Wish I Knew More About Various Coffee Machines

m2244

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Hello,

I've been doing some research into coffee machines and it's made me realize how much I don't know about them. I'd say I'm a fairly basic coffee person, I usually drink either black coffee from our French press at home or an Americano from the coffee shop.

So, I don't believe I need one of the $1k to $3k machines that make every coffee drink imaginable.

Can someone give me a little advice? I'm thinking something more like the De'Longhi EC9355M (I haven't settled on a model yet, just asking if I should go for a machine like this instead of the all-in-one touchscreen machines).
 

Enigma-2

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I also wanted a semiautomatic machine starting out and went with the Breville Barista Express, model number BES870XL.

Extremely popular, wide customer base, excellent parts availability, lots of aftermarket accessories and tons of YouTube videos on using, repairing, cleaning and modifying. And it does a really decent job of grinding and making espresso.

When selecting a machine, research the factors I listed above as having a YouTube following is most important. When things go wrong, and they will starting with the very first espresso pull, having a large base to turn to for answers makes life worth living again.

Some of the tools I've added to achieve consistency are:

A 54mm hands free, dosing Funnel designed to fit the Breville Barista Portafilter.

A Normcore WDT Distribution Tool with Stand V3. (Could of gone cheaper, but like most of the accessories I added were bought during a Black Friday event, at a healthy discount). https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BPCHCZH4?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

A Normcore 53.3mm Coffee Gravity Distribution Tool. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C8DVKJJQ?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

A Normcore 53.3 mm spring loaded tamper with 15 lb, 25 lb & 30 lb springs, a titanium ripple plated base, anodized aluminum handle and stand.

A digital coffee scale with timer.

And a FusedLine Single Dose Hopper with Silicone Bellows and Anti-Popcorning Weight.
 
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Musicphan

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Hello,

I've been doing some research into coffee machines and it's made me realize how much I don't know about them. I'd say I'm a fairly basic coffee person, I usually drink either black coffee from our French press at home or an Americano from the coffee shop.

So, I don't believe I need one of the $1k to $3k machines that make every coffee drink imaginable.

Can someone give me a little advice? I'm thinking something more like the De'Longhi EC9355M (I haven't settled on a model yet, just asking if I should go for a machine like this instead of the all-in-one touchscreen machines).

Let's clarify - there is brewed or drip coffee, and then there are espresso-based drinks. For espresso drinks on the low end is the Breville Barista product line but often you are looking at $2-3K for a solid setup. Since you're just starting out, I would recommend starting out with a good brewed coffee setup. Grinders are critical - they are the chef knife of the coffee world. A quality grinder will cost you several hundred dollars - historically the Baratza line is the best band for the buck, but I haven't kept up on grinders. For the brewer, you could go with a manual brewer like a Clever $40ish or if you want an auto drip there is a number of option. SCA has a gold cup standard... for home brewers here is a solid listing: https://sca.coffee/certified-home-brewer
 

nobody

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Hello,

I've been doing some research into coffee machines and it's made me realize how much I don't know about them. I'd say I'm a fairly basic coffee person, I usually drink either black coffee from our French press at home or an Americano from the coffee shop.

So, I don't believe I need one of the $1k to $3k machines that make every coffee drink imaginable.

Can someone give me a little advice? I'm thinking something more like the De'Longhi EC9355M (I haven't settled on a model yet, just asking if I should go for a machine like this instead of the all-in-one touchscreen machines).
You are a coffee drinker, and I am not. I drink Espresso based bevarages, primarily Lattes or Flat Whites. There is a difference between Espresso and Coffee. I looked at the machine you referenced. That is an Espresso machine. You could buy an Espresso machine, and make Coffee, sort of. You can draw shots of Espresso and water it down so that it is like Coffee. I think that is what they call an "Americano", but honestly, that seems like a roundabout and drawn out way to do what a coffee maker can do, and for less money and less maintenance. There is kind of a lot of regular work that goes into keeping an Espresso machine in good order, and making Espresso isn't a simple task. You need a really good grinder, too. They aren't cheap. Trying to grind the Coffee at the store probably isn't going to work. The machine you show has a grinder, but they are not considered to be great grinders, but then, you are only wanting to make Coffee, but then that comes back to the thought that you are looking at an Espresso machine. All in one units are kind of not a great idea, because if one part breaks, what do you do about the other? Also, on that machine, you have a steam wand, which is not used for coffee.

