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Feb 18, 2010 10:50 AM

Best place to buy an espresso machine in person?

I'm shopping for an espresso machine, and I've posted on the cookware post as well as scoured Coffee Geeks and other websites.

I think I've narrowed down my choices to Lello, Gaggia, and Rancilio Silva, but I'd love to be able to see these machines in person and maybe talk to a salesperson who's used them all. Is there such a place in SF? TIA

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  1. Thomas Cara (Pacific and Montogmery) would be the place to go (whether he sells them or not).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jeff

      Great Infusions
      317 Potrero St.
      Santa Cruz, CA

      1. Pei, the recomendation of Great Infusions is a good one, (really the only one). Sebastion is really knowledable and will set you up with every thing you need. i don;t see any mention of a grinder in your post. Do you already have one? And if you do, is it espresso worthy?

        If you need a new grinder, the Baratza Vario
        is the grinder De jour. it is a really good grinder for the price.

        I wouldn't completely exclude an online purchase though. If you read coffeegeek, I'm sure you read references to Chris Coffee service. They are an unbelievably great Company to do business with, and a phone conversation will give you really good info. They are so good and trustworthy, people have given them a budget and let them fill in the blanks.

        I would also read coffeegeeks "How to buy an espresso machine tutorial.

        3 Replies
        1. re: chipman

          Both Chris Coffee and provide pheneomenal service who can also provide an appropriate grinder. And for coffee, read coffeegeek but if you are going to get one of these machines, anything older than 2 weeks (3 weeks really pushing it) after roast date is too old. Don't even think about *$'s (ie, starbucks or Charbucks) which is like Twinkie's, ie, good until 3/20 which translates to March 2020.

          1. re: 12172003

            I agree. And while I'm at it, for the price I would recommend this machine over Miss Silvia.


            1. re: chipman

              Wow, thanks. The Le'Lit certainly has a lot to recommend it over the others, and well within budget to boot.

              Thanks to everyone on the added caution regarding beans and grinders. Luckily I live near many fine roasters and never have to resort to *buck's. As for the grinder, I think I'm going to have to shell out $400 for an espresso machine for now, and use it for milk frothing, and buy myself an expensive grinder later on. It's worth the wait! I'd rather do that than buy a $200 machine and a $200 grinder now.