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View Full Version : I want to spend $500 for espresso machine and grinder... suggestions?


cherrybomb
03-31-2010, 09:47 AM
looking to spend around $500 for grinder and machine. i started with the idea of a fully automatic in mind, since it does everything from grind to z. i only make espresso, so now i see that a fully automatic is not really ideal for espresso-only. looks like separate grinder and machine is the way to go. i am overwhelmed with the amount of machines out there, as well as grinders. i saw the Ascaso I-1 Flat Burr grinder on the b/s/t forum for $200. good price and it seems like a good grinder from what i read. i really like the Breville BES820XL Die-Cast 15-Bar Programmable Espresso Machine, but it is $500... and that leaves me, yet, to have a grinder. ah! any suggestions for where to look or what to look for?

Resipsa
03-31-2010, 10:04 AM
Check out eBay or coffee geek for a used setup. Somebody is seli g a used Silvia and rocky setup right now and asking 650, but u can probably get them
down a little from that price. You won't find anything new tha willl be worth the money at tha price

cherrybomb
03-31-2010, 10:08 AM
also, i guess i should mention that this setup will be for home espresso making only. and i generally only make 2-4 shots a day. usually a pound of coffee will last me a month or more

cherrybomb
03-31-2010, 10:09 AM
thanks!

mosesbotbol
03-31-2010, 10:12 AM
Get the Rocky/Silva combination. If it's a little above your price range, wait it out until you have that much. You won't be satisfied with less and will be a bigger waste of money than just doing it right to start with. Rocky/Silva is still entry level.

mosesbotbol
03-31-2010, 10:18 AM
also, i guess i should mention that this setup will be for home espresso making only. and i generally only make 2-4 shots a day. usually a pound of coffee will last me a month or more

No way will a pound of coffee last that long with an espresso machine. More like 7-10 days maximum. Machines still have to calibrated and even more on the low end machines. Right there is 5-10 wasted shots if you are looking for perfection.

cherrybomb
03-31-2010, 12:37 PM
I am not clear on how calibrating and 5-10 wasted shots are related... can you please explain? i am lost in the land of espresso

mosesbotbol
03-31-2010, 01:18 PM
I am not clear on how calibrating and 5-10 wasted shots are related... can you please explain? i am lost in the land of espresso

I have been doing this a lot time and trying to save some of the hassle and waste I went through. If I had known me back then, it would've been a lot easier...

Pressure and humidity (of the beans) change how the machine works. Each round of espresso making has to be first calibrated by grinding one shot, see if it is ground right or not and adjusting from there.

Two things never change when making an espresso; amount of ground coffee and the pressure of the tamp. You adjust the grind from there.

The cheaper machines never have constant even pressure. They are decent, but try a Silva vs. $1200+ machine and you'll see the difference.

Yes, as you get more experienced making shots, you can cheat a little to save coffee by tamping harder or lighter to save some already ground coffee, but the first shot will be a wash if not correct. When making straight espresso shots, getting them correct is even more important. Basically, it should fill an espresso cup in 23-30 seconds with two angel hair pasta thick streams. If the streams come out like that, no need to count; it one in the same.

At 16 gr. per espresso (average for double) shot equals 28 shots per pound. You say you'll make 2-4 a day plus 5 lost a week... No way a pound of coffee will last near a month. More like 10 days at best.

floydpink
03-31-2010, 01:51 PM
I started with a Gaggia MDF grinder and refurbed Gaggia Baby and was around 500 bucks into it.

After a lot of trial, I am sad to say, your budget will get you the grinder only if you are wanting to avoid upgraditis within a year, provided you really start liking espressso.

Real espresso begins with the grinder, and somebody please show me a grinder less than 400 bucks that is capable of consistent espresso

cherrybomb
03-31-2010, 03:59 PM
ha! though i was crazy for a bit, there. i just checked and the bag of coffee i have is actually 2 lb. guess that explains why i thought it lasted more like a month. i keep enough beans for the week in a separate container and the bulk separate. 'espresso' from the krups every morning is in vain.. i know that much. thanks so much for your advice- more than helpful when the majority of machines in my price range are crap. i'm sure i'll be back

mosesbotbol
03-31-2010, 04:26 PM
I don't think the Rocky/Silva is out of your range. It's the minimum that will get the job done with an epresso you can be proud of.

My machine is over 10 years old and all I have replaced is the thermostat and grouphead gasket. Both I did myself with little effort. The Rocky grinder works well for drip coffee.

In all honesty, at this point I use the espresso machine just on weekends. I do not have enough time to make lattes and then fill out thermas' for the day with french press. I have draw a line in the sand somewhere. But with 100's of lbs coffee gone through, it still runs great.

I am not as picky with beans as I was. The cost is just too much since I use the french press the most. $10 a lb is my cut off. I love Costco's Guatamalan; just rocks for all types of coffee methods and is like $6 a lb. Their Rowandan does the trick too.

JaKaacH
03-31-2010, 06:14 PM
This makes a great cup and you have 470.00 left over for a grinder and coffee.
http://www.aerobie.com/Products/aeropress_story.htm

I don't live in Tightwad, MO. just the lifestyle...:D

Blueface
04-02-2010, 07:07 PM
Get the Rocky/Silva combination. If it's a little above your price range, wait it out until you have that much. You won't be satisfied with less and will be a bigger waste of money than just doing it right to start with. Rocky/Silva is still entry level.

I'm curious as need a new expresso maker and wife has been wanting a really nice one.
What is this Rocky/Silva you speak of in this thread?

Is it Rancillio Silvia?

Blueface
04-02-2010, 07:24 PM
It is Rancilio I gather.
They also make the Rocky.
Found a couple of places that have it for around $600 plus $315 for the Rocky.
http://www.clivecoffee.com/product/espresso_machines/rancilio_silvia_espresso_machine.html?utm_source=g ooglebase&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=rancilio_silvia_espresso_machine&utm_content=Espresso%20Machine

I want me one!
Rocky can wait.
Being Cuban, man I love my expresso and have been longing for a nice machine.
Can this one be connected to the water line directly?

mosesbotbol
04-02-2010, 10:16 PM
It is Rancilio I gather.
They also make the Rocky.

Can this one be connected to the water line directly?

No. This is the setup I have.

It's holds enough water that it is not a hassle. The only hassle with this or any espresso machine is cleaning the group head & portafilter.