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Coffee Drinkers - HELP!
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Candy8865
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:40 am      Reply with quote
Hubby's birthday is in a few weeks. He just happened to mention his espresso machine is on it's last legs. Being the type of wife who can take a hint Rolling Eyes I'm on a quest to buy him a new machine.

He doesn't want a coffee maker/espresso machine, just the espresso. Anyone here have any ideas of a good & reliable home machine?

He bought some pricey italian machine, yea - that died in like 6 months. The 1 he has now is a Barista Athena that now that I think about it I bought for him like 4 birthdays ago.

I am not a coffee drinker at all & need to come up with something quick to ensure it gets here in time. I'm screwing up his birthday this year as it is by having surgery on that day the least I can do is get him a espresso machine that'll keep him outta Starbucks, lol - and happy for well...at least another 4 years.

*ETA - I'm willing (begrudgingly) to spend up to $500-600 - more if there's a model that'll clean my kitchen while it's in there. Laughing

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fifi
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:39 am      Reply with quote
Ooh...this is the one I've been dying to get except I a: can't afford it and b: have no space for it in my match-box-sized kitchen:

http://www.johnlewis.com/Electrical/Small+Appliances/Tea+and+Coffee/Coffee+Makers/529/230205552/Product.aspx

I am vicariously drooling - let us know what you get for him!
andaman_gypsy
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:52 am      Reply with quote
Oh I'm dying to get one myself. The one I've got is from Krups and it isn't very good. The one fifi recommended looks very cool and definitely will be a nice item to have in a kitchen due to its look. However, I didn't know Kitchenaid were famous for espresso machines.

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fifi
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:25 am      Reply with quote
They do a fab-looking grinder that matches the machine too Very Happy . It is awfully bulky though, so would suit a large kitchen better than a small one. I think kitchen-aid have very reliable products overall and I've heard good things about this particular machine (mostly from a friend who has one, of whom I am very jealous Laughing ).
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:43 am      Reply with quote
Candy8865 wrote:
Hubby's birthday is in a few weeks. He just happened to mention his espresso machine is on it's last legs. Being the type of wife who can take a hint Rolling Eyes I'm on a quest to buy him a new machine.

He doesn't want a coffee maker/espresso machine, just the espresso. Anyone here have any ideas of a good & reliable home machine?

He bought some pricey italian machine, yea - that died in like 6 months. The 1 he has now is a Barista Athena that now that I think about it I bought for him like 4 birthdays ago.

I am not a coffee drinker at all & need to come up with something quick to ensure it gets here in time. I'm screwing up his birthday this year as it is by having surgery on that day the least I can do is get him a espresso machine that'll keep him outta Starbucks, lol - and happy for well...at least another 4 years.

*ETA - I'm willing (begrudgingly) to spend up to $500-600 - more if there's a model that'll clean my kitchen while it's in there. Laughing


I'm not a coffee drinker either and luck for me, my husband doesn't like anything other than the basic brewed coffee. It smells all the same to me but he assures me there is a difference between coffees. At Christmas I get him a few pounds of Starbucks Christmas blend and if needed a new coffeemaker.
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:16 am      Reply with quote
Candy,

Amazon has some good reviews on Espresso Machines.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_st/103-9587741-9142259?keywords=espresso+machine&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aespresso+machine%2Ci%3Agarden%2Cn%3A1055398&sort=salesrank&x=16&y=9
Candy8865
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:56 am      Reply with quote
Thanks for the leads! I did some research last night as well, and wasn't aware til then that KitchenAid made a machine.

I plan to keep 'researching' thru the weekend. I feel I will have to make a decision by then to ensure I don't totally ruin his birthday, lol.

Thank you all and keep the suggestions coming!

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katee
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:37 am      Reply with quote
I'm an absolute espresso freak and always have been. I had a Pavoni that I lugged across Italy when I was a grad student for years and years. It made great espresso and cappucino, but you needed a graduate degree to use the damn thing!

Last year, after EXTENSIVE research, I bought 3 Saeco Digital Italia machines: one for my house, one for my place at the beach, and one for my bf's place on the West Coast, where we were spending alot of time (he's here now and that machine is in my office Laughing ). Buying a machine that was NOT Italian wasn't easy for me (for a napolitana, it was kind of the equivalent of ordering pizza with pineapple and chicken as toppings Rolling Eyes ).

They list for about $1200 each, but I bought them on ebay and paid about $350 a piece for them. They are simply INCREDIBLE. Once you program them to your liking, they do everything but you your morning shot in bed! You fill your machine with water and coffee beans from time to time. At the push of a button, the machine grinds the beans, taps down the result and will give you a single shot, a double shot, or a cup of what they call cafe americana, which, I can tell you, is unlike any american coffee, no matter how good a coffee maker you have.

The machine is self cleaning. All that it asks is that about once a week, you empty the used grinds and rinse out the receptacle.

It does a fantastic job of frothing milk and will also give you instant hot water if you want it for tea (yuck) or hot chocolate or instant cereal.

Saeco has a number of different models, and there are a few that are less costly than this one - all of them are quite good, but I definitely recommend that you choose one that is totally automatic - i.e. one that grinds, taps, and cleans at the touch of a button.

