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  • Aldi Espresso Machine

    Mate of mine has just bought a $60-odd espresso machine (I use the term loosely), from Aldi, and cant understand why Im shaking my head slowly and sadly. Cuz I dont know a great deal about the mechanics/physics/internals etc. of an espresso machine, can someone outline for me (and him) the differences between something like what hes bought, and my new Giotto (other than the obvious fact that Giotto is much better looking! oh, and please insert plug for Talk Coffee here )?. He doesnt believe me that you get what you pay for with espresso machines.

    Damn, maybe i shouldve bought 40 el-cheapo machines instead of the Giotto...  :

  • #2
    Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

    Hi again mwatt,

    Have a gander at this site.....http://tinyurl.com/ns2xr, lots of great information to be found here and explained in plain english for the most part ,

    Mal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

      Line them up side by side, and give him a cuppa from each. If he still cant pick the difference, hes pocketed the savings...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

        Originally posted by mwatt link=1141277040/0#0 date=1141277039
        Damn, maybe i shouldve bought 40 el-cheapo machines instead of the Giotto...  :
        Are you serious! Why drive a Suzuki Mightboy when you can cruise around in an Aston Martin. Life is too short for $60 espresso machines. Just leaves more Giottos for the rest of us  ;D

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

          I think that you should just put the giotto on top of his machine and watch it slowly crush it. Or challenge your friend to a fight to the death using only the portafilters from the machines.

          I could give you endless technical reasons for why the giotto is superior, but at the end of the day, the only things that really matter are flavour, convenience, speed and durability ... so I guess Id break it down like this:

          Flavour - like Matt said, cuppa from each. But note that you will, doubtless, get better and better tasting stuff over the next few years from your machine, to the point where youll be thinking how could I drink that stuff that I was drinking last year?

          Convenience and speed - make a bunch of coffees in a row.

          Durability - if nothing else, you can point to the fact that your machine is all metal, and way heavier.

          ... but, yeah, if you cant make a coffee that tastes better than on the other machine, theres not much point explaining about thermosyphons, pressurestats, expansion valves, auto-fill sensors et al.

          Cheers,

          Luca

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

            Originally posted by Mal link=1141277040/0#1 date=1141284774
            Hi again mwatt,

            Have a gander at this site.....http://tinyurl.com/ns2xr, lots of great information to be found here and explained in plain english for the most part ,

            Mal.
            Wow.. talk about timing. Thanks for that link. Just today I was in a discussion / argument with some Nescafe drinkers at work today who were thinking of buying themselves a $159 Breville they saw in a catalouge in the paper.

            This article in the link explains perfectly the pros and cons (mostly cons) of the super cheap machines.

            But I may be fighting a losing battle cause I asked them what coffee I they were thinking of using in the machine and they said "Whatevers on special at Coles I suppose..." arrrrrggghhh !!!!

            But I cant be too harsh because I was once like them..... until my coffee ephiphany and rebirth as a CS 8-)

            I feel my job is to now educate them nicely and lead by example...

            Im just glad they didnt see the Aldi ad for the machine in the OP of this thread ;D

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

              I just bought one of those Aldi machines today ;D

              Tell you what, you guys really are snobs lol! :P

              I bought it for work, took some rocky grounded sumatran with me, same grind as for Silvia, the shot came out pretty good considering its price. For $59 its excellent value.

              If you can tamp (it even came with a tamper to my surprise, too bad it didnt fit) and grind correctly and use fresh coffee, you can get a decent shot. I even got crema (thanks to the crema enhancing cheating thingy bob in the filter basket).

              Another surprise was that the cup warming tray actually got hot!

              The milk frother wasnt too powerful, but thats expected from a tiny thermoblock machine, looks like Ill be making flat whites with it.

              If youve been looking for a machine for your desk at work (its tiny - the size of a kettle) or for a holiday, you really cant go wrong at this price.

              I cant believe my tamper costs more than this machine ;D

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

                Just for a laugh and with barely any expectation I bought a machine from Coles supermarkets for $70 a couple of years ago.

                It was sturdy, even had a boiler, and performed quite well. Of course, dont expect a big chunk of brass for the group head, or dumbell weight portafilter. At least, unlike the Silvia which replaced it, you could see the water level.

                For the price, excellent.

                Robusto

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                • #9
                  Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

                  Well, when one does see the light regarding good coffee (and I only seriously saw it about a year ago) I always think of the scene from The Blues Brothers where Jake and Elwood are in the church and a stream of light descends on Jake from the Heavens. The preacher points to Jake and yells "have you seen the light", and Jake yells back " Jesus H tap-dancing Chr*st I have seen the light"

                  Happened to me with Golf too, but thats for another forum.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

                    bloop, glad to know they work ok. I was a bit worried! Ill just have to keep him supplied with some good, freshly roasted, properly-ground coffee  

                    It is a step on to the path of coffee snobbery, which has to be a good thing. And he can make it at home, which is always a plus.

                    I didnt intend to be be a big snob and completely write off anyone with a cheap espresso machine :-[ , I just am curious as to the differences, and what warrants such a big range in prices.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

                      LOL.. Somebody should add this one to the "You know youre a CoffeeSnob when...." list.

                      You know youre a CoffeeSnob when your tamper cost you more than some espresso machines.

                      Go the pullman. ;D

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

                        Originally posted by bloop link=1141277040/0#6 date=1141306238
                        I just bought one of those Aldi machines today  ;D

                        I bought it for work, took some rocky grounded sumatran with me, same grind as for Silvia, the shot came out pretty good considering its price.  For $59 its excellent value.  

                        The milk frother wasnt too powerful, but thats expected from a tiny thermoblock machine, looks like Ill be making flat whites with it.

                        If youve been looking for a machine for your desk at work (its tiny - the size of a kettle) or for a holiday, you really cant go wrong at this price.
                        I bought this today(Its $49 now) I really like it.

                        But I could not froth milk with the rubber frothing head  that you insert on the metal steamer pipe. Ive tried 4 times now and can create huge bubbles and a ridiculous amount of noise but I cant froth the milk with it. Is there some sort of special technique with those large rubber frothing heads?

                        I tried using the aldi steam pipe without the rubber  frother head and it wasnt any good as I guess would be expected as youre supposed to use the rubber frother head over the end, but thats no good either.

                        I gave up on it  and removed the metal tip from my old machine and replaced the existing aldi one with it. The old machine has a small head the same size as the aldi one but with 3 holes instead of 1 and now the Aldi machine froths like a champion!.

                        Thing I wanted to point out though is its lack of frothing ability is not related to the lack of steam pressure, but more over the bad design of the frothing head. Well that is unless both you and I just dont know how to use it.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

                          I can actually froth with it now that Ive yanked the rubber thing off. Steam is a bit wet though and not too powerful, however its very easy to froth skim milk (but skim milk tastes like $#!t)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

                            Are you using full steam to produce that froth?

                            I dont have enough experience to know what the problem is. When using the original tip with full cream milk Id have to give up as the milk was too hot before Id produced much of anything. At full steam Id splatter milk and get some big bubbles. At a guess maybe the hole is too big which would agree with your view that pressure is too low and explains why the triple hole pin head tip is working so much better for me than the original large single hole tip.

                            The 2 heads probably allowing the same volume of air to pass but the triple head at 3 times the velocity?

                            Picture of both heads is attached.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Aldi Espresso Machine

                              Yes using full steam.

                              Smaller holes such as in your 3 hole tip would create more pressure so would probably make steaming easier. I think the problem with the machine is that the thermoblock cant heat the water enough (or as much as a boiler machine) to create dry steam.

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