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Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
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epengr
Senior Member
epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri May 11, 2012, 4:17pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Research now will save you money and disappointment later.

Posted May 10, 2012 link

Agreed.

My BAR32 is, as I understand it, internally identical to an EC155.  The BAR32 was my first machine (It was a last minute change of plans, I bought it instead of a Tassimo...).  That fact that you're here before you buy it puts you miles ahead of me.

I've modded the crap outta mine, new hand made steam tip, depressurized the basket, replaced the basket with a non-pressurized one, I even PIDed it (waste of time!).

I've had very little luck getting a great shot of espresso out of it as some claim to have done, but I did pick up a Cuisinart EM-200 of CL for $20 shortly after so I didn't try really hard.  The EM-200 isn't much better, but with a non-pressurized basket it's not too bad.  It will make "strong coffee" better than any shot I've ever had from Starbucks, so for a "big milky latte" it'll definitely do in that regard.  If that's all you want, the the stock pressurized filter will do it with nearly anything in the basket - grind it not critical (In fact, real espresso grind will choke it).  

It steams okay, but slowly, with the stock plastic panarello.  It actually produces much better steam than the EM-200.  With a custom single hole steam tip, I can actually make good porable microfoam with  it (the "latte art" in my forum pick was done with an EM-200 shot and BAR32 textured milk).  Keep in mind that I'm doing a 6 oz cap at a time so I'm only steaming 3-4 oz of milk.  If you're looking for a large latte it will take a while and doesn't really have the power to spin that much milk into a nice vortex.

Okay, I've rambled aimlessly... To summarize:  Stock it will make a latte better than anything Starbucks ever turned out,  but slowly (Nickfrogger about right, 6-8 minutes each).  If you think you'll get even slightly serious about espresso you'll be upgrading soon. 5 months after I bought the BAR32, I've bought a used NS Oscar which is currently delayed in customs :(.

Oh, and for the love of ***. don't PID it.  That little boiler can't keep up stable temps regardless of how advanced your control system may be.

Any questions, feel free to ask.
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Daniel1952
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 11, 2012, 11:14pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Thanks, Dave; you were specific and on point, sure makes life easier.

I'm crazy far from being a coffeegeek, and have a set of very simple goals:
  1.  Turn out caps and lattes that are superior to Starbucks -- based on comments I've read throughout the forum, sounds like the bar is set low.
  2.  Find a machine that has a short enough processing time to produce 2 back-to-back double shots plus foam such that my wife and I can enjoy our doubles simultaneously.
  3.  Have the expense of the machine be in-line with the quality of the espresso that will match my intended use.

Comments in the EC155 moding section sounded like it might meet #1, definitely meet #3, but an unknown on #2.  Hence, the origins of this thread.  And I now know that the EC155 just will not work for me.

BTW:  Enjoyed seeing that you're from Saskatoon.  Prior to my retirement, I was an ex-pat and lived there for 5 winters.
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Daniel1952
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 11, 2012, 11:16pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Also, I do recognize that I may get hooked on the hobby but I'll burn that coffee bean when I cross it.
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klund
Senior Member
klund
Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 71
Location: Southern MN, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Posted Sat May 12, 2012, 6:10am
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Daniel1952 Said:

Turn out caps and lattes that are superior to Starbucks -- based on comments I've read throughout the forum, sounds like the bar is set low.

Posted May 11, 2012 link

That, my friend, is the truth. For three years I made espresso with either a EC155 or BAR32, using pre-ground Lavazza, and it was better than anything I could buy at a shop.

I have since upgraded to a Breville Dual Boiler with a Breville Smart Grinder, and am using fresh beans. Even factoring in that A) my grinder will be upgraded in the future, and B) I am a total noob, the quality of my espresso drinks has gone up immensely. I have (probably by sheer accident) made capps that were heavenly.

The only reason I held out for three years is because in that time I never had really good espresso. Nothing to aspire to. There's no turning back now!

Not sure if this helps or not...

 
-- klund

Well then, you should see me without coffee.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,009
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat May 12, 2012, 6:44am
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

I think a used Oscar would fit your needs for steam better.  Skip the small steps and start off with a big boy espresso maker. I am happier that I did.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Daniel1952
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat May 12, 2012, 8:29am
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

I have no doubt that you are absolutely correct that the Oscar would be a better fit for my steam needs and that I could learn to make an outstanding espresso with it.  I understand the pride you have in your existing set-up and your desire to have others reach the same level of pleasure in the hobby that you do.  It's very cool that you're happier having taken your chosen path.

I'm sure that the Oscar will be a great choice for many, but not for me.  I never buy previously used goods of any sort -- that bias really gets kicked-up when reading some of the coffeegeek horror stories regarding quality issues on NEW equipment -- and I will not invest $1K in a new one.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,009
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat May 12, 2012, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

I understand, my husband hates used.  However, I would rather get what I want even used rather than be frustrated by my equipment. And it is my baby.  I am very picky about good kitchen equipment. And it is me fixing it.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Daniel1952
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat May 12, 2012, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Now you're at least a small step towards understanding my position -- I don't want or need a $1,000 espresso maker, I don't want or need a $500 espresso maker, but I might consider a sub-$250 espresso maker and would jump all over a $100 espresso maker -- if it met my expectations (emphasis on MY expectations).

The issue is not cash out of pocket, the issue is one of personal value.  I enjoy espresso based drinks, but not enough to make a major investment.

I'm okay with your position -- I have hobbies where I've invested rather large sums of money (3 Benelli's for trap and skeet, 2 Samick recurves for Olympic style archery, several Nikon's and many lenses for my photography, etc etc)
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Nickfrogger
Senior Member
Nickfrogger
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 201
Location: Spokane
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/PID,...
Grinder: Lelit PL53, Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5 Siphon
Drip: V60 (A red one!)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun May 13, 2012, 12:39am
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

That's fair and logical. The cheaper you go for at the beginning the more you have left over to upgrade ;)

Seriously though, if you just want a new machine that can put out two decent cappuccinos at a time for under $250, I think we can give you some help without being too idealistic. For two cappas, you need ~4oz espresso and, say, 12-14oz steamed milk. If one were to pull two shots, heat up for steaming, then steam all milk at once, you could make two cappas quickly at the expense of cooled espresso. Compared to Starbucks, these cappuccinos will be amazing, and this could be done on an EC155 or like SBDU (though steaming that much milk would take a very long time). Plus, this will at least get you into the hobby; you very well could be completely satisfied with that forever, and if you aren't you can address the upgrade bridge later on.

By the way, does that $250 budget include a grinder?

 
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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Daniel1952
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun May 13, 2012, 7:16am
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

No, Nick, a decision on the grinder will be dealt with after I choose a machine.
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