Coffee (again)

Pete Thomas

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McLean, Virginia
Not Camp this time.

I want to get a cappuccino/espresso machine, does anyone have any recommendations?

The Krups looks cool but a bit pricey, but we just got a Krups grinder, which seems great so far.
 

half diminished

Senior Member
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Buckinghamshire
Pete

No experience of Krups (which one by the way) but I've had several in the sub £80 bracket and can't recommend any of them. I think you may find you need to invest a little.
 

jonf

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Betelgeuse
Gaggia, but they're expensive.

The best espresso I've ever had was made in a traditional stove top one. Cheap, brilliant, but won't make cappucino.
 

Ben Cain

Member
Messages
108
Location
Essex, UK
hi

Hi Pete,
My wife and I use a Dualit grinder (really great) and did use Duallit esspresso/cappucino machine (also great but wife scared of the frothing part) so tried gaggia filter machine (never warm enough), M&S value machine (too cold again) and now Morphy Richards Tassimo for filter (lovely temp and quick) and I use Dualit for cappucino (a bit pricy but good)
Just got Blue Mountain beans out of freezer for grinding, and drinking Honduran Macala coffee, beutiful and sweet but nutty.
Also, found new coffee supplier - discountcoffee.co.uk, and also coffee-select.co.uk
Hope you find a machine that suits you
Ben
 

AndyG

Member
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326
Location
Derby
hi Pete
Unless you want to spend big sums of money on a gaggia, then de longhi is not a bad machine.
What is important when looking for a good esspresso machine, is that it has pumped pressure (usually 15 bar).
Without this you are unlikely to get a nice crema surface.

Argos have some typically from around £58 upwards.
I have a really good magimix one ( dont know if they are still available ) as I cant live without my doppio esspresso.

Hope this helps
 

rhysonsax

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3,586
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Surrey, UK
I'm not a big coffee afficianado but really enjoyed the two different coffees that I had when we were with friends last weekend. They had bought the George Clooney-advertised machine (probably the De'Longhi Nespresso) from Amazon but paid about £85 for it rather than £230. The only difference from the mint new one was that the box had been opened and some of the little coffee packets were missing (total value about £8).

I had a quick look on the Amazon website just now but couldn't see the same offer at the moment. I believe it came from a different arm of Amazon that sells on damaged goods etc.

Do real coffee lovers have to grind their own beans ?

Rhys
 
OP
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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I
Do real coffee lovers have to grind their own beans ?
I think it's ideal. Ready ground is often OK when you first open the packet, but soon loses some flavour when.

Some grinders can actually make the flavour worse if they run too fast as they can burn the coffee.

I also have an antique hand grinder, but you can't get different coarseness, which is important as different methods of making need coarser/finer for the right strength and/or lack of bitterness.
 

milandro

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the Netherlands
your coffee " problem" Pete, has many answers and it is not unlike most saxophone's questions .
First of all how important is coffee for you and how far do you wanna go with your investment?

There are all sorts of levels to which you can bring this and much depends on how difficult you want it to be, the investment level, the type of involvement and the end result that you want to pursue.

You say you have a grinder ( I hope it is a burr grinder and not a blade grinder these last ones are pretty useless ;}) this tells me that you want to use coffee beans as opposed to coffee already ground or pads (do not dismiss E.S.E. espresso pads they are a good way to make a good cup of espresso without too many troubles)

The great majority of the home machines which can reach more than 14 bars are suitable for a good results. Gaggia is a good brand and it was the first brand to produce good and cheap espresso machine but it is by no means the only one in this market segment. De Longhi makes several espresso makers that are perfectly adequate to the job (the De Longhi family is intermarried with the Zanetti family (Segafredo) they know a thing or two about coffee, believe me! ;) ).
this is ok and cheap
http://www.amazon.com/DeLonghi-EC155-Espresso-Maker/dp/B000F49XXG/ref=pd_sbs_k_1
It has the option of ground coffee or ESE pads.

