I'm in the market for an espresso machine and would value any opinions. There seems to be so many priced from $500 - $1500.

Thanks in advance.

w+a
Original Post
We have the Gaggia Classic . It's not terribly high end but we like it. It has commercial grade components (filter basket and the head), it performs well, is easy to use and clean and is on the low end of your price range. I would invest in a good grinder as well.

For good user reviews I'd recommend Whole Latte Love.

Let us know what you end up choosing!
Thank you QSS and Een for your input.

My daughter in grad school works a few hours a week at Starbucks, so thinks she is an expert on all things coffee. (everything else for that matter Eek) She can get the De'Longhi for 40% off, but she prefers the Gaggia Titanium unit, but no discount offered. Perhaps the Gaggia Classic would be an option at half the price.

I would love to hear from others.

w+a
Timely thread W+A because we're looking for one too. Hopefully Basecadet will chime in since it seems he knows a little about espresso machines.
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
Timely thread W+A because we're looking for one too. Hopefully Basecadet will chime in since it seems he knows a little about espresso machines.


Cool
quote:
Originally posted by Que Syrah, Syrah:
It's on the low end of what you may be looking at but I've been very happy with this-

http://www.amazon.com/FrancisFrancis-Espresso-Machine-B...e=UTF8&s=home-garden

Designed well enough to be left on the counter when not in use and will handle both ground and the now popular pods. I've only had it since X-mas, but with how well-made this machine is, I plan to keep it for some time.

And as Amazon says if you buy it from them you save $.04!
Some of the less expensive machines are fine for espresso, but not so great for cappucino. It's a real bother cleaning ours after cappucino, so we pretty much only use it for espresso.
My first choice for a starter machine would be the Rancilio Silvia (review here). Equally important to the quality of the espresso is the grinder, without a proper grind you can't get a great shot. The Rancilio Rocky is a great grinder for the price. Coffeegeek.com is a great resource for information on all things coffee, lots of user reviews.
I have a Saeco Profi that's 7 years old now, used 3-4 times a week, and has been infallible save for replacing one worn seal/gasket. It has a burr grinder with auto proportioning, but is entirely manual after that. Great machine, but I'd like to buy a fully automatic model like this one or another model that's about $200 less. Like this brand, though.
We got the Saeco Vienna Deluxe about two months ago and love it. Easy to use and makes great espresso and cap. The espresso is rich and creamy, the milk froths in about 20 seconds. No drawbacks or complaints thus far. Go to
www.wholelattelove.com for a nice selection and video demonstrations on many of the machines.
We have the Saeco machine that Seaquam posted a link for. It is a great machine and have had no problems. It is on the pricy side, but Costco.com has good prices and they have a similar machine on sale.

Whoops - just went to post a link to the sale machine and presto Costco changed their entire line-up of machines. The do have a Super automatic Gaggia machine now.
W+A, I've had my Gaggia Classic for over two years now and still love it. Performs very consistently, plus it's not so expensive as to keep you from getting a decent grinder at the same time. Believe me, you're going to want to grind your own beans to take control over your extraction time. I sometimes yearn for a double boiler machine for more and quicker steam pressure in the steam wand (for that creamy, dense cappuccino foam), but I've learned to produce pretty much the foam I want, and two boilers, well, that'll be twice the price tag. Good luck - you're in for a lot of fun and some intensely pleasurable Sunday mornings.
I don't use them and I have two that I got as gifts over the years. I use a stove top 2 piece perculator/steamer. More of a demitasse maker, than espresso I guess. I don't need the foam. Coffee comes out great.

Of course great coffee beans/grounds are the key - no matter how good the machine. Pour in a quick hit of anisette, and I'm all set. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by Vino-Ripper:
WA - I don't know if they make a machine with 2 different coffee bean hoppers, but it would be a nice feature to look for.


Vino, check out this link:Jura X9

I just purchaced a Jura coffee machine and noticed this one, it is not more than they're high end consumer model.

Also, ao far after a few days, I'm really impressed with the ease of use of the Jura.
I had a Gaggia traditional model before, it was getting tired after almost 10 years.

