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Espresso: Espresso Machines
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Please read...  
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,141
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 9:22pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

clm Said:

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.

Posted March 12, 2013 link

Could not have said it better myself.
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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 Wed Mar 13, 2013, 6:39am
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New ESPRESSO Machine buying question.
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

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.

Posted March 12, 2013 link

The espresso machines forum is the one at the top.  It's going to get questions from people who haven't read what the other categories are, and aren't aware of the other options.  In particular, a single subforum for all other brew methods (which doesn't even mention what they are in the title), a third of the way down the front page is pretty much hiding away all of the other options.  Do you think that it's better for someone with a couple of hundred bucks to invest in improving their coffee to get scared back to Starbucks by the expense of espresso machines and grinders, or should we try to help them improve their coffee on their budget?  The layout of the forum at the moment is doing a good job of giving the impression that espresso is the only form of coffee that matters to coffeegeeks*, and a paragraph to redress that balance is a good thing to include, imo.

*which isn't to say that the forum layout should change.  There's probably more things to be geeky about in espresso preparation than other brew methods, but as the Aeropress and Brazen/GORT threads, and Netphilosopher's posts in the Machines/Brewing forum show, there's plenty to geek out about in the other methods.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Wed Mar 13, 2013, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

I don't like the espresso subforums, personally. I posted in the grinders forum and it was completely dead and it took forever to get a reply from some of the same people I've already built a connection with on this forum. Things I'd love to see on this forum:

-Avatars allowed of up to 100x100 pixels and a maximum size of 30KB

-Photos posted in threads by members of up to 256KB in size and up to 640x480 in resolution or more. How can we help someone that said they finally spotted the leak, who is posting pictures the size of a playing card?

-Other categories for the quick profile on the sides for other brewing methods

-"Expertise" levels that actually aren't meaningless. I do LOVE coffee, one could say I live coffee sometimes. But I still embrace "beginner's mind" and feel I have a lot to learn. But because the levels of expertise mean nothing, you've got the guy who registered two weeks ago with the Saeco Aroma who self-identifies as "I live coffee."

-The Breville owners given their own private island, where their thread can grow and grow, consuming every natural resource until the sheer number of posts form a land bridge that once again gives them access to the mainland, whereupon they'll finally be able to bring their machines back for descaling.


As for scaring someone back to Starbucks, I would assume the biggest reason people get into espresso is because they've become enamored with the milk drinks associated with Starbucks and other espresso-based chains. I would be incensed if I came on here, hoping to make a latte with foam and be told "I'm sorry, but you need to spend a bit more than $500 on a machine and grinder. Why not try this hokey little plastic piston that tastes absolutely nothing like what you're after?" People are into espresso for a reason. It isn't just about good coffee, it's about chasing that continental chic. We know and love Moka, Aeropress, pourover, Clever, etc because we've come to appreciate coffee as a whole. I satisfied my espresso craze and turned to the other methods to try something different. To someone wanting a latte, A Starbucks Barista w/ a PPF beats an Aeropress, moka, vac pot, pourover, etc. I think we should tell people who definitely want milk drinks "Look, this is really expensive. Save your pennies so you don't invest in something that won't last you. There is a reason coffee shops charge $5 for your latte--it requires expensive equipment, expensive coffee (anything over $10/lb I consider expensive by normal people standards) and (ideally) extensive training. You've got these options, which will get you reasonably close if you want to make lattes or straight shots (PPF Saeco/Starbucks machine, Gaggia, etc). You can save and get something nice at the entry level (Like the CC1, Silvano, etc--the Silvia needs to be revamped, repriced, or retired). And if you like coffee in general, why not try and improve your morning cup with these methods..."

Just my $0.02
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clm
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 84
Location: Hawaii
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Mypressi
Grinder: OE LIdo
Drip: Hario, Aeropress
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

I need help for exactly the reasons you've suggested.  I just want a better morning cup of coffee - I can't seem to find the right forum to post my question to.  I know I need a decent grinder first, so where do I post this question?  I'm looking at the OE Lido/Pharoh for now.  Pour over, aeropress, 2 cups.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Wed Mar 13, 2013, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

I know someone is going to stab me for this, but I rarely give two hoots about my grind when I use my Aeropress. My AP Is what I dump whatever my grinder is set on for espresso when I'm feeling tired of trying to dial in shots or just want a quick decaf. The Aeropress is incredibly forgiving and will give me that nice, strong cup I really crave with a regular espresso grind at 23g. My friend says this is insane, but I love it.

