Espresso Maker 2019

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Alf 101
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Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Alf 101 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:56 pm

I thought I'd ask the Bogleheads about their thoughts on purchase and use of an espresso machine. This seems like an extravagance, but indeed life is short, so when -- and to what degree -- is it a reasonable one?

For starters, I enjoy coffee, and do very much enjoy espresso. I do not worship it, however. In calculating break-even costs, I can't honestly saw I would be otherwise dropping $5/day on a macchiato. But it could be a pleasant thing, and we do entertain quite a bit. Here would be my questions/considerations:

1. I've known a number of people who've bought pasta makers, ice cream machines, and other kitchen appliances that -- over time -- have gathered more dust than made food. To those who've purchased one, does it see sufficient use?

2. How reliable has your espresso machine been? I would hate to fork out the requisite $$$, then find it needed frequent repair, or a less than 10 year life cycle. It's one thing replacing a $20 Mr. Coffee machine, but this is something different.

3. Did you find it took up too much space on your counter? We have a kitchen with an island, and a good amount of counter space. But we also have a stand mixer, food processor, etc. Does yours seem to take up more room than a standard coffee maker? Has this been any cause of friction? Has anyone placed theirs somewhere other than the kitchen?

So a few questions here, and hopefully practical ones. You can spend a princely sum on an espresso machine, and that is not the plan. You can also buy espresso makers manufactured by the aforementioned Mr. Coffee, on the inexpensive end of the spectrum, that may or may not do the trick. I would say, still thinking about this in hypothetical terms, my budget would be less than $500 -- and maybe considerably less; time is on my side, and I would wait until finding one factory reconditioned, or some other deep discount or screaming deal.

I'd be curious what people think. It's something I've lived without to this point, but curious to hear from those who've taken this plunge...

dustinst22
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by dustinst22 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:04 pm

Recent thread here viewtopic.php?t=267803

Topic Author
Alf 101
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Alf 101 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:23 pm

If I recall correctly, there is a distinction between the "super-automatic" (subject of recent post) and "semi-automatic"; still talking about espresso makers here. It seems this could be a critical difference.

If all you want is a coffee beverage that hits you quality metric, that distinction becomes less important. But for the other side of the coin, the analogy I'll use is a bread machine.

I like making bread, but would never buy a bread machine. It just seems as if one would take away from control of numerous variables, and more distant from the actual process of making bread. It's less messy and more efficient, and I can appreciate that, but kneading dough keeps me feeling involved. So in a moment of personal confession, I personally and professionally believe in efficiency, but still like to take things apart and futz with them.

calculon11
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by calculon11 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:28 pm

Just get a Moka pot.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:37 pm

Espresso nerd here. You can go down a major rabbit hole and this all depends on what your idea of a good espresso is (and seriously, no judgment here).

When you say "macchiato" are you talking about the big things they make at Starbucks or the Italian macchiato, which is an espresso with a small dollop of foam on top? Your answer can help us guide you here.

SemperFi79
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by SemperFi79 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:41 pm

Your post "caught" my attention :D !! I was a late bloomer to the coffee world, and have now entered the coffee snob realm. :-) With that said, I started slowly. First coffee with a Techcnivorm coffee pot (upgraded from the various brands). Plus have tried various Nespresso cup style, didn't like the flavor, or even the "make your own" filter. Then the splurge to the Gaggia classic, which still makes a great espresso, and steamed milk, but the process takes patience. So the big splurge was the Jura E8. We have enjoyed it so far, and do like a superautomatic. I like the Jura brand, and customer service is good. I know there are a lot of high ratings for Breville, but I am still on the fence about Breville products. We own a lot of them, but some of the performance isn't as great as I would expect for the cost. There are some great blogs that I used to frequent as I endeavoured into the "make your own espresso". Coffee geek was very helpful. Plus I believe it's the Seattle Coffee gear that posts a lot of great Youtube videos. Many of the things I've learned about making a good espresso are a good grinder, and fresh beans. Then....addressing your own particular tastes. What kind of pull do you like? Beans? Good luck.

GmanJeff
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by GmanJeff » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:42 pm

I use a Krups superautomatic which, admittedly, comes in at a higher price point. It sees daily use and has been very reliable. It prompts for different cleaning cycles as required, which may contribute to the device's longevity. It does take up counter space, but because it makes regular coffee as well as espresso drinks, it replaced both a 4-cup drip brewer and a single-serve pod brewer, so no net increase in space was required.

In terms of frequency of use, I use mine often because it is a superautomatic and requires little engagement from me. I pretty much push a button to select what I want and walk away. Machines which require more personal involvement may become tedious to use after the initial novelty of operating them wears off and so they fall into disuse. If you like a more hands-on approach, then that aspect may not result in the machine collecting dust.
Last edited by GmanJeff on Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by ThankYouJack » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:46 pm

I have a Moka pot. Definitely think that my friend's Jura S6 pulls better shots and a big time saver. Haven't brought myself to spend the $1,300 for one though.

Thesaints
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Thesaints » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:49 pm

Since there is no commercial establishment serving decent espresso in the US, I object to the notion that buying a machine might be "extravagant".

The main thing to look at is the filter holder assembly, which has to be all metal. Some machines, even expensive ones with all the frills, use a cheaper version with a rubber gasket.

Missing that, a nespresso pixie will to in a pinch...

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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by plantingourpennies » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:50 pm

I bought a Rancilio Silvia and a Rocky grinder in 2007 using the second pay check from my first job after college. The total back then was around $1,200.

1. Since then I have averaged between 2 and 3 shots a day, usually in the form of Americanos. Guests tell me they love it as well, but making coffee for 6 people stretches the limits of the machine-it takes time for the boiler to re-heat.

2. I have overhauled it twice, and it's probably due again- an overhaul is maybe 30 dollars in gaskets, plus some time soaking the parts. I also upgraded the heating system with a PID for around $150. The PID has failed twice and I've replace the electronics for around 35 each time.

3. Mine lives in my garage/workshop.

I dislike the super automatics-it removes part of the ritual for me.

