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Want to Upgrade to Espresso Machine


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Hi all,

Some time ago, following advice from this forum, I started making my coffee properly. Initially I have been using a clever dripper and a cheap grinder and the results have been fine. I am, however, very bored with all the faff. As I like my Americano in a mug, I use about 22g of coffee, and it takes an age to filter through, and yes, I am using the correct grind size! I also have a reverse osmosis machine, and it has made a massive difference, I drink no other water now.

So, I think it is time to go for an espresso machine, but I simply have no idea where to go. I only drink americano, so no need for any milk frothing. I do not drink espresso. Cost is not a problem, happy to spend if the quality is there. I certainly do not want cheap, you get what you pay for if you choose wisely, it is quality I want. I prefer not to go for bean to cup, if only the size, I do not have a large kitchen. 

Can anyone recommend a good quality espresso machine, £1,000 is fine if it is worth it? I can probably find a decent grinder, but the machine, there are so many options it is almost impossible to make a judgement.

Thank you.

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Do you like American specifically (Espresso + hot water) as you mention Americano from pour over? If that's all you drink then its a big outlay and I would not say there is going to be a whole lot less faff running an espresso machine when you take into account warming it up (buying a non E61 machine like the Lelit Elizabeth would reduce that hassle as would using a smartplug) and cleaning etc. Have you ever tried a Moka Pot?

I would say the grinder is equally as important so dont just settle for anything or only budget a small amount for that.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, P1Fanatic said:

I would say the grinder is equally as important so dont just settle for anything or only budget a small amount for that.
 

I am fully aware of the importance of a good grinder, it is the machine I would like some guidance on.

Edited by ThePhoenix
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A few things before you get ahead of yourself. 

Are you happy with the drinks from your clever dripper other than the time it takes to filter through?

When you say an age to filter through what do you mean? 3 mins? 5 mins? 10mins? (The reason I ask is because although a shot of espresso takes 30 seconds, the prep before and cleanup/maintainance could easily see you spending far more time than making a coffee through a clever)

Have you tried going in water first then coffee on your clever dripper? It will significantly reduce drawdown time. See James Hoffman video on YouTube. 

Something to also remember is cheap grinders generally produce a lot of fines and this could be clogging the paper filter. 

 

 

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Ahhh, I had forgotten about water first, I remember seeing that now, thanks for the reminder.

Filtering is about four/five minutes. I always thoroughly rinse the thing, clean out the valve, the lot. The grind setting is that recommended by the manufacturer for a clever dripper, and I have tried pretty much every setting , the manufacturer recommendation holds true. The grinder may be an issue, it was only £100, so very cheap. It is the time it takes to filter through I am fed up with, the coffee is nice enough, I am still trying different roasteries to find a favourite bean. I will try the water first, and if that works, I will look into a better grinder and not go for the machine.

Helpful advice, thanks.

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1 hour ago, ThePhoenix said:

Ahhh, I had forgotten about water first, I remember seeing that now, thanks for the reminder.

Filtering is about four/five minutes. I always thoroughly rinse the thing, clean out the valve, the lot. The grind setting is that recommended by the manufacturer for a clever dripper, and I have tried pretty much every setting , the manufacturer recommendation holds true. The grinder may be an issue, it was only £100, so very cheap. It is the time it takes to filter through I am fed up with, the coffee is nice enough, I am still trying different roasteries to find a favourite bean. I will try the water first, and if that works, I will look into a better grinder and not go for the machine.

Helpful advice, thanks.

Water first should reduce that filtering time down. 

 

Thing with an espresso machine is there are lots of other factors like heat up time, backflushing etc which you may end up finding more frustrating :)

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I would have to agree, if you only drink black coffee an espresso machine machine is probably not worth the outlay if you will neither drink espresso or milk based drinks. In fact filter coffee is often better than an Americano from an espresso machine. An espresso machine can also be a lot more faff!

It may be worth buying an aeropress and better grinder. An aeropress may not have the same clarity as a porouver but it can have a more rounded texture/mouthfeel as you initially immerse the coffee in water. Also very easy to clean!

It also depends on what roast level you go for?

Maybe look at a grinder such as the wilfa uniform?

 

 

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I know this isn't answering the question but I must say, although I drink mostly espresso or  espresso-based milk drinks, when I fancy a mug of black coffee I always prefer an aeropress to a shot and hot. The prep alone is going to make the time saving negligible. That said, espresso is a rabbit hole and very engaging, if spendy. It's not good for simplifying or speeding up your americano though.

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