View Full Version : Espresso Machine??

04-19-2007, 12:11 AM
Does anyone have an espresso machine? I am addicted to them right now, but at 4.99 a pop at Starbuck's, I was wondering if I should try my hand at making them at home once in a while.

I was looking at Target and they had some (Mr. Coffee brand, etc) at pretty good prices. (I am SURE the $300 would be best, but don't want to make that kind of investment until I am sure).

Any opinions?? Any experience??

04-19-2007, 12:35 AM
Honestly, we have a Krups. Have for years. It wasn't expensive and it works great. Doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles but it gets the job done. You can spend upwards of $400-500 but the novelty will probably wear off after a while. The nice thing about starbucks is someone else makes it for you!

Grinding the beans, squishing the grounds in the container, steaming the milk and then cleaning it all up afterwards gets old ;)

Here is a more modern version of what we own... $50


04-19-2007, 07:33 AM
Many coffee drinkers will agree, the low cost home units don't really make a good espresso. The key is pressure and temperature, and then the grind!

You can spend in excess of $100 on a decent grinder, not to mention many hundreds on a machine that will actually create a real espresso. You're looking for one with a water pump.

If you're not too picky about your coffee then a home unit might not be so bad, but there's a definite difference.

04-19-2007, 08:59 AM
Grinding the beans, squishing the grounds in the container, steaming the milk and then cleaning it all up afterwards gets old ;)

Oh my...I may be getting ahead of myself! I was kind of thinking it was a 'push the button and out comes a latte' kind of thing, like a Mr. Coffee!! :eek:

For goodness sakes, I just learned how to properly ORDER my "tall nonfat mocha no whip" without a cheat sheet!! :blush:

Thanks for the info...I may have to keep boosting Starbuck's stock daily until I get some nerve!

04-20-2007, 12:14 AM
You could do what the Romans (and Spaniards and Latin Americans) do at home... which is to use a stovetop expresso maker. Search out Bialetti Express or Bialetti Class, or the Villaware Aromatico Stovetop Espresso Maker (you can find them at Amazon and even Ikea has one). They work quite well... I'm a latte drinker, not a cappucino drinker so I don't worry about the foamed milk issue. I usually just nuke my milk to warm it. It's much less of an investment and does the trick just fine.

John's right though... it gets old after a while grinding, cleaning, etc., but it's part of my "coffee ritual."

04-28-2007, 09:31 AM
If you really like the espresso and don't need the fancy extras Bialetti makes an electric pot called Moka Easy and it looks like the old fashioned silver ones you heat on the stove, but this is electric and comes out great every time. Iactually got my first one in the italy pavillion in Disney! I think you can get it also by going to Amazon.com

04-28-2007, 10:20 PM
I have a Krups II Caffe' Duomo and I don't have any problems with it. I normally grind my coffee and I love to grind it to a fine powder b/c I prefer the flavor when it's stronger. So I was grinding my beans 4yrs before purchasing this pot.
I've seen this pot for as much as 150 but I purchased it at Tuesday morning for 49.95 so I figured if I made about 10 cups it already paid for itself.
I agree with Ellen, I prefer to boil my milk on the stove or in the microwave. Down here we drink a lot of Cafe' au lait so I grew up with a pot for milk on the stove. The only difference is that the Cafe' au lait is made with coffee instead of espresso. It does make a difference to heat the milk and I recommend trying that with coffee for a rich cup of coffee (maybe make your coffee a little stronger too if necessary).
My biggest problem with the Lattes we make here is that I think I put too much espresso here and not enough milk. Steaming the milk is a pain and so is cleaning the spigot.
With kids in college, we make a lot of espresso during exam time when kids come over for all night study sessions. A quick 4 oz of espresso saves a lot for broke college kids so they love it; but, then one of my dd's friends worked at CC's (Louisiana equivalent to Starbucks)
Think of all the money you can save for your next disney trip. I've thrown in $5 in my WDW jar when I've skipped purchasing a latte.

04-29-2007, 01:42 PM
Here's the thing with espresso machines, you really get what you pay for.

$300 will get you a decent single pump semi-manual machine (like the Starbucks "Barista" model). You'd still have to prime the machine and steam your own milk however you can use a pod instead of measuring and tamping on your own. Since you're used to Starbucks, I'd suggest buying their espresso roast pods. This type of machine would have a portafilter and you'd need to learn how to time your shorts to get the flavor that you want out of the shot.

If you want a super automatic, you're going to have to spend closer to $1000. It just what a good machine at that level costs these days. The deLonghi Magnifica is a quite nice super- auto that still allows you to control your milk. This year Starbucks also debuted a deLonghi Rialto (I *think* that's the name) which is a one touch machine which steams your milk and pulls the shot for you depositing your latte right into the cup. That's closer to $1500.

Next time you're in grabbing a cafe' mocha talk to your shop's Coffee Master (they'll have the black apron on) and tell him/her that you're thinking of buying a machine. They are trained to match you up with the best machine for your needs.

The truth is that home espresso takes work. It's messy and you *HAVE* to stay on top of cleaning your equipment. What Starbucks sells is really someone to do all that for you. BTW... MsMin if it's metal try soaking your steam wand in a cup of ice overnight if you have a little build up. In the morning you should be able to wipe it clean easily.

BTW, the stove top "espresso" pots can brew a pretty decent and strong cup of coffee that can be a pretty dern good substitute once you get the hang of it. But it's not actual espresso. Boiling the milk will also help get you closer to the flavor that you're looking for at home, but it's truly not the same as steaming your milk. There are several differennt ways the folks at SBUX will steam your milk depending on your order and who's behind the bar, it's a texture thing.

I'd be happy to ramble on more about this in PM if you'd like. There are a couple of really great websites out there for coffee geeks.

04-30-2007, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the additional info!