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Old 02-20-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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Affordable Espresso Machine

I am looking to buy an espresso machine and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations. I would like to keep the price around 200-250.

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Old 02-20-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
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I have the Capresso Ultima which is just above your stated range, but it has been on my counter and used for about 8 years now, and still going strong.

I liked it so much I got my Brother a Capresso for Christmas a couple years after I got mine. I don't see the model I got him on their site any more.

His died in a week, I called and the cross shipped a new one with return label with no fuss at all. The replacement is still going strong.

They are great machines, and the customer service was outstanding.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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If you do not mind using pods (like Kurig machines) then I highly recommend the Nespresso machines. They make an excellent cup and are right in your price range. They are also very attractive machines and are extremely easy to use and keep looking nice.

They have 16 (I think) regular varieties that they sell, but they also contantly have special espressos that they sell as well so there is plenty of variety. If you really want to use your own grind though then they sell after market reusable pods so you can fill your own instead of buying their coffee. I think their coffee is great though so I have not had to buy my own, but if you are looking to save some money then that would be a good way. With the pods it breaks down to about $.50 - $.65 per cup. Pods are much more expensive than buying the loose coffee, but the convenience can be worth it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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Check out Whole Latte Love:

Wholelattelove.com: Espresso Machines: Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

I love these guys. They have reviews on all of their products. I bought a refurbished Gaggia "Super Automatic" machine from them almost 8 years ago. Awesome coffee machine that does everything but sing "O Solo Mio." They gave me a two year guarantee at the time, and it still works perfectly to this day.

They also have an extensive knowledge base right on their website, as well as a lot of "how to" videos.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Check out Whole Latte Love:

Wholelattelove.com: Espresso Machines: Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

I love these guys. They have reviews on all of their products. I bought a refurbished Gaggia "Super Automatic" machine from them almost 8 years ago. Awesome coffee machine that does everything but sing "O Solo Mio." They gave me a two year guarantee at the time, and it still works perfectly to this day.

They also have an extensive knowledge base right on their website, as well as a lot of "how to" videos.
Wow, big selection; interesting site.

A friend of mine has a "super automatic" Jura. It drives me nuts, as a guest using it. "Susana, it says _________. What do I do?" It puts messages for all kinds of things.

My Makita, "semi-automatic" was a wedding present in 1997 and it's still going strong.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:40 PM   #6
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A friend of mine has a "super automatic" Jura. It drives me nuts, as a guest using it. "Susana, it says _________. What do I do?" It puts messages for all kinds of things.
Ours does that, too, but everything is pretty straightforward. The messages are normally limited to things like "add water", "add coffee", or "dump grounds."

As far as buttons, it has a big red on/off switch, and three buttons for small, medium, and large coffee. If someone with my limited intelligence can use it, anyone can.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Ours does that, too, but everything is pretty straightforward. The messages are normally limited to things like "add water", "add coffee", or "dump grounds."

As far as buttons, it has a big red on/off switch, and three buttons for small, medium, and large coffee. If someone with my limited intelligence can use it, anyone can.
Limited intelligence, my bum.

I did say "as a guest". Where are her coffee beans today? Where is the distilled water? And that is after she has trained me There are also messages about cleaning cycles. Hers only has one button for the coffee and it rotates so the machine calls it a rotary, which had me completely baffled.

To make it all more interesting, her machine posts its messages in French, which she speaks even better than she speaks English.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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I have one of these - it works every time and cost about 15 bucks...


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Old 02-20-2012, 02:22 PM   #9
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I have one of these - it works every time and cost about 15 bucks...

Attachment 13060
I have one of those too. But, those aren't called espresso makers any more. Now they are mocha makers. The coffee one of those makes is good, but it really isn't the same as espresso from the a machine with a pump or a piston.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #10
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All this talk of espresso, I'm going to go make me one.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cvanhorn View Post
I am looking to buy an espresso machine and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations. I would like to keep the price around 200-250.
Sadly you missed out on a great deal by a start up company making a new espresso machine. They offered their machine to early adopters for $200 and it had a custom designed thermoblock, pid controller and is pod compatible. They tested their prototypes in a coffee shop.

PID-Controlled Espresso Machine by Gleb Polyakov and Igor Zamlinsky

You can actually still pre-order (as of writing this) for $300 and it may potentially come with design changes made during the manufacturing of other pre-orders. If I was going to be buying an espresso machine I would be buying this one.

Their machine will go on sale for about $400 after they fill the pre-orders.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I have one of these - it works every time and cost about 15 bucks...

Attachment 13060

That is what I use!

I got mine in a thrift shop for a couple of bucks, cheap and easy, who could ask for anything more!
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea

That is what I use!

I got mine in a thrift shop for a couple of bucks, cheap and easy, who could ask for anything more!
Got one of those too. Love the space it doesn't take up.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:40 PM   #14
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Nespresso it is!

I ended up getting a Nespresso machine, and have no complaints thus far. For my busy lifestyle it is nice to be able to wake up, turn it on and brew a cup in the matter of seconds. Some day I think that I would enjoy a semi-automatic machine but price wise this is a perfect fit for me. I highly recommend Nespresso products if anyone is in the market. Thanks for all of you helpful advise DC!
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