Purchasing an espresso maker

Laplace

New member
Jan 6, 2009
1
0
Greetings fellow coffee drinkers,
I am new to this forum and I think Ill start of with a short introduction (feel free to skip this part, even though it will be very short ;) ). I am a 19-years-old Norwegian student studying in, well, Norway. To some of you my forum alias (I figured my Norwegian last name which I normally use online wouldn't be appreciated in an American (?) forum) may give away what I study, the others probably don't care. Every morning before I get to the university to study whatever subject that Laplace guy is famous for I tend to drink a cup of coffee, or two or three. And since I moved away from the comfort of my parents coffee last summer I have this fall mostly been enjoying rather cheap espresso made in my Bialetti-coffee-mug-thingy. Which offers a decent espresso, but I am now looking to take another step into the amazing world of coffee. And while my birthday is right around now and my father asked me if I wanted a new coffee machine I figured, hey, why not!?

So that brings us to the point where I need YOUR help, what type of coffee-machine do I want? I have been looking into different types of semi-automatics/full-automatics but haven't really been able to make a choice yet. I know the obvious pros and cons with semi/full automatics (at least I think I do, please enlighten me if I am mistaken), the semi providing a lot more flexibility and being easier to keep clean while the full ones make your coffee alot faster and better if you're not particularly skilled at making them.

I'll skip ahead to my coffee-maker requirements; obviously the major one is that it makes good coffee. And by that I mainly mean good espresso. Allthough the ability to make a cappuccino for the evenings (steaming milk being the major issue here, I can manage to mix the components my self) isn't something I wouldn't appreciate. The obvious being stated I'm left a choice; do I want to go with a full automatic so that I can wake up in the morning, push a button and have my espresso ready in half a minute, or do I want to go with a semi-automatic so that I can take part in the making and influence the result myself. To be honest I think I want the first one more, but is there a pro or con about full automatics I'm overlooking (apart from the price obviously)?

I've looked at some models, I'll try to find an English link to all of them:

Krups Espresseria Automatic EA8080. Approx 6000 Norwegian kroner - 900 USD.http://www.anothercoffee.co.uk/products/item106205.aspx Is it worth paying nearly 200$ more to get the EA 8080 instead of the EA8000 ? Or is one of the EA-models alot better/alot worse than the rest?

Krups XP7200/7220/7240. Ranging from 3000 to 5000 kroner - 450 - 700 USD. Why is this cheaper than the EA80XX-models? And what difference will I experience on a day-to-day basis?

Saeco Odea Giro, couldn't find an English link, but I've read that the steaming function is pretty bad. It's is cheaper than the ones I've already mentioned thought, about 3000 kroners - 450 USD.

Saeco Talea Giro, twice the cost of the Odea, I have no idea why, and I would really need a good argument to get this one instead of the Odea.

I've also checked out some Siemens machines: TK52001, TK58001, TK69009 and TK65001. I have no idea what the difference between these are, and I have no idea how I should know either. (Which is why I'm thrilled I found this forum ;) )


I realize that these are all full-automatic machines, which I, while writing this figured out is what I really want.

Now for the last part; what do i want from YOU?!

The perfect thing would be like ten forum users agreeing super fast and telling me "buy machine <insert name>, it is way better than the others", but I don't expect that to happen. So if there is no clear answer to what I should get I would really appreciate some input on experiences with these machines, some good arguments on which one is the better choice and finally, how do I know which one is the right one for me?

Thank you in advance :)
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
How about 1 forum member giving you 10 different answers? Just kidding.......

You have to ask yourself how much time and effort you're willing to give. Are you one of those lazy a$$ people that like to push a few buttons and the machine takes care of it for you? Or do you really want to be involved in the entire process hands-on? Do you like consistency and dependability or do you like a true challenge, always pushing the envelope for the better?

Go with a tried and proven name, like Gaggia or Rancilio. Saeco and Krups are OK if you don't want to invest too much $$$, but don't expect the higher level of quality either. Need more info? Later!
 
Jan 18, 2008
704
1
MASS.
The Shadow745's and the ElPugDiablo's of the forum can advise you on a practical espresso machine, but I'll just reply to your greeting...

I'm not sure what Laplace means, other than the place, but man, you can use your name in any forum, it doesn't matter how you spell it (insert confused smiley face here).

You can do a quick search in this forum using the search option, towards the top right of this page, for the machines that Shadow745 just mentioned, for more info. I personally would probably go for the Krups espresso machine, 'cause I'm not about to spend more than $100 or so to make coffee, ha ha. Also, in my mornings, I need coffee quick, so pushing a button sounds about right for me.

Stick around and tell us how your espresso machine purchase works out for you.

Welcome to Coffeeforums.com Laplace!
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
Well said my good friend. And you are right in that some people just want to push a button in the morning and not bother with warming a machine up, grinding, cleaning everything, etc.

If this guy is on a budget I'd recommend a nice conical burr grinder and a decent sized French Press. Lots of people love the press method over anything for the delicious cup it makes and the simplicity of it all. This combo can be had for cheap and get the job done.... Later!
 
Jan 18, 2008
704
1
MASS.
Shadow745! As an accomplished and professional barista at that cool coffee bar you run in NC, what kind of espresso machine have you been using lately and what do you like/not like about it?
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
The machine I get to play, I mean work on is a 3 group LaMarzocco Linea, which is considered the workhorse of the industry or used to be anyway. There are lots of positives that go with it like being able to pull 2-3 shots at the same time, being able to steam 12-16 oz. of whole milk in 30 seconds or less, great shot temperature stability, it's directly plumbed in, etc. Not really any negatives except it takes awhile to warm up in the morning.

The grinder at work is a Nuova Simonelli MDX with a doser. I'm not much of a fan of the doser because co-workers tend to let it fill up and then that starts to stale rather quickly. I'd rather have it doserless and that may be an option down the road if I push hard enough. LOL....

I will say that having commercial equipment to tinker with is nice, but in all honesty I get similar results with my home setup with the same beans. I do feel that the commercial stuff offers a bit more consistency and is more forgiving, but with the proper fine tuning great spro can be had on most decent home setups. It really is about the person running it all more than anything IMO. Of course the beans, machine, grinder all factor in, but it means nothing if you don't have a decent understanding of how it all comes together and work daily to keep it that way. Later!
 
Top