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machine in which the water goes through stainless steel or glass, not plastic
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panta
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Joined: 15 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: dc
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 3:01pm
Subject: machine in which the water goes through stainless steel or glass, not plastic
 

I'd like to get a relatively inexpensive espresso machine for morning lattes, and I am trying to find one in which the water doesn't go through plastic, since I am concerned about the plastic leaching into the water. I use a Chemex for daily coffees for that reason, and wanted to ask if anyone can recommend an espresso machine that meets this criteria.

Thanks!
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 3:27pm
Subject: Re: machine in which the water goes through...
 

You might want to define a budget for your request, as inexpensive on these forums sometimes starts at $1000 depending on the person.

That being said, most of the lower end machines still have a plastic, teflon, silicone or other tubing/parts/seals that touch water.  Even some of the prosumer ones still use plastic tubing around the pump, reservoir or other locations.  If you were in a commercial environment it's likely the water feed from the plumbing would contain some kind of plastic too.

If your goal is to have all hot water segregated from plastics, other than a couple seals, you can probably do that depending on your budget.  Your subject title seems to disregard copper as a solution, and that's the main plumbing material on quality espresso machines.
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panta
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Location: dc
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 3:40pm
Subject: Re: machine in which the water goes through...
 

Thank you for your reply. Copper would be fine too, as far as I know. I was hoping to spend under $150 for the machine. Is that even possible?
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,469
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: machine in which the water goes through...
 

Not that I know of . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
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Location: Philadelphia
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Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
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Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 4:42pm
Subject: Re: machine in which the water goes through...
 

panta Said:

Thank you for your reply. Copper would be fine too, as far as I know. I was hoping to spend under $150 for the machine. Is that even possible?

Posted April 15, 2014 link

A replacement pump for my machine costs more then $150.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
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Location: Northern California
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Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 5:00pm
Subject: Re: machine in which the water goes through...
 

Espresso machine with no plastic in the water path for $150? Not going to happen. I think the best you MIGHT possibly be able to find is one where only the cold water flows through plastic, and usually that is most often silicone or food-grade vinyl. The hot water for brewing usually (often?) does not go through plastic. Even with that, most will have plastic piping for steam and auxiliary hot water. Considering most modern plumbing is PVC, the small amount of contact with the water and small amount you consume from an espresso machine would be a negligible problem. Just flush some water through after it has been sitting before brewing. Look for a European-made machine as their standards are quite strict now. We never microwave in anything plastic, but I never worried about the espresso machines I have owned.

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

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 5:08pm
Subject: Re: machine in which the water goes through...
 

Okay, if you want to enter the world of lever espresso machines, are willing to deal with alot of frustration at times but still have good espresso, and want all metal exposure then there are some possibilities.

You'll have to look really hard, but a used La Pavoni sometimes goes for about $150 before you get seals and refurbish it - does milk steaming too.  Mine was $250 + seals.
I've seen Peppina sometimes go for about $150, but I don't think they do milk.
There are likely other lever action machines that sometimes are worth it and come close to your target.  It's not going to be easy though.

On top of that you need a very good espresso grinder to make good espresso.  The minimal hand grinder would probably be something like a Lido2 $175, next step up would be Pharos $245, and then you can get into some electric grinders like the Baratza Vario which I use for $360+.  The Pharos is a quality grinder, but not everyone likes grinding by hand or the design of that unit.  Vario is the low end electric grinder for espresso that does a really good job for the price.
Or you can find a used Super Jolly and swap the burrs.

So your budget is really difficult.  I'd start with a good grinder and a french press until you can liberate some more funds or a deal comes along.
Remember that the most important machine you will use is the grinder!  Grinder, Grinder, Grinder...

If you do decide to take a look at lever machines make sure to peruse Home-barista.com as they have a very active group of lever users there.  There are techniques to make using machines like the La Pavoni much easier.
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SStones
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SStones
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Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
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Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014, 3:12am
Subject: Re: machine in which the water goes through...
 

panta Said:

Thank you for your reply. Copper would be fine too, as far as I know. I was hoping to spend under $150 for the machine. Is that even possible?

Posted April 15, 2014 link

You would have to make it yourself out of mostly stolen parts.
No manufacturer would use plastic-free parts while assembling a disposably cheap espresso machine.  Even the better Ulka pumps with a metal sleeve (rather than nylon) use a nylon insert to hold the check-valve spring in place.

La Pavoni Europiccola machines more than 15 years old are mostly plastic free. If you're a good machinist you could replace the cap with something you've threaded out of brass.
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 394
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014, 6:22am
Subject: Re: machine in which the water goes through...
 

SStones Said:

La Pavoni Europiccola machines more than 15 years old are mostly plastic free. If you're a good machinist you could replace the cap with something you've threaded out of brass.

Posted April 16, 2014 link

Or you can just buy a La Pavoni from the 1980's and probably get the original brass thread cap with bakelite top like mine has.

The newer Millenium La Pavoni machines do have a plastic liner in the group.  Oh, and don't forget that the seals on the pistons and group are always going to be a plastic product of some kind.
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