Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
helloeveryone
Posts: 517
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by helloeveryone » Sun May 03, 2020 10:30 pm

Any thoughts from the BH community about getting an espresso maker (such as Breville Bambino Pro - https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/brevi ... so-machine)?

I currently make my coffee with an Aeropress (90% of the time) and rest of time will use a Moka Pot. I have a Baratza Encore grinder to grind the beans right before I make my coffee. (https://www.amazon.com/Baratza-Encore-C ... B007F183LK) My coffee whole beans I buy from various roasters in town and at times I'll buy them from costco (Ruta Maya Dark Roast) as it's cheaper but still very good coffee.

My coffee journey has taken me to this point. I'm considering getting an espresso machine but it's a $400+ leap. Those that have made the leap - was it worth it? is the taste that much different? Any other thoughts/comments?

Thank you!

kennaster
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:25 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by kennaster » Mon May 04, 2020 1:20 am

I would suggest this instead. Get a gram scale, gooseneck electric kettle, and a chemex.

I have never tasted anything other than rusty nails coming from a $400 espresso machine. If you get one, make a space for it in the garage because they're pretty messy for a normal kitchen.

Zubs
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:56 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Zubs » Mon May 04, 2020 1:43 am

I just preordered this:

https://coffeejackstore.com/

No idea how good it will be, but I drink a lot of coffee and thought it was worth a shot!

I used to have a Philips Saeco espresso maker. It was the lowest cost one, about $120. The espresso was OK, maybe 3 out of 5 stars. It was bulky and I switched it out for just freeze dried espresso.

Alex Frakt
Founder
Posts: 11086
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:06 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Alex Frakt » Mon May 04, 2020 3:35 am

My wife and I love our Saeco Syntia superautomatic. We bought it in December 2014 as a $499 refurb from seattlecoffeegear.com. We've made well over 4000 espressos/lungos with it. The pump died about a year ago which cost me $200 to get fixed (the pump itself was something like $50, but removing and replacing soldered-in circuit boards is a little farther than I want to go for a DIY project). Other than that it's been trouble free. I will note we have never bothered using the steam wand other than to test it out, a standalone milk frother like https://www.amazon.com/Miroco-Stainless ... 07PZZTS6W/ is so much simpler.

Purists scoff at a fully automatic machines because you have limited control over the grind. But the point of these machines is convenience, you can get a very good cup of coffee in around a minute versus fiddling around for many minutes to maybe get a slightly better one if you do everything right.

olliema
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:34 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by olliema » Mon May 04, 2020 7:04 am

TL;DR: Buy the best grinder you can afford, get a good tamper, then buy whatever espresso machine you can afford with the left over money, and learn to weigh your shots using quality beans.

My journey:
I also have an Aeropress and had a Breville 870XL, and before that a Saeco.
My old machines were superautomatics (grinder built in).
Both machines lasted several years before failing Breville pump died, fixed for $60 pump replacement.

I bought a Lelit 41PEM + Eureka Mignon Specialitá grinder + Espro Tamper.
Learned how to gram scale the shots, which sounds a lot harder than it really is.
The first shot I pulled off was 1000% better than the best shot my Breville ever made.
Every shot I make comes out consistently great (I aim for 1:3 lungo using 18g coffee)

Highly recommend both the Lelit and the Eureka grinder from my 3 months' experience.

Few tidbits:
www.home-barista.com/advice/ is a very good resource
www.totalespresso.com is where I got my grinder and espresso machine, good experience
https://home.lamarzoccousa.com/brew-rat ... und-world/ is a good tidbit on ratios

The espresso machine:

https://espresso.lelit.com/product/33
  • Lelit is a very popular brand in europe, and the machine dollar for dollar exceeds its peers Rancilio Silvia & Gaggia classic given the PID controller
  • A smaller boiler (like my Lelit) has the benefit of heating up quickly - just a few min in my experience
The grinder:

https://www.eureka.co.it/en/catalogo/pr ... /1/20.aspx
  • The grinder is what makes good coffee beans great espresso, and the more you spend on the grinder you will get orders of magnitude return relative to the espresso machine
  • The enthusiast group consensus is pretty timid on super automatics, largely because of grinder quality relative to a dedicated grinder.
The tamper:
https://www.amazon.com/Espro-3058F-Cali ... B005NCKGOU
Last edited by olliema on Mon May 04, 2020 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

barneycat
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:38 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by barneycat » Mon May 04, 2020 7:09 am

We have the Breville you mentioned and enjoy it.

ScubaHogg
Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by ScubaHogg » Mon May 04, 2020 7:56 am

If you don’t want to do the grinds and what-not yourself, I’ve been happy with a Nespresso Machine. It uses pods, which a no-no for some people, but it’s worked well for me for 3.5 years.

Nespresso by De'Longhi EN520SL Lattissima Plus Espresso and Cappuccino Machine with Nespresso Capsule System, Silver https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005IOME0W/re ... SEbJJB21CR
“There is no problem so bad you can’t make it worse.” - Chris Hatfield, Astronaut mantra

TN_Boy
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by TN_Boy » Mon May 04, 2020 8:00 am

kennaster wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:20 am
I would suggest this instead. Get a gram scale, gooseneck electric kettle, and a chemex.

I have never tasted anything other than rusty nails coming from a $400 espresso machine. If you get one, make a space for it in the garage because they're pretty messy for a normal kitchen.
A bit over the top I think.

You can certainly get a fine cup of espresso from something like a Gaggia classic, which in the $400+ range. But that machine does require a separate grinder.

Wasn't clear on the "messy" comment. All espresso machines, or just $400 ones ....

evancox10
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by evancox10 » Mon May 04, 2020 8:02 am

I bought the Breville Oracle Touch right before the lockdown began and it has been a god send. I’m not very awake in the morning so having something that basically does everything for me has been great. It also passes the “easy to use” test with my SO, so I’m not stuck making all the drinks.

