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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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rotwang
Senior Member
rotwang
Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 150
Location: New Mexico USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Pure
Grinder: Pharos, KyM,  Sözen, PeDe
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: No..Cezve
Roaster: nope
Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 12:25am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

justpete Said:

I accept that I won't be making great espresso w/o a grinder... what I'm trying to get to is the next level beyond what the Breville offers, and I don't think that would take much.  However, with that said, what would be the price range for an introductory DB or HX machine?  And also, I am keeping an open mind and will get a grinder if I feel it's absolutely necessary.

We typically only make espresso's twice a week, on the weekends in the morning.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

Over $1,000.   And they'll be larger.  I can't imagine spending that much without having a good grinder.  But if you're only using it on the weekends, maybe 2 hand grinders isn't nuts after all.  And if aesthetics are important, do I have a link for you... drool over these VINTAGE BEAUTIES.  My KyM is in there somewhere.  None of these sold for more than $100.
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 5:28am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

And what kind of machine was it?

Posted February 27, 2011 link

justpete Said:

What kind was it?  Not sure - but I've attached a picture.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

It is hard to tell with the hot water delivery system in the way, but the espresso making machine in the picture (far right) looks like a Mazzer.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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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 Mon Feb 28, 2011, 5:54am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

justpete Said:

what I'm trying to get to is the next level beyond what the Breville offers, and I don't think that would take much.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

So little, in fact, that a good grinder and depressurizing the portafilter probably gets you there.

justpete Said:

However, with that said, what would be the price range for an introductory DB or HX machine?  And also, I am keeping an open mind and will get a grinder if I feel it's absolutely necessary.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

About triple your budget including the grinder.

justpete Said:

just curious as to what the next level would dictate, and what might some models be?  I admit that I don't like the idea of having to wait for the machine to heat up/cool down before being able to make the next espresso.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

A Ponte Vecchio Export takes up a very small amount of counter space, allows simultaneous steam and brew, but absolutely requires a good grinder (just like any other significant upgrade from the Breville).  Spring lever machines aren't compatible with everyone, however.

One of the Gaggia machines might suit your needs.  I haven't used them, but one of the guys at work swears by his.  (Yes, he has a grinder with it.)

What kind of drinks do you want to make?  How many, how quickly?  These are the questions that help you figure out which kind of hot-water system fits best.



Also, sorry for not posting the link properly earlier.  It was an oversight, not an intentional snub.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,390
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 Mon Feb 28, 2011, 8:02am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

Slowly, Peter -- like pulling teeth -- we get additional and relevant information each time you post . . .

Seriously.

We now know:
-- you want to make good espresso;
-- you need to steam milk;
-- you only make espresso on Saturday and Sunday (so, what do you do during the week?)

The standard questions we ask, Peter, when someone wants information, are
Q1) What type of drinks do your like?
Q2) How many drinks, on average, do you need to make at any one time?
Q3) How many drinks, on average, do you make in any given week?
Q4) What is your budget, and does that include a grinder?

A1) You have been focusing on "espresso" but you keep mentioning steam, too, so can we presume you are making milk drinks? or are you drinking straight shots?
A2) We now know the answer is "two."  (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)
A3) We now know the answer is "four."  (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)
A4) $800; no grinder . . . . (Well, you know what we all think of that.)

Personally, I'd save your money.  I would look at a Gaggia Classic ($349, but it's a US vendor; I don't know if the Classic is available in Canada), or the Le'Lit PL41EM ($499.95 CDN).  These are both SDBU machines, but for as little as you appear to use the machine, I'd honestly save the $$$ and go this direction.  I used a Gaggia for 25+ years, and as long as I wasn't making more than one or two milk drinks at a time . . . the delay can be frustrating if you want to sit down and drink your lattes together, but it's fine if you make one for your SO and bring it to them in bed, then make your own.

For an entry-level HX machine, a Bezzera BZ07 runs $1,299.95 CDN.  The Bezzera BZ99 is only $1,149 CDN, but I am not familiar with it.

If all you're doing is drinking straight shots, an SBDU is fine.  But if you need to steam milk, that is when the delays come in as you wait for the boiler to adjust back-and-forth and stabilize from brew temp to steam temp to brew temp to steam temp, etc., etc., etc.

Also, if you are indeed only making two drinks a day, and only on Saturday and Sunday, then getting two hand-grinders (one for regular, one for decaf) isn't a bad solution at all.  You can get a Hario or Kyocera hand-grinder for less than $50 CDN.

Cheers,
Jason

 
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 Mon Feb 28, 2011, 10:33am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Slowly, Peter -- like pulling teeth -- we get additional and relevant information each time you post . . .

Seriously.

Posted February 28, 2011 link

Totally.  It's why I said:

justpete Said:

I hope I've provided all the relevant info.  Please let me know if not.

Posted February 27, 2011 link

In my very first post.

