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Espresso Machines: Are my requirements irreconcilable?

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Espresso Machines: Are my requirements irreconcilable?

Imby | Jun 3, 2009 05:20 PM

I would love to buy an espresso machine. Not sure where to land on the semi-auto--auto--super spectrum. Here are my requirements; are they really irreconcilable?

- I don't have a ton of space, and we want to be able to make coffee as well (same machine or both machines need to be small-ish)

- I don't want a plastic-on-the-inside Piece-of-You-Know-What

- Some kind of scheduled auto-on would be nice...at least for coffee

- The idea of some level of control of espresso-making would be nice

- Milk steaming / frothing definitely something we'll be doing

- Not interested in pods

I feel like the auto-on and coffee-and-espresso requirements point to a super-automatic, but are they so restrictive and pre-programmed (e.g. how much water, how much time) that if you don't like their programmed way, you're screwed?

If I get one of the less expensive super-automatics (i.e. <$1000), am I getting myself a low-quality, short-lived product?

Thanks in advance, coffee-hounds!

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