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Espresso: Espresso Machines
Espresso machine suggestions?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Espresso machine...  
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
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 Wed Feb 27, 2013, 7:42pm
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

lordbaltimore Said:

could you amplify on the Saeco line-up? i just joined and asked elsewhere about a new machine i acquired. it does espresso, regular brew, cappucino... these are considered good machines?

Posted February 27, 2013 link

All I can really say is that you get what you pay for. If all you want is just coffee and foamed milk and you're not too fussy about things, they'll work... but for how long, I have no idea.  

If you can live with using a pressurized portafilter, have at 'er.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Dapuma
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2013
Posts: 36
Location: Phoenix
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:01am
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

I worked with a Delonghi ec-155 ($99) and spice grinder ($20) which is certainly less than ideal for coffee and am now ready to make the upgrade to a proper machine, however you can make some decent drinks with that set up

Couple things about that inexpensive of a set up, espresso shots are not going to be good plain - you are going to have to cut everything with milk / sugar / flavoring

The steaming wand is going to suck, they machine doesnt make that good of steam but if you steam the milk three times (the green light goes on when it is ready and off when it loses all steam) you can get a passable steamed milk

I would recommend getting some 1% or skim milk, some sugarfree starbucks flavors, and good beans, and you can make a pretty comparable Skinny Vanilla or Hazlenut Latte to what they would serve you at Starbucks - which is a lot cheaper, and then when you are ready to move on to the next level of coffee, you can decide if you want to make the investment to get some better gear - everyone has to start somewhere and that is where I started at

You can also make some pretty good Vietnamese Iced Coffee, fire a double shot of espresso in a mixing tin (cocktail shaker) with roughly 1 Tablespoon of sweet condensed milk with ice, shake, then strain over fresh ice into a glass

The condensed milk will cut the bitterness of the espresso

(yes i know that is not the traditional way to make Ca phe da, but it is pretty close and still a good drink and you are using the espresso machine to do it)

I also find that a bitter espresso makes a good mixture to dip ladyfingers into if you are going to make tiaramisu - gives it more bite than something that was smoother...cuts the sweetness better (or I imagine at least have not tested it with the new machine I plan to get)

Hope some of that is helpful for that price range set up you are looking for - for your budget you can do better than the $20 spice grinder i had been using as well :)
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JimOD
Senior Member
JimOD
Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 31
Location: Orange, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma Non Pressurized
Grinder: Baratza Preciso with Esatto
Drip: Bunn NHBX-B
Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:33am
Subject: Re: Espresso machine suggestions?
 

lordbaltimore Said:

could you amplify on the Saeco line-up? i just joined and asked elsewhere about a new machine i acquired. it does espresso, regular brew, cappucino... these are considered good machines?

Posted February 27, 2013 link

I don't know what model Saeco you acquired, but I can speak to the Saeco Aroma.  I have one paired with the Baratza Preciso, and it makes great espresso if you're willing to put in a little time.  I removed the pressurizing assembly from the PF.  I have a fast reading digital thermometer to determine the best temp surf timing.  I weigh and time each shot.  I read alot on Coffee Geek and Home-Barista.  I was also lucky in that I have two incredibly knowledgable local cafes.  One is Portola Coffee Lab, and the other is Martin Dietrich's cafe.  I was able to get their freshly roasted beans, and compare my shots to their shots to begin to learn what espresso tasted like.

So far I have not been able to produce microfoam, but I haven't spent nearly the time on that issue.  I am beginning to concentrate on it now, and hope to overcome the machine's steaming capabilities.  There are some posters here who are able to make microfoam with this machine, so I think there's hope.

 
My tongue is burned
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