What is the best home espresso machine to buy?

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I am looking at buying a home espresso machine. What would be the best machine to use to make perfect european espresso?

-- Dwayne Rodgerson (RodgersondD@mail.vetmed.ufl.edu), September 08, 1999


I basically have the same question for I am only interested in purchasing a Latte' Machine if there is such a machine in existence. Would somebody please send me in the right direction to purchase this equipment for I'm a novice in this area and would like to enjoy some of the experiences that you've all had. Please e-mail me back as soon as possible.

-- Louis B Chapman, Jr. (Yshua@novanetwork.net), December 24, 1999.

I basically have the same question for I am only interested in purchasing a Latte' Machine if there is such a machine in existence. Would somebody please send me in the right direction to purchase this equipment for I'm a novice in this area and would like to enjoy some of the experiences that you've all had. Please e-mail me back as soon as possible. Do I have to buy an expresso machine to enjoy the relaxing taste of latte'. Please respond asap.

-- Louis B Chapman, Jr. (Yshua@novanetwork.net), December 24, 1999.

Hi Dwayne,

I saw your note at about.com and thought to answer you. I work with an Italian company producing great espresso machines, so here's some of what I've learned over the last years...

Firstly, know that quality espresso is not just coffee plus machine: the roast and grind of a quality bean is essential, then there is the packing-pressure it is put into the spout with, followed by the heat and pump-pressure by which the espresso is exploited from the ground coffee (which needs to be about 100-115 psi).

As the above knowledge is nearly always lost somehow between our docks and the US customs', it is hard to find real Italian espresso in the USA. Italians can sell good equipment all day but if the barista isn't an Italian trained barista, well...

Solution?=espresso systems. Machines and preportioned pods/capsules: this way, all the above should already be done for you (assuming a quality producer) and packed into the paper pod or plastic capsule, to be placed into an espresso machine and subjected to high pressure until about 30 - 50ml of frothy-topped espresso appears in your cup; there you have an Italian espresso!

There are a lot of companies for pod systems, almost any pod works in any pod machine; whereas there are fewer capsule systems: machines and capsules are exclusive to one another. Pods are limited to coffee and maybe teas while capsules (at least in our patented system) allow for use of fresh ingredients like those, plus instant ingredients, therefore giving a larger range of drinks and no usage of the ever- hygenically-challenged fresh milk. Espresso machines generally aren't cheap, so it makes since to get as much as you can from one, right?

Making an authentic Italian hot-drink couldn't be easier than these skill-free exported-knowledge systems. This is not a sales pitch, just a helpful note, so I'll include my company name herebelow along with some competitors' you may like to search out on the Internet and then ask for info on US distributors.

Best regards, Joshua

Tuttoespresso SpA - great Italian capsules & machines Lavazza - good Italian capsule & machines Kenco - fair capsules & machines from UK Illy - great espresso pods for pod machines, but partnerships with questionable machine producers. In fact, i'm not too keen for pods or their equipment so I won't list anymore, but the Internet is full of'em if you search. I would suggest, above all, a capsule system for home, office or any food service location where there would be more than one or unprofessionally trained barista.

-- Jos (joshuccino@hotmail.com), February 27, 2001.

As our old home machine is slowly dying, I have the same question "What is the best home espresso machine to buy?" -- and thus I have looked here for an answer. I have not found it.

David Schomer states in the "On The Table #22" Caffe Espresso At Home - Giotto Machine Review" that "The Giotto makes the best espresso of any home machine I have tested and most of the commercial ones too." Two of the machines we are seriously considering as a replacement of our present home machine are the Giotto and the Isomac Tea. It seems that the Tea's E61 brewhead and perhaps even the boiler and valves are identical to the Giotto's. However, the Tea has an extra brewing bar gauge and the pressure gauges and they are positioned so that they are easier to see. The Tea also seems to have better steam technology. Thus, we lean towards the Tea machine.

Any comments?

Lubos in the Texas Hill Country part of Austin

-- Lubos Palounek (PAL@ieee.org), July 11, 2002.

I have experience in repairs and provide technical support for home espresso machines. I suggest the following essentials to look for in a good home espresso maker: * Compact size. ** Easy availability of parts *** Availability of after sales service. **** A superautomatic machine with built-in water tank, coffee grinder abd brew group that eliminates the need for a portafilter handle.

Adjustable built-in coffee grinder, accurate espresso dose and ground coffee dose is all that takes to make an awsome espresso. Once programmed, superautomatic home espresso makers do the job with just a push of button for espresso and another push button for frothing milk with a milk frother.

Superautomatic espresso makers are a convenience comparable to the cell phones. Why would one look for a pay phone? Superautomatic machines offer excellence in quality as they provide freshly heated water, freshly ground coffee beans, exact dosage and consistent quality of espresso every time a button is pushed. I do not believe that for making espresso at home any bells and whistles are important as they are in commercial coffee shops. Clean and neat espresso can be made with freshly ground coffee and freshly heated water instead of the convenience with pods and capsules.

Those interested in reasonable priced superautomatic home espresso models should shop for Saeco machines. They offer a wide variety of choices in sizes and prices. Good luck.

-- Edward Harris (granita@erols.com), May 17, 2003.

I have had a Krups 964 for over 10 years and have found it has been a champ. It produces 15 bar pressure and other than some decalfiying, has never require any maintenance.

I recommend getting one that is simple, a minimum of 15 bar pressure (a lot of units) and focus on getting the right coffee with the right grind. That affects taste, flow and crema. Pre-warm the cup with some water from the unit before you make the coffee if it doesn't come with a warmer.

As for repair, make sure you get one that has a good brand backing, where the manufacturer will stand by their product. A good machine is consistent and not frilly and fancy. The product is not the machine, but the coffee. Good Luck! Tony

-- tony g (tgab1991@optonline.net), January 26, 2004.

Just wanted to contribute. I have been using a Solis espresso machine for the past 5 yrs. The machine is swiss made and is very simple to use. It makes perfect espresso with clema. The cost is pricey at around $250 but you will say it is worth the price once you start using it. I use Segafredo pregound beans with the unit and it is awsome. Good luck. Regards. Java Jim

-- Jim Murphy (jimnrik@aol.com), August 18, 2004.

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