PDA

View Full Version : New Members - please read this first



Glenn
31-12-12, 04:01
Choosing an Domestic Espresso Machine

An espresso machine has a seemingly simple task - to pump water through ground coffee at a temperature of around 93˚c and a pressure of 9 bar in 20 to 30 seconds. There is a secondary function of producing steam for heating and foaming milk. So why is there such a range of machines and range of prices (from £50 to £2000 and beyond)? What do you get for your money? How much do you need to spend to make a decent espresso

There are a couple of key features that distinguish the good from the mediocre, and perhaps the most important is:

Temperature Stability
Supplying water at the correct temperature is essential for espresso. A commercial espresso machine is designed to be left on all day; it has a large boiler and a large amount of metal which, once warmed up, will keep a stable temperature all day long. Many commercial machines also heat the group (the bit the water passes through which the portafilter - the part that holds the ground coffee - locks onto) to help keep temperature stable.
But in a smaller domestic machine it is much more difficult to maintain temperature - it will continually heat up and cool down as coffee is made.

Brew Temperature and Steam Temperature

You may have noticed already that the task of the espresso machine is not so straight forward - it has to supply water at for the coffee but at near boiling point for the steam. How is is able to do this?

1. Single Boiler Dual Function

Most favoured on this forum are the Gaggia Classic (approx. £169) and the Rancilio Silvia (£349)
The very cheapest espresso machines (under £100), despite their appearances, are really like a version of the Bialetti or Moka stove top pots; rather than using a pump, hot water is heated up by an electric element and steam pressure passes it though the coffee. This inevitably means the water is too hot and scalds the coffee. We will not be considering these.

The simplest ‘proper’ domestic espresso machines work like this: a small thermostat-controlled boiler heats up the water to brew temperature, the pump forces it through the coffee. To make steam to foam your milk, you switch to a second thermostat and wait until the water reaches boiling point.

Immediately we can see two problems with this system: firstly, you have to wait a few minutes between brewing and steaming for the boiler to get hotter and, perhaps more importantly, the temperature in the boiler is rising and falling all the time - after you have made steam, the boiler is going to be substantially hotter than it was before and it could take some time to return to the correct temperature for coffee.

The Classic is solid, reliable and parts are easy to replace. It is a very popular machine and it easy to pick up a decent one second hand. The Silvia is generally regarded as a slightly better machine - more solid and better temperature stability - but the current price differential between it and the Classic mean that, arguably, it is not such good value for money. There are many other single boiler machines on the market, many of which look more stylish than the Gaggia or Rancilio but none of them are going to make better coffee or offer better long term value for money.

Both the Classic and the Silvia can upgraded with a PID control. The PID (stands for Proportional/Integral/Derivative) is an electronic device that, rather than switching power to the boiler on and off like a simple thermostat, supplies power in a series of pulses that get briefer as the boiler approaches the correct temperature. The PID control also allows you to experiment with different temperatures for different coffees.

2. Heat Exchanger (HX)

Popular HX machines include the Fracino Cherub (approx. £650), the Expobar Leva Office (£900), and the Rocket Giotto and Cellini (£1200 to £1400)

The heat exchanger has been used for decades in commercial machines. In an HX machine there is one heating element and one boiler, which superheats water under pressure so it can deliver steam on demand. Temperature of the water is usually regulated by a pressurestat (the pressure of the water in the boiler is directly related to its temperature). The brew water does not come directly from the boiler but from a copper tube that passes through the boiler.

A variation on this design (often but not necessarily incorporated into HX system) is the thermosiphon, which uses principles of convection (hot water rises/cold water sinks) to pass water directly from the boiler to the group which acts as a heat sink to reduce this superheated water to brew temperature. If the group gets too hot or too cold, water in the thermosiphon will circulate and bring it back to the correct temperature.

The E61 group is often found on HX machines (called so because it was developed by Faema in 1961 - the year of the eclipse). Although initially a commercial design, it is now found on many prosumer machines. In the E61 group water is circulated through the body of the group itself, maintaining a stable temperature. It also allows for pre-infusion, which lets hot water flow into the coffee grinds just before extraction takes place enabling a better extraction.

All the machines mentioned above are solidly made and will produce excellent coffee. The Italian machines (like Rocket and Izzo) tend to win on sheer looks, but the British (Fracino) and Spanish (Expobar) machines offer excellent value for money.

All the machines mentioned so far use an electric pump to force water through the coffee. Pumps come into two basic types - vibratory and rotary. Both work well; the vibratory pumps are cheaper, rotary pumps quieter.

3. Dual Boiler

Popular Dual Boiler machines include the Fracino Piccino (£600), Expobar Leva Dual (£1100), La Spaziale Vivaldi II (£1500) and the Izzo Alex Duetto (£1900)

A increasingly popular solution is to have one boiler supplying the water for brewing coffee and a separate boiler supplying water for steam. Both boilers have their own heating elements. This creates a slightly more complicated and more costly system, but it does mean the temperature of the brew water can be controlled completely independently of the steam system. E61 type groups are also found on Dual Boiler machines.

Both HX and Dual Boiler machines can maintain stable temperature and steam milk at the same time as they brew coffee and produce first rate espresso and cappuccino. Some machines, like the Expobar Leva Dual and the Alex Duetto have PID controls to maintain and adjust temperature accurately.

Although in principle, Dual Boiler may seem like a better solution than HX machines, in practice both can produce excellent coffee. It really comes down to the particular design of the machine, and some HX designs may have better temperature stability and steam power than Dual Boiler machines.

But there is an alternative to pump machines.

4. Lever Machines

Popular lever machines include the Pavoni Europiccola (£300-£500), the Ponte Vecchio Lusso (£650 - £800), the Elektra Micocasa (£1000), the Olympia Cremina (£2750) and the Londinium I (£1600)

Lever machines use a manual lever connected to a piston to force water through the coffee. This is traditional method that preceded electric pumps and is still favoured in southern Italy and is now having something of a resurgence.

Advocates of lever machines claim that the column of water the piston pushes through the coffee extracts the very best from the coffee and the mechanical design of the system means temperature of water is reduced as the piston descends, reducing the undesirable elements that remain in the coffee as the extraction progresses. Lever machines have the additional advantage of being extremely reliable and almost silent.

In manual lever machines the lever is connected directly to the piston, in spring-driven machines it is the spring that does the work (lifting the lever tensions the spring ready for the next extraction). Like dual boiler and heat exchanger designs, lever machines will supply steam without waiting for the boiler to reheat - either by basic mechanical design (the mass of the group and cylinder cooling the boiler water to the correct temperature) or by using thermosiphon principles. The best lever machines also exhibit excellent temperature stability but, with some of the more inexpensive machines, keeping the temperature steady can be a bit hit or miss (or, some would say, an acquired skill).

The high price of some new lever machines is offset by the fact, because of simplicity of design and quality of engineering, they can literally last a lifetime.

In conclusion: How much difference does it really make?

1. ALL the above machines are capable of making good espresso and cappucino, just on some it is easier than others. Generally speaking, the more sophisticated machines give more consistent results - it may take a bit more skill and fiddling to get a predictable result out of a smaller machine. Milk steaming is also easier on a bigger, more powerful machine.

