Food & Spirits
Sponsored By

Espresso Machines

2,168 Views | 23 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by n_touch
tmaggie50
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Looking for advice on home Espresso machines. I would primarily use it to make cappuccinos but would occasionally just do espressos. Trying to get a quality product like you would find at Catalina Coffee in Houston. Obviously I wont get this level, but wanted to provide a reference for my favorite cap.

I want to stay under $1,000 for the espresso machine, grinder and steam wand. Have looked at Gaggia Classic Pro. Want something that doesnt take a ton of time to research and tweak to learn how to perfect.

Any recommendations appreciated.
Mathguy64
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I have a gaggia Classic. It gets used every day to make a double shot latte and it does that really well. I have a Rancilio Rocly grinder to go with it. Together that is roughly $800-$850.

TxSteve
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
We have a Gaggia Anima super-automatic that I bought refurbished from https://www.wholelattelove.com/ about 18m months ago.

I don't have any association with that company, but they seem to be reputable and know what they're talking about. They have quite a few YouTube how-to videos.

In any case, we really enjoy it.
FancyKetchup14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Another vote for Gaggia.
kithas
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Yet another vote for Gaggia as well as wholelattelove. I've been using them for 15+ years and their technical support has saved me money more than once.

That latest Gaggia Classic Pro is an amazing value. We got ours in January and it's been solid. The steam wand is crazy powerful and really performs excellent - In very impressed with the build quality and performance with it.

If it's your first machine, it's a smart buy to go with as a starter unit. You'll learn to use, clean, maintain this and keep it a long time - well beyond when (or if) you'd want to upgrade. The ESE espresso pods can be used with this machine - their good, nowhere near fresh roasted beans, but good enough for a quick weekday brew or after dinner adult latte - with no grinds to clean afterwards. We get the Lavazza pods from Amazon - about 33 cents per shot.
Mathguy64
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I got my My first Classic about 8 years ago and kept it going with the whole latte love videos for at least 2 years. 6 months ago I replaced it with the new model. I like the new steam wand much better than the paranello wand on the old one. I get beans from the too. I used to use Lavazza Super Crema now I use Maromas Orphea. They are super chocolaty.
tmaggie50
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Appreciate the feedback!

Any additional recommendations on grinders?
HTownAg98
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I have a Virtuoso+, and it does a great job for French press coffee. Supposedly, it does a very good job for espresso too.
n_touch
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Gaggia is a good unit and would work for what you are trying to do. Depending on if you can go a little higher, you can get into a heat exchanger unit that will allow for you to make more drinks at a time if you need and be a higher quality machine.

Baratza produces a great grinder. Check FB market place and you can find them used for a good price.
Bocephus
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
My $80 nespresso works just fine for me
TAMU ‘98 Ole Miss ‘21
Random Ag
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
+1 for Rancillo Rocky. Bought one in 2014 and it's working perfectly. I use for drip...
FancyKetchup14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
tmaggie50 said:

Appreciate the feedback!

Any additional recommendations on grinders?


If you can find one used, the Baratza 270 sette is awesome. I personally use a Breville SGP and it works just fine with my Gaggia. Some people have complaints it won't grind fine enough, but I've choked my machine with my SGP.
n_touch
How long do you want to ignore this user?
FancyKetchup14 said:

tmaggie50 said:

Appreciate the feedback!

Any additional recommendations on grinders?


If you can find one used, the Baratza 270 sette is awesome. I personally use a Breville SGP and it works just fine with my Gaggia. Some people have complaints it won't grind fine enough, but I've choked my machine with my SGP.
Sette wont grind fine enough? They are grinding way to fine then.
FancyKetchup14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
n_touch said:

FancyKetchup14 said:

tmaggie50 said:

Appreciate the feedback!

Any additional recommendations on grinders?


If you can find one used, the Baratza 270 sette is awesome. I personally use a Breville SGP and it works just fine with my Gaggia. Some people have complaints it won't grind fine enough, but I've choked my machine with my SGP.
Sette wont grind fine enough? They are grinding way to fine then.


