Is this a decent machine?


New member
Oct 18, 2006
Old England (UK)
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OK I promised myself to be good.

The first machine looks like the type that has no pump, so the water is forced through ground coffee (held in some portafilter type device) under steam pressure. This means it's going to be far to hot and make a horrible espresso. The filter side will be OK as a filter machine, really here, your better off just buying a filter machine, than this psudo espresso thing.

The euphimistacally named "Hamilton Beach" pump driven espresso machine will no doub't have a NASA specification aluminium portafilter and meet all their other weight guidlines for use in the space shuttle. The thing it won't do very well is make coffee....


If your goal is espresso, then at $68, I think you might be a tad dissapointed. The machine will probably only work with coarse preground supermarket coffee, so really every part of what's required for a decent espresso is missing

The entry level machines that are considered OK are really things like the Gaggia Classic or the Rancilio Silvia ($400-500), then you need a reasoable burr grinder possibly another $150+ With these, you will be able to make the full range of coffee drinks, espresso, americano, cappas, lattes etc..

If you just want a decent cup of joe, theny ou sort of get what you pay for and with both the machines you mention, you might be better of with either a filter machine (you call em drip coffee makers) or a french press and use the money saved for a average sort of grinder....suitable for filter or french press. This is because one of the most important ingredients is fresh coffee beans you grind yourself, if you can't get this then supermarket beans, but really avoid pre-ground coffee like the plague (coffee should be used within 10 minutes of being ground).

John P

Active member
Jan 5, 2007
Salt Lake City
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You're much too kind. :)
Although there's the "I want to make my own lattes, mochas, and cappuccino" and there's "I want to make drinks like Starbucks" If the latter, $68, some stale beans, and no barista training should have you well on your way!

Seriously-- (adjustable burr) Grinder first, machine second, expect to spend $500-$700 for any decent set up. It's better to do it right the first time around then to have to upgrade in 3 months when you realize what you've done wrong.