Coffee machine?

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  • Coffee machine?
  • bear-uk
    Member

    I have the Heston Blumenthal Sage duo pro plus the pro grinder. Total cost for an entry level setup is around £480. How much disposable income do have that the Wife doesn’t know about and you want to spend?

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Which is the best one to get?

    budget?

    I have a Jura ena 5 if it were to blow up tomorrow I’d get another Jura machine.

    5plusn8
    Member

    I thought the Heston machine was lots, until I googled the Jura!
    I was hoping less than 200quid.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Keep your eyes open for deals and for a bit over £200 you can get a bean to cup deLonghi. As long as you have a burr grinder and a 15 bar pump (which the DeLonghi has) then it’s all about the beans. My DeLonghi has many settings to get your coffee just right and once set up will bang out the coffee completely consistently at the touch of a button. Not good enough for the connoisseurs i’m sure, but works fine for me. It has a steam wand so you can froth up milk and a section to drop powdered stuff into, so if you want to make a hot chocolate or use ready-ground coffee you can.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Was gifted a delonghi bean to cup for Xmas….

    It does a good coffee……not blue bottle San Francisco good but better than starbucks and Costa by far 🙂

    spooky_b329
    Member

    Another vote for a Delonghi Magnifica machine. Just ignore the froth setting on the steam wand, you get much better milk if you leave it on steam and lower the milk jug until the wand is just below the surface and sucking air into the milk.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    My “cheap” Delonghi bean to cup has been banging out coffee for the last four? Years.

    It’s been faultless, never thought it would last this long either.

    Not as quiet as I’d like though. Especially at 5am.

    5plusn8
    Member

    There do seem to be some connoisseurs on here, I had a great cup of coffee from a clients works kitchen this morning, they had a De-Lohngi thing, only did one cup at a time but was really good. I especially like the fact the steaming bit could also produce hot water to americano-ise my coffee.
    Which is the best one to get?

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Delonghi – I bought my department one as a moving in present (we moved) and it has been more than passable. With good fresh beans it is possible to choke it – not that that is a good thing but you can back off the settings from that and get it very respectable for a bean to cup. However on holiday a few weeks ago our airbnb had the exact machine and it was woeful. Exactly (as in the same bag) beans and it pissed out thin horrible coffee at a rate of knots. Owner said it had been like that out of the box.

    If you go for one and you can’t choke it with fresh beans send it back – they are clearly not born equally.

    At home I have a la pavoni europiccola- whilst I like using it, it is a world away from a bean 2 cup.

    slowster
    Member

    I especially like the fact the steaming bit could also produce hot water to americano-ise my coffee.

    An espresso machine is unlikely to be the best tool for the job if you like long black coffee. If you like espresso or cappuccino, then only an espresso machine can make those drinks, but for long black coffee you would be better off with a cafetiere, an Aeropress, a dripper (e.g. V60) or a Chemex, which are generally reckoned to produce better long black drinks than americanos.

    The money you save on not buying an espresso machine would be better spent on a good quality grinder (which will probably be much more reliable, trouble free and longer lasting than a bean to cup machine for a similar price) and good quality beans.

    pitchpro2011
    Member

    I’ve got the delonghi dedica ec680, not bad at all and looks pretty. The wand as mentioned is crap, take it off and use the steam arm and texture yourself.

    rkk01
    Member

    At home I have a la pavoni europiccola- whilst I like using it, it is a world away from a bean 2 cup.

    Any good?

    I have always been tempted by these (or the slightly dearer version with the pressure gauge)

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I think so. Reliant in a good grinder that can grind fine even for espresso and fresh beans to make anything drinkable. It’s a very involving experience which can be satisfying when working right. 6 years of ownership later and it’s all quite instinctive.

    I’m not 100% sold on the need for the gauge. As I understand it (never used one with one) you have no real way to adjust the pressure so it just becomes a fancy version of the temperature light.

    RichPenny
    Member

    I’ve had one with and one without the gauge. Agree with convert. It’s obviously got a bigger boiler but I don’t see a benefit with the gauge. Post millennium versions with the 51mm group are better in that you can get more coffee in the basket 🙂 Love mine, will be apart again soon for a service but basically they’re built to last. Bargains on ebay often.

    5plusn8
    Member

    Which model do you have RichPenny?

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    I had a Delonghi Magnifica bean to cup but ended up giving it away. It wasn’t that the coffee was crap it’s just I found it very variable and the great cups in the minority. Worth getting if you are prepared to experiment a lot and think the faff is worth it but personally I just switched to a Nespresso and don’t regret it but we all have different tastes and degrees of laziness :p

    stevextc
    Member

    but for long black coffee you would be better off with a cafetiere

    Counter intuitively (perhaps) proper Americano’s have less caffeine for the same bean. (less bitter)

    It’s all to do with how long the water is in contact with coffee…..

