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Old 08-29-2006, 04:07 PM   #21
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I don't deny that a $ 20 contraption can make a decent cup of coffee.

But espresso, it ain't.

And espresso lovers are not impressed.

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:30 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexR
I don't deny that a $ 20 contraption can make a decent cup of coffee.

But espresso, it ain't.

And espresso lovers are not impressed.

Best regards,
Alex R.

i love espresso. and i love the 20 dollar contraption Wasnt that thing the first espresso maker and still being used in every italian==
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:21 AM   #23
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MLB, you have done a right thing, and you are right!! those things ARE for making real espresso coffees (In Italy, they simply call it "cafe", it is their regular coffee!!), and what you are making is exactly that.

I am glad you are enjoying it!!
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Old 09-11-2006, 01:14 PM   #24
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My next trip to my favorite kitchen/gourmet food shop I will buy one of the authentic Italian espresso makers (like MLB's). I keep meaning to buy one but somehow I keep walking out without one! :-(
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:30 AM   #25
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Thumbs up Saeco 'family expresso machine

In support of Alex R, I have been using a SAECO Superautomatica Family machine since 1999. I find it gives extemely good coffee with strongly pronounced flavour. The pressure is all important. I did have a lot of problems initially when I bought it from a catering supplier in Borgo San Lorenzo (near Florence). It simply didn't work properly; so I took it back to the UK service agent in Croydon on my return to England. They refused to touch it as it hadn't been bought in England. They told me it would have to be taken back to the place where I bought it. I put it in the boot of my car and returned to B san L. A most surprised shopkeeper was there. After some 'discussions' he telephoned the factory in Bologna. They said that I should take it back to London (Croydon) where they would ensure the fault(s) were recified. I did this .......and it has given me no trouble since. I look after it meticulously since it is being used on a frequent basis at our B&B/Gite operation near Bordeaux. (Alex R nb). I use only mineral water for fear of 'gumming up' the complicated internal workings. LeCros
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:12 AM   #26
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The stove top ones are OK, but if you do get one, I would choose to buy stainless steel not aluminium. I moved away from a stove top coffee maker to a Mini Moka 15-bar pressure espresso machine. Everyone comments on how good the coffee is, even with fairly ordinary coffee. You get a good crema on the top, which you don't get with a stove top pot, and the taste really is incomparable. My machine cost €130. I've had it five years and have never had a problem with it. I too use mineral water due to its cleaner taste and smell than tap water. Descaling tablets are available to deal with any lime build-up should this develop.

The fundamental factor is pressure. Mine is 15 bar, I've seen 19 bar but have never tried the coffee. There is no point getting less than 15 bar, even though you see 4 and 10-bar machines about. I personally would get a separate grinder. A bit more inconvenient, but some friends have had the grinder fail on combined units. Also, make sure the one you opt for will take ground coffee. It's surprising how many machines nowadays will only work with "pods".

A bit depends on how 'automatic' you want the whole process to be and how much counter space you have. Some of these machines are a fair size. I wouldn't buy one from Amazon, for example, without seeing one in a shop to give myself an idea of how big it is.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:20 AM   #27
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I should have added one other comment. The spout for heating and frothing the milk takes a surprising amount of time to heat the milk. For an ordinary cafe con leche/latte, there's enough crema on the espresso to create a bit of pleasing froth. For a latte, I heat the milk in the cup and then drip the coffee in on top. Delicious. No better way to start the day.

If you want a cappucino, heat the milk in the microwave (for example) first and then give it a froth using the spout. Saves you time and it saves you wasting water from the machine's tank.
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Old 10-16-2006, 04:33 AM   #28
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re cappucino with coffee from a stove top machine.....its very quick. I like skimmed milk and its quicker and easier to frother, but full cream milk or semi skimmed works too. Just put the milk, in a milk pan (!) on the hob and whisk. Skimmed makes a stable froth in seconds, full cream in half the time the coffe has taken.

Cappucino lovers wanting a stove top should not be put off. I usually have a latte or a capucino in the morning rather than espresso.....the milk content makes it breakfast as far as I am concerned.
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Old 10-31-2006, 01:46 PM   #29
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this is for Charlotte...

Charlotte, I tried to PM you but your box is full and I can't reply to your question, so I will post it here... though I don't have a very helpful answer I wanted to respond to you all the same...

I am not quite sure of the availability of replacement parts in Canada, here stove top espresso maker is a very popular everyday item, we bought ours from a street vendor for 6 (like 8 or 9 CAD), and replacement parts like the rings are readily available at kitchen/hardware shops.
Unfortunately I am not at all familiar with how the circumstances are in Canada when it comes to this type of coffee makers, but you may want to inquire about it at a large, well equiped shops of this sort, or a coffee specialty shop, or check on ebay(the only problem with ebay for something like this though, you may have to pay more for S/H than the item itself!).
I hope you will be able to find it, but if you can't let me know... if you could tell me the exact design or demention, I may be able to get it for you here.
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