Fell in love with espresso

espresso fan

New member
Jul 21, 2008
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Went to Brasil and fell in love with it. I get so pissed when I get an espresso in the states and they ask me how many shots then pour it in a paper cup. I was going to throw it in the guys face and tell him ''you call this an espresso?'' pour it in a decent cup at least you jerk..........

so my point is i am looking for a proper espresso machine, I think $500 US would be my limit for first time purchase, I am aware that is probably budget, however that would be on the high end for me. Can you guys suggest something that is going to be quality but still affordable? There are so many, I am confused...what else am I looking for? certain pressure, etc?

Also, after I have the machine, where do I get the coffee? I also need a grinder?

Yeah most coffee shops I've seen aren't operated the way they should be IMO. Equipment not cleaned and maintained properly. And all the McDonald's think they have it covered. That setup is the biggest "Cafe" joke I've seen yet.....

For your budget I'd consider a grinder in the $200 range, a mid priced Gaggia semi-automatic and leave the rest for a good tamper, stainless steaming pitcher, a few shot glasses and a digital thermometer.

Here's a few thoughts to save money...... A great all-around conical burr grinder is the Capresso Infinity and can be had for about $90. I have one and it is amazing at the price point. You could spend around $200-300 on a mid range Gaggia that will have all the features of the higher end Gaggias, but more plastic construction where it doesn't count anyway. The Gaggias will make a mean cup of spro. Easily on par with most of what you've had in cafes that you would consider good.

If I'm not mistaken the Sirena is made by BMW for $bux....... If there is another Sirena made I don't know of it. And it hasn't gotten great reviews from owners from what I've read.

Like I've said before, the Gaggia lineup is pretty hard to beat for the money.

Don't be confused by pressure ratings. Most machines have vibratory pumps that will crank out 15 bars of pressure, but you only need 9 for good shots. You actually control the pressure by grind fineness and tamp pressure, so don't be fooled by this or that in advertising.

There are a number of great online pro roasters that will lead you in the right direction. My personal favorite is Espresso Toscano from Counter Culture Coffee. IMO it doesn't get any better. Later!
Breville Cafe Roma

As far as the espresso machine goes - my first one was under $200 as a Breville Cafe Roma. I''m quite happy with it. I did have a service problem, but Breville fixed the machine and paid for shipping and all. Be sure to get a PUMP-DRIVEN machine. You''ll be hard pressed to find any pump driven under $175 or so, and if you do it''s probably a crappy steam-driven machine.