If I had to do it again I would purchase a used Silvia (they go for about 400-450) and save up for a nice grinder, possibly a step above the Rocky. I do consider these machines BIFL as parts are easily available and they are made to be serviced and repaired.

02nz
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by 02nz » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:50 pm

I like Nespresso. Is it the best espresso you can make? Of course not. But it's good to very good, the machines are inexpensive and take up very little space, very easy to use and almost no maintenance, the capsules not outrageous at 70 cents or so a pop, and there's a good (and free) recycling system for used capsules.

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Alf 101
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Alf 101 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:59 pm

Just to keep pace, when I think macchiato, or much else about espresso drinks, I'm thinking Italy -- not Starbucks. I have not spend much time in Italy, but long enough there to start to get it.

As for the pull, this is something I'd like to experiment with, though I have generally told the barista -- and like -- on the long side. Most beans I use are on the dark side of a medium roast, and I do own a decent burr grinder. The idea that I can explore different variations -- grind size, pull length, etc. -- is appealing. Sometimes it takes a while to discover what it is you really like, and sometimes that can change over time. Or just the need to geek out is a constant.

The Nespresso route doesn't appeal to me. I do have questions about people's experiences with the Breville, Gaggia, and perhaps a few other brands I don't know about. I would be trying to limit costs somewhat, but ultimately am looking for where the value may lie. I may not be ready for the Jura E8 quite yet, but the Gaggia Classic and Breville Barista seem like early contenders...

Thesaints
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Thesaints » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:01 pm

Try De Longhi "Dedicata". Relatively inexpensive and all metal.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:42 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:59 pm
Just to keep pace, when I think macchiato, or much else about espresso drinks, I'm thinking Italy -- not Starbucks. I have not spend much time in Italy, but long enough there to start to get it.

As for the pull, this is something I'd like to experiment with, though I have generally told the barista -- and like -- on the long side. Most beans I use are on the dark side of a medium roast, and I do own a decent burr grinder. The idea that I can explore different variations -- grind size, pull length, etc. -- is appealing. Sometimes it takes a while to discover what it is you really like, and sometimes that can change over time. Or just the need to geek out is a constant.

The Nespresso route doesn't appeal to me. I do have questions about people's experiences with the Breville, Gaggia, and perhaps a few other brands I don't know about. I would be trying to limit costs somewhat, but ultimately am looking for where the value may lie. I may not be ready for the Jura E8 quite yet, but the Gaggia Classic and Breville Barista seem like early contenders...
this is largely dependent on a) the mass of and b) the fineness of the ground. To have this level of control, you'll need a precise scale (reading down to 0.1 gram, though 0.01 gram precision preferred) and a semi-decent grinder in order to tinker and dial in the grind setting to your preference. A $250 Baratza (what I have) will certainly not do the trick. Get a stepless, doserless grinder with at least 55mm wide burrs (which should set you back around $500-600 new).

for the same 16.25 gram worth of ground, different fineness would result in different puck (that's the tamped down mass of ground) volume and different time to obtain the same volume of espresso. Ditto with going with the same fineness but changing the ground mass.

A Gaggia Classic machine should otherwise suit your brewing needs; though i'd say that a Rancilio with PID would be a worthwhile upgrade. The grinder will have a far large effect on the espresso than the machine does.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:27 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:59 pm
Just to keep pace, when I think macchiato, or much else about espresso drinks, I'm thinking Italy -- not Starbucks. I have not spend much time in Italy, but long enough there to start to get it.
Excellent. I'm happy to help speed your progress in the dark arts of espresso making.

The Gaggia Classic is a good option. I had one for several years and made a lot of good shots with it. It's a great machine to learn on and to decide if making espresso and all that comes with it (grinding, tamping, producing "sink shots" from time to time and having to start over, etc.) is something you don't mind doing or not without overspending. Unlike the Delonghis and Brevilles (although their Dual Boiler has amazing features for it's price point), there's not a single part that you can't repair and replace yourself with some simple tools. Just know that it will come with a learning curve, which may be frustrating at times until you've established a good routine. You will also need good, fresh beans and a good grinder. You said you have a burr grinder, but which one if you don't mind me asking?

If you want to produce great shots, but don't mind fiddling around more, the Cafelat Robot or Flair Espresso makers can do a wonderful job. Lever espresso machines, be they simple ones like these or big commercial ones are magic. However, you would need something else, like a Bellman stovetop steamer or similar, if you want to make milk drinks. You'll also need a kettle to heat the water. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but they offer the best bang for the buck. I know people with $10k machines and they swear these produce shots that are as good. In fact, a lot of the really high end stuff tries to mimic a lever pull profile.

Don't bother with anything you'll find in a department store as they just can't hold a steady temperature or produce good steam.

A couple people mentioned the Rancilio Silvia. These are very well made and capable of producing good shots, but you really need a PID, as their Achille's heal is temperature control (actually true for the Gaggia too, but they're also cheaper), which is another 100 bucks or so. That said, with a PID, it could be all you need for a long time... until you get into super light roasts, pressure profiling, and other nonsense.
Last edited by caffeperfavore on Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:52 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:49 pm
Since there is no commercial establishment serving decent espresso in the US, I object to the notion that buying a machine might be "extravagant".

The main thing to look at is the filter holder assembly, which has to be all metal. Some machines, even expensive ones with all the frills, use a cheaper version with a rubber gasket.

Missing that, a nespresso pixie will to in a pinch...
"Since there is no commercial establishment serving decent espresso in the US"

Well, perhaps there is no commercial establishment that YOU thinks serves decent espresso ..... :happy I believe you to be wrong.

Now for my opinionated statements ....

- I don't think a moka pot provides anything close to real espresso. Not enough pressure.
- I am usually pleasantly surprised at how good a cup the Nespresso machines can make (some people disagree, but I think they are okay)
- I prefer a semi-automatic with a separate quality burr grinder. The Gaggia classic mentioned by other posters is a decent, not terribly expensive, machine.

Dottie57
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:54 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:49 pm
Since there is no commercial establishment serving decent espresso in the US, I object to the notion that buying a machine might be "extravagant".

