Coffee machines

by Old Cranky   January 20, 2014  

To me, the highlight of a long cycle ride is a stop for a great cup of coffee (and possibly some cake). For the rare occasion I am not out on my bike, I have a cheap filter coffee machine at home and am tempted to buy a Nespresso machine. I don't know anything about them, what to look for or even if they are any good.

How can I get something which makes a cup of coffee akin to what I get in my favourite cafes without spending the earth?

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Looks like we've stumbled across another of those issues that divides cyclists.

Thank heavens Rapha don't sell an espresso machine.

Oh wait, what's that?

http://www.rapha.cc/rocket-espresso-for-rapha?locale=UK

Of course, if you don't want to shell out €1,800 - and it's worth noting that since it's sold out, 200 people did - you can buy a Senseo machine and get change from £30 then pick up compatible pods at Lidl for the equivalent of 9p each...

Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7928 posts]
20th January 2014 - 23:50

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700c wrote:
Using nespresso/ cafetierre/ Aeropress etc may give acceptable results, but probably won't make coffee 'akin to your favourite café'

Have to disagree... a Nespresso cappuccino isn't going to hold a candle to one you can get in Italy... but switching from froth to hot milk mode is the closest I've come in the UK to a grand crème like you'd get in France Party

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7928 posts]
20th January 2014 - 23:54

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You tarts put milk in coffee?

Jesus wept Wink

posted by VeloPeo [214 posts]
21st January 2014 - 0:21

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+1 farrell & fringe

I have a Nespresso machine, it's fine for consistently 'good' and convenient coffee. But for the real deal I use a traditional Bialetti Stovetop pot and freshly ground beans. It puts the passion back into making a cup. And we're all about passion in everything we do, right? (and the whole house smells fabulous for a long time after too).

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posted by Low Speed Wobble [137 posts]
21st January 2014 - 7:53

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This is all very well but should you drink your espresso, Nespresso, moka, press, instant or drip after riding on:

1. handbuilts; or
2. Kysriums?

posted by deblemund [62 posts]
21st January 2014 - 11:22

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Dualit Espressivo. £50 on ebay, great little machines. We make about 5-10 cups a day for last 4 years no problems.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [437 posts]
21st January 2014 - 11:25

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Domestic coffee machines rarely produce enough pressure to make a truly good espresso, the Aeropress is probably the best you can do at home, or a classic plunger

posted by lolol [115 posts]
21st January 2014 - 11:56

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Ghedebrav wrote:
I go to Carluccio's in Piccadilly Station, Manchester (I work next door). Decent double espresso for a mere quid.

Really? The gaff upstairs? I'll have to give it a crack next time I'm passing through the station.

Cheers for the tip.

posted by farrell [1308 posts]
21st January 2014 - 12:04

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stop frequenting poncey cafes and acclimatise yourself to drinking Mellow Birds, Spend the change on a fancy mug and no-one will be any the wiser.

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posted by joemmo [779 posts]
21st January 2014 - 13:49

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lolol wrote:
Domestic coffee machines rarely produce enough pressure to make a truly good espresso, the Aeropress is probably the best you can do at home, or a classic plunger

Really? I understood that the ideal pressure to extract espresso was 15 bar.. and most of the machines are rated to this level (domestic or commercial..)

Having said that I've just googled the aeropress and it sounds like a good option - gets some very good reviews. Don't know how you can guarantee the pressure of a manual system though, but that's more to do me not understanding the technology. Plus I guess there's scope to get good at it!

Knowing cyclists and coffee, and the strong opinions lots of us hold on here, I'm sure this one will run and run..!

posted by 700c [556 posts]
21st January 2014 - 14:16

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posted by clumsytim [13 posts]
21st January 2014 - 14:30

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farrell wrote:
Ghedebrav wrote:
I go to Carluccio's in Piccadilly Station, Manchester (I work next door). Decent double espresso for a mere quid.

Really? The gaff upstairs? I'll have to give it a crack next time I'm passing through the station.

Cheers for the tip.

Yup, it's a bit out of the way so must be why they do it. They have the standard price board behind the bar but don't be fooled - all coffee varieties are a pound.

