welcome to coffee geek1 of the first things you must learn is that it is spelled espresso there is no X in the word next the thing you should learn is that the grinder is more important than the machine. please read our F A Q on how to buy an espresso machine. what is the reason you chose those 2 machines?we need to know a lot more about your habits and what you expect to get from the machine before we can even start to direct you towards one. what is your budget how many espressos the day are you going to make how many espresso at the time are you going to make what kind of other drinks are you going to make and how many of them a day and at a time are you going to do this what is your budget for a grinder do you plan on using fresh beans fresh is define as less than 2 weeks from the date they were roasted if there is a Best Buy date on the bag they are stale before you got out of bed the morning so do not buy them.
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!
Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 6:43am Subject: Re: Between these 2 expresso machines, which one should I purchase?
If you're not planning on grinding per drink (or not planning on getting a grinder period, which I'm guessing your not) you could pick one of these up for pod coffee. . . . but it's a shame to spend that much for pod coffee. (And some would say, it's a shame to drink pod coffee at all!)
Machines like this, I think, are a reason people become dismayed with home espresso. They don't perform well, are somewhat disposable in build quality, and ignore much of what makes you local coffeehouse so special - fresh ground beans, correct temperatures, and fine milk foam. A lot of people (myself included) spend $200 on an espresso machine and a can of Illy and are disappointed that what comes out isn't anywhere nearly as good as my local coffee house.
Put another way, ask yourself how involved you want to get with this home hobby and how much importance you put on coffee enjoyment. I'd equate it to people who drink wine. Some people order the blush and love it; others find it a travesty.
For example, by brother has a Tassimo and loves it. He couldn't be happier, and for him, it makes a great latte. I don't feel the same way, but it works for him - just like trying different beans and buying espresso a half pound at a time, grinding for each shot, and having organic whole milk on hand works for me.
I agree with Randy (frcn) that the Espro press is awesome. In fact, I bought mine on his recommendation, and have found it to make the best non-espresso I've had in many, many years....but you're looking for an espresso machine. Oh wait, no...you're looking for an eXpresso machine. Those don't exist. What you want is an eSpresso machine!
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,513 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 8:40am Subject: Re: Between these 2 espresso machines, which one should I purchase?
Dylan, no one is saying you need to spend thousands of dollars on a setup for espresso, but you do have to spend something and -- sorry -- $150 is an impossible budget. You're way too low.
You come here asking us which of two truly crappy machines you should buy, and the answer is "neither one." Yet you don't respond to the the questions Wayne (calblacksmith) asked you, so what would you like us to do?
Let's try again.
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?
Here are more things to keep in mind:
The Four M's of Espresso: 1) the Macinazione is the grinder, and with it, the correct grinding of the coffee beans; 2) the Miscela is the coffee beans/blend itself; 3) the Macchina is the espresso machine; and 4) the Mano is the skilled hand of the barista.
All four are important. Nothing is more important than the grinder.
/ / / / /
Babbie's Rule of Fifteens: -- Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale. -- Roasted coffee beans should be ground within 15 days, or they go stale. -- Ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale.
You cannot expect to make decent (let alone great) espresso without a grinder.
The least expensive (new) espresso machines I feel comfortable in recommending sell for $375-429. The least expensive (new) grinders I feel comfortable in recommending sell in the $300-500 range.
For $150 total? You can try eBay or craigslist, but I think you'll more in the "thrift store/garage sale" realm.
Markarian Senior Member 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 Sat Dec 29, 2012, 9:59am Subject: Re: Between these 2 expresso machines, which one should I purchase?
Used Starbucks Barista/Estro Profi/Estro Vapore/Rio Vapore/Saeco Classico/Saeco Aroma/Saeco Via Venezia/Proteo Barista (these are all essentially the same thing). Check Craigslist, you'll probably find at least one or two. Also, pick up a Hario Skerton hand grinder for under $40 on Amazon. It may fall within your budget and provide you a surprisingly decent espresso for the money. The Saeco's can be upgraded to non-pressurized portafilters and made to make a respectable cup, depending on your determination and skill level. Good luck!
It's even got an adorable (if slightly messy) burr grinder in it to get you started, as well as a real steam wand that will help you learn to steam lattes, rather than a panarello. This machine will kick the butt of both the ones you mentioned.
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