Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quality Espresso Machine Quandry

Dr. Desert Flower is extremely interested in getting an espresso machine. I've seen nice ones in London (chez Ron) , San Francisco (chez Joe M), Milano, Talamona, Vincenza, & a massive one at Hotel Valley Ho (Scottsdale)... but I do not recall make and models. Can anyone recommend, from their personal experience, a quality espresso machine for less than 4 or 5 hundred dollars? Are there certain brands that should always be avoided for shoddy quality?

Please lemme know. There's lots of sales coming up this weekend!


  1. Rancilio Silvia, although it might be a bit more than your target range, and requires manual operation.

  2. "Rancilio Silvia: A true benchmark machine, this machine made Rancilio a lot of money in the past four years - it has become the standard against which all other consumer, single boiler machines are measured against."

    Machine Type Pump, Single Boiler, Reservoir, Semi Auto, Espresso Machine

    Avg Price $599.00

    Ouch. But OK, I have a gold standard now for which to aim.

  3. The machine before that was a Gaggia, fully automatic. They're not built to last, but the coffee was very good, could not be easier, and it made it well past the breakeven point.

    With the rancilio, you'll also end up spending a few hundred on a good griner.

  4. Rancilio Silvia, and a decent grinder...that's the one you want. With a little practice, you can pull great shots from it. And you can get them used on eBay for a reasonable price. I paid less than $500 for both the machine and the grinder. They were used, but in excellent shape. And replacement parts and retrofits are readily available.



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