New Espresso Machine

This post entirely describes a first-world problem. I’ve been into espresso for about two years now; I’m pretty happy with where I am in terms of palette and equipment with one exception: my machine.

The coffee grinder is more important than the espresso machine to make quality espresso, so when I had some money, I invested in a Mazzer Mini. It has a few flaws, which I was aware of when I purchased it, but it’s still one of my most prized possessions (MacBook Air not withstanding).

I bought a Breville 800ESXL refurbished from the manufacturer for about half price. At the time, it was all I needed because I had a pretty not-fantastic grinder. Since I bought it, I’ve purchased new portafilter baskets and descaled it on a regular basis. At the time, I wanted a Rancilio Silvia but $700 was way out my my price range. I had no way of knowing that I’d still be into coffee, and that’s a hefty initial investment in a hobby.

But now I’ve graduated. I’m moving to Toronto to start continue a career I’ve established for myself as a student. I have some savings from teaching courses in iPhone development and some indie contracting I’ve done on the side and I’m looking back at the Silvia. I wanted some advice on purchasing a machine from someone who really knew his stuff, so I went down to Jonnie Java’s.

I asked Jonnie about the Silvia, and he said that the Silvia was a good machine. But - how much was I willing to spend?

I’m not going into specifics, but there are some nice heat-exchange machines for only double what I was willing to pay for a Silvila. If my Computer Science degree has taught me anything, it’s that multiplication by a constant factor is negligible in the grand scheme of things.

We’ll see. At least living in Toronto, I’ll have the satisfaction of buying my machine in person. This means I’ll save on shipping, too, which is pretty significant when some of the machines I’m looking at are 40+ pounds.


Posted on May 29, 2011