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Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Good coffee from...  
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steprock
Senior Member
steprock
Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Parker
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot, Bellman CXE-25,...
Posted Wed Jul 18, 2012, 10:55am
Subject: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

]]]]]]]I've got an inexpensive Magic Chef "espresso" maker. Obviously, it's not real espresso, but you can get a tasty cup of coffee if you are using good beans.

Coffee prep in photos.

Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

Fill the filter with finely ground beans and tamp it with a spoon or tamper

Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

Flip the lever to "frothing" mode when it starts to sputter - the end of the process yield bitter coffee!

Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

If you want a latte, fill your carafe with a splash of milk

Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

Dip the frothing wand in, but try not to submerge it entirely. Light pressure, warming up the milk.
Then, open up the valve and move your carafe up and down. It tends to make big bubbles, but we'll live.
You can blast the surface with steam and pop some of those big ugly bubbles.

Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

Pour it over your coffee and serve

Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,781
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Jul 18, 2012, 2:26pm
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

Well......
It IS a place to start!
There are so many things against you at the moment, all you have going for you is fresh coffee and that IS a big step in the right direction.

Steam machines are too hot and too low in pressure to do anything like real espresso and then there is the Pressurized porta filter which only makes sort of crema then there is the very inconsistent grind which is OK for a pressurized PF but is far short of anything like what you need with a pump driven, non pressurized porta filter machine.

It looks like you are using a blade grinder by the range of sizes from dust to boulders in your grounds.

A very big step would be to start with a grinder, a espresso quality hand grinder is around $100.
Next, hang around thrift stores, good will stores etc and find a pump driven machine. If you look long enough, one will show up and you can normally buy them for around $20 or less. A pump driven machine will not have a large screw cap over the "boiler" but it will have a water tank to put water in.

I give you an A for intentions but I am sorry to say that the resulting product, well, err, ..... would go down the sink of nearly everyone here.

Failing a machine at a thrift store etc, you might look into a french press or a Moka pot, either would give you better quality than you have now and they do not cost very much. You still will need a good grinder so all together, you may get some much better coffee for around $150 then add a battery powered whip and your microwave oven for the milk, using fresh beans, you will be amazed at the improvement!

Keep at it, we will help you all you can stand as long as you keep asking for help!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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CoffeePat
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 2
Location: New York
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Breville Smart Grinder
Posted Wed Jul 18, 2012, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

Very cool, Thanks! Personally speaking, there is nothing I hate more than a state of the art espresso maker with a lousy milk frother attachment added as an after-thought.

 
http://brevillesmartgrinder.com/
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RichardCoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2010
Posts: 126
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: gaggia baby twin, mini...
Grinder: fiorenzato pietro 63mm,...
Roaster: weber grill with rk drum,...
Posted Wed Jul 18, 2012, 3:44pm
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

I had a machine like this with an 8 cup drip machine attached to it.  I liked it.  It also had that steam wand.  When it was all I knew I was quite satisfied.  Used to buy cafe bustelo or Star$.  They both tasted about the same.  Then the machine quit on me.  I tried to replace it with a Cuisinart. While I was trying to be satisfied with that I discovered this and community and HB.  That led me to all sorts of wonderful things. Now, there's no place in the small town I live in that makes espresso or espresso drinks that come even close to mine.  I did get  a latte in Seattle that was pretty good and, in fact, the Star$ in our hotel lobby had pretty good Sumatra and made decent lattes.  It's one of the few Star$ I've seen that had a real espresso machine and not a super auto.  Anyhow, the failure of that little steam powered machine led me to all sorts of wonderful experiences.  I spend a good dollar.  I've got 1st class equipment with a K10 grinder and a Mini Vivaldi.  I never imagined that I'd spend that kind of money for coffee.  But I have no regrets.  I also roast my own.  I have about 70 pounds of greens in my bookcase right now.  Sunflower espresso from Brazil, a really good Ethiopian, a Yemen, some Colombian, some Monsooned Malabar and a Papua New Guinea.  All waiting for the temp. to drop into the 80's so I can do some roasting in my RK drum.  Who'd have guessed. Thanks to all who helped without even knowing it.