The main thing to look at is the filter holder assembly, which has to be all metal. Some machines, even expensive ones with all the frills, use a cheaper version with a rubber gasket.

Missing that, a nespresso pixie will to in a pinch...
Pixie (using espresso grind pods) makes good stuff.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by EnjoyIt » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:44 pm

We have been into pulling our own shots for about 7 years now. In my experience a good grinder is far far more important than the espresso machine. I would agree that there is no chain establishment that makes good coffee. Some small shops have a clue but in the US we find that our house has the best coffee in town. We got hooked on coffee when we spent some time in Italy.

We have an ECM synkronika espresso machine which is a bit overkill but, I like and would recommend any of the ECM line. They are very well designed using the E61 grouphead which many would agree is the gold standard for this price point. They are also designed in such a way that makes it relatively easy to work on if a repair is necessary.
Last edited by EnjoyIt on Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

quantAndHold
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:52 pm

We’ve had espresso machines for about 25 years, and used them at least once a day since then. We’re on our fifth machine. The less expensive machines do wear out, and may or may not be repairable. We currently have a La Pavoni Europiccola that we bought used a couple of years ago. With some maintenance, it will probably last the rest of our lives.

As a first machine, the Gaggia Classic is a pretty good choice. I got one used from a coworker, and we use it as a backup for our La Pavoni. It makes good espresso and won’t break the bank. If you find you use it a lot, it will eventually wear out, but by then you’ll want a better one anyway.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:11 pm

one notice that should always be added is that one should be on top of the descaling schedule. being lax about it will literally ruin your machine and your coffee

it's basically how my first machine "failed" after seven years of daily use. Not from design flaw or regular wear and tear, but from negligence. For my current machine, I'm using double filtered water (PUR-filtered water that is subsequently filtered through Best Cup in-line filter), and I'm hoping that my current machine will give me at least 20 years of quality usage. For my first machine, it eventually got to the point that water coming out of the group was cloudy... Don't let that happen to your machine, whatever you end up buying.

gtd98765
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by gtd98765 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:37 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:49 pm
Since there is no commercial establishment serving decent espresso in the US, I object to the notion that buying a machine might be "extravagant".
Agree. As a former resident of Rome who returned to the US some time ago, I can confirm that I have never had a US espresso that approached the quality of the coffee at the cheapest, most out-of-the-way bar in Italy.

We purchased a Saeco superautomatic machine at Costco six years ago and have used it nearly every day since. We had several manual machines before that, including a Gaggia, but they all broke over the years. Even though it is much more complicated, grinding the beans and disposing of them, the Saeco is a champ.

If you like cappuccino, I would go with a separate milk frother rather than using the steam wand of an espresso machine. Purchasing a milk frother has contributed to a major quality of life improvement for us, as well as a much cleaner kitchen.

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:50 pm

gtd98765 wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:37 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:49 pm
Since there is no commercial establishment serving decent espresso in the US, I object to the notion that buying a machine might be "extravagant".
Agree. As a former resident of Rome who returned to the US some time ago, I can confirm that I have never had a US espresso that approached the quality of the coffee at the cheapest, most out-of-the-way bar in Italy.

We purchased a Saeco superautomatic machine at Costco six years ago and have used it nearly every day since. We had several manual machines before that, including a Gaggia, but they all broke over the years. Even though it is much more complicated, grinding the beans and disposing of them, the Saeco is a champ.

If you like cappuccino, I would go with a separate milk frother rather than using the steam wand of an espresso machine. Purchasing a milk frother has contributed to a major quality of life improvement for us, as well as a much cleaner kitchen.
A question for the people who have never had a good cup of espresso in the US, why do you think the cups in other places were so much better? Because I have not found that to be true. Are the baristas better?

(Note, I've had plenty of good cups of espresso in North America, and I have actually been in Europe more than once ....).

I mean, often the same machines are being used, you can get the same beans if you want, and it is actually not rocket science to get the grind and extraction time right (that said, I've had many an awful cup of espresso from local shops).

There is often a preference in the US (and Canada) for dark roasts, which some people dislike.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by EnjoyIt » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:28 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:50 pm
gtd98765 wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:37 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:49 pm
Since there is no commercial establishment serving decent espresso in the US, I object to the notion that buying a machine might be "extravagant".
Agree. As a former resident of Rome who returned to the US some time ago, I can confirm that I have never had a US espresso that approached the quality of the coffee at the cheapest, most out-of-the-way bar in Italy.

We purchased a Saeco superautomatic machine at Costco six years ago and have used it nearly every day since. We had several manual machines before that, including a Gaggia, but they all broke over the years. Even though it is much more complicated, grinding the beans and disposing of them, the Saeco is a champ.

If you like cappuccino, I would go with a separate milk frother rather than using the steam wand of an espresso machine. Purchasing a milk frother has contributed to a major quality of life improvement for us, as well as a much cleaner kitchen.
A question for the people who have never had a good cup of espresso in the US, why do you think the cups in other places were so much better? Because I have not found that to be true. Are the baristas better?

(Note, I've had plenty of good cups of espresso in North America, and I have actually been in Europe more than once ....).

I mean, often the same machines are being used, you can get the same beans if you want, and it is actually not rocket science to get the grind and extraction time right (that said, I've had many an awful cup of espresso from local shops).

There is often a preference in the US (and Canada) for dark roasts, which some people dislike.
Sure, Because most people associate good coffee with Starbucks which is trash. Therefore coffee shops try and replicate Starbucks style by taking mediocre coffee and adding lots of flavorings and sugar to it to make it palatable. Most places just don't keep the machines clean, fine tune the grinders and keep them clean, and finally the baristas vary and therefor the coffee they make varies.

I agree that I have had good coffee in the US, but it is not that common. I was in Seattle 2 years ago for about a week. I tried coffee from maybe 9 or 10 shops and only found 2 places that had what I consider really good coffee. There are plenty of places that have decent coffee that I am willing to drink while on the go, but good coffee is a rarity. Crap, I'll even go to Starbucks if I have to.

