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Who Knows Espresso Machines?

While those machines seem practical, being limited to only their capsules may not be the perfect solution.
The moment I started paying attention to my coffee I have stopped drinking coffee from a Nespresso machine at work - my electric moka pot was giving me better results.

While I support recommendation for E61 HX machines, the setup with a grinder will be more of $1800 range. For a start, I would recommend looking at the New Baby Twin from Gaggia that has dual heating system for simultaneous steam for milk and water for coffee. Paired with a decent grinder (such as Rancilio Rocky) it may provide a great setup.
 
The moment I started paying attention to my coffee I have stopped drinking coffee from a Nespresso machine at work - my electric moka pot was giving me better results.

While I support recommendation for E61 HX machines, the setup with a grinder will be more of $1800 range. For a start, I would recommend looking at the New Baby Twin from Gaggia that has dual heating system for simultaneous steam for milk and water for coffee. Paired with a decent grinder (such as Rancilio Rocky) it may provide a great setup.
That's a serious investment!
 

Scotto

Moderator Emeritus
I'll chime in briefly.

(1) No offense, but run the other way from any pod machines. Preground coffee is an affront to man and nature.

(2) Consider your proclivity for obsession. If you are a guy who can be happy with decent but not superlative product, you'll likely be happy with some midrange products without spending a fortune on high-end equipment. On the other hand, if you are the type to really get into a subject in depth, you are better off spending more money up front on really good stuff that will last you a long time. In other words, if you just want your cup of joe and cheaper than *$, don't spend a fortune. If you are on a quest for the perfect espresso, that is another story entirely.

(3) "Real" espresso and its ilk causes a mess. There is no way around it. If you don't care for a lot of cleanup, stay away.
 
Thanks, Scotto.

I must admit that coffeegeek was and is a very resourceful site. I've learned more about this subject and these machines than I thought I ever would.

After the research, we have narrowed down how much we want to spend and what models would be fit for our use. The only thing really left to do is to budget for this.
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
I'll agree with Scotto on this this one. I tend to not just get into but GET INTO my "hobbies" (read: obsessions). I can't tell you how much extra money I've spend going cheaper at first and then working my way up.

I realize the prevailing wisdom in "start small to see if you like it" and so forth. But I am obviously more inclined to obsession...:biggrin:

I'll also second the notion that pod machines tend to suck. They trade convenience for sub-par coffee that is prepackaged and still completely stale. Also, you end up paying way more for the pods than if you just roasted your own (that's a topic for another discussion).

You have started down the path of enlightenment! Don't believe the marketing hype... scour Coffeegeek et.al. and make an informed decision! You're on your way!:thumbup1:

I had a great used espresso machine to start with. Saved some money there and went with a pretty good grinder right off the bat.
 
Go over to coffeegeek.com. It just so happens they've just started a feature on choosing a good machine. Do you have great timing or what?



Wayne, owner/operator of a PID'ed Zaffiro
 
That's a serious investment!
Sure, $1800 is a lot of money and counter space :). Domestic machine with grinder will cost 1/3 of that. By the way, I feel that stovetop or electric moka pots are not that popular in US and it's a pity. It is very inexpensive way to start and the result is often better than coffee from superautomatics costing 20x. These little devices are also very forgiving.

Aluminum moka pot with milk frother will cost you $40-$60 (I like classic 2-4 or 6 cup models of Moka Express from Bialetti - http://tinyurl.com/32bpd4). Moka is not espresso (weaker, more watery, less body, less bitterness), but it is great and enjoyable coffee. I have an E61 HX machine, but also drink moka when in hurry. I find that gentle, 100% arabica, espresso blends work best with moka pots.
 
Sure, $1800 is a lot of money and counter space :). Domestic machine with grinder will cost 1/3 of that. By the way, I feel that stovetop or electric moka pots are not that popular in US and it's a pity. It is very inexpensive way to start and the result is often better than coffee from superautomatics costing 20x. These little devices are also very forgiving.

Aluminum moka pot with milk frother will cost you $40-$60 (I like classic 2-4 or 6 cup models of Moka Express from Bialetti - http://tinyurl.com/32bpd4). Moka is not espresso (weaker, more watery, less body, less bitterness), but it is great and enjoyable coffee. I have an E61 HX machine, but also drink moka when in hurry. I find that gentle, 100% arabica, espresso blends work best with moka pots.
I have several of these pots. In fact, while in Italy last month, I bought the Bialetti so we could have our caffelatte in the morning. I grew up with these pots. In naples their called La Maganetta (sp?). It doesn't come near the quality of the Nespresso but, I have gathered here that dog just won't hunt. Have a nice day.
 
Naples (and the south of Italy) have their original Napoletana - the flip-top coffee maker. It is much less popular and familiar than moka pot.
I know that pot. I can picture it vividly. Tinny and rather rickety, it was a wonder it stood up on its own. There are other "moka" brands besides Bialatti that operate on the same principle. I have a couple of them but haven't used them in years. But you're right, they make a decent cup of coffee in a pinch.
 
I love seeing people devote the time to get the best out of their experience. I have been on the quest for the 'perfect' shot for some time and I love every minute of it.

-Scott
 
Hi,

I am looking at an Expobar office pulser, anyone here using that model or a comparable unit? I've read most of the reviews at CG and elsewhere, figured I'd ask here too.


Thanks :smile:
 
+1 to just about everything said here, and please pay special attention to what was said about the grinder. don't skimp. A Mazzer Mini and a Rancilio silvia will set you back around $1100, or a Silvia/ Rancilio Rocky combo for around 900-950. You won't go wrong. Din is too modest to advertise, but he's the one amongst all of us with the greatest coffee knowledge, and you can check out his fabulous site here.
Of course, you can go with a superautomatic, which grinds, tamps, in short, does everything but drink the stuff for you. Easiest way to go, also pricey, but adjusting it is tough.
My favorite is still my Olympia Cremina. It's a pump handle with a hell of steep learning curve, but the quality of the shot is hard to beat. The company allocates 160 units a year to the U.S., and they're generally gone by mid-February. Current retail is $3495, although you can get a used one for less from the faint of heart who were beaten down by the learning curve. And no, you can't have mine!!!!! not at any price. Espresso is too important around this house.
 
Hi,

I am looking at an Expobar office pulser, anyone here using that model or a comparable unit? I've read most of the reviews at CG and elsewhere, figured I'd ask here too.


Thanks :smile:
I don't have one, but I've heard nothing but great things about 'em.
 

Scotto

Moderator Emeritus
Awesome grinder. I have one, and it is a revelatory experience when you get it dialed in.
 
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