Monday, May 28, 2012

coffee coffee blah blah


"Nye, I don't think I can go on much longer without an espresso machine."
"a nespresso machine?"
"no, an espresso machine." 
Espresso machines. Real ones, not ones that use those silly pods. Any recommendations?  

54 comments:

  1. The DeLonghi Kmix . A bit user intensive, but makes really good coffee and comes in lots of pretty colors.

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    1. hmm, how confusing. In the UK kmix is by Kenwood and they don't seem to do an espresso machine. We have the kmix filter coffee machine (bright yellow) and love it and the first thing we did when we decided we NEEDED* espresso was look for a kmix espresso machine but I couldn't find one. This is a mystery I must solve.

      *okay, the first thing *I* did, when *I* decided *I* needed espresso.

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  2. We have a Krups machine that does espresso on one side and coffee on the other. It has treated us well for the last 3 years and we've saved SO much money making lattes at home instead of buying them out! :)

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    1. We already have a filter coffee machine that we don't want to replace as I love it but I'll have a look and see if they do a just espresso one.

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  3. You're going to die of sticker shock, but we got the Saeco super-automatic espresso machine. We justified it by thinking about it's lifespan, how much coffee we drink with a toddler and working at home and trying now to never buy coffee outside the house. Not sure if you can get them in the UK, but even though this is the most expensive appliance we own, we think it's worth it!

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    1. that's not actually too bad, some of the ones I was looking at were over £600!

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    2. We're pretty heavy coffee drinkers too (2 grown up people = 6 cups of strong each day minimum) so I can say that in one year it's held up. The water reservoir isn't huge, but we just fill 'er up a lot.

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  4. I need one, too! (Because 5 different types of coffee makers apparently isn't enough...)

    Also, I think those pods are an affront to real coffee. (I only use them when I have no alternative, but I'm never happy about it.)

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    1. Ha! Actually, one of the best coffees I ever had was from a nespresso machine but I was hungover and exhausted, so maybe I wasn't in a good place to say for sure how good it was. But I just can't believe how expensive the pods are and I would never ever buy one. Still, George Clooney coffee, it doesn't get much better than that.

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  5. diana banana28/5/12 3:32 pm

    i have the gaggia classico. you need to get the gaggia grinder to get a fine enough grind, and the whole thing takes going through maybe 3 lbs of coffee to get to know the machines, but the crema that comes from a properly made espresso is orgasmic.

    that said, i got the machine for my husband's 30th, 31st bdays and graduation presents. i'm not sure how many years it'll take to break even on the investment, but what price do i put on our happiness?

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    1. I think this is the first time I comment. Hi! It seems I do have strong opinions on espresso (I'm Italian, after all).

      I wholeheartedly second the Gaggia classic rec: it makes a better coffee than most bars in Milan. And yes, you will need the grinder, too. I even like their look, they're vintage-y and I think they look really cool in my mostly white kitchen.

      Also, BOO for Nespresso. As much as I love George Clooney, that's not even real coffee.

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    2. Another vote for a gaggia classic. And without the mad plastic bit on the steam wand. And a proper grinder. And coffee beans that were roasted less than a week before you got them. You won't go back :)

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    3. And another vote. I got a Gaggia Classic and a Bataza Vario for Christmas. Expensive, but sooooo good! See http://coffeegeek.com/ for reviews of many machines. Somewhere in there is info on the hack for the steam wand (basically replacing the plastic froth enhancer that comes with the machine for a more conventional wand).

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    4. Gaggia is sounding like a winner...

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  7. well being a huge lover of coffee more so espresso I have two machines theres one that i got from starbucks. You can go on their site and go to buy and you will see it to the right about buying machines to have coffee at home; its a little pricey. I like the other one they have but that is 3000 dollars. The other one is from target all day long its 80 dollars. Hope this helps

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  8. Mmmm, I love the traditional italian stove-top ones, like the classic Mokka by Bialetti.
    As a sidenote there is even a transparent one that makes capuccino and you can watch the milk as it foams on the top, I love it .

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  9. *laughing* I wish there was a way to "Like" this post!! SO funny...and I totally feel your pain!

    I've always wanted an espresso machine, but when my husband and I went to Spain this Spring, I came home really, REALLY wanting one... Of course, now I want one complete with European coffee and not our nasty, bitter stuff... My husband said that when we find/build our dream home, that he'll get me a real one...all the way from Europe....someday. ;)

    Sorry...no recommendations, just loved your post! :D

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  10. i've always gone with old fashioned hand pump machines, rather than semi & fully auto. they're romantic (& there is less electric shit that can break!)