3504PIR
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by 3504PIR » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:15 am

GmanJeff wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:42 pm
I use a Krups superautomatic which, admittedly, comes in at a higher price point. It sees daily use and has been very reliable. It prompts for different cleaning cycles as required, which may contribute to the device's longevity. It does take up counter space, but because it makes regular coffee as well as espresso drinks, it replaced both a 4-cup drip brewer and a single-serve pod brewer, so no net increase in space was required.

In terms of frequency of use, I use mine often because it is a superautomatic and requires little engagement from me. I pretty much push a button to select what I want and walk away. Machines which require more personal involvement may become tedious to use after the initial novelty of operating them wears off and so they fall into disuse. If you like a more hands-on approach, then that aspect may not result in the machine collecting dust.
Does your superautomatic have a model number or name, or just superautomatic?

Glasgow
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Glasgow » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:25 am

I've used Breville 870XL a with integrated hopper and burr grinder for 6 years. I had to go through trial-and-error with grinder dial to get to the level of ground coffee the machine and I want; too coarse ground coffee impedes pressure build up and too fine would suffocate it. It has gone through 3 seal rings; two caused by me prying them out for cleaning and the other wear and tear. Other than that it's solid and we use it about twice a day.
Savings:
We used to go to Starbucks. DW got a grande coffee frap and me a grande coffee latte and another one by end of the day, so $15 out the door/day. In one year, $15 x 365d = $5475. We needed to earn $5475/0.65 = $8423 just for the morning coffee.
We then bought in state favorite blend roasted beans and it was $20/lb with shipping. Consumed 1.5 lbs/week, so $1520/year just for beans + $546 for milk, so it's still around $2000.
Now, I roast my own coffee using New Espresso Blend green beans from Sweet Maria for about $6/pound, so it's $470/year. For milk, we consume 1.5 gal/week, so it's 1.5 gal/week x 52 weeks x $7 = $546/year. This is when we drink 2 latte and 1 ice blended. So, it's about $1k/year vs $5475K/year compared to Starbucks but quality is much better - Horizon Organic Milk (very flavorful) and coffee beans fit our taste and smell very well.
Imagine if both of us also eating out, it'd cost another $20/day or $4000/year or $6150 before tax. Just lunch and coffee would already cost us $14500/year. It's just astounding!

investingdad
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by investingdad » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:06 am

I'm a big fan of the Jura Capressa fully automatics made in Switzerland. Our first one died after ~13000 shots were made. We now have a second.

Atilla
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Atilla » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:42 am

My Gaggia Classic has been 100% bulletproof since I got it 3-4 years ago. It gets used every day.

I chose it on price - I think it was under $400 - and simplicity. It has 2 switches and a knob. One switch turns it on to start warming. Second switch makes the espresso. Knob turns on the milk steamer. Water reservoir is nice and big.

The thing is solid, super easy to use and keep clean. I have always used distilled water in it, so maintenance has been nothing more than wiping down the exterior, running the removable parts thru the dishwasher every couple weeks and occasionally boiling the metal cup thingy to keep the tiny hole cleared.

If/when the thing fails I don't ever see myself getting something different.
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GmanJeff
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by GmanJeff » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:16 am

3504PIR wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:15 am
GmanJeff wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:42 pm
I use a Krups superautomatic which, admittedly, comes in at a higher price point. It sees daily use and has been very reliable. It prompts for different cleaning cycles as required, which may contribute to the device's longevity. It does take up counter space, but because it makes regular coffee as well as espresso drinks, it replaced both a 4-cup drip brewer and a single-serve pod brewer, so no net increase in space was required.

In terms of frequency of use, I use mine often because it is a superautomatic and requires little engagement from me. I pretty much push a button to select what I want and walk away. Machines which require more personal involvement may become tedious to use after the initial novelty of operating them wears off and so they fall into disuse. If you like a more hands-on approach, then that aspect may not result in the machine collecting dust.
Does your superautomatic have a model number or name, or just superautomatic?
It's the Krups EA 9010. https://www.krupsusa.com/BREAKFAST-APPL ... e-machines

One unique characteristic, and the reason I chose it, is that it does not use a separate milk container to make drinks like flat whites, cappuccinos, and lattes. Instead, the user adds milk to the cup at the outset of the brewing process. That means there is no milk residue to be cleaned from any tubing, fittings, or milk containers, so most cleaning cycles are automatic - it rinses its internal circuit periodically, and for some cycles it prompts you to start a more involved cleaning which it executes without further intervention once you press a button. It does periodically require manual cleaning of the steam wand (unscrew it, rinse, and reattach), and infrequently calls for a simple descaling process, which it schedules based on the actual hardness of the water you use and the number of cycles through which it has operated.

fourwheelcycle
Posts: 706
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:55 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:33 am

Alexia Evo by Quick Mill, from Chris Coffee. If you need to add milk, froth 2% milk separately in a MIRA small stainless steel French press, then pour it into a small glass and heat it in a microwave.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:46 am

Given the wide mix of machines getting tossed around here as suggestions, I thought it might be helpful to put them in perspective. As someone who has owned a number of different machines and tends to obsess over this stuff, here's my personal hierarchy of espresso machines, in rank order* of their ability to consistently make great espresso (assuming the operator knows what he/she is doing) from low to high:

