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Need Espresso Maker Advice

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    Need Espresso Maker Advice

    My wife LOVES Aaron Franklin's espresso barbecue sauce. It used to be available at Amazon and/or at the Franklin Barbecue site. No longer. The only place I could find it was ebay for $24.99 a bottle, waaay out of my price range. That's the bad news.

    The good news is that I have Franklin's book in which he published the recipe for the stuff. Surprise, surprise, it contains fresh espresso. I wouldn't mind having an espresso maker in the kitchen and this may be my perfect in. But, the only thing I know about espresso makers is that most of them are too expensive for me to ever convince her we should get one. If my budget is $500 and down, can I get a decent espresso maker? What is it? Where is it? Should I just chuck the idea and suggest we occasionally buy a few shots of espresso from the neighborhood, non-Starbucks, coffee place and being that home to make sauce?

    #2
    https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/bl...tarted-guides/ might be a place to start reading. SCG has a LOT of gear, much of it high end and they're very into coffee, so things are pitched to other coffee geeks... but yeah, you can get a good espresso machine for under $500.

    Would I do that for just that sauce? No. I'd go get some from your closest coffee shop or even just use regular coffee brewed strong.

    But if you want a good machine, yeah, you can get one.
    Last edited by rickgregory; December 6, 2021, 12:12 PM.

    Comment


    • Draznnl
      Draznnl commented
      Editing a comment
      If we get one, it won't be just for the sauce, Rick. I enjoy a good cup of espresso, but have always lost the domestic battle on whether or not to get a machine.

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      Cool. Also, you might want to hit up https://www.reddit.com/r/espresso/ for machine advice.

    • Old Glory
      Old Glory commented
      Editing a comment
      I bought my Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto from them good people.

    #3
    I guess it depends how often you want to make it, but I am certain you can find cold premade expressos in the fridge or coffee section at the grocery store. It’s probably a lot cheaper than the one at the coffee shop.

    Comment


      #4
      You can almost certainly find an espresso machine to meet your needs for under $500. You might start by reviewing what Seattle Coffee Gear and Whole Latte Love have to offer and to say about various options. Another good source of info is Earl of Coffee.

      That said, if you are primarily interested in espresso for cooking/sauces, why not have a look at an AeroPress? For about $30, it produces a coffee concentrate that isn't technically espresso ... but is awfully, awfully close and VERY good.

      BTW, the secret to good espresso is either having a really good burr grinder (also expensive) or having access to really fresh and high-quality pre-ground ... like from a local coffee shop or even from a company like Illy.
      Last edited by MBMorgan; December 6, 2021, 12:21 PM.

      Comment


      • MrSkimo
        MrSkimo commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, I have an Expobar Brewtus 2 that I upgraded to a rotary pump. It wa sold by Whole Latte Love. Way above OP’s desired price range though. We have a dedicated cabinet for what my wife refers to as my “coffee altar”. We even plumbed in a filtered water supply with a quarter turn valve that we can use to fill any of our coffee making devices.

      • Razor
        Razor commented
        Editing a comment
        +1 on Whole Latte. Bought a lower end version of the Gaggia Classic from them. Plastic body but reportedly same guts, and the MDF grinder about 15 years ago. Not a fancy machine, but a beast for what it does.

      • Beefchop
        Beefchop commented
        Editing a comment
        Good suggestions. I got mine from SCG, but Whole Latte Love is another good place. Both have buyer's guides and advice you can trust.

      #5
      We have this one and have been very happy with it. Had it for about 8 months i think and havent had any problems. I think you could probably find something cheaper that is just as, or close to, as good but mentioned above, make sure it has a burr grinder if you dont have a separate one.

      https://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-BVC...kitchen&sr=1-2

      Comment


        #6
        When I make that recipe*, I go to Starbucks and ask for a shot of espresso to go. It's a lot less expensive than buying an espresso maker if you're not going to use it very much, and it makes really good sauce. That slightly burnt flavor that Starbucks has with all of its coffees actually works well for the sauce.

        I know you're "considering" that, but I get the feeling that MCS is whispering in your ear and you could go for a good cup of espresso now and again.

        Kathryn

        *it's a wonderful recipe, BTW.
        Last edited by fzxdoc; December 6, 2021, 01:05 PM.

        Comment


        • Draznnl
          Draznnl commented
          Editing a comment
          Oh sure, bring responsibility into the discussion.

        #7
        Originally posted by fzxdoc View Post
        When I make that recipe*, I go to Starbucks and ask for a shot of espresso to go. It's a lot less expensive than buying an espresso maker if you're not going to use it very much.
        I think you might be slipping, Kathryn. How does a well thought out, adult recommendation fan the MCS fire? I mean ... really!

