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  • Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

    Hello guys,

    I know this topic has appeared several times. Ive read through them, but still need some advice.

    After spending nearly $8 a day on my long blacks/espressos, Ive decided that I am better off investing in a starter espresso machine. I am basically constrained by the fact that Im a research student, and my budget is under $600, till I start working.

    I would really love the Ascasco Dream Up machine, but its way off my budget. I was initially considering the Gaggia Espresso Pure, but was a little put off by its plastic look. I am currently considering the New Gaggia Baby ABS Coffee Machine (http://www.gaggia.com/macchine-da-caffe.asp?macchine-per-espresso-manuali_8_New-Baby), which Im attracted to because it comes with the Solenoid Valve. The New Gaggia Baby Class coffee machine seems really similar too?

    Any other machines I should be considering? Googling has come up with a varied number of opinions, which has only made me more confused.

    For those who has the Gaggia new baby, any complaints?

    Additionally, where can I purchase coffee machines in Canberra? I know the departmental stores sell Sunbeams etc. But, I havent actually seen Gaggias anywhere, except on this: http://www.coffeeitalia.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=ff-gaggia .

    Many thanks

  • #2
    Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

    If you are on a tight budget, buy a second hand machine that is built to last like a Gaggia classic or a Rancilio Silvia. And put in a PID. You might even have enough change to get a big ugly but very effective ex-commercial grinder like a Gino Rossi.

    But Im just recommending exactly what I bought faced with a tight budget.

    If you do want to buy new, Cosmorex has the classic but if you buy it new you wont have money left for a grinder.

    I dont know anything about the gaggia baby, someone else will chime in on that.

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    • #3
      Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

      Id recommend a visit to Cosmorex, in Fyshwycke. Theyre helpful & knowledgeable and should be able to help you sort out what you want. If you buy second hand, theyll be who you call for maintenance. If you visit youll be able to look over a Rancilio Silvia.
      And youll get a good coffee from their cafe.

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      • #4
        Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

        Hi Jacarandas. As HTR eludes to the most important question at this stage is do you have a grinder? If not you would definitely need to allow for one as it’s just as important, if not more so than the machine.

        Considering your preference for black coffee and a tight budget you may want to consider non-espresso based brewing methods such as a aeropress, plunger or pour-over which is much cheaper. I have a $2.5K espresso machine at home but often will use a $10 plastic pour over for a long black.

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        • #5
          Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

          Thanks guys! I was thinking of getting pre-ground coffee instead of a grinder. A grinder seems essential though, although a Gaggia classic and a mdf grinder bought together will set me back by around $800. :/ And, the Smart Grinder looks really good too (which would be cheaper if I get it off Myers upcoming mid yr stocktake sale.)

          Ill have to think about this, although it really will be a good investment.

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          • #6
            Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

            Welcome "jacarandas".... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

            A decent grinder and the use of freshly roasted, high quality beans is way more important than the equipment used to extract the goodness from the beans. Much better to buy the best grinder you can afford now, and perhaps an AeroPress manual brewer to match it with (around $50.00). This combo will have you producing some of the best coffee you will ever have tasted - guaranteed.... 8-)

            When youre in a position to purchase an espresso machine (if you decide you actually need one after enjoying the AeroPress brews), you can then focus on just this aspect instead of having to make more compromises initially, when trying to purchase both items together...

            Mal.

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            • #7
              Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

              Similar to Caffeine Junky I have a not too cheap espresso machine, but my wife prefers her long blacks made with the $50 Aeropress.

              Also I didnt think you could find a MDF grinder these days so suggest you think about the Breville Smart grinder.


              P.S. Isnt Canberra a bit too cold for jacarandas? (Im from Grafton    )

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              • #8
                Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

                Thanks guys!

                Been googling the Aeropress. That seems really good and impressive! Ive only seen the MDF grinder online, which is going at a cheaper price if purchased together with a gaggia classic.

                Ill have to think about this, and prolly drop by Myer to check out the smart grinder.

                Coffee making is indeed an art!

                And, yes, its freezing in Canberra today! I was from Brisbane - the land of jacarandas (at least during spring).

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                • #9
                  Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

                  A good cheap start would be an aeropress and a sunbeam em450 grinder...

                  Keep an eye out for deals in the secondhand section here for an espresso machine. Most of the machines sold here will have been looked after properly, or the owner will at least know whats wrong...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

                    Its upgrade time for a lot of us here so expect a few classics and the like to come up second hand if we can bear to part with a machine that has given so much service.

                    I bought the classic many years ago and mistakenly thought that pre grind would do. I prefer my french press with fresh ground coffee to even the best preground coffee.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Recommendations for an espresso machine for a student.

                      Hey
                      I got my Sunbeam PU5900 (EM5900 and EM0450) from Target a few months ago for $170. Not sure if the still have any or are still offering at that price, but if so its an amazing deal!

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