I wanted something easyer to use, a lot of my family comes over and makes they're own coffee. And the Gaggia had its quirks that you had to know to get it right.
Oh... I forgot to mention, the Jura all have a feature that you can bypass the bean hopper with another type of coffee (Compartment), great for the decaf-lover in the family.
And the higher end models even detect that you put coffee in and will take it from there.

Note: I do not sell the machines, I just love mine so far.
Well, seems like everyone is on a different level from us. We have a Nespresso C-190, and I love it. I know all the draw backs, not controlling the process, using their cofee, etc., don't care. The espresso is delicious and it is incredibly simple. Maybe I just don't carte enough, but the qualitative difference versus the cost and dollars and time does not make sense to me.
Go to the following website and you will get all the feedback you could possibly ever need in regards to all things coffee:

www.coffeegeek.com

Enjoy!

P.S. - after tons of research, I settled on the Rancilio Sylvia Espresso maker with the Mazzer Mini Grinder. Both have been flawless for me for several years now.
been using saeco vienna for year plus with no problem...countertop operation...
does coffee/espresso/cappuccino...grinds, brews then dumps to removable insert...easy to use & clean...
french press > espresso/cappucino


actually, i only subscribe to this notion myself about 70% of the time. i hold no respect for a cappucino though.


edited to denigrate cappucini
La Pavoni The complete set
The grinder, espresso maker and base are functional, very well designed and with a bit of practice make the finest coffee. Just as good as going to Peets.

I suggest the professional model, 16 cups. An ordinary blade grinder will not be suitable for a machine of this caliber. Its a bit idiosyncratic. The whole set will cost a bit more than a grand (depends on the Euro xchange). Ships free from Italy. Chances are it will become a fixture of your counter top and in daily use. Practically indestructible. Built to last.

I have had mine for about 10 years and it serves us well every single day. Outlasts some marriages! When I try other machines I laugh. The Pavoni leaves the rest in the dust.
W+A, did you buy one? We bought the Rancilio Silvia. We also bought the Rocky grinder, but it hasn't been delivered yet. It somehow got separated from the machine during shipment. Roll Eyes Still learning, with store bought pre-ground, but getting the hang of it. Works well so far.
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
W+A, did you buy one? We bought the Rancilio Silvia. We also bought the Rocky grinder, but it hasn't been delivered yet. It somehow got separated from the machine during shipment. Roll Eyes Still learning, with store bought pre-ground, but getting the hang of it. Works well so far.


steve8... you must be clairvoyant. Smile

I went espresso tasting yesterday (5 machines) and have 3 more to taste from today. The clear winner yesterday was a hand made machine from Spain, the Ascaso Dream machine. A lot of fun blind tasting espresso with other soon to be buyers. This machine was voted best by 6 of the 7 who tasted yesterday.

I'm hoping to buy today after tasting from the other 3 machines, including your Rancilio.

P.S. I also went shopping for a new wine cellar yesterday. Big Grin
On the lower end, I'd recommend the Swiss made Capresso 121.01 Ultima Semi-Automatic Coffee and Espresso/Cappuccino Machine. It's got all the necessary basics (18 bars pump pressure, built in tamper, self priming pump) Admittedly, not a thing of beauty, once you get the hang of this machine, it's very easy to operate AND clean up.

For a good grinder, I'd recommend the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder. gear reduction motor works slowly with little noise; the reduced static and heat buildup produce more flavorful results. I own both of these, and found them a GREAT bang for the buck. After one year of useage, no issues at all.

Personally, after going through various machines, I've come to appreciate simple, effective design (less to go wrong and break down). Just as important as a good quality machine, is a good quality of coffe bean (LAVAZZA is one I'd highly recommend IMHO), and storing it properly is SO important to the end taste. ALWAYS freeze the beans, and grind just before using.
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
Still learning, with store bought pre-ground, but getting the hang of it. Works well so far.


Steve8, if you want to try some good coffee there is one near my place, Adelia Coffee, very similar in taste to illy coffees, much cheaper and nice selection of expresso roasts.
They have some stores of they're own and you can find the products at Cavallerro in the West Island market.

Adelia
I know JC posted on this one already, but I will add that we have had 3 or 4 people buy the Nespresso after seeing and tasting from ours.

