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Thread: Best kit for espresso newbies

  1. #1
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    Best kit for espresso newbies

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,

    My wife and I are looking to get an espresso machine for home but have a very limited budget - less than $200AU. Ive heard various recommendations about what is the best way to go - fully automatic, totally manual, have to spend more than $1000, fresh beans only etc etc.

    The local coffee cart guy who comes to work suggested that on our budget look at the Sunbeam EM2300 and get a the best grinder we can for our budget. He says the grinder is the most important thing to consider when looking at budget in-home espresso machines.

    So heres my question - is his recommendation any good? Id love to hear from people that actually own this machine and feel free to be totally honest. Having made the transition from instant to plunger coffee, my wife and I really prefer the flavour now, but if were not going to gain much with the EM2300 we wont bother.

    I love getting up first thing Sunday morning with a nice cup of coffee and playing the guitar. If the EM2300 can improve that, Im all for it.

    If the EM2300 and a good grinder is a good option, can you recommend anything else well need to get as well. Were just looking at the total dollars wed need to get set up.

    Thanks for your time. Great site too.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Re: Best kit for espresso newbies

    would you consider buying a EM0480 +- $180 grinder and just having plunger / driper / or stove top with fresh beans ?

    brevile ikon is still an option at the price you can get them new +- $220 they are on the evilbay from the breville 2nds shop
    but then you still need a grinder.....

  3. #3
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    Re: Best kit for espresso newbies

    Your local coffee guy is spot on, grinder first teamed with good fresh beans is the most important bits.

    At a minimum go the Sunbeam 450 or 480 grinders as they will do you for a start for your first Espresso machine. As suggested above buy a plunger or a stovetop then save some more $$ and then look at an machine a little down the track.

    Warning this site can be addictive ;)

  4. #4
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Best kit for espresso newbies

    With a $200 budget Im also going to recommend the Sunbeam Grinder.
    Either the EM0450 or the EM0480 and a plunger.

    A few weeks ago I was at a friends place for a large get together.
    He had bought some pre-ground beans from a place that I know makes a good coffee (he doesnt have a grinder) and I helped him make a brew in a large plunger he also had for the occasion.

    I normally dont drink plunger coffee as I have a machine at home but I have to say we did a great job; it was a very nice drop.

    Despite it being pre-ground, it was a freshly ground as his circumstances allowed and, as I said, went down well with all the guests; even me.

    With a grinder it would have been even better.

    You have to start somewhere and as youre restricted by budget dont think that you cant get a better coffee out of a plunger than plenty of other places.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Best kit for espresso newbies

    An Aeropress would be an option to a plunger.


    Java "Brewin it up" phile

  6. #6
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    Re: Best kit for espresso newbies

    Thanks one and all for your replies. My wife and I finally made a decision and its a bit of a "test the waters" approach. After Javaphiles recommendation and reading on this site and several others, we decided wed give the Aeropress a go and get a decent grinder if the Aeropress worked out. I have to say that I am a HUGE fan of the Aeropress and as a result were going grinder shopping on Thursday nite. I cant believe how simple it is to use and I would put the taste and quality of this up against nearly all of mates espresso machines. Most of theirs taste burnt or bitter. Ive had 3 cups this afternoon and all of them were excellent.

    We were fairly happy with the quality we were getting out of our plunger, but both disliked the coffee grounds at the end of the coffee and hated all the wasted water and mess of cleaning it. The Aeropress is absolutely brilliant for that. No coffee grounds in the coffee and so easy to clean!

    Given that we probably wont be looking at an espresso machine now for a few years, would the Sunbeam EM0430 be good enough to use with the Aeropress? I know the grind doesnt have to be as fine like it does for an espresso machine and thats the only bad word Ive heard about the EM0430 so far - it doesnt grind fine enough.

    Thanks again for all your helpfull advice.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Beanz.'s Avatar
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    Re: Best kit for espresso newbies

    I have been using the Aeropress for quite a while and suggest you get a hand grinder as you can then take it away if you are travelling, camping, picnics or visiting friends. I suggest a Kyocera or Porlex as they are small or a Hario which is slightly larger. I have a Mazzer at home but still tend to use the hand grinder for the Aeropress when at home. There are some good articles on using the Aeropress try different techniques and check out the difference.

  8. #8
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    Re: Best kit for espresso newbies

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Yes indeed the Aeropress isnt as particular about grind as an espresso machine.
    However you might also want to think about how long the grinder will last for, and look at other functional issues, compared to the cost. For example, you might be tempted at times to play with grind size to see how it affects taste, at which time a bigger range of adjustment may be an advantage, or, can you grind directly into the Aeropress if you want to, etc.

    Also as noted above, you can also get very good hand grinders, but you should be aware that while the kyocera is compact, it means it can only just grind enough for two people in one go, although I find mine is great when Im at work. Havent seen a Hario, but I understand they are a bit bigger.

    Whatever you decide, you will benefit from being able to grind fresh beans just before brewing.



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