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# 38544 31-Jul-2009 12:25
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Hey guys, my significant other's birthday is coming up (6th-Aug) and I decided to gift her with an espresso machine. She loves coffee, and since she worked as a barista for a while (very succesful, as pointed by many of her daily customers), she knows how to work a coffee machine inside out.

Seeing as I'm getting a bonus this month, I thought: "Hey, might as well buy her a nice birthday present, so I can bargain for spending $400 on a PC case later on." Laughing

Unfortunately, I don't know jack about espresso machines (I drink hot chocolates), so I've been trying to find the best coffee machine for her on Noel Leeming-like websites. Ideally I'd like to spend around $300-400, but my budget can stretch to $500, if required.

Suggestions (and considerations) are welcome.




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  # 240932 31-Jul-2009 12:33
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Just a thought.

Given that you SO has had experience in the industry and has presumably used commerical grade machines, you may be expecting too much for a home machine to live up to her past experiances

Not trying to rain on your parade, but I am not sure that a $x00 home machine will produce a cup of the same quality of a $x000 commercial machine from a coffee house.

I am willing to be proved wrong, but possibly something to bear it in mind.

 

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  # 240934 31-Jul-2009 12:37
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We KNOW you're only getting it for her so she can make YOU nice coffee ;) hee hee




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  # 240939 31-Jul-2009 12:41
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any barista would  / or should tell you that the only espresso machine worth having at home without spending about $3000 would be a stovetop

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  # 240944 31-Jul-2009 12:48
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definitely think the more money you spend on Espresso machines the better... we bought a breville one for $200 (on sale) and it does the job but I can see the better units would do a better job easier, but of course that means more money... either breville or Sunbeam seem to be fine...

Another thing that you might want to consider is to get a coffee grinder to grind the coffee beans as you need them. Coffee grinders cost between $80 and $250+ if you dont have one already...

Proper commercial ones cost maybe $1500+ so one at home is not going to be quite the same as one in a cafe, but its pretty close. :)



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  # 240946 31-Jul-2009 12:49
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wellygary: Just a thought.

Given that you SO has had experience in the industry and has presumably used commerical grade machines, you may be expecting too much for a home machine to live up to her past experiances

Not trying to rain on your parade, but I am not sure that a $x00 home machine will produce a cup of the same quality of a $x000 commercial machine from a coffee house.

I am willing to be proved wrong, but possibly something to bear it in mind.

I am aware of that. But I know she will be very pleased with a 'starter kit' as well, just because it will be 'hers'.

BurningBeard: We KNOW you're only getting it for her so she can make YOU nice coffee ;) hee hee

I have to admit that I might be getting some nicer hot-chocolates in the morning as a side effect...

farcus: any barista would  / or should tell you that the only espresso machine worth having at home without spending about $3000 would be a stovetop

LOL.




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  # 240947 31-Jul-2009 12:50
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We got the coffee grinder already, so I guess it's just the espresso machine for now.




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  # 240948 31-Jul-2009 12:51
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As farcus said, a stovetop is the way to go.

Else, get one of these:
http://www.therocket.co.nz/

Have used one a few times.. its a proper cafe espresso machine, but smaller for home use. But save up 3 grand.

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  # 240955 31-Jul-2009 13:00
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A few people round here use Nespresso Machines.
But you have to buy Capsules.
More expensive to run but very convenient: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nespresso   
They sell them at most of the NZ retailers/
For about your price range
http://www.nespresso.com/precom/index_h_au_en.html




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  # 240958 31-Jul-2009 13:03
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Over the years we've had a number of Espresso machines. A few years back after our last one died (a Sunbeam cafe series) - we raced out on a caffeine starved impulse and managed to pick up a Saeco machine.

Its proven to be very good - and I'd suggest that an ex-professional should be able to pull a pretty good brew out of it with ease. Whats interesting to me is that it is the same machine as the ones they sell at *cough* Starbucks, which may not be saying much, but its been a great machine for us and at the right price range you are looking at.

Anyways - my main reason for reply and telling you this is that I happened to be in a Starbucks on the shore recently for a meeting (not my usual choice for coffee) - and noticed they had the machine there on special from $599 to $299. This was a few months ago - but I got the impression they were obviously looking to move out of the machine selling side of their business.

Only problem would be that they are branded with starbucks - but for a good machine at a good price - it'd be well worth a look!

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  # 240959 31-Jul-2009 13:04
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farcus: any barista would  / or should tell you that the only espresso machine worth having at home without spending about $3000 would be a stovetop

LOL.


Smile
Seriously - I wasn't joking. Those little pots make significantly better coffee than almsot all home espresso machines.
The problem is that prof machines push pressurised water through the coffe but the home machines push steam through which ruins the coffee.

have a look here for some help with selecting a machine if you want to go for something bigger than the stovetop.



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  # 240962 31-Jul-2009 13:14
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Nice FAQ, farcus. Having a read now.

As to the guys pointing to $3000 machines, for one or two coffees a day they're a bit overkill... :)

Had a look at the Nespresso machine, and although nice (and under the budget), I don't like the coffee exclusivity of it. I know the SO likes to buy some different brand of coffee (which I can't remember the name now).




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  # 240963 31-Jul-2009 13:16
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Check out the google ads on the top of this thread !!




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  # 240966 31-Jul-2009 13:20
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I disabled ads from Geekzone. :(




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  # 240979 31-Jul-2009 13:58
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He wasn't joking about the stove top. Done correctly they make an excellent cup of coffee. I have one and swear by it. I wouldnt bother with a home machine unless I got one of those flash italian jobs that looks like a steam train :) And as people have alluded to, these cost $x,000.


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  # 240993 31-Jul-2009 14:32
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psychrn: A few people round here use Nespresso Machines.
But you have to buy Capsules.
More expensive to run but very convenient: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nespresso   
They sell them at most of the NZ retailers/
For about your price range
http://www.nespresso.com/precom/index_h_au_en.html


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