As far as for Coffee, which I don't drink much, I can't help too much, other than a few things I can mention. My wife drinks Coffee. I bought her a Keurig. It makes the worst tasting Coffee I have ever had, but it is darn sure simple and convenient. My wife loves it. She can basically just put water and Coffee in and push a button and out comes a drink. I guess that she values convenience far more than taste. Today at Aldi, she bought some instant Coffee, and I asked her "why". She said "because I like that too". I guess that is why she is ok with Keurig coffee. I have a friend (who has an Espresso machine), who also likes Coffee. He swears by a percolator and insists on using bottled water. I think he would be ok with water run through home filtration, too. I think that a percolator makes great Coffee. There might be kther good ways, too.

I see that musicphan posted a similar response to mine already, but I added some of my own thoughts and experiences.

Danny
 
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nobody

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Hello,

So, I don't believe I need one of the $1k to $3k machines that make every coffee drink imaginable.
Yes, you are absolutely correct. You are probably best served by a Coffee Machine of some type, not an Espresso Machine, and that will cost less.

Danny
 

shadow745

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You are a coffee drinker, and I am not. I drink Espresso based bevarages, primarily Lattes or Flat Whites. There is a difference between Espresso and Coffee. I looked at the machine you referenced. That is an Espresso machine. You could buy an Espresso machine, and make Coffee, sort of. You can draw shots of Espresso and water it down so that it is like Coffee. I think that is what they call an "Americano", but honestly, that seems like a roundabout and drawn out way to do what a coffee maker can do, and for less money and less maintenance. There is kind of a lot of regular work that goes into keeping an Espresso machine in good order, and making Espresso isn't a simple task. You need a really good grinder, too. They aren't cheap. Trying to grind the Coffee at the store probably isn't going to work. The machine you show has a grinder, but they are not considered to be great grinders, but then, you are only wanting to make Coffee, but then that comes back to the thought that you are looking at an Espresso machine. All in one units are kind of not a great idea, because if one part breaks, what do you do about the other? Also, on that machine, you have a steam wand, which is not used for coffee.

As far as for Coffee, which I don't drink much, I can't help too much, other than a few things I can mention. My wife drinks Coffee. I bought her a Keurig. It makes the worst tasting Coffee I have ever had, but it is darn sure simple and convenient. My wife loves it. She can basically just put water and Coffee in and push a button and out comes a drink. I guess that she values convenience far more than taste. Today at Aldi, she bought some instant Coffee, and I asked her "why". She said "because I like that too". I guess that is why she is ok with Keurig coffee. I have a friend (who has an Espresso machine), who also likes Coffee. He swears by a percolator and insists on using bottled water. I think he would be ok with water run through home filtration, too. I think that a percolator makes great Coffee. There might be kther good ways, too.

I see that musicphan posted a similar response to mine already, but I added some of my own thoughts and experiences.

Danny
Technically every brew method is 'coffee' as it's all derived from a single source, that being the coffee bean. Most enthusiasts generally classify things as espresso and filter, which covers the spectrum of press, drip, pourover, etc. Then again technically speaking, espresso and moka pot are filtering to a degree, just under pressure to varying degrees. Me being a diehard espresso enthusiast I typically say espresso or far less demanding brew methods, lmao, as espresso is by far the most demanding/involved of them all.