Yes there are probably better ways to get amazing espresso, but we’ve been happy enough with it. Caveat: I largely use it for prepared drinks like lattes, not straight espresso. If you are an espresso connoisseur you may want something different, with a separate grinder. But the nice thing about the Oracle is it uses a regular portafilter, so if you want to go into espresso wonk mode you could just grind the beans yourself and control it in manual mode. It lets you control pretty much everything I believe you would want to, including shot time, water temperature, manual mode for frothing wand. This machine can be had for about 4x-5x the example you mentioned. Since you already have a really nice grinder, this may not be the best fit for you, but whatever you get, I would make sure it has a PID loop so you have some consistency from shot to shot.

One thing that I’ve noticed that makes a huge difference is how fresh the coffee beans are. You really want to get beans roasted as recently as possible, and use them within ~2-3 weeks. I have been buying an espresso blend from a local cafe/roaster, and even just in the couple of weeks from when the bag is new to when I run out of beans, there is a big difference in the quality/character of the shot.

Regarding Breville specifically, I also have a Breville blender and just have been very impressed with the combination of durability and ease of use that their products have. They seem to be built really solidly, and when I had to call their support line to replace something I lost they were very helpful. I’m sure there are other companies that are great too, I just don’t have experience with them.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 10608
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon May 04, 2020 8:32 am

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:35 am
My wife and I love our Saeco Syntia superautomatic. We bought it in December 2014 as a $499 refurb from seattlecoffeegear.com. We've made well over 4000 espressos/lungos with it. The pump died about a year ago which cost me $200 to get fixed (the pump itself was something like $50, but removing and replacing soldered-in circuit boards is a little farther than I want to go for a DIY project). Other than that it's been trouble free. I will note we have never bothered using the steam wand other than to test it out, a standalone milk frother like https://www.amazon.com/Miroco-Stainless ... 07PZZTS6W/ is so much simpler.
Alex, BHs is supposed to save me money, but often when I read coffee threads ... My wife drinks her coffee with milk, I don’t. But, to top off my 25 years of getting up 15 minutes before her to make coffee, I will now froth the milk before serving the cup to her so that it still leaves the beverage hot. As she likes it.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Dottie57
Posts: 8660
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon May 04, 2020 8:40 am

I have a Nespresso Pixie. It uses pods (smaller than a keurig pod). The pods are fairly expensive. I like it because using it is a breeze and I like being able to change the type of coffee easily. Works for me.

I love the Pixie and if It broke today, I would order a new one immediately. It is usedevery day.

I also have an aeropress for a cup of coffee.

TN_Boy
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by TN_Boy » Mon May 04, 2020 8:59 am

evancox10 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:02 am
I bought the Breville Oracle Touch right before the lockdown began and it has been a god send. I’m not very awake in the morning so having something that basically does everything for me has been great. It also passes the “easy to use” test with my SO, so I’m not stuck making all the drinks.

Yes there are probably better ways to get amazing espresso, but we’ve been happy enough with it. Caveat: I largely use it for prepared drinks like lattes, not straight espresso. If you are an espresso connoisseur you may want something different, with a separate grinder. But the nice thing about the Oracle is it uses a regular portafilter, so if you want to go into espresso wonk mode you could just grind the beans yourself and control it in manual mode. It lets you control pretty much everything I believe you would want to, including shot time, water temperature, manual mode for frothing wand. This machine can be had for about 4x-5x the example you mentioned. Since you already have a really nice grinder, this may not be the best fit for you, but whatever you get, I would make sure it has a PID loop so you have some consistency from shot to shot.

One thing that I’ve noticed that makes a huge difference is how fresh the coffee beans are. You really want to get beans roasted as recently as possible, and use them within ~2-3 weeks. I have been buying an espresso blend from a local cafe/roaster, and even just in the couple of weeks from when the bag is new to when I run out of beans, there is a big difference in the quality/character of the shot.

Regarding Breville specifically, I also have a Breville blender and just have been very impressed with the combination of durability and ease of use that their products have. They seem to be built really solidly, and when I had to call their support line to replace something I lost they were very helpful. I’m sure there are other companies that are great too, I just don’t have experience with them.
You can research how best to store the beans online. Leaving them in the bag is one of the worst solutions.

I keep about a weeks worth in an airtight container at room temperature. The rest are frozen (ziploc bags) and used to replenish the airtight container as needed.

greenflamingo
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:29 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by greenflamingo » Mon May 04, 2020 9:27 am

I had a Breville Infuser for a couple years. Sold it eventually because we didn't use it enough. It pulled a decent shot if you got the hang of it. I found that with the cleanup needed, I rarely bothered making espresso--though I LOVE a good decaf espresso with a sparkling water in the evening.

We stick with our Moccamaster drip machine and a moka pot to scratch the itch for espresso-y stuff from time to time. We have a good burr grinder that helps with quality for both.

Not saying you won't enjoy it, but just think about how after you make a drink you need to clean up, etc.

GmanJeff
Posts: 609
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:12 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by GmanJeff » Mon May 04, 2020 9:32 am

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:35 am
My wife and I love our Saeco Syntia superautomatic.

Purists scoff at a fully automatic machines because you have limited control over the grind. But the point of these machines is convenience, you can get a very good cup of coffee in around a minute versus fiddling around for many minutes to maybe get a slightly better one if you do everything right.
I'm another superautomatic user (Krups), for exactly the reason cited - the right balance (for me) between quality and convenience. While a manual machine can undoubtedly be more engaging, entertaining, and potentially produce a superior product, in day-to-day use there are just too many times when I want a coffee drink (my machine offers an extensive menu) without the time and focus required to prepare one manually.

All coffee preparation methods involve a balance between perceived quality, time, and expense, so your own priorities can help guide you towards the tools and techniques which suit your overall needs best.

quantAndHold
Posts: 4685
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon May 04, 2020 9:50 am

GmanJeff wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:32 am


All coffee preparation methods involve a balance between perceived quality, time, and expense, so your own priorities can help guide you towards the tools and techniques which suit your overall needs best.
This.

