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Your first espresso machine?
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Manitobanerd
Senior Member
Manitobanerd
Joined: 4 Apr 2014
Posts: 64
Location: MAN, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Cafe Roma
Grinder: Hario & blade grinder
Vac Pot: Moka express
Drip: Melitta
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 8:46am
Subject: Your first espresso machine?
 

Hi all, i am new to espresso, and debating on a machine for myself, but I dont want to spend an arm and a leg! I know for good espresso you probably need lots of dough, in a grinder/machine. However, Im sure not everyone who is just starting, goes and buys $1000+ equipment right off the bat. So what was your first espresso machine?
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 9:35am
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

For everyone it is different.  Some start as students, some after they are retired.  Some have money, some don't.  Why don't you read this...
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/620441
...and tell us what you are looking for.  I, for one, need to know which ones of my mistakes will be of help to you.
Buckley
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 358
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 9:49am
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

This has been asked many times over, but here ya go:

My first espresso machine:
$15 Cuisinart EM100, just so I could rip it apart and take a look inside.  It works, and produces okay steam for cleaning.  I'll never use it for espresso though.

My first real espresso machine:
$250 Nuova Simonelli Oscar, older one, in need of some care.  About $450 total invested in original purchase, parts and naked portafilter and it's a great running machine.  Still using it, and planning on pulling a shot in the next few minutes.

My first espresso grinder:
Baratza Vario $360.  Works well for espresso.

If you are on a budget and moderately handy you can probably get a good deal with a used espresso machine, clean/repair, and then you have a machine for 1/2 original retail.
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Manitobanerd
Senior Member
Manitobanerd
Joined: 4 Apr 2014
Posts: 64
Location: MAN, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Cafe Roma
Grinder: Hario & blade grinder
Vac Pot: Moka express
Drip: Melitta
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 9:55am
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

Buckley Said:

For everyone it is different.  Some start as students, some after they are retired.  Some have money, some don't.  Why don't you read this...
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/620441
...and tell us what you are looking for.  I, for one, need to know which ones of my mistakes will be of help to you.
Buckley

Posted April 9, 2014 link

Well, after reading that link I can give some info about what Im looking for. Id be doing a milk based drink in morning. Maybe another few straight shots throughout the day (however I do add just a bit of water just to thin them out a touch). Id be using it the same pretty much every day (unless company comes over). Id need a machine with its own reservoir. My budget is probably about $150 for the machine (I already have a hario hand grinder, I think thats good enough for espresso). I would probably want to buy new, as I dont have much skill in fixing a used one. I basically dont have tamper/knockbox/the works.

Ive been eyeing the nespresso or mypressi twist, but also even a cheap machine from Wal-Mart or Sears, ect.
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Manitobanerd
Senior Member
Manitobanerd
Joined: 4 Apr 2014
Posts: 64
Location: MAN, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Cafe Roma
Grinder: Hario & blade grinder
Vac Pot: Moka express
Drip: Melitta
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 10:01am
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

But besides what Im looking for, Im still interested in everyone else's first espresso machine too.
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toyman
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 49
Location: PA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever Plus,...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Cuisinart
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 10:11am
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

I started out with a Delonghi EC155 and had no idea what I was doing. (know way more now then I did then, but still working on what I'm doing!)  Do a search on that model and mods, it may be the only option within your budget new.
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Manitobanerd
Senior Member
Manitobanerd
Joined: 4 Apr 2014
Posts: 64
Location: MAN, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Cafe Roma
Grinder: Hario & blade grinder
Vac Pot: Moka express
Drip: Melitta
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

toyman Said:

I started out with a Delonghi EC155 and had no idea what I was doing. (know way more now then I did then, but still working on what I'm doing!)  Do a search on that model and mods, it may be the only option within your budget new.

Posted April 9, 2014 link

My local Sears has a couple Delonghi espresso machine around my budget new. I will research them a bit. Its not too hard to satisfy my taste in espresso anyways  so for me that might just be good enough.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 12:10pm
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

My first machine was a Rancilio Silvia. I bought it in 2003 for $450. I bought a second Silvia in 2005 for $500, and I kept that at my...well, now she's my wife, but she was my girlfriend at the time...apartment, which was 235 miles from my house. I got both machines from 1st-line.com and I think the machine was worth what I paid each time.  In grad school, I had a roomate who owned a Krups steam toy.  We didn't use it much, as it pretty much sucked.

Not sure how this helps you...perhaps if we were all to give you whys and why nots, along with the now apparent advnatages and disadvantages after using these things for a period of time, it would be helpful, but well, that's a lot to type and read.  Perhaps an even more useful dissertation is our grinder history? So, here you go...

My first grinder was a Solis Maestro.  It sucked for espresso, but I didn't know much better and struggled through a year or so of it. Then I got a Rancilio Rocky, and at first I was wowed...but soon after, I got tired of modifying my dose to compensate for the fact that I couldn't get it to grind just right (either slightly too coarse or slightly too fine). Then I bought a Macap M4 and not only was I wowed again, I really liked using it.  I liked it so much that I bought a second one after a few years to replace the Rocky (which had been relegated to decaf beans).  The Rocky was sent off to a friend of mine, who was using a Solis 166 (aka, Starbuck's Barista grinder). Recently, I bought a Mazzer Major to replace my primary Macap M4, which now does decaf only.  My second Macap M4 is now my office grinder for use with my MyPressi Twist.  I also recently bought an OE Pharos, which I haven't actually used yet.  I'm going to send it off for the full-on Voodoodaddy mod package.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 1:35pm
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

Manitobanerd Said:

I already have a hario hand grinder, I think thats good enough for espresso

Posted April 9, 2014 link

.
It is, until you get tired of the workout.  It takes many more turns of the lever the finer you go.

Manitobanerd Said:

My budget is probably about $150 for the machine

Posted April 9, 2014 link

If you want new, get a Mypressi, new, for $169.  It is powered by nitrous oxide cartridges (sold for whipped cream dispensers) and don't let anyone tell you that they (cartridges) are a pain to keep using.  They will cost you 45 to 85 cents each, depending on where you get them  They are readily available on line and can be shipped anywhere.  Each cartridge will give you 5, sometimes 4, shots.  They cost me about 13 cents a shot.  The Mypressi makes real espresso, not moka like the Aeropress does.  It comes with a plastic tamper that functions well, so all you need is a boiling kettle, for starters.  Since you asked, it was my first espresso machine and I still use it.  Since you are not mechanically inclined, it is very simple to use, you won't have to worry about any adjustments.  It won't overheat and, if you can boil water, it won't underheat, either, except for some roasts that require higher-than-average temperatures.

Edit: Ooops.  The Mypressi will not steam milk.   But, I bought a Krups 'steam toy' at a garage sale for $5 and used it for steaming.  I stuck the steam wand into the Mypressi water reservoir to raise the temperature a little higher for those high-temp roasts I mentioned before closing up and pulling the shot.

Buckley
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Manitobanerd
Senior Member
Manitobanerd
Joined: 4 Apr 2014
Posts: 64
Location: MAN, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Cafe Roma
Grinder: Hario & blade grinder
Vac Pot: Moka express
Drip: Melitta
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2014, 1:48pm
Subject: Re: Your first espresso machine?
 

Thanks everyone for the great info! If I get a mypressi, I could just get one of those milk frothing things from Ikea or something, I dont think they're too expensive; and it sounds like the mypressi might be a pretty good deal actually. Thanks again everyone!
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