Search & Destroy: Home Espresso Machines

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Has this been done already? I am going to invest around £250 on an espresso machine. I can't take one home for a trial run and I don't know anyone that's owned anything other than one of those crappy cheap Krups things. I've heard some good things about the Rancilio Silvia and seen some good looking machines in shop windows.

I want one that heats up the water quick. I want one that will make 2 shots of espresso and then 2 cups of frothed milk, w/o having to reload water. I want the espresso shots to have that nice bit of creaminess when they come out. I want it to be easy to clean. I don't want one that only takes specially designed espresso pods.

marianna maclean, Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Decaf - skinny latte w/ a shot of new answers.

marianna, Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

You want the moon on a stick.

N., Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

No Nick, I think you'll find she wants an espresso machine.

Pete, Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink


Mike Hanle y, Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I have one of the cheapies ($100) and it's worked well for 3 years - made by Salton. Friends have the upper end models (much nicer to look at - esp. if you have an open kitchen) but not that much better on performance.

anthonyj, Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Yes, your steam arm should be long enough to comfortably fit into a tallish mug without the rim of it bumping into the machine itself. sadly I only know a little about industrial expresso makers, so can't realy comment. Oh, but wherever you place it make sure it is at a reasonable height, and not too high up.

alix, Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink


Mike Hanle y, Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Sadly my De' Longhi (can't remember exact model now) is a bit pooh. OK, so I do live in a hard water area, but having to descale the thing after every 4th cup brewed is very tedious & has led it to being consigned to the rear of a distant cupboard.

I think there may have been a survey in December 2000's Which? magazine.

David, Tuesday, 8 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I have a Krupp. It doesn't have enuf pressure, but is tolerable. The steamer suXoR tho, so I just drink straight shots.

Sterling Clover, Wednesday, 9 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
if you want true pro espresso output, get a pro machine. My URL

Brian, Sunday, 21 March 2004 11:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I found this astonishing link on making espresso at home. It's a must-read! "These notes are my report on what we think we know." I want a Pavoni now.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Sunday, 21 March 2004 17:50 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've really liked the Nespresso machine I got for Hanukkah. It does everything Marianna wants *except* for the part about the pods- you can only use the special Nespresso ones. This isn't an issue for me, since I can't really tell different brands apart, and I've still got my cheap one-cup coffee maker when I want variety...but I can understand why it would annoy others.

mike a, Sunday, 21 March 2004 18:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I still haven't invested in the espresso machine. The ones that I like the most - the pavoni professional in particular - are just a wee bit out of my price range. Until then I'm sticking to my french press.

marianna, Thursday, 25 March 2004 11:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I like my stove-top cheap-ass knock-off Moka pot. I laugh in the face of your fancy machines, but then I don't drink that much coffee and don't expect amazing quality when I do, but rather just a reasonable degree of tastiness.

Liz :x (Liz :x), Thursday, 25 March 2004 11:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I love my Pavoni, even after the accident (it discharged full pressure straight onto my wrist - a year on, it's a fascinating scar). That said, I don't use it nearly as much as I should. The lever action takes a bit of getting used to, in that you'll make a lot of cups the wrong strength before you work out what pressure you need to put on it, but once you get it right it makes the perfect cup.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Thursday, 25 March 2004 11:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

What's to destroy or search?

You buy one, you use it three times, you put it away, and never use it again.

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 25 March 2004 11:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I have a Melitta three-for-all, which I use every day to make espresso or cappucino. It works really well if you have the right touch (for example, you can't pack the grind in too tightly, etc.), but is still pretty easy to use. I can make 2 good caps without any trouble. I've had it for about 2 and a half years, and can't imagine life without it at this point.

webcrack (music=crack), Thursday, 25 March 2004 13:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

My Mok and large stainless moka still do me proud. I'd love a pavoni though, they are a work of art. Excellent linnk tracer

Ed (dali), Thursday, 25 March 2004 13:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I loved the link as well - it made me realise that almost everybody who has owned one has managed to have the same accident as me. :-)

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Thursday, 25 March 2004 13:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
Aw yeah. I just got a La Pavoni Europiccola 8-cup machine as a wedding present.. This thing belongs in the MOMA:

My first experiment produced fair results - about as good as the espresso in my neighborhood coffeeshop, but not exactly great. I understand these things take a little practice (tamping, grind, pulling speed, etc.) I have yet to watch the accompanying video. Also, the burr grinder I picked up seems to be defective and does not work on the finest settings, so I was only able to produce a grind on the lower end of acceptable for espresso.

I used Zabar's espresso, which is probably not the best thing available, but seemed pretty good.

One thing about this machine is that it's a bit light so that when you're pulling the lever it can move around a little - you kind of have to hold it still by one of the parts that doesn't get too hot.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Monday, 24 July 2006 00:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

teh Gaggia Classic is my machine of choice.

Dxy (Danny), Monday, 24 July 2006 00:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh how I love my Pavoni.

I made my first espressoey-tasting espresso this morning. I used a grind from my favorite place (since my burr grinder doesn't work properly), and tamped it good and hard. The lever finally gave me that "armful of resistance" I've been hearing it's supposed to give. I also managed to work the steam arm properly and get a good frothy cap.

