OrganicWife wrote:So I have been browsing through these forums as an observer. I have never commited to actually opening an account because the suggestions and topics are usually self explaining, and easy enough to follow. But now I am stuck. So I guess its my way to say hello but to dive into the topic head on.
My husband has been bragging about this super duper top of the line machine that keeps impressing his higher end clientel. (he is in a startup and apparently, their bank accounts have infinite money..). So I wanted to surprise him with one of those espresso makers one day. I am at the stage where I figured out our budget for it: it must be under 2000$. I also incist (since I'm mostly home), to order it online and have it shipped from a store. Amazon sounds like the perfect thing.
Now to the subject matter. I think we are going for the breville bes900xl, but they have a new model in 2016 called the bes920xl, which, from my understanding, is cheaper and has... more options?
Can anyone shed some light on it please? (this is complicated for me, I never bought espresso stuff, I'm actually thinking of documenting my findings soon to stay organized.
Thanks for the future help guys!
Hi Namoie, weclome from a fellow Canuck.
As you can see by the responses so far, a grinder is extremely important for home espresso. In fact, it's more important than the machine. Without a capable espresso grinder, it doesn't matter how good the machine, the barista, or the beans are.
First thing is first. As someone has mentioned, this is a really nice idea for a surprise. My wife doesn't drink coffee and she thinks my coffee bar/equipment is an over-the-top eyesore. So you get huge points right away for even considering this surprise.
But you do want it to be a good surprise, so as has been mentioned, you want to be sure he wants a semi-automatic machine, where he has to control the variables such as grinding, tamping, portafilter prep and more. Whereas a super-automatic machine essentially automates the entire process. Kind of like a Keurig machine, but for espresso. You put in beans, water and milk and the machine does the rest. The downside is that super-automatic machines make all kinds of compromises on the essential espresso making variables that you end up with very mediocre espresso, no matter what you do.
Excellent espresso requires many variables to be mostly right at the same time. But this requires a person(barista) to control many of these variables. This is more labour intensive, and what us folks at Home Barista enjoy and obsess over. But it's not for everyone.
So it would be very good to clarify what he would enjoy for home espresso making.
Door number 1 = An automated process with a superautomatic machine. Door number 2 = he's the barista and can make excellent espresso with a great grinder and semi-automatic machine.
If it's door number 1, we don't really use superautomatics since it's not our thing.
But if it's door number 2, we can definitely help.
I've been assisting another Canadian looking for a grinder to pair with his new machine. Have a look at this thread for more information on why a good espresso grinder is essential.
And there's also a link to idrinkcoffee's grinder page where you can see the current prices in Canadian dollars. As you know, our dollar is in the toilet with low oil prices. So we're getting killed on the exchange right now. Having said that, most retailers such as idrinkcoffee have wiggle room on pricing. Especially if you package a grinder with a machine, plus some accessories. You should be able to negotiate a discount:Expobar Office Pulser...not sure where to start.
Good luck and ask more questions!