Starter Espresso Machines

If you want to take it seriously and properly, is your make.

Grinder and scales must be superb too.

Having been through two Gaggia Classic machines, we upgraded to a Gaggia Brera automatic and haven’t looked back. It makes superb coffee and is easy to use.

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I shouldn’t read the coffee threads… I’m looking at espresso machines again…


…if you want to go low tech and have a very nice expresso/cup of coffee you can go with the

Aeropress Coffee Maker - $30.00 in the states


I used to have an Olympia Cremina and a Super Jolly Grinder and grind Monmouth coffee beans …making a cup of coffee was all about the tools and process and diminishing marginal utility …thankfully all my coffee gear was purloined by my son a couple of years ago and I switched to a Kitchen Aid Nespresso machine and now drink Starbucks Sumatra blend …I get the same great coffee time a after time .

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I have the choice of three espresso ‘machines’, depending on mood and need! :slightly_smiling_face:


Agree, these are excellent machines and although I’ve no personal experience with them they always get very good write ups. My machine and grinder are a Profitec 500 Espresso Machine with PID and Eureka Zenith 65E which produce just the perfect quality shot(s) for the day. I’ve found bellabarista to be very knowledgeable in these matters.

This is a winner! The more skill you have, the less gear you need.

Of course, I usually use a Nespresso Original.

Big Gaggia Classic fan. I have one at work and one at home. Both models with the brass head and boiler - there was a period after Philips purchased Gaggia when they changed some of the components for cheaper items; I’m told that they’ve now realised the error of their ways and put things back the way they were. Not cheap now though. I got both mine for less than £200 but a lot more now. I think it’s also been ‘upgraded’ to a pro version but I think that means it’s been put back to the way it was before Philips intervened :wink:

The Classic is very robust and a doddle to service and repair. The one I have at work has done roughly 4 double espressos a day for 15 years! In that time the only expense has been a couple of solenoid valves which are cheap and easy to change. Using a proper cleaner/flusher and doing back flushing cleans every few weeks is a must to keep everything tip-top. It only takes 5 mins and worth it in the long run.

For a grinder I have a Gaggia MDF at work which is not the worlds best… it’s okay and another workhorse product (also done 15 years service). It even coped with me having a ‘senior moment’ when I poured half a litre of water into instead of into the gaggia!! Yes how can yo do such a stupid thing? Don’t know but I let it dry out and the next day is was back grinding again. However, as a I say, the MDF is a bit cheap (not sure you can get them anymore). Actually you can still buy it… just looked. However at £350 I think it’s a but steep for what you get.

IMHO 50% of getting a good shot is the coffee machine and 50% is the grinder so my advice is budget accordingly. My home grinder is a Eureka Atom. An excellent grinder. Fast, accurate and quiet. £500 but well worth it.

If you went for a Gaggia Classic and the Eureka you would be around the £900 mark.

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I have had a Gaggia Titanium for over 10 years now. It has a hopper you fill with fresh beans and a water tank, which I fill with filtered water.
My one luxury, apart from the hifi of course!!

You don’t find they make a grainy greasy cup? I’m just about to chuck mine out.

For a decent espresso that’s all you need :slight_smile:

Our Sage makes great coffee and is really flexible. Cappuccino on the left, Americano on the right.


Agreed, Aeropress a great kit. I grind my own beans and take care with the technique. I’ve played with the inverted method, but this results in a fine mess every so often, so I’m brewing conventionally. I swapped out the paper filters for a medium and fine metal filter too. This isn’t classic high steam expresso with the crema, but has good taste and aroma.


Anyone with Lelit machines experience?

I decide to go for a lelit pl81t Grace and Lelit fred grider ( till i get a Niche grider from UK, they are not shippign to Turkey so a friend will bring one )

Thank you all

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Post a photo of your first shot! :wink:

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Shure will do, it will arrive in two weeks

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Elvis is in the building!


The Moka type stove-top surely is the oerfect espresso machine: Whilst it can be used by a novice, so fits your ‘starter’ requirement, it is commonly used for life (and can they last for life!), so they are far more than a started machine: and as someone mentioned earlier it’s what Italians use at home. Shops use fancier machines simply because they need to mass-produce coffee all day. They come in different capacities - you can even have a couple of different ones, one for daily use, another for when you have visitors. They take up almost no space. And versions are now available with bases suitable for use on induction hobs.

That would leave 98+% of your budget for a grinder, and a milk warmer (or frother if desired) …and coffee! The coffee of course is a critical factor…

But they don’t sit there looking flash of like a cafe at home if that’s what you want.

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