Espresso Machine Recommendations

Apeace

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Nov 4, 2023
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I'd recommend checking out brands like De'Longhi or Nespresso. They offer a range of espresso machines that are not only budget-friendly but also deliver delicious coffee. The De'Longhi EC155 or the Nespresso Essenza Mini are great options to consider. If don't know where to find it, check you can checkfrigidaire reviews here. Plus, both brands have a solid reputation for durability and performance.
 
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froze

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May 14, 2012
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I need to find an affordable option, any recommendations?
How much is affordable?

The cheapest way is getting a Bialetti Brikka Moka pot, this makes espresso better than a regular Moka pot due to the pressure valve in the tube. Just follow the directions and watch YouTube videos on how to use them, I say that because idiots buy this particular Moka pot, turn the heat up too high then complain their coffee came out of the hole in the top and splattered all over their stove top, that's the fault of the user, not the pot. This particular Moka pot will make darn close espresso flavor, dare I say, I couldn't tell the difference, but someone with expert coffee taste buds probably could.

Appearance-wise, the crema produced is about a third to a fourth as much as an actual espresso maker, but some coffee experts say crema is overrated, and from my experience I agree.

Moka pots are sized by cups, but those cups are Italian cups, not American cups, so a 2-cup moka pot makes about a third of a cup of coffee, so obviously a 4-cup model will make about 2/3 rds of a cup.

If you get they now make small round Moka pot filters, this filter goes between the O ring and the screen, this filter is optional, but it does help with raising the pressure a tad and helps to increase the crema a bit.

Some will say that the AeroPress is the cheapest espresso maker, but that device is NOT an expresso maker, it's a French Press with a filter.

Stay away from cheap espresso machines, like the Walmart kind of crap, those things won't last long. If you want to spend under $500 I made a couple of suggestions in an earlier post, go with a manual machine, they work fantastically, either get the Cafelat Robot which is built to last through the mummy apocalypse, or go with the Flair 58, make sure you get the pressure gauge option it makes pulling shots much more accurately. Again follow directions and watch YouTube videos on how to operate whichever one you buy.
 

shadow745

Well-known member
Aug 15, 2005
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How much is affordable?

The cheapest way is getting a Bialetti Brikka Moka pot, this makes espresso better than a regular Moka pot due to the pressure valve in the tube. Just follow the directions and watch YouTube videos on how to use them, I say that because idiots buy this particular Moka pot, turn the heat up too high then complain their coffee came out of the hole in the top and splattered all over their stove top, that's the fault of the user, not the pot. This particular Moka pot will make darn close espresso flavor, dare I say, I couldn't tell the difference, but someone with expert coffee taste buds probably could.

Appearance-wise, the crema produced is about a third to a fourth as much as an actual espresso maker, but some coffee experts say crema is overrated, and from my experience I agree.

Moka pots are sized by cups, but those cups are Italian cups, not American cups, so a 2-cup moka pot makes about a third of a cup of coffee, so obviously a 4-cup model will make about 2/3 rds of a cup.

If you get they now make small round Moka pot filters, this filter goes between the O ring and the screen, this filter is optional, but it does help with raising the pressure a tad and helps to increase the crema a bit.

Some will say that the AeroPress is the cheapest espresso maker, but that device is NOT an expresso maker, it's a French Press with a filter.

Stay away from cheap espresso machines, like the Walmart kind of crap, those things won't last long. If you want to spend under $500 I made a couple of suggestions in an earlier post, go with a manual machine, they work fantastically, either get the Cafelat Robot which is built to last through the mummy apocalypse, or go with the Flair 58, make sure you get the pressure gauge option it makes pulling shots much more accurately. Again follow directions and watch YouTube videos on how to operate whichever one you buy.
I always have to laugh at the mention of 'experts' as if some have it all figured out. Biggest issue in modern day is people trying to follow someone's lead and things don't pan out the way they expect. Then the equipment is usually blamed when every situation will vary based on lots of variables.

I strongly disagree with crema production not being important as that's precisely what makes espresso what it is. I value texture as much as taste any day and strive to get a maximum amount of it and base my green choice, roast development, grind fineness just for that. Keep in mind some equipment, coffees, techniques may leave a thinner concoction with a glob of crema on top and of course there might be some taste variation there. The way I dial things in gives me a very thick/syrupy extraction that gives me heavy texture from the first sip to the last that clings to the demitasse like honey. There really is not much if any separation at all.

