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Recommendations for espresso makers?

Posted by miajl - Created: 16 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by jivebaby-189615 - 12 years ago

A subject very close to my heart -Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

I used to enjoy (and still do) the luxury of quick espresso’s especially when travelling between meetings. My own production went through the usual cafetiere, mocka and finally to the mid-range Nespresso machine round 10 years ago. The taste craving for coffee was stimulated during my African travels as then, apart from Nairobi I could not get not get a decent coffee whilst away. To be honest I became bored with the small volume, limited supplier and overall the taste after a while. I now prefer the honest more rounded result from a filter/drip coffee, as I find the taste strong and as mellow as I want it right now and in the quantities my body demands at a "reasonable" price. Good coffee is never cheap and yes it is a luxury!

I buy my own roasted beans (usually Kenya Arabica) from a commercial roaster in 1Kg bags in 6Kg boxes two at a time.

Postage scales to weigh the beans in my grinder to the nearest gram -this is the only way to get the precise quantity every time. Water is then either measured in a jug or to the precise point on the coffee machine scale. All of this is meticulous and painstakingly accurate -the consistently great coffee is worth the effort.The quantity varies depending upon each bag (roast varies etc)– currently I’m on 32g coffee medium ground, 23floz/ 65cl water which makes 2 decent mugs: With 4 mugs the weight ratio changes to 60g and for 12 mugs I use 76 grams.The cats hate the noise from the grinder and run for the hills each morning.

The filter machines I use now all have one thing in common – they all store the coffee in heat insulated jugs, normally stainless steel and are NOT heated from a plate, a process which ruins any coffee.I also prefer the non-bleached filters, but maybe this is a tad fussy? The problem as Mike alluded to is that any coffee maker must be kept clean, and even fed with bottled water will eventually have problems.My favourites were the Krups Aroma machines but these have been discontinued and I cannot get parts – the coffee was superb but the gubbins eventually leaked and were difficult to repair.The new models last only a week or so and I’ve given up with them now. My “home” machine now is a Cuisinart Brew Central (not the one with a grinder as they are way to flimsy) the coffee is great and I can make 6 pints of coffee in need!

Coffee is a serious business and whilst the taste can be magical, making it is not an art but a science requiring precision and dedication to produce the prefect cup every time.

It surprises me is that most supermarkets stock a vast range of ground coffee, which I rarely if every buy and only if desperate, but few if any stock even a token pack of decent roasted beans for personal grinding which (imho) is the only way to produce great coffee.So even this upmarket product has been devalued for the masses.Sadly they are unlikely to discover the difference.

Lastly coffee has three smiles:

One the taste opportunity (graphically) means that the optimum time to drink the coffee when the flavour is optimal is usually around 4-5 minutes after pouring and not later than 10 minutes to complete –anything outside means the coffee is too hot to appreciate or taste the true flavour and later too cold :-( Statisticians call this a smile ;-)

Bubbles are the second smile, seen frequently as a crème on concentrated espresso’s and closer to my taste a series of clean bubbles which linger of the top of my coffee indicating fresh clean water/decent coffee.Taste is almost guaranteed.

The third smile is that of the drinker when drinking great coffee – for some reason instant stuff (which is not coffee but a poor substitute) does not produce a smile. Given the choice I take water if proper coffee is not available.

This is thirsty work, so I’m off for a pint……….of coffee.


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Posted by susanaiwase-204471 - 12 years ago

I just saw a report on French TV about Nespresso capsules - and how they do not do anything for the environment as they are not recyclable - just add loads to our trash. Still, I feel I cannot live without mine! I love the new flavours they come out with too: Almond, chocolate orange, cardamon etc... But it's true, they are NOT cheap (between 31 and 33 centimes per cup) unless Clooney were included. Oh, we just cant have it all...S I Hanson
Auribeau sur Siagne

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Posted by yjme-181229 - 12 years ago

Have just taken advantage of the Nespresso on offer which I believe lasts only until beginning of February, possibly less time. I will be getting a cheque for 50euros off the Magimix automatique basic machine that I bought for 180euros (I wanted the two cup sizes) (the deal is on the one machine in fact by the way). I love it, the coffee is excellent, it's very simple and I think I'll buy the posy distributor to hang on the wall because it looks so good and it obviously easy to use.

I ordered the coffee via internet which most people do, it took no time at all to arrive - if you order over 200 capsules, delivery is free making a cup of coffee on average 31 cents.

But I am still waiting for George to knock at the door. Sadly. I live in hope.

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Posted by Olivier@Saint Paul de Vence - 12 years ago

Nespresso is very easy to use. Also, there was a good deal a couple of weeks ago: Buy one, get 50 Euros off the second one. I saw it at Darty, but I trust the deal is done by Nespresso so you could get it anywhere. However, no capuccino ! Just coffee, in an everexpanding variety of flavours.

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Posted by arletty69 - 12 years ago

Guess you are referring to the 'AEROCINO'. A superb piece of kit that heats and froths milk far better than any steam driven job! Available on-line from Nespressso for about Euro 70,00.

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Posted by Georgewalker201@hotmail.com - 12 years ago

Yes you can easily buy their accessories to make Cap. or Latte. Depends on what machine you have. Alternatively, they have a separate great little milk frothing jug. Works very well. We have one and love it.

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Posted by ouch that hurt !-230853 - 12 years ago

maybe ? take a look at the www.nespresso.com site, there seem to be capuccino accessories, ? tho it might dpend on your model

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Posted by Kit-197515 - 12 years ago

Well a Nespresso machine has come "in home" from X-mas...My family seems to really like it but I would have rather liked something that can do Cappuccino as well...Does anyone know if there is a way to accessorize this "high-tech" coffee maker giving it the possibility to do?

Thanks, Kit

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Posted by Cassini-187302 - 14 years ago

We've had a Gaggia Synchrony Logic for some years now with no problems. It grinds the beans and disposes the spent coffee into a reservoir. It will also take pre-ground coffee. Makes a nice coffee with a good crema. I think you may also be able to get Gaggia which will also take capsules.

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Posted by Lisa_C - 14 years ago

I love my Nespresso machine. If you are in Nice, there is a Nespresso shop on Boulevard Victore Hugo so you could go and suss out the different machines. I have the very basic one that does espresso only. You can buy your capsules there too and freely sample the different varieties in a tiny 'cafe' at the back of the shop. The only downfall is the price and remembering to buy the capsules before you run out. Lisa