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espresso capuccino

We really enjoyed the coffee in Italy and are now considering buying a home machine. Does any one have wisdom regarding the various models out there? We cant buy a very expensive model but are seeking a low price or moderate price machine.
Thanks

Posted by
3313 posts

Starbucks sells a very good, basic model. It has the high pressure you need and all the essentials. I think it's still called the "Barista" brand. They made a point of trying to be able to sell an efficiently priced model.

That said, espresso machines are today's version of fondue sets. A lot of people buy them and then don't use them. You might look on Craigslist in your town.

Posted by
21262 posts

Unfortunately a cheap or inexpensive machine will not do it. Check Consumer's Report. I think they evaluated machine a couple of years. To have a good expresso you need high pressure steam and the inexpensive machine will use lower pressure and hot water. It kind of works. But it you truely want the Italian experience, you will need to spend some money. I don't know what is current on the market. We have Krups that works well but several years old so I am sure it is no longer available. We keep it on the counter and use it nearly daily. The other key, of course, is high quality, fresh Italian roasted coffee. Good luck -- it is worth it.

Posted by
11 posts

I agree with Doug about the Starbucks Barista. I've had espresso from it, and it's not much different from the espresso I get from my more expensive machine. Try different coffee beans, though; I don't buy the Italian brands.

Posted by
8 posts

Try Illy, i think the website is www.illyusa.com. I have an Illy machine that is awesome and it uses both the pods or the loose ground coffee. I don't like Starbuck coffee, it's too bitter. There is a deal you sign up with Illy and you buy their machine and a years coffee and you get to choose your own color. It's perfect for 1-2 people. If you are going Italian, you should buy Italian. There are not many Starbucks in Italy.

Posted by
143 posts

Check out yard sales or even places like Goodwill. Many people invest in expensive gadgets, then tire of them or simply don't use them as much as they anticipated and get rid of them. I recently picked up a bialtetta moka pot (check out the illyusa.com site for an examlple - it retails for $19) for a quarter at a yard sale - it is low tech but gives me a great taste of Italy in the morning.

Posted by
11 posts

To clarify a couple of points, the Starbucks machine is made in Italy by Estro. I think that Illy machine looks cute, and if it works well it's a great price. However, Illy coffee is twice as expensive as other "gourmet" coffee (and I don't buy Starbucks either). My machine came with a can of it and I didn't switch to it. Personal preference.

I bought a machine through www.wholelattelove.com, which has lots of educational material on its site. I bought a Gaggia, my 3rd espresso machine, and I'm happy now.

Posted by
769 posts

Illy.com for me - Isecond that! they have a wide assortment and sometiems special deals with a lot of "extras". Expect 350-500$ for a med prices set up - but you wont be disapointed since its all in the engineering - if you want as close to the real thing. Or else - do what EVERY italian does - get the $12 Biletti stovetop espresso maker (the new one has milk in it to for quick one-port lattes!)

TOM

Posted by
11 posts

we love italy and the coffee as well, we have one by nespresso, the best !
my boyfriend is italian and a very picky coffee drinker
hope that helps!

ciao,
ronda