The machines that Starbucks sells, I believe they call it the Barista, are also made by Saeco. They make very good espresso, but they don't have the extra features and for a bit more money, it is well worth it.

Most of the machines on eBay are rebuilt models. I talked at length with a Saeco rep and also read alot about this. I concluded that buying a rebuilt machine might actually be preferable for more reasons than the huge reduction in cost. Apparently, such complex machines often have kinks that need correction. Saeco's customer service is flawless, and they'll do that for you, but who wants the hassle! The "rebuilt" machines are, more often than not, machines they are not actually "rebuilt", but machines that had adjustments, etc. that needed to be made, but owners who wouldn't wait and demanded replacement machines instead. They carry an unconditional warranty.

Can you tell that I'm in love with this thing?
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:52 am      Reply with quote
Phheewwww! Sounds like the only thing this machine doesn't do is the laundry!!!

I have been eyeing a Rancilio Silvia for a long long time.

http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/rancilio_silvia

Ebay has some good deals. I've used it before and it's a dream for the price.
katee
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:10 am      Reply with quote
I've read alot of good reviews of the Rancilio Silva too Agent OO-CAT...
jfournier
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:22 pm      Reply with quote
I highly recommend the Krups XP4050. It uses ground as well as the new pod system. It can't be beat for it's power in making foam, not just heating milk. I asked for, and received this for Christmas and absolutely LOVE it.
katee
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:44 pm      Reply with quote
Ack any machine that uses the pod system isn't dedicated to true espresso. The key to a good espresso is the crema and the crema is produced by forcing the water thru freshly ground coffee that has been tamped or tapped. Essentially, compressed.

I've had coffee made with machines that use the pod system. It's often a nice cup of coffee, but it isn't espresso.
bkkgirl
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:49 pm      Reply with quote
Candy, you're so funny. Maybe you can write to iRobot, and see if they can add an espresso machine on top of their Roomba, so it can clean your carpet while making espresso for you. hehe I'm sure eventually someone will come out with a Robotic Maid. Maybe it's going to be my son's creation. He's only 12, but his interest lies in Robotics. I'll mention to him that he needs to start thinking about an espresso machine that can clean your kitchen for you while you sleep. LOL
sigma
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:59 pm      Reply with quote
I would also cast my vote for Saeco.

I love good espresso (twice a week - Saturday and Sunday). I have an old Saeco (about 13 years old, but it spent most of that time forgotten in a garage), that now produces excellent espresso on a weekly basis.

We also bought one at Costco as a New Year gift, and it is also being enjoyed twice a week or so.

If your husband drinks a lot of espresso I think you might be better off with a fully automatic machine, like the one Katee describes. If it is just a few cups a week - a manual will suffice.

Also, if you buy it from Bloomingdales or Willams and Sonoma - should anything go wrong they will exchange it for a new one. At W&S should the same model be no longer available they will only ask you to pay the difference in price between the new and the old one, and will give you a new one.

I have not thought about buying one on ebay, but that also sounds like a good possibility.

BTW, Saeco also makes a very good capuccino.

HTH,
Lucy.

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katee
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:14 am      Reply with quote
I don't like robots. I'm training my dogs to work the machine and carry it upstairs to us in the morning. Cool
sigma
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:28 am      Reply with quote
Katee,

how is the dog training progressing? Mine so far trains me ( at least I have that impression). We have an airedale terrier, who runs the household.


I also wanted to ask you, if you bought your three machines from the same seller, and if yes - do you recall who it was? You usually find the most reliable people to deal with. And the idea of having one in the office is sooooo appealing.

TIA,
Lucy.

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Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:38 pm      Reply with quote
We have an old Pavoni machine that my uncle had in storage for a few years. It works perfect and I think new ones are reasonable. I worried because it had been sitting for a while it wouldn't work but I use it a few times a week and it's better than Starbucks and relatively simple to clean and easy to use; we didn't have instructions so had to figure it out. Might be worth checking out.
katee
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:31 pm      Reply with quote
I keep meaning to post new pics of the fur brigade. They've done a great job of training me....laughing.

Actually, aside from all the Image chaos, they've been remarkably easy to train. We've marvelled at what a help our eskie has been. Well, at least to a point.... He DOES keep them in line and they clearly idolize him, but he's also a got a bit of an evil streak (wonder who HE takes after...). We had snow last week, and watching them romp and play was alot of fun. But what was really fun was watching them when everything iced over!!! The puppies would go flying out the door in the morning, but because of the ice, they just couldn't get traction. Their paws were moving soooooo fast, but they were going NOWHERE. It really was like watching a cartoon Laughing . Yup, it was very funny UNTIL I took them for a walk and they all took off in different directions and MOMMY couldn't get traction (still rubbing my butt...).

Putting the espresso machine in my office was the smartest thing I've done in a long time! I should have done it a long time ago. I was spending so much money at Starbucks I was considering buying stock in the company.

I don't remember who the eBay seller was that I purchased from, but when I get home from work, I'll take a look at the receipt and post it back here. They were delightful to deal with .
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:46 pm      Reply with quote
katee wrote:
I keep meaning to post new pics of the fur brigade. They've done a great job of training me....laughing.

.


YES, YES, please do!!!!
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