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  # 240995 31-Jul-2009 14:35
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freitasm:
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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Out of curiosity, how much do you pay per capsule?




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  # 241000 31-Jul-2009 14:39
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btw there are some stylish stove tops out there if you're not thrilled by the classic design

eg:



 
 
 
 


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  # 241006 31-Jul-2009 14:46
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They range in price from .78c to 88c per cup.
However just checking on the nespresso site I see there is a hefty price rise from October 1 to 90c to $1.10 per capsule. That is some jump.!!!




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  # 241007 31-Jul-2009 14:48
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Then there is freight on top of that !!




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  # 241015 31-Jul-2009 15:22
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Personally have a Sunbeam Cafe Latte machine. Had to purchase a different portafilter filter as the ones that come with it are double wall and make a "false" crema however for the money it does a very good job. (it was a present for my wife) We did get a sunbeam grinder as well. The espresso machine came with a blade grinder  but they are hopeless. Got a Sunbeam Conical Burr Coffee Grinder which is better although you have to hold the portafilter right under the shoot if you dont want coffee grinds all over the place.

I would love to get nicer units however.

http://www.noelleeming.co.nz/kitchen-laundry-appliances/small-appliances/coffee-machines/sunbeam-em5600-cafe-latte-coffee-machine/prod63843.html

http://www.noelleeming.co.nz/kitchen-laundry-appliances/small-appliances/coffee-machines/sunbeam-em0480-cafe-series-conical-burr-coffee-grinder/prod49615.html







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  # 241024 31-Jul-2009 15:38
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Cheers Nety!

I'm in doubt as to whether I'm gonna have to spoil the surprise and go buy one with her or if I'm gonna buy by myself and risk getting the wrong one.




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  # 241034 31-Jul-2009 16:31
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Check out the Saeco Via Venezia from these guys

http://www.coffeesystems.co.nz/Machines/Domestic/Saeco-Via-Venezia.aspx

I've had one for a few years and foound it very good.

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  # 241077 31-Jul-2009 20:29
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i have the saeco via venezia too - came recommended from a barista. comment i would make is that the grinder makes a huge difference to the quality of the espresso - some grinders dont grind fine enough in my experience.

couple more links:
http://www.espressoworkz.co.nz/Viavenezia.html
http://www.thedeal.co.nz/product.aspx?pid=42524  << CHEAP at thedeal website at $479!




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  # 241078 31-Jul-2009 20:30
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some feedback with avg rating of 4/5 here for teh via venezia: http://www.productreview.com.au/showitem.php?item_id=4038






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  # 241168 1-Aug-2009 11:07
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Gonna stop by Starbucks to check them out (since a poster here mentioned they're just branded differently).




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  # 241179 1-Aug-2009 11:53
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Hi there,

If you go to the consumer website you will find that in the LOW price bracket SUNBEAM espresso machines have been leading the pack for a while. I have got one at home and it makes amazingly good coffee. You will have to experiment with the actual coffee powder /beans until you find what you like, but the machine is great. I paid $349 for it. We have friends with a JURA machine ($2500 plus) that makes good coffee too, but not as good as ours.

Hope that helps.



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  # 241212 1-Aug-2009 15:09
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Thanks for all the input. Took the SO window-shopping this Saturday and found out that she'd much rather have a sewing machine than a coffee machine. LOL!

Good input though. Will look into it again for Christmas.




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  # 243590 6-Aug-2009 17:45
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I recommend Gaggia

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  # 243608 6-Aug-2009 18:19
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As a serious coffee drinker I would recommend checking coffeegeek.com for starters.

If you aren't going to spend serious money on an espresso machine then I agree with the earlier poster that a stovetop machine is probably the next best thing.

Took a look at the Rocket, not bad, but straight up inferior to my Expobar Brewtus 2 (which is cheaper). The Brewtus has the same features with a bigger drip tray, and most importantly, a second boiler for the steaming wand. Honestly, do not buy a machine for ~$3000 that is single boiler. Having a steam wand that is immediately and always steam ready is very important in the convenience stakes, but also makes for better coffee since you don't wait 2-3 minutes for the boiler to heat to steam temperature and steam the milk (by which time your shot is cold and the crema is dissapating).

I looked everywhere when I got my machine earlier this year, and I couldn't find anything else that packed the same features - and that includes more expensive machines like the Rocket - so to anyone thinking about taking the plunge I'd suggest its hard to be better short of a fullblown commercial machine.

I've owned cheaper machines in the past and had coffees from a lot of cheaper machines (like the Sunbeam that someone mentioned earlier), and trust me, while they can make an okay cuppa, they get nowhere remotely near the quality a machine like the Brewtus can produce.

I have a Mini Mazzer grinder, which is the gold standard for home grinders, and very nearly as important as the machine. There are some good alternatives that are cheaper though like the Rancilio model, whose name escapes me at the moment.

For tamps the gold standard is the Espro coffee tamp, which I find great to use. Making good coffee is largely about removing variables, and the Espro has a spring mechanism that gives 30 pounds of tamp pressure every time.

With a quality tamp, a good grinder, and a machine with tight thermal and pressure regulation like the Brewtus the only things in the way of producing amazing coffee is having a source for freshly roasted beans, and learning how to froth milk properly to create a perfect dense microfoam... Coffelab has my beans sorted, they roast Mondays and Thursday and courier me my bags of freshly roasted beans the same day (love setting it up to go via automatic payment!). Got the milk thing pretty well down pat now, but still working on coffee art with the foam...




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