Espresso/Cappuccino Machines?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by James~P, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anybody here know anything about good espresso/cappuccino machines? My 25 dollar Mr. Coffee machine makes espresso, but its certainly not very high quality, especially compared to the sort you can get at nice coffee shops.



    Budget is up to about 200 dollars, of course I'd hate to have to spend that much on an espresso machine! I'd also like it to have a steamer, unless better results are found otherwise.




    Thanks.
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    The difference between cheap, bad tasting espresso and the commercial kind is the commercial makers have a pump instead of just steam pressure. The pump makes all the difference. I have the Krups pump model. It has a foamer/steamer that has a hose that you put into a cup of milk and it squirts the steamed milk or foam out from a nozzle. The nozzle has a valve that lets you adjust the level of foam. This makes foaming the milk almost idiot proof (it is really difficult to learn to foam milk the normal way unless you've worked at a Starbucks). It's about $200, but you cannot get a pump model for much less and all steam models will only disappoint. Highly recommended!
     
  3. Mark Dubbelboer

    Mark Dubbelboer Screenwriter

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    I bought a DeLonghi for my girlfriend about a year and a half ago and we love it.
    The pump model is definitely the way to go. Up here the other model is called a "propellor" model and what it does is foams the milk automatically...but poorly. then you just press a button and it'll spit it on top. The pump model are the ones that have the steamers and like Jeff said are almost idiot proof.

    i did a bit of research when i was shopping and decided on DeLonghi or Krups as the brand to buy. I actually got mine at sears for about 179 (canadian), just make sure you don't buy it at starbucks...those things are way overpriced.
     
  4. Jerry Klawiter

    Jerry Klawiter Screenwriter

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  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    So for you coffee guys, how are Saeco machines? All I know Saeco is that they sponsor a UCI Div. 1 cycling team and I know they make coffee machines. The only coffee machines I've seen from them are these huge things that look like they're the SUVs of coffee machines.


    Just wondering, not a coffee drinker myself.

    Jay
     
  6. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I have a cheap as dirt machine by some company I can't remember, and it sucks, but I can get a good Espresso or Cappuccino out of it if I work at it. I don't really like cappuccino myself, I prefer "regular coffee", so I just use it for guests and my wife. I do like a cup of espresso occasionally.

    I agree with the recommendation about using a good grinder, but I'd go so far as to say don't even bother with one. Unless you get the kind of commercial grinder found at coffe shops and grocery stores, you're not going to get a good grind, and a poor grind means poor coffee. Get your coffee (all coffee, including espresso roast) ground when you buy it from your local coffee shop.

    My brother who used to be my roommate has a Starbucks Barista machine and it's really nice, it makes a great cup.
     
  8. pat_hamm

    pat_hamm Auditioning

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    I actually don't have a Barista machine, I have a Buon Caffe 330 (I think it's a 330...) but the Barista Machines are really nice. I love my 330, though! It's great! but they haven't sold them at Starbucks for years...

    Tip: Starbucks usually puts their machines on sale during the first quarter of the year, so if you want good
    cappuccino and you have the cash, it may be worth the wait.

    Starbucks also used to sell Saeco machines that were identical to the Barista machines, so while I have never researched this, it may be possible to get a Barista for much cheaper. That awesome deal that was listed above from overstock.com may be a similar machine, but I can't tell from the picture.

    a word about grinding: Good quality grinders usually cost a whole lot, and a good alternative to buying an expensive grinder is to just have Starbucks do it for you. They grind beans for free (but they don't grind flavored beans). I would not recommend a blade grinder if you want to have esspresso, as they grind very unevenly, and it's hard to get a fine grind, which is what is needed for esspresso.

    The key to good coffee is storage. Do not refrigerate or freeze the grounds (or beans, for that matter) unless you plan to use the coffee up quickly. freezing and refrigerating kills freshness. The best way to store coffee in any form is in an opaque airtight container (light kills freshness, too) at room temperature.
     
  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    We prefer our espresso made in a stove top pot, and my family has used one forever. They are relatively easy to find, inexpensive, and they make terrific espresso.

     
  10. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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    It seems that those espresso machines on overstock are "Factor Reconditioned"



    Think they're still worth while?
     
  11. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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    How about that Saeco vs. a comparably priced Krupps? Or another brand priced at 200? Which is best?
     
  12. Mark Murtha

    Mark Murtha Auditioning

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    Hi,

    I've been looking for a nice Espresso machine for some time now. I know what I want, I just need to save the money. So I'd suggest you go look here:
    www.coffeegeek.com I did and it's mainly what I used to make my choice. Very useful coffee reference. They're as particular about coffee and espresso as people on this board are particular about home theater. Very handy with just gobs of reviews on any machine you might want to buy.

    Here's a primer with all sorts of great details:
    http://www.coffeekid.com/other/newbies I highly suggest you read it and then do a little more research using these two sights. They also have forums which can be very handy.

    Oh, and to sum some things you might read there: Krupps pump machine is better than steam, but not nearly as good as a good machine. The decent ones start around $200/250. If you're grinding at home, you must have a burr grinder. Probably do not want to spend less than $100 on a grinder, probably more like $150-200 for a good one. Get good coffee. Get a good taper. Know your machine and its limitations. Yeah, it can get expensive. Just like home theater.

    The machine I'd like is the Solis Crema SL-70, which is going for about $350 right now. It has all the features I'd want, and I think it'd last long enough. Review at http://www.coffeegeek.com/proreviews/detailed/cremasl70

    Good Luck and let us know what you do,
    Mark
     
  13. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Agreed. That's what I use.
     
  14. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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    How do stove top machines work?
     
  15. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The water goes in the bottom and the coffee grind in the middle. When the water boils it is pushed up through the middle section and into the top.

    While you're replacing your Mr. Coffee, you might as well also get a coffee press.
     
  17. James~P

    James~P Stunt Coordinator

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    What kind of espresso results from a stove top device?
     

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