Espresso maker

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by JesseJames, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    I plan on buying an espresso maker maybe today.
    I don't want anything too fancy. Just a machine that will make a good cup or two quickly.
    I went to Target's website to see what they had to offer and the selection is a little bewildering. I'm not sure what I'm suppose to be looking for.
    Can anyone recommend a good espresso maker for around 100 bucks or so?
  2. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
  4. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    The more you can spend on automated features, such as self-cleaning parts, the better. I speak from experience. Espresso machines are a total and utter bitch to clean, and eventually you're going to use it less because of that.

    But for a total manual machine, that's going to be inexpensive, I have a Krupps machine that does the job well. Unfortunately the lower-cost machines often leave you with ground espresso in your cup-- those espresso pods are great if you're willing to sacrifice the fresh-ground taste. On that note, do NOT buy the Michael Graves coffee grinder, after a couple of weeks it was too dirty for me to want to use again.
  5. JesseJames thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    Thanks for the responses. After some surfing and research, I think I might settle for this one.

    my espresso machine?
  6. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    You could try looking at the reviews on Coffee Geek

    On the bar at the top of the page there's a link to consumer reviews. They're a bit more balanced than the website owners who tend to be a bit more anal about it.

    If you're not overly choosy about your espresso then I'm sure something like that would be fine. I spent a few hundred on a Gaggia machine and I'm not convinced it was worth it as results are nowhere near as good as the Rancillio pro machine my parents had.

    And like rainman says, something easy to clean is ideal. Espresso making is a really messy business which is why I tend to use my £20 Russell Hobbs filter machine instead!
  7. Lau Guest

    This looks kind of interesting. I don't mean that in that you should get one, it just looks interesting. :)

    Incidentally, I am a bit old school (ie cheap) and use one of these.


    It's a good way to see if you'll use it. I use it all the time, so I know that when I'm rich (ha-HA) an automatic one will be well used.
  8. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    You want a machine with the highest pressure you can find. High pressure means more flavour extracted from the espresso.

    Forget about machines that foam the milk themselves, the results are nearly always lacklustre. Get some good milk steaming jugs and learn how to do it, the key is in the swirl, foam early and keep the milk spinning, plunging the wand into the milk once the desired amount of foam is created makes the foam condense into a very rich and creamy foam that maintains the flavour of the milk.

    In all honesty I don't think you'd be happy with the results from a $100 (I'm assuming US) machine. Ensure you buy only Arabica beans and make sure you set the grinder appropriate to the ambient temperature and humidity, too fine on a humid day means water can condense in the small spaces and soften the bean before it is tamped and pressed when creating the espresso, too coarse on a dry day means the steam goes through the grounds too quickly and the espresso loses it's flavour.

    I've been a professional barista both here and in Canada for the last 6 years (the pressure on baristas to perform is much greater here as very few Aussies drink brewed coffee, most of us drink our coffee in cafés similar to the french and italian style, small, generally al fresco and with no affiliation to any large organisation, many of us have identified out preferred types of espresso coffee and many cafés have their own special blends created exclusively for them by the manufacturer so we are fairly knowledgeable about our coffee) and my parents have a Saeco Royal Professional - it was $AUD1800 and so far is one of very few home espresso machines that produces in my opinion, a good cup of coffee.

    PS, Starbucks coffee tastes like dirt and is pissweak in it's standard servings.

    end rant and advice.
  9. applegirl macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2005
    In Cancun. Be back never.
    I also use a stove-top espresso pot; incidentally, I'm having a problem with coffee dribbling out where the bottom of the pot screws on to the top, after the water starts to boil. I've only used it a couple of times but I've had that problem since I got it. I'm not sure if I'm screwing it on tight enough (geez, am I too weak?).
  10. Lau Guest

    Hmm. I totally know what you mean. I always wondered if I was a bit weak too! However, I read today that if you get grains of coffee around on the rubber seal and in the screw thread it makes it leak because it stops it being an airtight seal. It makes sense, I think. I'll experiment tomorrow morning and report back!
  11. applegirl macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2005
    In Cancun. Be back never.
    Thanks, Lau :)

    Incidentally, I noticed I used the same word in my post that you did (wonder if it was a subconscious thing???)
  12. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    I love Illy espresso and I needed a good machine but for not much money. (Which is basically impossible) So I signed up for "Illy a casa espresso membership" and receive a 6 can shipment to my house every two months. But one of the best things is you can choose between three machines, a Pasquini Livia, a Francis X1, or Francis X5. All good machines and all more than 50% off when you sign up for a year. Has saved me a ton of money in the long run.
  13. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    I have several of these pots. usually they have a rubber casket between the top and bottom goes bad and you get a leak. eventually the casket becomes bad due to the expansion and contraction from the heat. anyway, if you saved your instruction or got on the internet you can order a casket. it best to order a few.
  14. MacVibes macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2005
    Try to taste it

    I bought Espresso machine years ago, it was a British one. The coffee was cold as an English November afternoon. You might go to a shop and try out the coffee. Anyway, I drink espresso outside, in real espresso bars, with the big machine with high pressure.
  15. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    You can now buy those stovetop espresso makers with an additional feature - you can pour milk into the top of it, press a valve and voila, there's steamed milk for your latte. My mother's just bought one but, as yet, there's no feedback on how well the milk part works!

    I've got a 16 bar Francis Francis! machine which produces lovely espresso, steams milk to microfoam frothiness and looks beautiful on the kitchen counter.;)

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