It is so simple to use - I also hate the frothy thing on the machine so have bought the $20 wand at Bed Bath & betond and that works great too (although goes through batteries rather quickly!)
Hello Steve,

I am also from the Montreal area and am looking to purchase the Rancilio Silvia expresso machine & Rocky grinder, and was wondering where you decided to purchase yours?

Thanks,
Fred
Last edited by fred12345
Hi Fred. I've never seen any posts from you before so I was going to welcome you to the forums, but then noticed you've been around here longer than I have. Big Grin

I ordered the Rancilio on-line from greenbeanery.ca. Got the machine in 2 days. Still waiting for the grinder, but that's not their fault, it's our wonderfully efficient Canada Post, who seem to have misplaced a box. Roll Eyes Mad
Well I finally bought a machine!

The search may have been laborious, but it was also fun tasting espresso from so many machines.

I went with the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500, and just enjoyed my first double shot. Smile

Thanks to all for your thoughts and opinions.

w+a
Now you want a special treat? Fix yourself a dark roast with one of those shots mixed in, grab yourself a Habano and head out to the back porch. You'll think you've hit nirvana. Cool
quote:
Originally posted by wineismylife:
Now you want a special treat? Fix yourself a dark roast with one of those shots mixed in, grab yourself a Habano and head out to the back porch. You'll think you've hit nirvana. Cool


Perfect plan for tonight.

What a beautiful day. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by Jcocktosten:
Well, seems like everyone is on a different level from us. We have a Nespresso C-190, and I love it. I know all the draw backs, not controlling the process, using their cofee, etc., don't care. The espresso is delicious and it is incredibly simple. Maybe I just don't carte enough, but the qualitative difference versus the cost and dollars and time does not make sense to me.
Day late and a dollar short, but...

I just wanted to echo that above. We got a Nespresso as a wedding gift and absolutely LOVE IT!!! It is THE best espresso I've ever had, and I am fully addicted to this new friend of mine. Big Grin Sure, having to order the capsules from Nespresso is a drawback, but for me, one WELL worth making!

I couldn't recommend this machine enough, it is affordable, reliable, quick, easy, and absolutely DELICIOUS!!

(We have the manual, not the automatic. My in-laws have the much more pricey automatic, and yet I feel like ours is a much better machine. *shrugs*)
Hope you don't mind me reviving an old thread but I am in the market for a super automatic espresso machine. I've considered the Jura Capresso Impressa S7 Avantgarde but would welcome other's comments. I considered the Rachilio Silva with the Rocky grinder (although not automatic but highly recommended here and other sites) and that is close to $1,000 so I figured spending a few more hundred to go fully automatic with the Jura ($1399 at Costco) was appealing.
Thanks for any input received.
Last edited by xhoser
You'll get better coffee from the Rancilio Silvia and Rocky grinder than you will from basically any fully automatic, including the Jura - assuming you know how to make espresso. It just takes a bit of practice so don't be scared.

More expensive doesn't necessarily mean better.
I purchased a Breville Expresso Machine from Willams and Sonoma a few years ago and it has been great. It is all stainless steel, w/ a milk steamer. The machine is easy to use and clean. I believe I paid about $500. The espresso we like the best is Illy.
Thanks futronic. The laziness in me had me leaning toward the Jura automatic plus it would make it easy for my wife to do her own coffee as she doesn't know how to work an espresso machine and I would end up doing it for her as well. I've been using a $50 Braun we got as a wedding gift 12 years ago so that is my experience with espresso machines. I know I could figure out how to use the Rancilio as my sister in San Diego has the Silva and the grinder and she has been loving it for the last 4 years with no issues. I was pumped up to buy it at $600 but then when I found out I needed to pay another $350 just to grind the beans I thought it made sense to look for a machine that could do both functions. I guess my naivety has me asking why does it cost so much to grind beans?
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
You'll get better coffee from the Rancilio Silvia and Rocky grinder than you will from basically any fully automatic, including the Jura - assuming you know how to make espresso. It just takes a bit of practice so don't be scared.

More expensive doesn't necessarily mean better.
Grinding beans isn't expensive. Grinding beans PROPERLY (as in evenly) and fine enough for espresso requires appropriate equipment.

A good burr grinder is important for equal grinding, but the fact that you've got a burr doesn't necessarily mean that it's fine enough for espresso grind.

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