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Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Need help!...  
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
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 Fri May 10, 2013, 2:42pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Stephany Said:

Btw, what are the BST and the WLL?
Thanks.

Posted May 10, 2013 link

BST = Buy, Sell, Trade section on coffee geek.

WLL = Whole Latte Love. http://www.wholelattelove.com/Jura-Capresso.cfm?CMP=msn
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 5:22pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

As for the grinder size that's another point you might like about the Preciso. I know you can't tell looking at the pictures online but they're much smaller than a commercial grinder, at 14" high 5"wide and 6" deep. They also come with a portaholder that you slip in where the grounds container goes that holds your portafilter for espresso. I'm really not a Baratza rep! Just think it would be a good fit for you. For a bit more money the Baratza Vario has a really good reputation here on CG as a lower cost grinder that stands with more expensive commercial grinders like the Mazzer Super Jolly in terms of grind quality, and it's only a little bigger than the Preciso. Best wishes in whatever you choose, Ron

BTW- Happy Birthday!!
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Stephany
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2013
Posts: 25
Location: New england
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Thank you for the advice and wishes!
    I am currently checking out all of your recommended options and checking prices. Any word on the gaggia grinders?
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 6:52pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

I don't have any personal experience with the Gaggia grinders. I have read some fairly good comments on the MDFs though. I would try the search engine- bottom right of the page. Just keep an eye on the post dates, things have changed a lot over the years.
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strawberrykoi
Senior Member
strawberrykoi
Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 43
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3,...
Grinder: baratza vario, Hario...
Drip: chemex
Roaster: whirly pop
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 7:11pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Save yourself the time and money, not to mention heartache, and just spend more than what you originally budgeted for.

First, pick a good grinder. I also recommend a baratza vario, just because its the best bang for your buck, and its a good pairing to most machines.

As for the espresso machine, I would recommend an aeropress or mypressi if you really can't justify spending more, but I do believe your pallet is refined enough to tell the difference between a good coffee and a bad coffee... Meaning, cheap desposable machines won't make you happy. Get something like a Rancilio Silvia, if you won't settle on an aeropress (which makes a darn good cup off coffee, mind you). It's still a lower end machine, so it's not like you're going crazy or anything.
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Buckley
Senior Member


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

Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 3:42am
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

I agree with strawberrykoi.
Spend 140-160 on a Mypressi and put the rest in a barzata vario.
Save up for a bigger unit when you move up to a bigger kitchen and your children are old enough not to touch the steam wand, etc.
I have a Gaggia MDF and it is just okay for espresso.  Setting 4 or 5 were the most useful to me for espresso.  After getting my Mypressi, I bought a $2000 grinder and could taste the difference.  The MDF steps sometimes make it difficult to aim for a consistent infusion time as the beans age or you get new beans.  Also, users such as I have to tap it on the counter while tipping it forward to clear out the residual 1/2 gram grounds left in the chute.
It sounds as if you have not had the opportunity to perfect your technique vis a vis grind distribution, tamping and channeling.  (The Mypressi will instruct you and keep you honest in this regard. ) In this context, the presence of a doser will be meaningless.  To see what I mean, perhaps searching for the term 'clumping' or 'WDT' or 'channeling' on this forum might clue you into how people are relating or not to their dosers or lack thereof.

B
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Stephany
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2013
Posts: 25
Location: New england
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 4:49am
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Okay... First decision down. I just ordered the baratza preciso...I'll get used to it with my Moka pot etc while I consider my brewing options. Of course, further advice/opinions on this are still appreciated!
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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 Sat May 11, 2013, 7:54am
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Buckley Said:

 After getting my Mypressi, I bought a $2000 grinder and could taste the difference.  

Posted May 11, 2013 link

This is a very telling statement.  The grinder made a huge difference for a 150$ brewing device.  

If you are in or near a big city you might find lightly used machines on craigslist.  If you get a good brand and they are not rusted up inside (that is the most important thing) and can heat up then you can get a bargain like that.  I got my Oscar for 475$ even replacing the pump right away I feel like I got a great starter machine.  I have got him upgraded for about 200$ more parts (not counting labor costs) and now I feel I have a 3k machine in a 1k package.

 
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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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 8:21am
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Congrats on your decision! I'm sure you'll be happy with it. Something you may want to consider next is how you will measure your coffee. Many of us weigh it out and only put in the grinder what we will use at the time. That way you're not grinding more than you need, and you can keep your coffee in a sealed container. And of course it keeps your dose consistent and removes one variable from the process. You can pick up a scale for around $20 or less, you would want one that weighs to .1 gram. Either way  don't adjust your grinder with beans in it unless its running, as that could damage it.  Enjoy,  Ron
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Stephany
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2013
Posts: 25
Location: New england
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 2:05pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

So, my grinder is set to come tonight, and I am very excited to try it.
    By I am still (over)thinking my machine decision. I am considering upping my budget. (Not a done deal...don't get too excited yet!)
    So my next question is, given my stats, if money were no object, what machine would be best for me?
(I've gotten the low-end recs. now I'm looking for the high end recs. I'm hoping the truth will lie somewhere in the middle.)

Here's the use I see:
Most likely about one or two shots in the afternoon, with varied milk. Sometime yes, sometimes no depending if Husbands drinking.

If the machine heats quickly or could be put on a timer, I would consider using it in the morning, too. But I'm a teacher and am out the door early. I could live without it in the morning.

I would probably use it at parties several times a year for varied milk and non milk based drinks, maybe 4-6 tops?

And finally, small footprint, easy care.

Thanks for all of your help so far. You are really guiding me through this tangled web of information and I appreciate it!
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