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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 9:30am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

Jenn312 Said:

I am confused so why was this recommended over the aroma? Does the aroma produce a strong coffee or espresso and which one is best for lattes?

Posted January 27, 2013 link

The reason I mentioned it is that you aren't quite set up for espresso. Without a grinder, espresso is a non-starter. You might get by with a pressurized portafilter like in the aroma, but you aren't getting real espresso and you are buying a machine that is otherwise disposable. In essence, you've just thrown your money away. If you make something good, you want to throw it out to upgrade down the road. If it is no good, you don't end up using it, and you throw it out to go back to starbucks without giving an honest go of it.
A moka pot will 'work' without a great grinder, but will improve if you have one.
If you already have a frother on the way, then all you need is to make strong coffee, then you can make drinks better than S$ and should at least keep up with the routine. If you decide to upgrade into the espresso world, you still have a moka pot that works and is a nice change when you want it. You havn't wasted your money. You can first get a espresso capable grinder, to use with your moka pot, then get a decent espresso machine and each purchase is a step toward improvement, yet all of your gear is still useful.
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 9:41am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

diggi Said:

The reason I mentioned it is that you aren't quite set up for espresso. Without a grinder, espresso is a non-starter. You might get by with a pressurized portafilter like in the aroma, but you aren't getting real espresso and you are buying a machine that is otherwise disposable. In essence, you've just thrown your money away. If you make something good, you want to throw it out to upgrade down the road. If it is no good, you don't end up using it, and you throw it out to go back to starbucks without giving an honest go of it.
A moka pot will 'work' without a great grinder, but will improve if you have one.
If you already have a frother on the way, then all you need is to make strong coffee, then you can make drinks better than S$ and should at least keep up with the routine. If you decide to upgrade into the espresso world, you still have a moka pot that works and is a nice change when you want it. You havn't wasted your money. You can first get a espresso capable grinder, to use with your moka pot, then get a decent espresso machine and each purchase is a step toward improvement, yet all of your gear is still useful.

Posted January 27, 2013 link

This is true, but the reason I mentioned the Aroma is because you can use a non-pressurized Portafilter in it. Which isn't a big deal. It's a simple upgrade, and I think Seattle Coffee Gear sells one for like $50-60.

-Dave-
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 9:47am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

TheSunInsideYou Said:

This is true, but the reason I mentioned the Aroma is because you can use a non-pressurized Portafilter in it. Which isn't a big deal. It's a simple upgrade, and I think Seattle Coffee Gear sells one for like $50-60.

-Dave-

Posted January 27, 2013 link

Exactly. And when you buy it, you're still stuck with a bottom-of-the-line espresso-capable machine that you want to upgrade, that you've paid too much for, and you can't sell for the money you have sunk into it. But many go this route. It just isn't as cost effective.
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Jenn312
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 9:55am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

diggi Said:

The reason I mentioned it is that you aren't quite set up for espresso. Without a grinder, espresso is a non-starter. You might get by with a pressurized portafilter like in the aroma, but you aren't getting real espresso and you are buying a machine that is otherwise disposable. In essence, you've just thrown your money away. If you make something good, you want to throw it out to upgrade down the road. If it is no good, you don't end up using it, and you throw it out to go back to starbucks without giving an honest go of it.
A moka pot will 'work' without a great grinder, but will improve if you have one.
If you already have a frother on the way, then all you need is to make strong coffee, then you can make drinks better than S$ and should at least keep up with the routine. If you decide to upgrade into the espresso world, you still have a moka pot that works and is a nice change when you want it. You havn't wasted your money. You can first get a espresso capable grinder, to use with your moka pot, then get a decent espresso machine and each purchase is a step toward improvement, yet all of your gear is still useful.

Posted January 27, 2013 link


Please bear with me here a little while longer but I am trying to get the best set up for my money. I was looking at Seattle Coffee Gear videos and they said if you upgraded to a non pressurized portafilter on the Aroma you would get a substantially better tasting espresso with a good grinder of course. I was thinking I could order both a new portafilter and electric grinder from them a couple of months down the road. You said the machine is disposable and I would want to throw it out but I was actually hoping to keep it for at least 2 years or until it broke down before I would have to replace it.

If the moka pot only makes strong coffee wouldn't a regular drip coffee maker be the same or am I missing something in this thought?
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 9:56am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

diggi Said:

Exactly. And when you buy it, you're still stuck with a bottom-of-the-line espresso-capable machine that you want to upgrade, that you've paid too much for, and you can't sell for the money you have sunk into it. But many go this route. It just isn't as cost effective.

Posted January 27, 2013 link

I don't disagree. But it is what the OP was asking for. I agree that it's always better to start higher end (higher than the bottom at least), which I suggested in an earlier post, but the OP already stated that that wasn't going to happen.

-Dave-
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Jenn312
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:12am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

TheSunInsideYou Said:

I don't disagree. But it is what the OP was asking for. I agree that it's always better to start higher end (higher than the bottom at least), which I suggested in an earlier post, but the OP already stated that that wasn't going to happen.

-Dave-

Posted January 27, 2013 link


Two part question. One what is higher than the aroma in terms of espresso machines, Two how much is the Aroma worth I saw a refurbished on Seattle Coffee grind for $129 and a Poemia for $179. Are those prices cheap enough to be disposable? I know everyone says to get the grinder first but I am hoping to get one for a B-day gift in a few months that will be more than I can afford to spend on a grinder myself at the moment. I think a hand grinder should be sufficient for now I saw that it was able to achieve a grind that is capable of extracting espresso in the Ranchillio Silvia in a video review.
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:15am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

Jenn312 Said:

Please bear with me here a little while longer but I am trying to get the best set up for my money. I was looking at Seattle Coffee Gear videos and they said if you upgraded to a non pressurized portafilter on the Aroma you would get a substantially better tasting espresso with a good grinder of course. I was thinking I could order both a new portafilter and electric grinder from them a couple of months down the road. You said the machine is disposable and I would want to throw it out but I was actually hoping to keep it for at least 2 years or until it broke down before I would have to replace it.

