Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Christmas coffee machine recommendations
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Christmas coffee...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
FergusW
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Windsor, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Krups Burr
Posted Mon Dec 3, 2012, 3:46pm
Subject: Christmas coffee machine recommendations
 

OK - I know this is a matter of personal taste but wondered if anyone could recommend a new espresso machine?  I am in the UK so may not have the same range of machines as elsewhere - but certainly will have European makes.
I drink only espresso - not any milky drink/frothy stuff...
I have a burr grinder so don't want a bean to cup.   I'd rather not spend a fortune but happy to spend more than the $250 I paid for a Gaggia Classic which is misbehaving - giving burnt and painfully slow coffee one day and beautiful crema the next.
I am happy to fiddle with the machine - so have been wondering about a Pavoni level machine - but seen some variable reviews.   But am also happy to have a reliable replacement for the Gaggia. Many thanks
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 4, 2012, 4:57am
Subject: Re: Christmas coffee machine recommendations
 

Oh, oh.
Now you just might have opened a can of worms.  Coffeegeek members are the most opinionated on the planet.  Just perhaps they are now 'burned out' this Christmas season from debating questions like yours on previous posts.  This topic has been recently discussed in detail.  go to:
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/questions/602058
Although you live in Britain, coffee and coffee machines are pretty international and recommendations are likely to be valid across borders, with the usual price, tax and shipping differences.
Good luck.

Buckley
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
dyqik
Senior Member


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 Dec 4, 2012, 8:25am
Subject: Re: Christmas coffee machine recommendations
 

I suspect you might have two issues with the coffee from the Gaggia (I still have one, although I'm bringing it back to the UK to pass on to my brother), and a new machine may not be the way to fix either of those.  The Classic can be a pretty consistent machine, pulling excellent shots, with the right grinder and technique.  It might be that you have the technique down, and the machine is malfunctioning and can easily be fixed, or there might be a tweak to your technique that will make your shots consistent.  Most of the technique will be required to get good results from a more expensive machine anyway.

Firstly, I'm not sure which Krups grinder model you have, but as far as I know, none of them are anywhere good enough to get the best from the Gaggia Classic - the burrs are not really designed to grind for espresso, which needs a specific distribution of particle sizes, and the adjustment has wide steps, meaning you can't tune in the right grind for your beans and dose.  The mantra round here is that the grinder comes first, and with a machine the price of the Gaggias, you should spend as much or more on the grinder than the machine.

Secondly, how do you prepare and pull the shot - do you weigh the dose of beans to get a consistent amount of coffee (to within 0.1g or so)? Do you temperature surf the machine's brew ready light? How long do you let the machine warm up for?  Do you do any flushing of the group?

Sorry if I've assumed too much here, but based on your initial post and listed hardware, I think there might be a better option than a new machine.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,964
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 Dec 4, 2012, 8:33am
Subject: Re: Christmas coffee machine recommendations
 

in his Gaggia problem thread, he said he uses a scoop to measure beans.

I agree, you probably need to work on your technique before blaming everything on the machine.  Although, if the machine is inconsistent without a pf engaged on the group, that would be a real sign of a faulty machine.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
dyqik
Senior Member


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 Dec 4, 2012, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Christmas coffee machine recommendations
 

Ah, I hadn't seen that thread.  However, I suspect the issue is the grinder not the machine - having played with the cheaper of the Krups burr grinders in stores here, it seem very inconsistent, particularly at finer settings, and the burrs wobble around a whole lot.  The burrs are of the knob and sticking out screw type that produce a mixture of powder and lumps, not a consistent grind at all.  I've also used a Gaggia with cheaper conical and flat burr grinders (Solis 166 copy, Black and Decker burr grinder with similar burrs to the Krups), and could not get any consistency from the cheap flat burr grinder at all, either in espresso or Moka pot.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Tue Dec 4, 2012, 9:39am
Subject: Re: Christmas coffee machine recommendations
 

I've noticed that my Gaggia Classic requires pretty significant grinder changes from bean to bean. I have not been able to just set the grinder and leave it there, each time I swap beans I need to start fresh and time my pulls to get it dialed in again. I had been drinking a columbian/ethiopian blend for a bit and when I switched to Malabar AA I had to make a really big grinder change- the grind had to be much finder.

I have a pretty solid grinder so I can't imagine this would be easy to dial in on a cheap inconsistent grinder. Id start blaming the grinder before I went after the machine IMHO.

Of course...there's nothing wrong with buying a new machine, just be warned that without changing your grinder your problems may continue or even become worse with a higher end machine.

AND....to actually answer your first question....I'd look at an Oscar as an upgrade from your Classic. It seems the next logical step to me unless you want to take a bigger jump into the Brewtus realm.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
dyqik
Senior Member


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 Dec 4, 2012, 9:53am
Subject: Re: Christmas coffee machine recommendations
 

On the machine front, the Oscar does seem a sensible upgrade choice in the UK - Amazon has them for 562, which is less than 100 more than the Silvia (and quite a bit under $1000).  On the other hand, a new Classic is 180.  Just about the cheapest espresso capable grinder I can find in the UK is the Ascaso I-mini at about 145-195, or the I-1 or Nuova Simonelli Grinta for about 240.  The MDF is about 210 and Rocky 240, and neither are really recommended because of the stepped adjustment.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Christmas coffee...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Support Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids is a non profit charity working with farming communities around the world. Donate today!
www.coffeekids.org
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.375806808472)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+