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Thread: Stovetop question

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    Stovetop question

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    Hi All, am new to this but just hoped to get some help regarding stovetop machines. I would like to buy a machine that I can heat and I suppose potentially froth milk on the stove top (gas at this stage) I am assuming from having a look on the forum that I am after an Atomic or Bellman or similar. Would love some feedback on what machine is considered the best and most user friendly. Sorry if this has been discussed somewhere on here I couldn't find an answer to this

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    The Otto would be another option: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...p-unboxed.html


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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Welcome Geral,

    In terms of the quality of the espresso produced, the Bacchi is my preference (I own one and a few tradiational stovetop Moka devices). It does not steam milk, but a Bellman milk steamer is not an expensive add-on. I've tried a few coffees from an Otto and they were also very good (and the machine looks great). The Bacchi uses steam to drive a piston which forces heated water through the puck (a la a traditional espresso machine). Easy enough to use, but you need to wait 10 minutes or so before making a second cup. In terms of the espresso quality, I find it equal to my prosumer E61 machine (and for some beans possibly superior.....as you get to control the extraction rate by tightening / loosening a tap). The Baachi is also a little cheaper than the Otto.

    Just another option


    EDIT: In terms of 'ease of use', can't go past a simple traditional Moka stovetop, and they make a nice drop too, though it is not quite a true espresso....and they are very affordable.

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geral View Post
    Would love some feedback on what machine is considered the best and most user friendly. Sorry if this has been discussed somewhere on here I couldn't find an answer to this
    Hello Geral, I've had a Bellman CX25P for about three months now, though I haven't used it a lot because I got it for traveling, and camping.

    I like it, and would use it more if I didn't already have a Gaggia Classic on the kitchen bench and an electric stove.
    They work much better with gas because you get faster initial heat-up and much quicker response when you turn it up or down.

    It makes a good cup (or three) of coffee that is almost espresso, and steams milk really well (especially with gas).

    The 3, 6, or 9 "cup" measures that the manual refers to are confusing. It will actually make enough strong espresso style coffee for one, two, or maybe three latte's or flat whites, or up to 9 cups of weak black coffee -- if you dilute it with enough hot water.

    Some users say that you should never use the smaller basket inserts, but I have found that the medium one works OK.

    Like the Baachi, you can control the flow rate, and there are a couple of good clips on YouTube showing how to do this properly. There are some that show failures too, but you should ignore them. Either they have assembled the unit incorrectly, or they are operating it badly.
    It really isn't all that hard to get right - even I can do it , but they may not be completely idiot-proof.

    I really like the pressure gauge on the 25P, it allows me to run it at the recommended pressures, or a little higher, while not having to worry whether the safety valve is about to vent, or that something else might let go if the valve doesn't work. Well worth the extra dollars IMHO.

    Cheers, Deegee.

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    Thanks Deegee, I'm assuming from one website the bellman you mention is sort of the entry level for what I am after? Correct? Can I ask where u bought yrs from? Having worked in a cafe for a while I'd like to go the next step up from the usual moka stovetop job as I'd like it to be able to heat milk. However I have never owned either so am unsure how much I will use either at this stage.

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    I'm not personally familiar with either the Baachi or the Atomic machines but I think they are both more complex than the Bellman, and are much closer to espresso machines than they are to basic stovetops. They are also quite a lot more expensive.

    The Bellman is probably closer to the basic Moka pot or percolator, but it is a big step up from them. It is a solid piece of gear, surprisingly heavy, mostly stainless steel, and quite well finished. And it has the capability to steam/foam the milk as well as make coffee.

    The CX25P is the top of the range Bellman. It may be entry level compared to the Baachi, and the Atomics, but it is a big step up from moka pots and the old style percolators.

    I got mine from site sponsors DiBella, and there are a couple of others also selling them online. Prices were all in the same ballpark when I got mine.

    As I said in my previous post, I would use mine more if I had a gas stove, and if I didn't have my Gaggia. It is not quite as quick and easy as the Gaggia, but if you were to get a moka pot, it would be much the same as making the coffee in the Bellman, but you couldn't just crank the heat up a bit and be ready to steam the milk.
    Clean-up time would probably be similar to a moka pot and not that much different from an espresso machine.

    The coffee I make with it is better than many cafes and kiosks, and definitely better than you will get in most fast food places or airport departure lounges.

    The medium (so called 6-cup) basket does make two large double shots, but if I only want a single cuppa I put the excess in a small container in the fridge and use it to make an iced coffee. I have even put it in a cup of milk, nuked it in the microwave and called it instant coffee. It's better than most of them.

    Cheers, Deegee.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Where are you located Geral?

