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How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
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iwantcoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jun 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oscar
Grinder: MDX
Drip: Hario
Posted Sun Jun 24, 2012, 4:51pm
Subject: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

Just wondering how much of a difference would an espresso machine such as a rocket giatto compared to a oscar be when using a commercial grinder like the Simonelli MDX. Any input?
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,058
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Jun 24, 2012, 11:38pm
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

Both machines you mentioned are HXs. The Nuova Simonelli Oscar is usually considered an entry level prosumer machine, whereas the Rocket Espresso Giotto is a higher end prosumer machine. Using a highly capable, commercial grinder a difference in taste might be noticable, but it would be relatively small.

The grinder is more important than the machine. It easier to brew great espresso with a top-notch grinder and an entry level espresso machine than with a crap grinder and a professional machine.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Angman
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Angman
Joined: 7 Apr 2012
Posts: 239
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 7:43pm
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

I believe the differences would be marginal as long as the person behind the machine is capable and can replicate the same process (grind, dose, tamp, temp). However, chances are those same processes may be easier to achieve consistently on a better machine (grouphead).
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,058
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 8:29pm
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

An inapt barista won't be getting consistent quality with neither machine, I guess.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,226
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 8:33am
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

yeah, like Nobby said.

The differences between machines like the ones you mentioned and commercial machines have mostly to do with thermal stability...which helps a skilled person replicate a stable product in the cup, time after time.  So, like Nobby said, focus mostly on the best grinder you can afford, fresh beans, and your technique.  Machine choice then becomes budget, space and appearance (once you decide DB or HX).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Kristi
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Kristi
Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 2,286
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evo w silvia wand
Grinder: Macap M4 mod to d&s-less
Roaster: (Jeff at Redbirdcoffee)
Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 8:26pm
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

fresh beans - I don't mean these artsy beans in vacuum bags that were roasted a week ago, or more.  Those are dead before you get a chance to use them.  The beans I receive were roasted barely 2 days prior and I freeze them immediately, though I will use them all in a month and 3/4.

You cannot make good espresso w/o fresh beans.

You would likely waste your money if you upgrade from that Oscar.  You'll get chrome, but not better espresso.  (read my profile for past list of my machines.)

EDIT: If you have to spend money, get a Macap or Mazzer grinder - I have had both and vastly prefer the Macap.

 
#--> I recommend Eric Svendson's adapter and thermometer for E61s (also Silvia) : easy surfing!
# My photo albums have moved to     http://picasaweb.google.com/krislema2
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jwoodyu
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jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 5:28am
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

Assuming good coffee and great grinder in the first place .................... then repeatability is were it is at.  IMO pulling several shots a day vs several shots an hour makes a good stable machine all the more important.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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Kristi
Senior Member
Kristi
Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 2,286
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evo w silvia wand
Grinder: Macap M4 mod to d&s-less
Roaster: (Jeff at Redbirdcoffee)
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 8:55am
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

jwoodyu Said:

Assuming good coffee and great grinder in the first place .................... then repeatability is were it is at.  IMO pulling several shots a day vs several shots an hour makes a good stable machine all the more important.

Posted October 3, 2012 link

I have to say I'm not into repeatability. Simply a good, tasty brew. Maybe slightly different each time, and that's great.  I want YUM.  And there are many different versions of YUM!  soft, sometimes chocolate, sometimes fruity,  but leaves me feeling a bit drunk.  Just my 3 cents. :D

 
#--> I recommend Eric Svendson's adapter and thermometer for E61s (also Silvia) : easy surfing!
# My photo albums have moved to     http://picasaweb.google.com/krislema2
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mthedude
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 314
Location: IA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: La Spaziale Junior
Vac Pot: n/a
Drip: Cuisinart Grind & Brew
Roaster: n/a
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 7:49am
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

I think the biggest thing is that the higher end machines give you a better opportunity to nail the perfect parameters on a repeatable basis. I use an Oscar and while not perfect, it gets me way more into the ballpark of correct temp than my Gaggia ever did. So long story short, the upper end machines give you a much better chance of getting good, repeatable results than the lower end models. Like others said though, you have to use fresh beans, a good grinder and your skills are more important than the machine. Kind of like a race car driver...the car isn't as important as the drivers skills.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 9:56am
Subject: Re: How much of a difference do high end espresso machines taste?
 

I use an Oscar also.  I have thought about this a lot and don't see enough improvement to tempt me till I get over 3k.  That being said, if I won the lotto I probably would spring for a londinium I.  Keep Oscar around to cater parties.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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