Espresso coffee machines - wisdom re buying one. Who has experience with these and what should I look for?!

Question: Espresso coffee machines - wisdom re buying one!. Who has experience with these and what should I look for!?
I'm just about to buy a small home espresso coffee machine and need some advice from people who have had a lot of experience with them!. I have had a Breville (cheapest of them I think, about 4 years old) and am looking at another Breville and a Krups, both reduced to $199 from $349!. Both have a water section and do 1-2 cups!. I guess its just a matter of preference but I would like some hints from anyone who knows anything!. A friend who loves her coffee and seems to know a bit said not to get one that grinds the beans because of the coffee residue left which becomes stale and spoils the flavour!. What else should I look out for!? Thanks, Australia!.Www@FoodAQ@Com

read the reviews at http://www!.coffeegeek!.com

a vast array of machines feature - a fantastic resource

broken into consumer reviews & coffeegeek reviewsWww@FoodAQ@Com

I use to use one of those stove-top aluminum hourglass ones and I think they are great!. The fancy ones are more trouble to clean and do not develop the same amount of PSI as the hourglass type!. They also cost $20 instead of $200!.Www@FoodAQ@Com

I actually asked this 3 months ago and one lady gave me such a great answer, I'm just going to cut and paste it here for you!. I actually printed this out and took it shopping with me! :)
Here's her reply-

I used to work in a cookshop that sold lots of different espresso machines and I think as an ex sales assistant I have information that you might find essential!. There are lots of things to consider:

First, do you want a manual/traditional machine (better quality usually) or an automatic machine (e!.g!. put a pod in the machine and press a button, usually not the best quality in coffee but really convenient)

Second, are you seriously into coffee or you just like a nice coffee drink!?!? If you are into coffee a lot you will find that the manual machines are better because you get the coffee exactly how you like it but you have to make it yourself!. You need an espresso machine to make capuccinos because espresso is the base for all coffees; cappuccino is 1/3 espresso shot (usually about 50ml) 1/3 hot milk and 1/3 froth!. Manual machines should come with a milk steamer where you heat the milk and froth it!. If you want a late for example is 1/3 espresso shot 2/3 hot milk!. With an espresso machine you can do all the coffee drinks you want, you will have to learn how to do it, it isn't complicated once you get the practice and it might look tricky at the begining but it's a pleasure to do it propperly!. You use your own favourite coffee and I would advise getting a shot glass as well!.

In the other hand if you want an automatic machine you have plenty in the market like Tassimo, Kenko, Nescafe, etc!. that make the coffee from a pod or capsule!. They are good machines but the quality of the coffee is not the best, which wouldn't matter that much if you are not a coffee nut, if you are though and still want to use an automatic machine I would recommend Nespresso, the quality of the coffee is superb and the machines are really good, my favourite and easiest model to use is the Latissima, very practical but you have to but their coffee pods and nothing else, so you are stuck to one brand!.

Make sure any machine you get has at least 9 bars of preassure with ensures a good quality of coffee, most decent brands will have at least 15 bars!. In the manuals I advise Gaggia, they are really reliable, DeLonghi is also very good!. Never buy a KitchenAid they are huge, too heavy, break all the time and are terribly expensive, we used to get lots of those returned or sent to be fixed all the time!.Www@FoodAQ@Com

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