Brent C l a y t o n wrote:The Gaggia Baby is a great starter machine, I bought Yaacov's from him as my first dive into this thing of ours, between the two of us it probably ran about 10 years and I think it's still in my parents' basement gathering dust. However, you'd have to drop another $400 on a grinder to go with it.
That was what we got about 6-7 years ago (actually it's the Baby Class D IIRC, with water filter in the reservoir). We got that one because our water supply here is basically a limescale transportation mechanism, and we figured double filtering would help. About 2 years ago the machine stopped working, so we sent it off for an overhaul. They did a good job, including fitting a new tank - because the original was
a) carrying more limescale than they'd EVER seen before, and
b) when the limescale was remove there were a number of holes that had been sealed by the limescale
Their advice - don'tput any more Norfolk water in the machine, always use bottled water.
We're now at a point where we need to get a new machine, so I'll have a good look at the Breville. It's also time to go for a better grinder - our Krups Burr grinder is the most basic model.
Suggestions welcomed for both machine and grinder, with the constraints that the grinder should ideally
be 15 inches or less in height, so we can store it away easily after use, and the machine should have a modest footprint (say max 12 inches across) as there is a constant battle in our household over functionality vs. minimalism - or more fundamentally a difference of opinion over whether a kitchen is there to look neat & tidy or to actually be used
[EDIT] In terms of price, not looking to go silly, and practicality of cleaning / servicing would be a positive feature. IIRC the Gaggia was around $400 equivalent, so happy to stretch to $1000-1200 for machine & grinder