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Old 06-03-2013, 10:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Expresso machine - what to look for?

Allright so im getting tired of buying expensive tim hortons(iced cappucino with extra expresso shot) and I have been looking at costco:

Breville Die-Cast Programmable Espresso Machine for 299.99$,
I checked prices and some ask between close to 400 to 500$.
Die-Cast Programmable Espresso Machine | Breville

I have no experience in the domain but would it do the job as I wish? Of course I can't budget 1000$ for such a machine and I don't want low quality either.

Thanks
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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From my experience, french press is the way to go.

As far as getting something like espresso from that, perhaps just pour in less water with more grounds?
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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French Press is for coffee... not espresso. Only one way to make proper espresso, with a proper espresso machine. Preferably some overpriced Italian make of course.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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goes to show how much I know.

Tea ftmfw.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Double post. Oops.

Last edited by krupasjeans; 06-04-2013 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My dad suddenly and unexpectedly got into the coffee craze about 5 years back. Before that he mainly drank tea.

He now has 3 espresso machines in various states of disassembly in his second bathroom and a $500 personal coffee roaster. Yeah, we all thought it was the beginnning of the end for him.

Either way, he lives, and he was nice enough to give me a Baby Gaggia that he had gotten "broken" on eBay for $50 with shipping. Pretty cheap as far as I remember it. He fixed it up and gave it to me. I got a Burr grinder and I'm never going back.

I've been using this refurbished Baby Gaggia for a few years now and it hasn't given me any problems. I backflush it, break a few pieces down, clean the coffee grits off them and call it a day every few months. Nothing too crazy.

Here's a link to one of the newer models on Amazon.
Amazon.com: Gaggia 12101 New Baby Manual Espresso Machine, Black: Kitchen & Dining
Looks like they have the "Classic" model which is a little bit more, but made out of stainless. I don't know, my plastic bodied baby has been fine, I don't take it outside and throw it on the ground that much.

I'd recommend it if you are planning on just making espressos. My drink of choice is an Americano and it can do that without fail. The steam wand is acceptable, but it can't really steam milk like the professional models. There is just not enough of a steam reservoir to get 16oz of cold milk to 160F in a suitable time frame. So if you absolutely need a righteous cappuccino, maybe look at the other models.

That's my two cents. And yes, espresso machines are uncannily like paintball guns. There are seals, o-rings, gaskets, 3 way valves amongst other things. If you're a good tinkerer you could probably do some research and pick up a broken model and fix it up. There's plenty of forums for coffee snobs (not unlike this one!) that can help you out.

Good luck. Oh, and don't forget you're going to need a Burr grinder to go with your espresso machine. A regular grinder just WILL NOT WORK.

Edit: Did a quick eBay search and found this. I have the same exact model espresso machine but a different Burr grinder. Either way, that's a great deal for the combo.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow, they've gotten complicated and expensive. I think I still have my old gaggia somewhere. No fancy solenoid valves or anything, just fill it and turn it on. Manual knob valve for the steam. so the timing for the steam can be tricky if you're not paying attention. The little 4 shot pot was awesome though.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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A percolator is where itīs at.

I have a Bialetti which is the original, but similar copies can be bought for fraction of price.

Itīs really simple and fast, and work without electricity, so you can enjoy espresso during zombie apocalypse too.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You know espresso was invented as a way to sell off the crappier coffee beans don't you? (as MCB snobs we really shouldn't be drinking it).
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Name:  ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370343532.985810.jpg
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Size:  39.3 KBthis is what the Italians use at there houses. Makes about three shots of espresso.
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