Best espresso gear on a student's budget? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Harfatum »

Haha, I didn't state a price range cause I was sort of afraid to! After saving up a little, I think the max I would consider would be the 150-200 range. But I'm really hoping for something cheaper, I don't mind it being stovetop or manual or anything like that. I'm satisfied with my grinder, and if there was some similar option for espresso that would be awesome.

Also, thanks for consolidating this, HB. I searched for budget but must have missed this one. I'm reading through the previous posts now :)

If I could get a Saeco Classico for $150, would that be a good deal?
"I'm going to try and convince you this is obvious"

Dogshot

#12: Post by Dogshot »

I'm with Dan in his recommendation for something other than an espresso machine. In your shoes, I would definitely put all my current budget into a grinder, and splurge on an Aeropress. You will get excellent Americanos, and as resources allow, you can expand into a french press, vac pot, and a popcorn popper or cheap roaster. That way, you could learn a lot about coffee, and by the time you are into your first full-time job, you could get a really nice espresso machine and skip a bunch of upgrades.

Mark

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luca
Team HB

#13: Post by luca »

Harfatum wrote:Haha, I didn't state a price range cause I was sort of afraid to! After saving up a little, I think the max I would consider would be the 150-200 range. But I'm really hoping for something cheaper, I don't mind it being stovetop or manual or anything like that. I'm satisfied with my grinder, and if there was some similar option for espresso that would be awesome.

Also, thanks for consolidating this, HB. I searched for budget but must have missed this one. I'm reading through the previous posts now :)

If I could get a Saeco Classico for $150, would that be a good deal?
What's your grinder? That's the biggest concern. If you don't have a good grinder, then any espresso machine is going to be about as useful as the dummies guide to literacy.

Personally, on that sort of budget, I would be inclined to get great beans and drink them through a french press. For that sort of money, you can have a top of the line french press experience or a bottom of the line espresso experience.

Cheers,

Luca
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Grader Exam, Brewer's Cup #3, Australian Cup Tasting #1

Harfatum

#14: Post by Harfatum »

What I currently have is the AeroPress and a Porkert Universal Mill for grinding.
"I'm going to try and convince you this is obvious"

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Psyd

#15: Post by Psyd »

HB wrote:As a general principle, I don't advocate going into debt, and doubly so for discretionary expenditures like espresso gear (I know, how un-American!).
Well, I usually don't advocate the use of a credit card either, but you have to admit I did advocate the use of it in a very responsible, almost 'monkey-wrench' manner. Use their 'no interest' bait against them, transferring the debt to a new, interest free card whenever the interest free bait expires, and to use 'rent' money that you'd be spending on a daily coffee to make the 'mortgage' payments on the machine at home. Debt isn't bad, mismanaged debt is bad. I am the poster child for staying out of debt; ten credit cards, zero balance, all the auto's are paid off, and the mortgage is the only debt I have. OTOH, for a student to make the rent vs buy, if it's the same amount of money and the result is that he owns his machine in under a year...
Oh, and I recently mothballed my last Krups steamtoy. She used to travel with me (as I'd get better shots out of her than at some of the places I stayed, Coral Gables...) and has recently been replaced by the Rocky and Silvia travelling circus.
If you ignore the safety warnings and go ahead and tamp the grounds, you can get something that really closely resembles espresso out of one of these things. You'll eventually blow the boiler gasket, but I had four of them, so I wasn't too worried. Just make sure that you put something near to replace what you'll be drinking out of as soon as the shot starts to get thin and blond. They tend to dribble while you steam.
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

Harfatum

#16: Post by Harfatum »

Just wanted to say I decided to go with the Saeco Espresso Classico, I found a new one in-box on eBay for $200 including shipping and I went for it. I'm excited now :D My parents have a Starbucks Barista and that's the only machine I've ever used before (besides cheapy models), so this will be a new experience.
"I'm going to try and convince you this is obvious"

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Presso

#17: Post by Presso » replying to Harfatum »

Good luck!

I wish you many Godshots :)

Welcome to the world of the home barista

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ogatasan

#18: Post by ogatasan »

Actually surprised that noone spoke in the favor of a lever machine here...

A La Pavoni Europiccola would be my choice for the following reasons:

+ capable of delivering great espressi (just follow a few basic rules)
+ plenty of choice on ebay for around 150$
+ quick
+ quiet
+ preinfusion and extraction profiling
+ chic - great design, everything is an expression of its function, its a naked beauty ;)
+ maintenance: everything is replaceable, all you probably need is a few new gaskets once every while
+ will follow you wherever you go, is very compact
+ keeps value (but you wont sell it again)
+ that for later: yes you will be able to steam, froth and do latte art!

+ less reasonably it will impress the opposite sex and thus may affect your love life


add 20 bucks for a mocca-handgrinder (Pede, Peugot or Zassenhaus) and find a source for freshly roasted beans


I would reconsider my recommendation:
- if you intend to make more than 3 coffee drinks at a time
- if you want to please everyone with it at your weekly parties
- if your drinking habits are affected by the wide-spread supersize-syndrome
Chris H
LMWDP #148

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lilotaku

#19: Post by lilotaku »

back from the dead
War Cro Cop!
War Couture!
War Sakuraba!
War Coffee!

wildlyesoteric

#20: Post by wildlyesoteric »

ogatasan wrote:Actually surprised that noone spoke in the favor of a lever machine here...

A La Pavoni Europiccola would be my choice for the following reasons:

+ capable of delivering great espressi (just follow a few basic rules)
+ plenty of choice on ebay for around 150$
+ quick
+ quiet
+ preinfusion and extraction profiling
+ chic - great design, everything is an expression of its function, its a naked beauty ;)
+ maintenance: everything is replaceable, all you probably need is a few new gaskets once every while
+ will follow you wherever you go, is very compact
+ keeps value (but you wont sell it again)
+ that for later: yes you will be able to steam, froth and do latte art!

+ less reasonably it will impress the opposite sex and thus may affect your love life


add 20 bucks for a mocca-handgrinder (Pede, Peugot or Zassenhaus) and find a source for freshly roasted beans


I would reconsider my recommendation:
- if you intend to make more than 3 coffee drinks at a time
- if you want to please everyone with it at your weekly parties
- if your drinking habits are affected by the wide-spread supersize-syndrome
well it is a bit of a phallic symbol ;)