2. The more sophisticated machines not only are likely to give you more consistent results, they will also allow you to fine-tune the extraction to get the very best out of the beans. This can make the difference between good and great coffee.

3. The bigger machines also allow you produce more coffees in a row and steam more milk without having to wait for the machine to heat up or cool down. If you are holding a dinner party and want to make half a dozen or more cappucinos, you may find it so tedious on a small machine that you end up offering them another form of coffee altogether.


Roland Denning November 2012

ronsil
31-12-12, 04:31
Thank you Glen - thats a job well done.

fatboyslim
31-12-12, 05:11
Excellent guide Glenn. If possible I'd make it compulsory viewing for all new members, so they can't view the forums till they have seen that article. I know this is possible on some other forum sites.

I'd just say that it is possible to pick up a Standard Fracino Cherub for much less than £730. I believe £650 (including delivery) is the cheapest I saw.

Glenn
31-12-12, 05:14
Full credit to RoloD for putting this guide together.

Drop me a link to the cheaper prices and I will update

RoloD
31-12-12, 05:24
Full credit to RoloD for putting this guide together.
Drop me a link to the cheaper prices and I will update Yes, I just used list prices at time of writing - I'm sure actual prices will be lower in many cases.
Someone needs to do a grinder guide now!

Roland

timtim5000
03-10-13, 03:20
Hi there,

my name is Tim - I'm new to the forum and am looking forward to reading through all of the posts and forum messages.

I'm thinking seriously of opening up a new coffee place in a village near where I live in Kent. There are three other independents there (two of which do food as their main thing), and the other is a small place that does coffees and cakes. There is a fourth - which is Costa. I have ideas around my place as being a very different look and feel to the others that are in business already, with my target market being families with young children - I have a specific idea in mind as the attraction.

My question is this - what market research should a new start up carry out to understand if the potential target market will be attracted?

Any thoughts or suggestions from the experienced of forum members will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Tim

willhorn
30-11-13, 09:13
Hello, I've just signed up to the site so a really good guide, thanks.

Can't wait to buy my first machine, gonna go for the Classic and MC2 grinder combo, seems to be a good starting point.

What accessories does a beginner need apart from a decent tamper?

Mrboots2u
30-11-13, 09:23
Hello, I've just signed up to the site so a really good guide, thanks.

Can't wait to buy my first machine, gonna go for the Classic and MC2 grinder combo, seems to be a good starting point.

What accessories does a beginner need apart from a decent tamper?

Cups, frothing jug , jewellery scale of eBay £5 to 0.01 g, non pressurised basket for the gaggia if it isn't coming with one . Some coffee ...:)
And hello !

TMC
03-12-13, 09:55
Hi there.
Just joined this groupe, looks like you all have a lot of experience with coffee making.
I have a delonghi Icona 310 machine ( I't replaced my senseo coffee duck ) and the start of my coffee journey.
I recently got a delonghi flat burr grinder it lasted 2 months and broke big time 3 days ago, resorting to pre ground coffee and starting to get withdrawl symptoms lol, hope i can find the help and information i need on here to get a reliable new grinder.

Obanla
18-06-14, 12:18
ok I want to learn how to make cooffee

Mrboots2u
18-06-14, 12:31
ok I want to learn how to make cooffee

Your are in the right place
Start a thread in the new members section and tell what coffee you would like to make

paul whu
25-09-14, 08:04
nice article

Madtwinhead
30-09-14, 10:20
I will read not but the first couple of paragraphs are are great

katarzynakibisz
04-10-14, 07:34
Hi I've just sign up but the article great
thanks Glen

summiteverest
04-01-15, 05:11
Dear Roland,

Thanks for such an informative post. I am starting out (had enough of instant coffee) and appreciate the advice you have given. Tempted by the Fracino Cherub for home use. The Piccino also looked great but I am put off that machine because I don't think you can descale it at home and it seems to be a very similar price to the Cherub. Still got to sort out a suitable grinder?

best wishes
Mike

Glenn
04-01-15, 05:26
Welcome to Coffee Forums UK Mike

Pop over to the introductions section to let us know more about yourself, what kit you have and what you're looking for and we'll look after you :)

Mr O
18-01-15, 09:48
Thanks to all involved for this very informative write up. It's a great read for people like me who are at the beginning of their home made espresso journey (and other coffee styles, just not for me)

I have decided that I will start with a Gaggia Classic to learn and hopefully perfect my espresso shot pulling :good:

Cheers,
Mr O

docdvm
09-02-15, 03:25
Hi

I am from Canada and was referred here because of my interest in a Londinium. I presently have a La Marzocco GS3 MP but would like to sell it and get a Londinium or Bosco. I know that the electrical requirements are quite different from Canada so there are some issues to address. Don't know if they are simple or not. Anyway hope to follow you for some time.

I just picked up a used Toper 1 kg. Roaster and will be roasting with it soon. Have been roasting with a HotTop for the past 6 years.

Orchid47
12-03-15, 07:27
Thanks Glen new to forum have not a exspresso m/c yet

Orchid47
12-03-15, 07:29
Need advice how good is Silvea for novice

Eyedee
12-03-15, 08:12
Need advice how good is Silvea for novice

Perfect if combined with a reasonable grinder, be aware it's usually the fault of the operator when things go wrong.

Ian

mohd_mustaqeem
24-03-15, 04:29
Ok

coffeeteaunited
31-05-15, 01:26
A great guide for those new to espresso machines, well done...

stephan
21-06-15, 06:58
Excellent guide, very informative!

tmpars7
12-07-15, 01:04
Start with friends, draw up a questionnaire of your big questions, what’s important to a customer, how to source coffee that everyone likes, the right milk. good barista for the “look”, my local has latte art so you can chose your finish, a good idea with kids as you can do it with hot chocolate too, what do people expect to find at the shop, wifi, newspapers, a twitter feed, TV etc. Use social media before spending money on a website, if at all, incentive scheme etc. Good luck.

AliceDumitrascu
04-08-15, 11:05
Very useful, thank you!

ji1404
29-10-15, 05:06
Great starter post

Macray
02-11-15, 12:52
Thanks for that excellent article. As a newbie to the world of coffee and this forum I have found it most helpful.

Rotherschild
29-01-16, 01:01
Joined today Gaggia Classic owner trying to mod my Dualit grinder. Thank you for the introduction very informative looking forward to being involved with Forum when I have more experience under my belt.












Roland Denning November 2012[/QUOTE]

Patricklee
09-02-16, 01:47
Great information, thank you.

benzz
01-03-16, 05:22
Hi, I joined this forum to learn about coffee and habits of people in the UK enjoy a coffee once also introduced and offered coffee from my village

2bor2bru
07-03-16, 05:37
Very professional introduction. Thank you.

