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Dave Hopkinson

What does a 'better' espresso machine give you?

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Hi Guys

 

I have a Gaggia 'Coffee' espresso machine. I've had it about 5 years and it works fine.

 

If I were to buy a 'better' machine (Rancilio Silvia seems a popular one) would it enable me to make a better cup of coffee? I make cappuccinos.

 

In other words, what does a more expensive machine do compared with a cheaper one?

 

Cheers

 

Dave

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Hi Dave and welcome to Coffee Forums UK

 

There's not going to be a huge difference between these machines if you are already proficient at making a cappuccino

 

If the machine is working well I'd be inclined to keep it, and replace only when it no longer functions, and in the meantime put a little money aside each month to make a jump to a prosumer machine such as a Rocket Giotto, Izzo Alex or similar.

 

For not a lot more money there is an Expobar Office Leva for sale in the classifieds section which would also be a worthwhile upgrade.

 

What grinder are you using with this machine?


Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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I would suggest that upgrading the grinder would make a bigger difference per £

Gaz


Never too old to learn, often too old to remember

Sage Dual Boiler, Bratatz Sette 270,Fracino Cherub FOR SALE, Macap M5 grinder FOR SALE, Hario drip, kettle, Hario hand grinder, Chemex , replaced again, broke yet again :( , Aeropress, french press, Motta jug,flat and convex tamper, Hario Syphon

SKINT BUT HAPPY

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Hi Dave,

 

I think you should change the grinder first.

 

I had the Gaggia Coffee and it was fine. When I decided I wanted a change I leapfrogged the Silvia and went for a HX (Gaggia TS). I was also looking at the espresso machines that Glenn mentioned, particularly if they had strong steaming performance and ideally good at steaming milk at the same time as brew the coffee.


Still learning on... Gaggia TS, Cunill Tauro, PTM Tamper, Motta Tamping Stand and Knock Box, Gaggia Milk Jug and fresh beans!

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Yep, spend the money on a good grinder. You'll notice the difference in your first cup

The extraction will start later, the espresso should be richer and pour slower, and the body will increase


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All depends on the budget you have

 

Indicative pricing here


Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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Check out Bella Barista's website for some very good informative reviews on some of the grinders mentioned in Glenn's helpful list.


Fracino Cherub, Malhkonig Vario, Espro calibrated 58mm tamper, Espro jug, ACF cups and Costa lover.

Twitter @MrsSKRobinson

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Hmmm, thanks guys. I've got some serious thinking to do. Are some of the grinders expensive because they are built for professional use - i.e. to grind all day? I just make a couple of brews a day and wonder if some of the more expensive ones would not grind any better, just last longer?

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The thing is Dave that the fact that they are built to last,and grind better at the same time, they make good second hand buys a set of new burrs only costs £20-£30

Gaz


Never too old to learn, often too old to remember

Sage Dual Boiler, Bratatz Sette 270,Fracino Cherub FOR SALE, Macap M5 grinder FOR SALE, Hario drip, kettle, Hario hand grinder, Chemex , replaced again, broke yet again :( , Aeropress, french press, Motta jug,flat and convex tamper, Hario Syphon

SKINT BUT HAPPY

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The way the pricing structure seems to work:

- Cheapest of all are small grinders with small burrs (the bit which actually does the grinding) and are usually stepped (so how fine you grind might have 20-40 different settings but you are unable to go inbetween these). Examples of this might be the Gaggia MDF, your Dualit grinder, the Baratza/Mahlkoenig Maestro. These aren't usually very good for espresso as you might want a setting inbetween two 'steps' and some don't grind fine enough.

- The next step up are usually stepless but are adjusted by a worm screw. This means that you can have an unlimited number of different grind settings but it is usually VERY slow even to get from espresso to a fine drip grind (think 15 minutes of winding it to get from espresso to french press!). These are the best 'cheap' espresso grinders as they are very adjustable and as long as you get an Iberital MC2 (a forum favourite!) they will grind fine enough for espresso. Other examples are the ascaso I-mini and eureka mignon. The main thing that sets these from more expensive grinders is the burr size, as smaller burrs will usually cause the ground coffee to clump up which isn't great for distribution in the basket.

- If you spend a bit more you can get stepless grinders that can be moved fairly easily from espresso to coarser settings and have bigger burrs (usually flat rather than conical) which should cause the coffee to clump less. These start at £350 is and include the Compak k3 and Mazzer Mini and Mazzer Super Jolly.

- Above these you have very big, very heavy commercial type grinders. They are still bought for the home by some people as they have huge (usually conical in this case I believe) burrs and grind very quickly, very evenly and produce a very 'fluffy' grind devoid of clumps and static. The popular ones of these are the Mahlkoenig K30, Mazzer Major and Mazzer Robur and are north of £1000.

 

Hope this helps


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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