!Espresso Machine Dilemma!

RomanCrema

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Jul 14, 2008
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Hello, I have been to rome around 5-6 times this year and I love their espresso so much, the way its a nice creamy consistancy. And I currently have a Moka for my house but it achieves the crema only for a few seconds and I believe this is due to the bar pressure.

I want to buy an Espresso Machine for my house that can get me a perfect and lasting crema along with the espresso taste. So I am looking for Commercial Quality but on a domestic budget of around £300-400 GBP.

I only dont like the idea of having frothers as I want a machine purly for espresso and nothing else if you get my drift.

When I was in Roma the espresso''s appeared to be so creamy and strong epsresso at the same time around 70% crema and 30% water / espresso based and I am hoping to ahieve this again.

I was hoping if you guys could recommend brilliant machines for this costs above that i can get in UK.

Thanks really appreicate it.
 

Davec

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Oct 18, 2006
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Old England (UK)
For the money you want to spend, it's quite a challenge, especially and you will need to budget around 150+ for a decent grinder...even better 250 for a Macap MC4 grinder or similar.

I wouldn't recommend buying the standard high street fayre such as Gaggia Briel etc..because from your comments you seem to want something of substantially better quality that will actually make great coffee.....however, if you do buy from the High street, then the Gaggia Classic will sort of work but I don't know for how long...otherwise there are online sites for the Rancilio Silvia (and Silvia+Grinder Combios). It again will work OK, but you will probably want to upgrade again in a few years.

You could look for used machines, they can be a bargain and deliver the quality and type of drinks you want at very economical prices....where in the UK are you?
 
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RomanCrema

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hey first of all thanks for replying to my thread, and i would like to point out i am just really going to buy my own gound espresso coffee in italy in packs and bring it back to the uk, as i dont need a grinder. I am from Belfast in Northern Ireland.

I was probaly going to buy a Gaggia Twin baby or gaggia baby D class but i am unsure as if i should or not and i am looking for some really good advice and my budjet is £400 GBP. I am prepared to buy either on the highstreet such as in House of Frazer or on the internet somwhere, but as i said i am looking for good quality advice for my budjet.

I have seen the Gaggia twin baby and stuff on utube and it looks as if it produces the crema and consistency quiet good, but that was offered at £380 GBP and now days i think if i wasnt getting a grinder and just using ground espresso that is packed i would think that price would be expensive for most normal people but i am going by the quote " You get what you pay for" and i think thats true.

My budjet is only £400 because i am still a student and cant really afford anything major at the minute. But I use a Moka every morning for an espresso and it wokrs great for me but doesnt produce the crema very good only for like 2-3 secs lol then fades away. So if i a say i am using a moka then you get the idea that i am really pleased with it and would just ask for something well more creamier with the cream about 70% more than what the Moka pot produces.

Thanks guys and i would like to make u sure i am not a one hit wonder i will stay on the site after i get replys and contribute in other threads around the site but i just need this cleared first.

thanks
 

rgunson

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Jul 21, 2008
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London, England
espresso machine advice

to declare my position up front, i am the founder of Londinium Espresso a mail order/online bespoke coffee roasting company

given that you need an economical solution to you problem i think you should start by trying some freshly ground beans roasted for the espresso process

if they are fresh there is no reason why you shouldnt get a decent crema off them

the moka pot will of course tend to burn the coffee, but i think you can learn to live with this if you experiment with a few different roasts & find one that is more tolerant of this kind of abuse

kind regards



reiss
Londinium Espresso
 

Davec

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What will come out of any beans in your Mocca pot is not going to be crema....if the beans are fresh you might get some bloom, that's all. As for the right roast tasting good out of the Mocca pot....that has not been my experience. If you can't stretch to a good machine then a change to a Carafe or a Chemex type filter system might suit you until you save the pennies. The Carafe or Chemex allows you to let the water cool first, preventing many of the undesirables being extracted from the coffee.

The above will allow you a cheaper grinder and you should still get OK results.....definitely don't use pre-ground coffee (no matter where it's from). If you use pre-ground, your simply always going to get very poor quality coffee, no matter how it's made.
 

davidsbiscotti

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Oct 4, 2007
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Did someone say cheap grinder? When time is short, I use a small electric grinder (Doh!!!), but grind size is very inconsistent, from powery grind stuck below the blades to medium flakes to near whole beans that didn't get ground.

My manual grinder however (yes I have to keep mentioning it because it's awesome), while a bit more time consuming, provides an extremely consistent grind size. I have it set to a medium grind, but adjusts easily, from very fine to very coarse and keeps a consistent grind.


