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Espresso machine suggestions?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Espresso machine...  
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 2:12pm
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

Sorry, Markarian, I do not like to contradict, but that may not be a good buy.  Looks one of the cheap boiler + thermoblock designs, and prone to problems.  See the note under the machine at a repair place

http://www.partsguru.com/Starbucksespressomachines.html

Of course if you have experience with Sirena, then that may be a different perspective.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 3:28pm
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

I will admit I've never had experience with the Sirena. I had the cheaper Barista/Rio Vapore/Aroma/Classico machines and they are quite capable, though require a lot of temperature surfing. The Sirena actually has a 58mm Gaggia portafilter from my understanding and volumetric dosing. Again, under $150 the options are a used Saeco or Nespresso pods.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 4:00pm
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

It is difficult to recommend machines in the lower price range.  I had a Delonghi 701 for a few years, before I knew about CG, and see large threads on the EC155 here on CG.  I believe that a Delonghi EC155 with a non-pressurized basket may be a good place to start.  It is difficult to "recommend" that machine as there are things that I do not like, and things that it lacks.  That said, if I wanted espresso and did not have the money to spend, I might look at the EC 155 and read from the threads on CG.  Main thread

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/522849

Equipment

Machine
Click Here (www.amazon.com)  and probably something local in most cities.  HomeDepot and Macy's for $99.

Basket
Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)

Silvia wand
http://www.espressoparts.com/R_1054?&search_id=2008604

Wand thread
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/555131

One of the least expensive grinders capable of being adjusted and micro-adjusted for espresso is the Baratza Preciso, $239 for the refurb directly from Baratza.com posted Thursday AMs when available.  I did not see your grinder answer.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 474
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

I have to pipe up with what I always say.  Buying used is a good idea so that you can resell after a few years for a good percentage of your paying price.
That $200 deal is a good deal, if it is true.  It's a good enough machine to use until you and he decide to upgrade and you will be able to sell it in a few years for that $200 investment.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:37pm
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

Does that advice apply to beginners who may have to get "involved" with the used machine?   I see that you are an Espresso Machine Technician and may have a bit more ability than many of us :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:49am
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

If you can find one in good shape I think it is a good way to start, but you have to fix stuff and some people don't like to get used gifts.....

 
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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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 653
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 8:22pm
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

Hi Lylarose.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, you should consider an espresso machine to be like buying a large appliance, such as a refrigerator, a stove or a washer/dryer set.

Now, in theory, you can spend a small amount of money on a machine, but it won't be durable, it won't be of a very high quality and it may even lead to frustration
more than anything else, especially if your husband drinks a lot of coffee or is expecting to get cafe quality coffee out of the machine.

I would say that an "Entry Level" espresso setup, which includes a decent high quality machine, very capable espresso grinder and all of the accessories which he'll need
will come to around $1000. Don't let that price scare you. That's what I spent to start and I don't regret it. It was worth every penny.  

Now, if you want to make something resembling espresso but for less than your budget, consider buying him a stove top Moka Pot, like a Bialetti Brikka or Moka. Those brew coffee
by forcing steam through the grounds. You get very strong coffee brewing this way. They can be found for under $120. As long as you don't put them in the dishwasher, or over heat
them on the stove, they last forever.

Alternatively, a decent automatic drip coffee maker, such as a Bonavita or a Technivorm Moccamaster, will be around your price range. It's not espresso, but they still make coffee.
Both of those machines are of a high quality, produce excellent quality drip coffee and are built to be very durable. (I personally like the looks of the Technivorm machines myself.)

I don't mean to discourage you, but we get threads like this all the time on this board. It is possible do make espresso on a budget which is less than $200, but serious compromises
have to be made in order to do it. I won't bore you with the technical details.

Good luck. :-)

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:01am
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

Lylarose needs to check back in and tell us what she 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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crazy4espresso
Senior Member
crazy4espresso
Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 147
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia, La Pavoni...
Grinder: Pharos
Posted Sun Feb 17, 2013, 5:57pm
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

If I were working with a $150 budget I'd go for a manual mill and a used machine.  My local supplier sells Zassenhaus espresso grinders for as little as  $59.99, with some being as high as $99.  I would then have to look on the local classifieds for a used espresso machine.  Around here I routinely see older Gaggias and Saecos go for under $100, even as cheap as $25 sometimes.  In fact I purchased a used Saeco awhile back for exactly $25.  It was an older machine that didn't have a pressurized portafilter and was capable of a very decent espresso.  Yes, it can be done.  The only concern is older machines may require some maintenance.  I've bought about 10 machines for under $100 that needed only a descale and maybe a portafilter gasket.  The list included Saecos, Faemas, Gaggias, and a Quckmill.  Good luck with your search.
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lordbaltimore
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 18
Location: at the corner of 22nd and Arapahoe
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:59am
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

crazy4espresso Said:

If I were working with a $150 budget I'd go for a manual mill and a used machine.  My local supplier sells Zassenhaus espresso grinders for as little as  $59.99, with some being as high as $99.  I would then have to look on the local classifieds for a used espresso machine.  Around here I routinely see older Gaggias and Saecos go for under $100, even as cheap as $25 sometimes.  In fact I purchased a used Saeco awhile back for exactly $25.  It was an older machine that didn't have a pressurized portafilter and was capable of a very decent espresso.  Yes, it can be done.  The only concern is older machines may require some maintenance.  I've bought about 10 machines for under $100 that needed only a descale and maybe a portafilter gasket.  The list included Saecos, Faemas, Gaggias, and a Quckmill.  Good luck with your search.

Posted February 17, 2013 link


could you amplify on the Saeco line-up? i just joined and asked elsewhere about a new machine i acquired. it does espresso, regular brew, cappucino... these are considered good machines?
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