The Aeropress, used correctly with a good grinder is surprisingly good. We use an Aeropress for travel. Every machine mentioned in this thread, except the Nespressos, can, when used correctly, produce very good espresso. We have a La Pavoni Europiccola and a Gaggia Classic, both bought used. I had the Gaggia at the office back when I was working. Right now we’re using it at home because the La Pavoni is in the shop. They are both fine. The La Pavoni is definitely better, but it has a learning curve that a lot of people don’t want to mess with. Whatever you get, expect to buy a much better grinder than you have to bring out the best.

One thing to mention is that it is impossible to find someone to repair a lot of home espresso machines, and if you actually use it, it will eventually need repair. Our Pavoni can be repaired locally at a professional espresso repair place, but I doubt the Gaggia could. Before you buy, make sure that whatever you get can be repaired.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

TN_Boy
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by TN_Boy » Mon May 04, 2020 10:12 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:50 am
GmanJeff wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:32 am


All coffee preparation methods involve a balance between perceived quality, time, and expense, so your own priorities can help guide you towards the tools and techniques which suit your overall needs best.
This.

The Aeropress, used correctly with a good grinder is surprisingly good. We use an Aeropress for travel. Every machine mentioned in this thread, except the Nespressos, can, when used correctly, produce very good espresso. We have a La Pavoni Europiccola and a Gaggia Classic, both bought used. I had the Gaggia at the office back when I was working. Right now we’re using it at home because the La Pavoni is in the shop. They are both fine. The La Pavoni is definitely better, but it has a learning curve that a lot of people don’t want to mess with. Whatever you get, expect to buy a much better grinder than you have to bring out the best.

One thing to mention is that it is impossible to find someone to repair a lot of home espresso machines, and if you actually use it, it will eventually need repair. Our Pavoni can be repaired locally at a professional espresso repair place, but I doubt the Gaggia could. Before you buy, make sure that whatever you get can be repaired.
The repair point is interesting. I've had two Gaggias over 20 years. The first had an issue after a year or two and I had to send it off to be fixed .... a while before I got it back. It is really hard to find places that can fix espresso machines. I live in an urban area, but not urban enough I guess.

I suspect most people who buy an espresso machine should understand that if it needs fixing, it will be need to be sent away for a while. That said, in 20 years of owning machines, I'd had one problem that required fixing, and the machine is used daily.

Alex Frakt
Founder
Posts: 11086
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:06 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Alex Frakt » Mon May 04, 2020 10:13 am

ScubaHogg wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:56 am
If you don’t want to do the grinds and what-not yourself, I’ve been happy with a Nespresso Machine. It uses pods, which a no-no for some people, but it’s worked well for me for 3.5 years.
I strongly recommend a superautomatic over a Nespresso. They are both a one button operation, but a espresso maker uses whole coffee beans, which you add to a hopper on the machine every half-dozen cups or so. Using your own beans compared to pods results in much better tasting coffee, is much less expensive per cup, and produces less waste.

Did I mention much less expensive? Saving around 50 cents per cup pays for a decent espresso machine very quickly.

Dottie57
Posts: 8660
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon May 04, 2020 10:48 am

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:13 am
ScubaHogg wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:56 am
If you don’t want to do the grinds and what-not yourself, I’ve been happy with a Nespresso Machine. It uses pods, which a no-no for some people, but it’s worked well for me for 3.5 years.
I strongly recommend a superautomatic over a Nespresso. They are both a one button operation, but a espresso maker uses whole coffee beans, which you add to a hopper on the machine every half-dozen cups or so. Using your own beans compared to pods results in much better tasting coffee, is much less expensive per cup, and produces less waste.

Did I mention much less expensive? Saving around 50 cents per cup pays for a decent espresso machine very quickly.
Much bigger than the pixie too. For those with a small kitchen.

J295
Posts: 2447
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by J295 » Mon May 04, 2020 10:58 am

We like our Racillio. I think it cost about $1000. We buy whole beans and grind fresh to use each day.

Alex Frakt
Founder
Posts: 11086
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:06 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Alex Frakt » Mon May 04, 2020 11:31 am

Much bigger than the pixie too. For those with a small kitchen.
True. The heights are the same, but my Syntia is 10" wide x 16.5" deep versus 4.4" x 9.3" for the Pixie.

LuckBeALady
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:33 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by LuckBeALady » Mon May 04, 2020 12:08 pm

We have owned a Breville Barista Express for about 8 years. It was sent off for reconditioning after year 7- two weeks of torture and gnashing of teeth!

I make 4 cappuccinos every day for hubs and myself. It’s a delicious cuppa, not the very best I’ve ever had (that memorable one was in NYC in Little Italy), but pretty close.

It takes a month or two to dial in the grind and get the tamping pressure just right. And of course the quality of your beans, water, and milk really matters.

User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 1271
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by LilyFleur » Mon May 04, 2020 12:24 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:32 am
Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:35 am
My wife and I love our Saeco Syntia superautomatic. We bought it in December 2014 as a $499 refurb from seattlecoffeegear.com. We've made well over 4000 espressos/lungos with it. The pump died about a year ago which cost me $200 to get fixed (the pump itself was something like $50, but removing and replacing soldered-in circuit boards is a little farther than I want to go for a DIY project). Other than that it's been trouble free. I will note we have never bothered using the steam wand other than to test it out, a standalone milk frother like https://www.amazon.com/Miroco-Stainless ... 07PZZTS6W/ is so much simpler.
Alex, BHs is supposed to save me money, but often when I read coffee threads ... My wife drinks her coffee with milk, I don’t. But, to top off my 25 years of getting up 15 minutes before her to make coffee, I will now froth the milk before serving the cup to her so that it still leaves the beverage hot. As she likes it.
I was so surprised when I went to France the first time and our bed and breakfast host asked if we wanted our cream warmed up. It was lovely. How sweet of you to make your wife's coffee every morning :mrgreen:

My boyfriend loves his espresso, so I purchased an $89 non-name-brand espresso maker from Walmart, and I buy Peet's pods at Costco for it. It works great, and my son and I enjoy an afternoon espresso occasionally as well.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 10608
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon May 04, 2020 12:45 pm

LilyFleur wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 12:24 pm
My boyfriend loves his espresso, so I purchased an $89 non-name-brand espresso maker from Walmart, and I buy Peet's pods at Costco for it. It works great, and my son and I enjoy an afternoon espresso occasionally as well.
There are certain foods, comfort foods I guess, whose “love affirming” far exceed the particular taste satisfaction they bring. Coffee in the morning, soup (preferably homemade) brought to someone under the weather, your favorite chili recipe, etc. That’s why I’ll never use a pod based coffee maker even if they could match the taste of freshly ground and brewed, which to my taste buds, they can’t.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Topic Author
helloeveryone
Posts: 517
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by helloeveryone » Mon May 04, 2020 12:48 pm

kennaster wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:20 am
I would suggest this instead. Get a gram scale, gooseneck electric kettle, and a chemex.

