Espresso Update 2

Chicagoboyz is making millions in Amazon referral fees, at least as measured in Venezuelan currency. However, in the interest of honesty we must acknowledge that our recommended cheap espresso machine has bought the farm for the second time in its warranty period. Third time may be the charm but we suggest looking at alternatives. Chicagoboyz reader PenGun mentioned his good experience with this Breville model and indeed the Breville line has a good rep. I myself just ordered a Nespresso combo as a gift, based on its generally good reviews. Nespresso may be a good option if you prefer the convenience and consistency of packaged coffee cartridges.

It’s a jungle out there, YMMV, choose wisely, and whichever machine you buy make sure to give it a good workout during the seller’s return period. I can vouch for DeLonghi’s warranty, so my original recommendation is still a good bet if you’re willing to roll the quality-control dice. Happy caffeinated holidays and feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Espresso Update 2”

  1. Yup, the Cafe Roma just keeps on going. It’s not consistent with the pump on the steam cycle anymore, but it does not matter as you can just cycle it and it will steam just fine without the pump.

    A real tank, I use it a lot. It’s about 4 years old now, I thought it was more, but gmail is forever.

  2. If you can find one, the Sacco Vienna Deluxe fills the bill. I have had mine for a LONG time now. It’s my second. I have had it repaired a few times. If it were to blow up tomorrow, the Breville Machines look like the way to go. They make a $500-$600 machine that will grind the beans, but you have to self tamp. They make a $1500 machine that autotamps. The other difference, the more expensive machine has two separate boilers, so you can steam milk while you are making espresso.

    We recently bought a second place in a remote section of the Minnesota north woods. Our family was discussing what we would do about coffee. We have settled on a cheaper Cuisiart grinder, $50, and a large French press pot which we will pour into a thermos to keep warm.

    We also have an old Moka stovetop espresso maker up there if we want a shot, but it’s just not as good as the machine.

  3. Thanks for the comments. It looks like some of the older, discontinued machines still have a following. If DeLonghi #3 fails I might look for one of those Saecos or an old Starbucks machine, which I think was also made by Saeco. There are people selling cleaned up used ones on ebay. The Brevilles look good but I am leery of integrated grinders and so forth – too much like a TV/DVD combo. It seems that espresso makers are either simpler, cheaper and unreliable or more complex, expensive and unreliable.

    The Nespresso I gave to my friend is a hit. Simple to use and maintain and the coffee is very good. The standalone milk frother works well too. The tradeoff is that you have to use their coffee cartridges. It feels like an HP printer.

    For me Arab coffee is a good alternative. But it’s a different taste, you can’t make just one shot, and you have to monitor it closely while it’s on the stove.

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