No, the complaint is the Breville SGP won't grind fine enough. The 270 is a badass piece of equipment.
n_touch
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Sorry read that too fast
tmaggie50
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Get my Gaggia Classic Pro and Rancilio grinder on Thursday. Can't wait to get started.
kithas
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Congrats! Enjoy the experience and be patient. I bought an upgraded boiler plate insert from whole latte love (made of brass and suppose to have better heat retention for a better brew) as well as a micro dispersion plate to improve the water flow into the portafilter.

Also, make sure you read all of the maintenance requirements.

FancyKetchup14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
FancyKetchup14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
tmaggie50 said:

Get my Gaggia Classic Pro and Rancilio grinder on Thursday. Can't wait to get started.


Hell yeah! Also get yourself a bottomless portafilter and a proper tamp. The plastic ones suck. Espresso is an expensive hobby to get into, but once you stop spending like $20-30 on espressos based drinks every week you make your money back quick.
tmaggie50
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
So tried grinding and making a cappuccino for the first time using the Rancillio and Gaggia Classic Pro. Frustrating being this bad at it ha.

The Rancilio is putting big clumps out. I was assuming it would be good clean finely ground beans. I am using around a 10 for the grind. When trying to run an espresso, it is coming out really watery so I know it isnt choking out. Not sure if I should go even finer in the grind considering all the clumping. Not really sure if the clumping even makes a difference after its been tamped down.

And to add insult to injury, I cant get the frother to do anything but warm the milk!

Any tips on using the grinder and pulling a shot with these two machines?

Also - is there a way to empty the beans from the hopper so I can adjust the grind without having to make the adjustment while running the machine?

Mathguy64
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I have my Rocky on an 8. A lot of what you get depends on how hard you tamp the grounds. If it's a soupy puck tamp it with more pressure. There will be some trial and error. Timing the shot is a pretty good indicator.

Getting a good amount of foam is also something that takes practice. There is a pretty good video on wholelattelove for getting good foam out of the Gaggia.
tmaggie50
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Mathguy64 said:

I have my Rocky on an 8. A lot of what you get depends on how hard you tamp the grounds. If it's a soupy puck tamp it with more pressure. There will be some trial and error. Timing the shot is a pretty good indicator.

Getting a good amount of foam is also something that takes practice. There is a pretty good video on wholelattelove for getting good foam out of the Gaggia.
Can you expand on "timing the shot"?
kithas
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
For the steaming. Wait for the brew ready light to turn red, then turn on the steam switch. After 10 seconds, open the knob to let water out - usually a Tablespoon or so. Then wait for the steam right to turn on. Then fully open knob and steam milk. Keep the frothed tip just below the surface. You should be getting near boiling temps within a minute.
Mathguy64
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
tmaggie50 said:

Mathguy64 said:

I have my Rocky on an 8. A lot of what you get depends on how hard you tamp the grounds. If it's a soupy puck tamp it with more pressure. There will be some trial and error. Timing the shot is a pretty good indicator.

Getting a good amount of foam is also something that takes practice. There is a pretty good video on wholelattelove for getting good foam out of the Gaggia.
Can you expand on "timing the shot"?


It takes me about 20 seconds from the moment I flip to switch to shutting it off to draw out a double shot. That's actually 3 oz for me as I use 1.5 oz glasses. If you draw a double shot in less than 10 you are not tamping it hard enough. Over 25 and it's probably too packed.
n_touch
How long do you want to ignore this user?
tmaggie50 said:

The Rancilio is putting big clumps out. I was assuming it would be good clean finely ground beans. I am using around a 10 for the grind. When trying to run an espresso, it is coming out really watery so I know it isnt choking out. Not sure if I should go even finer in the grind considering all the clumping. Not really sure if the clumping even makes a difference after its been tamped down.
Sometimes espresso clumps when being ground. I had that grinder and have used some high dollar grinders and they all clump some. I have always used something once ground to stir up the grounds and break any clumps. You can order something on Amazon or use something as simple as a toothpick.

Tamping will be the hardest thing that you learn. Some may agree or not, but find yourself a distribution tool and tamper on Amazon. Something like this Distribution Tool. It will simplify things as you are learning. You can set the tamp and will hit the same spot each time.
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.