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Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Lo-tech, hi...  
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shep236
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Joined: 7 Jan 2013
Posts: 11
Location: berkeley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 7, 2013, 2:47pm
Subject: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

After many years of drinking coffee (incl. espresso), I had my taste buds blown by a straight espresso that was rich, thick, sweet, no hint of bitterness or sourness -- just amazing.
Now, this was from a trained barista with all the right gear, and I'm probably not going to be able to do this at home, but that's my target.
(BTW -- this post will end up asking for recommendations re espresso makers, but first a little more context).
I've used stovetops (incl. the Atomic), but they don't come close.
I've been using the Presso, which produces a surprisingly good espresso, and I like its simplicity. (I really don't want to believe that you need printed circuits to make a good cup of espresso.) But I don't think it passes my "good enough" test.
I don't use milk, so features like double boilers, heat exchangers, steaming, are irrelevant to me.
What I want is a machine good enough to allow me a close approach to my ideal shot (and by "good enough" I mean that when my attempts fail, I cannot blame that failure on the machine).
I'm aware of the Pavoni and other lever machines. They would seem the ideal solution except for their starting price of near $1,000.
So, I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions: single shot, no steam, lo-tech, not too much money, great espresso?
Thanks for your help.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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 Mon Jan 7, 2013, 3:07pm
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

Low cost,
high quality,
ease of use.

Pick two, you can't have all three.

 
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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slofox
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Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 32
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 7, 2013, 4:10pm
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

I've had a Gaggia Classic for a day. Seems to do a pretty good job. Didn't cost me any limbs either.
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Cathi
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Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 484
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cremina '67, Coffex
Grinder: Macap, KA Pro, Troesser,...
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex CM-8, KMB
Posted Mon Jan 7, 2013, 4:35pm
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

Have you seriously considered lever machines?  Especially on the secondary market.?  La Peppina or Cremina come to mind.  I can vouch for the Cremina.  It is very low tech and produces excellent shots. I've seen plenty of Pavoni's on ebay and Cragislist for well under $1K and Cremina's from time to time as well.
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shep236
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Joined: 7 Jan 2013
Posts: 11
Location: berkeley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 7, 2013, 7:04pm
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

OK --

2 out of 3
Low cost
High quality
I can maybe live without ease of use . . .

I will definitely take another look at used lever machines
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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 Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:30am
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

slofox Said:

I've had a Gaggia Classic for a day. Seems to do a pretty good job. Didn't cost me any limbs either.

Posted January 7, 2013 link

Like I said, pick two, you chose starter grade, lower but OK quality along with harder to use to gain low cost. Two out of three.

 
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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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
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Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 7:45am
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

A Delonghi EC 155 modded did me well for 2 years and it still in good shape.  Can't argue with $100.
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erik82
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 20
Location: The Netherlands
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina 2013
Grinder: HG One 83mm #0083
Drip: Kalita Wave, Aeropress,...
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 6:26am
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

Or you can try the Bacchi espresso click here . A kind of stove-top which produces an espresso that is just as good as an E-61 or Lever machine.
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,051
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 Mon Jan 14, 2013, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

shep236 Said:

Low cost
High quality ...

Posted January 7, 2013 link

What would you consider the maximum price tag to still call it low cost?

 
***
"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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sweaner
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sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,129
Location: Yardley, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
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Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013, 9:13am
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

Look for a Caravel on ebay.it. Then, you can hit all 3!

Click Here (www.ebay.it)

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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