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Espresso: Espresso Machines
beginner pump machine
Rancilio Silvia - How to
Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 244
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 11:51am
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

For your budget, I'd say you could get a Baratza Encore and Saeco Via Venezia (even could go refurb on the machine). The Encore is going to be better than the Capresso for a few reasons: Customer service, replaceable burrs, and the adjustment collar can be calibrated to get closer to the fineness you need for espresso.

The VV has a pressurized portafilter which allows for a less qualified grinder but will be better than the steam. With the Encore, you *may* be able to get decent shots unpressurized based on some reviews.
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

As you have already found out, making espresso at home is all about upgrading, upgrading, and upgrading.  I am going to suggest a little bit of a different route for you which is to look for a nasty, dirty, used commercial grinder... i.e. a RR45 or any other model grinder in this class.  They are around and available for around $250... just look a little and you will find one... probably several.  You may or may not need to replace the burrs, but this is not difficult and new burrs for most of these grinders can be found for about $30.  Once you get one of these grinders you can forget about having or wanting to upgrade grinders.  That's what I finally did after buying a few less capable grinders.
As for the machine... golly gee, there are so many directions you can go, but for the money you are looking to spend now you can be sure that you will be looking to upgrade your machine sooner or later... probably sooner.  But you can still buy a machine (and the used commercial grinder) and stay withing your budget... it just won't be a see-all end-all machine.  I bought a Saeco Aroma (don't laugh yet) for less than $100 and depressurized the portafilter (very easy to do) and pulled some very nice shots with it.  I have since upgraded, and I will probably upgrade again, but at least I got started on a budget and got to taste some "real espresso."  There are quite a few pump machines out there with boilers that you can buy cheap and you will most likely be able to recoup every cent of your investment when you upgrade.  The Saeco Aroma, Starbucks Barista, and the Gaggia Espresso are all over the place at a very low price.
This is my idea of how you can get into real espresso and stay within your budget.
Good luck...

 
Bill
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pdlarry
Senior Member
pdlarry
Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Vancouver WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco VV
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Vac Pot: Hoover
Drip: Braun
Roaster: Local
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

Thanks, everyone!!

I've got some real options :) really clueless about this stuff.

I'm but 20 min from Portland, Ore...  hmmm...
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fox2000
Senior Member
fox2000
Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 46
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millenium I
Grinder: Mazzer S.J. Auto & MDX
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

The advice already given is probably your best route. I just went through this same type of situation I was starting with a $400 budget and that was stretching it. I ended up upping my budget a lot but I do know you can make decent espresso with an encore not great but good. I was able to grind fine and consistent enough for my Millenium which I bought used on CL. I had to really work at getting good shots by adjusting tamp and dose since the steps were to far apart. I am told with an entry level machine the encore works better. I see the entry level saeco machines on CL listed for around $100 all the time they are usually listed as Starbucks Baristas. If you go with used you can easily get a commercial grinder which is what I did and a saeco or gaggia. Then you will have money left for burrs, tamper, descaler, grindz, and extra coffee while getting the hang of things. If you must buy new I would think you could get away with the encore and the gaggia color/dose, saeco or the fenice made by lelit it has the 3-way and commercial PF for a $299. These were the machines I found the most happy reviews for anyway.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Tue Jun 12, 2012, 3:36pm
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

if you really are only 20 minutes away from portland I would take a serious look at that grinder you would be hard pressed to find more grinder for that money!

 
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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pdlarry
Senior Member
pdlarry
Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Vancouver WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco VV
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Vac Pot: Hoover
Drip: Braun
Roaster: Local
Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 10:15am
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

how do I go about buying new burrs?
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fox2000
Senior Member
fox2000
Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 46
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millenium I
Grinder: Mazzer S.J. Auto & MDX
Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 11:35am
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

I was lucky enough to have a Nuova Simonelli distributor close as Seattle is only 30 min from my home. If you will be in Portland you might want to check for distributors or possibly a retail store in Portland a quick google search will tell you. Otherwise if you aren't impatient like me you can find them online very easily. Some of the other members probably have more info on which online stores are the best my only experience so far has been with Seattle Coffee Gear and they have been amazing.
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pdlarry
Senior Member
pdlarry
Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Vancouver WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco VV
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Vac Pot: Hoover
Drip: Braun
Roaster: Local
Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 11:43am
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

ok thanks :)
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 12:56pm
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

Seattle Coffee Gear is great... here is another link you might want to look at if you are in the market for a set of burrs...

http://www.cafeparts.com/SearchProducts2.asp

Just enter the word burrs in the search box at the top right of the page.

 
Bill
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pdlarry
Senior Member
pdlarry
Joined: 1 Jun 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Vancouver WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco VV
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Vac Pot: Hoover
Drip: Braun
Roaster: Local
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2012, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: beginner pump machine
 

thanks!!

another noob question: will the Grinta grind coarse enough for a coffee press?
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