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Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Pressure Bars:...  
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cremagourmand
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Location: MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:49am
Subject: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

I have been buying espresso at cafes for almost 30 years and have never owned an espresso machine. Never thought I could afford a good one, so I didn't want to suffer the disappointment of throwing a lot of my money away on a machine that would be disappointing. As my member name here would imply I am a crema freak. I still don't think I can afford a machine that will make me happy, but I am now working somewhere that has tasked me with getting the office a machine. Yippee!

So the question is this, What are the most important considerations when purchasing a machine in order to get that thick frothy stuff I so love about espresso?

Is the secret in the pressure bars, or is it something else? I know fresh beans, freshly ground enter into it. But what about the machine should I pay more for in order to get what I desire.

Thanks in advance I am new to the forum and am looking forward to your help.

Dan
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,039
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

read this... http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

and this... http://espressoitaliano.org/doc/EIC%20-%20Eng%20-%20LQ.pdf

I think they'll answer a lot of your questions and get you started in your search.  there are a bunch of questions that you can pre-answer once you have a better idea of what you might be looking for, and then if you do that, we'll be in a better position to help you.  The questions include things like budget, estimated frequency of preparing drinks, and other things like that, which may affect what kind of machine and other factors to take into consideration when making recommendations.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cremagourmand
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Joined: 21 Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Location: MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

Enradguy,

Thanks for your quick response and the information you included. First off I must tell you we need an automatic machine. With multiple users with varying degrees of expertise an automatic machine is required.

Budget is always a concern when you're spending the bosses money, but going cheap and not getting crema would be a waste of it. We don't need super turnaround speed. There maybe up to 12 of us wanting to use the machine at the busiest meeting times, but normal usage would be by 3-4 people, all of whom could be patient if the wait was rewarded with great coffee. I hope this information is helpful to you and anyone else that could help. Thanks again. :)

Dan
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,039
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

Do you mean you want a superautomatic?  That is, a machine that includes everything so all you have to do is push a button to get whatever it's capable of producing?

What is your budget...in dollars please?  It's ok to set a maximum, or give a ball park, but you need to give us something..."cheap" to a mom and pop small business is very different than it is to a booming law firm.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cremagourmand
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Joined: 21 Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Location: MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:42pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

I think I mean semi automatic from what I gather the semi's are mostly fool proof but you can adjust a few things.  

I am the sales guy as well as the GM, so I hate to give a budget but would rather know what the best value is for getting crema. I know if I threw multiple thousands at it I could get it. I look at this as I do everything else. I want the best crema for the least dollars and I need somethign that will last at least a couple of years knowing that the machine will make maybe 4 cups of coffee a day 5 days a week and quite a few days a week probably less. But if I had to give you a dollar amount I gotta bring it in for under a grand.  Thanks for sticking with me.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,039
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:46pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

ok, now we're getting somewhere.  Does that grand include a grinder?  Because no grinder, or freshly roasted beans means no crema - no matter what you spend on the machine.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cremagourmand
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Joined: 21 Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Location: MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:49pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

Yeah I think it would be best to have the grinder in the machine or at a minimum included in my budget. I am a hero if I can get what we want for less then 500 ;-).
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
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Location: Berkeley, CA
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Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
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Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 1:04pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

cremagourmand Said:

What are the most important considerations when purchasing a machine in order to get that thick frothy stuff I so love about espresso?  Is the secret in the pressure bars, or is it something else?

Posted January 21, 2013 link

Well, it ain't in the bars . . . or in the restaurants, either.  ;^)

Welcome to CG, Dan.  Let's not get focused on the wrong thing.

In addition to the very important links you've already been shown, you need to keep in mind

The Four M's of Espresso:
1) the Macinazione is the grinder, and with it, the correct grinding of the coffee beans;
2) the Miscela is the coffee beans/blend itself;
3) the Macchina is the espresso machine; and
4) the Mano is the skilled hand of the barista.  

All four are important.  Nothing is more important than the grinder.

/ / / / /

Babbie's Rule* of Fifteens:
-- Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale.
-- Roasted coffee beans should be ground within 15 days, or they go stale.
-- Ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale.

/ / / /

More things to consider:

Standard Questions:
1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's capabilities.)
2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at ay one time? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's ability to work continuously.)
3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's durability.)
4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pourover machine with its own reservoir?
5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit?
6)  What is your budget for a new machine?  Does that also include a grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder?

Also, you should probably check out the types of machines that exist.

Cheers,
Jason

* OK, so there are very few hard-and-fast "rules" -- more like "rules-of-thumb."

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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cremagourmand
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Location: MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

Thanks Jason, I am happy to have MLK day off so I can solver this puzzle about which espresso machine will be best for the office.

*The grinder has to be in the budget of less then 1K
*I am in the Boston area and have found a roaster I just love.
*The machine has to be semi or fully automatic (no packing of the coffee its gotta be done by the machine)
        (It would seem that a grinder as part of the machine would be best)
  • And it has to produce great coffee no matter who is operating the machine

On average it needs to make 2-3 cups around the same time
Weekly average of cups less then 10
Equal split between milk drinks and espresso
We might be able to boost the amps to 20 I am not sure. I guess we should count on 15.

Hope that helps. Thanks for your consideration.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,039
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 1:35pm
Subject: Re: Pressure Bars: What is the minimum acceptable level to get thick CREMA?
 

seems clear you didn't read the buying guide.  the only machines that "pack the ground coffee" for you are superautos.  There is really NO machine on the market that meets your criteria of 1) having the machine do it all for you; and, 2) makes great coffee, especially if you can't spend more than $1k.  Please read the provided references...especially the machine buying guide.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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