Is this a good beginner espresso machine?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#1: Post by amoxicillin875 »

I found a Philips Saeco Poemia Manual Espresso Coffee Machine for $100.00 (new)
Is this a good buy? or is it a waste of money? I have used an aero press and a french press for my coffee/espresso and I am looking for a good deal on a decent espresso machine.

EDIT: For a very poor college student.

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#2: Post by davebm »

Really depends on how serious you are about espresso - I guarantee that if you buy that machine you will be disappointed and unsatisfied, I'd rather save up for a machine where you feel the only failings of your espressos is yourself and not the equipment. haha.

amoxicillin875 (original poster)
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#3: Post by amoxicillin875 (original poster) »

What about it is going to disappoint me? Can you be a bit more specific?

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#4: Post by HB replying to amoxicillin875 »

How to choose an espresso machine and grinder at the "right" price and specifically the video below explain the basics:
Whether you'll be disappointed depends on your expectations. I haven't used the Saeco Poemia, but generally speaking, the low low entry level espresso machines don't have consistent brew temperature or brew pressure and are unforgiving of errors in barista technique. The manufacturer will provide "pressurized portafilters" so it produces a nice looking espresso with stale supermarket coffee, but the taste is typically dry, dull, and monotonic.

In the video, I suggest the Gaggia New Baby and Baratza Preciso as a entry-level espresso setup (around $600 together). Below that level, I expect many owners will either give up or upgrade within a year. The lowest entry point for "real" espresso is probably the Mypressi TWIST and Preciso (or Orphan Espresso LIDO 2, if you go all manual).
Dan Kehn

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#5: Post by kathyallen6 »

Don't go for Philips please. Hope you referred to the buying guide posted above.. :)

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#6: Post by PandaSPUR »

I have one, got mine for $39 (mainly because the reseller sold me the wrong color, so they gave me a partial refund).

Its an interesting machine... fun to learn with? lol

Definitely not forgiving, and brew temps are about as inconsistent as any other single boiler.

The stuff I've bought for mine so far:
Naked Portafilter - $60
Gaggia Latte Art Wand - $20
Digital Temperature Probe - $7

I'm kinda happy about where its at right now. The temperature probe hasnt arrived yet, but its a small LCD unit with a probe on a cable. I plan on attaching the probe to the boiler so I can temp surf accurately. Hopefully my results will be better after that.

Right now, after getting all other variables out of the way (weight, grind, dose and tamp), temperature is all thats really inconsistent. So once in a while I get great shots, or terrible ones, etc. Still better than some crappy cafes I've gone to. Definitely at least passable for lattes though.

I definitely plan on upgrading later on (to something like quickmill silvano) but this was a good first step for me since I didnt want to invest too much without being sure. I also feel like my initial $39 for the machine and $300 for my used Vario was a better idea than $200 for machine and $200 for something like the Precisio.

EDIT: Oh! I'm also a kinda poor college student. Everything comes out of my own pocket from working part time >.< lol

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#7: Post by Burner0000 »

My advice for the $100 budget.

Espresso machine: Used Starbucks Barista SIN 006 $61 ... 1379290617

Grinder: Hario Skerton modded for stepless $37

The Starbucks will deliver decent steam for microfoam and the portafilter can be depressurized. Also you can buy a retrofit bottomless portafilter and stock unpressurized baskets later. The Skerton only requires an M8 posilock nut to replace the grind adjust mechanism for it to be stepless and as long as your willing to grind by hand it will give you great espresso grind once your dialed in. :)

Keep in mind tho that both are totally entry level but not bad for $100.

$100 new for espresso ain't gonna happen..
Roast it, Grind it, Brew it!.. Enjoy it!..