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Melitta 15 bar pump espresso machine

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Hi, I've never posted to this forum before, but since coffee's starting to become more important to me, I thought I'd better get some information. I'm not particularly fussy, liking an occasional capuccino from Starbucks or local coffee houses. But while shoveling the driveway after the last snowstorm, I kept thinking how nice it would be to go back inside and make my own capuccino. I'm not looking for great, just decent. At least mine would be consistent, which I can't say about Starbucks. So I want a cheap starter espresso machine. The Melitta 15 bar pump machine sounds like a good deal for the money.


Anybody have it, try it, or know about it? I'd appreciate your experiences, or suggestions for other machines. Remember, cheap... my husband is a hard sell! Thanks.

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Welcome to the Coffee & Tea forum! My first espresso machine was a De Longhi that cost about $75. In most respects it's very much like the Melitta. By the way - all inexpensive pump machines tout "15 bars of pressure". No big deal as properly made espresso requires about 9 bars of pressure.

You'll get more for your money in some respects by getting a "stovetop espresso maker" aka a moka pot. It produces a rich concentrated beverage that is not the same as espresso but many people find it more satisfying than espresso from a sub $200 "espresso machine".

With practice and good fresh beans you can in fact produce a Cappuccino at home that will likely be as good or in many cases better than what Starbucks provides. But the serious budget challenge you mention being imposed by your husband makes it a bit tougher. The cheapest grinder you can buy that will give a consistent grind is a Solis Maestro - about $80 - $110 depending on which version and where you buy it. Or look for a Bodum Antigua at about $70 - $80.

You can use a cheap blade grinder for this purpose but you'll need to shake it a few times between grind pulses and experiment to get a reasonable consistency in a fine grind (and even then it has shortcomings).

Or find a good local roaster who will grind to espresso fineness, take the bag home and divvy it up into small ziplocs - each with enough for one morning worth of drinks. Store the sealed bags inside another container and pull out one at a time as need but be sure to let them thaw completely before opening the bag.

It's a compromise to be sure but better than continuing to open, close and reopen a pre-ground can of Illy or Lavazza that probably wasn't all that fresh when first opened. If you still feel compelled to buy a low end espresso machine please do stick to the pump variety such as the one you referenced. The "steam driven" models are far too messy, inconvenient and inconsistent to be of any value. There's a good reason why steam toy espresso machines are most likely America's #1 Regifted Item :laugh:

And by the way... if you really want to produce first class espresso drinks at home a more realistic investment is about $500 for the espresso machine, $175 to $275 for a grinder and about another $100 for peripheral items (good tamper, steam pitcher, knock box, tamping mat etc.).

But I can also comfortably state that when I first got my little $75 pump driven De Longhi and began using it with my $20 blade grinder.... Starbucks was the best espresso I'd ever had (not saying much) and within a month of getting that machine I was making drinks as good as or better than what I'd been paying $4 each for.

And if it had turned out to be a disaster or I simply lost interest (neither of which happened) it was a small investment to lose. It's when you make the next jump in quality... after you're hooked... that you need to choose very carefully. A $200 - $250 espresso machine and a $120 grinder will get you more hooked but also more frustrated because you'll find yourself making the occasional shot that is fantastic and others that are just "okay".

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Thanks for the nice welcome. I appreciate your answering my question seriously , especially since I'm not much of a connsoisseur of coffee (yet!). Your experience with the De Longhi is heartening. The cheapie machine will pay for itself in a short time, and if my barista experience is positive, I'll probably move up from there. So expect more questions in the future!

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