Looking for a Quality, Fairly Easy to Use Espresso Machine
Hello- I am new to your community here and new to espresso machines. However, when espresso based drinks became more popular around 10-12 years ago, I did purchase a Krups basic espresso machine to make mostly lattes. Since my knowledge of the correct terminology is lacking, I do not remember exactly the names of the different parts, but I do remember I enjoyed a lot making the drinks with this machine.
Now, I would like to get an espresso machine, but in researching the various types, I see that machines used for home use have changed a lot. I do have a small Wellness Center right next to my home, and I would like to offer espresso based drinks to clients/patrons along with the current list of smoothies, drip coffee, filtered water, etc.
I am looking in the price range of $1000-$1800 for the espresso machine. From what I can tell with what I think are called "pod machines" (that use a pre-packaged coffee drink and that is used in some of the machines like the Nespresso), I am not interested in this type of machine. From my earlier machine where I had the coffee ground at the place I purchased the freshly roasted coffee from and the coffee was added to a device, packed down a bit, inserted into the drip area and turned so it formed a tight seal. I was able to warm/steam/froth the milk for the various drinks. With my limited ability to explain what I liked about this earlier machine, I am trying to explain the best I can what I do not necessarily have to have with the new machine, but that I do have this past experience, so I am not necessarily interested in a machine that does it all for you. (especially where you put a small pod type container into an area in the machine, close the lid and out comes the coffee, espresso, etc.)
I have looked at Miele home coffee systems like the 5000, 5100, 5200. I realize that some or many of the home machines do much more of the work for you than when I purchased my first machine small Krups machine. I would like to be able to either add the beans to the machine (like the Miele and some other home coffee systems I have looked at) or grind the beams right before use and use that ground coffee to make the drink. I am not too anxious to spend a lot of time in the morning or at the business to make an espresso drink, but I have tried to give an idea of what I am willing to do, assuming I understand how some of the home coffee systems actually work. I would like a good side vent where the container with the milk is inserted and the steam (I think it is steam) warms/heats the milk and then can add a good froth too so that the froth can be added to the espresso or the steamed milk with a little froth can be used for lattes.
I would like a machine that is easy to clean up after each use. One of the main questions I have is if I should buy the coffee bean and have the place grind the beans so that I can use it to make the espresso based drinks, or invest in a grinder (which I have never used because frequently in the early mornings it will just be me who will be drinking one of the lattes/espresso based drinks) or if like the Miele machines I looked at the coffee beans are added to the machine and are ground up right before they are used in the drink. I am not sure how this works as far as just grinding enough for what will be needed and if the beans are left in the machine until the next time and one other questions I have if this type of machine allows for one to adjust how well the beans are ground (fine, super fine, average, courser, etc.
I hope this give you some idea without sounding too basic. I realize it will be to my advantage to use some of the latest technology with the coffee systems that do a lot of the work, but I would like to stay away from the use of pre-packaged containers or pods I think some are called and in my mind the name Nespresso (which I know Miele uses or might even own) and Mr. Coffee are 2 names that I would like to stay away from, due to either quality of the machine, and the fact that the Nespresso machine seems to do everything for you.
Thanks for any help one can give me and maybe if I find a good quality machine, with a good warranty (which I think is important with the newer systems since they do the majority of the work and many things can go wrong with these machines. I hope I have at least given you an idea of what I am looking for without making things so complicated that I have contradicted myself. It would be great to be able to get a machine by Christmas I will use it at my home and bring it to the studio for use there.
12-19-2012 06:16 AM
Welcome to the board...
I think you would need fully automatic machine which you just add bean and the milk in the morning and anyone can get the decent latte, cappuccino and espresso.
There are few brands out there but I don't think you can buy decent one for that price.
So if you buy semi-automatic,
Here are few items i found on ebay...
Jura Impressa J6 Automatic Coffee Center | eBay
Saeco Syntia Super Automatic Cappuccino Coffee Espresso Maker Commercial Grade 708461104328 | eBay
There are many options and most of the automatic espresso machines are east to clean because that are cater to business like yours requires least of maintenance...
good luck searching....
Thanks for the info. Have you looked at or familiar with Miele? they are supposed to be a good company, made in Germany. From the prices I saw I thought a machine for $1000-$1800 should be able to get me a good quality semi automatic espresso machine. I do not want to get something that will be cheap and fall apart or break after 6 months like Mr. Coffee has teamed up with Mountain Creek (I think the company is), but their machine is around $800 or less from what I have seen. A problem is that I have to be able to bring it somewhere to use the warranty if it has one. I would like one that has a warranty I can use where I live.
