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Espresso Machine ...

cedar404cedar404 Posts: 176
edited October 2010 in The bottom bracket
Looking to buy one of the above as a gift, I have about £150 (ish) to spend. Have been recommended the following:

Nespresso CitiZ and Milk by Magimix M190

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nespresso-CitiZ ... roduct_top

Anyone want to chime in with any other suggestions.

Thanks.
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  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    Nespresso is awesome and the machines seem to be very good across the range.

    Go for it! :D
  • RonBRonB Posts: 3,984
    This seems to be a pod machine. I'm not sure you have a basket for using ground coffee, which would be cheaper to run and offer more options brand wise. They might come in a bit dearer, but last and last. I have had a Gaggia for over 10 years now and (touch wood) only had a couple of services along the way.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I have a nespresso and to be honest, I've not really had any better coffee than I get out of that. And I like coffee. A lot.

    I have a friend who is almost obsessive about coffee and he ditched his super duper german machine and grinder for one!

    The coffee is consistently marvellous, which can only be a good thing!

    I have the Magimix one. My Dad got it me as a Christmas present one year as I would never have bought one myself.

    Since having coffee at mine all my close relations have bought one. All of them! I kid you not!
  • ynyswen24ynyswen24 Posts: 703
    the only problem with pod only machines is that you have to use the blends that are available for that machine admittedly theres usually plenty to choose from.

    the main thing I've found is pressure, make sure you get a machine with a 15bar pump. The more expensive machines will have better pumps that don't have to work as hard to get the 15bar and so will (should) last longer.

    I've got a De Longhi Caffe Treviso (about £70), does fine.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    I have a Gaggia Classic espresso machine. It can produce very good quality coffee and I am now very pleased with it. However it takes a fair amount of skill (tweaking the grind and tamp) and some fettling inside the machine (as supplied the pressure is too high) to produce good results, and it has taken me a few years before I got it sussed (after I did some research). A good thing about the Gaggia is that most or all of the components can be bought as spares, and it is fairly easy to dismantle and service, so it should last forever (in a Trigger's broom sense). Just buying a cheap espresso machine is very unlikely to get cafe quality results and at the cheaper end Nespresso seems the most reliable for quality coffee. If I was buying now I would go for a Nespresso if spending under £200, otherwise a Rancilio Silvia and a decent grinder, but that would cost around £500.
  • Not used the pod machines but have used several espresso producing machines/kettles.

    I think the answer is - depnds on how you drink it....

    If you like black espresso with lots of crema then you can't do much better than a machine - Freshness of beans is really the key as otherwise their will be no oils to seperate and give lovely creme.

    If you just like reeeeeally strong black coffee then the espresso kettle on the lowest heat, packed in tight and prseed down is best - And really cheap. This is also the best for milk based coffee drinks as you pretty much lose the creme anyway - Combine it with heated milk in the pan, poured through a tea strainer to avoid cooked milk solids and into a cafetiere - Plunge about 20 times and you get the best frothed milk - Steamed milk is to 'wet' whereas just using the hot air in the cafetiere gives wonderfully creamy froth.

    Good point about pods is that the coffee will be uber fresh, though can't say how it tastes as I haven't got one.

    I worked as a barman/barista for nearly 10 years and I still have never had a better milky coffee than a kettle/milk pan. The espresso is like syrup its so thick...mmmmm yummy

    How much are the individual coffee pods?
    What wheels...? Wheelsmith.co.uk!
  • Ooooh and for a premium machine you can't really do better than the majesty of a La Pavoni...Hand pull and shiny chrome.

    As my signature suggests - You should drink your coffee strong!
    What wheels...? Wheelsmith.co.uk!
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    I think nespresso pods work out about 29p each.
  • I have the Nesspresso machine and it's fab. I have to order the capsules off the internet but they arrive within one or two day's and are worth the wait. I had a Gaggia before this and it was a pile of [email protected]@e. :)
  • FoucaultFoucault Posts: 104
    As others have said it really does depend on what kind of coffee you like. A good espresso machine will, with bit of practice, produce excellent espresso and allows you to mix and match beans to your taste. However this, along with proper grinder, will take you over budget.

