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Espresso machine

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!

BREVILLE BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine,

Or

DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic Cappuccino, Latte and Espresso Machine

Lastly a 3 shot moka to keep it cheap and save for an electric
 
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!

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

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!

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If you’re making cappuccinos or lattes, your Nespresso will work great.
To me a high quality espresso machine is for those who enjoy shots. You can customize a shot nicely with a quality espresso machine with pressure(bar) & time, but if that’s not you, you will enjoy the confidence of your Nespresso.
Would you mix Pappy Van Winkle & Coke??
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.
 
Very nice! Does that cremina have a dual thermostat for when you want to steam milk?
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.

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I've been all over the place about an espresso machine. But I've been doing some thinking and accepting some realities. If money was not an issue I'd be doing a Lelit Bianca. A beautiful double boiler machine. Way more than I can justify. And second less expensive choice would be a Lelit Mara. But again, more than I can justify. I was then thinking about a Gaggia Classic Pro. Reasonably priced but many people were saying too inconsistent due to fluctuating temperatures and the price would go up if adding a PID to better control temps. Then I read about the Cafelat Robot. A manual machine that has a fairly low price point at $370 for the Barista model with a pressure gauge. And from what I've heard people love them. They say the espresso in the cup is really good. And it comes with a nice tamper. So, that got me thinking what grinder should I get for espresso. I'm now considering two machines. The higher end one is the Niche Zero. About $650. An alternative is the Baratza Vario. $500 for a new one and I saw a refurbished one on their website for about $300. It has since sold so I'd have to wait for another one to show up. I'm finding it hard to resist the all in cost of about $700 when considering a tamping matt and a knock box. Or about $1,000 if I go for the Niche Zero which admittedly looks like a really nice machine. I'm a single dosing guy anyway so it would work really well for me. I always welcome thoughts and perspective.
 
Per comments I think you saw on another thread, I bought the manual Apollo and am happy with it. Were I spending twice as much I'd get the Niche Zero. I was a bit troubled by the number of refurbished Barazza machines. The La Pavoni Pro I'm using sure is a challenge and fun and beautiful but I get they're not for everyone.

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Per comments I think you saw on another thread, I bought the manual Apollo and am happy with it. Were I spending twice as much I'd get the Niche Zero. I was a bit troubled by the number of refurbished Barazza machines. The La Pavoni Pro I'm using sure is a challenge and fun and beautiful but I get they're not for everyone.

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Yeah. If I'm going to end up with a fully manual espresso machine, I don't want to be sitting there for several minutes grinding my beans. I'll be manually pumping my milk froth as well so I need something that has a plug on it. :001_unsur
 
Yeah. If I'm going to end up with a fully manual espresso machine, I don't want to be sitting there for several minutes grinding my beans. I'll be manually pumping my milk froth as well so I need something that has a plug on it. :001_unsur
For the record maybe 40 seconds of grinder action for the smallish double basket for the La Pavoni. But point taken.

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For the record maybe 40 seconds of grinder action for the smallish double basket for the La Pavoni. But point taken.

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If I ever can make a decision and get the wife to buy in, this is what I'm contemplating:

Cafelat Robot
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Niche Zero
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And I use this to froth milk. It takes a bit of time but works really nicely. I heat the milk up in the container on the stove first and then pump away for about a minute.

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Nice small footprints for both. About $1,000 all in. I'll keep the Virtuoso with the new motor dedicated for french press. I'll get rid of the silly popcorn maker that's a complete waste of counter space.

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Does any one have any experience or knowledge about the quality of Cephalon espresso machines?

I am looking for something ideally in the $200-300 range, leaning more towards convenience/automated, and a milk steamer built in is preferred.

This machine seems to fit the bill: Calphalon® Temp iQ Stainless Steel Espresso Machine - https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/calphalon-reg-temp-iq-stainless-steel-espresso-machine/5389734?skuId=68686703&registryId=546335758

But it's not really a wider known and reputed brand (as far as I know) in the coffee world.

Thoughts? If there's something that would be worlds above and meet what I want I could maybe think about pushing the budget to $400-500 and buying it myself at a later date, but right now it's for the wedding registry and I wouldn't expect any of my guests to go beyond $350 or so on any gifts.

A separate burr grinder is already on the list as well.
 
Yeah. If I'm going to end up with a fully manual espresso machine, I don't want to be sitting there for several minutes grinding my beans. I'll be manually pumping my milk froth as well so I need something that has a plug on it. :001_unsur
I find that manual grinding fits the overall workflow. I don't have a Cafelat Robot (looks great and I would like to try one out) but I very often use a Rok/Presso.

After filling the electric kettle to begin heating the water, I manually grind the beans with one of my Orphan Espresso hand grinders. After grinding is complete, I prepare the coffee cup and get the portafilter ready (allowing at least a few seconds for the grinds to settle and static electricity to dissipate.) I then load and tamp. Once the water is ready, I flush the espresso machine with hot water to heat it and the cup. Then repeat with the portafilter inserted to deliver an Americano.

If I was heating/frothing milk it would surely eat into the time gap available to hand grind. Though I would also be tempted to get one of those stand alone electric machines to heat and froth.
 
Does any one have any experience or knowledge about the quality of Cephalon espresso machines?

I am looking for something ideally in the $200-300 range, leaning more towards convenience/automated, and a milk steamer built in is preferred.

This machine seems to fit the bill: Calphalon® Temp iQ Stainless Steel Espresso Machine - https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/calphalon-reg-temp-iq-stainless-steel-espresso-machine/5389734?skuId=68686703&registryId=546335758

But it's not really a wider known and reputed brand (as far as I know) in the coffee world.

Thoughts? If there's something that would be worlds above and meet what I want I could maybe think about pushing the budget to $400-500 and buying it myself at a later date, but right now it's for the wedding registry and I wouldn't expect any of my guests to go beyond $350 or so on any gifts.

A separate burr grinder is already on the list as well.
spend more on the grinder than the machine itself if you can. It’s important to get a grinder with multiple grind settings which allows you to pull a shot in the 20-30 second range . At bare minimum I’d suggest a Baratza Virtuoso plus grinder .
 
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