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Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Please read...  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 1:18pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

I have been wanting to write this for a long time.  I just boiled down what I wanted to say to the three hard facts.  If people start with that then the sticker shock is over before they post the first time and we don't send 3 pages trying to get them to understand the hard facts.

 
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 Mar 12, 2013, 3:28pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

Great post, Helen. I just have to say that I wish we could advertise it on the site, in huge red letters:

"BE PREPARED TO SPEND MORE THAN $500 IF YOU WANT TO GET INTO ESPRESSO AND YOU'RE BUYING NEW" Period, end of story, no ifs ands or buts about it. With the possible exception of my friend, I rarely see people who can make do for long with a Hario Skerton, especially if it's not modded. A nice hand grinder is well into the three figures.

So long as KitchenAid and DeLonghi endure and continue to set false expectations, we'll keep having to post these threads. It sucks, because a price barrier to entry is never fun to see. But Helen, this thread does need to be stickied. We eat up a lot of space on this forum saying the same thing. It's not that we're unwelcoming, it's just that we need to make sure people aren't wasting their OWN time at the very least.

Also, how can we lobby to get some things changed on the forum itself? Things such as larger (or at least square) avatars, larger photo limits, and a few more fields on our side profiles (Aeropress and Moka are not drip, but where else am I going to list them?)
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 3:54pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

I started to write this post with a long drawn out thing about why you need at least X amount of dollars to get started.  But I then I thought I would just boil down the most important part and if they get past that we can talk about what they can do with what they have.  Just getting them to know you need as much or more for the grinder as the machine is a huge shock to people.

 
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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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,449
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

To so many posts which contain phrases which are similar in meaning to, or exactly like these:
 "I have $XX and I want to buy an espresso machine..."
 "I only have [fill in a far-too-conservative amount] to spend."
 "I don't want to buy a grinder because I have one I already spent $30 on."
 "I want a machine that will make espresso AND brew coffee."

My stock reply is:
 "Do you want to make the best possible coffee you can, or does it HAVE to be espresso?"

It may be my age, or it may be the fact that I have been answering similar questions for about ten years now, or it may be that I assume that the person has neither taken the time nor invested the effort in researching, and  instead has been watching the Housewives of New Jersey. If they cannot at least get some idea of what they want, why spend my time doing it for them?

Bottom line in all that, if the answer is not "best coffee possible," I usually move on.

Back about a dozen years ago when I started this journey the number of resources were fewer, less thorough, and there were certainly FAR fewer choices when it came to equipment. Today there are so many excellent websites, coffee forums, and retailers which offer not only a wide range of equipment along with lots of helpful information. Even the forums have numerous areas for beginners with equipment reviews, articles on first purchases, descriptions of various types of machines and which is best for you, and on and on.

But even then, it's not all up to date. Even here on CG, the main page has a poll, "What's on your holiday gift list?" REALLY!? Still, I will go out of my way to help those who help themselves (No, I do not have a Deity complex). And I am often answering questions by e-mail from folks who stumble across my website when researching (Googling) some piece of equipment I own or have reviewed, ad I gladly answer those.

So maybe It's my crankiness finally catching up to my age, or just the frustrating most-recent six months of my life or so, but really, and rhetorically speaking, if you can't type in "How to buy an espresso machine" in your favorite search engine and get some idea of what you are shopping for, should I be expected to do so for you? Expect all you like, but it ain't gonna happen.

 
Visit My Website
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

I am hope to head off a few of them before they get posted.

 
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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Buckley
Senior Member


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

Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 6:20pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

Yes, Helen, thank you for arranging what needed to be arranged.
Now..what are the procedures for getting this turned into a sticky?

B
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,959
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 6:55pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

Interesting post Helen. Unfortunately, most posting the redundant threads will not heed your invitation to read it. Same with instruction manuals.
No matter how many times we post "RTFM" too many don't, resulting even more needless inquiries.
Still, that's why CG exists, and  i hope your posting helps.

One other thing in (gulp) DEFENSE of the redundant posts:
As a noob many years ago, I got SO much help from so many, when posted similar threads as those we seek to limit now. However, 6 months later, when I had a bit of my sea legs, I offered my "experienced" assistance, and MAN it felt good when the noob "web smiled" at me with thanks.
There is something to be said for giving back, Truthfully, I don't really mind that much answering mostquestions over and over.
Then again, the questions that could have ben SHOULD have been answered by simply Reading The Freakin' Manual bug me a bit.

That said, the following needs amending
-- "Open boiler machines are relatively rare, and date back many decades.  These can heat the water for espresso, but cannot build up any pressure to steam milk.  To the best of my knowledge, this are all manual lever machines, and include machines like the Arrarex Caravel and the FE-AR La Peppina.
La Peppina is a spring lever, and there are a few more that are open boiler spring levers.
Small potatoes to be sure, but if your seeking TOTAL accuracy?

As regards a sticky, I wonder if, with some editing by Mark Prince (he'll hate me for suggesting he do the work LOL) this might be a nice article for the Home Page?
Moderating the BST forum has shown me that far too many that join, whether sincerely or not ignore the stickies that outline the rules for posting on that forum.
I'm sure other moderators have, or will have the opportunity to read your posting as regards the "sticky issue!"

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
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 Tue Mar 12, 2013, 8:04pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New ESPRESSO Machine buying question.
 

dyqik Said:

Since this is CoffeeGeek and not just EspressoGeek ;) , I'd consider adding in something to the effect of "Espresso is not the only way to get very high quality coffee, and is probably the most expensive route.

Posted March 12, 2013 link

No offense, but I'd say, "No!"

Back in the old days of CG, there was only ONE forum for machines -- and then it would have made sense -- but now there are:

-- NINE separate forums under the heading of Espresso.

-- FOUR separate forums under the heading of Coffee, i.e.: non-espresso preparations.

As well as eight under Columns, How-Tos, and Reviews, seven under Members' Forums, and ten under World Regional . . . let's not confuse them any more than they already are by talking about other methods of coffee preparation besides espresso in the "Espresso" Forum.

Please.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
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 Tue Mar 12, 2013, 8:12pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

IMAWriter Said:

Interesting post Helen. Unfortunately, most posting the redundant threads will not heed your invitation to read it. Same with instruction manuals.
No matter how many times we post "RTFM" too many don't, resulting even more needless inquiries.

Posted March 12, 2013 link

True . . .

But I, for one, don't mind the repetitiveness of the questions, for the very reason Rob cites -- no one (read "newbie") looks to previous posts, or bothers to use the search feature . . . I firmly believe it's just human nature to say, "Hey, what should I get?"

It's just the way it is . . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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clm
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 86
Location: Hawaii
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Mypressi
Grinder: OE LIdo
Drip: Hario, Aeropress
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 8:19pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

I don't own a grinder.
I have an Aeropress, Able gold filter.
I want to improve my morning coffee.
Need hand grinder recommendation.
Need low budget ($400 or less) espresso machine for 2 shots a day.
Live on Big Island.
Mahalo.
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