I'm finally stepping up to very serious espresso machine (and likely selling my super-auto). I just purchased an Expobar Brewtus II machine. My understanding is that this is the creme de la creme of machines, unless you can shell out over $4000 for a La Marzocco GS/3, which is the ultimate home machine (and would actually kick the ass of many of the machines used in cafes and so on).
03 September 2007
For a grinder, I finally decided on a Macap MC4C83R Doserless. The big learning point was about going doserless, which is the way to go for a home machine, because you don't pull shots constantly, and thus extra grounds would get left in a doser, going stale quickly. I looked at various grinders and discussed a lot with cafe folks I trusted, friends who'd researched it, a few key blogs, CoffeeGeek, Chris Coffee (or specifically Chris, from Chris Coffee), etc. The doserless Rocky is the usual starting point, but various reasons led me away. First, the finish/appearance. Sure, that's not the most important point, but when you have a beautiful chrome machine, you don't want a black, plastic grinder sitting next to it. Second, it's burrs won't last as long, and aren't as good as those of a Macap or Mazzer. How about a Mazzer Mini? Well, they have a doser, and the doserless one, the Mini E, or Mini Electric costs $700 - so you are basically paying more than $200 MORE to go doserless (when in fact, you'd think you'd go less for not having a doser (although it does have extra electronics I guess). The Macaps rival the Mazzers in grind quality, so no hesitation there.
I also picked up a Bumper tamper, knock box, and tamper stand, and some cleaning supplies, etc. All this stuff should arrive this week, so I'm pretty excited.