- Cheap machines, the stuff from Target, Mr. Coffee, Krups Machines, etc. - Can't produce the pressure, consistent temperatures, or steam. Will likely break in a short amount of time. Toys. ~$100-200
- Bialetti and other stovetop makers/Aeropress - It's not really espresso, but can be enjoyable and cheap and easy to use. No milk steaming. $30
- Superautomatic machines, regardless of price ~$500-3500
- Nespresso - Limited range of bean options and you won't get great espresso, but it can be decent. Super consistent, so you always know what you're getting. Probably won't last more than a few years. ~$120-200
- Better single boiler espresso machines - Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia, ECM Casa, etc. This is the entry point for true espresso. Capable of producing nice shots, but requires temperature surfing without a PID. Steam is usually lacking for larger drinks (but far superior to any of the toy machines) and needs time for it to build up after brewing. Can last a long time. Repairable. $400-900
- La Pavoni Europiccola - This is capable of making shots as good as you can get with anything, but can be maddeningly inconsistent, so that's why it's here. Can last forever. Repairable. $800 From here on up the differences in the cup get gradually smaller and more dependent on being able to do very specific things (mimic pressure profiles, extract very light roasts, etc.).
- Heat Exchange Machines (HX) - Capable of producing shots as good as you'll get in any cafe, but you need to know how to surf for temperature/flush water to hit the right temperature. Plenty of steam. Capable of producing back to shots without much recovery time needed. Well respected e61 groupheads. Most are high polished stainless steel boxes. I think they look great on the counter. Look for brands like Quickmill, Profitec, Izzo, Rocket, ECM (not to be confused with a Mr. Coffee line), Bezzera, etc. $1200-1800
- Dual Boiler Machines - Unlike most HX machines, you can set a specific temperature. Look for same brands as HX machines, also La Spaziale (and Breville makes a Dual Boiler for only $1200 that's actually great, but made with cheaper parts and prone to break). Can be either e61 or saturated groupheads. Steam is no problem. Most are $1800 - $2800
- Big levers (Profitec Pro 800, Bezzera Strega, Bosco, etc.), Decent Espresso, Lelit Bianca - A hodgepodge that includes the bleeding edge of high tech machines with integrated touchpads (Decent) and very old school style lever machines based on 50+ year old designs (yet they are magic), and pressure profiling machines (Decent and Lelit Bianca). You can argue that any of these are as good in the cup as the commercial machines. $2700-4000
- Commercial stuff you put in your house because you're a nut - La Marzocco GS3, Kees van der Westen Speedster, Slayer. $7000-12000.

*Others may disagree, but these are my personal perceptions based on use, demos, and way too much time spent reading and debating these things with other nerds.

Back to the OP, I think a good single boiler is probably ideal given the budget and what the OP wants to do.

I hope this helps.
Last edited by caffeperfavore on Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

nimo956
Posts: 764
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by nimo956 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:13 am

50% VTI / 50% VXUS

EnjoyIt
Posts: 2739
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by EnjoyIt » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:15 pm

caffeperfavore wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:46 am
Given the wide mix of machines getting tossed around here as suggestions, I thought it might be helpful to put them in perspective. As someone who has owned a number of different machines and tends to obsess over this stuff, here's my personal hierarchy of espresso machines, in rank order* of their ability to consistently make great espresso (assuming the operator knows what he/she is doing) from low to high:

- Cheap machines, the stuff from Target, Mr. Coffee, Krups Machines, etc. - Can't produce the pressure, consistent temperatures, or steam. Will likely break in a short amount of time. Toys. ~$100-200
- Bialetti and other stovetop makers/Aeropress - It's not really espresso, but can be enjoyable and cheap and easy to use. No milk steaming. $30
- Superautomatic machines, regardless of price ~$500-3500
- Nespresso - Limited range of bean options and you won't get great espresso, but it can be decent. Super consistent, so you always know what you're getting. Probably won't last more than a few years. ~$120-200
- Better single boiler espresso machines - Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia, ECM Casa, etc. This is the entry point for true espresso. Capable of producing nice shots, but requires temperature surfing without a PID. Steam is usually lacking for larger drinks (but far superior to any of the toy machines) and needs time for it to build up after brewing. Can last a long time. Repairable. $400-900
- La Pavoni Europiccola - This is capable of making shots as good as you can get with anything, but can be maddeningly inconsistent, so that's why it's here. Can last forever. Repairable. $800 From here on up the differences in the cup get gradually smaller and more dependent on being able to do very specific things (mimic pressure profiles, extract very light roasts, etc.).
- Heat Exchange Machines (HX) - Capable of producing shots as good as you'll get in any cafe, but you need to know how to surf for temperature/flush water to hit the right temperature. Plenty of steam. Capable of producing back to shots without much recovery time needed. Well respected e61 groupheads. Most are high polished stainless steel boxes. I think they look great on the counter. Look for brands like Quickmill, Profitec, Izzo, Rocket, ECM (not to be confused with a Mr. Coffee line), Bezzera, etc. $1200-1800
- Dual Boiler Machines - Unlike most HX machines, you can set a specific temperature. Look for same brands as HX machines, also La Spaziale (and Breville makes a Dual Boiler for only $1200 that's actually great, but made with cheaper parts and prone to break). Can be either e61 or saturated groupheads. Steam is no problem. Most are $1800 - $2800
- Big levers (Profitec Pro 800, Bezzera Strega, Bosco, etc.), Decent Espresso, Lelit Bianca - A hodgepodge that includes the bleeding edge of high tech machines with integrated touchpads (Decent) and very old school style lever machines based on 50+ year old designs (yet they are magic), and pressure profiling machines (Decent and Lelit Bianca). You can argue that any of these are as good in the cup as the commercial machines. $2700-4000
- Commercial stuff you put in your house because you're a nut - La Marzocco GS3, Kees van der Westen Speedster, Slayer. $7000-12000.

*Others may disagree, but these are my personal perceptions based on use, demos, and way too much time spent reading and debating these things with other nerds.

Back to the OP, I think a good single boiler is probably ideal given the budget and what the OP wants to do.

I hope this helps.
This is an excellent discription. We started with a single boiler breville, upgraded to E61 Heat exchange expobar, and now currently on the ECM dual boiler.

All espresso machines eventually break due to scale and fluctuating temperatures (room temp up to 250 degrees for the steamer.) It might be simple gaskets and grommets that need to be exchanged down to a full de-scaling and cleaning to an eventual machine replacement.

Whenever we needed to replace a machine we upgraded. Each upgrade lasted longer than the previous. Recently we started having a few gromet/gasket failures on our now 4-5 year old ECM Synkronika. Luckily it’s design makes it very easy to open up and exchange simple parts which is one of the reasons we chose the ECM.