    I can't comment on how good Nespresso machines are (they are made by Nestle, so I won't buy one while the Nestle boycot continues), but you could try the Bosch Tassimo. I have one and it isn't a million miles away from my (rather expensive) Krups machine and a lot quicker to use and easier to clean too. The only downside is it's coffee pod machine, which means you are limited to either Kenco or Starbucks own blend coffee.
  • cedar404cedar404 Posts: 176
    Thanks for all the ideas / suggestions. Will probably go with the nespresso machine, i personally can't stand coffee .
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Least faff is a Nespresso machine but the capsules are expensive and are wasteful in terms of packaging and of course are sold by Nestle so if you have an green/political ethics you won't choose this. However, you get a good choice of coffee and the convenience of that system. if you get into the whole espresso machine/grinder scenario then you enter a dark world of expense and trial. I have and sometimes wish I hadn't!.
    M.Rushton
  • sylvanussylvanus Posts: 1,125
    Thanks for all the ideas / suggestions. Will probably go with the nespresso machine, i personally can't stand coffee

    The Nespresso machine is definitely the right choice if you hate coffee so guess it won't be used much. If you liked coffee then Pavoni is the only possible choice for the house. Fairfax in Swiss Cottage has the full range if you're near London. Mine has lasted 15 years and has been used 4-5 times a day.
  • magoo289magoo289 Posts: 216
    +1 for Gaggia. I bought a reconditioned machine from a Gaggia shop. I agree with others the most important thing is getting a coffee bean or brand you like.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    I recently did a barista course with www.absolutecoffee.co.uk and the guy who taught it (Youri) was superb. Well worth £80 as my coffee improved more than I thought it would.
    M.Rushton
  • rjeffroyrjeffroy Posts: 638
    Any tips, mrushton?
  • GazzaputtGazzaputt Posts: 3,227
    Keep your eyes open on Ebay.

    I bought a new Gaggia baby Classic for £100 on there. Seems to be a few come up every now and then.

    Brilliant machine makes exceptional Espresso. Takes a little practice.

    Take out the five year warranty on it though as my previous Gaggia went back a few times.
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    At home I have a TurMix Nespresso machine. I bought it when I was still young, free and single as the coffee stays fresher longer as the coffee capsule is sealed until it is used. I was finding that if I bought a 500g bag of beans then they were stale before I'd used the whole bag. I've had the machine for over 6 years and touch wood, no problems. The cost of the coffee capsules has risen 20% over that time but that may have as much to do with the wholesale price of coffee (which has risen 300% since 2003 http://dev.ico.org/prices/p2.htm) as much as Nestlé's profits. The standard range of capsules gives a good choice and they regularly do specials. Sometimes it is coffee from different countries/regions, other times it is flavoured coffee. I don't know about in the UK, but delivery here is free when you order 200 capsules. The other half got the milk heater/foamer for christmas a few years back and it is far batter than using the in-built milk steamer/foamer on the nespresso machine itself which takes longer to clean than it does to make and drink a cappucino!

    At work we have a DeLonghi Magnifica. It makes upwards of 20 cups a day, is easy to clean, has a decent sized water tank too. You can adjust the coarseness of the grind but we've left it in the middle and it makes a nice coffee with a good crema. It cost us CHF 600 (GBP 375 ish) and they do one with a digital control panel and integral water filter which is slightly more expensive, but a Brita Jug was cheaper so we went with the cheaper machine. The choice of beans/roast is also important to get a coffee you like. We tried half a dozen different brands from Aldi through to 'premium'.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    rjeffroy wrote:
    Any tips, mrushton?

