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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: majorvices on July 23, 2016, 03:04:07 PM

Title: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on July 23, 2016, 03:04:07 PM
Who has a great recommendation on Espresso machines? I owned a cheap Delongi for several years that made a decent shot. Looking maybe at this one on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Breville-BES870XL-Barista-Express-Espresso/dp/B00CH9QWOU/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1469285740&sr=1-6&keywords=espresso+machine
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: pete b on July 23, 2016, 03:30:16 PM
I use one sporadically so a cheap Mr coffee has been all I need. When I am looking to get a fairly pricey kitchen item I go to Cook's illustrated to see if they have done some reviews.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on July 23, 2016, 03:35:57 PM
Yeah I don't want a cheap steam powered one. The good ones use a pump. The Delongi I had was a 15 bar pump driven espresso machine. Looks like they are still available and under a $100.

From the reviews of all the espresso machines I have seen on line it seems like you can only rent them, not own them, since they wear out after a couple of years.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: Alewyfe on July 23, 2016, 04:36:41 PM
 would get the model without the burr grinder. you probably already have a good grinder. why pay for another one?
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on July 23, 2016, 06:23:02 PM
I like coffeegeek for reviews: http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/brevillebes860xl

In the old days, during my espresso serial obsession, the rule was to first buy the best grinder you can afford and then buy for an espresso machine. I used to have  a Rancilio Silvia with an external pid . Then my coffee obsession went out of hand, and now I hand-pour filter coffee. With the right quality of coffee (the best and freshest light roasted you can find), better than 90% of espresso coffee.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: BrewingRover on July 23, 2016, 06:24:34 PM
I've had an earlier model of this for at least six years and it's still going strong (I seriously can't remember when I bought it).
https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Saeco-Espresso-Machine-Stainless/dp/B00141AZOA

I don't use it every day, so maybe it wouldn't last as long under heavier use.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on July 23, 2016, 07:51:03 PM
I like coffeegeek for reviews: http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/brevillebes860xl

In the old days, during my espresso serial obsession, the rule was to first buy the best grinder you can afford and then buy for an espresso machine. I used to have  a Rancilio Silvia with an external pid . Then my coffee obsession went out of hand, and now I hand-pour filter coffee. With the right quality of coffee (the best and freshest light roasted you can find), better than 90% of espresso coffee.

Thanks. Your coffee set up is exactly what I use and I agree it makes superior coffee. But it doesn't make espresso. ;)
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on July 23, 2016, 07:52:12 PM
would get the model without the burr grinder. you probably already have a good grinder. why pay for another one?

You are right, I do already have a top of the line burr gringer. I bought this one anyway because, well, what the hell. :0
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: tonyp on July 24, 2016, 04:16:30 AM
the /r/coffee wiki over on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/Coffee/wiki/gear_guide_machines#wiki_low_range) has a lot of really good info broken down by price range. There are also sections on grinders, pour-overs, etc etc on the main page:

Gear Suggestion main page (https://www.reddit.com/r/Coffee/wiki/gear#wiki_coffee_gear_suggestions)

Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: narvin on July 24, 2016, 02:33:45 PM
Who has a great recommendation on Espresso machines? I owned a cheap Delongi for several years that made a decent shot. Looking maybe at this one on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Breville-BES870XL-Barista-Express-Espresso/dp/B00CH9QWOU/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1469285740&sr=1-6&keywords=espresso+machine

We have this one.  No complaints, makes great espresso.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: Delo on July 25, 2016, 01:47:46 PM
We had a krupps a long time ago and it made great espresso until it crapped out.    We’ve had a rancilio silvia and have been making espresso on it everyday for a few years now.  I have been very happy with it, but it can be finicky.  Grind, freshness of beans, amount of pressure tamping. It can take a while to get the hang of making great espresso every time and you definitely need a good burr grinder. The most important thing is the coffee.  If you use crappy coffee expect crappy espresso.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on July 25, 2016, 02:48:40 PM
We had a krupps a long time ago and it made great espresso until it crapped out.    We’ve had a rancilio silvia and have been making espresso on it everyday for a few years now.  I have been very happy with it, but it can be finicky.  Grind, freshness of beans, amount of pressure tamping. It can take a while to get the hang of making great espresso every time and you definitely need a good burr grinder. The most important thing is the coffee.  If you use crappy coffee expect crappy espresso.

I only use whole beans from a local roaster and have a top of the line burr grinder. I'm probably a bigger coffee snob than I am beer snob.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on July 25, 2016, 02:49:13 PM
Who has a great recommendation on Espresso machines? I owned a cheap Delongi for several years that made a decent shot. Looking maybe at this one on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Breville-BES870XL-Barista-Express-Espresso/dp/B00CH9QWOU/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1469285740&sr=1-6&keywords=espresso+machine

We have this one.  No complaints, makes great espresso.