Of course some are deterred by the cost, cleaning, preventive maintenance, dialing in with an espresso setup. Espresso doesn't have to be wallet busting though as you can go the full manual route or buy quality used equipment for a fraction of new cost. Mainly comes down to how involved the user wants to be, their intended use for a setup and general expectations. I personally am OK with roasting each bean individually under a magnifying glass, then hand grinding each bean individually as well as weighing each dose to the .00001 gram, but hey that's just me.
 

nobody

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Technically every brew method is 'coffee' as it's all derived from a single source, that being the coffee bean.
That is true. However, the original poster just wants to make and drink black Coffee or an Americano. Isn't an Americano just Espresso watered down to simulate basic black Coffee? Why not just make the real thing, with less equipment, money and expertise needed, let's say, by using something like a percolator?

Danny
 

shadow745

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That is true. However, the original poster just wants to make and drink black Coffee or an Americano. Isn't an Americano just Espresso watered down to simulate basic black Coffee? Why not just make the real thing, with less equipment, money and expertise needed, let's say, by using something like a percolator?

Danny
Diluted coffee in general isn't my thing, but a dialed in Americano will usually blow away drip if the same coffee is used. Thing with an espresso based setup is you can create pretty much anything you'd ever want. Of course it's not everyone's thing and can be involved, but once I got espresso dialed in nothing else in this world will ever come remotely close to matching it. Same with my approach to home roasting as I plan to never buy roasted coffee again.
 

nobody

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Diluted coffee in general isn't my thing, but a dialed in Americano will usually blow away drip if the same coffee is used. Thing with an espresso based setup is you can create pretty much anything you'd ever want. Of course it's not everyone's thing and can be involved, but once I got espresso dialed in nothing else in this world will ever come remotely close to matching it. Same with my approach to home roasting as I plan to never buy roasted coffee again.
If we knew that the original poster wanted to branch out into other drinks such as Lattes or Cappucinos, as an example, we could then recommend them getting a full Espresso machine setup of some sort. Maybe they just want to get the machine "for show", to impress visitors. Right now, without some more info. from the original poster, we are just guessing.

Danny
 

nobody

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I looked back at the original poster's posting again, and they ask whether or not they should get the DēLonghi machine quoted, or something that spits out a Coffee drink from a button push, so maybe they intend to try other drinks, but we really don't know for sure right now. I am not sure if the original poster knows that if they get the DēLonghi quoted, that they have to make and formulate the desired drink, not the machine. They also state that they don't think that they need a one to three thousand dollar machine to make every coffee drink imagineable, so, on the other hand, it also looks like they only want to make the two drinks mentioned. Again, we are not really sure what they want to do.

Danny
 

shadow745

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I looked back at the original poster's posting again, and they ask whether or not they should get the DēLonghi machine quoted, or something that spits out a Coffee drink from a button push, so maybe they intend to try other drinks, but we really don't know for sure right now. I am not sure if the original poster knows that if they get the DēLonghi quoted, that they have to make and formulate the desired drink, not the machine. They also state that they don't think that they need a one to three thousand dollar machine to make every coffee drink imagineable, so, on the other hand, it also looks like they only want to make the two drinks mentioned. Again, we are not really sure what they want to do.

Danny
Thing is people should just figure things out for themselves as the general public can't dictate what will be most suitable. There simply is no substitute for trial/error...
 

Enigma-2

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Can someone give me a little advice? I'm thinking something more like the De'Longhi EC9355M (I haven't settled on a model yet, just asking if I should go for a machine like this instead of the all-in-one touchscreen machines).
Did you ever make a decision as to go with the De'Longhi or other machine yet?

You asked about the all-in-one machines. When I bought my Breville that design wasn't available. But had it been, I'd probably gone that route. Shortens the learning curve, and unless you're really into frustration, that can mean a lot.

(Believe me, I have (among many others), a La Pavoni Europiccola in like new condition, sitting in a box on the coffee grinder / espresso machines shelf. That damn evil creation can break the will of the strongest man - lol.)

But with even the less automatic machines (I gave you my opinion above) you can pick up the art fairly easily. Just drop by YouTube and watch a few videos on the machine you're thinking of trying. The only trick is to condense to shot down to a single variable (such as grind number) and then dial that in for your coffee.

Keep us posted, like to know what you decide. (Even if you choose to pass.)
 
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