    Yes. You need everything right to make a good espresso. Machine/water/grind/coffee etc. You don't necessarily need the most expensive but the cheapest may not be the best. We used 2 x machines both by Spaziale. One a commercial machine @£3.5k and a 'domestic' one @£1300. Both had twin boilers so good for milk steaming. The grinder was £300. The course actually showed how the grind/volume was vital and how other forces, temperature/technique etc made a difference. Thoroughly recommend anyone who gets a machine of any kind except Nespresso to go on a course. The Nespresso is perfect for no mess altho' I suspect regular machine cleaning will be required (that makes a difference with eg a Gaggia)
    M.Rushton
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    mrushton wrote:
    The Nespresso is perfect for no mess altho' I suspect regular machine cleaning will be required (that makes a difference with eg a Gaggia)

    For the nespresso machine I just flick the pyramid plate out of the machine and scrub it under a runnng tap with an old toothbrush and then use said toothbrush to clean under/around where the pyramid plate normally sits. Then I dissolve a coffee machine cleaning tablet in the water holder and run that through the machine leaving it 5 mins between each 'cup'. After that I run a full water holder of water through. Replace the pyramid plate and it's good to go for another 100 cups or so.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Sounds like the similar idea to the Gaggia of cleaning the shower plate/group head. Quite surprising the difference it makes esp. not having done it for 3 years!
    M.Rushton
  • ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
    edited August 2010
    Sad but true -

    Not only do I roast my own, but I have plenty of knowledge about coffee making. I use a Hottop roaster, and have several suppliers of green beans.

    So.... Avoid real espresso machines unless you have enough cash to buy a decent grinder and patience. And enjoy mess, and a constant learning curve. They are great if you have a cafe, with a plumbed in one, but the home versions are a poor 2nd best usually. A Gaggia with a brass portafilter, decent boiler for steam, and steady temperature output is not cheap.

    Cheap espresso machines are comedy - style over substance for those that don't know better.

    Nespresso is just jazzed up instant coffee. Massively overpriced for what it is (not very good quality coffee, overroasted, and packaged up). That said, it is a bit better than from a jar, and you have simplicity and variety. NOT real espresso, but better than a cheapo machine.

    I gave up home espresso (too much hard work) and now roast fantastic single estate green coffee (usually cup of excellence) and drink it longer in a technvorm / french press / vacpot.

    In summary:

    Espresso is expensive (£200 minimum for a grinder) and hard work at home
    Nespresso is just Starbucks - convenience and ease, but not particularly great coffee. Better than feeeze dried, though.
    I'd stick to decent ground coffee from a local roaster, and a french press.

    Look at hasbean's website for help! Or pm me.
    www.hasbean.co.uk - get some decent coffee, roasted within 48 hours, add to a press pot, and it will open your eyes when compared to the "processed" stuff.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    mrushton wrote:
    Sounds like the similar idea to the Gaggia of cleaning the shower plate/group head. Quite surprising the difference it makes esp. not having done it for 3 years!
    Yes, this is what I found out myself last week :oops:

    Got a backflush ("blind") filter basket, two spare group head gaskets and a new shower plate for about £12 - made a huge difference (plus tweaked the water pressure as it was too high). I now realise the Gaggia's full potential!
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    mrushton wrote:
    Sounds like the similar idea to the Gaggia of cleaning the shower plate/group head. Quite surprising the difference it makes esp. not having done it for 3 years!

    :D

    Yeah, I didn't realise how much coffee fat and grains had built up in mine until I cleaned it properly for the first time after 4 years :oops: , previously I'd just run the tablets through once year or so and thought that was enough. I'm a little bit more rigorous now and with capsules, as it big box holds 20 packs (200 capsules) it's easy to see when you've used 100 and it's time to clean.
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    Scrumple wrote:
    Nespresso is just jazzed up instant coffee.

    Surely it's individually packaged ground coffee portions? It's not freeze dried like instant coffee. If I bought some roasted beans, ground them myself, separated the ground beans into individual portions ready for use, would that be like instant coffee too?
  • ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
    schweiz wrote:
    Surely it's individually packaged ground coffee portions? It's not freeze dried like instant coffee. If I bought some roasted beans, ground them myself, separated the ground beans into individual portions ready for use, would that be like instant coffee too?

    Yeah - right.
    So the volume of those little plastic things they turn out means you are getting the best coffee beans??
    I source my green coffee from auctions - cup of excellence beans. These coffees can be bought from decent suppliers/roasters.
    The volume "fresh" grounds you talk about come from mass bought blends, roasted dark to obscure the deficiencies, giving the familiar powerful smell that most people think = great coffee.

