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Thread: Low end espresso machine or stovetop brew?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Low end espresso machine or stovetop brew?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight

    I mostly have my coffees at work during the week, we have a BFC Junior and it makes brilliant espresso. I am looking for something to satisfy my cravings on weekends and I am looking for ideas.

    I made the mistake of buying a cheap aldi automatic machine that i eventually got rid of and following the golden rule of spending some extra $$$ for a better grinder, I bought a used Mazzer SJ, which I am very happy with.

    This leads me to my coffee machine decision.

    I grew up on turkish/lebanese style coffee which I still have on occassion so I am used to stovetop style brewing and was weighing up buying a Belman Stovetop coffee maker (I have read the threads on this forum, it looks impressive) or a entry level espresso machine for something like $200 - used or new it doesnt bother me.

    What do you guys think, any recommendations?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Re: Low end espresso machine or stovetop brew?


    I too came from different brewing methods (plunger, aeropress) with a decent grinder, before deciding to purchase an entry level machine. Im happy with my EM5900 for now, because for <200 that was the best I could do, brand new. But, that said, I had only intended it to further hone my newly-acquired espresso-making skills before plunging head on into the real world. I do detect a major difference in taste when switching between brew types, even though my espresso machine is far from top notch. So in that sense, Im still quite satisfied (until I can save up for an HX and feel confident enough that I could handle it).

    Seeing that youre already comfortable with an HX machine, you might not be in the same boat as I currently am. So maybe a second hand prosumer-level machine would be better for you, or maybe stick to stovetop for now.

    That didnt help, now, did it? :)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: Low end espresso machine or stovetop brew?

    I come from a thermoblock then HX background :) I tried the usual moka pot and recently a bellman with steam wand. Im having a bit of trouble getting a decent brew - too hot or too slow or too ... but Ive heard its possible, however most positive reports are from people without HX / DBs! Theyre also not high-pressure "true" espresso extractions as the boiler can only get close to 1bar or youre going to burn the coffee.

    TBH I prefer the plunger (based on my own output only) to the stovetop, but I do like the steam wand for camping or offices without machines.

    Since plungers are so cheap why not try one with a fine grind and your best beans? I warm the milk and mix it about 50/50 to get an almost-latte like mixture.

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