6 thoughts on “Espresso Update”

  1. My Breville Cafe Roma is almost 5 years old. No problems, except the pump sometimes refuses to work on ‘steam’. This does not matter, as it makes perfectly good steam, but it takes a few seconds longer.

    A steal at around $125, on sale, but Amazon does them constantly. It gets, and always has gotten, serious use. A minimum of 5 cappuccinos a day over those 5 years. My son’s beautiful, expensive machine, has been used far less.

    You need to clean your machine on a regular basis, more often with hard water, of course. I use citric acid, which is relativity cheap, and does a fine job. A tablespoon or two into your tank, and then just let that heat up, and run it through both the shot and steam sections. Run a clean tank of water through afterwards and you are done.

  2. If I go through one or two of these a year it’s still worth it, because the alternative is coffee shop coffee, which is inconsistent and I have to go out and get it. However, I’m guessing that the early failure wasn’t typical and the next machine will last much longer. We shall see. It could even be that I damaged the pump by running it for too long when I descaled it. We don’t have especially hard water. Perhaps I won’t clean the replacement machine as assiduously. Anyway, the manufacturer stands by its warranty, and for 80 bucks the DeLonghi makes great coffee. If the only option had been to pay up for a better machine I probably wouldn’t have done it. Everything is tradeoffs.

  3. Well this is a relatively sore point with me – but my daughter and son-in-law have what must be the Magnifica ESAM 500 (at least it looks like that and the cost is the same). Even I, who generally don’t like coffee, like the taste of it. They have had two in the last decade and both worked fine.

    On the other hand, it is best not to have your mother-in-law feel free to fill a container when it is out of water in the middle of the night – she might fill the coffee bean container. And it might stop working. (The tale after that is first we replaced it, then they gave us the broken one, we gave it to a friend who lives in San Antonio to take to the local DeLonghi place there, instead, somewhere along the line, he gave it to his son-in-law who loves coffee and machines and who managed to make it work again – it became part of their wedding gift (well not really, we figured he’d earned it by fixing it). And lest you think this machine is in anyway characteristic of my daughter’s family, you probably need to know they do things like buy toilet paper in bulk and save for their retirement and . . . well, you get the idea. Indeed, my daughter, who is into crafts, loves the outlet for the Salvation Army store in St. Louis. It is a remarkable display of incredibly chap junk. And as for us, we buy Taster’s Choice in the French roast version.

  4. I am going on a short rant, sorry.

    The reason you dark roast coffee is because it’s garbage. It hides whatever nasty taste the coffee naturally has, and, as well, failures in the drying process. This is why you dark roast coffee.

    Starbucks, understanding it would need to standardize and deal with substandard coffee, taught a generation, more really, to like crappy, burnt coffee.

    Get some nicely roasted coffee, a light Kenyan is amazing almost anywhere, and try something that just relies on the taste of coffee. Which is wonderful, as long as you don’t burn it.

    I get mine here:


  5. I like Starbucks Ethiopia. It’s medium roast and really tasty. I used to drink a lot of dark roast Sumatra, but you’re right. You taste the roast more than the bean flavors.

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