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    Senior Member Beanz.'s Avatar
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    I agree with all the points Barry has alredy made.
    The Bacchi is very easy to use and produces excellent results, there are some great videos on You Tube on how to use them and the sort of results you can expect.
    There are also quite a few reviews online that are worth reading including one you can Google called Bacchi Design Study that will give you an overview of the design and how it works.

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    Hi Barry, I am in SA. Its tough deciding between the stovetop machines on offer, will have to go hit you tube I think......

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Yeh, there's a decent range (and price range <$100 to $650 or so for an Otto). I guess it also partly depends on why you are particularly after a stove top? Do you need the machine to be portable, or is a cost issue?

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    Good point, I suppose I had thought the stovetop machines are probably cheaper. No not after a portable machine at all. Do you think I would be better off heading in a different direction? Like I said I am very new to all this, I don't even drink instant coffee at all I only like 'coffee shop' coffee so I guess Im on the right forum, I considered myself a coffee snob well before I stumbled across this forum! haha

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with stove tops per se. I guess I'd think about a) how much are comfortable with spending (machine + grinder)? b) how many coffees do you need to make in a day, and/or in short succession c) do these normally require steamed milk?

    You may well find that you get a pretty impressive result with a decent grinder (either electric or hand grinder) and a low tech coffee machine (such as a simple stove top), and then if you decide to progress to a more expensive machine you haven't thrown a heap of $$ at the stove top. Freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee in a low-tech machine beats supermarket beans in a wankfest machine any day.

    And......if you like like the taste of really good quality filter/plunger coffee, there's the Aeropress for <$50...I start my day with a coffee from one of these.

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    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geral View Post
    Thanks Deegee, I'm assuming from one website the bellman you mention is sort of the entry level for what I am after? Correct? Can I ask where u bought yrs from? Having worked in a cafe for a while I'd like to go the next step up from the usual moka stovetop job as I'd like it to be able to heat milk. However I have never owned either so am unsure how much I will use either at this stage.
    Well, if you want my opinion, while the Otto is very pretty and, from all I read, very good, if I was going to spend that much money (especially if you buy the induction stove with it) I'd rather buy a "proper" machine, like a Silvia. Of course, if money was no object, I would still love an Otto as a backup machine. OTOH, while saving up money a moka pot with some sort of milk frother apparatus would make a reasonable cup of coffee. My son uses that option and is quite content. He doesn't want anything that requires a learning curve. Personally, I have an Aeropress as my backup. Also have some large Moka Pots, if I ever need to make large quantities. TBH, haven't used them for years
    Either way, regardless of what you decide, you WILL have to buy a good grinder. As for how good a grinder, it would depend on what kind of machine you see in your future. Some grinders aren't capable of grinding fine enough for some espresso machines.

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    Thankyou csutak40, having a bit of a look on youtube at the different machines mentioned maybe the bellman cx25p would be a good place for me to start. Not too much $ to invest and I can work my way up. The grinder then opens another can of worms I had not yet considered and I suppose I could start another thread about which of those is the best value for money. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated

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    Out of interest what would a Silvia be likely to cost?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Geral,
    If and when you decide to start a new thread re a grinder (and maybe a more general advice for machine and grinder), it would be really handy if give people an idea of your budget, and the info suggested in my earlier post....otherwise people cannot really help short of telling about their personal preferences.
    Cheers
    BOSW.

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by geral View Post
    Out of interest what would a Silvia be likely to cost?
    Geral, a new one will cost between $600 and $700 or a good used unit would be about $400.

    As mentioned above, you will need to get a reasonably good grinder no matter what machine you choose.
    Though the Bellman is a bit less fussy than most espresso machines, you still have to dial in the right grind for best results.

    Having established that you don't need portability and are looking at stove-tops mainly to keep costs down, I would be more inclined to recommend a S/Hand basic espresso machine like a Philips/Saeco Via Venezia, or Gaggia Classic.
    They are sturdy, well built machines, which would cost little or no more than a new CX25P ( maybe less on gumtree or fleabay ), and will make coffee as well or better, especially if you only want to make one or two cups.

    I bought my Bellman mainly for camping trips, where I use it to make coffee for two or three people on a small portable gas stove, but at home I still prefer the Gaggia.

    It is generally agreed that the minimum entry level grinder for espresso is the Sunbeam EM0450 or EM0480, and I think you need the same level if you want good coffee from a Bellman.
    There are a lot of threads here about entry level grinders, and the EM0480 in particular. A quick search will turn up lots of info about them.
    They will cost about $120 for the EM0450 or $160 for the EM0480 if you shop around and buy on sale or online, & less for S/Hand.

    Cheers, Deegee.
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