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First Espesso Machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > First Espesso...  
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Ryanism85
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Sep 2012
Posts: 19
Location: New York, ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 3:59am
Subject: First Espesso Machine
 

Hey guys.

So I've been brewing coffee a lot with my aeropress and chemex and I think it's time I start with espresso.

I do have a small budget, max out at $300 (i know, i know).  Are there any machines out there that are worth it? I'm sure something would make better espresso than a nespresso machine :)
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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 5:38am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

few questions for you:

  1.  What is your intended or primary purpose (espresso?  or latte's, etc)?
  2.  How many shots a day do you expect to use this machine?
  3.  Do you have a grinder?  If so, which one?
  4.  Are you willing to consider a used machine?
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Ryanism85
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Sep 2012
Posts: 19
Location: New York, ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 5:44am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

I primary would like to just have espresso, maybe 2 a day unless I have company over.

I have a Capresso burr grinder which has treated me pretty well.

I would consider used if it were guaranteed to not have flaws..
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 5:51am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

Honestly, no.

Your budget will not even buy a referb grinder that is able to work for espresso. Espresso is a higher $$ game and the $$$$$$$ you spend, the easier it is to be consistent and to get consistent quality.

Mypressi is offering a $169 unit, and it is a quality tool but it is not a pump driven espresso machine. Click Here (mypressi.com) You still need to heat the water though so add to this a hot water kettle, either electric or stove top, hot water is hot water.

This and a your grinder will get you in under your budget if you stay with the pressurized PF or pressurized coffee basket side of things.

You may find used gear if you wait and look hard, that will fit in your budget but to just go out and buy something off the shelf, no it will not happen if you are expecting it to look like an espresso machine.

Life has no guarantee so I would not expect a used espresso machine to carry a no flaws guarantee. YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Ryanism85
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Sep 2012
Posts: 19
Location: New York, ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 5:57am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

So what would you consider the minimum budget to be for a starter espresso machine? $500?
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,053
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 6:07am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

]For a $300 budget you can get away with a new or used entry level machine like the Starbuck's Barista or Saeco machine.   A Delonghi EC155 modded to unpressurized for $100 is what I used to start.  For grinding the Hario grinders will do.  The Skerton modded with an M8 loc nut makes it a stepless manual grinder.

Here's what I think would be a good start.

Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine - Certified Refurbished

Hario Skeleton (Skerton) Coffee Mill


Accesssories  

Bottomless portafilter
Gaggia Latte Art-Style Pannarello Wand
Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)
Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade

Saeco Panarello Assembly - Stainless Steel



If you are willing to up your budget for a long lasting set up I would look at spending $700-$1000.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 6:13am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

Ryanism85 Said:

So what would you consider the minimum budget to be for a starter espresso machine? $500?

Posted August 21, 2013 link

Starter machine or machine and grinder? The best starter machine for the $ would be a Gaggia Classic which is usually around $400 new, but can be found for like $360 new on Ebay and other places. Wholelattelove sells refurb models as well under $300. But then you need an capable espresso grinder, and at the minimum that would be a Baratza Preciso which is around $300 new but Baratza will sell refurbs for $240+ shipping.

If you want a start starter machine, you can go with a Saeco Aroma which is under $300 new and has a pressurized portafilter and no 3 way valve. But the pressurized portafilter will work with your grinder, which don't take the wrong way but the Capresso burr grinders aren't capable at all for espresso (I had an Capresso as well). But the pressurized portafilters let you work with in capable grinder, preground coffee etc. The downside is it isn't espresso really, more like shot of drip with fake crema as it's pushed through a tiny whole vs a normal basket to foam the coffee up. However you can buy normal baskets to use with this machine and people do when they acquire a real grinder, your still stuck with it's other faults though like no 3 way valve, weak steaming, fairly small boiler etc.

You don't have to spend a lot but you do need a bit of a budget, a Classic and Preciso is pry the best entry for "real" espresso, and then you can easily go into the thousands from there lol.

edit - burner posted some good points too. I had an Bar32 modded and depressurized (Same internally as the EC155) as my 1st machine. It broke, so I upgraded. I have a Hario Slim as well which I've been meaning to mod to be stepless just to see what it would be like for espresso, as it's kinda finicky with setting, you have to find a click range and then play with dose constantly which is a pain. But making it stepless would solve that like he mentioned. So that could be another route, a Bar32/EC155 depressurized or witha krups regular basket and stepless Hario. Only problem is these machines don't last long, mine broke within a year, and I know 5 other people that own them no joke, 4 of them had theirs break/not repairable within a year, 1 somehow is still working like 3 years later go figure. Either way the bug will bite you and you'll find yourself wanting to upgrade... fast ;) lol
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 310
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 6:18am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

Unfortunately you don't have enough budget for an espresso machine, but you could save just a little more and get an espresso capable grinder for now.  Maybe even look around for used grinders in great condition.  The grinder is often the main limitation in inexpensive setups, so getting a good one is critical.  (I like the Baratza Vario, but I don't have enough experience to make really solid recommendations there.  Mine was $360 new via eBay.)
Or go with the manual grinders - more work, but definitely less $ and still good quality.

After that comes the machine.  I got a faulty Nuova Simonelli Oscar for $250 that needed another $210 in parts to get back into full working order, add in some accessories and I'm over $500 in no time.  There are better deals out there at times if you keep an eye on Craigslist and the like.  Always test any used machine before you plop down your money, and if you can't test don't take the deal.

Really, the best place to start is the grinder though.  If you get a good one that's 1/2 the battle in espresso.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,053
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 6:50am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

CMIN Said:

Either way the bug will bite you and you'll find yourself wanting to upgrade... fast ;) lol

Posted August 21, 2013 link

Not kidding. :)  The set up I mentioned is very entry level. If you have the money don't let the high prices scare you.  If I knew when I got my first set up what I would need for amazing espresso I would have dropped $1,000 for my starter machine.  I use a Silvia + Macap Grinder now.  Together about $1,700 new but I found both used for $700 total.  Used deals are out there.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Aug 21, 2013, 7:14am
Subject: Re: First Espesso Machine
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

You have come here for answers and this post has a lot of them along with some questions.  After you read this post and answered your questions please post a new thread with your answers and ask for buying advice based on your needs and budget.  You do not have to read the whole thread just this post.

We get a lot new threads every week that start with "I want to get a cheap, good quality, long lasting espresso machine that I will not outgrow and I will not spend over X number of dollars".  Most people don't want to spend over $300 dollars on the machine and have given no thought much less have a budget for a grinder.  

Espresso is not the only way to get very high quality coffee, and is probably the most expensive route.  Other options (from most expensive to cheapest) include high quality automatic drip machines and single cup brewers, vacuum pot/siphon pots, moka pots, French press, Aeropress and manual drip cones, among others.  All of these options will also need a good grinder suitable for the brewing style, but this is generally cheaper than a good espresso capable grinder.  Whatever your brew method, the biggest improvement in your coffee may well come from using freshly and well roasted high quality coffee beans, ground just before brewing. (suggested by Dyqik)

I wrote this post for you. This is just the start of it. Read the rest of the post here: "Please read before you post New Machine buying question."

My Oscar was 475 used, Vario 550 new.  Oscar needed less than 100$ in parts to get up to speed.  Modded for a couple of hundred more to be almost a musica. I have less than 1500 in my first starter set up counting accessories. Not counting the cheap grinder I bought first that is not good enough for espresso.

 
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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