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Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Lo-tech, hi...  
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pstam
Senior Member
pstam
Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 2,343
Location: Beijing
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: ECM, SAN MARCO, EURO 2000
Grinder: MAZZER
Vac Pot: YES
Drip: YES
Roaster: YES, HOME STYLE
Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013, 1:06am
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

For your budget, it's almost enough for an Oscar of Nuova Simonelli.  That machine is not low tech, but surely satisfy you.

 
Peter in Beijing
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http://www.kaffa.cn/
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I am looking for the way and the place to extend our trainning courses.
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lifeandpeace
Senior Member
lifeandpeace
Joined: 9 Nov 2007
Posts: 744
Location: PBI

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
Grinder: BUNN G1, Zassenhaus knee
Vac Pot: Cory / Hario / Silex
Drip: cloth, glass Hario V60;...
Roaster: RK Drum, WBP II
Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

shep236 Said:

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 . . .

Posted January 7, 2013 link

Check.

Notice that the Speedster owner in France said, "surprisingly enough, the 1st shot i pulled with it blew me away... i've only gotten tiny ristrettos so far but they're real good."

Furthermore, there is a series of posts somewhere (read it two years ago; can't locate it now) where shop owners or baristas or roasters (?) did a series of blind taste tests between the Caravel and a Speedster or LM or some other top-notch pump. Their conclusion was that the Caravel produced a shot that was at least as good, sometimes a notch better than the $,$$$ or $$,$$$ machine.


shep236 Said:

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?

Posted January 7, 2013 link

Check.



calblacksmith Said:

Low cost,
high quality,
ease of use.

Pick two, you can't have all three.

Posted January 7, 2013 link

Generally true, but there is an exceptional exception from Dr. Emidio Salati.


sweaner Said:

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

Click Here (www.ebay.it)

Posted January 15, 2013 link

Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. End of discussion.

 
www.lampmode.com
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dspear99ca
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 2:54pm
Subject: Re: Lo-tech, hi quality espresso maker?
 

That stovetop deal fits the lo-tech requiremnent but...

If you want awesome espresso (I am talking about awesome-TASTING espresso, not brown liquid with "plenty of cream" on top) such as you described, you will not get it with that thing.  What you need, minimumn requirement, is:

  1.  A good grinder.  This is the MOST IMPORTANT piece of the puzzle.  Bad grinder, bad espresso.  Or, at least, no consistency.  I used what I thought was an awesome grinder for years (Breville conical burr).  Found out different.  I've had a good grinder for all of four days and it is the best $350 I have ever spent on coffee.  Bear in mind I am cheap, thrifty, tight as the bark on a tree so it was no easy sell to get me to buy this.  You will not get that amazingly delicious shot with a crappy grinder, you just won't.  I tried and tried and tried and tried.

  2.  Good beans.  Roasted less than 15 days ago, ground right before loading the machine.  This is SECOND in importance behind the grinder.

  3.  A machine that will give you consistent and correct pressure and water temperature.  Many will, some out of the box, some with (usually inexpensive) modifications.  My machine, an upgraded Gaggia Coffee, works okay.  It's not a fast, high-throughput commercial machine, but for my morning cuppa' it works just fine.  I wish it had a brass boiler instead of the aluminum one but as my old granny used to say "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride".  eBay and Craigslist are your friends, as is the Buy/Sell/Trade forum on this site.
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