I wish I had one of these on top, though expensive and purely decorative:

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Wednesday, 26 July 2006 04:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Good god, this machine is the greatest gift I've ever received. I can't even stand to drink coffee out anymore because it comes out so much better at home.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Monday, 11 September 2006 12:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm getting a capsule one. Perfect grind, tamping and pressure every time.

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Monday, 11 September 2006 12:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Capsule is definitely a good way to go, but I prefer the obsessive, ritualistic behaviors that come with the Pavoni, not to mention the wider variety of coffees to try.

Incidentally, did anyone see this?

Has anyone tried these places? I was just talking to someone about how hard it is to get good espresso in NYC, so let's hope this is a real trend.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Friday, 15 September 2006 16:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Man, one thing that's really good, I've found, is to make a shot of espresso and add about an equal amount of steamed half-and-half. Yum.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Thursday, 21 September 2006 21:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

just ordered a 3-cup bialetti

rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Monday, 9 March 2009 02:11 (ten years ago) Permalink

just got a 3-cup bialetti & two pretty pavina double-wall espresso cups

rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Thursday, 12 March 2009 18:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

i love bialettis. but the rubber seal on mine is getting old and frayed. the past few cups i've made have had a gross burnt rubber taste. anyone know where you can buy replacement ones? (haven't checked bialetti's website btw)

mark cl, Thursday, 12 March 2009 18:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

yuppie scum: the thread

abanana, Thursday, 12 March 2009 18:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

lol bialettis are so cheap dude

mark cl, Thursday, 12 March 2009 18:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

3.5 years later, the handle of my pavoni portafilter breaks into pieces - it had completely rusted through because the plastic grip on the handle allows in moisture. The base is getting rusted as well, because the steam wand drips water under the tray. Pretty o_0 for a machine that expensive.

pithfork (Hurting 2), Monday, 15 February 2010 23:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

We've had a Saeco Aroma machine for about 4 years ran about $250 when we got it, and it has withstood two morning lattes every day, with weekend lattes as well..and the only thing we've had to replace was the steam nozzle, which was like a $10 part that we bought online. It's semi-automatic (I think)...water-pump, steam enhancer wand thingy, and it's got a pressurized portafilter (cheating, I know). But I'm a fan.

I always coveted the brightly colored Francis! Francis! looks like a little submarine.

Mr Veg covets the Pavoni, but the look of it kind of terrifies me. Gorgeous, but I feel like I would need a pair of overalls and a shovel full of coal to get it working.

VegemiteGrrrl, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 00:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

I have never once made a good cup of coffee out of my Europiccola. It's like an art installation at this point.

antexit, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 01:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's a wonderful and terrible machine. I think one thing that some people find hard to get used to is that in a way it doesn't really "make" good coffee, it just gives you the potential to make amazing coffee. People expect a coffee machine to do everything for you. But a significant downside I'm realizing is its design flaws combined with the terrible and sparse service available, although at least if you're in NYC there's a guy you can get through Porto Rico that works on the machines.

pithfork (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 16 February 2010 01:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dark glossy espresso beans, right? Fine grind with a burr grinder, hard tamp finished with a twist, draw the arm up a little through the grounds slow, let the chamber fill, and then push down real slow and controlled? I got nothing. I watch the youtubes of guys pulling swirly muddy shots thick with crema and it's like I'm a eunuch watching a John Holmes movie.

antexit, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 01:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

The Pavoni absolutely seems like it's for the love of the process AND the result...and when you get an amazing espresso out of that machine you know it's not just the machine, it's you as well. Or your understanding of the machine. I bow down to anyone who can pull a shot from something that looks for all intents and purposes like a very attractive drill press. Bow. Down.

VegemiteGrrrl, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 01:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

Did you use the "double" filter cup? The single is notoriously too small.

pithfork (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 16 February 2010 01:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

Actual lols at antexit's last post. Great stuff.

Bill A, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 12:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

dark glossy espresso beans are not ideal for good should go with a lighter roast

dyao, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 13:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

not really an espresso machine as such but i've never had a better americano than the one the aeropress makes

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 13:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

we have one of those single-serving espresso machines at work, with the little pods

max, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 15:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

makes surprisingly above-average espresso. still not pro barista-level but better than most non-specialist cafes.

max, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 15:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

eight years pass...


Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 6 December 2018 03:21 (five months ago) Permalink

I've been using one of these Delongghi Dedicas for a couple of years now and it has been quite reliable. Coffee snobs would probably not approve but its a good low end unit:

My only gripe is the milk doesnt froth really solid thick, but that could be my technique.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Friday, 7 December 2018 05:56 (five months ago) Permalink


an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Friday, 7 December 2018 08:11 (five months ago) Permalink

Still perfectly happy with my Quick Mill 3004 here

StanM, Friday, 7 December 2018 08:35 (five months ago) Permalink

delonghi magnifica represent

its good

puppy bash (darraghmac), Friday, 7 December 2018 08:43 (five months ago) Permalink

Obscenely expensive normally but I bought my mom a Breville Oracle on clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond (so just really expensive) - even though it's fully automatic with a questionable grinder it's as good as any espresso shop I've been to (with fresh beans).

louise ck (milo z), Friday, 7 December 2018 08:56 (five months ago) Permalink

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