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Good deals - Espresso maker and burr grinder for $500

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I posted previously with questions about Ascaso espresso machines and my quest to get a great espresso maker and grinder for under $500. I only got one reply but thought I'd share my results with anyone who is in the market for the same. By shopping around I succeeded:

1) KitchenAid Proline Burr Grinder for $75 on Amazon. The red model - not refurbished - is on sale for $99, and if you are spending more than $125 in housewares you get an extra $25 off. For some reason this $99 price is less than the same item refurbished ($149) and the same item in gray ($199)??

2) Ascaso Dream Versatile machine for $400 on EBay. The color selection was limited, but since I'd been looking at the lower end Ascaso Arc for $500 I was REALLY happy. The Dream costs $600 and up elsewhere. It is new and has a 1-yr manufacturers warranty. The Ascaso Arc's were $350 from the same Ebay seller. Only a few of each are available.

Since they are birthday and Christmas gifts for my spouse, I can't report on their function, but they are beautiful. After the holidays I'll report back.

My previous post:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33950...

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  1. The red KitchenAid grinder on Amazon is an older version that has some flaws which may or may not matter to you. I got one this week. The lid on the hopper is very loose, like it needs a much thicker gasket (not a big deal though). The platform leading to the burrs is very horizontal so I always get 5-10 beans sitting on it. I have to knock them in with a stick. I think these 2 issues are universal among the red models.

    Even with the recalibration adjustment that KitchenAid recommends, I could not get the grinds fine enough (eventhough I can hear the burrs touching, weird). Some say that the grind just looks coarse but is actually fine enough to choke an espresso machine. I can't test this.

    The newer models that have some of the issue fixed have a -1 after at the end of the model number. I think they're currently backordered.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joe MacBu

      Thanks for demystifying the pricing and for the heads up on possible problems. Once he gets it out of the box, we'll see if it will work for espresso or if it will have to be returned.