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Cheap Quality Espresso

Anyone have a suggestion as to which brand to buy for making home espresso?

I just "borrowed" a cappuccino machine I bought for my parents a few years back (they now use a Tassimo) and it's not a great one (I think it cost less than $100) but it works and does the trick.

As much as I'd like to buy Illy or another authentic espresso, I need to spend as little as possible.

I'm on the west coast, in case that makes a difference...thanks!

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  1. There was a thread recently about buying good quality coffee in ethnic (esp Latino) stores. Many of these come preground in a "brick" -- tightly packed and vacuum sealed in the shape of a small brick. These are pretty good for espresso. You might also look for Lavazza, which I think is less costly than Illy.

    See http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    1. I really like Cafe Bustelo. They sell it in latino markets and some major grocery stores carry it too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bryan

        I like bustelo, too...can be as good as Illy if the store sells the product quickly so what's on the shelf is fresh...

      2. Goya is another cheaper brand that's pretty good.

        1. If its a pressure (versus pump) espresso machine, consider buying one of the basic, stove top espresso pots for around $20. I do think that makes a difference.

          All of the above mentioned brands are OK but seem to get old-tasting rather quickly....store the grounds airtight, in a cool place...not a fridge. The fridge could end up causing condensation inside the container.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cathy

            Totally agree about the storage. That's another reason I like Bustelo - they have some teeny packages (as well as large ones) that keep me in espresso for a week. I store it in the freezer and only buy one at a time.

          2. The most important issue for good espresso is not to use pregrinded coffeebeans. Always buy coffeebeans and grind them directly before use. If you have Wholefoods close by where you live you might check them out. They often roast their own coffeebeans every day (at least in San Diego) and you can take small amounts of different beans to find the best one for you.