I do agree with the moka pot being a great way to get something similar to espresso. I actually keep one onhand for backup. If I was to really consider a higher quality version of another moka pot type device it'd definitely be this. Moka pot in design, but pure machine quality in function... a bit off topic, but thought I'd mention it.

 

froze

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May 14, 2012
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That $500 plus 9Barista Espresso Moka pot doesn't seem to get any better reviews than a cheaper $50 Bialetti Brikka. According to James Hoffman's video, the crema produced looked the same as what I get with the Brikka. If someone wanted to spend that sort of money you could get the Cafelat Robot with the guage manual lever pull espresso maker. Plus James Hoffman does have concerns about parts breaking and needing to be replaced, the only thing that ever needs to be replaced on a regular Moka pot is the O ring seal. Parts might be difficult to get in coming years for the 9Barista due to the fact they have only made 300 of them, so if they go out of production so much for spare parts.
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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Central North Carolina
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That $500 plus 9Barista Espresso Moka pot doesn't seem to get any better reviews than a cheaper $50 Bialetti Brikka. According to James Hoffman's video, the crema produced looked the same as what I get with the Brikka. If someone wanted to spend that sort of money you could get the Cafelat Robot with the guage manual lever pull espresso maker. Plus James Hoffman does have concerns about parts breaking and needing to be replaced, the only thing that ever needs to be replaced on a regular Moka pot is the O ring seal. Parts might be difficult to get in coming years for the 9Barista due to the fact they have only made 300 of them, so if they go out of production so much for spare parts.
Call me seriously unimpressed with his thoughts or any other wannabes. It's likely too heavy for him to pick up, bwahaha. One thing people also overlook is tons of great used equipment out there at very fair prices. Doesn't have to be new with a high cost to easily get the job done.
 

froze

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May 14, 2012
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All those YouTube video people are mostly opinion-related, sort of like an A-Hole, everyone has one. But he does have some good ideas he comes up with, and some are just so-so, but that is what happens with opinions, a lot like what we find here on this forum, nothing wrong with opinions, we're all just different, and he is making a lot of money from doing those, good for him, he's entitled to make as much money as he wants.

I don't necessarily like or dislike his method of making French Press for example. I think my way comes out a bit better, just my opinion of course, but a whole bunch of viewers swear by his method as being the best. I first preheat my French Press for at least 60 seconds, dump the water, then put in my grounds, then pour just off of boil, water and stir it for one minute so there are no floating grounds, put the plunger down until it contacts the top of the coffee, wait 8 minutes, then push the plunger slowly at a rate of one minute from start to finish so as not to stir up the grounds, that's it. What he does differently is pour in the water does not stir, waits for 4 minutes then scoops out the floaters, then push in the plunger till it just contacts the coffee then waits 4 more minutes. My thinking is why scoop out the floaters? That's coffee with flavor still in it! My French Press is very small, and I found out that the AeroPress filters fit exactly between the mesh and the plate screen, just put a hole into the filter and assemble the parts. Now I don't need the AeroPress anymore, it tastes the same to me, I always knew that the AeroPress was just a filtered French Press and not an espresso maker as it was marketed, and the AeroPress filter I put in the French Press has lasted several dozen coffee makings and still going strong.

A French Press is an immersion coffee maker, so I simply employed the same tactics with it as I do with the Hario Switch because it too is an immersion maker with a pour-over factor to it.

I only use dark roast too, to me the taste is stronger and richer, so that's all I use, I tried various other roasts and brands and I am simply not a fan.

But since I bought the Hario Switch the coffee coming from it is actually stronger in flavor, but sweeter than a French Press, so now I stored away the French Press with the AeroPress! Now the only coffee I make is the Bialetti Brikka Moka, Hario Switch, Turkish, and cold brew methods. All 4 of those have a different taste profile, all are on the stronger side of taste which some people don't like which is why Keurig coffee is so popular in America because it makes weak, strange-tasting coffee which most Americans still prefer, although probably in 25 to 50 years I see most Americans gravitating towards the stronger spectrum of coffee making like the Europeans are.
 

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