3.5oz beverage: New espresso machine or moka pot

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Andrew Montreal

#1: Post by Andrew Montreal »

Hi all,

Honestly I am not sure where to put this thread. I figured this forum would be the best fit considering that it IS about whether to buy a machine or not.

The fact is I LOVE my morning moka pot beverage (especially now with my newly-purchased second hand Baratza Sette 270... a definite upgrade from where I was). It's rich in flavour, has a good density for a 3-3.5oz beverage. I use 18g of dark-roast coffee. Baratza set to 13-14, I add a little unheated milk. A joy.

As I mentioned in my only other thread, I have been contemplating getting my first real espresso machine. The reasoning is... though I love my moka pot coffee, would not having more control over the process result in a more enjoyable coffee? If I use the same amount of the same coffee and shoot for the same amount of extraction from an espresso machine whose parameters I can control, would I not be able to get even closer to the taste profile I want? Can I not better control the bitterness and sweetness and such? Or are the processes so different that it's like comparing apples and oranges? Is the fact that the moka pot only produces 1-2 bars make it such that the grind size can be larger and therefore the extraction is slower, resulting in 3-3.5oz of coffee that doesn't taste over-extracted?

I will possibly have a chance to take my coffee to a shop and try it in an espresso machine to see what happens. Was curious to get points of view in the meantime.



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Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Moka pot and espresso are two, different drinks, both very enjoyable. Because (probably) the espresso machine works at much higher pressures, the flavor is different. I can't tell you if you will like it better or not! I enjoy a classic macchiato (tiny bit of milk) or a cappuccino (a couple ounces of milk) myself as a change from straight espresso.

If you're happy with the moka pot, buy some great coffee beans!

If you want to explore the espresso hobby, then coming up with a budget for machine, grinder, and some basic tools would be the next step.

Andrew Montreal (original poster)

#3: Post by Andrew Montreal (original poster) »

Thanks for the input. I guess I will do some tests on other people's machines or on store machines that allow me to see if it is where I want to go. Fortunately I already have the Sette 270 so I am covered for grinder. Ideal budget is $500CAD which means a second-hand pretty new Gaggia or an older Rancilio I guess.

Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

If you don't steam your milk, a Cafelat Robot might be a good way to explore. They're very much a "real" machine. I have one that stands proudly next to a high-end machine and enjoy the espresso from both. If you occasionally want hot, foamy milk, even one of the $10-ish, battery-powered frothers can do an adequate job.

Andrew Montreal (original poster)

#5: Post by Andrew Montreal (original poster) » replying to Jeff »

Thanks for your advice, Jeff. I will definitely look into these suggestions.


#6: Post by dreadnatty08 »

I agree with Jeff. For your needs and budget, a manual espresso machine would be a great option. Besides the Robot, take a look at the Flair Pro/Signature/Classic (in order of $$$-$). I think you'd be much happier than the stress and frustration of a Gaggia or Silvia.

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MTN Gert

#7: Post by MTN Gert »

+1 for a Flair Neo(with upgrade to bottomless portafilter) or Flair classic. Very low initial cost, very good espresso, and if you don't like espresso or are ready for a upgrade you lose almost nothing in resale, and both Flair and Robot machines are great for travel.

It's hard to recommend a new pump espresso machine under $700usd and preferably a bit more. At least you have a good grinder to start with

You could also look at the used market for a Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia or a Siminelli Oscar/Oscar 2
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