Coffee was much easier when a Mr. Coffee was good enough.

malabargold
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:16 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by malabargold » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:42 pm

You need to spend almost as much on your grinder for quality espresso
Cheapest grinder to do the job is Rocky Ranchilio at $550
- that and a ranchilio silvia espresso machine is your cheapest entry point for decent espresso - a dual boiler expobar would be cheapest dual boiler that’s decent
IMO

Starfish
Posts: 1436
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Starfish » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm

I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob (in Europe at least). All the rage now is the nordic type of coffee.
And I disagree that NO american establishment offering good coffee. After 12 years in SF and Bay Area I recently found one.

four7s
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:37 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by four7s » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:37 pm

I've been making 4 espressos with steamed milk daily since the 70's and have gone through many machines. I've spent a lot of $$ on machines that were touted to be the hottest 'new machine'. My favorite machine is the DeLonghi EC-155 that retails for about $100. and is widely available on line or at Best Buy. Everyones taste buds are different but I do think fresh quality beans ground daily (I use Peets) will be almost as important as the machine. Spend the big bucks if you like but try this machine as a starter before you invest in an expensive coffee maker. I clean it each month--takes about 30 minutes-- and they last about 3 years or so. That comes out to about $.30 per cup. I love a good cup of coffee but I'm not going to chase the perfect cup when my DeLonghi gives us darn good coffee everyday.

3504PIR
Posts: 819
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:46 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by 3504PIR » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:54 pm

GmanJeff wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:16 am
3504PIR wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:15 am
GmanJeff wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:42 pm
I use a Krups superautomatic which, admittedly, comes in at a higher price point. It sees daily use and has been very reliable. It prompts for different cleaning cycles as required, which may contribute to the device's longevity. It does take up counter space, but because it makes regular coffee as well as espresso drinks, it replaced both a 4-cup drip brewer and a single-serve pod brewer, so no net increase in space was required.

In terms of frequency of use, I use mine often because it is a superautomatic and requires little engagement from me. I pretty much push a button to select what I want and walk away. Machines which require more personal involvement may become tedious to use after the initial novelty of operating them wears off and so they fall into disuse. If you like a more hands-on approach, then that aspect may not result in the machine collecting dust.
Does your superautomatic have a model number or name, or just superautomatic?
It's the Krups EA 9010. https://www.krupsusa.com/BREAKFAST-APPL ... e-machines

One unique characteristic, and the reason I chose it, is that it does not use a separate milk container to make drinks like flat whites, cappuccinos, and lattes. Instead, the user adds milk to the cup at the outset of the brewing process. That means there is no milk residue to be cleaned from any tubing, fittings, or milk containers, so most cleaning cycles are automatic - it rinses its internal circuit periodically, and for some cycles it prompts you to start a more involved cleaning which it executes without further intervention once you press a button. It does periodically require manual cleaning of the steam wand (unscrew it, rinse, and reattach), and infrequently calls for a simple descaling process, which it schedules based on the actual hardness of the water you use and the number of cycles through which it has operated.
Awesome, thanks very much! This is exactly the type of machine I was looking for and plan to order in June when we’ve moved to our new home. Amazing what we can find on BHs. Thanks again for the follow up!

quantAndHold
Posts: 3438
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:18 pm

caffeperfavore wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:46 am
Given the wide mix of machines getting tossed around here as suggestions, I thought it might be helpful to put them in perspective. As someone who has owned a number of different machines and tends to obsess over this stuff, here's my personal hierarchy of espresso machines, in rank order* of their ability to consistently make great espresso (assuming the operator knows what he/she is doing) from low to high:

- Cheap machines, the stuff from Target, Mr. Coffee, Krups Machines, etc. - Can't produce the pressure, consistent temperatures, or steam. Will likely break in a short amount of time. Toys. ~$100-200
- Bialetti and other stovetop makers/Aeropress - It's not really espresso, but can be enjoyable and cheap and easy to use. No milk steaming. $30
- Superautomatic machines, regardless of price ~$500-3500
- Nespresso - Limited range of bean options and you won't get great espresso, but it can be decent. Super consistent, so you always know what you're getting. Probably won't last more than a few years. ~$120-200
- Better single boiler espresso machines - Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia, ECM Casa, etc. This is the entry point for true espresso. Capable of producing nice shots, but requires temperature surfing without a PID. Steam is usually lacking for larger drinks (but far superior to any of the toy machines) and needs time for it to build up after brewing. Can last a long time. Repairable. $400-900
- La Pavoni Europiccola - This is capable of making shots as good as you can get with anything, but can be maddeningly inconsistent, so that's why it's here. Can last forever. Repairable. $800 From here on up the differences in the cup get gradually smaller and more dependent on being able to do very specific things (mimic pressure profiles, extract very light roasts, etc.).
- Heat Exchange Machines (HX) - Capable of producing shots as good as you'll get in any cafe, but you need to know how to surf for temperature/flush water to hit the right temperature. Plenty of steam. Capable of producing back to shots without much recovery time needed. Well respected e61 groupheads. Most are high polished stainless steel boxes. I think they look great on the counter. Look for brands like Quickmill, Profitec, Izzo, Rocket, ECM (not to be confused with a Mr. Coffee line), Bezzera, etc. $1200-1800
- Dual Boiler Machines - Unlike most HX machines, you can set a specific temperature. Look for same brands as HX machines, also La Spaziale (and Breville makes a Dual Boiler for only $1200 that's actually great, but made with cheaper parts and prone to break). Can be either e61 or saturated groupheads. Steam is no problem. Most are $1800 - $2800
- Big levers (Profitec Pro 800, Bezzera Strega, Bosco, etc.), Decent Espresso, Lelit Bianca - A hodgepodge that includes the bleeding edge of high tech machines with integrated touchpads (Decent) and very old school style lever machines based on 50+ year old designs (yet they are magic), and pressure profiling machines (Decent and Lelit Bianca). You can argue that any of these are as good in the cup as the commercial machines. $2700-4000
- Commercial stuff you put in your house because you're a nut - La Marzocco GS3, Kees van der Westen Speedster, Slayer. $7000-12000.

*Others may disagree, but these are my personal perceptions based on use, demos, and way too much time spent reading and debating these things with other nerds.

Back to the OP, I think a good single boiler is probably ideal given the budget and what the OP wants to do.