Missy
09-03-16, 05:10
Hi all, I'm Missy, I spent a while working as a barista after uni, and am now a stay at home mum, I'm here to work out how I can recreate the feel of a commercial machine for about £1.27!!!

balques
10-03-16, 12:46
Hi, thank you for the very informative guide. I'm looking into buying the KitchenAid Pro Line Series Espresso Maker, which is a dual boiler machine. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Jack-Jones
23-03-16, 05:58
Great summary of the different types of machines and methods. Glad it was a recommended read as a newcomer to the site! :good:

Fayestons
29-03-16, 02:08
This is great, thanks so much!

mumbleman
15-04-16, 02:14
Thanks thats a good read for someone learning, like me

jenbatchelor
09-05-16, 11:22
im new here so just thought I would say hello. Think I know quite a bit about coffee but in the middle of setting up my own coffee shop in Lndon, so jst signed up here for a bit of support & advice.

ive already purchased a la Morzocco linea Classic & mazzer robur, although not arrived yet. Looking for a much cheaper grinder for my dacaff range. Any advice Much appreciated :)

Brianfull87
12-05-16, 12:07
Hi,
I'm new here and a great coffee lover :D

Belluca
04-07-16, 02:24
very good noob info

Wichael
05-09-16, 04:03
I am interested in the Alex duet to although it seems a big jump from my current gaggia Classic.

Jimlee99
16-09-16, 06:56
Choosing an Domestic Espresso Machine

An espresso machine has a seemingly simple task - to pump water through ground coffee at a temperature of around 93˚c and a pressure of 9 bar in 20 to 30 seconds. There is a secondary function of producing steam for heating and foaming milk. So why is there such a range of machines and range of prices (from £50 to £2000 and beyond)?
Roland Denning November 2012

So im looking for an entry level machine for less £200. I was thinking the delonghi Dedica. I want to be able to steam my own milk but not be worried about the grind size. I cannot afford the luxury! Ive seen a lot of people suggest used machine but there are no current bargains on ebay and i dont know where else to look. Any suggestions?

ajh101
16-09-16, 07:15
Gaggia Classic - Amazon Warehouse! ☺️

Missy
17-09-16, 07:26
Once your post count is up entry level machines pop up regularly on here. Usually very well cared for, often with all the mods needed to make a great cup.
Is the Delonghi a bean to cup?

deedee2003
20-09-16, 11:00
I just joined the forum. I am searching for a beginner coffee machine, this is very informative. Thank you

Robertshaun
21-09-16, 11:48
Thanks for that great introduction, just need to get a good used gaggia classic now.

ayush12345
01-11-16, 08:29
Probably the most informative thread I've come across.
TFS.

AK

happymark
27-12-16, 04:38
This is a wonderful overview from 2012; are there any new machines to consider or ones to delete?
thanks
happymark

Choosing an Domestic Espresso Machine

An espresso machine has a seemingly simple task - to pump water through ground coffee at a temperature of around 93˚c and a pressure of 9 bar in 20 to 30 seconds. There is a secondary function of producing steam for heating and foaming milk. So why is there such a range of machines and range of prices (from £50 to £2000 and beyond)? What do you get for your money? How much do you need to spend to make a decent espresso

There are a couple of key features that distinguish the good from the mediocre, and perhaps the most important is:

Temperature Stability
Supplying water at the correct temperature is essential for espresso. A commercial espresso machine is designed to be left on all day; it has a large boiler and a large amount of metal which, once warmed up, will keep a stable temperature all day long. Many commercial machines also heat the group (the bit the water passes through which the portafilter - the part that holds the ground coffee - locks onto) to help keep temperature stable.
But in a smaller domestic machine it is much more difficult to maintain temperature - it will continually heat up and cool down as coffee is made.

Brew Temperature and Steam Temperature

You may have noticed already that the task of the espresso machine is not so straight forward - it has to supply water at for the coffee but at near boiling point for the steam. How is is able to do this?

1. Single Boiler Dual Function

Most favoured on this forum are the Gaggia Classic (approx. £169) and the Rancilio Silvia (£349)
The very cheapest espresso machines (under £100), despite their appearances, are really like a version of the Bialetti or Moka stove top pots; rather than using a pump, hot water is heated up by an electric element and steam pressure passes it though the coffee. This inevitably means the water is too hot and scalds the coffee. We will not be considering these.

The simplest ‘proper’ domestic espresso machines work like this: a small thermostat-controlled boiler heats up the water to brew temperature, the pump forces it through the coffee. To make steam to foam your milk, you switch to a second thermostat and wait until the water reaches boiling point.

Immediately we can see two problems with this system: firstly, you have to wait a few minutes between brewing and steaming for the boiler to get hotter and, perhaps more importantly, the temperature in the boiler is rising and falling all the time - after you have made steam, the boiler is going to be substantially hotter than it was before and it could take some time to return to the correct temperature for coffee.

The Classic is solid, reliable and parts are easy to replace. It is a very popular machine and it easy to pick up a decent one second hand. The Silvia is generally regarded as a slightly better machine - more solid and better temperature stability - but the current price differential between it and the Classic mean that, arguably, it is not such good value for money. There are many other single boiler machines on the market, many of which look more stylish than the Gaggia or Rancilio but none of them are going to make better coffee or offer better long term value for money.

Both the Classic and the Silvia can upgraded with a PID control. The PID (stands for Proportional/Integral/Derivative) is an electronic device that, rather than switching power to the boiler on and off like a simple thermostat, supplies power in a series of pulses that get briefer as the boiler approaches the correct temperature. The PID control also allows you to experiment with different temperatures for different coffees.

2. Heat Exchanger (HX)

Popular HX machines include the Fracino Cherub (approx. £650), the Expobar Leva Office (£900), and the Rocket Giotto and Cellini (£1200 to £1400)

The heat exchanger has been used for decades in commercial machines. In an HX machine there is one heating element and one boiler, which superheats water under pressure so it can deliver steam on demand. Temperature of the water is usually regulated by a pressurestat (the pressure of the water in the boiler is directly related to its temperature). The brew water does not come directly from the boiler but from a copper tube that passes through the boiler.

A variation on this design (often but not necessarily incorporated into HX system) is the thermosiphon, which uses principles of convection (hot water rises/cold water sinks) to pass water directly from the boiler to the group which acts as a heat sink to reduce this superheated water to brew temperature. If the group gets too hot or too cold, water in the thermosiphon will circulate and bring it back to the correct temperature.

The E61 group is often found on HX machines (called so because it was developed by Faema in 1961 - the year of the eclipse). Although initially a commercial design, it is now found on many prosumer machines. In the E61 group water is circulated through the body of the group itself, maintaining a stable temperature. It also allows for pre-infusion, which lets hot water flow into the coffee grinds just before extraction takes place enabling a better extraction.

All the machines mentioned above are solidly made and will produce excellent coffee. The Italian machines (like Rocket and Izzo) tend to win on sheer looks, but the British (Fracino) and Spanish (Expobar) machines offer excellent value for money.

All the machines mentioned so far use an electric pump to force water through the coffee. Pumps come into two basic types - vibratory and rotary. Both work well; the vibratory pumps are cheaper, rotary pumps quieter.

3. Dual Boiler

Popular Dual Boiler machines include the Fracino Piccino (£600), Expobar Leva Dual (£1100), La Spaziale Vivaldi II (£1500) and the Izzo Alex Duetto (£1900)

A increasingly popular solution is to have one boiler supplying the water for brewing coffee and a separate boiler supplying water for steam. Both boilers have their own heating elements. This creates a slightly more complicated and more costly system, but it does mean the temperature of the brew water can be controlled completely independently of the steam system. E61 type groups are also found on Dual Boiler machines.

