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Presso ok for a beginner?

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  • Presso ok for a beginner?

    Hi there!

    Im trying to decide what espresso machine I should get. Im a straight espresso drinker, no sugar.

    Short version: Im living with a borrowed low-end Sunbeam and getting somewhat decent results out of it. Not great, but ok. Of course its got the crappy plastic tamper, but its a borrowed machine so Im not going to get a good one for it.

    I could possibly pick up a second hand machine, but I havent seen anything out there that would be much better than what Ive got - even second hand - thatd be cheaper than a Presso.

    So the Presso owners here seem to love them - but I need to know whats not to love!

    Advice would be great.

    Long version: Until recently Ive been drinking Nespresso - I know that just about makes me persona non grata around here, but until 18 months ago I was a time-poor Sydney-sider. Then my wife got pregnant and I no longer wanted to work in a high-pressure partnership where I had little life outside the job.

    So I moved to the Sunshine Coast and re-started my business from scratch.

    Now Im time-rich (kinda, sorta, if I choose. And I do.) but were doing the frugal thing. And while I actually enjoy the Nespresso caps, at 70c a shot it gets pretty pricey when my wife and I drink two or three shots a day.

    I lived in Melbourne for eight years, so I love good coffee. I found it challenging to get consistently good coffee in my area of Sydney and its just about impossible here - at least, not one affordable as a daily drinker.

    So Im getting into the Zen of tamping and Im getting results that Im starting to really enjoy. I think Ill continue to enjoy the time and methodology of real coffee preparation.

    But Ill have to give the Sunbeam back soon and Im after something that I can play with that produces great coffee and gives me the opportunity to fine-tune my technique. It doesnt hurt that the Presso looks pretty great either!

    As mentioned in the short version, Im keen on the price and potential for making great coffee. The Presso owners seem to love em, but Id like to know what the flip side of the coin is.

  • #2
    Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

    Hi Kelsey and welcome to coffeesnobs.

    Presso is great. Buy one direct and save a heap using the coffeesnobs discount code - see the Presso link on the left. Buy a naked PF too, then check out Stoveboys thread called "Living with Presso".




    • #3
      Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

      Thanks for the welcome, Sniff.

      Stoveboys thread is one of the reasons I wound up here in the first place. Im a research-y kind of guy and I also love my gadgets. And good design. And coffee. You can see why the Pressos topping the list.


      • #4
        Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

        You will also need a grinder of some sort to go with the Presso. I know Presso Australia have started selling one of the Japanese Ceramic ones which would do the job nicely and keep the budget down.


        • #5
          Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

          Ive been looking at grinders also, seeing if theres anything on eBay floating around.

          I had a look at a YouTube vid from when the Kycoera was first brought to these shores... Seemed like a lengthy process.... Not sure Im quite that zen!


          • #6
            Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

            Dont worry about the time factor to much it will take you less time to grind the beans than the kettle will take to boil. Also virtually zero bean wastage compared to most electric grinders needing to be purged of stale grinds.

            Not sure how much you know about grinders but just be careful on evilbay, not all cheaper grinders sold as suitable for espresso are up to the job.


            • #7
              Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

              Thanks beanflying, Ive been doing some research on every model Ive found - dont want to be caught out by an unsuitable grinder. Theres a Cusinart on there at the moment that looked good, but the reviews Ive seen indicate itd be unsuitable for an espresso grind.

              Might try to pick myself up a Kycoera, although the Porlex looks good, not sure if its a good idea that you cant see into the grinding chamber (or whatever its called).

              Anything else thats cheaper than those two that you could recommend?


              • #8
                Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

                The Hario is the other one out of that style that will do the job. This type will give a better grind than most of the cheaper electrics too.

                With an electric Sunbeam 450 or 480, Breville Smart (NOT the BCG450 - rubbish) are about the cheaper end of adequate electrics. Delonghi, Cuisenart etc for Espresso just wont cut it.

                Dont stress on spending more on the grinder for starters it will reward you over the years of use


                • #9
                  Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

                  I picked up a porlex and aeropress combo recently for travelling. The porlex is stainless steel and therefore difficult to break. Aeropress is made of almost indestructable plastic (polycarbonate?). The porlex does a perfectly adequate job of grinding for espresso, but changing grind for different brewing methods would be a real pain. Also it takes ages to grind by hand (takes me 45 secs to a minute to grind 17g).

                  Id not completely discount the cheap breville bcg450 if you are willing to modify it to grind fine enough for espresso. That was my first grinder and only cost about $7 net after factoring in resale. They are available in breville clearance stores. That being said, go for the best grinder you can afford and look out for ones being sold by snobs with upgraditis as there can be some bargains.


                  • #10
                    Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

                    I love my presso, I use it more often then my VBM Jr.. I even got Greg Pullman to make my PF "naked"  ....

                    I personnally think you need a half decent grinder.. If your using it at home as your main coffee machine, id get at a minimum the breville smart grinder, but would try to get a Compak k3, or mini mazzer.

                    The ability and ease at which you can fine tune the grind with these grinders makes a "BIG" difference in what youll get from the Presso..

                    Also youll need to get a better tamp than what come with the Presso... It does the job, just


                    • #11
                      Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

                      Hmmm... Ill be lucky if I can get clearance for the Presso, let alone a $300 grinder!

                      Ill be starting out simple, I think - Presso first, then upgrade the bits as soon as I can slip them in.

                      Fortunately, itll be just one grind in our household - my wife likes her latte made on a straight espresso shot. So a decent hand grinder should be sufficient.


                      • #12
                        Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

                        Originally posted by 455B434E585B40412F0 link=1312704371/1#1 date=1312706744
                        Presso is great.  Buy one direct and save a heap using the coffeesnobs discount code - see the Presso link on the left.
                        Doing a first post here, and hoping no-one minds me resurrecting this....

                        Im looking at picking up a Presso for work - I have access to a ZIP-style water heater etc, etc. Ive got two quick questions though:

                        1) How tricky is it to get the Presso to temperature? Ive seen a friend of mine using a Mypressi and watched them working with that - is comparatively more or less effort required?

                        2) Does anyone know if the discount code is intentionally dead, or whether its a shop upgrade thing? I tried it just now and it says that the discount code is invalid


                        • #13
                          Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

                          I can answer your second question: the original discount code is no longer valid. However coffeesnobs members can get a 15% discount using the code: coffeesnob15



                          • #14
                            Re: Presso ok for a beginner?

                            Aha, thanks for that timmyc - I decided to go with the presso for home use (pairing it with my EM0480) and grab an aeropress/porlex combo for work

                            Looking forward to seeing how it works out!