 
Bean2friends
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steprock
Senior Member
steprock
Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Parker
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot, Bellman CXE-25,...
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 9:06am
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

What fun reading all your comments!

FYI - if you take a look at my profile, you'll see I've got a moka pot, 3 french presses, and a Bialetti in a pear tree!
Right now, I'm enjoying a nice cup from my baby 1-cup press. French press is STILL the tops for me!

I think I may indeed have to start looking for a better grinder, however.

I found my Bialetti at the thrift store, but haven't spotted any good espresso makers. I was so thrilled with the find, though I've been more than a little disappointed with my prize. I was able to make a drinkable cup from the cheap magic chef machine with greater ease, which is why I decided to snap a few photos.

MISSION: Find a burr grinder that someone doesn't appreciate.
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steprock
Senior Member
steprock
Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Parker
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot, Bellman CXE-25,...
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 5:41pm
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

Allrighty then. I just picked up a pump-driven unit at the Salvation Army Store. I have to get home and HOPE it works OK since they don't do returns.

It is a Krups XP 4000. From what I have read, it's an entry-level unit that will hopefully be an upgrade to my poor little countertop unit. Forty dollars. Not too shabby.
Obviously, it's not the non-pressurized PF type machine suggested. (The specs say it can do 15 bars of pressure.) Videos show it making good-looking espresso.

Click Here (www.amazon.com)
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Endo
Senior Member
Endo
Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 804
Location: , location, location.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: machine is < important than...
Grinder: !
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

I started with one of those Krups. As you say, it makes some "good looking" espresso...but you need to use the full 15 bar... or it will just look average. ;-)
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 7:43pm
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

steprock Said:

Allrighty then. I just picked up a pump-driven unit at the Salvation Army Store. I have to get home and HOPE it works OK since they don't do returns.

It is a Krups XP 4000. From what I have read, it's an entry-level unit that will hopefully be an upgrade to my poor little countertop unit. Forty dollars. Not too shabby.
Obviously, it's not the non-pressurized PF type machine suggested. (The specs say it can do 15 bars of pressure.) Videos show it making good-looking espresso.

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

Posted July 19, 2012 link

This is the filter basket you will need if you want to try non-pressurized espresso - Krups part number 0907163. I used a filter from a Mr Coffee espresso machine that fit but was told this one works when I asked a couple years ago.  Someone on eBay has these for five bucks shipped:

Click Here (www.ebay.com)

I can't confirm it will work but others have posted here that it will - also, I have no idea about the seller either - good luck and welcome to CoffeeGeek. : )

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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steprock
Senior Member
steprock
Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Parker
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot, Bellman CXE-25,...
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 8:12pm
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

Ah, thanks for the replies on the Krups unit. I got it cleaned up and ran water through it, but it's waaay too late to be making espresso. Or is it?
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steprock
Senior Member
steprock
Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Parker
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot, Bellman CXE-25,...
Posted Fri Jul 20, 2012, 9:05am
Subject: Re: Good coffee from a cheap machine - photos
 

]]]]Update. I got to run my "new" machine this AM and snapped some photos.
So, this is an entry-level espresso machine. Obviously, there's a difference between a cheap countertop coffee maker and this unit, just as there's a difference between this machine and a higher end. I'm moving in the right direction, yes?


Krups XP 4000
Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

Still need a better grinder
Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

It seems to be creating a real, live crema...I've never seen that in my own house
Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

Despite complaints by some users, the froth was good. Maybe not as micro-bubbly as we might hope.
Click Here (i216.photobucket.com)

The coffee is good. I can't say it's a huge flavor improvement over a french press (which is cheaper and simpler) but it's my first go with this machine. Tips and practice are both welcome.

...I think I should get rid of a couple of coffee makers.
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