It's still a chain-level espresso but (having tried every outlet in the station, and there are a few) it's both the best and cheapest in the station.

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posted by Ghedebrav [1026 posts]
21st January 2014 - 20:40

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I never really got on with my aeropress and ended up binning it, I could never be arsed with grinding though so bought pre-ground stuff from Hasbean which probably didn't help - still I think anyone imagining they're coffee nirvana is setting themselves up for disappointment...

posted by fuzzywuzzy [59 posts]
22nd January 2014 - 9:57

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Aeropress:
-Cheap
-Easy to make and clean
-Reliable, good clean coffee
-Easy to use when travelling
-But americanos only.

I also like to use a moka, but I've found manual espresso machines too much work. Nespresso and other pod machines are really easy, reliable and make good milky coffee drinks, but they are expensive and I like the smell and process of making coffee myself.

Personally, I would invest in a good grinder, a kettle with a controllable thermostat (also good for tea drinkers), and an aeropress.

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [165 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 12:24

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Hahaha... coffee complete and utter great divider!!!

my persoanl choice above all of the nespresso etc type pod coffee machines is to go with a standard espresso machine such as the gaggia classic as mentioned in the amazon link, however a machine like this with a spring loaded 'group' wont give the same results as a 'proper' espresso machine.

My personal preference is using the 'easy serving espresso' pods these are being used increasing more in italy where although you can buy nespresso they don't have a good reputation, sort of like eating a microwave pasta meal and can get them in the uk - if I am short on time or just need to get my espresso done in 12 seconds and be gone, and when I want to fanny around on a sunday morning with my grinds etc using some fresh beans and having a standard machine gives you the oppurtunity to play with your coffee a bit more, make a 'proper' ristretto/espresso, machiatto or capuccino - which you odn't get with a 'pod' machine

waitrose sell the coffee pods http://www.waitrose.com/shop/DisplayProductFlyout?productId=20896
but illy and other brands do them - it works out similar price or less as bespoke pod prices, and just as convenient, but i also use caffe barbone and get a big box sent

as for coffee machine choice - a small delonghi machine will be pretty good such as the delonghi ec 330 is pretty good and can be picked up at around £70 although only has a small 'group' but for me probably the best priced machine out there is the philips saeco poemia - they had them on sale in tecos for just over £70 though more expensive on line - this is exactly the same machine as the gaggia classic though in a different case - think audi a3 vs golf.

posted by doc_davo [17 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 15:17

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Oho, coffee on road.cc.

Having already outed myself as a coffee geek in my earlier comment - I have a Bezzera BZ35 at home (single group commercial espresso machine), plus a Bezzera shop grinder, and Iberital MC2 doserless.

But like many others - my advice would be, DON'T do espresso at home, it's too much faff, unless you are really obsessed Wink

Leave espresso to the coffee shop, brew exquisite aeropress coffee at home, what could be simpler?

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posted by PJ McNally [581 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 15:45

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Thank you for the advice everyone. I didn't realise there were so many alternatives. I need to follow up on the tips and investigate/sample Nerd

posted by Old Cranky [276 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:30

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I love my coffee as much as any of you, and have no faith in my ability to make it myself. So it's the cafés for me (those too preferably over on the continent).

Came across this short post on how to drink coffee like an Italian, and thought of you bunch http://goo.gl/VNjOEX Smile

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posted by middlering [37 posts]
24th January 2014 - 16:10

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AEG Lavazza MIO with wand, great piece of kit.
I have done the full barista bit, problem is mess, and having to use your beans up pretty sharpish as the oils soon degrade which then gives you a crap cup of joe.
I love an espresso sitting in the sun blah blah, but for home, pods are a better choice, being sealed they retain the oils, so every time you make the drink you get a lovely crema and it's all about the crema.

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posted by Cyclist [135 posts]
25th January 2014 - 10:39

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Cyclist wrote:
AEG Lavazza MIO with wand, great piece of kit.
I have done the full barista bit, problem is mess, and having to use your beans up pretty sharpish as the oils soon degrade which then gives you a crap cup of joe.
I love an espresso sitting in the sun blah blah, but for home, pods are a better choice, being sealed they retain the oils, so every time you make the drink you get a lovely crema and it's all about the crema.

