Mandatory Toolbox Warning Decals



Every man who polishes his tool absolutely must mark off the territory around his box.

Buy these. Install these.

That is all.

New From: $12.99 In Stock

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OtterBox Defender Series iPhone 6 Plus Case



The OtterBox Defender is and always has been the gold standard for contractors.

It’s bulletproof. Well, not really “bullet” proof, but about as close as you’ll get for your fragile iPhone.

It INCLUDES the screen protection, so you don’t have to drop another $15 to get that separately.

It INCLUDES a belt holster so you keep it with you while working.

Its just big bulky and ugly. But so what, your phone is a tool, and your first goal is for your tools to work and to last. Hey, at least they added some color options, so stop whining about ugly, man up, and protect your phone.

Yeah sure its $30 to $40…. but if you want your $600 iPhone to at least survive two years until your next contract upgrade, it’s money well spent.

New From: $21.75 In Stock
Used from: $16.94 In Stock

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Armorbox Dual Layer Rugged Impact Resistant Case



Armorbox is making an attractive, impact resistant case that looks sexy (in that masculine diamond plate kinda way) and comes in various colors.

It’s a good alternative to an OtterBox however, they currently only support iPhone 6 and not iPhone 6 plus, they don’t have the belt holster, and it doesn’t include the screen protection.

If you don’t need the belt holster, if your iPhone 6 is not the plus, and if you don’t mind buying the gorilla glass screen protector separately, it does offer a great alternative to the same old OtterBox every one else be rockin’.

New From: $9.99 In Stock

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Spigen Ultra-Thin iPhone 6 Plus Case



If all you need is scratch protection and maybe a little extra grippiness so the phone doesn’t squirt out of your hand while you’re using it, then the Spigen Ultra Thin is the way to go.

It’s really just a second skin for the shell of the phone, preventing the scratching and denting of normal wear and tear. Sure it offer a little protection against drops… 0.4mm of little protection.

Be sure to get a gorilla glass screen protector and you’re all set. Just don’t drop your phone of any ladders.


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Spigen Logo Shield iPhone 6 Plus Case Slim SGP10889



The Spigen case is very attractive, and the bezel height works well with a gorilla glass screen protector.

IT departments like the Spigen cases and tend to recommend them. They combine an elegant look with moderate to decent protection so are suitable for executives down to “normal employees” like you and me. I don’t think the suits are going to smash their phone in the back of the limo, but me? I’ll probably scratch it up trying to carry too much junk from the truck in one trip.

Not much in terms of impact protection on the corners and ends. Good for pocket use, more aimed for falling off the couch reaching for a beer than for someone likely to be fumbling with the phone on a ladder.

They are thin enough to feel nice in your hand, and grippy enough to stop the phone from squirting out of your hand while trying to type. They come in all colors, and you can get the “logo cutout” too. God knows you paid extra for an Apple, you may as well show it off like your DeWALT saw or Milwaukee hammer drill.

Unless you need mega protection *cough*otterbox*cough* the spigen will serve you well.

(PS – Don’t forget to get a gorilla glass screen protector too)

List Price: $14.99 USD

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UMECORE Premium Shockproof Hybrid Clear Soft Case for iPhone



This one has a nice clear back, and the bezel comes in colors that look good longer than a soft edge case. however it offers less impact protection than a soft edged case.

Cost effective so can be replaced when it gets filthy.

If you work indoors, and set your phone someplace while working, this should serve you well. If you work on ladders, or keep your phone in your pocket while working, you probably need more protection.

If you want the ultimate protection, get the gold standard otterbox. Other wise, this will work well

Be sure to get the gorilla glass screen protector too.


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Griffin Reveal Clear Protective Case for iPhone 6 Plus




Low price. Decent protection. Back is hard and clear and sturdy. Bezel is thick enough to provide protection again drops.

Make sure you also get a gorilla class screen protector.

White bezel gets filthy… not a good color choice if you do real work, but the black one stays nicer. Clear back will get scratched up and filthy… but if you’re getting the clear back it’s because you want to see the phone, and are willing to replace the (cheap) case every so often. It not, just get the black otter box contractor case.

Also available in black and for iPhone 6.


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iCarez iPhone 6 Tempered Glass Anti-Scratch Screen Protector





Ok guys, you know the deal… your phone will get scratched.

