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Old 29-12-2005, 04:42 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
notbob
 
Posts: n/a
Default U own Espresso Machine?

On 2005-12-29, Bob Terwilliger wrote:

I've had both steam-driven and pump-driven espresso machines. I bought the
pump-driven one because the steam-driven one makes HORRIBLE espresso. It
forces superheated water through the grounds, which brings out all the
bitterness.


Right on the money, Bob. These "steam toys" (Krups, DeLonghi, etc)
are junk and a complete waste of money. Stay away.

My pump-driven machine (a Starbucks "Barista")....


This is about the bottom of the true espresso machine line and is that
$400 mark I mentioned. Anything less and the consumer is going to be
disappointed with the final results. I advise spending another $100
and getting a Rancilio Sylvia which has a better group head and
porta-filter.

The other expense is a true burr grinder which provides the proper
grind for espresso (there's nothing "easy" about espresso, folks!).
That whirly blade grinder you got for Christmas is useless for
espresso. Adequate grinders run about $130-200. As I said elsewhere,
there is a German hand grinder (Zassenhaus) that will do the job, but
they are in short supply, lately. Without a good burr grinder, you
will never get "good" espresso, regardless of what anyone else may
tell you.

Now, I will qualify what I've previous written by saying we are
talking about "good" espresso. Most folks don't even know what good
espresso is, it being that elusive and difficult to produce. Anywhere
but in Italy, I'd say the chances of buying a "good" espresso, even in
a cafe using the best commercial equipment, is no better than one in
twenty. I've never had a good espresso from Starbucks (never had a
good anything). If one is just looking for really strong coffee, one
might be better off trying a moka pot. These are very easy to use
....waaay cheaper!... and produce a very strong coffee that is often
called espresso (but is not). Some links below;

http://www.starbucks.com/retail/espressoMachines.asp
http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.brew....shtml#mokapot

nb