So I made a poor impulse decision buying the new Brevile Dual Boiler Espresso machine and the Breville Smart Grinder. This was too great a step up from my horrible Krups II Caffe Duomo Coffee maker & Espresso (fake) Machine, both from an economic and kitchen real estate perspective (I still need to keep my drip machine also). Lets blame it on a few glasses of wine and a wife with a spending problem...
Suffice to say, I regrettably took it back to Sur La Table (who have a very liberal return policy luckily) I have done a bit more research and think I'll probably later plump for the Gaggia classic. What perturbed me was the guy in Sur La Table who told me that Gaggia's are always breaking down. Sur La Table do sell them online if not in stores, so he didn't necessarily have any reason to lie to me other than he just wanted me to buy something there and then.
Is there any truth in that? I've read very positive things about that model for someone like myself, moving up the coffee ladder. In retrospect I will probably again buy the Smart Grinder as they now seem to have tuned the manufacturing to a fine espresso grind and it will do a reasonable job on french press coarse also. I just wondered if anyone had any input on the Gaggia and if I'm looking in the right area at that price range. There is also a sinister sounding prop 65 lead warning on SurLaTable's gaggia classic page...
For anyone not knowing, Sur La Table will price match and they lifetime warranty anything you buy from them, even online, just by returning to any store. I've even heard they'll take the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% coupon also...
Incidentally, anyone with $1200 to burn - the Breville was awesome - I know they get a bad rap around here but I thought it was great - paired with a seller who'll give you a new one if something goes wrong....
I've been doing steam only espresso for the last few years and not enjoying it that much. I took the Breville thing home and thought it was great. That is of course, coming from someone who knows very little. I am interested in getting the Gaggia Classic but was slightly put off by the salesperson at SLT and was looking for some advice.
If there is something else I said, that is making you think its I'm putting you on, then you'll have to be more specific as I'm new here...
I think he was saying if you have 1200 to burn you can get a commercially rated HX machine like mine (or other prosummer machines) and he considered buying espresso machine at sur la table the joke.
All espresso machines can break down, but most of the good ones have lots of parts available and people here and other boards to help you fix it. I bought used and replaced my pump, cleaned a valve, adjusted a pstat. I don't know a watt from a volt so I don't consider myself an electrical repair person.
Start with the review section here and how to buy espresso machine. You will be glad you spent the time before the money.
I wanted espresso with no real idea how much that would cost. I realized this krupps steam toy I had would steam milk but not give me anything like good espresso. Also, like most, I was thinking of the machine cost only and not the grinder at all.
I came here, read a lot of posts that started "I have X machine and now I want to upgrade what should I get?" X machine was one I was considering buying. This made me upgrade my budget 2 times before I bought. I am really glad I missed a bunch of upgrade steps that would have made me very unhappy and added up to more money spent over all. I wanted steam power and I got it and I think this machine will make me happy a really long time. I ended up spending a lot more than I thought I would when this all started, but to stay within my budget I got used machine and only had to upgrade my grinder. (only had to do that because of a misunderstanding on my part at the time of purchase of the first grinder.)
i think he's saying he's not ready to spend 1200 bucks and wanted a smaller machine than the BDB?
and is trying to convince himself that the gaggia is good enough for his needs.
i dont have the experience to really recommend anything but i know enough from reading these forums that the breville smart grinder is not the one you want. the steps are too great on it and you wont be able to properly dial in your espresso. for espresso, most will agree that the baratza preciso or OE Pharos(hand grinder) is where you want to start on the lower end of the price scale. i wouldnt expect any espresso grinder to be great for french press, though.
btw prop 65 lead warning is pretty much on EVERYTHING. i wouldnt worry bout that.
I have never owned a Gaggia and I wanted milk based drinks. I researched and read too many "not enough steampower"/upgrade/pid/"what is my next espresso maker" threads with both Gaggi and the Silvia. I just decided to skip that whole round of spending and go for a more stable machine that is less flashy so more bang for my buck. This is not to say there are a lot of people that are sold on and love both machines. Both can be repaired and modded by the owner. And a lot of people modify them to get more temp stability.
For about what the gaggi/silvia are new I got a more robust and steam workhorse machine, albeit used. Some people hate buying used and I have had to work on my machine. But if you are on a budget used is something to consider if you want more machine than your budget allows.
Also, I hope the Nocturne gets off the ground and I want to see a Crossland at the show. Both are going for the 500 and below market. I would love to see more/better choices in that market range.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
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