Both HX and Dual Boiler machines can maintain stable temperature and steam milk at the same time as they brew coffee and produce first rate espresso and cappuccino. Some machines, like the Expobar Leva Dual and the Alex Duetto have PID controls to maintain and adjust temperature accurately.

Although in principle, Dual Boiler may seem like a better solution than HX machines, in practice both can produce excellent coffee. It really comes down to the particular design of the machine, and some HX designs may have better temperature stability and steam power than Dual Boiler machines.

But there is an alternative to pump machines.

4. Lever Machines

Popular lever machines include the Pavoni Europiccola (£300-£500), the Ponte Vecchio Lusso (£650 - £800), the Elektra Micocasa (£1000), the Olympia Cremina (£2750) and the Londinium I (£1600)

Lever machines use a manual lever connected to a piston to force water through the coffee. This is traditional method that preceded electric pumps and is still favoured in southern Italy and is now having something of a resurgence.

Advocates of lever machines claim that the column of water the piston pushes through the coffee extracts the very best from the coffee and the mechanical design of the system means temperature of water is reduced as the piston descends, reducing the undesirable elements that remain in the coffee as the extraction progresses. Lever machines have the additional advantage of being extremely reliable and almost silent.

In manual lever machines the lever is connected directly to the piston, in spring-driven machines it is the spring that does the work (lifting the lever tensions the spring ready for the next extraction). Like dual boiler and heat exchanger designs, lever machines will supply steam without waiting for the boiler to reheat - either by basic mechanical design (the mass of the group and cylinder cooling the boiler water to the correct temperature) or by using thermosiphon principles. The best lever machines also exhibit excellent temperature stability but, with some of the more inexpensive machines, keeping the temperature steady can be a bit hit or miss (or, some would say, an acquired skill).

The high price of some new lever machines is offset by the fact, because of simplicity of design and quality of engineering, they can literally last a lifetime.

In conclusion: How much difference does it really make?

1. ALL the above machines are capable of making good espresso and cappucino, just on some it is easier than others. Generally speaking, the more sophisticated machines give more consistent results - it may take a bit more skill and fiddling to get a predictable result out of a smaller machine. Milk steaming is also easier on a bigger, more powerful machine.

2. The more sophisticated machines not only are likely to give you more consistent results, they will also allow you to fine-tune the extraction to get the very best out of the beans. This can make the difference between good and great coffee.

3. The bigger machines also allow you produce more coffees in a row and steam more milk without having to wait for the machine to heat up or cool down. If you are holding a dinner party and want to make half a dozen or more cappucinos, you may find it so tedious on a small machine that you end up offering them another form of coffee altogether.


Roland Denning November 2012

Glenn
27-12-16, 06:14
The information is still relevant - some of the machines can be updated for sure.

What machine type were you interested in so we can focus on this section first?

BigBaines
09-01-17, 04:38
Great info!

vabo1
10-01-17, 03:08
Very informative - crazy how the pre-Philips Gaggia has such cult status.

Jari
16-01-17, 02:10
Noted. Interesting guide.

fenom60
18-01-17, 07:47
Thanks for the guide

mrC
23-01-17, 06:23
awesome guide.

traidoco
01-02-17, 10:24
Probably the best summary I've read about espresso machines!

Maurizio
09-02-17, 02:12
A great guide for those who are new into the world of Espresso

SpressoSnob
12-02-17, 09:03
Thanks for the great guide, I have been a home barista for a good few years and if coffee has taught me anything it's that there is always so much more to learn and understand.

My wife and I have recently moved from South Africa where the speciality coffe industry Has become relatively well established in the last 2-3 years and were a bit concerned about the coffee scene in Edinburgh. We have been pleasantly surprised, while not quite as developed there is a fantastic growing coffee culture!

PiediDiFormaggio
12-02-17, 09:58
This is a great guide and food for thought!

Rairch
12-02-17, 10:18
Great guide!
Thank you very much for putting it together.

kapuaskopi
14-02-17, 06:04
good to know...thanks

Fleeds
17-02-17, 10:57
Great guide. Just have to decide on my budget now.

jonny_sprigens
20-02-17, 10:49
Hello, just joined the forum, wish i had found it earlier. I have just setup a mobile coffee van business and I have alot to learn! Hoping to get some snippets of wisdom and experience from all the coffee pros out there!!
Thanks, Jonny Sprigens

Maleko
01-03-17, 04:47
Very helpful, Thankyou

ajsand
02-03-17, 10:02
Really helpful. Thanks

Gorrion
04-03-17, 06:13
Bit of a shock to find I was the only one browsing this thread just now. Makes me think I've got to get a life. Just joined, having received a Gaggia Classic for my 15th Wedding Anniversary. In love with it (and my wife). Still using shop bought expresso coffee but intend to get a grinder at an early opportunity. (Negotiations with my wife will be necessary as space in kitchen is at a premium.) I don't want to spend more than she did on the Gaggia Classic although I understand that is easy enough to do. What are my options? Can somebody tell me what are the expensive components of a grinder? Is it the cones? Is it the timer? is it the grind fineness control? What do I strip out to get to the essentials?

MildredM
04-03-17, 11:12
Bit of a shock to find I was the only one browsing this thread just now. Makes me think I've got to get a life. Just joined, having received a Gaggia Classic for my 15th Wedding Anniversary. In love with it (and my wife). Still using shop bought expresso coffee but intend to get a grinder at an early opportunity. (Negotiations with my wife will be necessary as space in kitchen is at a premium.) I don't want to spend more than she did on the Gaggia Classic although I understand that is easy enough to do. What are my options? Can somebody tell me what are the expensive components of a grinder? Is it the cones? Is it the timer? is it the grind fineness control? What do I strip out to get to the essentials?


Hi Gorrion,
Congrats on your Wedding Anniversary :) and welcome here!
There's loads of advice on grinders in that section of the forum but I'm sure someone will be pleased to help if you can't find what you're after. Have a read-up then maybe pop a post up in that section!

invocr
09-03-17, 05:26
Excellent, thanks!

Jonsco
31-03-17, 08:43
Very informative thanks

amhenry84
10-04-17, 10:48
thanks

eddie57
14-04-17, 05:45
excellent guide glenn thanks

Planter
14-04-17, 06:04
Great guide. Thank you.

AndyJH
26-04-17, 10:50
Very helpful guide, thanks. Might be useful to do a similar guide for Grinders also?

Timpo
02-05-17, 12:26
Very helpful, thanks

lidders
05-05-17, 11:53
Very useful, now trying to learn how to use my Sage BE thanks.

MildredM
06-05-17, 06:12
Very useful, now trying to learn how to use my Sage BE thanks.

Hello lidders and welcome :)

There is a good account of the 'white glove' service in a thread over in the Sage Forum. Maybe it may be of use :)

(I am not sure if it is available for all Sage machines, still makes interesting reading)!