    I have a really expensive Gaggia machine my brother gave me (everything except main water connection)… but it barely gets used as its running costs are so high for a single cup…. takes ages to heat up then once you open the coffee its ticking away… great coffee but more used if I’m making lots for guests

    5plusn8
    Member

    I thought an Americano was an espresso with hot water added? Hence thinking I should move away from the cafetiere?

    johndoh
    Member

    I would have said that too – Americano is espresso with hot water and Google seems to generally agree.

    For £200 I would be looking for a second-hand original Gaggia Classic (with brass internals)

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I drink both Americano and french press derived bigger coffees. Got to confess if it’s a proper mug of coffee I’m after I go for the cafetiere. Been through the aeropress phase and out the other side – that lives in my van now.

    stevextc
    Member

    I thought an Americano was an espresso with hot water added? Hence thinking I should move away from the cafetiere?

    Yes which is why (made properly with hot water) it has a lot less caffeine than a cafetiere…

    Nearly all the flavour comes in the first 25ml or so…. (The expresso) then the rest is increasingly bitter caffeine which is why improperly made Americano’s taste bitter… people with bad impressions of Americano are often due to the Americano not being made properly and the person just putting more and more water through instead of adding hot water.

    slowster
    Member

    I thought an Americano was an espresso with hot water added? Hence thinking I should move away from the cafetiere?

    If you prefer an americano to cafetiere, then I would urge you to try filter coffee, e.g. V60 dripper or Chemex.

    Although in my post I lumped the cafetiere and Aeropress together with the dripper and Chemex methods, the cafetiere does produce a different drink to the others. It’s difficult for me to describe, but I find the cafetiere to be a more ‘robust’ (and to me harsher) brew, whereas filter coffee is a more toned down drink where more delicate or subtle flavours in the coffee are better able to come through. It sounds like the latter is what you appreciate when comparing cafetiere with the americano you drank, so I think you would like good filter coffee. Aeropress is probably between cafetiere and the other filter coffee techniques.

    If it is specifically americano that you like and want, then you need an espresso machine, but I would recommend you try filter first, before committing to an espresso machine.

    When you make and drink a good espresso, it’s great. The problem is that espresso is very unforgiving of inferior beans, inferior equipment (by which I mean much of the equipment marketed for home use, which is inferior to the equipment used in the better coffee shops)) or poor/inconsistent technique, and a bad shot tastes disgusting.

    Good skills and technique can compensate to a large extent for inferior equipment, but you may find yourself getting very frustrated as you keep tweaking the settings trying to get the grind and the dose right, and pulling one bad shot after another.

    Similarly good beans can make a major difference. By ‘good’ I don’t just mean high quality or freshly roasted and freshly ground. Some very good quality beans can be very difficult to use to make espresso: you have to get the grind and the dose just right. However, some beans are much more tolerant of variations in grind, dose, technique and equipment.

    Likewise commercial grade equipment, especially a high quality grinder, makes it much easier to get the best of any bean. Frankly, the difference in ease of use between a top end grinder and even the mid-level commercial grinders most shops use is very noticeable. The top end grinders require much much less tweaking of the grind and dose.

    In contrast, filter coffee is vastly easier to make, requires much less equipment, works well with all beans, and is just a lot less faff. Hence my recommendation to try it before going down the espresso route.

    andykirk
    Member

    In my usual ‘I know best’ manner I ignored all the advice on here and spent quite a bit on a ‘good’ coffee machine. What a lot of faff for an only OK’ish warmish coffee. I then took the filter out of the machine and just put it over the cup. Much better taste, hotter and less setup/ cleaning to do.

    I then bought a simple Kalita dripper (as was originally recommended by most on here) and a cheap grinder and that is even better. Machine is now up for sale on Ebay.

    stevextc
    Member

    Likewise commercial grade equipment, especially a high quality grinder, makes it much easier to get the best of any bean. Frankly, the difference in ease of use between a top end grinder and even the mid-level commercial grinders most shops use is very noticeable. The top end grinders require much much less tweaking of the grind and dose.

    I used to play about .. both buying gourmet pre-ground and grinding my own… but never found anything better than a FRESH tin of Illy or the best quality Lavazza

    The main reason for self grinding for me is you can do a little at once… which is better than month old

    5plusn8
    Member

    Interesting that you guys suggest drippers. Every dripper coffee I have ever tasted is disgusting, the best coffees I have had have been espressos with added hot water or cafetiere. I guess it must be down to personal taste.
    I think I will go espresso and add hot water. Cheers for the input.

    MTB Rob
    Member

    booking marking for later….
    Looking at getting something soon, do have a short list, so see if any of them appears!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    We got this one on black friday (for about what it’s up for now)

    https://www.johnlewis.com/de-longhi-esam6900-m-primadonna-exclusive-bean-to-cup-coffee-machine-stainless-steel/p2271651

    came with a hot chocolate maker attachemnt. Makes great coffee. My wife has one of their cheaper machines at work (the Magnifica I think) and says our home one produces better coffee so spending the extra might be worth it.

