Author Topic: Espresso Machines  (Read 5093 times)

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Espresso Machines
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2012, 07:50:43 AM »
for actual Brands, I own a Rancilio Silvia. I got it with the grinder and some other stuff (it was a gift set) for $1000, but the machine itself was about $600. I have had it for about 2 1/2 years, and it is still going very strong. It pulls a great standard shot or double, and I haven't had any issues with the boiler or pump malfunctioning. We did have 1 small problem with the boiler not heating up, but it was an emergency switch that occasionally flips if you leave the boiler on too long, and the fix was simply pushing a button with a screwdriver.

I bought it from www.wholelattelove.com, which has a lot of good information and useful reviews.
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Offline Delo

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Re: Espresso Machines
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2012, 10:53:40 AM »
I know that craigslist in my local area always has coffee shop equipment listed...you may be able to score a deal on something there.
Craigslist is great.  Thats where I bought the Sanyo fridge I mentioned....and the one I use for fermentation…and a bunch of other stuff.  I didnt think about equipment from coffee shops. I'll have to check it out.  I'm a little leary about buying some bigger items.  I’m afraid of getting burned.
for actual Brands, I own a Rancilio Silvia. I got it with the grinder and some other stuff (it was a gift set) for $1000, but the machine itself was about $600. I have had it for about 2 1/2 years, and it is still going very strong. It pulls a great standard shot or double, and I haven't had any issues with the boiler or pump malfunctioning. We did have 1 small problem with the boiler not heating up, but it was an emergency switch that occasionally flips if you leave the boiler on too long, and the fix was simply pushing a button with a screwdriver.

I bought it from www.wholelattelove.com, which has a lot of good information and useful reviews.

Thanks for the info. That’s one of the machines I am really considering.  Is it as particular with the grind as some of the reviews say?  I have burr grinder but its not that good.  I’m afraid of the slippery slope thing. First its low end machine, then a better machine, then a better grinder…..manual espresso maker…roasting own coffee…growing own “ingredients”….Wow that’s not a familiar pattern at all. 

Offline hokerer

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Re: Espresso Machines
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2012, 10:58:48 AM »
I'm a little leary about buying some bigger items.  I’m afraid of getting burned.

Oh c'mon, as long as you're more careful than the McDonalds coffee lady, you shouldn't burn anything :)
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Offline theoman

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Re: Espresso Machines
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2012, 08:52:21 AM »
If you're willing to spend that kind of money, get a better grinder and an espresso machine. If you don't want to get both now, just get the grinder and use the stovetop, press pot or drip until you can get the espresso machine. That said, a friend went with the Rancilio Silvia/Rocky grinder combo 5 or so years ago and is still happy as a clam. I have a Gaggia Baby Class that I'm very happy with, but I do just black espresso, no steaming. I might not be as happy if I used the steamer, I dunno. Also, I did have to replace the solenoid valve, which was pretty cheap and easy to do.

Offline Delo

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Re: Espresso Machines
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2012, 01:12:34 PM »
I'm a little leary about buying some bigger items.  I’m afraid of getting burned.

Oh c'mon, as long as you're more careful than the McDonalds coffee lady, you shouldn't burn anything :)
Careful is something I am not very good at. At least she got a lot of money. I would just end up with a burn in an uncomfortable place.  :o

If you're willing to spend that kind of money, get a better grinder and an espresso machine. If you don't want to get both now, just get the grinder and use the stovetop, press pot or drip until you can get the espresso machine. That said, a friend went with the Rancilio Silvia/Rocky grinder combo 5 or so years ago and is still happy as a clam. I have a Gaggia Baby Class that I'm very happy with, but I do just black espresso, no steaming. I might not be as happy if I used the steamer, I dunno. Also, I did have to replace the solenoid valve, which was pretty cheap and easy to do.
Thanks for the info. I'm about 99% of the time black espresso. My wife likes Cappuccinos. I talked about the Silvia/ Rocky combo with her and we probably will buy that or get the machine and check Craigslist for a grinder. Personally I would use the stovetop one and put the money for a new machine towards a good beer engine.

This forum is great for advice(and great comments) for just about anything! Thanks for all the responses.

Offline dcbc

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Re: Espresso Machines
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2012, 01:38:42 PM »
I was pretty into espresso for a while and accumulated some modestly priced gear.  I started with a Gaggia Coffee Deluxe Semi Automatic and Gaggia MDF Burr Grinder.  Then, I couldn't get the tamp just right so I bought a tamper with a pressure sensor in it that clicks at that ideal pressure point.  But even so, that elusive crema was forthcoming.  Finally, I started buying a European Espresso blend from a local roaster and heating my cup with water in it in the microwave just prior to pulling a shot.  If I did all of this, I could get that perfect shot. 

After a while, it was just too much work.  The equipment sat.

One night, I picked up some preground espresso roast coffee at our local grocery store.  I took it home, put in the cheater "perfect crema" rubber disc under the portafilter, let the machine warm up, and pulled a great looking shot. 

A week later, I sold the grinder on ebay and put the money toward the new brew stand (beer).  I next bought a gaggia pressurized filter basket.

Now the purists will tell you that the pressurized filter basket really isn't crema and blah blah blah.  Well it looks like crema to me, tastes great, and I don't have to stand on one leg and hum the happy coffee song to make it work, nor do I have to drive out of the way for just roasted coffee or use/clean the expensive grinder that was taking up counter space.  I tried it this weekend with a $4 can of Cafe Bustelo Espresso Roast and it worked great.  Short of throwing down the cash for a fully automatic (which a friend of mine has and it's absolutely fantastic), the pressurized filter basket is the way to go.

As for the Billeti, well, we have one.  But it just doesn't taste the same to me.  YMMV.

I've consumed all of my home brew and still can't relax!  Now what!