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Has anyone used one of the < $500 manual espresso machines like a ROK or Flair? I've read the specs (up to 10 bars for ROK, around 15 Flair) and seen some positive reviews but I'm curious about the quality of the cup.

And, ultimately, wondering if it's worth it or THAT much better than the strong coffee I get from my Aeropress.

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If your budget is $500 and below then you can afford a real semi-professional espresso machine, including Gaggia or Lelit, for example.

  • How do you see the prices of the Lelit machines or where do you buy them? – Jase Sep 27 '18 at 19:53
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I have recently bought a Flair Signature Pro. I have been drinking coffee for a long time, but at home I always prepared it using a moka pot, so I can't tell how it compares to other espresso makers, or to an aeropress, in terms of home making.

Nevertheless, I am really happy with it. After some initial tuning of my coffee grinder, I have been able to produce a nice cup of espresso, with its characteristic crema, texture and strength. I consider it to produce a nice cup, comparable to those I can drink in many random cafes (I live in New York City, and lived before for twenty something years in Spain, where espresso is a common drink).

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