DoubleShot
06-05-17, 06:17
Think the White Glove service is offered for both the Sage DB and The Oracle? Don't think it is for machines lower down the range though?

https://www.sageappliances.co.uk/whitegloveservice

MildredM
06-05-17, 06:36
Think the White Glove service is offered for both the Sage DB and The Oracle? Don't think it is for machines lower down the range though?

https://www.sageappliances.co.uk/whitegloveservice

Just read it, thanks. What a pity, really. Understandable though.

nomilknosugar
09-05-17, 10:54
Great post for beginners like me, although my Italian friends would shudder at the very last paragraph: cappuccino at a dinner party? Unthinkable!

chrisje69
14-05-17, 08:14
That's super helpful.

General-S-1
16-05-17, 12:38
Thanks for the guide, very helpful.

MikeL
17-06-17, 10:00
Great guide, thanks

Belinda
25-06-17, 05:12
Thanks for this - very informative.

cushdy78
05-07-17, 12:39
Great guide Glenn - thanks for the summary!!

Raimundad
09-07-17, 01:29
Brill bit of info! Thanks a lot!

dtapio
10-07-17, 07:36
good summary! Thanks!

dimotaki
11-07-17, 12:45
Excellent guide. Many thanks!

supertom44
13-07-17, 09:24
Great intro post for newbies like myself, many thanks.

DaveP
16-07-17, 11:35
Great guide, thank you Glenn

jogantas
18-07-17, 10:37
Nice info!!!

measuretwicecutonce
26-07-17, 03:07
Thanks for the information. Looks like I've got a bit of Reading to do ;)

TheWilkieWay
26-07-17, 07:21
Thanks for the guide, a good start but I feel I have much reading ahead of me!

mlambton
30-07-17, 11:58
Just joined this forum and boy is there so much to learn. I bought a Europiccola in 2002 and couldnt really get the quality of cappucino that i hoped but with no other help i gave up with it and put it in the garage to be replaced by a nespresso set up. Been very happy with nespresso & aerocinno (I can feel readers shuddering) because of its ease of use and consistency. I have now retired (so have more time on my hands) and want to have another go with the Europiccola just as soon as i replace the seals in the headgear. Im now looking for a grinder (it needs to look good if im allowed to have it in the kitchen) and at the moment trying to decide if the Eurika Mignon mk2 is the one for me.

Thanks for the guide at least It appears i have a reasonable starter coffee machine (once i have sorted the seals)

The Asgard
01-08-17, 08:52
Greetings,
Just joined the forums, hoping to learn more from you guys to make coffee taste even better!

Tassimo, Delongi ECAM Bean to Cup. The next machine will be based on what I can learn from you guys.

phoward
01-08-17, 04:47
Great info as I didn't understand the difference between the heat exchanger and the double boiler. Now I do!

tonerei
03-08-17, 11:29
Nice guide. Just joined have a gaggia classic and Mazzer Superjolly grinder. Going to Bellabarista shortly to look at 'expensive' coffee machines. Found this forum in the last week it is great.Huge amount of info on all things coffee. It is very like my 'other' forum tirnahifi

0044
14-08-17, 02:55
Thanks a lot for the info. I'm just looking to get an espresso machine. The guide has definitely helped me understand what kind of machines I should look at.

groconut
24-08-17, 09:58
Thanks for such a detailed guide Glenn. This was the first post I have read on the forum, so a good start!

Does anyone have any experience with or views on the Sage Dual Boiler espresso machines? They are priced at around £1000.

igm45
24-08-17, 10:40
Thanks for such a detailed guide Glenn. This was the first post I have read on the forum, so a good start!

Does anyone have any experience with or views on the Sage Dual Boiler espresso machines? They are priced at around £1000.Welcome,

They are generally well regarded on here. Do you have a grinder yet?

groconut
24-08-17, 10:59
Hi,

Thank you. Yes I have Dualit electric grinder which is great for aeropress etc but not sure if it can grind find enough for espresso - what are your thoughts?

groconut
24-08-17, 11:01
*Sorry I meant fine not find!

igm45
24-08-17, 11:48
*Sorry I meant fine not find!No it won't be suitable for good espresso.

I would take a look at the Mignon or a 2nd hand commercial grinder such as the mazzer range

CoffeeStewieG
28-08-17, 09:45
Thanks for this, learning more about coffee by the minute today. Still at filter brewing in my coffee career but the end game is definitely a lever machine. Thanks for the knowledge.

Nebar
23-11-17, 06:35
Thanks for the introduction thread info, not sure the prices are current as the post was originally written 5 years ago. Been using a baratza encore and aeropress for a few years. Looking to upgrade and considering both bean to cup and manual or semi auto espresso machines.
Melitta bean to cup f750
sage duo pro
Rancilio Silvia
mostly drink black americano but will need to make the misses a latte at the weekend
would prefer to spend time enjoying the coffee rather than struggling to get a decent coffee

ashcroc
23-11-17, 06:44
Thanks for the introduction thread info, not sure the prices are current as the post was originally written 5 years ago. Been using a baratza encore and aeropress for a few years. Looking to upgrade and considering both bean to cup and manual or semi auto espresso machines.
Melitta bean to cup f750
sage duo pro
Rancilio Silvia
mostly drink black americano bur will need to make the misses a latte at the weekend
would prefer to spend time enjoying the coffee rather than struggling to get a decent coffee

I wouldn't get a new Rancilio Silvia as they now have a 20 min cut off (for energy efficiency) which cuts in before it's fully heated up.

Estheroid
23-11-17, 08:28
Thanks for the info - really useful! So much to learn! :D

Nebar
24-11-17, 11:45
Thanks for the info ref the Silvia

Sadist
25-11-17, 12:13
Thanks for all the info. Really useful for beginners.
Is there something similar presenting the grinders?

Gaz|
29-11-17, 06:46
Sounds great, might get the classic to start off with and a decent grinder. Thanks for the info.

dexies
08-12-17, 04:40
Excellent information, thanks

Mouzone
09-12-17, 10:58
Really useful guide, I wish I'd come across it (and this site) sooner. I've been fumbling around Google, reading reviews of machines vs my budget and it just so happens I had decided to go for the Gaggia Classic. After reading this thread, I feel like it's a solid choice for my first machine and initial budget.

However, I'm personally not able to find any around the price stated in the thread (other than ebay). It seems like they retail about £250 nowadays (new anyway)? I don't know how safe a purchase off of ebay is..

Thanks for the effort in putting this together.

Rhys
09-12-17, 11:19
Really useful guide, I wish I'd come across it (and this site) sooner. I've been fumbling around Google, reading reviews of machines vs my budget and it just so happens I had decided to go for the Gaggia Classic. After reading this thread, I feel like it's a solid choice for my first machine and initial budget.

However, I'm personally not able to find any around the price stated in the thread (other than ebay). It seems like they retail about £250 nowadays (new anyway)? I don't know how safe a purchase off of ebay is..

Thanks for the effort in putting this together.

I wouldn't bother getting a new one as they work different and aren't as good (in some people opinion). Plenty come up for sale, and the Pre-Philips ones with a bigger OPV are the ones to get.

Mouzone
09-12-17, 11:25
I wouldn't bother getting a new one as they work different and aren't as good (in some people opinion). Plenty come up for sale, and the Pre-Philips ones with a bigger OPV are the ones to get.Thanks for that Rhys, I did get the sense that that might be the case but I didn't have it spelled out before.

