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Espresso: Espresso Machines
What do you think is the best espresso machine for up to $2000?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 10:22am
Subject: Re: What do you think is the best espresso machine for up to $2000?
 

coffeeinquirer Said:

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?

Posted December 2, 2013 link

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.

 
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Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

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coffeeinquirer
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Joined: 2 Dec 2013
Posts: 10
Location: NY
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 1:13pm
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!
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Location: Houston
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 1:19pm
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.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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takeshi
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takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
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Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 1:47pm
Subject: Re: What do you think is the best espresso machine for up to $2000?
 

Frost Said:

That's 4368 shots a year.... I would look to something more robust than a BDB for this fairly heavy home use.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

I'd second this.  The BDB is great value and would probably be a good fit for light home where budget is tight use but that's quite a bit of usage.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,398
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
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Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: What do you think is the best espresso machine for up to $2000?
 

coffeeinquirer Said:

1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make? Espresso, cappuccinos.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

Never more than, say, four ounces of milk at a time?

coffeeinquirer Said:

2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at any one time? 4 shots at one time.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

Are you making quads (four shots in one drink), or are you talking about making four separate drinks?

coffeeinquirer Said:

3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?  Probably 12 shots a day x 7 = around 84 shots

Posted December 2, 2013 link

Again, same question:  you say "shots," and we are asking about "drinks."

coffeeinquirer Said:

4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pour over machine with its own reservoir? Needs to have its own reservoir.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

No problem.

coffeeinquirer Said:

5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit? No restrictions.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

Really?  Every circuit in your kitchen, or wherever the espresso machine will be, is 20A?  Cool.

coffeeinquirer Said:

6)  What is your budget for a new machine?  Does that also include a grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder? $2000 including grinder.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

You should figure on (approx.) $500-800+ on the grinder.  Honest.

coffeeinquirer Said:

7)  Are you willing to buy used or do you need new equipment?  New equipment.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

Especially in light of insisting upon NEW equipment!

coffeeinquirer Said:

8)  Do you have the essential accessories (decent tamper, knockbox, the works)?  I would need new accessories.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

Again, no problem . ..  unless you think that's part of the $2K budget.

Frost Said:

That's 4368 shots a year.... I would look to something more robust than a BDB for this fairly heavy home use.

Posted December 2, 2013 link

Absolutely right!

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!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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