So I think I'll probably go with the Lelit PL41. Or perhaps the Bezzera BZ07 if I feel like splurging.

I also think I mentioned before - but I will be making Latte's and Cappucino's primarily.  And your numbers are correct - 4 drinks per week.

 
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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justpete
Senior Member


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

Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 10:37am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

wbaguhn Said:

So little, in fact, that a good grinder and depressurizing the portafilter probably gets you there.

Posted February 28, 2011 link

Perhaps I can de-pressurize the portafilter until I decide on a new one.  Is this related to the horrid noise that the Breville makes?  The 'jerking' that I'm hearing?

wbaguhn Said:

What kind of drinks do you want to make?  How many, how quickly?  These are the questions that help you figure out which kind of hot-water system fits best.

Posted February 28, 2011 link

Two drinks, in succession, at a time.  Lattes or Cappucinos.

wbaguhn Said:

Also, sorry for not posting the link properly earlier.  It was an oversight, not an intentional snub.

Posted February 28, 2011 link

No need to apologize - I knew which document you were referring to and didn't interpret it as a snub.

 
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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laservet
Senior Member
laservet
Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Location: Williamsburg
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GS/3
Grinder: Versalab M3, Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: Zojirushi
Drip: Bunn SmartWave APS, Bodum...
Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 11:12am
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

Just curious, do you think your snotty attitude makes it more likely or less likely that you will be treated with respect here? As far as the most annoying forum in the history of the internet, you obviously don't get around much. Some of the sports forums would already have you walking funny. These guys are giving you good advice, BTW.

Personally, with your budget I'd buy one of these:

click here

Without a good grinder and fresh beans you won't be able to tell the difference between what you get from this and what you would get from a more expensive machine since the coffee will be your limiting factor. Down the road when you finally get a good grinder, then your machine will be the limiting factor and you will want to upgrade the machine at that time.

 
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is.
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justpete
Senior Member


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

Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

laservet Said:

Just curious, do you think your snotty attitude makes it more likely or less likely that you will be treated with respect here? As far as the most annoying forum in the history of the internet, you obviously don't get around much. Some of the sports forums would already have you walking funny. These guys are giving you good advice, BTW.

Personally, with your budget I'd buy one of these:

click here

Without a good grinder and fresh beans you won't be able to tell the difference between what you get from this and what you would get from a more expensive machine since the coffee will be your limiting factor. Down the road when you finally get a good grinder, then your machine will be the limiting factor and you will want to upgrade the machine at that time.

Posted February 28, 2011 link

Now they are, but that took a while.  And btw, I've probably been "on the internet" longer than you've known it's existed, in all seriousness.  I only say that because that's the second time someone has suggested "I haven't been around much" - and lastly, my "snotty" attitude was reciprocal to the attitude(s) first displayed in this thread - that is all.

Given that I need to grind two types of beans, are there many grinders that provide for a second hopper as an accessory?  Or perhaps I would just order the part?

 
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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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

laservet Said:

Just curious, do you think your snotty attitude makes it more likely or less likely that you will be treated with respect here? As far as the most annoying forum in the history of the internet, you obviously don't get around much. Some of the sports forums would already have you walking funny. These guys are giving you good advice, BTW.

Personally, with your budget I'd buy one of these:

click here

Without a good grinder and fresh beans you won't be able to tell the difference between what you get from this and what you would get from a more expensive machine since the coffee will be your limiting factor. Down the road when you finally get a good grinder, then your machine will be the limiting factor and you will want to upgrade the machine at that time.

Posted February 28, 2011 link

+ 1,000,000 and then some.  I visit a body building forum just to read the latest flames thrown out to a regrettable soul that either loves the abuse or just does not get it.  That member posts the exact same idiotic questions there that he posts here and on H-B.  The tone and inferences to illegal and immoral crimes against nature they suggest he commit on himself or his family are stock responses by now. They make us look like a Sunday school class by comparison.  

To the OP:  Get out of bed on the weekend and drive/walk to a coffee shop so you can get your drink and the other person can get theirs.  No grinder required.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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justpete
Senior Member


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

Posted Mon Feb 28, 2011, 11:42am
Subject: Re: Help me buy a decent espresso machine, please!
 

EricBNC Said:

+ 1,000,000 and then some.  I visit a body building forum just to read the latest flames thrown out to a regrettable soul that either loves the abuse or just does not get it.  That member posts the exact same idiotic questions there that he posts here and on H-B.  The tone and inferences to illegal and immoral crimes against nature they suggest he commit on himself or his family are stock responses by now. They make us look like a Sunday school class by comparison.  

To the OP:  Get out of bed on the weekend and drive/walk to a coffee shop so you can get your drink and the other person can get theirs.  No grinder required.

Posted February 28, 2011 link

You've contributed nothing positive to this thread whatsoever.  Would you please refrain from posting in it?

Sigh. No ignore button.

 
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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