Espresso Machine Recs for an "intermediate"


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Apr 22, 2005
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Pretty much everyday for the past 3.5 years, I've been using our Krups Il Duomo espresso machine. It's been fine, but lately I've noticed that the pressure has gone down and I've broken my second carafe. My wife agrees that I've more than justified that I can get a much better, dedicated espresso machine since I'll actually use it. I'm here because I have no idea where to start looking.

Coffeewise, I've been using Illy Espresso roast (dark and decaf) because I've found that it's the most consistent. I've tried Peets and Starbucks blends but they weren't bold enough for me, if that's a proper description. As an aside, I actually prefer my regular coffee dark (sometimes just a little cream) but on the medium to strong side. For water, I always use filtered water, never straight from the tap.

1) I want to keep a budget of <$350/$400 for the machine.
2) It only has to do espresso, I don't need a regular coffee maker. I also want a foamer for the milk.
3) I don't want to run any special water lines or power lines to it. It's near the electric stove, so they can use the same breaker circuit, but never at the same time.
4) I don't want an especially large or tall machine.
5) I also want something that I can easily get parts for, if necessary.

Thanks for the guidance.
Well I don't for see you needing a 220 machine by what you have described. So I think the stove is out. Have a look at the following so you might be able to make a decision. Isomac, Saeco, Solis, La Pavoni, and Rancilio.

I went to 1st-line to do the search, this address will bring up what it found. ... 00&start=0

I myself am not a big fan of either the Isomac or Saeco. Of the other 3 my Solis Master 5000 is nice but steaming takes awhile. If I were to go and pickup another machine I would go for the Rancilio. I have worked on quite a few of them and I have grown to like the simplicity of it.
Check out the Solis Crema SL90 it is an automatic, meaning that it will dispense a set amount of water for the brewing process that will help you get the perfect shot for your liking without any guesswork as to if that is the same volume of espresso. It will dispense the same amount time after time. For steaming it is a great machine too. Here is a link to a better description Solis Crema SL90 This is the machine that I am using in my own kitchen and it never misses a beat. You should also consider getting the non pressurized filter also. Solis Crema Double Shot NON-Pressurized Filter