Good Food Blog
Coffee machinesPosted at 10:48AM, 30 May 2008 by Graham Holliday - Blogger
Ever tried getting a stove top espresso maker off a hot gas cooker when the handle has just broken off? Well, let me tell you, it's not child's play. Especially not first thing in the morning with a caffeine-free brain at the helm. In the end, the oven gloves came to the rescue and this ten-year-old Bialetti Brikka has brewed its last. Therefore, I'm in the market for a new machine. But which one?
Something simple, not crazily expensive, involves ground coffee, doesn't mean capsules and is guaranteed to make a good brew for at least another ten years. I've dabbled with the capsule machines - specifically Senseo and Nespresso - and while they're undeniably convenient and easy to use, I've found that even the strongest coffee capsules result in a watery underperformer, not the supercharged slurp I'm after.
I'm in the market for a new machine. But which one?
Likewise with filter coffee, it's an adequate cuppa, but lacking in the depth of flavour and voltage power I need. While I'd love a La Marzocco, my budget couldn't cope, the kitchen would need an extension and I'd probably become an insomniac if I downed two or three of those per day.
I still have a few Vietnamese metal "drip-drip" coffee makers in the cupboard and if it's raw power, with a few granules thrown in, I know where to turn, but maybe it's time for something different. I don't want something this noisy and I'm not looking for design over function, but I don't really want to stick with your reliable, reasonably priced stove top powerhouse.
Is it time to step things up a gear with something like a La Pavoni Europiccola? At around the ÃÂ£300 mark, it's a serious, budget busting machine and possibly a little bit too technical for a full-on morning workout, but it does seem to guarantee good coffee even if it needs a good bit of tweaking. And I keep hearing the words of Greg Sherwin of Coffeeratings.com on David Lebovitz's excellent blog. "To do this right, it's going to be expensive - plan to spend at least $400 for a decent espresso machine."
Gulp. So, what's it to be? What's the best coffee machine out there at a price that's right and guaranteed to produce a cracking cup of Java every time?