If you like Krups http://www.singleserveespresso.com/archives/2006/12/krups_fnc2_novo_3000_95_at_ama.php


You could go up a notch or two by buying a very expensive semi professional machine but is it worth it? If you make 5-6 espresso a day I do not think so, but it is ultimately up to you. I know someone who owns and runs in his record's shop a professional Faema E61 with two groups.......it is a great attitude towards coffee but is it worth for the home user? You answer that question! :)

The cappuccino is a problem on his own. Many try to imitate the good barista results (by the way try making your cappuccino with skimmed or semi-skinned milk it is better and easier than with full fat milk! The full fat is a common mistake! ;) ) but home makers are not up to the job they produce too little steam and most home " baristas" don't really know how to cope with this procedure. So my advise is use one of the free standing froth makers (many operate with a metal coil whisking the warm milk and they produce a much better froth that you can possibly produce by adding hot water and steam to your milk)
otherwise , if you really want to go to something nice and easy see this
http://www.amazon.com/Capresso-201-01-FrothXpress-Automatic-Frother/dp/B00005A452/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1263233060&sr=1-4

it works and is easy to operate and clean
 
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Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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You say you have a grinder ( I hope it is a burr grinder and not a blade grinder these last ones are pretty useless ;})
Yes, a Christmas present.

And here is my current coffee maker:

. I think it's a ship's coffee maker as it doesn't stand flat, you have to hang it by the loop.

It runs on meths.

I suppose the best thing is get a good espresso machine, then splash out for the frother if we think it's necessary. Probably not as I would just drink cappuccino when I don't want something quite as strong as espresso, the actual frothiness is not an issue, just the taste.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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Rugby UK
Pete, I don't care if that makes good coffee or not, its a bloomin work of art. Beautiful!
 
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Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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Nice isn't it, but it'll probably make better coffee once I get it relacquered. >:)

The only real problem is it's slowness, not good for mornings when you need coffee and you NEED IT NOW!

Also the tap leaks, I need to find a washer that fits.
 

Chris98

Senior Member
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1,076
I was trying to stay away from this thread but I can't.

I can't comment on the machines, but I was going to get one before I realised the hob tops are great. I've got a collection for every eventuality, 2, 4 & 6 cup which in real money is a 1, 2 & 3 cups! I take it everyone has a double shot in their coffee?

The best hobtops I've found are made by Stella and the newer ones have a much better seal so you don't have to replace them anywhere near as often as the other creamy coloured ones.



For the milk frothing I use a Bodum Latteo Milk Frother which you plunge up and down, best results with the milk at about 60-70ºC and warmed on the hob, not microwaved. Once frothed swirl a couple of times as it compresses the froth a touch.

Best coffee out of the tin I think is illy but there is nothing like grinding your own, I need to buy a new grinder I think it's a burr grinder I need for the fine grind.

So what do you have with your coffee, earlier today I had a hot crossed bun lightly toasted which was nice on this cold gray day we've had.

All the best,

Chris
 
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Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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So what do you have with your coffee, earlier today I had a hot crossed bun lightly toasted which was nice on this cold gray day we've had.
With my first cup (ideally in bed), I like a banana.

2nd cup would be with breakfast so, whatever. Poached egg, toast and marmalade. On special occasions a kipper. If we both have a hangover it's likely to just be toast and marmite.

Elevenses: A Hobnob, but better is one of the Missus's home made cookies. Or a crumpet with butter or maybe butter and honey.
 

kevgermany

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The cheap DeLonghi's are not good. Ours made about one poor espresso at a time, and had pathetic performance on Capucchino. It soon started leaking and we decided it wasn't worth fixing.

We bought a DeLonghi Magnifica a few months ago. Adjustable grind, adjustable volume, adjustable strength and a good steam jet for the Cappuchinos when you want one. One or two cups at the same time. Compared to some, it's reasonably quiet.

Recommended, but it always seems to want something doing to it - water filling up, grounds emptying... Best is to get into a routine - clean and fill it every day. They can be quite messy inside. But they're all like that.

Best bit about it is that you no longer need to go out to get a decent coffee - it's as good, or better than the coffee shops..... Super creamy foam, fantastic taste...

What would I do differently? Although this takes pre-ground coffee, or beans, I'd get one with two hoppers for different beans. It's a real fag having to grind the beans when we want a different coffee to the type that's already in there. Two other things I'd change - the knobs for the strength and volume are not nice to use, and the scales are difficult to read, due to reflections. And the on/off button is so close to the one cup button, that it's easy to press the wrong one. One other annoying trait - if you put pre-ground in and forget to press the button for pre ground, it throws the lot away and grinds fresh... In fact pre-ground is quite messy.

In short - typical Italian, great looks, great performance where it matters, but let down in the finer details. (And I say that as someone who loves Italian motorbikes (I owned 3) and has a half italian wife. Looks as if my sax is Italian as well...)
 
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