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Richard Kilgore

Least Expensive Machine for Decent Espresso?

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Ah - my apologies then.

I've currently got no internet connection at home (grrrr...) and at work we're not allowed to access ebay, so I can't look at your links, but they sound interesting.

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edited to remove original post but to then ask:

phaelon56, you mentioned Expobar upthread (early on) as being an ugly duckling but good performer. what makes this brand stand out? the prices on the machines seem pretty decent in comparison with others (isomac, ecm) that are part of the e61 style machine that you recommend.


Edited by alanamoana (log)

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The thing that makers the Expobar stand out is price. It's that simple. A wide variety of machines in the higher end home espresso machine category all utilize some form of the basic "E-61" grouphead design. It was invented by Faema in 1961 and utilize a thermosyphon that circulates hot water inside the group head as a way to achieve a greater measure of thermal stability.

The Expobar that I'm seeing currently for $799 or thereabouts will pull shots as good as the E61 style Isomacs, ECM Giotto, Quickmills etc. But it lacks any dial to show brew pressure or boiler pressure. On rare occasions one might need or want to change or adjust brew pressure on such a machine and the dial is a nice feature at those times.

There are some machines in that category that have more heavy duty pressurestats than others, an electromagnetic switch for detecting low water reservoir levels (instead of a simple mechanical switch like my Isomac), etc. - but with a bit of practice one can pull great shots on any of them.

If I were doing it all over again and had a somewhat larger budget I'd probably go for an ECM Giotto because I like the sexy shape and the slightly greater attention to detail in the fit and finish than my Isomac Tea. Or I might even opt for the Expobar Brewtus - which has a dual boiler system and greater brew temperature stability.

But I'm not enough of a gadget freak to sell off my Isomac and pay the difference for either one of those. I probably will buy either a one group Synesso Cyncra or... . some great day when it's actually available - a La Marzocco GS3. But either of those would be used in a roasting operation / cupping lab and not in my kitchen. The Isomac stays where it is :smile:

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Just as a follow up: with all the discussion of the E61 type machines with heat exchangers, etc. I got excited to spend a lot of money on a machine for my husband. Well, when it came down to it, he didn't want to spend that much money on an espresso machine. At least not right now. So, I ended up getting him the Gaggia "Coffee Deluxe" espresso machine.

We opened it up and used it this morning for the first time (we're not too big on Christmas, so a little early isn't a big deal :wink: ).

I went into buying this type of machine armed with all of the information on this thread and from information on coffeegeek.com regarding pitfalls, etc. I have to say, it is a pretty solid machine. Our first shot out of the box (after cleaning and priming) had nice crema. The machine came with a can of Lavazza "in Blue" coffee. My husband, who has been drinking instant for about two years now, was so happy! Of course, he said his tastebuds have been sanded down with instant for so long he'd think anything was better :hmmm: , but he really liked the results.

I can see the downside of having to wait a bit to steam milk and then to purge the boiler if you want to brew another shot...overall though, this machine will be used for a morning cappuccino and that's about it. Maybe if we were bigger coffee drinkers and entertained more it would have been cost effective to go one or two levels higher. I think we'll be pretty happy with this machine for at least a couple of years.

Thanks for all the informative posts!

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Or if you don't plan on steaming milk but your husband is a tweaker...  tell him to Google PID and Silvia. That'll keep him busy for awhile.

Aw, c'mon. It's not as bad as that. :D

gallery_30861_4130_11404.jpg

-jon-

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I've been lemming the Jura Capresso Impressa F9 Espresso Machine for a month. I wanted the Francis Francis X1 and looked at the Illy deal as well but just didn't want that much coffee lying around the house. now, I love coffee but even that was quite a bit of coffee for me (I am the only consistent coffee drinker in the house).

I took a class at Williams-Sonoma on espresso machines and believe it or not, I learned quite a bit. I currently have a Moka pot, which I do love but this Jura Capresso won me over.

It was easy to use and clean and the espresso was...out of this world.

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Does anyone have any experience with a Breville 800ESXL Epresso Machine?

gallery_38003_2183_767238.jpg

I recently came into possession of one and I was blown away. Great crema - very different from a $150 machine I had been using previously.

Your experiences please.

Jmahl

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No personal experiences to share but what I've read about it indicates that it's capable of producing shots akin to what you'd get from a Rancilio Silvia or Gaggia. Recovery time between shots or for steaming may be a trifle slow but it's evident from the photo that the portafilter and the grouphead assembly are nice and heavy - crucial for good shots. And as you've now proven - there's a real benefit to spending as bit more for an entry level espresso machine - you truly get what you pay for.

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A bit random but I thought I'd post here instead of starting something new.

A little birdy just told me that Starbucks is getting rid of or discontinuing their Barista Espresso machines, and the remaining ones are likely to get marked down to about $99.

We think ours is a pretty good basic machine and I just thought I'd let y'all know to be on the lookout. :)

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A little birdy just told me that Starbucks is getting rid of or discontinuing their Barista Espresso machines, and the remaining ones are likely to get marked down to about $99. 

Heck of a deal at $99. Good entry level machine. Won't make stellar shots but with good coffee and a bit of practice you can make drinks at home better than any chain and better than many independent cafes offer.

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