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Nov 2nd 08 11:07 am
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by omegapd » Nov 2nd 08 11:07 am

The machine itself seems to work well. The biggest problem is a limited selection and limited distribution of the capsule things. You'd be better off IMO to buy whole beans, a good burr grinder and a different machine.

It's very very hard to get good espresso from a home machine. I found that out the hard way after trying 3 different machines that didn't stack up to the big boys like a Rancilio or Gaggia.

Check this page out for a ton of information:
http://www.sweetmarias.com/

or http://coffeegeek.com/ for a bunch of reviews, etc.

Personally, I went the cheapest route possible and bought a stovetop Moka pot and love the coffee I get out of it.

EW

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Nov 2nd 08 1:50 pm
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by Sydney » Nov 2nd 08 1:50 pm

I've got a Mr. Coffee espresso machine with steamer handle for frothing milk and such. It cost $25 IIRC and has made some very respectable brews.

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Nov 2nd 08 9:25 pm
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by lastcoyote » Nov 2nd 08 9:25 pm

please please don't go the nespresso route!!
yes it cuts down the time to prepare an espresso but it also seriously cuts down the quality too. my friends got one and it just doesn't make great coffee at all. Whether it's espresso or cappacino's. With regards to the latter the foam looks like it belongs in a bath.
The coffee pods as has been said are limited and expensive too.
One major factor specifically to achieving good espresso is fresh coffee beans. When I say fresh I mean no more than 10 days from roast date. So find yourself a good 'roast to order' supplier who can deliver to you in a day or two.
Secondly you'd be better off spending initial money on a good quality burr grinder such as the Rancilio Rocky which you can buy from a good supplier in your part of the world: Whole Latte Love
Yes it's pricey but it truly is essential for proper espresso. There are alternatives but this is the price range you should be looking at, plus the Rocky is well regarded at this price range. If money's no object you should be looking at a Mazzer Mini E.
The obvious match to the Rocky is the Rancilio Sylvia. I have both and although it's not a push button....drink espresso type machine you can get fantastic results with it. Makes great Cappacino's too with proper shiney microfoam. OK Alot of the variables are left up to you (this is a good thing) so there's work and knowledge involved but you'll be rewarded for your efforts.
Again if money was no object you'd be getting one of these. My mouth's dribbling just thinking about it! :roll: :D

Though you say your not really a coffee drinker....so maybe all these options above are rather OTT......just please don't get a nespresso machine...they are truly the fruit of the devil :lol:

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Nov 3rd 08 2:27 pm
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by omegapd » Nov 3rd 08 2:27 pm

Is the crema really important to you? Do you want to make drinks with milk like the fancy stuff?

Crema was not important to me. Of the three inexpensive machines I had, only a Mr. Coffee made crema but there was something wrong with that machine and it scorched the coffee to where it was terribly over-extracted and had a bitter/burned taste. It sounds like Padre had much better luck than I did. The Moka pot makes good, strong, Cuban style coffee without crema. It tasted much better than any of the inexpensive machines I had.

Let us know what you get. I'm going to send you a PM in a second with a really good coffee forum you can check out too.

EW

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by kymidwife » Nov 3rd 08 3:31 pm

I'm sure die-hard coffee drinkers will cringe, but I have a Tassimo coffee-maker I received as a Christmas gift, and I absolutely love it. It makes a single cup, and uses the prepared "pod" things. It has a bar-code reader in the machine, and each pod has a barcode, so it can tell what type of coffee/tea you are making, how much water, how long to brew, whether to froth, etc.

The flavor of the coffee has always been excellent. I have used Gevalia and Starbucks brands in it, and both tasted fresh and flavorful. I know fresh-ground is best, but these tightly-sealed pods seem to retain freshness very well.

It makes espresso, coffee, cappucino, etc. I have had some green tea pods and they weren't great but not terrible. There's also a nice chai tea pod which is actually quite tasty.

I've enjoyed it both for the tasty brews I get, and because I love to be able to make one really good cup instead of a whole pot that gets thrown out after I drink one cup. The cost of the pods is higher than beans or ground coffee, but for me, it is economical because the coffee doesn't go stale/old waiting to be brewed, and the impossibility of brewing only one cup has been solved.

Sorry for the Tassimo infomercial, but thought I would balance the scales since I have been so happy with mine.

Sarah

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Nov 3rd 08 11:52 pm
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by teaguru » Nov 3rd 08 11:52 pm

I was at a car dealership on the weekend and they had one of those nespresso gizmos. I don't know how good it is for coffee, but I had them make me a cup of green tea (apparently tea comes in those little capsules too) with it, and it was TERRIBLE! It was horribly tangy and left an awful sour aftertaste in my mouth. I should have known that having a cup of tea made from anything other than loose leaves was a bad idea. Yuck!

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by stanthegoomba » Nov 4th 08 6:06 pm

cgencer wrote:I ended up buying a small bodum french press, a dualit grinder and some "dark roast" coffee that the coffee machine shop here was selling. All in all it cost me around 150€. I made some coffee right away and it was so good! Very full of flavor and very dark. The guy said that machine will hold well for espresso as well, but for now, it is excellent!

Nothing beats having the real thing I guess :)
Mmm... I love my Bodum and cheap-o burr grinder combo! There's no simpler way to make a tastier cup of brewed coffee. I find my french press works best with fresh light and medium roasts, since you really get to taste all the different flavours.

Sadly the next step up in quality coffee seems to be nothing less than a Rancilio Silvia and all the trimmings. One of these days...

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Nov 4th 08 9:55 pm
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by lastcoyote » Nov 4th 08 9:55 pm

glad you gave the nespresso a miss :)

my first grinder was the dualit grinder. it's good value and works fine for press pot etc. if you ever get a decent espresso machine you'll need to get a better grinder for it. but for your needs now it's a good choice.

have you heard of the Aerobie Aeropress? it caused quite a stir amongst coffee aficionados as it's an unusual gimmicky looking cheap device (about $30 i think)....that produces a surprisingly good concentrated short coffee. it's kind of inbetween a french press and espresso.
most ignore the claims on the advertising of it that it produces espresso...it doesn't..but it's a great tool to get the most from quality single origin coffees.

Coffeegeek site has some user reviews HERE

here's a 'sort of' arty photo i took with it in the background and a coffee puck that is formed from using it in the foreground:

Image

one of the best things about it is that it's so quick and easy to use and next to no clean up. good for travel too as it's just plastic.

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by edkrueger » Nov 5th 08 4:38 am

I have one too. Its nice, but I find my self rarely using it. I rarely drink coffee now –because it caused mucus and makes it difficult for me to breath, but consider my self somewhat of an expert. It really nice to make expresso strength Terrazú or other citrussy coffees.

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Re: Nespresso?

by swatia » Nov 24th 19 7:03 pm

my mom has gifted me nespresso machine, its really god one. i love