Keys, screws, tools, and other miscellaneous crap that finds it’s way into your pockets while you work will guaranteed scratch the hell out of your phone.

In 2005 with your flip phone it just added character. But now with your flat smart phone it just adds aggravation! It’s the smart phone version of death by a thousand small cuts.

So just get one of these. Install it properly (clean, no I mean REALLY clean, the phone first). And replace it when it gets scratched up enough to drive you nuts.

Bada bing bada bang bada boom done!

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Coffee Grinder Buyers Guide

Coffee Grinders

For grinders, while you can easily spend nearly unbounded money on a grinder, I’m really focusing on the $50 to $150 range. These will provide excellent results, at a moderate price.

Blade Grinder

First up is a basic whirly blade grinder. These are widely derided as providing poor quality coffee. However, wiht a little practice you can get reasonable consistent and acceptable results for most types of coffee. Except espresso. If you want to make espresso, you really should get a conical burr grinder. To get the best results from your blade grinder, grind a nearly full cup as it will produce a more consistent result. And train your ear to “hear” the coarse or fine sound and trial and error will lead you to the grind you are looking for.

Two suggestions here, either the cheaper KRUPS F203 for around $16 or the nicer looking more stylish… ok there’s not much point in a nicer blade grinder. The F203 is well regarded, cheap, looks good, and works great. I wouldn’t bother spending more on nicer one since you can get into a functional burr grinder for not much more money. And yes, the burr grinder really is that much better. Honest. It’s not just coffee snobbery talking.

Economical Conical Burr Grinder

If you want a burr grinder, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Cuisinart DBM-8 is passable for around $45. I used one for several years (until, yes, it died). It worked. Fantastic for drip coffee. Passable for espresso (fine) and french press (coarse). I can easily recommend one, even though mine eventually died and the snobs look down their long hooked beaks at it. It works. And it’s $45. It definitely better than a blade grinder. And when it dies, which it probably will eventually, you can move up to a better grinder.

Best Value Conical Burr Grinder

The Baratza Encore is the easiest recommendation ever. Highy regarded. Only one caveat, and that’s the plastic burr grinder probably more when used with dark oily beans. Some have failed. Most work great. You’re rolling the dice, but overall the odds are on your side. But if you know you tend to use dark oily beans, you may want to get a mchine with steel grinder wheels.

Steel Burr Value Grinder

If you know you tend to prefer dark oily italian style espresso beans, then the Capresso Infinity grinder might be better, for you, than the Baratza Encore. It’s bullet proof. But it’s plastic and static prone. For me, those are reasonable trade-offs. For you, they might not be. But if you grind an oiler bean, it will be less static prone already.

“Just give me the Best” Grinder

All these reviews are giving me a headache. Just tell me what grinder to buy so I won’t have to think about it. Bing! Baratza Vario. Ceramic flat burrs are long lasting and give insane adjustability. Best quality, best flavor, best grind, best controls, best in every way. What’s the catch? $480! But if you have the coin, you won’t be sorry. Don’t feel like going through 2 or 3 lesser grinders? Just want to get the best and be done with it? Buy a Baratza Vario.

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KRUPS F203 Spice and Coffee Grinder




KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder with Stainless Steel Blades

…the whirly grinder gets the early coffee

Product Description

First up is a basic whirly blade grinder. These are widely derided as providing poor quality coffee. However, with a little practice you can get reasonable consistent and acceptable results for most types of coffee. Except espresso. If you want to make espresso, you really should get a conical burr grinder

Product Features

  • Electric grinder with 200-watt motor provides fast grinding
  • Large capacity (up to 12 cups of coffee)
  • Oval design and stainless steel blades
  • Versatile unit grinds spices, nuts, and grains

If you want a blade grinder, this is the one

To get the best results from your blade grinder, grind a nearly full cup as it will produce a more consistent result. And train your ear to “hear” the coarse or fine sound and trial and error will lead you to the grind you are looking for.

Two suggestions here, either the cheaper KRUPS F203 for around $16 or the nicer looking more stylish… ok there’s not much point in a nicer blade grinder. The F203 is well regarded, cheap, looks good, and works great. I wouldn’t bother spending more on nicer one since you can get into a functional burr grinder for not much more money. And yes, the burr grinder really is that much better. Honest. It’s not just coffee snobbery talking.