I have never tasted anything other than rusty nails coming from a $400 espresso machine. If you get one, make a space for it in the garage because they're pretty messy for a normal kitchen.
:P I get in trouble already for coffee grounds escaping the coffee grinder!

jpelder
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:56 pm
Location: Concord, NC

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by jpelder » Mon May 04, 2020 12:56 pm

I still have flashbacks of making gallons of espresso a double-shot at a time to make the granita mix at the coffee shop where I worked in college. I don't like espresso enough to want to spend the money on a good home machine.

What I do know as a former espresso-slinger:
-Good, freshly-roasted coffee is the most important component. If it's not good coffee, the rest doesn't matter (at least, if you want straight espresso. Mediocre quality can hide in a latte)
-Grind and packing consistency are the next-most important parts (they're about even). So either get a good conical-burr grinder (looks like you've got one), or get an espresso machine that includes the grinder. Same with packing. Too much or too little force will lead to poor extraction. You definitely get a feel for it, but it can be hard on your wrist. For most people who aren't doing it all day, it's probably better to get a machine that tamps for you. If you like to tinker, then hand-packing is better.
-The final important thing is the heat and pressure generated by the machine. A non-pressurized portafilter like the one on the machine you picked will give more coffee-house like results, and you'll be able to see that you packed your shot right by the color and crema produced.

Bottom line: don't cheap out if you want it to be good

JD58
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:08 pm
Location: South of nowhere and North of somewhere

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by JD58 » Mon May 04, 2020 1:06 pm

We've had expresso machines since the late 1990s. Eventually we settled on the Breville Express. Love it. We moved very quickly away from buying roasted beans and instead have roasted our own using the Behmor roaster. Will never go away from roasting our own in small batches. DW and I go through 1/2 to 1 lb of fresh roasted beans in a week. Costing out we have found that roasting our own saves us on average 30-40% on beans. Sources for green beans are varied. Amazon has a few good providers and free shipping. Sweet Marias has an always fresh selection but shipping can take away any savings. We also have three local roasters in our area that we can purchase green beans (minimum of 5lb lots). Usually average cost is $4/lb. So we discovered large savings over drinking out and much better taste over other methods.

So our recommendation is that if you are going to spend the money on your own expresso machine, the key is ability to control grind and fresh beans! We really mean fresh. If the bag does not have roast date on it. Don't buy it. If it does and it is over 4-5 weeks. Skip it.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon May 04, 2020 1:37 pm

Did someone say espresso? :D

For the money, this sounds like a decent little machine. Breville's CEO is an espresso nerd and they actually put a lot of thought and engineering into their espresso machines (especially their terrific Dual Boiler). However, reliability has been their Achilles' heel. When something goes wrong with the Bambino it won't be something you can fix yourself given their use of proprietary and unavailable parts. I wouldn't expect to own it more than five years tops before it's disposed of.

But first, do you want to make milk based espresso drinks or not? If not, there are better options than what you're looking at. The Flair and Cafelat Robot will produce better shots, last forever (well, at least the Robot), require virtually no maintenance, be easier to clean up, and cost less. However, there's no steam. These are manual machines that you pour water from a tea kettle into and then push down a lever. I realize that you might be skeptical, but trust me, they make great shots and are very forgiving. I have a commercial spring lever and a Robot and the Robot definitely competes on straight shots. I know a former US Barista Champion that swears by the Flair.

Your grinder will be the weak link here. The Encore is probably not going to be very consistent for espresso. It will kind of work, but not all that well and not consistently. You can see how it goes, but I would plan for an upgrade.

If you need to steam milk, I like the tried and true Gaggia Classic (now called the Classic Pro I think) in that price range. A few people mentioned having to repair them, but there's nothing you can't fix yourself on them with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Parts are cheap and plentiful. They're really simple machines. However, if you end up going down the espresso rabbit hole you're likely to be looking at upgrading either the Gaggia or the Bambino after a couple years. If so, the Gaggia will have some resale value on eBay.

Topic Author
helloeveryone
Posts: 517
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by helloeveryone » Mon May 04, 2020 1:49 pm

olliema wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:04 am
TL;DR: Buy the best grinder you can afford, get a good tamper, then buy whatever espresso machine you can afford with the left over money, and learn to weigh your shots using quality beans.

My journey:
I also have an Aeropress and had a Breville 870XL, and before that a Saeco.
My old machines were superautomatics (grinder built in).
Both machines lasted several years before failing Breville pump died, fixed for $60 pump replacement.

I bought a Lelit 41PEM + Eureka Mignon Specialitá grinder + Espro Tamper.
Learned how to gram scale the shots, which sounds a lot harder than it really is.
The first shot I pulled off was 1000% better than the best shot my Breville ever made.
Every shot I make comes out consistently great (I aim for 1:3 lungo using 18g coffee)

Highly recommend both the Lelit and the Eureka grinder from my 3 months' experience.