I know Miele makes high quality vacuum machine and home appliances.
Originally Posted by Kooler
I don't know if that would be suitable for your use.
I would stay away from home appliances for semi-commercial use.
If you contact the local coffee bean suppliers, you can get the machine with service contract.
They will service your machine however you want. But they will not be free.
If you are getting semi-automatic, you will need to do maintenance and also there has to be someone near the machine at all time if you are going to use all day.
Also, I notice with semi-automatic machine, it breaks down more often if you do not use them enough.
My friend had Faema one group espresso machine for about 7 years.
His business was mostly in the morning and rest of the time it sat there for hours at a time without being used. I think that is the part of the main reason he had to fix his machine very other year since new. one time was pressure gage another time boiler leak and so on and so forth....
A great super-automatic machine that is more compact and convenient then most is the Delonghi Magnifica XS Compact Super Automatic Espresso Machine. This machine is approx. $1200. All you need to do is fill the bean bin and water bin every so often. When you're ready for a drink, you turn it on and press a button and voila your espresso is ready!
Originally Posted by CuppaCoffee
DeLonghi Magnifica XS Super Automatic Espresso Machine 44387335003 | eBay
They are only about 500 dollars on ebay and they still look like home use or light use machine.
I would stay away from home use since they do break very easily and you have no way of fixing them
You can get some type of warranty from department stores but you have to take it back....
Try to stay with commercial use machine. They do last much longer....
Junky- I thought you said in your first reply that you did not think I could buy a decent "one for that price." I was confused since now the price range I put ($1000-$1800) is higher than the machines you have suggested. I do know that coffee systems need regular maintaince. Miele does supply some tablets and a few other items that are to be used when the system requires it. I have all of the sudden seen so many fully automatic or semi automatic espresso machines. The one I had several years ago, the Krups was a great machine. I used it once or twice a day, and cleaned things out when I was done, let it air dry, and never had any problem with it. I do not know how these fully automatic and semi automatic systems work, but for sure there has got to be a brand that holds up well. I have not been looking at commercial systems. All of the systems I have looked at are home systems but not the Mr. Coffee or Nespresso type. If not, maybe look for the one like I had before--the Krups. it was just a small machine, but worked great.
Originally Posted by CoffeeJunky
Last edited by Kooler; 12-19-2012 at 09:30 PM.
The most of the fully automated commercial systems cost tons of money.
I went into Ebay and did search to find the system within your budget. But fully automated commercial system cost around 10-12,000 dollar new. I have few friends who purchased used item but it is hit or miss.
Unic Tangosolo 110 Tango Solo 1 Group Automated Espresso Machine New | eBay
Nuova Simonelli Talento Super Automatic Commercial Espresso MTALE08CAP Brand New | eBay
Bunn Espress Tiger XL s 2 Espresso Machine w Steam Wand 358000007 | eBay
These are fully commercial grade high end systems.
Other brands are not very proven on the commercial field and above are few trusted brand for high volume restaurants and cafe use around the world..
I am sure you can find something much cheaper and that was the items i have listed above for ya....
The most of the home grade machines work great but won't serve many cups per day.
I am sure if you are planning on only serving less then few dozens in 8 hours setting, it really would work with whatever you buy but if you are planning on serving few dozens per hour, it would be wise to get commercial grade since home grade would not be able to make that many per hour and reliability drop .... Good luck searching....
I will not be serving that many. I thought to come here because usually there are "experts" here who know the machines and could recommend a decent semi automatic machine that has a good high quality reputation. I have been out of this area for so may years, going to my local coffee shop, but since clients are asking for espresso smoothies or low-non-fat lattes, I thought I would ask around for a good machine that is in that price range and not a lot of clean up. I think they are out there from what I have seen on You tube, but I was hoping for some recommendations from some people who grind their beans or have the machine do it and produce a great tasting coffee drink. I am not looking for a fully automatic. I guess I do not know the lingo. A fully automatic machine is one like Nespresso where the machine does everything. A fully manual machine are the ones the coffee shops use and they are really expensive. Like I said I had a Krups (not sure if they are around anymore) but that was a semi automatic machine, I had to do some of the work, but I am NOT looking for a fully automatic machine. I would like to have some control.
I am looking at probably 4-5 espresso drinks per day. The business is a Health & Wellness studio so many of our clients stay away from not so much caffeine, because caffeine helps burn fat, but they stay away from the high fat extras. I would not have these available anyway. some of our clients prefer a low or non-fat latte or espresso cup. There has got to be some decent machines around that will work for the business. This is just another option to add to the post workout smoothies we have been serving for years.
Last edited by Kooler; 12-27-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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