Awesome! I'm pretty excited about receiving the unit.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on July 25, 2016, 10:10:53 PM
I only use whole beans from a local roaster and have a top of the line burr grinder. I'm probably a bigger coffee snob than I am beer snob.

Same here. I hope single origin coffee, relatively lightly roasted, and you use filtered water?
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on July 25, 2016, 10:12:58 PM
Plus, you only use the freshest possible coffee of which you know on which day it has been roasted, and, if necessary, store the beans in the freezer? And if you go to Italy you bring your own coffee? And you own a roaster?
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: narvin on July 25, 2016, 10:29:12 PM
I've heard differing things about the freezer.  Since I only get local coffee (nose in air), I just keep the extras in the fridge and we try to use it fast.

Owning a roaster... that's not in the cards  ;)  Too much beer stuff taking up space for that.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on July 26, 2016, 01:33:21 AM
I only use whole beans from a local roaster and have a top of the line burr grinder. I'm probably a bigger coffee snob than I am beer snob.

Same here. I hope single origin coffee, relatively lightly roasted, and you use filtered water?

Yes and yes and yes. The guy that roasts my coffee hands roasts every batch. He is a true craftsman. Excellent coffee.

I have have heard both good and bad about storing coffee in freezer. Now, most recently, there is some science that says that grinding frozen coffee makes the best coffee because of the mire uniform way in which the beans are crushed.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on July 26, 2016, 08:14:08 AM
And Italy or no Italy, I always take my own coffee with me whenever I travel ;)
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: Delo on July 26, 2016, 01:31:18 PM
The guy that roasts my coffee hands roasts every batch. He is a true craftsman. Excellent coffee.

I have have heard both good and bad about storing coffee in freezer. Now, most recently, there is some science that says that grinding frozen coffee makes the best coffee because of the mire uniform way in which the beans are crushed.
You are lucky. I can't say that I am a big coffee snob, but I am pretty picky, and my wife is worse.  Especially when it comes to espresso.  I would love to have a local roaster, but we have tried a number of espresso beans from local places and most of it has been pretty terrible. It took a while before we found beans that we liked. I have also pretty much given up on finding a good espresso at coffee shops. 

On a coffee related note, I have been using a Vietnamese phin to brew my normal coffee.  It takes a while but IMO it makes a very flavorful cup of coffee.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on July 26, 2016, 02:45:58 PM
I'm sure there are good roasters that can mail you fresh beans? Order a couple of pounds and store the beans in the freezer (not fridge). Works perfectly.

On a side note, I was in a convent in the Ardennes last year where my girlfriend was giving taiji classes. One evening during supper a nun came to me when she saw me pour my own coffee and asked me whether she could have a cup. She literally had a figurative orgasm when she tasted my coffee. She told me she had had only lousy convent coffee since she had joined the monastery in the early sixties. This was the only good cup she had had in all that time. So every night after that I offered her coffee, but she always refused. Not sure why because Jesus nowhere in the bible says that drinking a nice cuppa joe is  sinful ;)
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: chezteth on July 26, 2016, 05:56:54 PM
I don't keep coffee in the freezer for a few reasons. First, I only roast enough for a few days. Secondly, as the coffee rests and degasses the flavor changes. Coffees like Ethiopian can develop some awesome blueberry / berry notes if allowed to rest a few days. Lastly, I'm concerned about any off flavors the beans could pick up from being in the freezer. Although, everyone has their own methods just like homebrewing.
I currently have the Saeco espresso machine that I purchased several years ago. It's decent for the money. Lately, I've been considering finding an older hand pump espresso machine. They look awesome and it takes some additional skill to pull a great shot.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: reverseapachemaster on August 01, 2016, 03:40:35 PM
I'm not a big espresso fan but my wife likes it from time to time. In her head she wants an espresso machine but I strongly suspect it will suffer the same fate as most espresso machines. She'll use it a few times and get tired of the level of detail involved in making espresso and the amount of cleaning necessary each time it is used.

Last week I ordered a moka pot. It's not true espresso in a modern, machine-produced sense but will get close enough to satisfy her occasional desire for espresso while giving me another option to make a great cup of coffee. I only paid $15 for a stainless steel 4 cup Bialetti, far less than a good $1000 pump-driven espresso machine.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: chezteth on August 01, 2016, 05:29:17 PM
I'm not a big espresso fan but my wife likes it from time to time. In her head she wants an espresso machine but I strongly suspect it will suffer the same fate as most espresso machines. She'll use it a few times and get tired of the level of detail involved in making espresso and the amount of cleaning necessary each time it is used.