Few tidbits:
www.home-barista.com/advice/ is a very good resource
www.totalespresso.com is where I got my grinder and espresso machine, good experience
https://home.lamarzoccousa.com/brew-rat ... und-world/ is a good tidbit on ratios

The espresso machine:

https://espresso.lelit.com/product/33
  • Lelit is a very popular brand in europe, and the machine dollar for dollar exceeds its peers Rancilio Silvia & Gaggia classic given the PID controller
  • A smaller boiler (like my Lelit) has the benefit of heating up quickly - just a few min in my experience
The grinder:

https://www.eureka.co.it/en/catalogo/pr ... /1/20.aspx
  • The grinder is what makes good coffee beans great espresso, and the more you spend on the grinder you will get orders of magnitude return relative to the espresso machine
  • The enthusiast group consensus is pretty timid on super automatics, largely because of grinder quality relative to a dedicated grinder.
The tamper:
https://www.amazon.com/Espro-3058F-Cali ... B005NCKGOU
thanks for the detailed post. You're far along in your coffee journey :happy

Topic Author
helloeveryone
Posts: 517
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by helloeveryone » Mon May 04, 2020 1:53 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:50 am
GmanJeff wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:32 am


All coffee preparation methods involve a balance between perceived quality, time, and expense, so your own priorities can help guide you towards the tools and techniques which suit your overall needs best.
This.

The Aeropress, used correctly with a good grinder is surprisingly good. We use an Aeropress for travel. Every machine mentioned in this thread, except the Nespressos, can, when used correctly, produce very good espresso. We have a La Pavoni Europiccola and a Gaggia Classic, both bought used. I had the Gaggia at the office back when I was working. Right now we’re using it at home because the La Pavoni is in the shop. They are both fine. The La Pavoni is definitely better, but it has a learning curve that a lot of people don’t want to mess with. Whatever you get, expect to buy a much better grinder than you have to bring out the best.

One thing to mention is that it is impossible to find someone to repair a lot of home espresso machines, and if you actually use it, it will eventually need repair. Our Pavoni can be repaired locally at a professional espresso repair place, but I doubt the Gaggia could. Before you buy, make sure that whatever you get can be repaired.
I love my aeropress... combined with good beans, good grinder I'm happy. That's why I thought I would ask on BH for thoughts on an espresso machine. I doubt it would make me that much happier beyond having a nice new cool "toy" that I would actually use since I drink coffee several times a day and make it when family visits.

Alex Frakt
Founder
Posts: 11086
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:06 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Alex Frakt » Mon May 04, 2020 2:22 pm

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:37 pm
But first, do you want to make milk based espresso drinks or not? If not, there are better options than what you're looking at. The Flair and Cafelat Robot will produce better shots, last forever (well, at least the Robot), require virtually no maintenance, be easier to clean up, and cost less. However, there's no steam. These are manual machines that you pour water from a tea kettle into and then push down a lever. I realize that you might be skeptical, but trust me, they make great shots and are very forgiving.
You piqued my interest. But then I read the instructions for making a shot:
We do recommend pre-heating the portafilter and basket for best results, and usually just pouring some hot water through them before brewing does the trick.
How to use the Robot:

Start by heating your water to about 205-210 F (you'll lose some heat as you pour, so we recommend starting hotter than you wish to brew)
Measure and grind your dose of coffee - we like about 18-20 grams of coffee. Your grind size should be appropriate for espresso, meaning it will be fine-textured and slightly clumpy.
Add the coffee to the basket, tap to settle, and then tamp firmly, as evenly and level as possible.
Add the dispersion screen to the top of the tamped coffee.
Add the hot water directly on top of the dispersion screen. For an 18 gram dose, we use around 60 grams of water to account for both the desired output and the water retained by the coffee puck.
Insert the basket into the portafilter and prepare your cup.
To insert the portafilter into the Robot, first raise the arms to raise the piston. Insert the portafilter with the handle straight out, and turn either left or right to lock in.
Begin your extraction by softly lowering the arms. As you apply more force, you will see the pressure gauge indicate higher pressure.
For a soft pre-infusion, apply about 2-3 bars of pressure until espresso begins dripping out of the portafilter.
Increase pressure to about 8-9 bars for the duration of the shot, and release pressure when you wish to stop your shot.
Tip: An Acaia Lunar scale will fit under the bottomless portafilter if placed diagonally!
Once your shot is finished, raise the lever arms again and remove the portafilter.
To clean up, knock out your puck, rinse and wipe the basket and portafilter, and wipe down the piston.
Sounds like the Pavoni that's been gathering dust since my second child was born. Even before then it was such a pain in the butt to make an espresso that it was reserved for the occasional Sunday morning.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon May 04, 2020 2:37 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 2:22 pm
You piqued my interest. But then I read the instructions for making a shot:
...
Sounds like the Pavoni that's been gathering dust since my second child was born. Even before then it was such a pain in the butt to make an espresso that it was reserved for the occasional Sunday morning.
Honestly, it's not that complicated. The Robot is the easiest machine I've owned next to a Nespresso. You don't have to preheat anything, pay attention to pressure (it should just be kind of firm), or even be that careful with prep and measuring. It's truly the most forgiving espresso device I've owned. If you're interested, take a look at James Hoffman's YouTube review of it or Cafelat's own videos. You'll see it's actually quite simple.

It's much, much easier to use than a LaPavoni. It took me a long time to master that little demon. The key to the LaPav is establishing a consistent routine, assuming you have good beans and a good grinder.
Last edited by caffeperfavore on Mon May 04, 2020 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon May 04, 2020 2:42 pm

helloeveryone wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:53 pm

I love my aeropress... combined with good beans, good grinder I'm happy. That's why I thought I would ask on BH for thoughts on an espresso machine. I doubt it would make me that much happier beyond having a nice new cool "toy" that I would actually use since I drink coffee several times a day and make it when family visits.
It won't be better, just different. For me, I just prefer drinking espresso to Aeropress, but that's me. But, it's like asking if beer or wine is better or will make you happier. I think it's fun to make, but it is also more hassle, more difficult to get it right, and certainly more expensive.

csm
Posts: 376
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:52 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by csm » Mon May 04, 2020 3:10 pm

ScubaHogg wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:56 am
If you don’t want to do the grinds and what-not yourself, I’ve been happy with a Nespresso Machine. It uses pods, which a no-no for some people, but it’s worked well for me for 3.5 years.
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:40 am
I have a Nespresso Pixie. It uses pods (smaller than a keurig pod). The pods are fairly expensive. I like it because using it is a breeze and I like being able to change the type of coffee easily. Works for me.

