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How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > How to choose...  
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denishicks8
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denishicks8
Joined: 20 Jul 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Amsterdam ,North Holland, Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Aug 25, 2012, 6:19am
Subject: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

I am a passionate coffee lover especially of espresso coffee flavor .A a cup of espresso coffee is my weakness.I want to purchase an espresso coffee maker and i am confused how to select the best one....please help me out and suggest the best espresso coffee maker to me..??

 
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 862
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Sat Aug 25, 2012, 6:33am
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

This has be discussed many, many, many, many (virtually infinite series) times. Search is your friend.

here

and here

And many, many, many other places. Start there, read, and realize that there is no such thing as THE BEST espresso machine. Educate yourself about the possibilities, then ask about which of the several machines that appeal to you might work well for your particular usage pattern, choice of drinks, living situation, and lifestyle.
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 654
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Aug 26, 2012, 10:54pm
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

Like what GVDub says, this question pops up a lot in the forums.

The problem is that your post didn't really contain any information other than that you love espresso.

So, first of all, what do you think your budget is, or what would you like it to be?

A few other pieces of information would help, like how many drinks do you plan on making a day?
Do you mind waiting for the machine to warm up or cool down? Do you want to buy new or used?
How much longevity do you want from the machine? Do you want it to have commercial grade components?
Do you have periods where company is over? Do you have parties? Do you prefer drinking straight espresso
or do you like making milk-based drinks as well? What is the ratio of straight espresso to milk drinks you'd be
making? (This is very important!)

I kind of go by the mantra, "Plastic is for toys". Most everything I saw for under $500 was mostly junk.
I personally cannot stand things with plastic parts, flimsy parts or "gadgets" that are pointless and stupid.
(Some people would disagree with me here, but this just in my own humble opinion. If it has plastic or
chrome covered plastic, it certainly isn't high quality, at least in my eyes anyway.)
As for the grinder, most anything that isn't a burr grinder isn't suitable for espresso. I consider $200 to be
entry level for espresso capable grinders. So, we're already at the $700 mark for what I would consider to
be an "Entry Level" setup.

Your options start opening up when you start going past that.

Don't let this scare you though. It's better to spend $700 on a decent set up than to spend $400 and waste
your money compromising on something which is built poorly. Cheaping out can result in disappointment,
frustration, anger and eventually possible injury as you take the thing and throw it through a window.

I can certainly say, this isn't like buying a toaster oven, this is more like buying a major appliance.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,391
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
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Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Aug 27, 2012, 9:52pm
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

GVDub Said:

This has be discussed many, many, many, many (virtually infinite series) times. Search is your friend.

Posted August 25, 2012 link

How true . . .

OK, let's take it from the top . . .

Standard Questions:
1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's capabilities.)
2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at ay one time? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's ability to work continuously.)
3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's durability.)
4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pourover machine with its own reservoir?
5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit?
6)  What is your budget for a new machine?  Does that also include a grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder?

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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scanfield
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Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012, 7:51am
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

qualin Said:

I kind of go by the mantra, "Plastic is for toys".

Posted August 26, 2012 link

That's a good rule-of-thumb, but don't take it too seriously. There's plastic in every machine I've ever seen. Some well-regarded machines (like the NS Oscar) have lots of plastic. I don't know of any machine that doesn't use plastic for at least some parts (like switches, lenses, pf handles, etc...).
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,404
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012, 9:04am
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

"Plastic is for toys" but you use a K-cup machine?

 
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dyqik
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Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012, 11:10am
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

scanfield Said:

That's a good rule-of-thumb, but don't take it too seriously. There's plastic in every machine I've ever seen. Some well-regarded machines (like the NS Oscar) have lots of plastic. I don't know of any machine that doesn't use plastic for at least some parts (like switches, lenses, pf handles, etc...).

Posted August 28, 2012 link

Also, the variety of "plastics" is as wide as the variety of "metals".  Would you want a boiler made from lead?  or a gas burner made of magnesium?  ;)

Engineering plastics can be very high quality, and much better suited to certain components than metals, particularly once you factor in manufacturing budgets, tolerances etc.  But that's not to say that plastics aren't often a budgetary compromise, just that you shouldn't dismiss a component simply because it appears to be made of a plastic without considering the specification and the type of plastic.

(sorry, this "no plastic" thing annoys me at times - I will now go and read XKCD 386 again)
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sn_85
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Joined: 1 Dec 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

qualin Said:

I kind of go by the mantra, "Plastic is for toys". Most everything I saw for under $500 was mostly junk.
I personally cannot stand things with plastic parts, flimsy parts or "gadgets" that are pointless and stupid.
(Some people would disagree with me here, but this just in my own humble opinion. If it has plastic or
chrome covered plastic, it certainly isn't high quality, at least in my eyes anyway.)

Posted August 26, 2012 link

Really now?  I guess all those with the Baratza Vario grinders own a complete piece of junk.  Not to mention that the  $1200 Mahlkonig Pro-M grinder with it's plastic parts must be an expensive piece of junk.  The Bezzera BZ02 and La Spaziale Vivaldi espresso machines have plastic side panels, I suppose those aren't high quality equipment either.  The Nuova Simonelli Oscar with it's plastic body and rubber buttons, now that has to be a low quality machine.  I know I'm being sarcastic but you get the point.  Sure it's just your opinion and you're entitled to it but that doesn't make it any closer to the truth.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

OK, the plastic thing has now been discussed. Lets please move on, and see if we can help our OP.

As Jason and perhaps others have said, USAGE will be the most important reason (well, maybe price as well) when selecting a machine.
If you're doing multiple  milk drinks, than an HX machine (at least) is a MUST.
If not, or if you are 90% of the time going for straight shots, you can save hundreds by going with an SBDU...single boiler dual purpose.
However, most times these SBDU are not as temperature stable as are the HX (heat exchanger machines)

The NS Oscar may be the best buy in a NEW HX machine.
Used machines with perhaps more flair, stainless shell, will usually go several hundred more.

BTW, around her, THE GRINDER is considered the more important purchase.
Don't settle for a substandard espresso grinder.

Search here under Consumer Reviews>grinders.
Popular are the Baratza line (Vario, Preciso, which can do ALL grinds excellently), the Mazzer line (preowned SJ, Major, larger) Compac, and others.

 
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,113
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Aug 28, 2012, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: How to choose the best espresso coffee maker....?
 

Thanks Rob, I was getting tired of reading about plastic.

OP -  on the green toolbar above, click on "guides & how tos", then follow the link to "how to choose an espresso machine", then please, please, please, come back here and ask us for more help.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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