HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Favorite Espresso Machine for Home

foodie Oct 26, 2006 03:27 PM

Hello Everyone,

In the next few weeks we will be purchasing an espresso machine for our home, and I thought it might be a good idea to post the question here to see what foodie's prefer in their home espresso machine. What's your favorite, and who provides the best quality for price...Our price range is about 500 dollars. Thanks for any input.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. s
    saeyedoc RE: foodie Oct 26, 2006 03:29 PM

    Check out www.coffeegeek.com, tons of reviews and forums (I have no interest in this site, but it helped me pick out my machine, which is not in your price range).

    1. SnackHappy RE: foodie Oct 26, 2006 03:32 PM

      This recent topic should contain some useful info:


      1. p
        plateaugal RE: foodie Oct 27, 2006 02:18 PM

        As I do consider myself a foodie, some people might not like what I have to write here... I love my espresso machine which takes, ahem, capsules! It's a perfect espresso every time. Yes, you are stuck buying the capsules ($0.65 each ordered online and delivered in 2 days) forever but I only drink one coffee a day or less so the ease far outweighs the drawbacks. Plus it looks really cool! I have the Essenza C90 Manual (i can control the amount of water). You can order them directly at www.nespresso.com but I know they have them at Cuisine Gourmet on Maisonneuve.

        1 Reply
        1. re: plateaugal
          SnackHappy RE: plateaugal Oct 27, 2006 04:08 PM

          Is that the store where the man greets you with a cup of coffee from his Nespresso machine?

          I had one of those and I was not impressed.

        2. f
          FlavoursGal RE: foodie Oct 28, 2006 10:21 PM

          If you want to spend a bit more money (around $800), I recommend the Saeco brand - model Vienna Deluxe Digital. It grinds the beans for each cup of coffee, and makes a great espresso with good "crema." There is also a steamer for milk to make cappuccino.

          I bought mine at a store in Toronto, but I'm sure you'll find it in Montreal, either online or in restaurant supply stores.

          Just looked at the Saeco Canada site, and there is a Montreal distributor on Boul. St-Laurent. Here's a link to the site:

          1. b
            bashanem RE: foodie Oct 29, 2006 03:41 PM

            Definately try to get your hands on the Nespresso machines...these pod-using machines are OUTSTANDING! The enormous Paris store is now coming to MTL as well (keep your eyes open)

            1. f
              FlavoursGal RE: foodie Oct 29, 2006 09:20 PM

              The "pod" machines might be fine for some people, but I like to have some control over the strength (or weakness, for guests) of the coffee I make. One would also expect that you're paying a premium for the coffee sold in pods. I also like to buy "Fair Trade" coffee; I doubt the pods are labelled as such.

              1. m
                montreal traveller RE: foodie Oct 30, 2006 02:55 PM

                I would second the Saeco Machine-I have a Vienna Deluxe at home and have been pleasantly supirsed by its quality- and flexibility(I e grinding and strength settings etc,,)

                1. l
                  Lorenz RE: foodie Nov 2, 2006 11:45 AM

                  You make want to take a look at the Gaggia line of espresso machines. I have had one for several years and it works very good. I had bought it based on researching several different reviews of espresso makers. Gaggia consitently received high praise. I enjoy mine as it is able to produce multiple cups of espresso, one after another, without having to wait for pressure to build, which is very helpfull when you are frothing milk for a few cappucinos.

                  1. g
                    GVDub RE: foodie Nov 2, 2006 05:02 PM

                    We have a Gaggia Synchrony Digital, which is a super automatic espresso (you fill the bin with beans, tank with water, and press a button. The machine grinds, tamps, and extracts, then dumps the coffee "puck" into a dumpable drawer), and we've been very happy with it. I'd suggest checking out http://www.wholelattelove.com as a source for info on a bunch of different espresso machines, including videos and tip and trick sections for many of them.

                    Some folks don't like the super automatics, as they get a charge out of the whole espresso making ritual (grind, manually tamp, pull the handle and control the extraction yourself), and feel that they get superior coffee that way. What I like about the super automatic is the consistency. As long as I keep the machine clean and maintained, it keeps turning out cups of really good espresso.

                    I also roast my own beans, so the idea of the "pod" machines is anathema to me. there's also the matter of all the plastic waste that gets generated by those pods. Since between my wife and I we go through 6 or 7 espressos a day, that would be a mountain of little waste plastic pods in short order.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: GVDub
                      Scrapironchef RE: GVDub Nov 2, 2006 07:32 PM

                      I took a look at the Gaggia. I could train my cat to have my coffee waiting for me in the morning with a machine that good. Truly amazing but I wonder how long before something goes out of whack, it is italian. I say that with amore, after all I drive a Fiat.

                      1. re: Scrapironchef
                        GVDub RE: Scrapironchef Nov 2, 2006 10:04 PM

                        We've had ours for close to 3 years now with no problems, even after I poured water into the bean bin by mistake one morning while in pre-coffee fog (Just disassembled the burr grinder (easy), blew it out with compressed air, dried things off, and swore to always make sure that there was water in the tank the night before).

                        1. re: GVDub
                          Scrapironchef RE: GVDub Nov 2, 2006 10:27 PM

                          That's a reasonable period for daily use, I'm not disparaging the machine, I'd get one in a heartbeat if my current manual one would just fail.

                    2. e
                      EclecticEater RE: foodie Nov 2, 2006 10:25 PM

                      Just for the fun of it, spend the $30 and buy a AeroPress and see if you like their expresso when it is as concentrated as you want. It makes a non-oily intense brew that lets the coffee flavor through and can create crema with the most excellent coffees. Then, if you don't think it's as good as an expensive expresso machine, spend the $300 - $400 and enjoy.

                      1. a priori RE: foodie Nov 2, 2006 11:29 PM

                        ["What's your favorite?"]


                        Salvatore semi-auto. Hand-made, commercial grade parts (thus, 52lbs.) Unfortunately, US$1,450 these days.

                        Show Hidden Posts