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    1. I do love those. I'm lazy though.

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  11. I don't have any suggestions, lol. But when you purchase one- share your thoughts!
    Eat Cake

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  12. We have a Presso (just like this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Presso-Coffee-Maker-zero-electricity-espresso/dp/B0012IQ92C) which I think it the bees. I have also had remarkably delicious results from a friend's Aeropress (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aeropress-Coffee-Maker-Extra-Filters/dp/B001HBCVX0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1338244802&sr=8-2) but it's so ugly!
    Failing which, you could get one of the hot guys from Artisan Roast to cycle a double round to you each morning for a year and still save money on a G.Clooney branded model... food for thought.

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  13. We love our moka pot too - do you have one of those? The best espresso.

    My husband's been doing a bit of research into coffee machines (he's one of those men who researches a lot, leaves no stone unturned) and has come to the conclusion the Gaggia RI8161 is the best -
    Here it is on Amazon

    Will report back as and when it's purchased. Happy caffeine.

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  14. Well I am not sure what to recommend but I can tell you what NOT to get. We have the Kitchen Aid one. It makes good coffee but you need the matching grinder to get it right. Although in 3 years the boiler dials have stopped working. So that's my un - recommendation. Here in NZ the Rocket has the best reputation and the highest price.

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  15. Depends on your budget, but we can't live without our Kitchen Aid espresso machine. Heavy, matches the mixer (nice!) and makes awesome coffee. Even my 12 year old is now using it! Don't judge me...

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  16. Just going to throw in that I have a nespresso (the horror!) and it is awesome, the coffee is absolutely 100% real (which is really important to me!) and tastes delicious, you have to play around with the settings to get it exactly to your specific taste, and it works out at 24p a cup. I never thought I would use a pod machine and I'm hooked! (remembering to go to Selfridges to pick up the pods is a bit of a ball ache though!)

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    1. They do home/office deliveries too if you order online (or call?)

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    2. Yeah they do but you have to pay £4.95 postage and as I live in central London, if I did that I would be the laziest espresso fan on the block!

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    3. Ha. I am ashamed to say that I have done that.

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    4. I would do that too. See aforementioned laziness.

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  17. I agree with Claire - I hated the idea of pods (they seemed gimmecky and wasteful) and really wanted one that took ground coffee but as we don't drink coffee that often we realised that the faff of cleaning the machine and messing around with coffee grounds (and the fact that it takes us ages to get through a pack of coffee by which time it is stale) mean that the pods work out well for us - and when my inlaws visit from Italy they love the Nespresso machine. I really think that if we'd got a machine that only took grounds then the machine would be lying in a cupboard unloved, but it's so easy to use the pods that we actually use it more often than we thought. Oh, and when we go to Italy we buy Caffe Vergnano pods which fit Nespresso machines and at least that way it is Italian-branded coffee....

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    1. You know what, I think they actually make really good coffee, some of them. But we drink a SHIT TONNE of coffee and are really into sourcing new blends and beans, so pods just don't make sense for us.

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  18. One word: aeropress. Literally, the-best-way-of-drinking-coffee. Plus, they are super cheap!

    (You have a lovely blog :))

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  19. Y'all need to speak to O. Boy is espresso OBSESSED. For now we use stovetop moka pots, but since getting back from Amalfi last summer he's determined to get a proper shiny, classic, lever action machine. I think Gaggia features highly in his research, but I'm not sure. I'll check. Dude has done his research.

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    1. Tell him I want him to write me a guest post.

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  20. I am following with interest, as I do (someday) want a big, shiny, steam punk thing of beauty in my kitchen.

    In the meantime: I too will admit to owning a nespresso machine - it was the same one we had in my office when I worked in Milan and a fair few Italians I know own them (she says, trying to lend an air of authenticity to what is, i guess, a Nestlé owned brand advertised by a lantern jawed tv doctor. Heh). The coffee is actually not bad -- and the big BIG selling point to me was that the pods avoid the daily clean up that my attempting to handle delicate operations with coffee grounds first thing in the morning necessitates. Seriously, I just do not have that kind of coordination BEFORE MY COFFEE in the morning!

    Having said that, the dude (Sicilian) will not countenance it and so we throw our vote behind the Bialetti stovetop which we both use now: Cheap, good coffee, minimal fuss. Oddly the Bialetti brand does seem significantly better than other stovetopmoka's which look the same.

