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Espresso machine - what to buy and where in Mtl?

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I saw a post on where to buy espresso machines on the Ontario board, and it reminded me that I am actually shopping for an espresso machine as well. I am just wondering what to buy and where to buy it Montreal? Right now I have a very old Saeco machine that doesnt work too well and makes so-so coffee...and I would really like to have a good espresso machine that will last me a long time. I am ready to splurge on this, but can't afford to pay more than $800 to $1000.
What do you suggest?

Thank you!

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  1. I would recommend you check out Faema (at Jean-Talon and St. Laurent). They have a great selection of machines, including Pavoni, and reasonable prices. They will gladly explain the differences in machines, and for 800-1000, you should be able to get something that will make you happy. There is also a Saeco store further up St. Laurent, although their prices are higher, and they mainly stock Saeco machines, whereas Faema has a wider selection.

    1. Whatever you do, be sure to budget for a decent grinder. Remember, the espresso machine is the accessory to the grinder, not the other way around.

      Faema is a nice store that also has the occasional refurbished machine of interest. And there's Lino, a block or two south on St-Laurent.

      Café Union www.cafe-union.com would be my first recco among local stores. They bundle Rancilio's Silvia (the gold standard among single-boiler, non-heat-exchanger espresso machines) and Rocky grinder with a base for $1,150; maybe you could get them to knock $150 off if you forwent the base.

      While the staff at Café Crème, which is either about to move or has just moved to St-Hubert south of Jean-Talon, have always struck me as aloof, the store I and a lot of other espresso lovers will never again set foot in is Espresso Mali, where misinformation, condescension and heavy price-gouging are par for the course.

      Don't write off online retailers, by the way. Two in Canada are Toronto's Green Beanery www.greenbeanery.ca and Edmonton's Caffe Tech www.caffetech.com (there are plenty of others, too). And the high prices in Canada and strong Canadian dollar mean you really ought to check out some of the retailers south of the border. Chris' Coffee Service in Albany www.chriscoffee.com provides legendary advice and service and has lots of experience with trans-border shipments. The Daily Grind, 1st Line and Whole Latte Love are also worth investigating.

      1. Our espresso machine is from an online retailer in Vancouver, Espressotec, http://www.espressotec.com. Very quick delivery and good prices and no provincial sales tax. There's another good website for info at http://www.coffeegeek.com where they have consumer reviews of different machines. I didn't find anyone in the city who carried the machine I wanted at the same price, a Gaggia Carezza that was under $400. You can get a Ranchilio Silvia there for under $700.

        I've also heard that a quality coffee grinder is essential but we are quite happy to have our coffee ground professionally by the shop (Aux Deux Maries, Le Vieux Europe) when we get our coffee as we use it up quickly anyway.

        1. I would go and get information at the Quincaillerie Dante on Dante in Small Italy because they probably are the best to inform you on what you are looking for, then, of course, use that information and go shopping. What will probably happen is that you will be back in on Dante's very quickly finding that the sevice is best there and that you could shop for days only to end up saving 10$.

          1. Please help us keep this board focused on local chow, and focus on where to get an espresso machine locally.

            We've moved the off topic digressions about espresso machines in general to the Cookware board; please continue any further discussion on that board. Thanks.

            1. We received a Pavoni as a wedding gift. I think it came from Union Cafe and it's great.

              1. Well I can tell you that if you want a real espresso machine and don, t want to pay a lot for it then go buy a Bellman espresso machine that you put on your stove top. This machine is superb, you can 3-6 or 9 cups of coffee and have the steam with it to do the creama. It" s all stainless steel and worth about $109. in the stores. If the store you go to doesn< t have it, may be they can get it from the distributor called Terra coffee and tea co. in Montreal. Wowwwww it is incredible.