I love the Pixie and if It broke today, I would order a new one immediately. It is usedevery day.
+1 I had a Nespresso Pixie when living abroad both at work and home, bought another when I relocated back to the U.S., and have bought yet another smaller model for the RV. The quality and flavour of Nespresso is far superior to Keurig, so if you've tried Keurig (popular in hotels, doctor's offices, etc.) and think they taste horrible, don't let that dissuade you from a Nespresso because it is significantly better. Keurig coffee tastes very watery to me whereas Nespresso tastes like real cafe-type barista coffee.

Regarding the fairly expensive pods, Costco sells Peet's coffee pods for the Nespresso for $39.99 for a pack of 80 pods, which we like (a mix of intensity 8-9-10-11). Last week when finally getting to Costco for the first time since the pandemic, the 80-pack was on offer for $32, which is an absolute bargain.

User avatar
queso
Posts: 841
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by queso » Mon May 04, 2020 3:37 pm

Wife took a couple coffee classes for fun and then decided she wanted a La Marzocco. After much discussion we settled on a Jura Capresso largely due to my graphic descriptions of daily life with a "real" espresso machine the last time I had one. The post upthread about needing to move it into the garage to contain the mess is pretty accurate, IMHO. I'll second what someone said upthread about automatics being better than Nespresso, but I do have a Nespresso in my office and it makes a decent enough espresso/lungo with Peet's or Starbucks pods from Costco. If convenience is your thing the Nespresso is a good choice, but the Jura pulls better shots (likely due to the beans/grind).

Alex Frakt
Founder
Posts: 11086
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:06 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Alex Frakt » Mon May 04, 2020 3:43 pm

Peet's Nespresso pods contain 7 grams of coffee. At $40 for 80 pods, you are paying over $32 a pound for coffee.

Well, $10 a pound for coffee (the price for Peet's beans at Costco) and $22 for ???

Dottie57
Posts: 8660
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon May 04, 2020 3:57 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:43 pm
Peet's Nespresso pods contain 7 grams of coffee. At $40 for 80 pods, you are paying over $32 a pound for coffee.

Well, $10 a pound for coffee (the price for Peet's beans at Costco) and $22 for ???
A heresyyo Bogleheads may be that noy everything is measured by money. Guarantee my nesspresso pods and milk cost less than a coffeehouse latte.

User avatar
jabberwockOG
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon May 04, 2020 4:08 pm

Just quit the daily espresso and went back to drip coffee maker with a paper filter. Recent studies published say coffee is actually quite good for you as long as paper filter is used so as to eliminate most of the oils.

Alex Frakt
Founder
Posts: 11086
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:06 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Alex Frakt » Mon May 04, 2020 4:37 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:57 pm
Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:43 pm
Peet's Nespresso pods contain 7 grams of coffee. At $40 for 80 pods, you are paying over $32 a pound for coffee.

Well, $10 a pound for coffee (the price for Peet's beans at Costco) and $22 for ???
A heresyyo Bogleheads may be that noy everything is measured by money. Guarantee my nesspresso pods and milk cost less than a coffeehouse latte.
This whole thread is an illustration that not everything is measured by money for Bogleheads. After all, no one needs a $400+ espresso machine to make a cup of coffee.

However, seeking value for money is a general Boglehead characteristic. My question is the value of a Nespresso versus an automatic espresso machine, at least for those with the required extra square foot of counter space. Both are equally convenient, producing a coffee in around a minute with a touch of the button, no grinding, tamping or cleaning of multiple parts required. One has a larger upfront cost, but an operating cost approximately 50 cents per shot lower. And most people agree that while the coffee from an automatic machine may not match a properly handled manual or semi-automatic, it is still better than a Nespresso.

Notsobad
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:16 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Notsobad » Mon May 04, 2020 4:50 pm

We like our Delonghi Magnifico. Not the best at steaming milk, though. Still find three years in.

Thinking about trying pour over, but not sure I am ready to be a purist and weigh my coffee and water and buy the temperature regulated kettle.

Dottie57
Posts: 8660
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon May 04, 2020 7:36 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:37 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:57 pm
Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:43 pm
Peet's Nespresso pods contain 7 grams of coffee. At $40 for 80 pods, you are paying over $32 a pound for coffee.

Well, $10 a pound for coffee (the price for Peet's beans at Costco) and $22 for ???
A heresyyo Bogleheads may be that noy everything is measured by money. Guarantee my nesspresso pods and milk cost less than a coffeehouse latte.
This whole thread is an illustration that not everything is measured by money for Bogleheads. After all, no one needs a $400+ espresso machine to make a cup of coffee.

However, seeking value for money is a general Boglehead characteristic. My question is the value of a Nespresso versus an automatic espresso machine, at least for those with the required extra square foot of counter space. Both are equally convenient, producing a coffee in around a minute with a touch of the button, no grinding, tamping or cleaning of multiple parts required. One has a larger upfront cost, but an operating cost approximately 50 cents per shot lower. And most people agree that while the coffee from an automatic machine may not match a properly handled manual or semi-automatic, it is still better than a Nespresso.
Alex, it is better for YOU. It is not for me.

bampf
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by bampf » Mon May 04, 2020 7:44 pm

evancox10 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:02 am
I bought the Breville Oracle Touch right before the lockdown began and it has been a god send. I’m not very awake in the morning so having something that basically does everything for me has been great. It also passes the “easy to use” test with my SO, so I’m not stuck making all the drinks.

Yes there are probably better ways to get amazing espresso, but we’ve been happy enough with it. Caveat: I largely use it for prepared drinks like lattes, not straight espresso. If you are an espresso connoisseur you may want something different, with a separate grinder. But the nice thing about the Oracle is it uses a regular portafilter, so if you want to go into espresso wonk mode you could just grind the beans yourself and control it in manual mode. It lets you control pretty much everything I believe you would want to, including shot time, water temperature, manual mode for frothing wand. This machine can be had for about 4x-5x the example you mentioned. Since you already have a really nice grinder, this may not be the best fit for you, but whatever you get, I would make sure it has a PID loop so you have some consistency from shot to shot.

