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      02-05-2011, 11:05 AM   #1
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coffee connoisseurs: what machine do you have?

I was wondering what machines you guys recommend for home use? I'm looking for an espresso machine, either super automatic for under $800 or manual for ~$500.

One that caught my eye was this one:
http://www.brevilleusa.com/the-barista-express.html
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      02-05-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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inb4 jaykay

I don't have an espresso machine.... yet. Hard to justify the cost when I need to renovate 3 bathrooms first.
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      02-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #3
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i've got a Breville Ikon and it's been fantastic for the last 3 years. the machine is capable of making decent espresso as long as your grind is perfectly dialed in and the steam wand is very good (ditch the included "frother" though and learn how to steam milk properly).

Breville has a very thoughtful design philosophy and i don't think they can be beaten within their price range. personally though i would get the $500 machine (BES830XL) and a separate burr grinder for better reliability.
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      02-05-2011, 12:21 PM   #4
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IDK ....Let me check with the Barrista at Peet's and get back to you.


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      02-05-2011, 12:38 PM   #5
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La Pavoni Pro
Rancilio MDX80 Grinder
RB Tamp

DO NOT BUY A BREVILLE. Hell, dont buy anything you've ever heard of. $500 isn't very much to get into to the coffee game, as the machine is only as good as your grinder. Superautomatics are garbage.
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      02-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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In as much as I realize that, I'm not going to buy a $1600 grinder. I'm not an aficionado when it comes to espresso. That being said, got any better recommendations?
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      02-05-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

Theres a quick guide to buying a machine. Plus the forum is full of helpful friendly people.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Rancil..._doserless.cfm

The Rancilio Silvia & Rocky combo is basically the go-to beginner espresso setup as its powerful enough to both teach you and there will be a long time before you grow out of it.

Then you need beans. Fresh beans. Good beans.
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      02-05-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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Thanks man. I'll check it out.
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      02-05-2011, 12:50 PM   #9
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damn jaykay you take coffee... really seriously
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      02-05-2011, 01:00 PM   #10
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Also, do your self a favor and find a coffee shop with good beans, equipment, and baristas. I see your in fairfield county. Not sure if you ever make it over to Westchester area but there is one of the top coffee shops in the country, coffee lab roasters. You need to taste great espresso before purchasing a machine. You need to understand that great espresso is a commitment of money and time.

If after you've had great espresso you still think starbucks is ok, then you can go with a mediocre machine and make mediocre espresso.

I started with a POS machine. Slowly moved to a naked portafilter, then a better grinder, then better beans and my espresso slowly started improving. Got a good local deal on a used machine and took it from there.

But until I visited an amazing coffee shop and met a guy who gave me a few lessons, I had no idea what espresso could be. To this day it was the most amazing cup I've ever had.
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      02-05-2011, 01:08 PM   #11
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One of the best manual machine for home use (mentioned above):

http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/rancilio_silvia

http://www.rancilio.it/rancilio/prod...id_category=26

Best coffee I've found thus far:

http://www.goldencoffeeboxwebwinkel....g-p-16151.html
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      02-05-2011, 01:15 PM   #12
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I wish there was a place nearby where I could test out the Silvia... hmm...
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      02-05-2011, 01:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy734 View Post
I wish there was a place nearby where I could test out the Silvia... hmm...
Look in your phone book. There are usually companies who service and sell the machines. Usually under coffee suppliers or espresso. And if by try out you mean teach you how to use than yeah, most of the places will pull a shot for you and possibly teach you how to pull some good shots.
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      02-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #14
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Wow. I didn't think machines would go THAT high.
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      02-05-2011, 01:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chungdae View Post
Wow. I didn't think machines would go THAT high.
High? Those are single group home units. You can get machines worth more than your 3. There are some ridiculous 3-5 group hand made machines out there. Synesso comes to mind. Orgasm in a cup.
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      02-05-2011, 01:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayKay335i View Post
Look in your phone book. There are usually companies who service and sell the machines. Usually under coffee suppliers or espresso. And if by try out you mean teach you how to use than yeah, most of the places will pull a shot for you and possibly teach you how to pull some good shots.
Can't find one yet... who would've thought it would be this difficult
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      02-05-2011, 01:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy734 View Post
Can't find one yet... who would've thought it would be this difficult
Hahah. You have no idea. I'm much less into it now because I dont have the time but back when I did, ohh boy... Even did my own roasting.
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      02-05-2011, 01:48 PM   #18
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that's hardcore man!
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      02-06-2011, 12:24 PM   #19
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Yup, another vote for the Rancilio Silvia. I picked ours up from Seattle Coffee gear for $550 or $550 a few years ago.
My wife and I use it about every day. After a couple weeks of learning we can consistently make as good or better brews than most of the stands.

Find a good source of fresh beans and get a good burr grinder. We tried using a regular grinder for a while and the coffee just didn't come out as good as it could.
We have a Capresso burr grinder that was around $100 and it works really well. It was way cheaper than the Rocky grinder they try selling with the Silvia.
Go to a shop that can show you how to use the machine you buy.
On the Silvia the trick is to steam the milk, then run off the excess heat by running hot water, then pour your shots.
This gets the water at the right temp for the shots since steaming is higher.
You also need to figure out just the right pressure to tamp the coffee. That's the biggest trick to getting the brew right.
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      02-06-2011, 12:36 PM   #20
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Gaggia Baby Class http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/baby_class.cfm ...also the Grinder is pretty critical...if you're only a moderate coffee snob its prolly best to just find a good coffeehouse. I was addicted to Diedrichs until Starbucks bought and squashed them...so that motivated me to buy some equipment of my own.
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      02-06-2011, 01:08 PM   #21
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Youd be better off with the gaggia classic than the baby class as they share the same innards. The key with the Slivia is to learn to heat cycle it. There are a million threads and techniques out there on the internet or somepeople PID them with electric thermostats and boiler controls. You dont want to put something your going to grow out of because you'll in essence have a $300-500 POS on your counter that youll have to pawn off for some lowball price on CL.

Better off starting with something to grow into. Also, spend the 2-4 on a grinder. You will never get consistant grinds with a cheap one. Le-Lit PL53 is a great starting point for home use around $250. Or the Rockey doserless.
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      02-06-2011, 01:12 PM   #22
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http://www.surlatable.com/product/PR...Auto-Drip-Stop

my neighbors have this machine and love it. they make a lot of coffee too.
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