used - and I'm so far out of familiarity that I bought this horrible espresso machine.

And ps, what's an "SBDU"?

 
One thing I've learned after being on the internet for so long - if you ignore the trolls, they'll go away.
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