One thing that I’ve noticed that makes a huge difference is how fresh the coffee beans are. You really want to get beans roasted as recently as possible, and use them within ~2-3 weeks. I have been buying an espresso blend from a local cafe/roaster, and even just in the couple of weeks from when the bag is new to when I run out of beans, there is a big difference in the quality/character of the shot.

Regarding Breville specifically, I also have a Breville blender and just have been very impressed with the combination of durability and ease of use that their products have. They seem to be built really solidly, and when I had to call their support line to replace something I lost they were very helpful. I’m sure there are other companies that are great too, I just don’t have experience with them.
I have the Breville Oracle and I would second your observation. I am a coffee lover. I was initially concerned about the mess of tamping and extracting and all that, but, the coffee is miles above my Jura systems. Literally some of the best coffee of my life. The variety of drinks are spectacular and the preparation is super easy and world class. Foam density, heat, the whole thing is marvelous. I love it.

Oddly, I actually drink less coffee now it is so good. It fills my needs and I drink half as much. It is probably the best thing I have purchased in several years. Well worth every $.

smackboy1
Posts: 1178
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:41 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by smackboy1 » Mon May 04, 2020 8:30 pm

helloeveryone wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 10:30 pm
Any thoughts from the BH community about getting an espresso maker (such as Breville Bambino Pro - https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/brevi ... so-machine)?
. . .
I have a Baratza Encore grinder to grind the beans right before I make my coffee. (https://www.amazon.com/Baratza-Encore-C ... B007F183LK)
I daily use a Breville Oracle Touch and before that machine I used a Breville Dual Boiler for a few years. I also have a Breville Precision Brewer for drip. Never seen the Bambino, but Breville/Sage as a company has some excellent consumer grade coffee appliances with lots of well thought out features. That being said their appliances are not heavy duty and not made to be easily DIY repaired. Customer support is very good and I've had goodwill replacements beyond warranty.

The first question to ask yourself is: are you looking to simply get Starbucks at home, or are you looking for a new hobby? Of all the ways to brew coffee, espresso is by far the trickiest and most equipment dependent (expensive gear). Potentially espresso could be a very deep rabbit hole.

The Baratza Encore is not really well suited for espresso. There is too large a gap between the grind settings to properly dial in shots. However it's good enough to get your feet wet if you use dual walled pressurized filter baskets - which the Bambino comes with. If you decide you want to take a deeper dive into espresso, the grinder will need to be upgraded. I use a Baratza Vario, and either that or the Sette is probably the minimum level grinder for being able to dial in espresso. FWIW I've used a Breville Smart Grinder and doesn't quite have enough granularity of settings for espresso either.

Don't know anything about the Bambino, but it seems to have a lot of nice features for an entry level machine. I think it comes with both pressurized baskets and regular baskets. A pressurized basket will constrain the flow rate and might allow you to pull some OK shots even if the grinder doesn't have the more fine gradations of grind size. Buy some espresso blends, which are typically medium roasts, and experiment with the grind settings until you get something drinkable. It shouldn't be too hard to get a better coffee than Starbucks and its many imitators.

When you are ready to take a deeper dive, changing to the regular basket and upgrading to a better grinder will allow more control over flavor.

home-barista.com is a really good place to go and so is coffeegeek.com. Breville is Australian so there's often good information about their hardware at coffeesnobs.com.au.

When I first started making espresso I wasted a lot of time and made a lot of awful coffee. There is a ton of information online but then baristahustle.com by Matt Perger came along and helped make everything easy to understand.

https://www.baristahustle.com/blog/espr ... ing-yield/

https://youtu.be/-BT7-yOUMDM
Last edited by smackboy1 on Mon May 04, 2020 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

ScubaHogg
Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by ScubaHogg » Mon May 04, 2020 8:44 pm

csm wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:10 pm
ScubaHogg wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:56 am
If you don’t want to do the grinds and what-not yourself, I’ve been happy with a Nespresso Machine. It uses pods, which a no-no for some people, but it’s worked well for me for 3.5 years.
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:40 am
I have a Nespresso Pixie. It uses pods (smaller than a keurig pod). The pods are fairly expensive. I like it because using it is a breeze and I like being able to change the type of coffee easily. Works for me.

I love the Pixie and if It broke today, I would order a new one immediately. It is usedevery day.
+1 I had a Nespresso Pixie when living abroad both at work and home, bought another when I relocated back to the U.S., and have bought yet another smaller model for the RV. The quality and flavour of Nespresso is far superior to Keurig, so if you've tried Keurig (popular in hotels, doctor's offices, etc.) and think they taste horrible, don't let that dissuade you from a Nespresso because it is significantly better. Keurig coffee tastes very watery to me whereas Nespresso tastes like real cafe-type barista coffee.

Regarding the fairly expensive pods, Costco sells Peet's coffee pods for the Nespresso for $39.99 for a pack of 80 pods, which we like (a mix of intensity 8-9-10-11). Last week when finally getting to Costco for the first time since the pandemic, the 80-pack was on offer for $32, which is an absolute bargain.
FWIW I get my Nespresso branded pods for about $0.70/pod on amazon. I can get off brand pods for cheaper than that.
“There is no problem so bad you can’t make it worse.” - Chris Hatfield, Astronaut mantra

User avatar
five2one
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:05 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by five2one » Mon May 04, 2020 9:03 pm

Before you go all in, buy an inexpensive box store to see if you want the hassle.
Wal-mart is great for these try small fail small purchases.

csm
Posts: 376
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:52 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by csm » Mon May 04, 2020 9:45 pm

ScubaHogg wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:44 pm

FWIW I get my Nespresso branded pods for about $0.70/pod on amazon. I can get off brand pods for cheaper than that.
Yes, the last time I bought Nespresso pods, I ordered them from Amazon. My husband actually prefers the Peet's so I usually only buy the Nespresso ones on Amazon if we're running low and don't have a Costco trip planned soon.

User avatar
Average Investor
Posts: 191
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:27 am

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Average Investor » Tue May 05, 2020 10:15 am

I bought a Rocket Espresso lever type machine and a Mazzer grinder from Seattle Coffee Gear in 2012. Definitely a splurge for me but I enjoy them every day, No issues so far and I expect them both to likely last my lifetime (with maintenance).