Here it is in case I change my avatar from it:
___________
m_719be859dd3847034b762f0fbb680b83.jpg

$20 on ebay.
 

rgunson

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Jul 21, 2008
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London, England
i must respectively disagree with Davec

sure it wont be 'espresso' in the strict sense, but you will get a crema of sorts with freshly roast & finely ground coffee, and it will have strong robust taste that you obviously enjoy (unlike say filter coffee)

a freshly roasted & ground bean will be quite moist to touch and will therefore bind together easily & create the pressure required for espresso

be careful though: it is very easy to grind too fine & pack the coffee too tight which creates a potentially dangerous situation if the safety valve on the Moka pot is not functioning correctly - they arent exactly precision engineering, so please exercise caution (i.e. screw it together tightly and progressively make the grind finer) & remember it is a pressure vessel

if you have spent any time in Italy you will know that the bulk of the population still use a simple Moka pot, so i think its worth trying some freshly ground coffee in it, don't you?

the great thing is the outlay is so nominal that you dont have to believe me - you can prove it for yourself

the first espresso machines operated on this same basic pricinple - the hot water was driven through the puck of coffee by the pressure of the steam as the water boiled

it wasnt until the second generation of machines that we got the proper regulated espresso that we enjoy today. accordingly i think it is incorrect to state that you will not get any cream from a moka pot. the problem is of course the burning of the coffee with the excessively hot water. Again, try it from your own conclusions as to what you find acceptable

Dont misunderstand me, i am an espresso purist as much as anyone, but i am willing to acknowledge that many people are not able to justify the required investment in a domestic espresso machine of sufficient quality. I would strongly advise against buying a cheap machine, but rather keep saving & put it toward a machine that will give you years of enjoyment.

The alternatives that Davec suggests are most likely workable solutions too, which i would also try if i was you - i can not comment as i have not tried them myself

Reiss
Londinium Espresso
 
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RomanCrema

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well thanks guy for all the advice ,but still in a delema on what machine to purchase, also so you guys are saying that packed espresso such as lavazza etc are really no good, and that i should buy a grinder and ground my own beans.
 

caffe biscotto

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Jan 18, 2008
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RomanCrema, if you run "baby gaggia" through the forum search, you will find some good info.

Also, if you read between the lines of our posts, you'll notice the importance of not just what type of espresso machine you purchase, but also the importance of sourcing quality beans and grinding fresh, temperature control, maintenance, etc. Without these contributing factors, you may find that even the best espresso machine on the market won't deliver to you the quality in crema that you seek.

Forum members hesitate to simply recommend a particular type of machine, without mentioning the other important factors in accordance. You may take our advice on a machine and find that your espresso is not up to your standards and blame the person who recommended the machine to you in the first place, if you don't follow the other critical advice. :wink:
 
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RomanCrema

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caffe biscotto said:
RomanCrema, if you run "baby gaggia" through the forum search, you will find some good info.

Also, if you read between the lines of our posts, you'll notice the importance of not just what type of espresso machine you purchase, but also the importance of sourcing quality beans and grinding fresh, temperature control, maintenance, etc. Without these contributing factors, you may find that even the best espresso machine on the market won't deliver to you the quality in crema that you seek.

Forum members hesitate to simply recommend a particular type of machine, without mentioning the other important factors in accordance. You may take our advice on a machine and find that your espresso is not up to your standards and blame the person who recommended the machine to you in the first place, if you don't follow the other critical advice. :wink:

yes i know this, can you guys recommend any websites with good quality coffee beans and also a cheap but good coffee grinder at around £40 gbp
 

caffe biscotto

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RomanCrema said:
yes i know this, can you guys recommend any websites with good quality coffee beans and also a cheap but good coffee grinder at around £40 gbp

Why not start with a roaster local to you or even a nearby coffee shop that sells whole beans by the half kilo. If those aren't up to your standards, work your way outward from there.

I think for your budget you'll only find electric blade grinders, which don't offer a consistent grind size and coffee pros claim that the heat generated by the metal blades does no justice to the coffee. If the coffee is just for you, I'd recommend a manual burr grinder.

These are available in the UK for under 40 GBP:
Grinders.gif

Towards the bottom of the page:
http://www.kitchenknivesdirect.co.uk/ac ... offee.html
 
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RomanCrema

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hwy thanks for that info, why is the sqaure ones only 9.99 GBP? and rounds ones are 37 GBP
 

caffe biscotto

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Good question. Try the lesser expensive square one (which seems to be more wood than stainless) and if you like the process, invest in the upgrade to the all stainless with wood trim.

Hey, when the lights go out, you can still grind your beans. You can take it with you on camping trips too. It's the next best thing to Davec's suggestion to pummel the beans with a stone, ha ha ha, that Davec....
 
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