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Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill




Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

…passable for around $45

Product Description

If you want a burr grinder, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Cuisinart DBM-8 is passable for around $45.

Product Features

  • Elegantly styled
  • heavy-duty
  • Burr grinding mechanism for uniform grounds and optimum flavor
  • 18-position grind selector, from ultra fine to coarse
  • Slide dial from 4 to 18 cups
  • 8 oz bean bean
  • large ground bean

Cheap but functional

If you want a burr grinder, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Cuisinart DBM-8 is passable for around $45. I used one for several years (until, yes, it died). It worked. Fantastic for drip coffee. Passable for espresso (fine) and french press (coarse). I can easily recommend one, even though mine eventually died and the snobs look down their long hooked beaks at it. It works. And it’s $45. It definitely better than a blade grinder. And when it dies, which it probably will eventually, you can move up to a better grinder.


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Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder




Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

…recommended by coffee experts as THE go-to entry level grinder

Product Description

The Baratza Encore is almost universally lauded by coffee experts as THE go-to entry level home grinder. With 40 individual grind settings, from fine to coarse, the Encore can please any palate with its gamut of accurate and repeatable grind settings. The Encore gives a great grind for drip/manual brew and also grinds fine enough for espresso.

The Baratza Encore has an accurate medium to coarse grind for the increasingly popular manual brew methods such as pour-over, Aeropress, Siphon and Chemex.

Product Features

  • efficient DC motor keeps beans cool even during extended grind times
  • electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 450 RPM
  • reduced noise, heat and static buildup
  • front-mounted pulse button
  • 8 oz bean bin
  • 5 oz grounds bin
  • 12 x 35 x 16 cm

Easiest Recommendation ever

The Baratza Encore is the easiest recommendation ever. Highy regarded. Only one caveat, and that’s the plastic burr grinder disk… probably more when used with dark oily beans. Some have failed. Most work great. You’re rolling the dice, but overall the odds are on your side. But if you know you tend to use dark oily beans, you may want to get a machine with steel grinder wheels, such as the Capresso Infinity.


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Capresso 560.01 Infinity Black Conical Burr Grinder




Capresso 560.01 Infinity Black Conical Burr Grinder

…Commercial-grade conical burrs ensure maximum coffee flavor

Product Description

Commercial-grade conical burrs ensure maximum coffee flavor. At a home grinder price point. And you can also get the Infinity in a stainless steel housing for an more elegant style… but coffee will come out the exact same.

Product Features

  • built-in timer
  • easy to clean
  • 8.5 oz bean bin
  • 4 oz ground bin
  • Commercial-grade conical burrs
  • 100-Watt conical burr grinder with 16 grind settings
  • 7.6 x 5.4 x 10.6 inches

Works great for dark oily falvorful beans

If you know you tend to prefer dark oily italian style espresso beans, then the Capresso Infinity grinder might be better, for you, than the Baratza Encore. It’s bullet proof. But it’s plastic and static prone. For me, those are reasonable trade-offs. For you, they might not be. But if you grind an oilier bean, it will be less static prone already.


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Capresso 565.05 Infinity Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder




Capresso 565.05 Stainless Steel Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

…Commercial-grade conical burrs ensure maximum coffee flavor

Product Description

Commercial-grade conical burrs ensure maximum coffee flavor. At a home grinder price point. And you can also get the Infinity in a plastic housing for an even more accommodating price.

Product Features

  • Heavy-duty zinc die-cast housing
  • built-in timer
  • easy to clean
  • 8.5 oz bean bin
  • 4 oz ground bin
  • Commercial-grade conical burrs
  • 100-Watt conical burr grinder with 16 grind settings
  • 7.6 x 5.4 x 10.6 inches

Works great for dark oily falvorful beans

If you know you tend to prefer dark oily italian style espresso beans, then the Capresso Infinity grinder might be better, for you, than the Baratza Encore. It’s bullet proof. But it’s plastic and static prone. For me, those are reasonable trade-offs. For you, they might not be. But if you grind an oilier bean, it will be less static prone already.


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Baratza Vario 886 Flat Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder




Baratza Vario Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder

…a perfect example of a great grinder

Product Description

“Just give me the Best Grinder” If that’s what you’re thinking, then this is the grinder for you. Click. Checkout. Done.

