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Espresso: Espresso Machines
Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Just starting....  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:48pm
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

Don't listen to him, he is one of those lever heads... kidding!

The best grinder you can get for not very much cash would be hand powered.  I personally could deal with that if coffee was not made before I am fully awake... if coffee was an after dinner drink I could do hand powered.  Mornings? No, the grinder must work at a button push that is all I can do.

 
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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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

For $300? Saeco Rio Vapore/Starbucks Barista/Estro Vapore (same machine) Or get a refurbished Saeco Aroma from Seattle Coffee Gear for $199 and for your grinder, get a Hario Skerton from Amazon for $40. For the remaining $60 you could almost snag a nonpressurized Portafilter. The Hario a very nice hand grinder that produces a fluffy, even grind that compares to grinders costing ten times as much. As long as you're willing to put some elbow grease in.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
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 Oct 2, 2012, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

Well, I am late to the party again!
I have read several times in the above posts, the best advice you can get when starting the coffee hobby, get a good grinder. Again as others have said, a hand grinder will give you more quality for your budget than you can get from anything with a motor on it.

Also as some have said, they enjoy the process of grinding by hand and as others have said, it is work that you might not enjoy as much as drinking the espresso.

You really can get some good shots for under $300 but it will take you some time and looking to get the best grinder you can for your limited budget.

I can feel it back through the screen, you are saying "these guys are nuts, who in the world needs a $200 coffee grinder?????" I know I felt that way when I first started out. My how my sights have changed since then!

A good grinder will give you consistent size grounds, this is very important, if the pieces are too big, you will never get all the flavor you paid for from the beans and if the pieces are too small, you will get everything they have to offer then you will start to get nasty flavor from the finest pieces and that will ruin the rest of the coffee, see, consistent is better.

Espresso is a different thing all together from drip or press pot or vac pot ect, it requires a different grind from the other brew methods and not just finer either, different.

That machine you have purchased (well yesterday you said you would buy it today anyway) is able to give you at least as good as the local coffee shop quality (that really isn't so high of a bar to set) though as others have said, more expensive machines are easier to get quality from as they are more stable and that is a huge factor in making espresso, consistency.

Start by reading the hand grinder link above. Buy the best grinder you can afford and do not turn your nose up at used equipment, that is where you will get the best deals.

As said too, it is quite likely that the machine will have a pressurized porta filter. That alone will allow you to use a coffee that is not as consistent in grind quality and thus allows you to use a lower quality grinder. This is not all good, as the way this porta filter works is to not make espresso per se  but it makes a strong press pot like coffee and fake crema. Crema is the Chestnut foam on top of your shots. On a good shot is the oils from the coffee whipped into an emulision through the brewing process. With a pressurized porta filter, it comes from forcing the coffee through a small hole under pressure and spray whips the coffee. It is not the same thing but most people just starting out don't know the difference.

Welcome to the board and to good to great coffee!

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
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 Oct 2, 2012, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Don't listen to him, he is one of those lever heads... kidding!
.

Posted October 2, 2012 link

Well, he DID buy an Elly so that isn't entirely true!

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
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 Oct 2, 2012, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

Markarian Said:

For $300? Saeco Rio Vapore/Starbucks Barista/Estro Vapore (same machine) Or get a refurbished Saeco Aroma from Seattle Coffee Gear for $199 and for your grinder, get a Hario Skerton from Amazon for $40. For the remaining $60 you could almost snag a nonpressurized Portafilter. The Hario a very nice hand grinder that produces a fluffy, even grind that compares to grinders costing ten times as much. As long as you're willing to put some elbow grease in.

Posted October 2, 2012 link

Good ideas but he already has the machine, so it mainly grinder we are looking at right now.

 
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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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 1:35pm
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

Did you actually buy the machine? I personally don't think a used DeLonghi is worth three figures. If you haven't purchased the machine, again I'd recommend a used or refurbished Saeco. They're limited, to be sure, but there's so many people who know exactly how they work and there's a lot of how-tos on how to get the most out of them.

And yes, I can second the grinder thing. I've only been into coffee for six months, and I thought the grinder emphasis was annoying at first. It's just coffee, right? Well I can attest first hand the world of difference between a crappy grinder and a good one. If you get a machine really cheap, go for the Baratza Preciso for an electric grinder. Baratza's customer service is above and beyond anything I've ever seen, so you won't be disappointed with them.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 2:14pm
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

If you can't do the hand grinder a Preciso or a Vario is the best you can get in a home grinder.  Like I said commercial grinders can be had but are huge and often need the blades changed out right away. (often $50 - $60)  But they are a good buy if you can find one at $300 or less.

I know it is really hard to hear the grinder is more important than the machine.  But I swear it is true.   I did not believe it at first either.  But when I got the good grinder it was night and day.

 
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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GVDub
Senior Member


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 Tue Oct 2, 2012, 3:29pm
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

calblacksmith Said:

Well, he DID buy an Elly so that isn't entirely true!

Posted October 2, 2012 link

An Elli that's currently waiting for a replacement top boiler half (thankfully found and on its way), since my 'free' welding job was worth every penny. But that's a whole other story.

I should have had a little more patience, but I was in a hurry to get the machine working again. As a result, it's been down for over a month.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 9:04am
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

You need to tell that story on your thread. A good cautionary tale.

 
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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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:37am
Subject: Re: Just starting. Buying my first Machine - Need some advice.
 

Did you get the Delonghi?  If so, then you may want to follow this thread and search from it.

"DeLonghi EC155 (and EC152CD, EC310, etc.) Modification Guide & Ideas"

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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