...as a well-built, cheap, semi-automatic espresso machine? It would be really cool if I could work on drink mixing and latte art from my apartment when I'm not on the job. I'm sort of new to being a barista, so I'm not too sure of what I'm looking for or where to look. I've caroused espressoparts.com and found some that were perfect -- with exception to price. Could anyone recommend some models, or places I could begin looking?

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Not A problem, let me know I'd be glad to help you..

Gagliardi said:
Interesting. I'll get back to you on that when I have time to look into it some more. You'll hear from me.

The cheapest Commercial grade machine that I have seen is a Rilo brand, Genuike model. They are made in Argentina. They have a 1 group machine for about $1500. Maybe cheaper in the U.S. It was the machine I used when I first started up my shop. http://www.rilo.com.ar

FWW, You might want to try the various suppliers for a "Buyers Remorse" special that could be up to thirty percent off. Or they may have a good one taken on trade.
Salvatore and Astra are well known for single group machines and are made in America.
-Richard
Chris said:
you can generate 8.5 - 9 Bar with the Aerobee. Does that mean that if you had water at 91-96C, and leaned on your Aerobee enough to get 9 Bar through the puck, that you'd describe that as 'real' espresso?

Someone asked, so I figured I should clarify this here. While it is theoretically possible to generate 9 Bar with an Aerobie, it may not be possible to do it twice. It would take something akin to parking a wheel of your favorite automobile on top of the plunger to get it, but it would, in fact, generate the requisite pressure. I won't suggest anyone try it, nor condone that kind of abuse, but you can do what you like. Once.
The question was a theoretical fantasy, not a suggestion that the Aerobie be used to make espresso.
And my point, that you can make far better espresso with a cheap machine and a great grinder than you can with a great machine and a crap grinder, still stands.
My first home machine was a Rancilio Silvia that only cost me $350, and I loved it dearly. It can only do one temp (brew or steam) at a time and requires a little effort to get used to its temperature fluctuations, but it was great and it still holds a special place in my heart. My upgrade was to a dual boiler La Spaziale Vivaldi II from Chris Coffee and I have not had any problems with it, but it was in the $1500 range and not $350. Good luck!
I'm having brewtus III home. It's not quite the GB5 that I'm working with but nevertheless I couldn't be more happier with it. Brewtus III is propably the cheapest dual boiler machine available. There's a bunch of high end HX-machines for the same price too if you don't mind the flushing.

Chris DeMarse said:
If you're looking for a home machine that is both reasonable in price and solid in cunstruction with the desireability of a semi-auto group, you might want to check out the Expobar Brewtus II. It has a two boiler system, which means that your brew boiler is not subject to overheating like the heat exchanger machines. It has a finger lever group, so can actually control preinfusion times before engaging the pump for your extraction. It has a commercial grade pump instead of a vibe pump (if i remember correctly), so your extractions will be consistent in terms of pressure. I would say, though, that cheap is quite a relative term in this world. You might expect to spend 13-1400 on this machine without a grinder. However, it's the next best thing, in my opinion, to spending 7,500 for a La Marzocco Gs3 with similar results.
"http://www.bod.intlcn.org"

This link does not work for me. Any idea what the correct URL is?

Ron, the Country Guy
Check out the Baratza Vario for the grinder.

http://www.baratza.com/products.php?itemid=31
The Nuova Simonelli Grinta (around $333) has worked pretty well for me under heavy, daily office use. I took one look at it and thought it was just a plastic toy, but it has impressed me.

Pros: Hasn't crapped out or broken down after 1 yr. of heavy use.

Cons: Burrs can heat up after about 10 drinks in a row (moot point for home use); Breaking it down is a bit of a pain: must turn it upside down to empty the hopper, unscrew the hopper to remove it, and unscrew the entire grind adjustment cuff to get to the burrs.

All in all, I dig it. I tend to agree with everyone else about the espresso machine, though. You have to shell out quite a bit of dough to get one that's even worth the beans you plan to brew on it.


Gagliardi said:
Interesting. That may be the way to go then. Is this aerobie press a new thing, or have I been living under a rock?

Anyone want to shout out some good grinder models?
Chris said:
Chris said:
you can generate 8.5 - 9 Bar with the Aerobee. Does that mean that if you had water at 91-96C, and leaned on your Aerobee enough to get 9 Bar through the puck, that you'd describe that as 'real' espresso?

And my point, that you can make far better espresso with a cheap machine and a great grinder than you can with a great machine and a crap grinder, still stands.

So the Aerobee was a bad example. Paired with a steamer and fed from a decent grinder, the mypressi TWIST (see the thread, "The mypressi is for Real") produces shots that, if water temperature is managed well, will rival whatever you're using at your shop. New, with a stovetop steamer, one could be producing shop-quality shots for just over $200. Toss in a decent handgrinder if you don't already won a grinder, and you're producing (singly, of course) a similar product to what your $12-20,000 kit is producing at your work.
I highly recommend the Nuova Simonelli Oscar - uses the same commercial-grade group heads and portafilters that the Aurelia/Appia/etc. use.... and it's highly consistent.

As a NS dealer, I can get you one probably 25-30% off list ($1400 List). Feel free to message me or email me (jeremy.meiss@gmail.com)
Easy, under $1k full home setup: Rancilio Silvia and Baratza Vario. Full quality, great espresso, and the ability to make great drinks for under a grand total. And sometimes wholelattelove.com has great deals on refurbished Silvias.

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