Product Features

  • small footprint
  • 230 distinct and repeatable grind settings
  • from fine grind for espresso to course grind for press pot
  • intuitive macro/micro adjustments
  • digital timers
  • three user-programmable buttons
  • accurate one-touch dosing and repeatable grind times
  • 54mm ceramic flat burrs
  • high-torque DC motor
  • belt drive transmission

Simply the best

All these reviews are giving me a headache. Just tell me what grinder to buy so I won’t have to think about it. Bing! Baratza Vario. Ceramic flat burrs are long lasting and give insane adjustability. Best quality, best flavor, best grind, best controls, best in every way. What’s the catch? $480! But if you have the coin, you won’t be sorry. Don’t feel like going through 2 or 3 lesser grinders? Just want to get the best and be done with it? Buy a Baratza Vario.


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Espresso and Capuccino Machine Buyers Guide

Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Machines

So you’ve decided you want to get an espresso machine, either for yourself or as a gift. As a lifetime coffee fiend, I recently had to replace both my grinder and my espresso machine, so I decided to summarize the results of my research for your benefit. While there are options available which I did not investigate, and am therefore not going discuss, my primary goal was very simple: To find exceptional products to purchase, at reasonable prices. Are they they best for the least? I’m not sure, but I don’t think that necessarily matters and what makes something the best is often quite subjective, but what makes something exceptional tends to be far more universal. It works right. It’s Aesthetic to use. It’s built well. It looks good. It lasts a long time.

So this buyers guide is really more focused than most. I tell you what I found out, show you a few products that are exceptional, and don’t bother with reviewing the crappy stuff. Want a machine but don’t know what to get? I’ll make it simple: Buy one of the ones listed here, and I’ll distill out the key differentiators that can help you make a decision.

For an espresso machine, realistically, the cheapest you’re going to get a decent, workable machine is around $100. And at that price, there will be compromises and durability issues. But if you just want to make proper espresso (or cappuccino) at home, and you expect to use it infrequently, then there are definitely viable alternatives for $100.

One option that is not available is the option of simply buying the machine that nobody complains about. Turns out, such a thing simply does not exist. The $100 machines break, leak, blow gaskets, and don’t make espresso of a high enough standard for some. The $200 machines break eventually, and don’t make espresso of a high enough standard for some. The $400 Breville machines require religious descaling or else they will fail. And the $650 Rancilio, the Gold Standard, has boiler failures. And not a single one of the companies selling the machines has a consistent record of exemplary customer service. So as fas as I can tell, every choice is fraught with peril. And personal experience concurs. I’ve bought 3 or 4 espresso makers, and currently both my espresso machine and my grinder are both out of order!

4-Cup Machines

There is one class of product that nobody should buy. Ever. For any reason.

It’s any of the 4-Cup machines where you pour the water in and then screw the cap on the boiler so it can make steam pressure. They all come with 4-cup glass mini pots. And they all suck. Universally.

They do not make anything that any coffee lover would recognize as anything remotely resembling espresso. Just don’t bother with them. Not the Mr Coffee one. Not the Krups one. Not the DeLonghi one. None of them. Get it? Got it. GOOD.

Pod Machines

If you expect to use your espresso machine less than weekly, and you just want espresso and not so much the steamed milk, you might consider a pod machine like a Nespresso or a Gaggia for Illy. They don’t personally meet my needs, but we do have one at my office, and with the Nespresso you can get lighter to darker pods, and also a variery with flavors like hazlenut and coconut. I’ve also used the milk heater and frother, and while it’s not a classic steamed milk, it is passable. I’d call it “not terrible”, and for occassional use, pretty good. You can get a single serve Nespresso and milk frother together for around $150. While I’d be embarassed to let someone see me using it… I can make decent espressos and cappuccinos and lattes with it and nobody complains that they suck when I give them one. The pods are expensive, but if you don’t use it but so often the shelf stability of the pods is worth the added cost. If you use it a lot, take the time to get a grinder and regular machine and learn to use them. But if this solution floats your boat, by all means go for it.