If the moka pot only makes strong coffee wouldn't a regular drip coffee maker be the same or am I missing something in this thought?

Posted January 27, 2013 link

Don't want to try to sell this too hard, as it is just my personal view, and there is nothing wrong with a different approach; just different. Luckily my way is always the best way, but not always the best for you. (and my view has changed, as I have had more experience; so hard to know what I would have said before I got started myself)

SCG is giving you proper information (as is Dave TheSunInsideYou). That upgrade would improve things down the line. The issue I have,

TheSunInsideYou Said:

..... that you'll have to put some work into getting a decent shot.

Posted January 27, 2013 link

and as Dave has said, is that it is much trickier to get a good shot of espresso from poor equipment than from more expensive gear. I'm afraid that you may sink your money into this, without a proper budget for grinder and good coffee and end up with unsatisfactory results. That upgrade may never come, or you do and get a grinder, but your machine fails after 2years and you end up needing to start from square one with another brand-new machine.
A top-end moka pot makes top-end moka pot coffee. A bottom-end espresso machine makes bottom-end espresso. I still drink moka pot coffee. I don't drink bottom-end espresso. A drip machine makes poor coffee. A chemex/hario V60/French press/Aeropress/Clever Dripper make excellent brewed coffee. I still drink that. I don't drink poor drip coffee. That is my point. You don't have to share my opinion. Just a different perspective for you that may save you in the long-run. Good luck whatever you choose.
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:35am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

Jenn312 Said:

Two part question. One what is higher than the aroma in terms of espresso machines

Posted January 27, 2013 link

Pretty much everything is higher than the Aroma. Haha. Honestly, the lowest I would RECOMMEND to someone is the Crossland CC1. Someone recently suggested a Lelit machine that seems to offer similar functionality, but I know very little about it. But then you're going to be multiplying your budget. The CC1 is going to allow making good espresso not a chore, while still being at an awesome price point. The issue is that this REQUIRES a good grinder. The Hario Skerton or Mini are the absolute lowest. I would push for the Orphan Espresso LIDO. There is nothing wrong with a hand grinder; it's just more work. But at this point, you're looking at about $850. Which is over quadruple your budget. I'm not trying to shock you, I'm just trying to show you the merit in the Moka pot suggestion. Unless you're fully committed to doing whatever it takes to make espresso, no matter the fuss, than you'll get frustrated with a cheap set up and give up. It most likely will not be worth the product you'll be getting as a newbie.

If you really want to see if it will be worth it, go to a quality espresso bar and get yourself a proper shot of espresso (or cap, since that is your preference). If the difference between that and SBUX is as shocking to you as it was to me, and the thought of making that quality (and perhaps, in time, better quality) at home is as exciting to you as it was to me, then save up your bucks and invest in a solid beginner set-up. You can certainly come back to the forums and ask for advice whenever you fancy, but there is so many questions already answered, you can probably find the answer without even having to ask the question.

I'm not trying to discourage you at all. In fact, I hope that you take this in the right way and take the advice we're offering. I hope one day you'll be back for more. I wish you the best of luck.

-Dave-
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:38am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

Side note: If you tell us the general area you're from, we can probably recommend a shop you can go to to check out the beginning of the rabbit hole to make sure you want to dive in. Haha.

-Dave-
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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 Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:40am
Subject: Re: What is the cheapest new bare bones espresso maker that I can get.
 

I was where you are a little over a year ago as far as budget.  I decided as a non coffee drinker that I wanted an espresso machine rather than the huge coffee pot on the counter that we never used because my husband drank coffee by the gallon at work and I didn't like it so never made it at home.

I did not want to spend a lot of money because I was not even sure I would like espresso much less keep doing it.
I thought of it as replacing the coffee maker not as a major appliance with a boiler under pressure.

It sounds like you want milk coffee drinks. If you can get good milk drinks with strong coffee from a moka pot or cold brewing.  These make very nice milk drinks and I often still use cold brew for trips or camping.  It is great in hot coco and you can add hot water to it to make normal drip tasting coffee. I drank huge milk drinks when I started.  I have since gone from 12oz of milk in my espresso to 2-4 oz of milk.  This is a direct result of having good coffee and needing less milk to make it taste good.  I am slowing weaning myself off the sugar now.

If you can find a good deal on craigslist you can spend 40 on a hand grinder and 100 on a used aroma type machine  or it rebranded as starbucks.  That is 150 that you will probably outgrow fast.  So, some people would say that 150 would be a good start to saving for a good unit.  

I thought about that a lot and almost went that way.  But you have to think of that 150 as disposable.  I did not like the idea of spending 150 and still not be happy with what I bought. The money was too tight and I really hate our disposable mind set. I decided against that and I read and thought and read and thought and finally went up on my budget.   I started much farther up the ladder than you and got a used HX machine ($475) and I am not sorry for one minute that I skipped the frustrations of having to deal with the starter machines.  Look up temp surfing and you will get a good idea of what I wanted to avoid.

It is up to you.  But I agree if the machine is hard to work you might give up and never realize how rewarding it can be to make your own espresso.  If you are in a major city hit all the espresso bars sample and talk to the baristas.  Even in shops with good machines and good beans you do not always get a well prepared shot.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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