I hope this helps.
This is a really good summary, and matches my personal experience pretty much exactly.

We love our La Pavoni, but it had a long and sometimes frustrating learning curve. Since they’re repairable, the Pavonis can be found on the used market and then refurbished for half of what a new one costs. We ended up with ours because when the boiler on our Silvia started leaking and was deemed unrepairable, the shop just happened to have a Pavoni that had been brought in for repair, then never picked up.

rj49
Posts: 511
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:22 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by rj49 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:12 pm

I've had several superautomatic machines break down on me, as has my sister. The repair estimates are usually more than a new machine costs. Costco occasionally has superautomatics, and there are cheaper open box/refurbished units from Seattle Coffee Gear (they also usually do video reviews of various machines).

I eventually came to the realization that for the $1000 or more I've spent on machines, I could get hundreds of $3 Americano made by a professional, support local non-Starbucks places, and get social interactions and all the nice coffee smells and sounds of good machines. I also have a Nespresso machine at home, and I like having a variety of capsule flavors to experience and none of the hassles. With an aeroccino automatic frother, it takes a minute or so to make a perfectly fine latte or cappuccino, and Amazon and Trader Joe's also sell knock-off Nespresso capsules that are fine for me.

I've also been happy with basic automatic machines, where you do your own grinding and tamping. I know Mr. Money Mustache prefers this sort of setup, with a basic $100 machine he got on Amazon. Plus with this approach you're less likely to lecture everyone about burr grinders and all the snobby rituals of coffee snobs.

You'd think that some ambitious Italians would set up a chain of Italian-style cafes in the US, with coffee served in tiny cups at counters for a cheap price and then a higher charge for those who want to sit. It's sad that even in an Autogrill roadside rest stop in Italy the espresso is better than anything I've had in the US.

gtd98765
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:15 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by gtd98765 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:16 pm

rj49 wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:12 pm
I' It's sad that even in an Autogrill roadside rest stop in Italy the espresso is better than anything I've had in the US.
+1

caffeperfavore
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:34 am

Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob (in Europe at least). All the rage now is the nordic type of coffee.
And I disagree that NO american establishment offering good coffee. After 12 years in SF and Bay Area I recently found one.
Yep, this will seem like heresy, but Italian espresso is considered to be kind of stuck in the past (and I do not mean in comparison to Starbucks style drinks, which are an abomination!) and not the best in terms of quality. I get the sense that a lot of people aren't aware of the Nordic, Australian, and American third wave movements in espresso with their focus on quality beans and brining out unique and different flavors based on the particular beans. To me, Italian espresso is like a good German pilsner in a world of exciting new craft beers. I still enjoy one from time to time, but it also gets a little boring.

That said, I absolutely love what Italian cafes are (even my username means "coffee please!" in Italian); but, I think tourists are drinking in the ambiance and culture as much as the actual taste of the espresso. However, I don't think that the average Italian is too concerned about their espresso as much as socializing. "It's just espresso," they would say as they dump some sugar into it. Yet, there's a trend in some corners of Italy to restore the quality of the drinks with more focus on sourcing decent beans.

FYI for the Autogrill fans: you can get 2.2 pound bags of Kimbo, the brand they use, from Amazon or Whole Latte Love for about $20. Just be sure to scorch them at too high a temperature for the full Autogrill effect. :wink: I recommend the Superior Bar or Super Crema blends. Keep your brew temperature down a tad to get more sweetness and less charred shoe leather.
Last edited by caffeperfavore on Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

autopeep
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:30 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by autopeep » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:43 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:46 am
Given the wide mix of machines getting tossed around here as suggestions, I thought it might be helpful to put them in perspective. As someone who has owned a number of different machines and tends to obsess over this stuff, here's my personal hierarchy of espresso machines, in rank order* of their ability to consistently make great espresso (assuming the operator knows what he/she is doing) from low to high:

- Cheap machines, the stuff from Target, Mr. Coffee, Krups Machines, etc. - Can't produce the pressure, consistent temperatures, or steam. Will likely break in a short amount of time. Toys. ~$100-200
- Bialetti and other stovetop makers/Aeropress - It's not really espresso, but can be enjoyable and cheap and easy to use. No milk steaming. $30
- Superautomatic machines, regardless of price ~$500-3500
- Nespresso - Limited range of bean options and you won't get great espresso, but it can be decent. Super consistent, so you always know what you're getting. Probably won't last more than a few years. ~$120-200
- Better single boiler espresso machines - Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia, ECM Casa, etc. This is the entry point for true espresso. Capable of producing nice shots, but requires temperature surfing without a PID. Steam is usually lacking for larger drinks (but far superior to any of the toy machines) and needs time for it to build up after brewing. Can last a long time. Repairable. $400-900
- La Pavoni Europiccola - This is capable of making shots as good as you can get with anything, but can be maddeningly inconsistent, so that's why it's here. Can last forever. Repairable. $800 From here on up the differences in the cup get gradually smaller and more dependent on being able to do very specific things (mimic pressure profiles, extract very light roasts, etc.).
- Heat Exchange Machines (HX) - Capable of producing shots as good as you'll get in any cafe, but you need to know how to surf for temperature/flush water to hit the right temperature. Plenty of steam. Capable of producing back to shots without much recovery time needed. Well respected e61 groupheads. Most are high polished stainless steel boxes. I think they look great on the counter. Look for brands like Quickmill, Profitec, Izzo, Rocket, ECM (not to be confused with a Mr. Coffee line), Bezzera, etc. $1200-1800
- Dual Boiler Machines - Unlike most HX machines, you can set a specific temperature. Look for same brands as HX machines, also La Spaziale (and Breville makes a Dual Boiler for only $1200 that's actually great, but made with cheaper parts and prone to break). Can be either e61 or saturated groupheads. Steam is no problem. Most are $1800 - $2800
- Big levers (Profitec Pro 800, Bezzera Strega, Bosco, etc.), Decent Espresso, Lelit Bianca - A hodgepodge that includes the bleeding edge of high tech machines with integrated touchpads (Decent) and very old school style lever machines based on 50+ year old designs (yet they are magic), and pressure profiling machines (Decent and Lelit Bianca). You can argue that any of these are as good in the cup as the commercial machines. $2700-4000
- Commercial stuff you put in your house because you're a nut - La Marzocco GS3, Kees van der Westen Speedster, Slayer. $7000-12000.