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/rocke ... so-machine

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/mazze ... grinder-v2
Last edited by Average Investor on Tue May 05, 2020 10:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
Tomorrow never knows.

apex84
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:51 am
Location: Chicago

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by apex84 » Tue May 05, 2020 10:30 am

I've wondered about getting a home machine for awhile. I currently use an AeroPress, but my wife doesn't use it and prefers instant coffee for the convenience.

Our drink of choice is a cappuccino, so we need an option that makes dealing with the milk easy too. I did some internet searching after reading this thread an ordered a Philips 3200 from Seattle Coffee Gear via Amazon. Will see how it is.

https://www.usa.philips.com/c-e/ho/coff ... chine.html

TN_Boy
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by TN_Boy » Tue May 05, 2020 10:32 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:36 pm
Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:37 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:57 pm
Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:43 pm
Peet's Nespresso pods contain 7 grams of coffee. At $40 for 80 pods, you are paying over $32 a pound for coffee.

Well, $10 a pound for coffee (the price for Peet's beans at Costco) and $22 for ???
A heresyyo Bogleheads may be that noy everything is measured by money. Guarantee my nesspresso pods and milk cost less than a coffeehouse latte.
This whole thread is an illustration that not everything is measured by money for Bogleheads. After all, no one needs a $400+ espresso machine to make a cup of coffee.

However, seeking value for money is a general Boglehead characteristic. My question is the value of a Nespresso versus an automatic espresso machine, at least for those with the required extra square foot of counter space. Both are equally convenient, producing a coffee in around a minute with a touch of the button, no grinding, tamping or cleaning of multiple parts required. One has a larger upfront cost, but an operating cost approximately 50 cents per shot lower. And most people agree that while the coffee from an automatic machine may not match a properly handled manual or semi-automatic, it is still better than a Nespresso.
Alex, it is better for YOU. It is not for me.
I think the Nespresso machines make a decent cup. You can get into a long debate on whether they create "real" espresso or not (search the internet), but I like what they produce (for straight espresso) pretty well.

While traveling once (Remember traveling? Getting on a plane and going somewhere far away?) I got a very nice cup of espresso at a high-end hotel with breakfast. I didn't think much of it, then the next day I got a cup at their coffee bar and was stunned to see that it was coming from a lowly Nespresso machine. Tasted fine. Since then I've had other cups from a Nespresso, and generally been satisfied.

I prefer what I get with my espresso machine and grinder (or from a good coffee shop -- though it's amazing how many coffee shops cannot actually run a decent shot of espresso) but if I had to get by on coffee from a Nespresso it wouldn't kill me. Is more expensive though.

User avatar
queso
Posts: 841
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by queso » Wed May 06, 2020 3:11 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:37 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:57 pm
Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:43 pm
Peet's Nespresso pods contain 7 grams of coffee. At $40 for 80 pods, you are paying over $32 a pound for coffee.

Well, $10 a pound for coffee (the price for Peet's beans at Costco) and $22 for ???
A heresyyo Bogleheads may be that noy everything is measured by money. Guarantee my nesspresso pods and milk cost less than a coffeehouse latte.
This whole thread is an illustration that not everything is measured by money for Bogleheads. After all, no one needs a $400+ espresso machine to make a cup of coffee.

However, seeking value for money is a general Boglehead characteristic. My question is the value of a Nespresso versus an automatic espresso machine, at least for those with the required extra square foot of counter space. Both are equally convenient, producing a coffee in around a minute with a touch of the button, no grinding, tamping or cleaning of multiple parts required. One has a larger upfront cost, but an operating cost approximately 50 cents per shot lower. And most people agree that while the coffee from an automatic machine may not match a properly handled manual or semi-automatic, it is still better than a Nespresso.
I have both so my answer would be - it depends. I thought about getting a second Jura Capresso for my office, but settled on a Nespresso simply for the hassle/mess factor. The Jura is much cleaner/easier than a traditional machine, but it still has a bin and tray that need to be dumped/rinsed regularly, a cleaning tablet/cycle that pops up based on usage, a descaling product/cycle that pops up based on usage, beans I have to store/refill, a second cup to catch the rinse cycle water after every shot/cup and then dump in addition to adding water to the reservoir daily. It's not a huge hassle/mess, but more than I was willing to put up with in my office. The nespresso only requires me to dump the capsule hopper into a recycling bag (postage paid return to Peet's recycling center) and fill the water reservoir once a day. I'd give the coffee quality advantage to the automatic, but the convenience/mess goes to Nespresso.

Saving$
Posts: 1934
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

Post by Saving$ » Wed May 06, 2020 9:44 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:37 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:57 pm
Alex Frakt wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 3:43 pm
Peet's Nespresso pods contain 7 grams of coffee. At $40 for 80 pods, you are paying over $32 a pound for coffee.

Well, $10 a pound for coffee (the price for Peet's beans at Costco) and $22 for ???
A heresyyo Bogleheads may be that noy everything is measured by money. Guarantee my nesspresso pods and milk cost less than a coffeehouse latte.
This whole thread is an illustration that not everything is measured by money for Bogleheads. After all, no one needs a $400+ espresso machine to make a cup of coffee.

However, seeking value for money is a general Boglehead characteristic. My question is the value of a Nespresso versus an automatic espresso machine, at least for those with the required extra square foot of counter space. Both are equally convenient, producing a coffee in around a minute with a touch of the button, no grinding, tamping or cleaning of multiple parts required. One has a larger upfront cost, but an operating cost approximately 50 cents per shot lower. And most people agree that while the coffee from an automatic machine may not match a properly handled manual or semi-automatic, it is still better than a Nespresso.
The superauto has a lower environmental impact.
I learned about the existence of superautomatics by reading about them on this site. Bought a refurb from Seattle Coffee in 2016 for about $400, which I thought was an obscene. One of the best $400 I have ever spent. Recently took apart and rebuilt the brew unit and it now works better than new. I appreciate the taste, convenience and limited environmental impact vs Nespresso.

Post Reply