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How To Build A Prosumer Home Espresso Setup
Written by: Garrett Oden
Putting together a highly effective prosumer home espresso setup isn’t easy. Once you have a higher budget, there are hundreds of machines and grinders to choose from, and finding the right gear for you personally can be quite the long process.
I’d like to make this process a little easier for you by discussing a few things…
- Which prosumer espresso machines are really worth the higher price tags
- Which grinders are powerful enough to match your powerful machine
- And a few upper-level accessories you’ll want to consider
Let’s begin with the most important gear of all: the espresso machine.
Finding The Perfect Prosumer Home Espresso Machine
For a prosumer setup, you’re going to overlook a variety of low-level features and designs. We’re after power, efficiency, and consistency. A prosumer machine should look great, feel empowering, and produce amazing espresso.
What To Look For / What To Avoid
We’re absolutely avoiding any steam-powered espresso machines. Those don’t produce espresso—just extra-strong coffee. We’re also avoiding single-boiler and pump machines They’re great for beginners, but you’re looking for upper-level gear.
We’re going to focus solely on semi-automatic machines, because if you’re a prosumer, you want as much control as possible.
Recommendations For A Prosumer Home Espresso Machine
There are tons of espresso machines in the prosumer price range ($1,000+), but a lot of them are, frankly, just not worth the money. They either don’t have great internals or just don’t have the features to justify the price.
Let me show you some of the standout, beloved prosumer machines…
- Breville Dual Boiler ($1,300) — This home machine is outfitted with commercial-level features and is probably the best bang for your buck. With pre-infusing capabilities, a dual-boiler that offers consistent pressure for many shots in a row, and another heating element in the group head to ensure temperature stability, it’s really as powerful as you could want at home.
- Lucca Mini Vivaldi II ($1,800) — This Italian-made espresso machine is a smaller version of the incredibly popular Vivaldi II. Though designed for small-scale commercial operations (think coffee carts), it’s another great option for high-level espresso at home.
- Astoria Compact CKX 1 ($1,800) — This prosumer espresso machine is fairly simple and straightforward, but it features a classic designed and reliable internals that produce stellar espresso with ease. The thing that sets this machine apart is that it can be “plumbed in” to your water supply for seamless brewing.
You can’t go wrong with any one of these machines—they’re often recommended by pros. Let’s move onto the next important piece of gear you’ll need.
Pairing Your Machine With An Espresso Grinder
Not any old grinder will do the trick when it comes to espresso. You need incredible precision and consistency, otherwise your shots will be all over the place—which is terribly frustrating and not so tasty.
Here are the best espresso grinders you can buy on a budget…
- Breville Smart Grinder Pro ($200) — Also designed for making coffee with any brew method, this grinder features the consistency of the Dose Control Pro, but upgrades it with an LCD screen and dosing increments of 0.2s.
- Baratza Sette 270 ($380) — By spinning the outer burr (rather than the inner burr), this grinder’s easily the fastest grinder under $500, and that’s true for espresso settings all the way to french press. Many consider this the best entry-level grinder for espresso at the moment since it has a stepless grind adjuster (unlimited settings), but it’s hard to say whether it’s worth the extra $180 from the Smart Grinder Pro.
- Mazzer Mini ($1,000) — This espresso-dedicated grinder is essentially a shrunken version of the popular Mazzer commercial espresso grinders you’ll see in cafes around the world. It’s for super serious users, featuring stepless grind settings and dosing timers for single and double shots. Do you need this much power? Frankly, probably not.
Other Gear And Accessories You’ll Need
Your prosumer level espresso machine will almost certainly include the essential accessories you’ll need, but just in case, here’s a quick list.
- Espresso/cappuccino/latte cups
- Steaming pitcher
- Portafilter (+ blank screen for cleaning)
- Espresso machine cleaning tablets
- 1-2 microfiber cloths
And that’s all you need! With your espresso machine, grinder, and these accessories in place, you’re ready to start pulling shots.
Upgrading to a prosumer espresso machine can make a big difference when it comes to your espresso quality. Shots pull more consistently, the experience is smoother, and it just seems easier to thrive. But you want to know the real secret to amazing espresso?
Start with amazing coffee beans.
Join our Coffee Club and we’ll send you freshly roasted, specialty-grade coffee beans from some of the best farms in the world. These beans are roasted and shipped to you on the same day, which means you get to enjoy them at peak freshness and flavor.
We only choose beans that would work well as espresso and know that you’ll fall in love with espresso if you use our uber-flavorful and balanced beans.Check out the club!