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Originally posted by OTTnMIA:
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*)

Have the Nespresso with auto frother and LOVE IT!

2 minutes and I have great shots and milk warm and frothed--- done
Originally posted by inky:
Originally posted by futronic:
Doesn't take me much longer than that!
When I drink espresso, it is for the espresso itself, NOT a picture effect done in the milk foam.

The espresso I make will still be better than what comes from a Nespresso.

And when I drink espresso, I drink espresso. When I drink a cappuccino, I drink a cappuccino.

I made several cappucinos this past weekend on my sister's Rancilio Silva and it was very tasty although you get varying results with beans (even the same kind but different bag can cause espresso to be bitter, etc). Anyways, you have to get used to knowing when to stop the water pump (basically deciding when you have exhausted the extraction of the beans). I ran out of beans and water during one attempt and because of that it gave the appearance that it is a lot of work. My wife commented that she didn't want to have to do all that work for a cup of coffee.
I also realized that I'm not that good of a frother as I thought and overheated the milk a couple times without getting the froth I wanted. Oh well, I may try it again at Thanksgiving when we go back for another visit but I am going to consider some of the other's suggestions here.
In reality, MLV usually does not have to clean the frother or even make espresso as I usually do it.

With that said, it is all about choices and what works for the individual. Knowing Futronic, I have no doubt that the espresso he makes on his machine is better than what we make in our Nespresso. But, given the amount of time and energy (not sure about cost) we are willing to spend on it, it totally works for us - the qualitative difference is simply not great enough to override the ease of use for us cleaning
About 15 years ago, I bought a Estro Vapore from Starbucks (about $300), and after a little practice, I could make excellent cappuccino and espresso! Just remember, it's more about the quality of the beans you grind than the ability of the machine!

Finally, I decided making espresso and cappuccino at home was just too much trouble! So, I stored the Vapore, preferring to drive to Starbucks for the rest and relaxation, letting the barista make and clean! Smile
Originally posted by Board-O:
Barista? That's another marketing ploy I put up there with pre-owned.
+100...i mean come on though, doesnt that green apron they wear account for something ? Who else could turn those burnt beans into a double shot super duper low calorie skinny minnie double soy extra frothy cup of crap in mere seconds...
I also use a stovetop model which I think works pretty well if you use great, fresh beans and a well-controlled grind. I will invest in a machine one day, but for now I can make pretty damn good drinks with this and it cost me about $5, and has lasted about 4 years.

I would not ever recommend anything with pods. The idea of coffee that has been roasted and ground for that long is not good.
I am only starting to learn wine but coffee has been my main hobby and passion for the past 10 years.

The best place to start learning about espresso is probably here:

There were several good equipment recommendations earlier in this thread. The Rancilio Silvia with a matching grinder was one of them. Its a solid, well built machine but it does take a lot of practice to get consistently good results (as opposed to some of the other machines in this price range where you have no chance at all)!

A few other things to think about:
- The grinder is just as (or more) important than the machine. Don't skimp here!
- If you want a machine to serve more than 3 people at once it will be difficult without a Dual Boiler or Heat Exchanger (the steamboiler needs to cool down before you are able to make another espresso after steaming milk otherwise). These machines cost a bit more than say a Rancilio Silvia.
- Most importantly: The beans have to be fresh. Beans start going stale from the moment they eject out of the roaster. Vacuum packing does not stop this process and anything with a "best before" date 2 years into the future is rubbish. Starting a post in a coffee forum saying you like Illy, Lavazzo, Segafredo etc is like coming here to convince people you have just made great wine from carrot juice extract in your cellar. That was exaggerating a bit, but try to find a local roaster and buy freshly roasted. You will never go back!
I just broke down and bought a fully automatic Jura Capressa Impressa S7 Avantgarde from Costco for $1400.....$600 cheaper than most other places. I know many of you warned me of these machines but I want to give the automatic a try as I did see reviews from owners who really like these, and yes it has a dual boiler so that will help. You can return anything to Costco so if it doesn't work out I have no problem with returning it.