                1 Reply
                1. re: robert trudeau

                  That Bellman is essentially a glorified moka pot. It may make a good strong cup of coffee but it's not espresso. In a Bellman, the coffee is brewed with boiling hot water and steam, not sub-boiling (90-92C) water as in an espresso machine. Estimates I've seen place the pressure at around 2 bar, not the 9 bar required for espresso. And it relies on steam pressure, not a pump, to push the water through the grounds.

                  I've got nothing against moka machines, by the way. I still use mine occasionally to make milk-based drinks. But "real espresso machines" they're not.

                2. I have been very happy with my Saeco machines. I have two - one in the city, one in the country, and I've bought two others as gifts. They work very well, produce excellent coffee.

                  Saeco now owns Gaggia and Spidem, as well. Their selection is huge. I'd recommend that you go to the Saeco store on St-Laurent Blvd., check out the selection, pick the servers' brains, try out the machines, and buy it at a store that offers discounts, since Saeco sells their wares at full retail price.

                  That being said, my last purchase WAS made at Saeco in Toronto - I bought a demo model at a discount - the Spidem Divina (about $900), a gift for my daughter. It works very well, and is a little more sylish-looking and smaller than some of the other models.

                  The machines I've purchased are all fully automatic - fill the machine with beans and water, and press a button.

                  1. Does anyone know any stores which sell GAGGIA espresso machines in Montreal area?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: occasionalvisitor

                      www.cafe-union.com/

                      1. re: occasionalvisitor

                        Any store that sells Saeco would have, or be able to get, Gaggia machines, since Saeco now owns Gaggia.

                        As I suggested above, if you go to the Saeco store on St. Laurent Blvd., they have all of the models on display, so you can choose what you want and then shop around for the best price.

                      2. corner st laurent and jean talon
                        corner north west right there,cannot remember the name
                        best place to buy

                        1. I find that the nicest place for espresso machines is Le Cafe Creme on St-Hubert St, near Jean-Talon. They are the exclusive distributors of Mokita Machines (reviewed by Coffeegeak) and many other makes. They offer excellent service and a free coffee!

                          They are now on the Internet at : http://lecafecreme.ca

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Cybelius

                            I bought a Gaggia at Cafe Union a few years ago and was very satisfied. I even got one for my parents for their anniversary. the staff is very knowledgeable and friendly and you can probably pay less than what shows on the tag..

                          2. I'm looking for a low end espresso machine, one with a pump. Futureshop carries a Hamilton Beach model that gets good reviews on coffeegeek.com for a starter machine. I was in the Bay and noticed a Beaumark at $110 (40% off) but have trolled the net with absolutely no luck on getting info on this machine, not even company info which is weird. Either it's a really new model or nobody's ever bought one. Any help? Other brands/models?

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: everyonelovessushi

                              You can give Tino a quick call at Chez Vito. He sells quite a few machines actually and might be able to help you out with a quality machine for a good price (maybe not as low as what you've found, but better quality for sure). 514-277-1981.

                              1. re: everyonelovessushi

                                I have been using (until recently) the Hamilton Beach model you are talking about. I bought it about 5-6 years a go. It is not a great machine. In fact, its not even good. It is an OK machine for a beginner. The only think I like about it that the frothing wand is powerful. The pump is now powerful and you end up with very little to no crema, even if you fresh frind the beans right before using the machine.

                                I recently got a Breville Cafe Roma and I am in love with this machine. Compared to the Hamilton Beach model, the Breville is a godsend.
                                A great machine is the Saeco Aroma (which if you are willing to spend the 400$ or so on, will produce excellent espresso)

                                1. re: foodie_mtl

                                  I just bought a NESPRESSO Delonghi LATTISSIMA EN680. Now these machines only use the nespresso pods. But I find it a great machine for home use. The Nespresso boutique and coffee shop is at Cresent just north of de Maisoneuve.

                                  1. re: foodie_mtl

                                    Does the good frother translate into good cappuccinos and lattes? Because I think that's what I'll be using it the most for. Still important to have decent espresso come out though.

                                    1. re: everyonelovessushi

                                      It does a great cappuccinos, breakfast for me most days!!!