    Like I said, try a pack of single estate coffee - fresh roasted - and then drink a nespresso or supermarket "fresh" coffee. Worlds apart: like a blend v single malt.

    Similar to the mass bottled supermarket wines v a decent vintage of claret.

    Hey- I didn't say it was bad, like a £5 supermarket wine isn't, but you can get sooooo much better. For not much money.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    alfablue wrote:
    mrushton wrote:
    Sounds like the similar idea to the Gaggia of cleaning the shower plate/group head. Quite surprising the difference it makes esp. not having done it for 3 years!
    Yes, this is what I found out myself last week :oops:

    Got a backflush ("blind") filter basket, two spare group head gaskets and a new shower plate for about £12 - made a huge difference (plus tweaked the water pressure as it was too high). I now realise the Gaggia's full potential!

    Have you used the PulyCaff powder?

    www.happydonkey.co.uk sell it and a more industrial portafilter with a stronger handle. Really coffee making is like cycling in that you think you want to do it, start cheap but soon you are looking for the next best thing and spending money beyond your means and the kit isn't always that great. I've seen some £1k machines from eg Jura get worse reviews than a cheaper machine from the same company.
    M.Rushton
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    Scrumple wrote:
    schweiz wrote:
    Surely it's individually packaged ground coffee portions? It's not freeze dried like instant coffee. If I bought some roasted beans, ground them myself, separated the ground beans into individual portions ready for use, would that be like instant coffee too?

    Yeah - right.
    So the volume of those little plastic things they turn out means you are getting the best coffee beans??
    I source my green coffee from auctions - cup of excellence beans. These coffees can be bought from decent suppliers/roasters.
    The volume "fresh" grounds you talk about come from mass bought blends, roasted dark to obscure the deficiencies, giving the familiar powerful smell that most people think = great coffee.

    Like I said, try a pack of single estate coffee - fresh roasted - and then drink a nespresso or supermarket "fresh" coffee. Worlds apart: like a blend v single malt.

    Similar to the mass bottled supermarket wines v a decent vintage of claret.

    Hey- I didn't say it was bad, like a £5 supermarket wine isn't, but you can get sooooo much better. For not much money.

    I would never say that nespresso is the best coffee, I've had far better but it is convenient and Gold Blend it definitely isn't. My mate's ex used to work in the design department at Whittard's and used to lecture me on coffee and tea. If I went round their house it would be like

    'Do you want a cup of tea?',
    'Aye go on',
    'what tea do you want?'
    'PG?'
    'We don't have tea swept up off the floor in this house'
    'Well, whatever you've got then'

    But I like PG!! Some of the 'good' stuff I drank was, to be frank, bloody awful.

    Or I would get some coffee that was something ridiculous like 10-20 quid for 100g which was okay but nothing special.

    Just like the wine example, you can buy wines that are expensive, they have very distinct characteristics that you can discuss at length, but they're not drinking wines, they're tasting wines.

    Maybe you should come to Switzerland. You can show me some real coffee and I'll show you some real hills ;)
  • I've used a couple of the Magimix Nespresso machines, one of them being the now discontinued M300 which was brilliant. It had warming plate on top that could hold 4 cups, a decent steam wand, two size automatic fill buttons, automatic on and off (It was on and ready to go when I got into work!) and consistenly produced excellent coffee. I would even go as far as saying it produced better coffee than starbucks if done right. That was used about 10-15 times a day and was still going strong after a year, although did start to cut out intermittently.

    Most of the magimixes are capable of producing good coffee with the nespresso capsules.
  • ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
    Anything is better than starbucks!
    They just sell flavoured milk at a huge mark up.

    My point was that at a few quid for a pack of 10 capsules, you'd get far more for a bag of corking coffee from hasbean, and press pot it.
    I've got a bag of Smith farms Kona, and some El Salvador COE #13 2009 on the go, and the folks at work go crazy for it.
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