Best espresso machine for home use
Does anyone have a real espresso machine in their kitchen? (Not the single serve pod type.) And if so, what brands? I've seen really nice ones in businesses that look like vintage cars but they're huge and I'm guessing really expensive. Is there anywhere in Toronto where you can get a semi-pro one that is small enough for a home kitchen?
I've had great espresso with nice thick crema every morning for the past nine years now. I would hate being deprived of it! It's a Jura Capresso Impressa E9, which I am surprised to see is still available. You can check it out here: http://www.jlhufford.com/ProductDetai...
The price has come down since I bought mine, but whatever the price, I think it's a great value. I confess it was very difficult to convince myself initially to pay this kind of price for a silly coffee maker. When I talked to my son about it, he said, "Look, Mom, if you bought just one cup of espresso from Starbuck's every day, how long would it take to pay for itself?" I did the math and ordered it that day! Jura Capresso has several models available, ranging right on up there to the 3K plus price range. If you absolutely prefer cappuccino to espresso, go for it. Jura Capresso is (I have discovered since buying mine) considered the prestige super automatic espresso machine. "Super Automatic" means that when you first power it up, it will rinse itself out before telling you it's ready. It grinds and stamps the coffee fresh for every cup, then empties the "puck" of grounds into a container, rinses itself again, and then settles down into wait-mode until you're ready for your next cup.
There is one model on the market that I know of -- I think it's a Braun -- that is built-in (installed in the interior wall space between studs) that requires a water line. I've never drunk coffee from that machine, and at this juncture would not consider one simply because they haven't included a built-in drain and grounds disposer. You still have to do all of that yourself, which is the case with my counter-top Jura Capresso. If I have to pay a plumber and a carpenter to install my coffee maker, I don't want to have to do ANY of the chores myself! None.
I'd suggest you peruse Coffee Geek. A good answer is going to require more specificity on what your requirements and wishes are. There will be different answers depending on whether you are after te perfect shot, you are looking for a high level of convenience, whether you like lattes and cappuccinos, whether .you enjoy a drink or two at a time or need to be able to crank out dozen in short order. I'd check out the E61 offerings at Chris Coffee. The discussion will inevitably veer into the issue of grinders...Macaps, Varios, Mazzers, and Rockys. I love a great espresso but also take cappuccinos and lattes regularly. I rarely have to knock out more than to or three at a time. Cost constraints aside, a Macap doserless grinder and a single boiler Heat exchanger machine with an E61 group would be lovely and wouldn't crowd me out of my kitchen. Chris is not in Toronto, but from an informational perspective it s a good place to start.
I got this one when Illy offered a 50% discount with their home delivery program. I really like it a lot. My mother's initial comment sums it up best, "this is much better then Starbucks!".
Avoid the cheaper big box store models. They might work well for a little while but, the commercial brewing components of the better machines makes a better coffee drink (which ever you prefer) and lasts much longer (~7 years for mine so far).
I have a Brasilia commercial machine. I highly recommend brasilia equipment. Really well made. Really pricey too, but much less problems.