Curse or Blessing? Second hand espresso and grinder

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Posts: 10
Joined: 1 year ago

#1: Post by RemcoNL »

Hello dear reader,

I'm buying my baratza encore and gaggia classic second hand the coming week. I have never made an espresso nor ground my coffee. Am I going to get cheap good espresso or am I making an mistake buying these second hand?

When I'll buy the espresso machine I can taste the espresso and see it in action.

When I'm buying the grinder I have no clue what a clue is, whether or not it is any good. So i hear the batatza encoe with connical burrs is not sufficient to make espresso? What can do that then?

I'm upgrading from a Senseo machine with the idea of turning my caffeine dose in more fun and tasteful.

Side note; The tap water here has lots of calcium in it amd I dont want to clean it every 5 shots, any advice for a cheap way to get pure H2O?

Posts: 1152
Joined: 4 years ago

#2: Post by luvmy40 »

I'd pass on the Encore for espresso. It is probably a good enough grinder for pour over or drip. It is not an espresso grinder.

The Gaggia Classic is considered a good entry level machine. Depending on the price and condition, it's not a bad jumping off point. Beware, the rabbit hole is deep and full of dead ends and twists!

User avatar
Team HB
Posts: 14392
Joined: 14 years ago

#3: Post by drgary »

I agree about the Baratza Encore not being a capable espresso grinder. You might choose something else. Here's a video that may help you understand how to choose affordable and capable gear.

How to choose an espresso machine and grinder at the "right" price

If you are buying used gear, that's a great way to reduce the cost. But you'll want to see it demonstrated in person or have an option to return something defective and get a full refund. Also if you get used gear, there's no warranty. Are you capable of doing your own servicing and repairs or do you have easy access to a repair shop?

There's lots of good information here, too.

Recommended reading

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

User avatar
Supporter ♡
Posts: 7344
Joined: 15 years ago

#4: Post by yakster »

I agree with the comments about the Encore. If your on a strict budget, you may want to check out some hand grinders, they've come a long way in the last few years and make excellent grinders for espresso and you save money because they don't need to e UL / CE certified for electrical safety, but you lose the convenience of an electric grinder. The latest twist is selling hand grinders with mounts to electric motors which is more convenient and you could still use the hand grinder on the go without the motor.

I buy RO (reverse osmosis) water at a Pure Water store in 5 gallon carboy water containers and dispense it out of a water cooler for my brewing needs. You can add baking soda, Epsom salts, or other minerals to add back some buffering and hardness if you like and you don't have to worry about scale.

There are plenty of threads on the forum about water treatment and hand grinders if you'd like to do more research.

LMWDP # 272

ragdoll serenade
Posts: 85
Joined: 5 years ago

#5: Post by ragdoll serenade »

I have owned an Encore in the past, it made a great budget grinder for pour over but I do not think it is the best choice for espresso. I do like Baratza though and I am using a Sette 30 for my espresso. I like the results and I have had to replace the gearbox after 3 years but that was cheap (free) and not too difficult. The 30 is a stepped grinder, some on this board think that it is not suitable for espresso but I disagree,you can get close to an ideal grind and if you are not terribly finicky about shot time, you should find it adequate. I did add the 270 stepless adjustment ring to mine at some point, and it improved the grinder a bit, mostly I can adjust for certain beans that seem to require a slight move to finer as they age over a week or 2. I also have recently acquired a Zpresso hand grinder for pour over, it was not very expensive and does a great job with less effort than I expected (first time I have used a hand grinder,) I understand that espresso grinding by hand is a bit more difficult.....

For what it is worth I am not the most fanatical poster on this board and really am happy with quite good vs excellent.

For water I have an RO unit under the sink and remineralize for use in coffee and tea making. Similar to the previous poster.

RemcoNL (original poster)
Posts: 10
Joined: 1 year ago

#6: Post by RemcoNL (original poster) »

What would your budget grinder be?

Posts: 1152
Joined: 4 years ago

#7: Post by luvmy40 »

DF 64 or one of the many higher end Manual grinders like the ARCO or 1Zpresso

The Niche Zero is a bit more $ but it's a whole lot of bang for the buck.