How Much Effort and Money Does Home Espresso Take? - Page 2

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.

#11: Post by Jonk » wrote:I've never run into someone that is genuinely interested in having the most difficult time trying something new.
Thing is, some of those cheap(er) manual setups can be easier to use and own than what someone would be able to buy for $1000. At least for straight espresso.

It's probably a good idea to communicate that whatever option chosen there will be a learning curve.

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#12: Post by fxroberge »

I think that this thread is blowing out of portion how expensive and hard it is to get into espresso, with the assumption that the person has done proper research and was a coffee person before.

10000$ or a puppy, in my opinion are hyperbole. You don't need to walk your espresso machine at 7am, train it not or bark or clean its mess off the ground. You also don't need 10k, even to get high end gear, this is thoroughly into the diminishing returns territory.

A profitec go and eureka specialita would be a respectable kit and come in at under 2k CAD. Or, as someone else said, get something second hand. Not everyone is chasing a god shot on a super light roasted Panema Geshia. Once basics are understood, it takes a few shots to dial in a new bag and then move on.

I love this hobby, I love coffee, but understand than if someone who was interested in starting saw this thread they would be scared away. Espresso, and coffee in general, is a rabbit hole which will go as deep as you want it to. But we need to remember than not everyone needs to jump into the deep end.
In the pursuit of the perfect cup


#13: Post by jpender »

Thank goodness it is no longer true that one must spend an enormous amount of money and time to make good home espresso. That's what I always assumed was the case, that I'd have to shell out thousands, cordon off half of my kitchen countertop real estate, and devote endless hours of time. Instead, as has been pointed out, it can be not much different than using an Aeropress. I was able to spend about $600 (machine + grinder), use up zero countertop space, and get good shots on day 1. If it weren't possible I would have never gotten into espresso.

I don't want to go to a cafe every morning. That would be a huge nuisance. And while I enjoy the experimenting, hobby aspect of coffee, for me it's just one hobby, not even my biggest one. I could afford to spend $5000 or more on my gear but it wouldn't suit me. It would seem so disproportionate. For coffee I have a limited budget, self-imposed, both in terms of money and time. For me the effort *has* to be modest or else I'm just going make coffee some other way.

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#14: Post by AssafL »

I think that the majority of new espresso "fans" start with Nespresso. So it is pretty cheap.

So it isn't that much of a commitment. More a goldfish than a puppy.

If then it turns into a hobby - eg starting to taste coffees at friends - it can then go up.

30 years ago starting with espresso required to jump head first into the hobby. But a good machine was a few hundreds of dollars back then.
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.


#15: Post by jpender »

I like the pet metaphor.

I started fostering kittens during the heart of the pandemic since I was home so much. It's definitely become a kind of seasonal hobby. I spend way more time and money on that than coffee.


#16: Post by ieland »

baldheadracing wrote:I was surprised at how many people I know that have a Breville Barista Express. What didn't surprise me is that they're essentially making Moka Pot coffee with that machine (with pressurized portafilter 'crema').

Can you expand on this? As someone who has a Barista Express and thought I was making espresso :shock:

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#17: Post by baldheadracing »

It is not the machine, it is how they use it. They extract to brew ratios similar to Moka Cup or longer. I said "Moka Cup," as most don't know the term "Café Crème" as a specific drink; the words Café and Crème are pretty generic.

Brewing ratios for espresso beverages
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada


#18: Post by ieland »

Ah I see, I wasn't aware of that nomenclature. Thanks!


#19: Post by Junior »

There's a ton of used equipment out there if someone wants to mess around with espresso. The reality is that most older commercial and home equipment use off the shelf parts and are fairly easy to work on and learn how the magic happens. But that's the effort route.

My main machine was bought at a state surplus auction (cimbali jr.), a grinder off an ebay auction (mazzer major). Even with a few parts and new burrs, the total for both was less $1,000. Along the way, I've learned how to repair and what goes into a good (and bad!) shot. I spend about the same amount on beans every year.

Just glancing at craigslist right now, I see a good looking ECM Classika II machine and a Rossi rr45 grinder for about $1,100 total. That combination would make espresso at a decent level and what you do and dont like about it. You could probably get a new silvia and baratza sette for near the same price.

It's upgrading from whatever starting point that becomes expensive. At that point, just like with every other hobby, once you get beyond the basics and into aficionado territory, the costs really climb.

Of course, the question of how much effort is required is kind of beside the point. I learn something about my equipment and the coffee I'm using nearly every day. The effort required is exactly how much you are willing to put into it.

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#20: Post by cannonfodder »

I have been doing this for 30+ years and spent 10's of thousands of dollars on equipment and coffee. I almost have it figured out.
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