Pourover is just as fiddly as Espresso, though not nearly as expensive. For pourover, I would look at investing in a nice kettle, like a Hario or Buono, before you look at the grinder. The Lido is really cool, however the Pharos is impractical to use and you're probably better off with a Baratza Preciso.
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tinytot2
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 113
Location: Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Vario W
Drip: Breville YouBrew
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013, 4:52pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

Markarian Said:

To someone wanting a latte, A Starbucks Barista w/ a PPF > Aeropress, moka, vac pot, pourover, etc. I think we should tell people who definitely want milk drinks "Look, this is really expensive. Save your pennies so you don't invest in something that won't last you. There is a reason coffee shops charge $5 for your latte--it requires expensive equipment, expensive coffee (anything over $10/lb I consider expensive by normal people standards) and (ideally) extensive training. You've got these options, which will get you reasonably close if you want to make lattes or straight shots (PPF machine, Gaggia, etc). You can save and get something nice at the entry level (Like the CC1, Silvano, etc--the Silvia needs to be revamped, repriced, or retired). And if you like coffee in general, why not try and improve your morning cup with these methods..."

Just my $0.02

Posted March 13, 2013 link

I bought a used Starbucks Barista for $75.  I depressurized the portafilter and make lattes much better than Starbucks and for much less money.  Probably has more to do with the beans I purchase, but better lattes / espressos nonetheless.

I am looking to upgrade , but that's because I want an even better cup.  I would rather suggest a machine like the Starbucks Barista for newbies than to tell people not to bother with an espresso machine because their budget is too small.  

It may not be the best machine, but it gets the job done.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Wed Mar 13, 2013, 5:43pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

I've had three of them and I have a really soft spot in my heart for the Saecos. What I was actually saying is that the Saeco should be recommended OVER Aeropress or Vacpot because those methods are not anywhere near espresso. I probably should have worded it better. Will edit now.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,015
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Mar 14, 2013, 10:42am
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

clm Said:

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.

Posted March 12, 2013 link

I would get a OE LIDO or a cheap hario grinder if I wanted a cheap hand grinder.  HG1 if I wanted to spend big bucks.  No idea what the used market is like in Hawaii but I would see if you can pick up a used one because I know shipping is a problem for you.  Used starbucks labeled espresso machine can be picked up for $100 around here on craigslist.  Also gaggia classic comes up pretty often.  My machine used was $475 but it is a HX and is a stronger class of machine with more thermostability and steam power.

Used often means work and cleaning must be done just like with cars etc.

 
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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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 653
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 Sat Mar 16, 2013, 3:01pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

Thanks for all of your hard work on this Ms. CoffeeNoobie. (Mrs?)

I'm glad to have spent my time "shopping" for other people... it's fun and is a good way to keep abreast of what is out there.

I admit that when I was starting into this hobby, I certainly got my fair share of sticker shock. Especially when I found out that espresso machine
capability does not equal espresso machine price. (The Elektra MCAL sells for about $1800 here.) So, of course, after the sticker shock I received,
I discovered that what was much more suitable for me was a semi-auto pump machine.

I care to admit I probably spend a bit too much time in this forum, (When I have some) but I feel that I'm still learning in bits and pieces.

Here's a few things I could add to a FAQ, if they haven't already been covered:

Q: There are a lot of different machine types. I'm confused! I just want to get started making espresso, but I don't want to spend too much money. Where should I start?

A: A Consumer-Grade Semi-Automatic SBDU machine coupled with an espresso capable coffee grinder is a good place to start. (Read the site reviews for recommendations)

Q: A local cafe is closing down and they've offered me their espresso machine for cheap if I can take it off their hands. Is this a good idea?

A: Commercial machines require a plumbed-in water connection and sometimes a 220 volt electrical service or 120 volt 20 amp service to operate correctly.  Unless you plan on calling a plumber and an electrician, buying a commercial machine isn't recommended for typical consumer use. As well, most commercial machines are not designed to be used under cupboards, so if you still want to consider buying one, get measurements first!

Q: Is a grinder which was used in a coffee shop good enough for home use?

A: Yes, but keep in mind that the burrs on the grinder may have to be replaced (Less than $75) and the grinder may require a good cleaning before going back into service. The only problem with using commercial grade coffee grinders in a home environment is that they can be tall due to a large hopper size, they take up a lot of counter space and that some models have a large amount of grounds retention. Fortunately, some commercial grinders can be refitted with a much smaller hopper, making them suitable for under-cupboard operation.

Q: Is it a good idea to buy an old used espresso machine?

A: Unless you can be assured that the machine has been properly maintained, cleaned and descaled, it is buyer beware. Buying a used espresso machine can be like buying a used car.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,845
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 Sat Mar 16, 2013, 3:44pm
Subject: Re: Please read before you post New Machine buying question.
 

Bud, thanks for getting this back on topic.
In response to whomever mentioned they posting a thread on the Espresso Grinder's forum and had slow or no response, my answer (for EVERYONE!) would be to make your subject line either more specific, or more eye catching, without being to "out there."

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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