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Tell us about your espresso machine

Neat!

I am out of my depth with this subject, and just realized we need an upgrade ... is there an easy recommendation for a sub-$200 espresso machine? I just looked at Delonghi EC155 and EC702 ... if anyone has a quick word, it's appreciated.


AA
Another vote for the Moka pot.

You can get a great one under $200.

 
Neat!

I am out of my depth with this subject, and just realized we need an upgrade ... is there an easy recommendation for a sub-$200 espresso machine? I just looked at Delonghi EC155 and EC702 ... if anyone has a quick word, it's appreciated.


AA
A Rok/Presso is sub $200 and maybe less than $150 depending on where you look. It is not fancy, as it is just a portafilter holder + human powered water compressor where you are in control of everything which is both a plus and minus. I use mine frequently and it is my favorite way to make a cup of coffee (Americano).

But then you also need to add a good grinder. One of those pepper mill grinders might work but I think something like an Orphan Espresso Lido hand grinder (or similar) is a much better choice for the longer term, which will cost more than a Rok. I believe the Lido is still sub $200 and gives comparable results to more expensive electric grinders.

And you also need a source of freshly roasted coffee. So the costs add up when trying to make a good cup at home.
 
A Rok/Presso is sub $200 and maybe less than $150 depending on where you look. It is not fancy, as it is just a portafilter holder + human powered water compressor where you are in control of everything which is both a plus and minus. I use mine frequently and it is my favorite way to make a cup of coffee (Americano).

But then you also need to add a good grinder. One of those pepper mill grinders might work but I think something like an Orphan Espresso Lido hand grinder (or similar) is a much better choice for the longer term, which will cost more than a Rok. I believe the Lido is still sub $200 and gives comparable results to more expensive electric grinders.

And you also need a source of freshly roasted coffee. So the costs add up when trying to make a good cup at home.
True, but adding up the cost of my setup: Brushed steel Saeco Via Venezia, originally $400, discounted as it was being discontinued, and purchased as a like-new factory refurbished unit: $200 (still available used on ebay, no doubt); plus $60 for the non-pressurized filter basket; $10 for the group head cleaning tool missing from the refurbished unit; $28 for the Hario Skerton, plus about 75 cents for a metric self-locking nut and some washers to modify it so it can make an espresso grind. With just a single boiler and no PID, it's a little more cumbersome than a fancier machine, but it works. I will probably pop for a Lido once the Skerton dies. The Skerton has good ceramic burrs and a great glass container for the grounds, but with its plastic bearing it is not a lifetime item.
 

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I *definitely* appreciate the info, guys.

What we used for years is a "Cuban coffee" pot ... the moka pot.

We got the "Alicia" maker, as it is just an electric moka pot. But we have burned the thing up with daily hard use.


AA
 
When money is tight, the used market can often provide pretty good bang for the buck but you will need to be a little more intimately acquainted with your machine to either refurb or perform minor repairs/upgrades. You might be able to find a local mentor to help learn the machine and source parts.
 
When money is tight, the used market can often provide pretty good bang for the buck but you will need to be a little more intimately acquainted with your machine to either refurb or perform minor repairs/upgrades. You might be able to find a local mentor to help learn the machine and source parts.
Right. I found with the Via Venezia that not only was there an online espresso machine parts company that stocked literally all of the machine's parts, (Philips/Saeco only offered a limited selection on their website), but there were youtube videos showing you how to disassemble the machine and make most common repairs yourself. A big disadvantage of the "better", so-called semi-professional machines is that they tend to be very large and take up a lot of counter space, as well as starting at nearly $1,000. But no question they would make it easier and quicker to get good results. As for the grinders, good electric ones start at around $600 new. But hand grinding is not a big problem if you are only making one cup each morning.
Of course, many true connoisseurs go for the traditional lever machines, some of which are pictured in this thread. But these still cost plenty, and apparently take some skill and practice to use. It looks like fun, but I prefer a more user-friendly approach.
 

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Ok. A life-changer appeared today!

Breville Cafe Roma ... Wholly moly, an awesome step up from the moka pot!

Toddler steps, perhaps, and hardly worth mentioning... But the espumita! So frothy and light!


AA
 
3 basic sizes for "official" coffee

Espresso = 3oz
Cappuccino = 6oz
Americano = 9oz

Various drinks can be made in each size

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Still deliriously happy with the Breville.

As far as coffee, I've upped from Cafe La Llave ($4) to Supreme Bustelo ($5-6) ... the fancy illy and them are $14 or more! Is it worth it?


AA
 
In my opinion yes, better coffee and recent roasting makes a difference! But it isn't always linked to price or advertising budget. I have gone a long way down that rabbit hole and buy green coffee beans and roast a couple kg every 10-14 days or so. So take my advice with a grain of salt just like you would for that crazy guy down the road that is always talking to himself...

I would recommend getting a decent grinder and finding a local place that has coffee you like (and works well with your machine/process). I am sure others will be able to chime in with more actionable and useful suggestions.

Ruckin.
 

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In my opinion yes, better coffee and recent roasting makes a difference! But it isn't always linked to price or advertising budget. I have gone a long way down that rabbit hole and buy green coffee beans and roast a couple kg every 10-14 days or so. So take my advice with a grain of salt just like you would for that crazy guy down the road that is always talking to himself...

I would recommend getting a decent grinder and finding a local place that has coffee you like (and works well with your machine/process). I am sure others will be able to chime in with more actionable and useful suggestions.

Ruckin.
Thanks!

AA
 

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3 basic sizes for "official" coffee

Espresso = 3oz
Cappuccino = 6oz
Americano = 9oz

Various drinks can be made in each size

View attachment 929456
Made espresso today for a young couple; they call themselves, "Starbucks snobs."

Saw it in their eyes! When they tasted that coffee, they took a second, serious look.

Enjoyable.


AA
 

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Surprised no-one mentioned the cleaning hazards (way down the road) of the double-wall filter. (Minute particles can be stuck in between the walls)

I've been finishing cleaning by running the rest of the hot water tank - couple cups - through it to clean.

And there's a 50mm single wall filter available- but I am unsure if the frothy wonder/magic will occur without the double-wall filter? Anyone?


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