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nimarka1's avatar

What's a good expresso machine/coffee maker combo?

Asked by nimarka1 (939 points ) January 25th, 2010

I have been looking to buy a machine that does both expresso, and coffee, in one appliance but haven’t found one yet I liked yet. They sell a lot that are coffee makers or just expresso makers but there aren’t many that are both. The ones I have researched are made by Krups or Delonghi but some peoples reviews said they are great, others say they are horrible. I also don’t want to spend more than $300. I know some of these appliances run up to $4,000 but I don’t have that kind of money to spend. I just love coffee and would love to be able to make it at home in different ways.
Can anyone please recommend or not recommend the appliance I’m looking for?
Where can I buy one? I have looked into Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Frys Electronics, Macys…

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5 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I have an Espressione Cafe Retro, does both, but espresso better, costs about $400.

VohuManah's avatar

May I suggest an alternative? For half your budget you could make truly exceptional coffee, but you won’t be able to just push a button. You could buy a french press and a burrr grinder like the Capresso Infinity, get a moka pot and milk frother for espresso (not expresso), and the finished product will be leagues better than a combination machine. Sure, it will be harder (not difficult by any means) but you will be rewarded.
However, if you are convinced on an electric one, I don’t have much advice other than to not get a pump espresso machine with it. The alternative, a steam machine, doesn’t actually make espresso due to its lack of pressure, but ANY pump machine in your price range will not make a palatable beverage. I can tell you plenty of reasons why you would regret buying one if you would like, but I will leave it at that for now.
Also, the grinder you use is often more important than the machine itself. Buying a $300 machine and then using pre-ground coffee is like putting velour lined seats in a Ford Pinto. It’s nice, but you will still dislike the car.

ru2bz46's avatar

Fully automatic espresso machine for $350 from Saeco. I have the Starbucks Digital Italia ($1000, made by Saeco), and the quality is excellent. I don’t know anything about the model I posted the link for, but I have other Saeco products, which are all great. The description in the post implies it does coffee. The Italia does coffee by brewing espresso and adding water, essentially making an Americano, which is pretty much just black coffee. For your budget, it’s the best I’ve seen, other than a refurbished Italia, which you can occasionally find for $300. Good luck!

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I son’t know if they still make them, but I have had a Salton Express III for years now. It will do a normal drip brew (with a Melita style basket), and also has a steam system for espresso style brews, with a steaming nozzle for steamed milk. It has worked for me for about 8 years.

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