    5plusn8
    Member

    I can’t believe I haven’t been offered one to buy yet. Normally on the “what bike” threads there is a stealth ad..

    slowster
    Member

    Every dripper coffee I have ever tasted is disgusting, the best coffees I have had have been espressos with added hot water or cafetiere. I guess it must be down to personal taste.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible that the reason you’ve found filter coffee disgusting is personal taste (we are all different, and ultimately all that matters is personal taste), but I suspect it was disgusting because the beans were rubbish and/or the technique of the person who made it was rubbish. Filter coffee is very easy to get right (the Hasbean brew guides for example provide very easy to follow step by step instructions), especially compared with espresso, but it is possible to screw it up.

    If your experience is based on comparing americanos made by a good/decent coffee shop using good beans and good equipment, with filter coffee made by someone at home who does not know what they are doing and using supermarket coffee, then I’m not surprised that you preferred the americano. However, you may find it difficult and/or expensive in terms of equipment to make a similarly good americano at home.

    In an ideal world you would be able to buy a coffee made using a Chemex or V60 in a coffee shop as an alternative to espresso and espresso based drinks, but speed is essential in coffee shops and americanos are much quicker for them to make if someone wants a long black coffee.

    On a final note, I will stick my neck out and be a bit provocative and say that I suspect that many people who think their espresso/bean to cup machines make great coffee are over estimating how good their coffee really is. I say this because the coffee served in many coffee shops is not that good, and that provides a low benchmark for many of us for the coffee we make at home. The fact that most espresso in the UK, including and especially in coffee shops, is consumed in a milk drink such as cappuccino is very telling: milk will dilute and conceal a bad espresso to a significant extent, but a bad espresso on its own is undrinkable.

    People like Convert and RichPenny who use manual lever machines, will probably make much better coffee than a bean to cup machine, because they have had to persevere and learn the hard way how to get the best out of their equipment and beans.

    TiRed
    Member

    I have a Jura ena 5 if it were to blow up tomorrow I’d get another Jura machine.

    This. I love my Ena 7. Milk frothing for morning cappuccino is outsourced to an Aerocinno, but the coffee is freshly ground and of good quality. The only pfaff is that it uses a lot of water for first rinse and final clean, so I use a Brita water filter jug to keep it topped up.

    The best coffee it makes is an Americano on strongest grind setting.

    Premier Icon gemini29
    Subscriber

    Although Jura’s seem great machines, there often is a buildup of fungus inside..

    Fungus inside Jura Brew Group

    TheDTs
    Member

    I’m not sure I have much to add to this conversation other than that the guy in front of me at the electrical wholesaler today was getting a 32 amp three phase connector for a coffee machine… Thats quite a machine, I would have thought.. For Luton Airport apparently, air traffic control or in flight crew?

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    the Heston Blumenthal Sage duo pro plus the pro grinder. Total cost for an entry level setup is around £480.

    Fascinating fact – Heston serves Nespresso coffee at the Fat Duck.

    Source: my mate used to work there!

    chewkw
    Member

    Someone was selling a Gaggia Classic on STW a while back I would get that rather than something else.

    I have Gaggia Classic and it has been superb … 😛

    5plusn8
    Member

    I had a root through the for sale section, couldn’t find anything.

    chewkw
    Member

    Here posted by seth-enslow666.

    I was think about getting it but gave up the idea for whatever reason …

    Edit: I gave up the idea as I thought I wanted something different but then gave up that idea too … arrggghhh … bit indecisive because mine is still working superbly.

    I think in the end I just wanted a very simple machine after all it’s only me drinking coffee … so still thinking about Gagggia Classic back up … arrggghhh 😮

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    BurtyBurt wrote:

    Although Jura’s seem great machines, there often is a buildup of fungus inside..
    Fungus inside Jura Brew Group

    I think that machine has had little or no cleaning. My machine has the cleaning cycle reminder on, it lets me know when to clean it. It goes through a clean least once a month
    Took my machine apart last week to replace a leaky water seal and it was fine.

    [puts on flameproof suit]
    I’ve had various coffee making contraptions, from filter machines and cafetierres through stovetop mokas to Bean2Cup DeLonghi monstrosities. The best, least fuss, least mess coffee I’ve had comes out of my Krups Nespresso. Tiny footprint, no faffing about, consistent quality. And it makes tea as well.

    stevextc
    Member

    On a final note, I will stick my neck out and be a bit provocative and say that I suspect that many people who think their espresso/bean to cup machines make great coffee are over estimating how good their coffee really is. I say this because the coffee served in many coffee shops is not that good, and that provides a low benchmark for many of us for the coffee we make at home. The fact that most espresso in the UK, including and especially in coffee shops, is consumed in a milk drink such as cappuccino is very telling: milk will dilute and conceal a bad espresso to a significant extent, but a bad espresso on its own is undrinkable.

    Without naming the “we provide comfy seats and Wifi along with coffee we won’t even tell you the bean of” … this is spot on.

    Pretty much anywhere comes up with fancy names and doesn’t tell you the percentage of arabica will then sell hot milk drinks to cover this up.

    5plusn8
    Member

    over estimating how good their coffee really is.

    Define “good” ..

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