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In Food

By Ryan Feeley

Espresso at home

On 27, Mar 2007 | 3 Comments | In Food | By Ryan Feeley

Most home espresso machine owners tell me never to get a home machine for two reasons:

  • The less than $1,000 machines can’t compare to the well-maintained $10,000 café machines you’re used to drinking coffee from.
  • You don’t want access to that much espresso where you live and like to sleep. You’ll wreck your nerves and stop sleeping.

I have heard excellent things about big-food mega-power Nestle’s Nespresso machine. They are very low-maintenance, well-priced and produce very good coffee. The only problem is that you can only get your fix in special coffee-filled capsules from them. You are tied to Nestle for your daily coffee.

Coffee is one of those politically sensitive substances like sugar, cocoa or even bananas. Nestle has published a paper (PDF) on Fair Trade, but they are not participating on moral grounds — they don’t believe it is a solution to poverty.

No matter what you believe, you are making a commitment by supporting razor and blades business model product.

Now back to the useful stuff… If you are interested in the home game edition, you will appreciate that Consumer Reports has published some ratings on home espresso machines, and contrary to regular protocol have provided access to the ratings section for free.

Consumer Reports Buyer’s Guide: Espresso makers


  1. suzie-Q

    hey ryan,

    not sure if you know but kraft has their own, albeit cheaper, version of an espresso machine called tassimo. they have it here at my work and it’s awesome. the little discs are cheap (i think it’s something like $4-6 for 16 shots of espresso). now im not a full-fledged coffee drinker, but it does make awesome lattes.

  2. I’ve got the Saeco Aroma at home, and I love it. It doesn’t put out quite the 15 bars you need for real espresso, but they’ve got this pressure valve thing at the bottom of the portafilter that ensures you’re not getting that watery junk a lot of machines put out. You get a pretty good crema, although if you extract for too long you’ll get a fluffy crema-foam on top. Yeah, its not quite the same thing, but at the rate at which coffee is consumed in our house, its a must have!

  3. Mark R

    Personnaly, I think the Tassimo machine feels is a little flimsy, plasic all over tends to break easily (kinda like the Keurig machine). My buddy has a Tassimo and if someone has a tea or chocolate cup before you, you get the previous taste in your cup. Kinda gross if you don’t like tea. Plus I can imagine that machine would gunk up pretty quick after a few latte. Living in a remote part of Canada, online orders have saved me from driving umpteen hours south for stuff, so I could care less if the product/capsules are held by the company (better than seeling-out to Wal-Mart). I’ve also heard good things about the Nespresso machine and with George Clooney as the spokes person…it’s gotta be good!

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