*Others may disagree, but these are my personal perceptions based on use, demos, and way too much time spent reading and debating these things with other nerds.

Back to the OP, I think a good single boiler is probably ideal given the budget and what the OP wants to do.

I hope this helps.
This is a really nice summary. For someone who is "espresso-curious", I recommend the gaggia classic. Do not spend hundreds of dollars on an espresso machine without an adequate grinder.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3438
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:31 am

rj49 wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:12 pm
I eventually came to the realization that for the $1000 or more I've spent on machines, I could get hundreds of $3 Americano made by a professional, support local non-Starbucks places, and get social interactions and all the nice coffee smells and sounds of good machines.
We make 2 lattes per day for ourselves. At $4-4.50 that the good places around here charge, the payback period for a $1000 machine is about six months. Ingredient costs for milk and the best coffee in town cost about $1.50 per cup, so we save $3 every time we make it ourselves. And it didn’t take that many cups of coffee before the quality of what we were making was as good as the local shops.

Our last machine cost $700 and lasted 7 years. Unless my math is wrong, we saved about $15,000 by buying that espresso machine and making our own.

We still support local roasters by buying our beans from them, of course. We have a couple of excellent roasters right in our neighborhood.

sunshinebottom
Posts: 30
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by sunshinebottom » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:34 pm

There is a minimalist approach to espresso. I bought a Flair espresso maker about 2 years ago. It is a manual lever apparatus with a machined cylinder. I just weight and grind the beans. I've preheated the cylinder in boiling water, put it on the coffee receptacle that I've tamped coffee into, and manually push the coffee out. It makes a great crema and nice espresso. The only upkeep over the last 2 years has been a new O-ring that fits into the cylinder.
I also roast my own beans and the combination of fresh beans, a good grinder and this set up works well.

chrischris
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:25 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by chrischris » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:16 pm

I bought a high end machine from Costco a few years back. It started leaking after 3 years. I called Costco and received a full refund. I then bought an updated model that has been good for two years.

Tralvo
Posts: 2
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Tralvo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:28 pm

Italian living in the US. My two cents on the espresso discussion.
Unless you are making hundreds of coffee a day a reliable semi automatic machines 15 bar will do a good job.

Even more than the machine to make a good espresso you simply need good water and good coffee. I find most of the espresso coffe sold in the US not strong enough and comparable in roasting to the Italian one. For me it is really mostly about the coffe than the machine.

Most Italian houses run on a moka pot or small semiautomatic espresso machine.

User avatar
fortfun
Posts: 2364
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by fortfun » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:41 pm

I have an Oscar:
http://www.nuovadistribution.com/oscar.html

And a Rancilio grinder.

dustinst22
Posts: 318
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by dustinst22 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:04 pm

Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob

Ah, the coffee snobs. Are they like the wine snobs that can't tell the difference between a $10 bottle and a $100 bottle when blind tasting?

Starfish
Posts: 1436
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Starfish » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 am

dustinst22 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:04 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob

Ah, the coffee snobs. Are they like the wine snobs that can't tell the difference between a $10 bottle and a $100 bottle when blind tasting?
I think that is BS.
A GOOD 100$ bottle is VERY different from any 10$ bottle and I am willing to take that test any time.
But the difference in coffee is much greater. There is absolutely no comparison between an espresso well done from expensive coffee and Folgers or gas station or even Starbucks. I don't think there is anybody on this planet to not recognize that they are just completely different drinks.

Where the snobs are wrong is when they despise anybody drinking just a normal espresso not made in at least 2000$ worth of gear. But I do think that everybody should try what coffee snobs drink at least once. It's an eye opening experience.

User avatar
snackdog
Posts: 774
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by snackdog » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:39 am

Most Americans put so much milk/soy/whatever in their coffee that it really doesn't matter what coffee is in it since you are mostly drinking something else. If you are guzzling desserty capuccinos, lattes, Americanos, frapuccinos, etc you can add pretty much any kind of coffee you want since the intensity of espresso will be lost. It is sort of like drinking 30 year old single malt scotch in a tall whiskey coke full of ice and soda. What's the point?

I would only invest in an espresso machine if you are really into straight espresso shots (yes, Italian style) with perhaps a little sugar. Keep in mind you are signing up for a lot of noise, cleaning, maintenance and expense to get those shots. They will no longer be a treat you have once a week outside the house, but what you drink every day at home.

We have had everything from chrome La Pavoni hand-pull to Mr. Coffee to French Press and stainless pour-over. All made tasty coffees in their own right given carefully selected and ground beans.

TN_Boy
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:12 am

snackdog wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:39 am
Most Americans put so much milk/soy/whatever in their coffee that it really doesn't matter what coffee is in it since you are mostly drinking something else. If you are guzzling desserty capuccinos, lattes, Americanos, frapuccinos, etc you can add pretty much any kind of coffee you want since the intensity of espresso will be lost. It is sort of like drinking 30 year old single malt scotch in a tall whiskey coke full of ice and soda. What's the point?

I would only invest in an espresso machine if you are really into straight espresso shots (yes, Italian style) with perhaps a little sugar. Keep in mind you are signing up for a lot of noise, cleaning, maintenance and expense to get those shots. They will no longer be a treat you have once a week outside the house, but what you drink every day at home.

We have had everything from chrome La Pavoni hand-pull to Mr. Coffee to French Press and stainless pour-over. All made tasty coffees in their own right given carefully selected and ground beans.
I don't think the maintenance burden is that high. We have a gaggia classic with a Rancillo Rocky burr grinder. This is maybe $800 or so of machinery. We mostly drink espresso and americanos. Probably 15 or so shots a week on average.

Every once in a while I'll completely clean the espresso machine and grinder.

The two will take up a fair bit of counter space.

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