It's the Holidays and we all want to buy something for someone that they will really love and use for ages to come. One those things that you might be looking at is a shiny new espresso machine, perhaps the one you saw at Williams and Sonoma or any one of the machines here on Roaste. If you already have an espresso machine or read a lot about coffee you probably know a lot of the things I am about to say, but it would be good for those that are just trying to spread the holiday cheer.
Most of the machines here on Roaste are pretty safe bets in terms of being able to produce a good espresso. However, each one is going to have it's own quirks and will require a little bit of work to able to get a good shot of espresso time after time, but there are ways to limit that learning curve.
The biggest item that you need for an espresso machine is the grinder, and unless you are going to be using pods in that espresso machine you are getting you are probably going to have to buy one. This makes the espresso machine gift rather expensive because you need an espresso machine and grinder. When looking for a grinder you need a grinder with burrs and being able to adjust it in very small amounts, basically anything here on Roaste that is 250 and above will work with varying degrees of success. I can personally recommend the Baratza Preciso.
What you need to understand about the grinder is that it has grind consistent and fine.
If the above sounds like a little too much, I would suggest just looking at getting a good grinder and press for that person that is still using preground coffee before they make the jump to espresso. Something like Baratza Maestro Plus would be a good starting point and this press.
That being said if you are still going down the espresso machine road I have some suggested reading written by people that are far more knowledgable than myself please check out the FAQ on Home-Barista.com and scroll to the bottom for the most relevant information for those just beginning.
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