Decent Home Countertop Espresso Machine

billagirly

New member
Mar 29, 2005
113
0
DFW, Texas
Hi all,
I am looking for a home espresso machine that is good. I've had and used a few, and none seem to produce anything of real quality - I feel like I'm using an EasyBake oven to cook a casserole, if that makes any sense?
 

mrgnomer

New member
Jan 22, 2006
149
0
Canada
billagirly said:
Hi all,
I am looking for a home espresso machine that is good. I've had and used a few, and none seem to produce anything of real quality - I feel like I'm using an EasyBake oven to cook a casserole, if that makes any sense?

How much are you looking at spending?

If you're very serious about good espresso, the best espresso from my experience and from research comes from a semi automatic commercial grade machine and commercial grade grinder. Cost is around $2000US. Fresh roasted beans along with some experience preparing espresso is also required.

For decent espresso the Gaggia line of espresso makers is pretty good. Solis also makes a good semi automatic machine. A very popular but finicky machine is the Rancilio Silvia.

Really good espresso is in the extraction. The fresher the ingredients, the better the grind, the better your hand and the better the machine the more controlled and even the extraction will be giving you a crema and taste rich cup.
 

mrgnomer

New member
Jan 22, 2006
149
0
Canada
I understand what you mean about easy bake oven machines. Before stumbling onto good coffee via some good coffee forums and then espresso the only thing I knew were steam pressured machines that called themselves espresso machines.

I've had two machines and two grinders in the last two years: a Rancilio Silvia and Rancilio Rocky grinder to start and currently my machine is a Quickmill Vetrano and a Macap M4 stepless grinder. Home roasting keeps the beans fresh and after two years and counting of research and practice the espresso my current set up gives me makes it worth the investment.

A good machine needs to generate between 8 to 9 bars of pressure to extract what is by definition espresso. It's the pressure that draws out elements in the coffee that no other extraction method can. It's why espresso is unique and for many the ultimate form of coffee extraction.

Most budget machines sell themselves on pump pressure but there's also more to a machine than just how much pressure it can put out. The higher the pressure doesn't mean the better the espresso either, in fact, 8-9 bars is ideal for espresso. Anything outside of that range can compromise regular extraction.

Good machines are adjustable, consistent and reliable. They're designed for espresso and use commercial or commercial grade parts. No gimmicks and elaborate promises just sound engineering and solid performance.

This is my current set up and I'm very pleased with it.

IMG_1461.jpg


Never would I have imagined spending so much on espresso equipment two years ago but after a year the investment not only started looking sound but necessary for the quality of espresso I was looking for.

Still there are other machines much, much less expensive that others can advise you on better than me on. You did stress good so this is my advice on what is necessary for good espresso.
 

MichaelZ

New member
Jan 5, 2007
8
0
:D
You can spend quite a bit on a home espresso machine. Always having been impressed with the Bodum products, I decided to try the Bodum Granos http://www.1stincoffee.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=3020

It looks really cool on the counter, (design has been compared to Robbie the Robot from the Forbidden Planet) has a cup warmer built in and a adapter for using bottled water. It's also very sturdily built. It produces a pretty nice cup of espresso. My only complaint is you really need to run one batch through it without grounds to get it up to the right temperature. The first cup is never quite hot enough. Beyond that, the price which can run anywhere from $350 - $500 makes it an attractive option. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for design, but I really like this machine.
 
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