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Mylegsbig 08-27-2006 08:56 AM

Espresso Machine - Help Me Pick One!
Hey guys. I want to get an espresso machine for me and my fiancee. Nothing fancy, just RELIABLE. doesnt have to be a mocha super latte cappucino frappucino whip cream almond icecream.

i just want it to turn my delicious gourmet coffee beans into pure espresso.

How much should i be looking to spend?

can i get something for 300 dollars?


ill reemphasize im looking for quality consistency and longevity.

AlexR 08-27-2006 09:07 AM


You've asked a fascinating question, and I'll be *very* interested to read the replies!

Wikipedia offers a good introduction : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espresso_Machine

I've owned several brands of espresso machines through the years.

I must confess a fondness for the kind that grind whole beans rather than use pre-ground coffee

I currently use a Saeco "superautomatica FAMILY". It works just fine *except* it leaks and has to go to the repair shop twice a year :-(.

My experience altogether with these machines is that they are very fragile and need lots of after-sales service. Of course, even if the machine is guaranteed, you're minus one machine all the time the thing is in the shop :-((((.

The Nespresso solution is ideal for people who make only a couple of cups a day, but is impractical for people like me because the cost of the capules is super-expensive...

All the best,
Alex R.

Mylegsbig 08-27-2006 09:33 AM

Alex i will be using whole beans to make my espresso.

i don't mind two trips to the repair shop a year.

tell me more Alex!

I like personal experiences not google links.

Thanks in advance

Angie 08-27-2006 09:40 AM

We have one that gets used daily. It's nothing fancy and it costs us around $70.00. We got it at Walmart.com back in 2003. We have never had a problem with it...


AlexR 08-27-2006 10:15 AM

Pressure is a key factor. The more the pressure (up to a certain degree, of course!) the more flavor will be extracted from the coffee.

I found this Web link: http://www.aabreecoffee.com/rating.cfm?itemID=22
but my machine cost nowhere near this much!

Here's the Saeco site: http://www.aabreecoffee.com/rating.cfm?itemID=22

Here's one on sale by Amazon at $ 500 : http://www.amazon.com/Saeco-Vienna/d...ews/B00005LVWQ

I think you need to pay this sort of price for a quality machine, but others may think differently.

Best regards,
Alex R.

lulu 08-27-2006 10:38 AM

I have NEVER had better espresso than with fresh ground beans in a coffer grinder and then a stove top Italian caffettiera. We have them in the tiny size, a medium for four cups and the biggest size for when we have frinds for supper. Its unbeatable in my opinion.....and the money you save can bbe spent on excellent beans! It takes just moments to turn skimmed milk into froth if you fancy a cappucino and fills the kitchen with the smell of satisfaction. My husband worked for what is considered the premium coffee maker in UK stores like Harrods while he was a student one summer....we sure drank a lot of that stuff, but still agreed that our stove top model provided superior espresso and was better value for money.

I know a lot of people don't like the fuss of filling the coffee, but my guess is it takes me thirty seconds to fill and two minutes max to wash...

in any case I hope you enjoy your fancy model! I don't mean to rain on your parade...just giving my caffiene soakerd opinion!

AlexR 08-27-2006 10:57 AM

I have had very decent "stove top Italian caffettiera" too, but what about the crema???
Your stove top coffee is a different beast, good enough in its own way, just not espresso!
I obviously accept your preference, but would just like to stress that we are talking about different drinks, a bit like comparing percolated coffee (of which caffettiera is a variety http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_percolator & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caff%C3%A9), instant coffee, and espresso coffee.

I also found this thread on Fodor's: http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34653085

I might add that:
- my experience is that you need to make at least one cup for the machines to reveal their full potential
- they tend to be very messy : which is why I recommend the machine I referred to: the grounds fall into a drawer, and you can put the grinding unit into the dishwasher

Best regards,
Alex R.

urmaniac13 08-29-2006 08:25 AM

I second the opinion of Lulu wholeheartedly. It is quite simple to use and clean, I don't find it any more trouble than a fancy machine.


Half Baked 08-29-2006 08:30 AM

I have the real fancy one that takes up 2' of counter space so I took it to the basement. I'll bring it up when the I have holiday company for dinner or brunch.

I use the one like Lulu's also.

lulu 08-29-2006 08:35 AM

Perhaps its because Urmaniac13 and I have the Italian men to make the Italian coffee in the Italian caffettiere! I honestly find it very very clean and quick to use on a daily, ok, a few times a day, basis.

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