looking for a quality metal body espresso machine

jonels

New member
Nov 26, 2004
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Hi:
I am replacing a dying Delonghi CAFFE Carmen and would like to get a fabulous cup of espresso. I have a Starbucks Barista coffee gringer.
I prefer metal as opposed to a plastic body and would like a machine that is easy to clean and to use.

I usually drink 1-2 cups of espresso or capuccino per day but make several cups when entertaining.

Does the semi automatic make better espresso

Is the Pasquini Livia 90 overkill? The Rancilio Silvia looks like an alternative. I am open to sugesstions.
Thanks for any input
 

KittJ

New member
Nov 27, 2004
6
0
Jonels
Some personal impressions:
"Does the semi automatic make better espresso?"
Than what? Some semis make terrific espresso. Some don't. There are several automatics that appear to reliably make a decent shot... certainly better than many amateurs can pull with most of the less expensive machines available. On the other hand, I kinda like the DIY aspect of a semi, so I wouldn't be happy with automatic. The key to your decision probably rests more with: "what amount of time are you prepared to invest in learning to tease a great shot out of the machine?"

"Is the Pasquini Livia 90 overkill?"
There is no such thing as overkill in the search for consistently outstanding espresso. I think you might be asking whether the price ($1400) seems justified for the small improvement over a Silvia ($500). For some people, the answer is obviously "yes". If you can afford (without regret) to invest $5000 in your personal set-up in order to pull less than 40 shots per week, then you can feel confident that for you, the 90 (and many other great machines) are not overkill. If you are uncomfortable spending $5K, then you need to clarify your criteria for overkill.

"The Rancilio Silvia looks like an alternative."
The $500 Silvia has long been the widely accepted standard benchmark... but nobody has made a "data" based claim that it makes the best espresso shot possible from any particular coffee. There are several much more expensive machines that testers have concluded really do out perform it. And David Schomer (sp?) would kill it for poor tempearture control by his standards.

KittJ
PS ... You might want to put some ($~500) of what you are comfortable spending into a top grinder (Mazzer, Macap) before investing in a very expensive machine with your current grinder. Another good investment might be a session at a Barista school.
 
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jonels

New member
Nov 26, 2004
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  • Thread Starter
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eKitt:
Thanks for your good input. Yes I will definately invest in a better grinder and the Barista school is a fabulous idea. Whjere would I find a Barista school? I live in Phoenix, AZ.
My max for an espresso machine is ~$1500. I will be a 'newbe' to semi-automatics and have no problem spending time to accomplish perfect espresso.

Some of the posts do not give either of my selections good marks.
What would you (or any other reader)consider to be the best for approx. $1500?
Thanks
Jonels
 

KittJ

New member
Nov 27, 2004
6
0
Jonels,

I do not have a satisfactory (to me) basis for advocating a particular machine as the best one for you. My thoughts on machines change over time and my enthusiam wanes as little quirks begin to annoy me...

I do think a person should have tested at least half a dozen reasonable candidate machines and at least two of them extensively and systematicly before they can be considered qualified to offer an opinion worth being considered. Since I don't have THAT much experience with most of the machines that should be in consideration, I have to say "non lo so". I rely on the opinions/data reported bypeople like Mark Prince and Dan Kehn.
I assume yoiu have read:
http://home.earthlink.net/~dan.coffeege ... guide.html
http://www.espressovivace.com/archives.html
http://www.lucidcafe.com/cafeforum/schomertable22.html

Personally, I am going to investigate the Synesso Cyncra http://www.synesso.com/Prices-Specs.shtml, an Andreja Premium and a La Marzocco Linea (used) before I go back to the usual suspects.

Regarding barista training, I would recommend that you call some one in the business for suggestions, e.g.:
Jared Mockli
Executive Director
Seattle Barista Academy
TEL: (800)927-3286 ext 210
FAX: (206)763-8039
www.SeattleBaristaAcademy.com

He is active on this board and might have some good suggestions.
 

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