jabraham Senior Member Joined: 8 Aug 2006 Posts: 21 Location: Calgary Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso Drip: Melitta pour over
Posted Sat Oct 5, 2013, 5:40pm Subject: Place for machines in Calgary
I wouldn't mind buying an espresso machine in person in Calgary, but most stores only sell the cheaper machines.
Here's what I've found for retailers of better machines:
Cappuccino King on Edmonton Trail (everyone seems to like them, but they have a pretty limited selection of machines last I checked) Kilian in Kensington, just a few hand chosen machines last I looked Orange Works Kitchen in North Hill mall (never been there, just found it on the Internet, might go tomorrow) National Cappuccino never been there, there web page seems dated, looks more B2B than retail Mr Cappuccino is B2B but might still have some retail. I've heard a few stories in person and online suggesting they should be avoided, but they are old stories so maybe not relevant anymore.
If Edmonton is an option, Caffetech has an excellent selection. They sell everything that Chris's coffee sells.
Cappuccino King sells a decent selection of Italian machines. Mainly Izzo, Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, Jura and Elektra. It's a very well laid out boutique espresso equipment shop. I go there for all of my accessories. If there is something you can think of that goes with an espresso machine, they'll have it.
Never went to Kilian, but I'll have to check it out.
Phil and Sebastians has a very limited selection of espresso machines.. Mainly just the Rancilio Silvia, although I'm sure that they could get something else in. I'd go there more for the accessories. I think I recall they did sell some Baratza grinders as well as some unrelated Bonavita drip stuff.
The only machines I've seen Fratello sell is the Breville Double Boiler. I buy my coffee from them because they know how to roast. :-)
Orangeworks has a decent selection of machines.. Rancilio, Expobar and the Breville DB. They have a good selection of Baratza and Compak grinders, nobody else in Calgary sells those. They also have an excellent accessories selection. Keep in mind, since they are the first espresso equipment supplier in Alberta to be located in a mall, you can't expect a huge showroom! :) They also sell massive amounts of kitchen equipment and accessories along with coffee stuff. Kudos to the owner for trying something new. I hope they stay around for a long time.
National Cappuccino is where you go if you want to buy Wega or La Marzocco machines. The owner there is a big LM fanatic and loves those machines. I've never really been there myself, but I would like to check the place out sometime. I'd walk in there with the expectation that it's primarily meant for commercial businesses only and not for prosumers.
Mr. Cappuccino has a very limited selection of machines for the prosumer. They sell Magister and Rancilio. They also sell some Mazzer stuff there as well. I saw an Ascaso machine there on display but they didn't have any for sale when I went there. Strangely enough, they also sell other food service equipment, like mixers, paninni presses, etc.
So, coming back to it all... (Bit of a rant here.)
I think in some ways, espresso machines suffer from vacuum cleaner syndrome. IE. You pay outrageous amounts of cash for very basic technology, mainly because the demand isn't there. (I still can't figure out how someone who sells a machine with a motor, a fan, a bag, a case and a hose can charge $3000 for it.)
All I can say is that if you are planning on buying from a Calgary vendor, make sure you can price match against vendors outside of Calgary. Also, be sure that you compare features closely and don't buy the first shiny thing you see. :-)
At the risk of getting sued for libel, I won't say anything negative about the Calgarian vendors above, but what I will say is that my own espresso equipment purchasing experiences have been somewhat frustrating and difficult, especially when I had to walk out the door empty handed because they simply couldn't compete. Maybe that's changed in the last two years.
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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