                                  2. re: everyonelovessushi

                                    Beaumark is one of The Bay's house brands - probably made by someone for them, and probably not even worth $110. Other than the suggestions on this thread, another place you could check is Faema at the corner of St Laurent and Jean Talon. They have a whole range of machines (not only Faema, but other manufacturers - I think they have Gaggia, and I know they carry La Pavoni), some quite affordable, very good qpr.

                                    1. re: cherylmtl

                                      I bought a Gaggia at Cafe Mali (7655 St-Laurent Boulevard) some time ago. Good machine - the price is purely determined by how fancy the case is - the "guts" are pretty much the same in all of them. Anything less than $400 is probably a waste of money and anything sold by The Bay will be disappointing. $400 sounds a lot, but if you add up how much you'd have spend in a coffee shop over a year you'll see that it is not a bad price at all. Make sure to get a good burr grinder and buy decent coffee - otherwise it really is a waste of time.

                                      Paul.

                                    2. re: everyonelovessushi

                                      How much are you willing to pay? We've got the Honda Civic of espresso machines, a Saeco Aroma (the Inox one but the black one is cheaper), which actually we ordered online from a Canadian website. About 400$ or less? Not fancy but fairly reliable, esp. if you're a barrista newbie like we are.

                                      1. re: everyonelovessushi

                                        It s called the BM-801 .15 bar pump , stainless type looking finish , Made in China .
                                        .I have one . I paid way less than 110 bucks ...I paid 15 bucks and they thanked me for taking it.
                                        hmmmm...I said to myself...but...15 (fifteen) bucks is fifteen bucks..

                                        I thought I would make coffee with it..but when I opened the box at home , parts were missing, parts like the baskets for the portafilter.Sigh.
                                        So for 15 bucks I had a milk steamer taking up a lot of counter space.

                                        WELLLLL......looking for a basket I made a huge mistake.I went to an Italian espresso machine shop with my potafilter and said ,out loud , that i owned a "beau mark" espresso machine and I needed parts for my portafilter

                                        After a long laugh from the short Italian behind the till , he sneered at me
                                        "We don't have parts for Bay Machines"
                                        Which floored me ..as nowhere on the portafilter was the name of the machine ..this guy REALLY knew what cheap batturd I am and he knew his espresso parts. ..amazing ...
                                        He told me the machine was actually a low ball saeco machine (Shrug)

                                        Well to make a short novel into a long story ...I found a 2cup basket ( don't ask) and...
                                        I have finally managed to get that annoying new machine plastic smell to go away , so...I'm very pleased to report ..as far as 15 bar 15 buck pump machines go ..this beast was worth every dollar .Rich frothy espresso..every time...it s amazing and it s discontinued .

                                        My G/F only tried a shot after i got the new machine smell to go away with a few initial brews .She now has stopped sniffing all the espresso for that plastic machine smell..and is addicted to the beau and his beau mark :0 ( I uhh...I uhhh...scratched the name off and tell people it s a Saeco shhhhh)

                                      2. We've got a breville ... $150 I think, it's been making coffee twice a day for almost 2 years now, very happy with it considering the price:

                                        http://www.breville.com.au/coffee/cc_...

                                        1. Was at Dollar Cinema in Decarie Square today with the family. I noticed a big discount kitchen place on the same floor. They had 4 or 5 Saeco machines all running at about $150. Deep discount. I didn't have enough time to ask the staff if they were new or refurbished. I was suspicious but not sure. I was only in there for 5 minutes (kids etc.). Anyone know this store and whether it's reputable? I wish I could supply the name, but I think anyone who knows the store doesn't need the name. Thanks.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: everyonelovessushi

                                            I 've had my stainless steel Starbucks Barista espresso machine for 10 years now. I use it every day to make my latte and it still works perfectly - I have never had a break or had it repaired. Highly recommend. It makes a wonderful cup of espresso and I have no problems frothing milk either. I think Starbucks now sells it under the name Saeco Aroma, as it is no longer called Barista.