Please Recommend A Compact Espresso/cappuccino Machine
Q: Hello to all coffee drinkers out there. I just returned from Barcelona, Spain and feel that I am in desperate need of the espresso/cappuccino machine because the coffee that they make in Barcelona (Caf? con leche) is much better than the one I can buy at the 99% of coffee shops here in New York City. The only way to change the situation is to be able to brew one myself. The problem is, I have a very small kitchen and need an espresso machine that takes as much or may be just a little more space than the regularly sized coffee machine. Would appreciate any suggestions/recommendations
A: Yeah, someone there will laugh at your target budget and try to convince you to spend $1100+ for the latest & best machine/grinder combo. Check out the Gaggia link below and see how actual owners feel about their purchases. The first thing you'll hear from coffee afficienados is that the espresso grinder is more important for great tasting coffee than the espresso brewer. That's because you'll be planning to use whole beans and grind them up just before you brew the coffee. Yes, you will be planning to do that. So you'll need two pieces of hardware or a combo grinder/brewer. In a later thread here about a Gaggia Classic there's a link to a Costco page which shows an Infinity grinder with a small footprint and a small price: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?ec=BC-EC29961-ProdID1146999... Depending on your budget, Infinity is a good place to start out. I used one for years and have had happy results. Welcome to the wonderful world of coffee! And the earlier suggestion to visit www.coffeegeek.com is a good one. CoffeeGeek is a massive, possibly even overwhelming, source for all things coffee. It's like letting a kid loose in a candy store. When buying sparkling wine, you can't go far wrong with Dom Perignon either. The problem is that not everyone has a Silvia/DomPerignon budget. I'd say a Gaggia "Espresso" plus a Saeco Titan grinder from Costco. com is a good, small footprint setup for around $300, which buys you 1/2 a Silvia. There is someone on ebay who sells Saeco refurbs in like new condition (machine gets used once by consumer and gets returned - can no longer be sold as new) for $130 delivered. http://cgi.ebay.com/SAECO-AROMA-ESPRESSO-MACHINE-BLACK_W0QQitemZ40003... Small boiler. Pressurized PF (which you can "depressurize" fairly easily by opening it up and discarding all the little springs and levers). But still a decent machine for $130. If you decide you like making espresso at home, you will probably want to upgrade someday - keep this machine as a spare or pass it on to a friend. If you don't, you'll be out $130 instead of $600.
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