calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,137 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 Tue Dec 3, 2013, 9:22am Subject: Re: What do you think is the best espresso machine for up to $2000?
Thank you for your informative comments! Due to the fact that I do not know anything about using a heat exchanger, would the Cuadra still be the best option for a novice? Lastly, could you please recommend the best grinder up to $500?
HX is only confusing because you don't understand it yet. It is simple, really. It is not temp surfing as some say. Once the over heated water is purged from the system (this happens if the machine sits for a while but is not used, not a big deal) the temp is very consistent and you have the ability to adjust the temp slightly up or down but those are more advanced methods you need not worry about just yet.
I had several VERY inexpensive SBDU machines then my first serious machine was the Oscar and it was VASTLY easier to use than any of the SBDU machines with a MUCH higher quality and consistency so YES a HX is just fine for someone just starting out.
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!
coffeeinquirer Senior Member Joined: 2 Dec 2013 Posts: 10 Location: NY Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 12:13pm Subject: Re: What do you think is the best espresso machine for up to $2000?
My daily usage will vary as I am calculating for my large family (that is why it is so high!). I am not sold on the look of the Oscar, but I really like the Cuadra -- could you specify if you are referring to the La Nuova Era V2 or the semi-commercial one? If one of these machines is the correct model, could anyone recommend the best online store with good customer service and possible discounts (hopefully!)? Thank you!
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,431 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 12:19pm Subject: Re: What do you think is the best espresso machine for up to $2000?
My go to store for the La Nuova Era Cuadra is www.1st-line.com They offer great customer service and have good prices (though I don't know if you'll get a discount or not). Sometimes the well-known online coffee gear retailers will give discounts when someone buys both a machine and a grinder. For that reason alone, I'd suggest placing your order over the phone. Last I looked the Cuadra (above) had gone up from about 1k to about 1.3k - I don't know if that was because of a new version or what though.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
I have a commercial Elektra "Sixties" T1 espresso machine and a Mahlkönig K30 Vario commerical grinder in my home. I make 5-6 drinks (all doubles) every morning, depending upon who's home (I have one daughter in college), and at least one more at night. Let's be conservative and say that's 6 drinks a day. When I'm on vacation, no one uses the machine. Figure I'm not at home 21 days a year. That's 344 days a year @ 6 drinks a day -- 2,064 drinks or 4,128 shots. You're talking about more than I make using commercial equipment. I back flush with water every day, and a back flush with JoeGlo once a week. Also once a week, I tear down the group and soak shower screen, dispersion block, baskets (I have eight), and portafilters (three spouted, one "naked") . . . you must maintain your equipment!
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