Heat Exchangers – the true bargain in absurdly expensive espresso machines.
This is the start of a series of posts on why I love heat exchanger espresso machines. Giving credit, where credit is due, I am fairly certain that I would never have found out how great they are if not for the article “How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love HXs” by Dan Kehn on home-barista.com as well as many other great articles over there that help you figure out how to master them. http://www.home-barista.com/hx-love.html
That is indeed a great introduction, but hopefully this will be my own synthesis of my own impressions sorting through and expressing what my experience and my readings have led me to believe makes these machines so great.
By the way there are lots of great ones out there, but just a few that are available through roaste.com include the following http://www.roaste.com/product/ChrisCoffee/Anita-Espresso-Machinehttp://www.roaste.com/product/ChrisCoffee/Vetrano-Espresso-Machinehttp://www.roaste.com/product/Nuova-Simonelli/Nuova-Simonelli-Oscar-Pour...http://www.roaste.com/product/ChrisCoffee/Junior-Casa-DT1-Automatic-Espr...http://www.roaste.com/product/4home/Vibiemme-Domobar-Super-Electronic-Es...http://www.roaste.com/product/4home/Elektra-Micro-Casa-Semi-Automatica-S...
With the Anita being the cheapest on that list at an initially shocking price of roughly $1500.
There are a few new machines out there under $1000 that might be even better bargains, such as the Silvano and CC1 (both available here on Roaste), but they are both very new and I have not gotten to use them (yet) so I cannot say if they are a better deal or not.
Now one might argue that much cheaper machines are much better deals. For example to me, a Mazda 3 is a much better deal than any car selling for over $25,000. (I don’t have one, but they go for half that price and will get you where you want to go as well as a $200,000 car, in the same amount of time, and perhaps even in more comfort than many of those cars). Then again I am just not a car guy - as if you couldn't tell.
An espresso machine is different though. Yes you can get one for $200, but can it get you where you want to go? For me the answer is no.