EricAnn Senior Member Joined: 29 Jul 2011 Posts: 1 Location: Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Jul 29, 2011, 5:38pm Subject: *NEW* Looking for an Espresso Machine!
I'm brand new to this site - well, besides the occasional visit to look at some reviews and whatnot - and I'm looking to buy an espresso machine and can't quite seem to find what I'm looking for. I am a Barista at my local coffee shop, so I do have experience pulling shots, steaming milk, etc., so a machine with some skill needed will be ok. You're probably wondering why I don't already have an espresso machine then, well, when the coffee shop is 50 steps away and it's free, it becomes far too tempting to just walk over and get my coworkers to make my drink for me, haha. But I'm moving in a month and will need a machine to maintain my espresso need. I don't know a whole lot about espresso machines beyond the one I use at work and that's why I'm here, hoping someone can help. :)
I'm looking for a semi-automatic/automatic, dual boiler, good/great milk steaming ability, I don't believe I'll be able to connect to the plumbing at the new place but having the ability too might come in handy later on down the road, and I'm hoping not to spend more than $1000 (give or take a couple hundred dollars, I just don't have like $2000 to spend) on the machine alone (the grinder and whatnot will/can be extra).
Thank you sooooo much for your help!
Oh, and I am in Canada and I know some machines aren't available here/some sellers/manufacturers won't ship here, so please don't tell me about a machine I can't get, I don't want to get my hopes up, haha! :)
NobbyR Senior Member Joined: 10 Jul 2011 Posts: 2,023 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 Sat Jul 30, 2011, 1:12am Subject: Re: *NEW* Looking for an Espresso Machine!
Given your budget and your wish to get a dual boiler, you should probably look for a refurbished/used machine. A Vibiemme Domobar Junior DB would be a good suggestion. However, you should plan to spend at least $300 on a decent grinder.
On the other hand, why do you need a DB? A semi-automatic lever action espresso machine with a heat exchanger Faema E61 brew head works just as well, is easier to maintain and cheaper. The Rocket Espresso Cellini Evolutione, for example, has both options: water tank and plumbing. A new one exceeds of course your budget, too.
*** "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)
bionic75007 Senior Member Joined: 14 Mar 2011 Posts: 7 Location: DFW Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Quick Mill Silvano Grinder: Baratza Vario-W Drip: Technivorm Roaster: Hot Top
Posted Mon Aug 1, 2011, 6:01pm Subject: Re: *NEW* Looking for an Espresso Machine!
I had a similar sort of aspect on coffee gear. What I opted for -- in fact, just pulled my first shots upon -- was a Quick Mill Silvano. Yes, it was available in a first run for a discounted $795, but now is $995.
My first shots came out very nicely -- a balance between rich earthiness with acid to give it some character. I consider myself a total newb and my shots came out more than acceptable, they came out just shy of excellent. And I know my technique is bound to improve as I pay more attention, and get more practice with the details...
I love coffee; roast my own beans with a Hot Top roaster. That's been out of my cycle for a while; this first espresso run was Peets French Roast ground using my old cheap burr grinder. I'm waiting for the Baratza Vario-W to come out to get a proper grinder.
The combination of those two puts me right about $1550 US, if the predictions for the Vario-W prices are firm.
My experience is obviously just beginning, but honestly I'm surprised I had such success straight out of the gate, especially with a cheap grinder. I'd had Illy espresso pre-ground in a LaPavoni lever machine I've had for years, and I could never get anything but sink shots. The LaPavoni is now on the shelf. Maybe after I cut my teeth some I'll resume tinkering with it.
Posted Mon Aug 1, 2011, 10:35pm Subject: Re: *NEW* Looking for an Espresso Machine!
You probably won't be finding a decent DB machine in your price range unless you can find a good deal on a used machine. That said, my brother got a deal on an open box Brewtus II and Mazzer Mini combo from WLL at close enough to your price range (although we split the prize in the end - he got the Brewtus II and I got the grinder as he already had that end covered).
For new machines, your price limit really puts you in the HX category. Nothing wrong with HX's, though. There's a bit of getting used to the flushing routine but once you have that down you're basically set. A decent HX and a Vario should have you in good shape imho.
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