# Espresso machines

1. Aug 7, 2010

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Does anyone here have an espresso machine? I was thinking of buying one, but when I trust the reviews the best one costs $700 and the best valued one$450. Those prices are steep! http://www.consumersearch.com/espresso-machines

Is it really worth investing that kind of money into an espresso machine?

2. Aug 7, 2010

### TheStatutoryApe

That sounds on the steep side. I'm pretty sure you can get small (one to two shots at a time) units for relatively cheap.

3. Aug 7, 2010

### brewnog

Erm no, just get a stove-top coffee pot!

4. Aug 7, 2010

5. Aug 7, 2010

### Jasongreat

I have a starbucks sirena expresso machine, it wasnt too bad in price. Its easy to use and makes some great expresso. With all the starbucks closings you might be able to find one on clearance, and like everything else nowdays you can find them and other brands used at ebay.

6. Aug 7, 2010

7. Aug 7, 2010

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
I do currently have an espresso machine (senseo) that costs about $70, but it works with pads. It's ok, especially since I received it as a second-hand gift, but the taste isn't that great. I'd prefer buying some fresh (ground) beans in a local coffee delicacy store. Basically I am wondering what causes this huge price differences in these machines, is it really something you should care about when it comes to the taste of the coffee? Thank you for the links, I'll check those out. 8. Aug 7, 2010 ### Evo ### Staff: Mentor Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014 9. Aug 7, 2010 ### turbo Brown dissed the little boiler-pressure machines like mine, but I like it. Selecting grinds that make good-tasting espresso is machine-dependent, IMO. I've had Starbucks and Dunkin' espressos, and I prefer mine. One mug-ful every morning is my daily caffeine quota. I brew a 4 demitasse batch and dump it into my over-sized Smithsonian Zoo souvenir mug. 10. Aug 7, 2010 ### zhermes A really good espresso machine that makes wonderful coffee out of quality beans will easily cost a good grand. At good coffee shops the 3-5 head machines will easily cost$20,000-$50,000. If you want a 'good' cup of espresso at home, i think its basically a crap-shoot with little correlation to cost; and very different responses to different beans and grinds (again not correlated with cost). I, for instance, have a Mr. Coffee (piece-of-junk) single cup, half-plastic, machine that I got at a garage sale for about 10 bucks (probably cost about 40-50 new), and with really cheap cosco coffee, ground course it tastes GREAT. The moral of my story is, if you want to be O.G. go for the$500-$700 ones, or consider a classic piston driven type. Otherwise, if you're just looking to get the job done, considering getting 2or3 low cost version, and trying a dozen different types of coffees and grinds. Best of luck, you'll need it 11. Aug 7, 2010 ### runner For less than$50 you can have one of these. My parents - they developed a taste for that kind of strong coffee - had one that they bought in an Italian market in NYC when I was a kid. They last and last and last and make the real thing. I'm not a coffee drinker myself though. The one they had looked just like the first one on this link:

http://www.espressozone.com/stovetop-espresso-makers.aspx

12. Aug 8, 2010

### Andre

That's a definite maybe. I would be happy to demonstrate ours.

On the upside:
One push of a button and you get a delicious cup of coffee.
Two pushes for two cups.

On the downside:
One push of the button and you get a red light for water level low or ground tray full or both or bean container empty or in rare cases all three of them.

While you can anticipate water and beans, you cannot anticipate the tray, obviously you could empty it prematurely but the mechanism is not reset and continues counting, so you may have to repeat that after the next cup of coffee.

Another consideration could be total life time depending on how hard the water is.

So it all boils down to what a delicious cup of coffee is worth.

13. Aug 8, 2010

### Dr Lots-o'watts

Wow, after reading this thread, I just had to go to Starbucks and review solid state physics.

14. Aug 9, 2010

### IMP

A topic I hold dear, coffee!

After many years of various coffee/espresso solutions, I have settled on the following, and it works absolutely fantastic for me personally:

Here is the espresso maker I use daily:

And here is the coffee/espresso I use exclusively:
https://www.amazon.com/Lavazza-Espr...r_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1281380371&sr=8-4

Don't let the fact that this is a low-cost solution turn you off. Cheap is not always bad, and in this case it is definitely not! Simple to use, simply to clean, highly portable, inexpensive.

15. Aug 9, 2010

### GeorgCantor

In Europe, the Italian brand Saeco is the king. A good 2-cup machine with grinder costs \$250 and up.

16. Aug 12, 2010

### eyeofdivine

17. Aug 12, 2010

### Norman

I have a Krups (Allegro I think) and I like it. At least, I did. I apparently left some grounds in it for a few months and bacteria (and other unknown gross things) grew in the water well. Bad surprise when I was laid up in a cast for a few weeks and couldn't drive. I really wanted a cappuccino that night too...

I am trying to figure out how to clean it out since my hands and other cleaning instruments do not fit into the water reservoir.

Anyways, it makes a decent cup of espresso. I really think grind and coffee are the most important decisions when making coffee. I always used whole bean, ground fresh right before brewing. Getting a good grinder can be expensive too, since the burr grinders are much better and typically cost a lot more.

18. Aug 12, 2010

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
I have done some research since the start of this thread and I'm amazed how much is involved when it comes to these machines. I liked Evo her videos, those were fun to watch.

Apparently the full automatic machines are the easiest to operate, but don't give the best quality of brew. I also came across many people who said that their fancy machine needed multiple parts replaced during its lifetime.

The half-automatic machines give the best cup of coffee, depending on the person brewing it . I did read about pressurized portafilters, which makes it easier to get a good brew without being an expert on the grind and tamping of the beans (the filter builds up the appropriate pressure by itself).

I haven't really made any kind of decision yet, I guess it would either be a Gaggia Classic with a good grinder/pressurized portafilter or a Nespresso (easy, just insert a capsule).

19. Aug 12, 2010

### eyeofdivine

you could try something like an antibacterial and rinse it out a few times that should get rid of any nasty stuff still in there and if your a bit worried then dilute it in water and run it through the machine.

Usually you can pull out the water resevour though.

20. Aug 12, 2010

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
I just cleaned my Senseo machine, to remove calcium sediments, and also noticed that the water well was growing something. Fortunately my hands are small enough so I was able to clean it out.. but something happened to the coffee.. it taste like a cup of brown water now, not sure what happened.

21. Aug 12, 2010

### lisab

Staff Emeritus
Oh, you killed the teeny, tiny little coffee elves in your coffee machine!

22. Aug 12, 2010

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
I think so