Espresso machine - what to buy and where in Mtl?
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?
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.
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.
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 $700.
I've also heard that a quality coffee grinder is essential but we are quite happy to have our coffee ground professionally by the shop (Aux Deux Maries, Le Vieux Europe) when we get our coffee as we use it up quickly anyway.
I would go and get information at the Quincaillerie Dante on Dante in Small Italy because they probably are the best to inform you on what you are looking for, then, of course, use that information and go shopping. What will probably happen is that you will be back in on Dante's very quickly finding that the sevice is best there and that you could shop for days only to end up saving 10$.
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.