        Comment


          #8
          In our house we had a dual pour espresso maker for a number of years. It worked great, made good coffee. It was however kind of messy from grind to clean-up. When it died we replaced it with a Nespresso brand espresso maker.

          https://www.nespresso.com/us/en/orig...offee-machines

          At first I thought it would kind of suck always having to buy their pods. But they keep coming out with new coffees all the time and I can’t remember tasting a bad one. No complaints and never looked back.

          Comment


          • latenight71
            latenight71 commented
            Editing a comment
            +1 on Nespresso. You have to drink their kool-ade and pony up for their specialty mail-order pods but you won't be sorry. less mess, no skills required and it makes espresso or coffee depending on your pods of choice. delicious cup everytime.

          • Old Glory
            Old Glory commented
            Editing a comment
            Have one of these at work. It makes decent espresso.

          #9
          I’ve had a Breville Bambino Plus for almost two years and have really liked the functionality of it. I had a Cuisinart for quite some time that died on me. After that, I took some time before I picked up the Breville because i was hesitant to spend the money. But….luckily a Bed Bath and Beyond near me was going out of business and I got it on sale. That said, I’d pay full price for it now that I’ve had it for the past two years.

          There are a few others out there that I liked as well, but this one is perfect for my use. I also have a Cuisinart burr coffee grinder that I use to grind beans every morning. You can get the units that have all of it in one unit, but I didn’t want that. I already had the grinder, so went this way.

          Have fun finding one! You will enjoy that fresh espresso!!
          Last edited by barelfly; December 6, 2021, 01:33 PM.

          Comment


            #10
            King Arthur makes a decent instant powder for cooking.

            This machine is on sale and is a staff pick at Seattle Coffee Gear:

            https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/br...presso-machine

            Or a Moka pot. Sometimes (somewhat misleadingly) called stovetop espresso makers, Moka pots are similar to espresso makers in that they rely on pressure and deliver rich, strong coffee minus the ultra-fine foam or crema.

            https://www.illy.com/en-us/eshop/cof...-gl-P#US206857


            Video review of machines under $500

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HIG...Tn_E3m&index=6


            The Silvia is a great entry level
            machine. One of my buddies loves his.
            Last edited by Old Glory; December 6, 2021, 05:18 PM.

            Comment


              #11
              If that's all you're using it for, I'd just go buy some espresso when necessary...another item for the grocery run.

              Comment


              • Draznnl
                Draznnl commented
                Editing a comment
                Not all I’m going to use it for. Just the excuse to finally get one.

              • Dan Deter
                Dan Deter commented
                Editing a comment
                Draznnl well that's a different kettle of fish, then. And I can't help with that...

              #12
              I recently got a Flair lever espresso maker. I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet but it was appealing to me not taking up counter space and the trade off in fussiness in getting it ready to make a shot versus the upkeep on a stand alone espresso machine.

              https://flairespresso.com

              Comment


              #13
              I know you said $500 ..... BUT here's something to ponder. How much coffee outside the house do you purchase regularly? That is, do you often go to a coffee shop or coffee stand and spend $5 (or more) on an espresso based coffee drink? If the answer is yes, then consider buying a high end coffee maker.

              I have a Jura and it has easily paid for itself. My wife and I both have Americano's (and she sometimes has mochas) every single morning. I used to buy mine at a coffee stand for $3-4. Which is $20+ per week. Now, I make it myself. The cost of my coffee maker plus good coffee was paid off in 2 years. I've had this one for 4 years, and another Jura before that for about 10 years.

              Just something to consider.

              Comment


              • Dr. Pepper
                Dr. Pepper commented
                Editing a comment
                This!!

              #14
              I use one of these almost daily. It’s probably the closest thing to true espresso without a fancy machine.

              https://www.amazon.com/Bialetti-Expr...8825526&sr=8-1

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                I second this. Was just fixing to post a link to one of those. You can find them in a lot of stores too. I was introduced to this type espresso maker in college, and it was great for brewing stuff for staying up all night when studying for exams...

              • Old Glory
                Old Glory commented
                Editing a comment
                I suggested that above as well.

              • barelfly
                barelfly commented
                Editing a comment
                I put one of these on my list of items for our family gift exchange. wanting to have a better cup of coffee at our lake house. I’m really not a fan of drip coffee….so we will shall see what plays out

              #15
              Draznnl I'll second the percolator style espresso maker (technically a "mocha pot") that SierraBBQGuy gave a link to above - you can find them in stores too, with prices ranging from $15 to $30 on average.

              If you don't own a coffee grinder and want espresso, get a can of Cafe Bustelo, which is a Cuban espresso ground coffee. I have an espresso machine, but don't drink it much anymore, and keep a can of that in the pantry for my 24 year old daughter, who busts out the Delonghi pump espresso maker every time she is here hanging out.

              Comment


              • SierraBBQGuy
                SierraBBQGuy commented
                Editing a comment
                I do recommend grinding your beans tho

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Agreed SierraBBQGuy. I normally do, but had quit buying dark roast for making espresso, and didn't want beans sitting around too long when only the daughter was using the machine...

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