View Full Version : Newbie needs advice

20-06-10, 03:57
Hello all, I would like to buy a proper coffee maker, I am currently just using a cafetiere and ground coffee, so need everything. I have done senseo's and tassimo's and found them both not as good as a cafetiere. I like simple coffee, when I go to costa its a americano or flat white. Any advice would be gratefully received, I have about 300 to spend.

20-06-10, 04:26
Do you envision making flat whites at home? For those you will at a minimum need a milk jug - a few pounds from the budget if you don't have one - and you may find them easier if you also invest in a thermometer and - possibly - a steaming wand upgrade if you wind up with a Gaggia machine.

20-06-10, 04:36
The one thing you will find is that this coffee hobby can be a bit expensive but definitely worth it. You will need a decent machine, a coffee grinder, good cups, jugs, tamper, coffee beans, milk therometer. For cups and jugs, check out coffeehit.co.uk. Another very good website is Bella Barista, the machines will have you drooling at the mouth!! Bella Barista have some very good independent reviews.

You say you have 300 as a budget - is that just for the coffee machine with a grinder and accessories on it or all in?

20-06-10, 04:41
Is that a definite requirement for flat whites? Or just americanos? If you're really after simple, surely something like a vacpot, chemex or aeropress would be the way to go?




If you're talking espresso/milk drinks it gets a lot more expensive and a lot more complicated/involved. 300 you'd be looking at ebay tbh for a reasonable starter setup.

20-06-10, 07:45
It's important to remember that, to a large extent, coffee, and making coffee, is a subjective thing. One man's meat is another man's poison.

Ask what is the best set up for 300 and you'll get 20 different answers! The consolation is that if you asked what is the best set-up for 3k, and you'd still get the same amount of confusion. If you ask this question on one of the US forums, you'd get 200 different answers and a lot of flaming telling you to do some research before you ask! Thank goodness it's not like that here.

You'll get advice on buying everything from an Aeropress to a second-hand commercial mammoth that will hardly fit in your kitchen!

The one bit of advice that I can give with complete assurance is that you should never underestimate the importance of good, freshly-roasted beans and a good grinder. I know that the espresso machines have all the bells and whistles, make good toys, look good and are what you want to spend your money on. But try to remember that with good beans, well ground, and practice, you can coax good coffee out of most machines. With store-bought pre-ground you will struggle to make acceptable coffee with even the most expensive machine.

I'm half-sure that, like me, your heart will be set on something that looks like a proper espresso machine. So, no harm done - your budget will stretch to this. Look for a grinder first - the Iberital MC2 at just over 100 is worth considering, and that will leave enough to get you started into the game. It's probably a lot better than spending mega-bucks straight off. Way, way back in 1995 I spent around 300 on a Pavoni lever, but was totally disappointed with the results until, years later, I bought my first decent grinder. Take my hint - grinder and beans first!

21-06-10, 07:15
Thanks for the advice, more money is available if needed, I would like to make flat whites at home, but I think I will take the advice and get a good grinder first. I think if I jump all in straight away it might be a bit too much.

21-06-10, 07:34
Something like this would be a fantastic grinder:



May be able to get a mini for a bit less, wouldn't expect this to go for more than 150:


21-06-10, 08:28
RisingPower - you should be Coffee Forums roaving eBay reporter - you are the font of all eBay knowledge

21-06-10, 10:14
I think I will take the advice and get a good grinder first. I think if I jump all in straight away it might be a bit too much.

I think that's just about the most sensible thing I've ever heard a coffee newbie say!

21-06-10, 10:51
my Iberetal mc2 still for sale to a good home