Is Pre-Philips any before the 2015 model?

sonnyredster
09-12-17, 06:26
Very useful guide, been using my porlex mini for a few years now for aeropress and have finally decided to upgrade to an electric.

Mr Beanie
09-12-17, 08:00
This is good to read. I bought a Delonghi bean to cup machine about 2 years ago for about £350. Its convenient, but now I'm more interested in playing at trying to be a barista its not the best. So I'm looking to upgrade soon.

Redlorryyellow
20-12-17, 05:50
Just wanted to say what a wonderfully helpful thread!

Psticks
25-12-17, 03:42
Great thread, although I’ve pulled the trigger on a Gaggia Classic off sales area and I feel, improvitus striking already.

kdr152
27-12-17, 02:43
Great post with 'to the point' information. Not purchased anything yet and will be referring to the detail pre-purchase! Glad I found before I bought a new Classic/ powder-coated it/ Added a PID/ Upgraded the steamer and realised I had no idea how to brew! ;)

li69b7
28-12-17, 09:44
great very helpfull

lestat132
28-12-17, 12:12
A really great source of info and one that guided me to buying a small used commercial HX machine straight off the bat having never heard of them before, that I loved and made amazing espressos with for many years

crxxx1
28-12-17, 12:49
Good info!

prv20
06-01-18, 04:24
Great guide, thank you!

Roobarb
08-01-18, 04:35
Nice post. By the time I had read this, I had already worked this out myself. But if I had started here, it would have saved me a lot of time.

li69b7
09-01-18, 05:40
great and nice post

Andycoffee
16-01-18, 01:56
Great post. Lots of information quick to read and understand. 👍🏻

xpresso
16-01-18, 06:17
Hello Folks.

New in here, how this forum has expanded seeing a list of machines in the 'Read this first' and then seeing what's on the market now after seven years.

JWL.

spanspoon
18-01-18, 10:10
nice 1!!

Bevnewts
22-01-18, 03:12
Thanks great advice

Carlo7378
01-02-18, 08:25
Hi all, new in this forum.
Looking forward to learn asking a lot of question

[emoji3]

somewhat
01-02-18, 09:46
very helpful! thanks

jay.anderson
21-02-18, 02:51
Newbie very interested in making better espresso. Living in calif, US. Expobar Lever and Vario. Getting erics thermometrr for better readings of e1 group tem. Looking for recommendations on thresds, new to tapatalk also..

j53michael
23-02-18, 10:55
Great guide, thanks.

steelartsa
24-02-18, 01:58
Dear Roland,

Thanks for such an informative post. I am starting out (had enough of instant coffee) and appreciate the advice you have given. Tempted by the Fracino Cherub for home use. The Piccino also looked great but I am put off that machine because I don't think you can descale it at home and it seems to be a very similar price to the Cherub. Still got to sort out a suitable grinder?

best wishes
Mike

Mike, I'm new to this forum too and am looking for a possible replacement machine for my Dedica. The Fracino Piccino really appeals but your comments on possible descaling problems were a bit worrying. I checked out the user manual (available at nisbets.co.uk) and it says "If the water filter has been used correctly and replaced regularly the machine should not require descaling," but Fracino do offer a descaling service should it be required. So the Piccino might make my shortlist after all :D

Ninelives
28-02-18, 08:22
Great guide thanks

Greydad
06-03-18, 11:27
Glenn shouldn’t this be a sticky?

jim d
07-03-18, 05:47
hi, new member here. congrats on a great site for coffee lovers. I started with instant coffee! moved on to a stove top coffee pot that 'burped' and 'glugged' as it was brewing. Forty or so years later,retired and had time on my hands and discovered making espresso at home. Bought a Rancillio Silvia machine and a Rocky grinder and started trying to learn some of the theory and art of making good coffee. A year or so back moved on to the Sage double boiler and a Vario grinder and have enjoyed the coffee very much. I am just about to buy a GENE CAFE from Bella barista and when searching the web came upon this CFUK site. Will look forward to reading up on all the posts and advice sections. hope i'm posting my first post in the right place!!

Mradrock
08-03-18, 10:09
Got to say a great intro guide for a newbie like me- thanks!

Glenn
09-03-18, 10:59
Made sticky again - thanks :)

Bullettooth82
14-03-18, 12:00
Great starter guide thanks!

Bullettooth82
14-03-18, 12:01
I’m a noob here but enjoying learning ����

Quenteagle
14-03-18, 12:38
First post I read on this forum. Really helped narrow down the first choices of espresso machines. Do we have a grinder guide somewhere? I really took me a lot of reading to understand that grinders were equally if not more important the the machine.

ashcroc
15-03-18, 10:55
First post I read on this forum. Really helped narrow down the first choices of espresso machines. Do we have a grinder guide somewhere? I really took me a lot of reading to understand that grinders were equally if not more important the the machine.Here's (https://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=17071) the grinder version of this thread.

Edilemma
18-03-18, 11:03
Such great information here, thank you. It’s so exciting to me to find this hot-bed of people taking coffee seriously. My friends don’t really get my coffee obsession and why I go to so much trouble to make my own espresso. After 5 years living in Australia, where it’s practically impossible to find bad coffee, I simply couldn’t fact drinking the sad excuse for coffee that most people here accept as ‘coffee’. I did a barista course in Sydney and set up to create a home coffee station as soon as I could using Pact Coffee beans. Now I’m in the market for a new machine, and I’ve got my sights set on a Gaggia Classic...thanks to this forum!

namsri19
20-03-18, 11:58
Thank you Glenn, great post for begginers like me. Been using a Moka pot for the last 4 years, time to move up into some "proper" coffee!

theotterspocket
21-03-18, 01:34
Excellent post for putting things into perspective! Thanks :D

ibesteveb
21-03-18, 01:11
very good write-up! thank you!

johnnyka7
21-03-18, 05:29
Great post, thanks a lot for sharing !

Kenben
08-04-18, 12:08
It was Glenns post that finally made me buy a Gaggia Classic as my first machine. It arrived today, along with a gaggia grinder (both secondhand) and I have already had them in bits to see how they work!
Plenty of mods out there for people like me that like to tinker, and cheap enough that they won't break the bank. Happy times ahead!

chuffer75
11-04-18, 03:57
Thanks for these posts - very helpful indeed

chris_the_glove
12-04-18, 03:58
amazingly useful resource thank you... just about to hit the next level of coffee geekery and make my own water (a la barista hustle) so we'll see how that goes

JimmyDimitris
16-04-18, 12:12
Good afternoon all.

Please can someone advise me where I can add a topic to the forum?
I cant seem to find the link on this website.
Thank you

LondonGuy
29-04-18, 10:19
Haha good luck Chris we seem to be doing pretty much the same

JIMFISH
10-06-18, 11:34
Ok , I have read the info Glenn, thankyou.
I am hoping to stick with an aeropress for the time being and try different beans in it. MIGHT look to get a more expensive machine in the future!

