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Please, I'm begging you coffee drinking ladies, help me pick an espresso maker!

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Ok, dh drinks lattes or cappuccinos. He has one about 6 days a week.


The average price at Starbucks or Bigby's is about $3.50; it runs about the same at our local coffee shops.


He needs the drinks. The caffiene, as well as other things in the coffee, help regulate some digestional issues he has. I'll stop there at the risk of sharing TMI. :D Suffice it to say, it's non-negotiable. He WILL drink a latte or cappuccino most days. He cannot drink just espresso (doesn't like it without the steamed milk), and regular coffee does not, um, work. :tongue_smilie:


So, in the interest of saving money, dh would like us to make the drinks at home. All we have is a regular ol' coffee maker. I don't think that'll cut it. :D


I need a machine that makes good espresso. I need either an additional implement (?) to steam milk, or a machine that makes espresso AND can steam milk.


I need to know what a 'good' coffee is to get for espresso. I know enough that I need to get the beans 'espresso' ground. I think. :D I'm not ready to get my own grinder and grind my own. YES, I'm aware that's supposed to be much better. But I know NOTHING about coffee.


I checked out Keurig's site, REALLY hoping they had an espresso machine/cups. No such luck. Something like that would be IDEAL. If all I had to do was push a button then steam some milk, I think I could handle that.


So, to sum up, :D, I need recommendations for the following:


An espresso machine that is relatively EASY to use, and can make two shots of espresso at a time (the drinks he gets have two shots in them)

A milk steaming implement (in case there's not one on the espresso machine?)

What kind of coffee to get

Maybe directions/links to youtubes/etc. on how to make a good espresso drink


PLEASE help me! Dh would like ME to take care of this, including learning to make a decent latte and cappuccino. I'd like to do this for him, I really would. But I don't even know where to start.


Oh! One other thing. He doesn't want flavorings. Just espresso and steamed milk. Which is why the coffee has to be 'good' (his explanation :tongue_smilie:).

Edited by bethanyniez
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I have this. I like it just fine. You do need a tamper, but since I always misplace mine, I use the bottoms of spice jars and that seems to do okay. It will take a few times to get the amount down, but it's not hard. I make me a double a few times a week.


As for the espresso itself, try a few and see which he likes. I've used Starbucks, Ikea, Cafe Bustelo, and various local places. Cafe Bustelo is surprisingly good for the price. I'm not terribly particular, though. :001_smile:

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I make espresso for iced coffee every day. I have a cheap espresso maker with a wand on the side (De'Longhi brand, i think) that steams milk. I use Starbucks ground espresso that you can buy in almost any grocery store. I don't think you necessarily need an expensive espresso maker - just the kind of espresso that he likes. :)

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If you want more of a Barista taste, I wouldn't go with a pump driven machine over a steam driven machine. However, the pump driven are pricier for sure.




And, to add to all of the cost, you really need a good grinder that doesn't heat up your coffee beans while you grind like those "push the top" down (Blade grinder) while it grinds machines do. You need a good Burr grinder.




Now, if you really want to spend hours researching, here is a site to go to:




I spent hours there before buying a machine.


I ended up with a machine that is no longer made (http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KPES100NP-Espresso-Maker-Nickel/dp/B000JLBKP4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1328188357&sr=8-2) and I still use my inferior Burr grinder that has lasted for over 10 years. (http://www.amazon.com/Baratza-585-Virtuoso-Coffee-Grinder/dp/B000EG70IK/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1328188403&sr=1-1) because someone gave it to me and I am not replacing it unless it dies.


I got my KitchenAid machine for around $350 eight years ago refurbished and I got the grinder as a gift.....I use both AT LEAST once per day, sometimes more often. I don't even have a regular coffee pot out anymore unless company is coming.


HOWEVER: If money were no object, Coffee Geek highly recommends:


Rancilio Silvia http://www.wholelattelove.com/Rancilio/ra_silvia_2009.cfm

combined with the

Rocky grinder: http://www.wholelattelove.com/Rancilio/rockyracilio.cfm

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I use one of these stovetop espresso pots instead of a machine. You can frequently find them cheap at Ross/Marshall's/TJ Maxx-type places. You can sometimes find frothers there too, but not the type I like. I use Cafe Bustelo, it's widely available in grocery stores.



This stovetop option is hands down the cheapest (and best for anything but pretty much top dollar) way to do espresso at home.

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I use one of these stovetop espresso pots instead of a machine. You can frequently find them cheap at Ross/Marshall's/TJ Maxx-type places. You can sometimes find frothers there too, but not the type I like. I use Cafe Bustelo, it's widely available in grocery stores.


We use these! These are basically the standard coffee maker in any Italian kitchen. They last for years. We just had to replace the last one, as my husband forgot to fill it before lighting the stove...it sort of imploded.:D

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I'd love to put in a plug for the Aeropress. Hard to get easier (or cheaper) than that. Great description there at Amazon. Quote:


Most coffee lovers agree that espresso is less bitter than drip brew because of the shorter brewing time. However when we ran comparison taste-tests in the homes of espresso lovers, they all agreed that AeroPress espresso tasted better than the brew from their high-priced European espresso machines--why? The reason is that the total immersion brewing of the AeroPress yields a robust flavor at lower temperature--and lower temperature brew is far less bitter. Home espresso machines don’t allow adjustment of temperature. But even if they did, their lack of total immersion would not yield robust flavor at reduced temperature.


It's not strictly espresso (esp because it still uses a paper filter), but ohhhh my goodness, is it good stuff (and no tamping! and it's less important how finely ground the coffee is), a wonderfully concentrated coffee, perfect base for lattes and cappuccinos. And I'm a HUGE espresso/latte drinker (Sbux and the like), or at least I was before we moved to a part of the world where they don't know what those are.


I also have a frothing wand I use for my cream--not this one exactly, but similar.


Just another option to throw in the mix.

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I second the Stove Top Espresso with the Cafe Bustelo.


If you enjoy the peppermint mocha at Starbucks you will like the following recipe.

Use a large coffee mug and put two scoops of hot cocoa mix in. (I make my own, so it is always here)

Squirt two pumps of peppermint flavoring in the mug. I use Torani syrup.

Make an espresso and pour it in the mug with the cocoa.

Heat milk in a small pan (add flavoring if desired) and froth. I use a immersion blender.

Pour frothed milk in cup.


Sometime we add whip cream and chocolate shavings on top.


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Ok, I need help with something.


I'm looking at getting a stovetop espresso maker from BB&B, since there's a store near us, and they have a good return policy. (I want to be able to return it if we use it and don't like it.)


The Bialetti brand has 1 cup, 3 cup, and 6 cup capacity pots.


I want to be able to make two shots of espresso at a time. Does '1 cup' mean it can make one SHOT of espresso, or it makes one actual 8oz cup of espresso? 'Cause best I can figure by googling, one shot of espresso is 1oz.


Help! If I get the 1 cup size, does that mean I have to make 8oz of espresso, even though I need only 2 oz?


ETA: Aha! I found the description on Amazon, and the 'one cup' makes (1) 2oz cup of espresso. So that really means the one cup makes a double shot. Right?

Edited by bethanyniez
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