Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012, 9:16pm Subject: Re: What do you think of this setup?
Well, it won't really quite be espresso, and stovetop moka can be tricky to get exactly right (and easy to make less than right), but if your plan is to use it as a base for chocolate syrup and frothed milk, it'll probably work for your purpose. Since you don't mention a grinder, I assume you plan to use preground beans?
I don't think you're likely to get a lot of usable opinions here about your choices, but if you've got a total of a hundred bucks in your budget, I'd try and stretch it a bit more. Get a Handpresso and a battery powered milk frother that works with microwave heated milk. At least you'll get better espresso, and you can save up for a hand grinder that will let you use fresh beans. Grinder and beans are key to espresso. Who knows? You might eventually find that, with those two things, you don't need the syrup and milk anymore (or at least less of them).
Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012, 9:56pm Subject: Re: What do you think of this setup?
Never used that type of frother, so I couldn't really say. I tend towards straight shots, mostly, but I appreciate a good capp now and then, and a latte is my go-to drink in cafes where the espresso is less than great.
Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012, 11:35pm Subject: Re: What do you think of this setup?
I believe for about $100 you could get a used Espresso machine such as a Saeco/Starbucks Athena or barista. It makes REAL espresso (when used with a non pressurized Porta filter) and can steam credibly. There are usually a couple for sale here on CG, and they will get you into real espresso/cappa land.
Perhaps see if there are reviews of them on our Consumer review area.
acctingguy Senior Member Joined: 11 Feb 2011 Posts: 43 Location: USA Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012, 11:40pm Subject: Re: What do you think of this setup?
I've owned an espresso machine before. Just wasn't happy with the size, mess and it had a CRAPPY steam wand...it really sucked.
I don't mind my $150 month habit (it's really the ONLY vice I have...don't drink, don't smoke, etc..) but it would be nice to make something at home that was at least on par with a Starbucks mocha (without spending hundreds of dollars on a espresso machine)
The machine I got (at Seattle Coffee Gear...im sure it was a refurb Saeco) was a POS and I paid $350 for it. Yea, maybe I should have spent more on a machine, but that's not an option.
Might get one of those handspresso
At this point, I'm just thinking of saying screw it and just live with the $150 coffee habit.
Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012, 6:05am Subject: Re: What do you think of this setup?
If, on your list of priorities, steamed milk, chocolate syrup, convenience and lack of mess trump the quality of the coffee itself (as, based on your comments here, they seem to do), there may not be much we can really help with. Espresso is going to me messy, pretty much no matter what. So, for that matter, is steamed/frothed milk. Cooking is messy, and coffee is cooking.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,599 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012, 7:23am Subject: Re: What do you think of this setup?
If you're dead set on getting a stand alone frother, I can tell you the Nespresso one and the Keurig one both make pretty good super dense foam. I don't know about the Capresso one, but from the photo, I'd assume it uses the same technology and produces similar results. That said, you're not going to get microfoam, or anything that remotely resembles it. Of course, you're comparing it to *$$, so it doesn't appear that you care about that.
I'd encourage you to do some math to see what kind of home setup you could afford if you put your $150/month into it, rather than *$$, but you've already said you don't want to have to deal with cleaning and maintenance...so I guess it's a moot point.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,073 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012, 9:05am Subject: Re: What do you think of this setup?
Ya, the mess is a deal breaker for espresso. She is a messy mistress. I had no idea how messy coffee was when I started this... I might not have done it. Well, I say that- but I love to cook and I am a messy cook so, probably I would have.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
CMIN Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2012 Posts: 1,586 Location: South FL Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: CC1 Grinder: Baratza
Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012, 9:38am Subject: Re: What do you think of this setup?
Nothing wrong with a Mokka pot, won't really be espresso but sorta similar, and more volume vs 1-2oz shots. It's how real Cuban coffee is made alll around South FL, usually with Pilon or Bustello.... but you can use any bean really. Once you dial in the right grind you can get some really nice and strong coffee from a Mokka. Never used those separate frothers but vids I've seen show they work decently.
If you can budget 150 a month you could easily put towards a good espresso machine, but sounds like you had a bad experience with the Saeco. My setups not messy at all, grind into the PF so grinds don't get anywhere, and only thing I have to clean/rinse is the PF after use. You'd still have to take the Mokka apart and clean. You already have a Vario which is an excellent home grinder.
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