Yes I agree that is a draw back, the beans I have seem to degrade noticeably within a week, even kept in sealed container within the fridge.. Currently looking at a delonghi bean vaccume container, which hopefully will keep them as good as when the can is first opened..

I like the red illy beans, myself..

posted by 700c [556 posts]
25th January 2014 - 20:04

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Stove top pot and spend the rest on bikes and decent coffee.

KalaBlinds 'cos we all need our beauty sleep.

posted by don simon [125 posts]
25th January 2014 - 21:33

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700c wrote:

the beans I have seem to degrade noticeably within a week, even kept in sealed container within the fridge..

Please don't store coffee in the fridge!

You know when you come in from a ride in the cold, and you get condensation on every cold surface? Well, that's what happens every time you take chilled beans out of the fridge.

Store them at room temperature in a sealed bag!

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posted by PJ McNally [581 posts]
26th January 2014 - 10:47

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Be civilised and drink tea Cool

posted by sodit [65 posts]
26th January 2014 - 11:24

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PJ McNally wrote:
700c wrote:

the beans I have seem to degrade noticeably within a week, even kept in sealed container within the fridge..

Please don't store coffee in the fridge!

You know when you come in from a ride in the cold, and you get condensation on every cold surface? Well, that's what happens every time you take chilled beans out of the fridge.

Store them at room temperature in a sealed bag!

Agree about sealing, but if the beans go straight from fridge to machine for grinding and making a shot (where they get wet), then how does the condensation, if any, affect the flavour?

posted by 700c [556 posts]
26th January 2014 - 14:59

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I used to have a Rancilio Silvia, Gaggia MM grinder etc, etc, etc.

About two years after we had children I realised I had only used it a dozen times.

There is something immensely satisfying about grinding fresh beans, tamping etc-but meanwhile, back in the (my) real world, I simply didn't have the time anymore.

It all went on Ebay and we got ourselves a Nespresso machine-after a lot of taste testing around friends houses.

For us it was an easy decision. Nespresso gives us a consistently good espresso, really quickly. I can have one every morning before the school run, one before a run, before a ride...

posted by cmyk [30 posts]
27th January 2014 - 11:15

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700c wrote:
if the beans go straight from fridge to machine for grinding and making a shot (where they get wet), then how does the condensation, if any, affect the flavour?

Agreed - but it's not the beans you use first i'm really worried about, it's those that get put back in the fridge to use later - so repeatedly they get warm air on them, which carries water vapour, and then in the fridge they get musty...

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posted by PJ McNally [581 posts]
27th January 2014 - 15:50

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I've only had occasion to use a Nespresso machine at a friends place, who didn't use it much. Seemed pretty versatile but needed an understanding of the different coffee pods and setting up the milk side of things. I just 'bodged' my way through but there were some pretty revolting brews on the way. Struck me as being a mid week machine when time's pressing.
I used to have a Gaggia (ground coffee only) at home but it packed up a few years ago. I bought the replacement, a Magimix machine, based on a Which magazine test report. Very pleased with it and I grind the beans using a small Gaggia grinder. I get my beans from a local shop who get them from a small local roaster. I reckon I mix a good brew but it's definitely a weekend activity as there isn't enough time on a work morning.

Shades

posted by Shades [178 posts]
28th January 2014 - 12:49

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This is hilarious

posted by jellysticks [79 posts]
28th January 2014 - 18:47

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Another Silvia user, loved coffee longer than cycling so I am allowed to have an opinion Rolling On The Floor For a good starter budget machine, a Gaggia classic is a nice recommendation, alternatively a Moka pot does a great job.
Best getting good beans, remember if it doesn't have a roast date leave it alone, grind as needed and enjoy coffee

posted by Spooks [61 posts]
28th January 2014 - 22:44

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Got one of these last August, it's pretty good:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/DeLonghi-ESAM6620-Automatic-Espresso-Cappuccino/...

Enjoy. Smile

posted by dreamlx10 [134 posts]
28th January 2014 - 22:45

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