Mar 25, 2017

We should start a poll for an affordable espresso machine

I would start one but i know very little about which machines are good
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I need a coffee-making 'solution' for my apartment. No reason I can't make special coffees at home.. if a poll is made, I'd hit that.
What's your price limit for affordable? And what kind of machines are you thinking of? The problem with espresso and cappuccino makers is that they span such a wide range in prices and technologies.

Back in the 80s I had an old Bialetti stovetop pot I paid something like $20 for. It wouldn't steam milk, but it made a good cup of espresso. I've got a nicer one now, an Imusa (hey, stainless!) Still makes good coffee.

Plug-in machines come in a couple of varieties. In the 90s I picked up a Krupps steam-operated machine for about $100. It would also steam milk if you opened a valve at the end of the cycle. Bit of a pain to use, but it did a decent job. The tank finally corroded through and blew up, though. (Don't ask... Corrosion is not your friend on any kind of steam boiler.)

More recently I went through a series of DeLonghi pump operated machines, but they all died after about a year of service. The thermistors tended to go. I still have one I Frankensteined together out of parts from the others, but it's not my first choice. I don't think I'll ever get one from them again.

The best machine I've used so far is (no surprise) the most expensive. It's a Breville Barista Express I paid about $650 for. It's down to about $530 on Amazon now. Funny thing is, the espresso is only slightly better than what I can make with my Imusa stovetop pot, but it's a heckuvalot easier to use, clean, etc. And the Imusa doesn't steam milk.

I've never used a lever machine, but I've been told they can make an even better cup than my Breville. They start around $1000 and keep going.

At the other end of the convenience spectrum, fully automated machines with milk fridges and collection systems for the used coffee grounds also start around $1000 and go up from there.

This goes back to why I asked what you consider affordable. When I got it, I didn't consider the Breville to be affordable. I just didn't want another DeLonghi. But I've watched people here drop more than the cost of my Breville on a pair of headphones. In any case, now that I've used it I know that when it dies I'll save every penny so I can buy another one. I guess that means my views have changed.
are you looking for just espresso or steamed milk also? I'd be interested in something I can make lattes with.
Yeah I need some expresso and coffee grinders!
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