We should start a poll for an affordable espresso machine
I would start one but i know very little about which machines are good
thumb_upkatiee, errjes, and 4 others

May 14, 2019
Purportedly best coffee. Aero press. I haven't tried it. I don't know how much physical effort is involved. Under $50
May 13, 2019
I'm on the hunt too. I just melted my Alessi Sapper 9090 which I had since 1978. I needed a cup of coffee and woke up 2 hours later. It is perfect. The bottom is flat so although it's stainless it heats water fast. The spout is lower than the top so no spraying. The handle is designed so the top stays open - which it should - and rests on the handle. The handle is another metal so it doesn't melt and is stay-cool. However the starting price is $125 for a Moka pot. Watch out on Moka Pots. The gold standard is Bialetti, which is going out of business for some reason. Because it's aluminum it heats water fast. You need a little screen that looks like a thimble to put over the spout. I don't know what it's called in English. The handle shape tends for the Bakelite to get cooked if you're using a gas stove with too high a flame. The Venus is very popular but there have been lemons. It's stainless which people like because they can put in the dishwasher. Given the fact you don't even use soap to clean it, if you put it in the dishwasher all the oils that build up are washed away. DeLonghi makes an electric Moka pit for under $50. You can leave it on the stove and boil it dry:-). It's got auto shut off. I believe it's got a teducer so if you want a cup a disc cuts the the amount of coffee in half and you don't have to buy a lot of pots. So a three cup will make 1.5 cups. A six cup machine will make 3 cups. Dont overlook the 1. IMUSA, Bialetti ho ds less water than the others which is why it's so rich, IMUSA does and it's $5.50 on Amazon for a 3 cup and $10 for the adorable colored ones. Let's not be snobs. 2. Grosche, a German brand makes good looking ones but I've never used one. It seems to avoid a lot of flaws. Personally I loved my 9090. It is elegant and functional. Put it on your Wish List. while Alessi brought out their version of the Moka pot, it holds more water and personally Bialetti is too rich for me. The Venus seems standard in Italy now. They're all made in China. Given the fact the finest silks jades and Apple products come out of China they're known for beautiful work. Remember a factory there makes it to the company specs. I think a poll would be good. I also think the copies of the famous models above might be worth testing. Please, let's make available "coffee spoons" or spoons that fit espresso or demitasse cups. The cups are easy to find, mixing sweetener or cream after isn't.
Aug 15, 2018
Would love to see a Breville or equivalent quality. The coffee that comes from the more affordable machines does not compete with coffeee shop espresso
Oct 13, 2017
I need a coffee-making 'solution' for my apartment. No reason I can't make special coffees at home.. if a poll is made, I'd hit that.
Sep 11, 2017
What's your price limit for affordable? And what kind of machines are you thinking of? The problem with espresso and cappuccino makers is that they span such a wide range in prices and technologies.
Back in the 80s I had an old Bialetti stovetop pot I paid something like $20 for. It wouldn't steam milk, but it made a good cup of espresso. I've got a nicer one now, an Imusa (hey, stainless!) Still makes good coffee.
Plug-in machines come in a couple of varieties. In the 90s I picked up a Krupps steam-operated machine for about $100. It would also steam milk if you opened a valve at the end of the cycle. Bit of a pain to use, but it did a decent job. The tank finally corroded through and blew up, though. (Don't ask... Corrosion is not your friend on any kind of steam boiler.)
More recently I went through a series of DeLonghi pump operated machines, but they all died after about a year of service. The thermistors tended to go. I still have one I Frankensteined together out of parts from the others, but it's not my first choice. I don't think I'll ever get one from them again.
The best machine I've used so far is (no surprise) the most expensive. It's a Breville Barista Express I paid about $650 for. It's down to about $530 on Amazon now. Funny thing is, the espresso is only slightly better than what I can make with my Imusa stovetop pot, but it's a heckuvalot easier to use, clean, etc. And the Imusa doesn't steam milk.
I've never used a lever machine, but I've been told they can make an even better cup than my Breville. They start around $1000 and keep going.
At the other end of the convenience spectrum, fully automated machines with milk fridges and collection systems for the used coffee grounds also start around $1000 and go up from there.
This goes back to why I asked what you consider affordable. When I got it, I didn't consider the Breville to be affordable. I just didn't want another DeLonghi. But I've watched people here drop more than the cost of my Breville on a pair of headphones. In any case, now that I've used it I know that when it dies I'll save every penny so I can buy another one. I guess that means my views have changed.
Sep 9, 2017
are you looking for just espresso or steamed milk also? I'd be interested in something I can make lattes with.
Mar 28, 2017
Yeah I need some expresso and coffee grinders!