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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Used equipment is good for experienced users. But for beginners, better to use new ones. Otherwise, they can't even tell if the bad taste is due to the equipment or themselves...

  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    St. John's, NL, Canada
    Espresso is probably one of the hardest to do well, and requires a little skill, but if that's the kind of coffee you're going for, you can go for it right now. The Gaggia Classic is $450. Its a great machine that can do pressurized (ideal if you don't have a good grinder), and non-pressurized. It's not going to rival a machine that costs thousands, but it is going to be better than your DeLonghi or similar that only uses pressurized baskets. The Gaggia Classic is a popular machine, so its possible to get accessories (like a naked portafilter) for it. An okay entry level grinder Baratza Encore or Capresso Infinity will get the job done. Not very precise, and you'll ultimately want to upgrade, but for starters, it can do good espresso. I had the Capresso, and it is capable of doing grinds from Turkish to French Press, which can't be said about most grinders. I used mine in the Gaggia Classic, unpressurized. It took a bit longer to dial in, since it doesn't have any precise timing function, but it is absolutely possible to use and get consistent results using a scale. the Capresso is $100, the Baratza Encore is $140. I upgraded the Capresso to a Baratza Sette 270, and it was a worthwhile upgrade for sure, but the Capresso did the job while I was waiting for a new budget, and I got my money's worth out of it. Sold it for about half what I paid for it after two years, and sold it same day as listing.
    A day without coffee is like... just kidding. I have no idea.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Central North Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by IFixJura View Post
    Used equipment is good for experienced users. But for beginners, better to use new ones. Otherwise, they can't even tell if the bad taste is due to the equipment or themselves...
    I can somewhat agree, but it really depends on the user. I am the type of person that can just figure anything out by looking at it/doing it. My first machine was used, etc. and I just tweaked things until they tasted like I wanted it to be. Most go into espresso thinking there's a specific way it 'should' taste when there are SO many variables involved there is no right/wrong. I simply tell those starting out that espresso is an amplified version of the coffee used to create it... nothing more or less. What one person loves is battery acid to the next person in line.

    One thing I find hilarious and neverending is when people on forums encourage very expensive first time setups. Then the easily influenced person spends thousands on the suggested setup and chases their tail for weeks to months trying to figure things out as espresso may not be what they were expecting/hoping it would be. I highly suggest starting out on the lower tier to see if you even like the heavily involved process of espresso, different tastes, etc. Using cheaper equipment might not get fantastic results consistently, but it gives you a sense of how things work and each use will teach you something new one way or another. Then if you want to upgrade for hopefully better results then by all means go for it and maybe sell the beginner setup along the way.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  4. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    East Coast USA
    This might be too late but I found myself in your exact situation a few years ago, Id highly recommend the Breville Barista Express, its an incredible bang for your buck. It comes with capable grinder and can pull some very good shots. From there you can always upgrade.


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