Shibbi
11-06-18, 09:18
Good intro, thanks for the post...

chimejar
17-06-18, 11:16
Thanks for the comprehensive intro!

limpetpete
24-07-18, 10:29
Thanks for the info! Think for the price I'll start like everyone else... Gaggia Classic all the way!

Sefroniauk
24-07-18, 10:44
This forum has been such a brilliant resource for me since I fell down the coffee rabbit hole - thank you! How is it that the more you learn, the more you realise how much you don't know?! ;-)

mzda2
08-08-18, 09:17
Thanks, v useful information for a complete newbie.

Maximus
09-08-18, 01:58
I have an Aeropress but no grinder yet. I can't decide whether I should get a hand grinder or an electric one.

Doc_Shultz
06-09-18, 06:15
Thank you for this great post. I have a Gaggia Classic, but one day, I plan to get a dual boiler unit. I will definitely look at the units you have listed in this post!

MrLatte
15-09-18, 10:45
Brilliant guide, very glad i decided to go on a forum before purchasing as i now know what to look out for ;)

SoufianeSouf
15-09-18, 04:47
Thanks, very useful

archcherub
18-09-18, 10:18
wow. the first thread is so much full of information. i would take days to experiment with my machine lol

Gingerbean
21-09-18, 06:38
Hello,

I've just signed up. Thanks for the post. I have some questions so I'll be posting them soon. This site has been very useful so far. :)

Edt Lee
22-09-18, 11:34
Very informative. Thanks.

Weymouth
02-10-18, 07:37
Hi,

Great thread. No mention of Sage in the first post. So either they weren't around then or aren't rated?

hotmetal
03-10-18, 12:01
Hi,

Great thread. No mention of Sage in the first post. So either they weren't around then or aren't rated?This thread (certainly the first post) was from before Sage was around - or at least, before anyone on here knew anything about them. Nowadays they have a fairly loyal following and reasonable reputation (helped in part by very good warranty from John Lewis or Lakeland).

___
Eat, drink and be merry

Neversleep
03-10-18, 11:43
spot on the information on this post, thanks

Gareth Evans
04-10-18, 05:42
Thanks for the info

shadosc
06-10-18, 05:48
Great info. Now I see why my Moka's coffee has bit a bit of a disappointment

alphahelix
06-10-18, 08:22
Great reading, a lot of useful info in there, thanks :)

ant2
06-10-18, 04:31
Thanks for the intro

henrystclair
12-10-18, 07:27
Thank you, great job!

Big John
25-10-18, 06:18
Thanks for the intro. Luckily I bought a Gaggia Classic several years ago, and stumbled across this site when I found the need to service it. Looks like I've got a reasonable starting point to achieve some good results, and am already thinking of pimping up my Gaggia with some mods on this site.

ChrisMG
30-10-18, 10:37
Good informative post for us noobies.

IanGB
01-11-18, 12:40
Thank you, a good place to start for me

lovecoffeenorwich
04-11-18, 09:07
Hi all. Always loved the smell of coffee growing up. Now mid-30's and I've been drinking coffee for last 5yrs. Main love would be espresso-based drinks (flat white), but I love all methods of making coffee. Each having their own expression, as does each bean. Not forgetting Glenn, great job you're doing here.

Wolvesnev
11-11-18, 09:42
A good introductory post for coffee newbies. Might be worth updating to reflect current prices, which have certainly increased since 2011! Currently have a 10 year old Delonghi ES330 and a Rocky, but now looking to upgrade to a proper machine.

neilos81
25-11-18, 11:31
Great info, like others, been hunting around google and review sites and ended up more confused than when i started! Will continue to read through the posts and learn..

mr-bean
26-11-18, 10:56
Great forum, nice to be a member. Been reading all day, decided to buy a Gaggia Classic.
Gaggia UK Direct has a great xmas deal on a Classic RI9403/18 for £190. Then when the Christmas bank balance is restored, I'll then read up all about grinders.

Mrboots2u
26-11-18, 11:03
Great forum, nice to be a member. Been reading all day, decided to buy a Gaggia Classic.
Gaggia UK Direct has a great xmas deal on a Classic RI9403/18 for £190. Then when the Christmas bank balance is restored, I'll then read up all about grinders.
Welcome but save your cash , new gaggia are not worth it and
Machine and no grinder = rubbish coffee

mr-bean
26-11-18, 11:15
Welcome but save your cash , new gaggia are not worth it and
Machine and no grinder = rubbish coffee
If you can no longer buy the older model, what do you buy?, I don't like second hand, you normally inherit some one else's problems.
I see second hand machines for sale here, but then what are the sellers buying?

Mrboots2u
27-11-18, 12:20
If you can no longer buy the older model, what do you buy?, I don't like second hand, you normally inherit some one else's problems.
I see second hand machines for sale here, but then what are the sellers buying?

Gaggias are pretty bomb proof if well looked after.
People buy better machines not straight swaps for other entry level ones . It's like any hobby there is always "better".

ashcroc
27-11-18, 08:00
If you can no longer buy the older model, what do you buy?, I don't like second hand, you normally inherit some one else's problems.
I see second hand machines for sale here, but then what are the sellers buying?There's a new model coming out (was supposed to be October but hasn't made it to the shelves over here yet) that's closer to the pre2015 varient. No reviews on it yet & while it has a proper steam arm, it's still running mechanical thermostats so would need to temp surf or fit a PID (which may be problematic due to nobody doing it yet).

mr-bean
27-11-18, 05:42
Thanks for the help guys, until a week ago I had a 4 year old Sage BE but it went wrong, and I can't justify repair price, I spoke to Sage and they won't sell me any spare parts, agents only I was told.
So I'm going to get a Gaggia that I can work on at a reasonable cost. Found a refirbished pre 2015 classic from Gaggia UK direct for £199, do you think it's worth it?

ashcroc
27-11-18, 06:10
Thanks for the help guys, until a week ago I had a 4 year old Sage BE but it went wrong, and I can't justify repair price, I spoke to Sage and they won't sell me any spare parts, agents only I was told.
So I'm going to get a Gaggia that I can work on at a reasonable cost. Found a refirbished pre 2015 classic from Gaggia UK direct for £199, do you think it's worth it?You could spend less getting one from the for sale section of this fine forum which will most likely already have a silvia steam wand on it & possibly other mods/extras too (you only need a couple more posts to access it). It's just a question of whether the warranty you get from gaggia direct is worth it to you.
Don't forget you'll also be needing a grinder.

