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Joseph Portera

Mike,you'll be pleased to know your brother's machine is worthless. It won't get hot enough to produce a dark or thick enough "crema", no matter what you do. Plus, maintenance can be a pain in the neck. They've sacrificed quality for convenience.

Try a Mazzer-Luigi grinder and an Elektra lever-action machine. Alternatively, Rancilio makes very functional (but not as pretty) machines.

Hell, I can get good crema from my $29 Krups machine from Target. Just ignore the manufacturer's instructions and tamp the grounds, but that'll do it. If you grind your own beans, make sure that you have a burr grinder that crushes the beans between two plates rather than cutting them.

Commercial espresso machines don't have all the doohicky stuff, they just get the heat, pressure, and water flow right. I'd be much more impressed to see one of those in a kitchen than an "I'm-a-dumb-yuppie-who-can't-do-anything-for-myself" machine.

It's nice that Williams Sonoma throws in 3 free bags of coffee ($24 value) with your $2000 espresso machine.

PG

Yeah, get a commercial espresso machine and look like a "dumb yuppie who CAN grind some beans."

tommy

the only functional and pretty machine i see around here is joseph portera himself.

Mandy

Threadjack here: Somebody from UT called your parent's house today. I was in the middle of a drunken orgy, but I'm sure I said only nice things about you.

turnarcunningham

My pre-law-school job had a commercial machine that did everything that the WM Sonoma one does, fully automated with one button, a second bean hamper for decaf, and without any of Joseph's concerns about the consumer one. Let's just say that the entire company had a caffeine addiction problem.

I'm glad I've moved on from my old career, but I still miss that machine.

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Janette, thanks for commenting- how awesome that your son had the chance to visit and help out in the orphanages, what a heart/mind-expanding adventure.

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no casualty? perfect! no poblem at all, that's a part of the thrill that vacationers seeks.

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