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New user searching for the best machine for 200$. New, refurbished or used?
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johnd89
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2008
Posts: 19
Location: Mtl, Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Carezza
Grinder: SM95
Drip: phin, mokapot, frenchpress,...
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2008, 6:50pm
Subject: New user searching for the best machine for 200$. New, refurbished or used?
 

Hi,

Newbie here: right now I have a cheap kenmore burr grinder and a couple bialetti stovetops plus a drip machine...

Total budget is 350$
The plan is to buy a maestro plus grinder and a 200$ tops espresso  machine to get my started. I'm narrowing down to the carezza machine (new).

Should I look into a more expensive but refurbished or used machine which is substantially better?

what about a machine which has the grinder built-in?
Click Here (cgi.ebay.com)
or
http://www.wholelattelove.com/Espressione/cafe_roma.cfm

Any advice is welcome!
PS: I understand those may be the questions everyone asks, just wanted to make sure I'm not doing anything dumb here;-)

J
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TimEggers
Moderator
TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2008, 9:40pm
Subject: Re: New user searching for the best machine for 200$. New, refurbished or used?
 

Hi John!  First welcome to coffeegeek its great to have you with us.

Now that you're one of the bunch I would highly recommend you take a look at "How to Buy an Espresso Machine" (if you haven't already).  Its full of excellent advice and can help you out.

In short I would recommend a far better grinder.  I used a Solis Maestro Plus/Gaggia Coffee Deluxe espresso machine and the results were lack luster at best.

When it comes to espresso the grinder is everything.  This is the most important theme with regards to home espresso.  Why?  Simply because espresso demands a good quality grind and without it the results will taste bad (even in milk) and will also be inconsistent.  Do yourself a favor an invest in a better grinder before buying any espresso machine.  Common recommendations are the Cunill's, Rancilio Rocky, or Mazzer (Mini, Super Jolly or Major models).  Also look at the Quickmill grinder or Le'Lit-pl53 for options closer to the price of the SMP.  I hope sticker shock doesn't set in but a good espresso grinder is vital and the investment now will reward you every time you make a shot later.

Again welcome and best of luck.  If you have more questions please post away, we are all here to help!

 
Tim Eggers
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johnd89
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2008
Posts: 19
Location: Mtl, Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Carezza
Grinder: SM95
Drip: phin, mokapot, frenchpress,...
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: New user searching for the best machine for 200$. New, refurbished or used?
 

5 years later update...
In 2010 I have ended up getting a gaggia carezza off ebay for some 130ish and the baratza maestro.
even tweaking the maestro it simply couldn't deliver nice espresso (was not grinding fine enough)
so pulled the trigger and got a san marco sm95 (ebay again, 300 + shipping....) what a difference!
so turned around and sold the maestro for 75. awsome little grinder still grinded like new but the 95 is an absolute beast
now I have better chances at espressos.
thanks so much for the help, I just wished I would have listened, but did'nt really realised what I have missed.
live and learn I guess...
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Pagetta
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 5:32pm
Subject: Re: New user searching for the best machine for 200$. New, refurbished or used?
 

Better late than never! I'm a new user as
of 2013. I'm looking for my first beginner setup within a budget of $500, however,
after reading numerous coffeegeek threads
my plan is to invest in a good grinder and continue
using my stove top until I have enough for a decent
semi automatic espresso machine.
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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 5:44pm
Subject: Re: New user searching for the best machine for 200$. New, refurbished or used?
 

Pagetta Said:

Better late than never! I'm a new user as
of 2013. I'm looking for my first beginner setup within a budget of $500, however,
after reading numerous coffeegeek threads
my plan is to invest in a good grinder and continue
using my stove top until I have enough for a decent
semi automatic espresso machine.

Posted October 30, 2013 link

I can attest to what i'm commonly reading in beginner espresso articles that point out how you can make good espresso with an expensive grinder and a 10 dollar machine (disclaimer :as long as its not thermoblock), but not the other way around. The smallest of adjustment in my grinder make big changes to the resulting espresso.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 5:58pm
Subject: Re: New user searching for the best machine for 200$. New, refurbished or used?
 

We are very happy for the update.  And it is really good for people to hear the stories like yours and that they can relate to your struggle.  It helps them to see that even for someone that is starting out that the grinder is so important.

 
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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