I want to know the cheapest machines to make decent espresso for my situation.
- I need steam for milk drinks
- I need the proper brewing pressure
- I need to use fresh ground coffee, no pods nonsense.
- No super-automatics that deal with the milk, I like that myself.
- I want a good temperature control, but I also don't really drink straight espresso, so 212F made espresso will not be that different to me than 200F made espresso.
- Guages would be great, especially in lever machines.
- Semi-automatic (by which I mean make a puck in the portafilter, turn water on/off, turn steam on/off) would be great.
- I don't care how fussy or slow it is. I can and will spend time to learn the machine and will wait for it to be ready.
- I am not super into tasting espresso like one does wine or whiskey, I really just want to be able to make a decent latte without hoofing it to a cafe.
- I live alone, I don't need to make more than a double shot at a time.