My next question was what beans are best to use in it but Dieter01 indicated simply "fresh" is best. I was going to start asking about brands such as Illy, etc...

Any thoughts on bean use for espresso/cappucinos?
OK. I got my automatic Jura yesterday and put some fresh roasted beans from local shop (roasted three days ago) in and with the press of two buttons I have a perfect cappucino! On first test it makes a very decent drink. The Froth Express attachment uses a reservoir of cold milk that does all the frothing by itself perfectly. Another push puts the espresso into the froth and a little sugar and a swirl and you have a great cup of coffee at your fingertips! The wife is happy as I am with the ease of operation and maintenance.

A little more than I wanted to spend on a machine but so far I think this is a great product!
xhoser, glad you like your Jura.
I'm a big Jura fan.
In my family there is a few of them (Jura's) (my mom, brother, mother in law) and all are solid and working fine.
I have had my Impressa X5 for over 2 years now and no problems so far.
It is a little picky as it tells you when it needs to be cleaned and that is often if you use it a lot.
Other that that it is really consistent.
I used to have a manual Gaggia and I have always liked the "purist" way of manual machines, but they also have their "personalities" also.
The fully automatic ones do have an ease of use that is practical and quick.
My espresso maker gave up last week and it became time to bite the bullet and replace it. To be honest, I was looking forward to this day to give me a good excuse to go get a proper one. Looking back on this thread was a big help in quickly narrowing down what was best for me.

Just today, came home with the Rancilio Silvia Cool

There'll be plenty of espresso making for the next several days while I get the initial excitement out of my system Big Grin
Originally posted by KSC02:
My espresso maker gave up last week and it became time to bite the bullet and replace it. To be honest, I was looking forward to this day to give me a good excuse to go get a proper one. Looking back on this thread was a big help in quickly narrowing down what was best for me.

Just today, came home with the Rancilio Silvia Cool

There'll be plenty of espresso making for the next several days while I get the initial excitement out of my system Big Grin

I looked at those as well.

Did you buy the MD-40?
To get more consistent results with your Silvia try following these steps (from

1) Place steaming pitcher under hot water tap, open the hot water valve, and turn ON the hot water switch. Pump hot water until the heating lamp comes on (indicating that the brew thermostat has turned the heating element on).

2) The instant the light comes on do the following things as simultaneously as reasonably possible:
A) Turn OFF the hot-water switch.
B) Begin timing.
C) Close the steam valve.

3) While the timing continues, grind, dose, tamp, lock and load. Position your glass under the PF, ready for the shot.

4) Have your finger on the brew switch and when your timing shows your predetermined time has elapsed, begin the pull by turning on the Brew switch. Contemporary Silvias (since mid to late 2001 and newer) with the 110c. thermostat seem to like as much as 50 to 60 seconds.

At the end of any session, always leave Silvia with a full boiler so that when the next session begins you can leave her on for an extended period without fear of running the boiler dry. Be sure that the steam valve is completely closed. This is particularly important if you have your machine on a timer.

And then... After you get tired of temperature surfing you can check out this page:
I find that technique more complicated than necessary from a timing perspective.

The same outcome can be had by pumping hot water into the demitasse(s) being used until the boiler light comes on. Grind/dose/tamp/lock the portafilter into place. When the boiler shuts off, dump the water in the demitasse(s), dry them, and flip the brew switch.

With a properly extracted shot of 25-30s, you meet all the timing in the earlier post but only need to worry about the brew time itself.
Good info. Thanks. In fact, I've got the hang of it all down pretty well now. Very respectable shots, consistently.

IIRC: my local retailer mentioned that if I limit the run to 30s, the machine should last 15 yrs (approx.). To allow the pump to pull up around a minute will approximately halve the life of the machine.
Last edited by ksc02

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