Recommendations for my customers for home espresso machines.....

I know that as a coffee shop owner, i might not want to recommend home espresso machines to my customers but they ask and I'd like to be more prepared to answer when they do.

Home espresso machines are like stationary bikes or the old rowing machines....they seem like a good idea and a way to save money but truth is....no home espresso machine is going to match the drink made by someone else at the local coffee shop. (nor will someone work out more if their stationary bike is sitting in their living room!)

 

So, what brand, price, pressure, etc would you recommend? Thank you in advance for any input!

 

Sue, Owner

Eugene Coffee Company

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I'd say Rancilio Silvia with a PID and pair it with a Rancilio Rocky. 

thank you Daniel! I appreciate your input!

Realistically, they aren't getting into a machine and grinder for under a grand. Yes, they need both. Baratza Preciso + Rancilio Silvia, Simonelli Oscar, or a number of higher priced prosumer models.

I agree Brady. I see people buy the cheaper home machines and then use their little home grinders (blade not burr) and get unsatisfactory drinks...i say save and invest in the right tools!

thanks Brady.

"Home espresso machines are like stationary bikes or the old rowing machines....they seem like a good idea and a way to save money but truth is....no home espresso machine is going to match the drink made by someone else at the local coffee shop. (nor will someone work out more if their stationary bike is sitting in their living room!)"

 

Grrr...this type of blanket generalization ticks me off. AND the same type of generalizations can be sometimes heard from the opposite side of the fence - i.e. home baristas saying cafes don't do as good a job as they can do at home. Truth is the vast majority of cafes in the US pull crap that a good home barista even with low end espresso machine and good grinder can and do in fact far surpass. I have demonstrated this to my baristas pulling quite decent shots with a decades old Krups Gusto ($100 decades ago). The temp surf is crazy to be sure, but decent shots quite doable nonetheless.

 

Since you are not experienced with home equipment I recommend you don't recommend any equipment but rather direct your customers to www.home-barista.com.

 

On another generalization note for the record my treadmill gets used at least 4 to 5 times per week and I've lost over 60lb the last two years, now at age 58 back at my military basic training weight of 40 years ago.

Interesting post Mike.

I do not think there is one answer. Additionally, if you start off with, "What grinder do you have?" it could end the discussion right there. When folks find that to make espresso at home a grinder in the $300+ range is a starting point, many will balk; dare I say "most" instead of many? If they are truly ready, a Baratza Vario and any of the Gaggia machines is a good starter setup. The Gaggia is a better investment than the Silvia, particularly when the saved money is spent on a better grinder.

Of course, you may wish to take my advice with a grain of salt... Few home baristas have a Kony on their home coffee cart! 

I really like the Lelit product, on the same class as the Racilio but a bit cheaper. for people who does not wish to invest much but still like to play Barista at home, the Cafe' machines from sunbeam, and some entry Breville machine are also a reasonable option for under a grand (or even less).



Randy Glass said:

I do not think there is one answer. Additionally, if you start off with, "What grinder do you have?" it could end the discussion right there. When folks find that to make espresso at home a grinder in the $300+ range is a starting point, many will balk; dare I say "most" instead of many? If they are truly ready, a Baratza Vario and any of the Gaggia machines is a good starter setup. The Gaggia is a better investment than the Silvia, particularly when the saved money is spent on a better grinder.

Of course, you may wish to take my advice with a grain of salt... Few home baristas have a Kony on their home coffee cart! 

 

Having a Kony at home surely doesn't guarantee knowledge or espresso success. Just means you spent more than most when something like a Vario is a near perfect home grinder.

Skill and fresh coffee are far more important than equipment IMHO. I can easily match the best I've had from any coffee shop right in my kitchen, be it espresso quality or milk texture. Most coffeeshops I've been into have good-great equipment, but that never guarantees success. Commercial equipment typically offers more consistency and high volume over home units, but not much else.

Mike nailed it...I don't have much beta on home gear...so I refer the folks to home barista, coffee geek , wholelattelove, and a few others and tell them to do some homework. First I tell them to get an aeropress for 30 bones and see if they will take the time to make a drink at home...And also, I have a stationary trainer for my bike that sees plenty of miles.

Can't agree as Home-Barista is nothing more than a group gathering of egotistical, anal retentive coffeetards. CoffeeGeek is a bit better and WholeLatteLove don't know their a$$ from their hand.

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