Flashheart8
29-11-18, 09:00
I've not been through the forums properly yet, would you say a one touch bean to cup machine ie melitta barista ts smart will be sacrilege here?

hotmetal
30-11-18, 12:38
Probably but that shouldn't stop you. It's only sacrilege insofar as a large % of members really have gone down the rabbit hole and no expense or fuss is too much. We talk a lot about measuring, tweaking, prepping, stirring, even sieving grinds to get even particle size distribution, and refracting the results. So, in that sense, asking which B2C to buy is like asking a hard-core photographer forum which point-n-shoot to buy. You might get the occasional comment that could be interpreted as sarky (although often it's not meant that way). The point is though, there is nothing illegitimate about a one-button wonder, and indeed it should be about the beans not the machines. The Melitta Varianza (I think?) was the subject of a thorough test, engineering and user review by DavecUK who spoke favourably of it. If that's the solution that gets you/ your household drinking good coffee that you enjoy, you could do worse than a Melitta. The flip side is that you may miss out on the engagement/fun/rabbit hole obsession that enthusiasts might try to pull you into!
NB I don't know much about that machine you mention. Whilst Dave was able to recommend another Melitta machine, the one you mention may be different in crucial areas. Or not. Gap in my knowledge there so I can't actually just answer your question like you hoped, hence the long philosophical reply hinting at the variance between the machine in question and the forum ethos/ bias towards manual kit. And anyway it's all about the drink at the end and all the great beans you can experience.
___
Eat, drink and be merry

Flashheart8
30-11-18, 08:06
Thank you for the informative reply, to be honest I've never had a proper coffee (unless you count Costa, which I highly doubt), I'm coming from a Tassimo then Nespresso and now would like to see what the difference is.
I can see myself progressing to a grinder and Espresso machine but for now I just don't have the time and a one touch fix will have to do.

mr-bean
30-11-18, 10:26
I took the plunge and bought a new Classic 2015 RI9403/18 Wednesday. I spent 3 hours trying some beans that I ground and in that time, was making better coffee than the Sage BE ever did.
Today I took off that pannarello milk frother and used just the metal section to get a nice micro foam and ordered a Rancilio wand and VST-18 to improve it more.
I'm like a kid with a new toy and it's great.

jimbojohn55
01-12-18, 06:13
I've not been through the forums properly yet, would you say a one touch bean to cup machine ie melitta barista ts smart will be sacrilege here?

yes unless you like everything to be convenient, it wont give you the option to have the fun of developing skills, but its as good as your going to get from a Bean2cup, expect some sharp devaluation and a very limited machine life span as well.

Sugden18
03-12-18, 05:46
Thanks for the excellent thread, amazing it's still relevant 6 years later. I can only echo the comments of it would be nice for a small update as it's the first place I came too after joining. In regards to price and adding a few of the popular machines mentioned on here a lot like sage etc.

Chadatron
03-12-18, 08:34
Great thread, really good to get an idea of all the different machine types, really helpful as I research my machine purchase.

Joha
03-12-18, 09:25
Thank you. Pretty much answers the basic question everyone is looking an answer for. Would be nice to have similar thread for grinders sndcoffee beans.

hotmetal
03-12-18, 10:03
Thank you. Pretty much answers the basic question everyone is looking an answer for. Would be nice to have similar thread for grinders sndcoffee beans.Grinders
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcoffeeforums%2Eco%2Euk %2Fshowthread%2Ephp%3Ft%3D17071&share_tid=17071&share_fid=6813&share_type=t

Coffee beans can't really be discussed in quite the same way as they're not manufactured or technically different in that sense, and the price doesn't bear much relation to the enjoyment you'll get (because it's subjective, although of course there is a price/ quality correlation, but also rarity value, roaster reputation, quantity purchased etc)

Beans are discussed all over the forum every day (especially in the beans section). You want to be buying freshly roasted whole beans, decide the roasting style you prefer, and the flavours you're looking for, and then narrow it down to a terroir and process. Lots to research there! Look for the banner ads from forum sponsor roasters, or the threads that recommend roasters, maybe join up with LSOL if you like lightly roasted fruity coffee, or take out a subscription with a roaster that offers a mystery element, such as Dog & Hat. Half the forum is about beans really, as it can't fit into a beginners guide thread. Enjoy the trip!

___
Eat, drink and be merry

Joha
03-12-18, 11:11
Thank you hotmeal. I have been reading the forum for the past hour and realised how much information is available here.

Shaf
04-12-18, 02:14
Hi all
I have just joined the forum. Cant wait to buy my first coffee machine and start a coffee journey.excellent guide. I am also a novice when it comes to forum.
Thank you

sam749
07-12-18, 04:39
Really good summary of options available to people. I'm new to this forum. I started my journey with Ms. Silvia and upgraded to Elektra Micro Casa a Leva last year. I have pulled some incredible shots with the Elektra but I struggle sometimes with temperature stability. Considering a dual boiler machine. Look forward to participating in this forum!

ContraCoffee
08-12-18, 06:11
Thank you all for the contributions and guides included! Excitement overload about getting stuck in to a new machine

bdc
09-12-18, 11:29
Very useful information, definitely a job well done!

Beanbrain
16-12-18, 11:33
[QUOTE=hotmetal;643233]Probably but that shouldn't stop you. It's only sacrilege insofar as a large % of members really have gone down the rabbit hole and no expense or fuss is too much. ....The flip side is that you may miss out on the engagement/fun/rabbit hole obsession that enthusiasts might try to pull you into!

:drink: Looking forward to jumping down the rabbit hole! LOL

hotmetal
16-12-18, 11:35
Hahaha! When you get to the bottom, remember to check that those things that look like lightly roasted beans actually are coffee. That rabbit might still be in there!!

___
Eat, drink and be merry

Mardinor
21-12-18, 12:19
Really helpful. Thanks

Steamer
24-12-18, 02:08
Hi Guys,
I joined the forum recently and found this sticky MASSIVELY helpful. I've just purchased, stripped down and serviced/descaled my 2001 1475w Classic and am utterly stoked with the results. Came over from the dark side of pods after being a bit disgusted with myself in regard of the amount of plastic wastage. The side effect of this move is I am now drinking coffee of a far better quality than I can purchase anywhere near me. Thanks for such a great pool of knowledge. Decent grinder next ... :eek: £££

Wilko 4473
27-12-18, 10:32
Nice informative post. It's what got me to the forum to begin with so pleased to have some solid info on espresso machines.

Paulct
03-01-19, 01:22
New member here from Hull and you have converted me and just ordered Gaggia Classic 2015 to upgrade from basic expresso machine. Also ordered a burr grinder too so can dive in and have fun.

emmaghil
11-01-19, 12:23
read, thanks

MogCoffee
12-01-19, 09:35
This is a really fantastic resource!!
Am relatively new to the forum and am reading with interest.

Next project for me is courses to increase knowledge. Has anyone here done the scae diploma /courses or recommend a good place to start? (For 'enthusiast' rather than prof)

RobMcP
13-01-19, 09:25
Hi All,

I've just joined the forum. I've had my Gaggia Classic with Iberital MC2 grinder for around 5 years now. I think I'm getting the best coffee I can with my current setup. I was looking to do the PID upgrade on it, but seeing the cost of the kits, I thought it might be better to save the money towards a better machine. The guide at the top of this page is quite good. It was easy to decide on the Classic, but when you start looking at HX and dual boiler machines, there is so much more choice, it's really hard to know what to go for.

Sam123
02-02-19, 10:24
Thanks for the advice, really useful info

Stuerv
05-02-19, 10:41
I like to drink coffee as the locals do in Indonesia. Indonesian coffee is delicious too!

Sammy87
06-02-19, 11:49
Amazing guide here, thanks for the info

Andrusik
08-02-19, 08:19
Thanks Glenn, Gaggia Classic is tempting.

aluna
12-02-19, 11:03
Excited to be here and start learning about home roasting. :)

JCuniowski
14-02-19, 07:55
Thanks for the info!