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Jan 23, 2013 10:50 AM

I what to buy a cappuccino machine

Short of buying a commercial machine what would you recommend as the best one out there

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  1. I have done a bit of research on and off about this. I want to plant a suggestion that I recently heard and I believe I may go this route first.
    Your grinder, may actually be MORE important than your machine. The grinder is referred by some as the "Rock Star" of your Espresso set up.
    One person said he would much rather have a great grinder, and a $200 machine, than a crummy grinder, and a $1200 machine.
    On a whim this week, I bought a can of pre ground espresso blend from Italy.
    I am blown away by the difference in the cup I got and the crema on my $200 machine.
    I would urge you to not short change your grinder. People online say you should spend about a third of your machine price on your grinder. So if you are looking just shy of commercial, that in my mind is $300 to $800 sort of money.
    Don't short change your grinder.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

      Can you recommend a grinder. I heard about and I am going is mispronounce which is like a burr grinder if that rings a bell. It in essence creates less heat than standard grinder

    2. I've had a Delonghi Magnifica for about 4 years. It's a one touch cappuccino/latte machine. Also makes great espresso, short, and long coffees with a nice crema. It is easy to clean. I know the price has dropped significantly since I bought mine. Either way, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pagesinthesun

        I just bought a Jura and hate it. The espesso is great and it has a built in grinder. I don't like the foamer, and I drink Cappucino. I am taking the machine back and I was going to get a Delonghi, which is what my friend has, and hers makes a great foam. Glad to hear that you like yours. I also find the learning curve on the Jura very steep.

      2. Do you have a machine now? Or is this your first? These days, there is manual, semi auto, and auto. I believe the one below us fully auto. You are going to want to figure out what generic category you want. I like to grind my own, tamp my own and do it as manual as possible. So I don't want an "auto" one. There are also Nespresso type machines that use only Pods. Again, I don't want that, but you might?

        6 Replies
        1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

          I don't want a auto. I need a new grinder I guess. I have beval right now. I also want to be able to steam the milk. What do you have and would you buy it again if you needed a new one.

          1. re: wdames

            How much are you looking to spend for BOTH your grinder, and your machine?

            Most can steam milk. I don't do steamed milk so I can't tell you mine is good for that or not. I like mine for Espresso but it is nothing special.

            I am looking at a grinder recently. It is $219 for just the grinder.

            What is your budget?

            1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

              I like to spin, cycle and cycle tour and drink coffee. I would start to back off at about $1000 for everything.

            2. re: wdames

              I think you mean Breville.

              Is the grinder Breville? Or your machine? I have a Breville Machine now.

              1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

                Is Breville a Burr? I will try to check.

                1. re: wdames

                  The Breville Smart grinder is a Conical burr but I'd avoid it like the plague. They run $200 and they are not at all reliable. I killed 3 of them in a year before getting my money back. In general all around grinders are not the best best for espresso but if you want a grinder that will work well for both coarse and fine consistently the least expensive one I would suggest is a Baratza Preciso. I've been using one for about a year and it's a very nice machine. They run right around $300 unless you can score a refurb on the Baratza web site.

          2. Not sure what your budget is, but the Rancilo Silvia espresso machine is (or at least was a few years ago; I haven't been researching lately) is probably the best in its class. I had one for about a year before upgrading to an Isomac Tea. It made perfect ristretto shots, once you get the hang of the machine. if you're serious about your espresso, don't get anything that doesn't have an E61 group-head. You can get a Rocky burr grinder for not much $$ and be totally set.

            6 Replies
            1. re: TheCarrieWatson

              I've got the rancilo Silvia and rocky grinder and am extremely happy with them. We started with the Silvia and a cheap grinder and it was very inconsistent. Once we upgraded to the rocky grinder life was great and so was my espresso! The rocky weighs 18 lbs just to give an idea of how heavy duty it is.

              1. re: NorthernPanda

                Besides a La Pavoni, the Silvia is really *it* for machines in that price range. I researched the hell out of this stuff but that was a good 10 years ago so there might very well be some newcomers that I don't know about, but you can not go wrong with the Sylvia regardless. I've come really close to selling my Isomac and commercial grinder and going back to the Sylvia/Rocky combo just because of the smaller footprint. I was getting shots from my Silvia that were as good as most any you can get (except at Vivace) once I got used to the temp surfing thing. I love the fact that you can outfit the Rancilio with a PID kit, too. Great machine - a classic.

                1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                  I received a La Pavoni years and years ago. I've only seen one like it in a James Bond movie, and in the kitchen on "Absolutely Fabulous." I think it needs a gasket repair or something. I need to dig it our and tinker with it.
                  I think I'll bring it up from the basement now....

                  1. re: wyogal

                    Jeez, sitting on a shelf for 10 years must have done the trick. It seemed to work just fine.

                    1. re: wyogal

                      IIR it was a LaPavoni in the Talented Mr. Ripely that Jude Law used to pull shots. ;)

              2. Read the entire "how to" it will help you, and answer all your questions, and give you knowledge on what you need.


                it may be a good idea to go on Coffeegeek and join the conversation.