I have recently been contemplating purchasing an espresso machine (and grinder to go with it). At first I visited ConsumerSearch to find reviews to determine what would be the best purchase. But that quickly turned into a long diversion of visiting various enthusiast sites, learning more than I ever knew about coffee. Finally my wife pre-empted my research by buying the cheapest equipment she could find at Macy’s, a Krups GVX2 and FND1. Her thinking was that I would try it for a while and either abandon the idea altogether, or commit to buying better equipment. It took just one week for the latter to occur. I’ve now placed an order for a Rancilio Silvia ($495) and a Mazzer Mini ($460). Yes, the Krups machines are not really very good. At around $50 each, they are basically the cheapest machines available. Which is good, because they are already being replaced. But they’ll go to a good home—my parent’s house. I’ll use them when we visit during the holidays.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying learning the art of pulling a shot. I’m by no means a barista, but it is good enough and saves me the money and travel time of going to Peet’s. The good news is I can buy Peet’s beans and cocoa syrup, so it’s as close as I can get to a Peet’s drink, without running all the way to Peet’s.