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    1. Nye is adamant that I'll get alzheimers if I make coffee in an aluminium pot. Dude worries.

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    2. You can get stainless steel stovetop pots, not really espresso but nice strong coffee anyway.

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    3. honestly, I think the health-links might be crap. But the boy worries and I don't like worrying him.

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  21. Choice (the Oz version of Which) recently did a comprehensive test of a lot of espresso machines, and the DeLonghi 'pod' machines came in well up the list (3rd and 6th overall) and WELL above the Gaggia which came in over half-way down. The other machines in the top 10 are manual or semi-automatic, and are all either Breville or Sunbeam, which unfortunately I don't think they sell in the UK :( I've just done the exact same research and am on the look out for a Breville Fresca BES860 on ebay (too cheap to pay full price, even if it's mid-range to start with!). Best way is to go somewhere you can try them all out - even good coffee is subjective! Hope you find one!

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  22. We have the Bialetti stove top pot. It's a bit of a pain in the mornings - it's hard to unscrew and you have to throw out the grinds and rinse things out. Actually, I'm just lazy and useless in the morning. When I have actual foresight, I clean it the evening before. My excuse for not cleaning it immediately is that it's too hot. That and I'm lazy.

    It makes yummy coffee!

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  23. We have a stovetop stainless steel thing, an Aeropress and a Nespresso machine. I was COMPLETELY against the Nespresso machine to start with but it is very useful when you have a house full of people and some want espresso, some want decaffeinated etc. etc. The milk frother is also very good.

    The Aeropress is also perfect for camping and is just generally quite a good, cheap, simple gadget that does what it says it does.

    I still want one of those huge La Pavoni contraptions though.

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    1. We really like our La Pavoni. My husband bought it used 7 or more years ago (several years before we had even met) and he has loved it since. He got the recommendation from a friend that had the same one and loved it, so that's what he bought. I have a new friend who I recently learned has the same machine and loves it too. She says she takes hers to the shop to get it cleaned every year, and we have never done that but think it is probably time since it is an older machine now.

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    2. We really like our La Pavoni. My husband bought it used 7 or more years ago (several years before we had even met) and he has loved it since. He got the recommendation from a friend that had the same one and loved it, so that's what he bought. I have a new friend who I recently learned has the same machine and loves it too. She says she takes hers to the shop to get it cleaned every year, and we have never done that but think it is probably time since it is an older machine now.

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  24. Folks, it's nice that you're suggesting moka pots, but they aren't espresso makers. Technically speaking, a moka pot can't put out near enough pressure to make espresso. Don't get me wrong; I love mine. But it just makes a nice, strong cup of joe.

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    1. Genuinely did not know that. But then what machine makes the good espresso then?

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    2. Holy grail quest continues! I. Need. More. Coffee. Clearly ;)

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    3. I wondered about that! I never thought it was an espresso maker but when I saw every body else posting about them I thought maybe it was and that I'd chime in about mine.

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    4. @ Kristy guestpostguestpostguestpost

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    5. fellow coffee-freaks - have you seen this? A stove top that claims to make *actual* espresso http://www.gallacoffee.co.uk/acatalog/bialetti-brikka.html @kristy, what's your verdict?

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    6. diana banana1/6/12 2:48 am

      re: bialetti brikka: uhh, NO!!! read carefully:
      "This is the closest you'll get to true espresso from a stove-top espresso maker."
      meaning, it's not espresso

      "Rather than only 1 bar of pressure the Brikka can produce up to 2 bar. This is still short of true espresso but its enough to produce a crema."
      yeah, and espresso needs 7 bars. not espresso!!

      (i'm biased, i've never liked coffee from a stovetop maker. plus i'm in love with the gaggia, it's the best home machine i've used. the only better machines i've used were commercial ones when i worked in restaurants, but it makes no sense to have that in the home.)

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  25. Nothing beats a great cup of gourmet coffee in the morning. But espresso coffee machines make good coffee, I still use a stove top espresso machine to make this.

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  26. Hi, It's me, the one that is always late too the party.
    We have a de longhi treviso (about 50 quid from amazon) and I love it.
    I might not be a super exper,t but it does the trick, creamy top and all.

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  27. I'm so saving this post and putting it somewhere I can find it later. My boyfriend and I are agreed that when we have a wedding registry we should probably just register for the most amazing espresso machine of all time and forget about place settings. I'll be interested to see what you get!

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play nice.