Last week I ordered a moka pot. It's not true espresso in a modern, machine-produced sense but will get close enough to satisfy her occasional desire for espresso while giving me another option to make a great cup of coffee. I only paid $15 for a stainless steel 4 cup Bialetti, far less than a good $1000 pump-driven espresso machine.
That's one coffee brewing device I haven't purchased yet. I use an Aeropress on a daily basis. Definitely further from true espresso than a Moka pot produces but still makes really good, strong coffee.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on August 01, 2016, 07:15:32 PM
I guess for me I love the art involved so I'm not going to stop using it. In fact, I'll probably finally buy a roaster later this year. I have used it every day since I bought it. It is a ton of fun to use but I certainly could see it becoming only a weekend operation (though, honestly, it doesn't take that much time to make or clean.)

I have 2 different size mocha pots that I bring car camping sometimes.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on August 01, 2016, 07:18:49 PM

That's one coffee brewing device I haven't purchased yet. I use an Aeropress on a daily basis. Definitely further from true espresso than a Moka pot produces but still makes really good, strong coffee.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Aeropress is closer to espresso than a mocha pot.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on August 01, 2016, 07:55:51 PM
Just get the freshest and best coffee beans on the planet, and a very good grinder. Then you can make fabulous coffee with your grandmother's stockings.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on August 01, 2016, 07:57:07 PM
Ouch. AND good water. No RO or sh#t like that.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on August 02, 2016, 03:45:20 PM
Just get the freshest and best coffee beans on the planet, and a very good grinder. Then you can make fabulous coffee with your grandmother's stockings.

I agree the coffee makes all the difference. However the preparation is also important. I like espresso but it hasn't replaced my simple single cup hand pour. That makes the best coffee for my tastes. I like the Aeropress but think the hand pour is still better. I'm not a big fan of the flavor of press pot coffee but will drink it that way from to time (used to be my go to preference.)

Anything is better than preground nasty hotel coffee.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: theoman on August 05, 2016, 06:59:05 AM
Just get the freshest and best coffee beans on the planet, and a very good grinder. Then you can make fabulous coffee with your grandmother's stockings.

I agree the coffee makes all the difference. However the preparation is also important. I like espresso but it hasn't replaced my simple single cup hand pour. That makes the best coffee for my tastes. I like the Aeropress but think the hand pour is still better. I'm not a big fan of the flavor of press pot coffee but will drink it that way from to time (used to be my go to preference.)

Anything is better than preground nasty hotel coffee.

I might have more in common with homoeccentricus than I care to admit.

I agree that process is also important. Since my espresso machine died (Gaggia Baby Class), I've been using an Aeropress. I think I've found a good balance between simplicity and flavor, the key being temperature. I think the same goes with press pot coffee. As homebrewers, we have cool tools on hand like a Thermapen. My Thermapen gets more use with coffee than beer these days. 

Oh, and on roasters... I've been doing the hot air popcorn popper method for years. The volume is too low for hardcore drinkers, but it works.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on August 05, 2016, 09:13:32 AM
I might have more in common with homoeccentricus than I care to admit.

I agree that process is also important. Since my espresso machine died (Gaggia Baby Class), I've been using an Aeropress. I think I've found a good balance between simplicity and flavor, the key being temperature. I think the same goes with press pot coffee. As homebrewers, we have cool tools on hand like a Thermapen. My Thermapen gets more use with coffee than beer these days. 

Oh, and on roasters... I've been doing the hot air popcorn popper method for years. The volume is too low for hardcore drinkers, but it works.

I almost take that as an almost-compliment!

Other than that, on a side note, I'm planning to roast some coffee myself to add to a robust porter (bag of beans in the keg for 24h or so, until desired mild coffee flavor has been reached). Light roast for sure, have to check what beans I still have. In last year's AHA presentation, Modern Times says they combine Ethiopian with Mandheling, which is one of the classic espresso blends.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: narvin on August 05, 2016, 12:59:38 PM
Ouch. AND good water. No RO or sh#t like that.

What about... BrunWater for coffee?  Make coffee styles from around the world.
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: homoeccentricus on August 05, 2016, 01:11:00 PM
There is some kind of water standard from the SCAA: http://scaa.org/index.php?page=resources&d=water-standards
Title: Re: Espresso machines
Post by: majorvices on August 20, 2016, 12:14:46 PM
I'm about 3 weeks in and really digging this machine. I mostly make Americanos. The number one huge deal for me, and it was entirely unexpected: ZERO acid reflux. Apparently regular drip coffee was giving me "three a day" OTC Nexium. I've cut the Nexium down to 1 a day (below what the Dr. put me on) and am sometimes drinking 3 or 4 double shot Americanos with an occasional cappuccino thrown in for good measure.