Bob_McBob Senior Member Joined: 30 Jan 2006 Posts: 456 Location: Waterloo, ON Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Wed Jul 27, 2011, 1:38am Subject: Re: I need a "first machine" at a reasonable price
You spend $1700/year at Starbucks, but you aren't willing to pay more than $250 for a machine to replace that habit? For less than half your annual Starbucks budget you could have a LeLit PL041 and $360 refurbished Baratza Vario, which would be a great home espresso setup.
I assume that $4.55 is a grande latte or something similar. Are you both spending this much at Starbucks every day? A 16oz latte is about $1.25 in consumables cost ($4/gallon milk and $16/lb coffee) even if you waste a fair amount of coffee. I know it's not popular to say it's cheaper to make espresso at home on CG, but well, it is. It certainly adds up if you are going out for coffee every day.
If you genuinely don't want to spend more than $250 on an espresso machine, and/or you have no interest in making real espresso at home, then I suggest you get a pod machine or else a good grinder, press pot or pourover cone, and maybe one of those hand frothers.
Your welcome, good move. I have not used that machine but it looks like it should be a good solid starter machine, something that will work to produce a good to great shot, depending on YOU and how you prep the shot, just like all espresso prep, you are the most important component.
jamichau Senior Member Joined: 24 Jul 2011 Posts: 10 Location: USA Expertise: Just starting
Posted Thu Jun 28, 2012, 6:33am Subject: Re: I need a "first machine" at a reasonable price
It's been nearly a year since we purchased our Gaggia Espresso Dose and I thought I'd post an update. The verdict is: Total and Complete Success! Amy loves her machine and uses it all the time for herself, family, and friends! It paid for itself in less than two months! Somewhat surprisingly, I'm even having an occasional coffee - especially on Monday mornings! The machine is simple and works very well. We always use distilled water. AND, after having the machine for a few weeks, we ordered a Capresso burr grinder. Love the grinder. It's quiet and works well. In fact, Amy's Dad liked out grinder so much, he bought one for his regular cofee.
Many thanks to everyone for all the time taken to offer advice, much appreciated. I'll be back if our machine ever goes toast.
Posted Fri Jun 29, 2012, 11:02am Subject: Re: I need a "first machine" at a reasonable price
The only problem I see is using distilled water. You will not get ideal extraction with that, as you do need the minerals for the best taste. I suggest mixing distilled with tap water to produce water with the proper TDS to minimize scaling while giving good taste. I mix about 1/3 distilled with 2/3 tap.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,204 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 Fri Jun 29, 2012, 11:14am Subject: Re: I need a "first machine" at a reasonable price
Congrats! I agree with scott tho. If you switched to drinking warer (I am guessing you are using bottled water if not add a little tap water to the distilled) you will taste an improvement in the shots.
I'm glad that everyone is enjoying the coffee!
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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