Espresso machine

Discussion in 'The Cafe'' started by kowalzekc, Mar 23, 2019.

    Espresso is a great hobby and the investment in gear can be used very satisfyingly every day and easily shared with friends and family. The extra attention to brewing good coffee gives great rewards. The Brevilles are highly regarded by users and has stood the test of time pretty well. They make a dual biler one also. Like anything else, the gear has to suit your needs and personality. Do you want to be able to steam milk? Do you enjoy a hands-on approach that has a learning curve? Or do you want more convenience and automation? I've bought most of my kit used, some of it is refurbished commercial stuff. The robot has a very strong user group and would be worth the investment if you enjoy the learning curve, have a good grinder, and don't need steaming. Hope you find something!

  1. Here's a 1977 Cremina 67 Swiss Lever along with a 2006 Macap M4 Italian Grinder. Two excellent machines, the Cremina has been overhauled only once. The Crema it produces, especially from the Redbird Espresso beans is not only thick and impressive, but smooth and consistent using the Macap grinder to obtain a near perfect 25 second pull. Old world quality rocks!

  2. Very nice! Does that cremina have a dual thermostat for when you want to steam milk?

  3. I got my machine last week, and have since made an unholy number of cappuccinos. I've never had such smooth, well-balanced flavor from coffee that I've made at home. I'm very pleased.

    If you have some Pappy Van Winkle to share, then I'll have a glass of that, and you can have the coke. Lol.
  4. Champion of Capua

    Champion of Capua Contributor

    Great to hear you’re enjoying your new Nespresso, that’s what it’s all about.
  5. I simply steam milk with the wand the old fashioned way, open the valve, close the valve.. and the thought of a dual thermostat never crossed my mind. This is a very simple espresso machine, an early model without any pressure or temp gauge. I've learned the workings and slight nuances over many years.

    The key is bringing the Cremina up to temp, a light goes off, using a double dose of ground coffee, ground to the right consistency based on temp and humidity of the air, of course, the right beans, properly degassed and stored, putting the right amount of pressure on the tamp of the coffee puck, and aiming for a 25 second pull.

    I migrated to Redbird Espresso in five pound bags as their cost per pound is very reasonable, I can use the coffee for French Press too and receive the coffee in two days from nearby Montana.

    Prior to Redbird, I was buying coffee beans from a lot of boutique roasters around the country, all worked well with the Cremina and Macap. However, with friends regularly coming over, the cost of the expensive boutique coffee became very prohibitive... even with friends. Redbird is an excellent all around, everyday Espresso and French Press coffee for under twelve bucks a pound.

    The Cremina and Macap have been a great combo! I was gifted the new Cremina years ago from a very close friend who died young and my ex wife didn't want it... she got many other 'things', and the Cremina has been here at the house... a long time, delivering great espresso.
  6. Great timing... I recently purchased a rancilio silvia and a vario grinder. Been having fun learning the ropes. Next purchase is a bottomless portafilter. Thus far I am still learning and enjoying the fruits of my labor. Yet another fun hobby.
  7. Been looking for an espresso machine myself. Had a Estro Vapore (aka Estro Rio Vapore/Saeco Rio Vapore/Starbucks Barista) for many years until a screw holding the shower screen to the boiler snapped off. That was that machine's one shortcoming. Since the repair was half the price of the machine when new I sent to e-Waste recycling. I miss that machine as it ran day in and day out for nearly 12 years like a champ.

    Been looking at a number of machines in the $350-500 range. Pressurized filter baskets will do since the old machine had a pressurized portafilter.

    Breville Infuser (a few improvements over the Duo Temp)
    Gaggia Classic Pro (new model)
    Ascaso Basic (good reputation but the plastic body is a turn-off)
    DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe (compact but sort of toy-like)

    I'd really like a Rancilio Silvia but that's out of my price range.
  8. Have you looked into used ones? They are bomb proof and easy to fix, JM
  9. Gaggia Classic is very popular in the UK as a bombproof used model with plenty of parts and backup.

    I use a similar Gaggia Baby which is more or less the same, before they downgraded them. Love it.

  10. My coffeecorner for the last 7 years.


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