The Starter / Minimum Espresso Machine

As an introductory or less frequently used machine, about the best I found was the DeLonghi EC155. It’s not perfect. Some claim it doesn’t make good enough espresso. Some claim it isn’t made sturdy enough, or it doesn’t last. And they are probably right. But it’s probably good enough for a starter, with the understanding that in a year or two you might be either wanting to move up to a better machine, or you might be replacing it because it just quit working. Either way, it gets you in the game, and I can recommend it, so long as you accept the caveats.

This biggest caveat is that you can’t expect them to last forever. Maybe they will, but probably they won’t. However, at the $100 price point, if it drops dead in a year or two, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not saying it will. I had a $60 machine that lasted a long time. 4 years. But I’ve also tossed a far more expensive machine that died less than a month after the 1 year expired. And it’s not one machine vs another. They’re all just prone to failure.

But with all that said… choose between these three (the second Poemia is just more stainless steel) and the odds are you’ll come out ok.

The Better Than Minimum Espresso Machine

Each of these will do better job of heating up quickly, holding temperature, brewing quality espresso, and holding up to daily use, than the entry level machines will.

The big question however is this: Pressurized Portafilter?

The units at this level all have pressurized portafilters. This is a galvanizing feature that the purists hate, but that most people don’t even really notice or think about. On the one hand, a classic solid brass portafilter (basically the ground coffee holder and filter basket assembly) can produce the best results. When used by the most experienced barista. When properly tempered to operating temperature. But a pressurized portafilter attempts to overcome variations in coffee grinding, tamping, and temperature preparation by building pressure to a minimum level before allowing the brewed espresso to escape.

This has two effects. First, the filter baskets tend to clog and require cleaning, which can be a royal pain in the rear as they are tiny pinholes and are hard to clear. Second, the used espresso puck that should be dry and just tap out can be a wet soupy mess.

Here’s what I have found over the years. If the portafilter is a wet soupy mess, then your coffee is probably not ground correctly; it’s probably too coarse. And if the filter basket is clogging, then you probably either have your grind too fine, or you’re leaving the machine sit uncleaned for extended periods between uses. Figure out your grind and empty and rinse after each use, and your problem will probably be solved.

So for me, not working at the espresso machine 8 hours a day to perfect my technique, I find the pressurized portafilter to be perfectly “acceptable”. Just make sure you are ok with a pressurized portafilter before you buy one of these mid level machines.

Gaggia has three that are more or less interchangeable to me. They all do ok. They all have mostly raving reviews. They all have some bad reviews for failures. Make sure you but one that is “sold and fulfilled by Amazon” so you get good customer service at least long enough to get a working machine. Any of these are good machines.

Of these however, I’d get the Saeco Aroma. It’s a boxier, less modern design. But it’s built durable. This Saeco design has been around for years and is proven reliable. And the Saeco let’s you adjust the brew strength (even mid pull).

Go Big or Go Home

No room for dilettantes or half in half out wishy washiness here. So you really want the best results? You’re willing to invest the time and effort into learning how to achieve them? You don’t mind the chance of an expensive machine breaking and requiring expensive repairs or replacement? Great! One of these machines will be just right for you:

Generally, the Breville is considered the Cadillac of home espresso machines. You want the best, you don’t want to think too much about it, just get the Coupe de Ville with all the options. Easy Peasy.

The two breville machines are more or less equivalent, with the Bariata Express having a built in dosing grinder. If you have no particular use for a grinder apart from your espresso machine, then the built in one makes sense. But if you need a grinder for regular coffee, or press pot coffee, then go with the Infuser and pick up a good conical burr grinder separately.

The Racilia Silvia, however, compares to the Breville like a quirky british or italian car does to the staunch Cadillac. It takes a little more finesse and experience to drive, but if you spend the time learning it’s quirks and honing your skills, it will reward you with the ride of your life. The Rancilia has a solid brass portafilter and is the closest to the commercial expresso machines in operation. But this also means it demands the most from you as the operator too ;-)

Different strokes suit different folks, so consider which most suits your personality and you’ll know which is the right machine for you.

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Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother




Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother

pods stay fresher for less frequent enjoyment

Product Description

If you don’t use it but so often the shelf stability of the pods is worth the added cost.

Product Features

  • Includes Aeroccino Plus milk frother
  • Easy insertion and ejection of capsules
  • Compact brewing unit technology
  • Fast preheating time: 25 seconds
  • 19 Bar high pressure pump
  • Removable 24 ounce water tank
  • Folding cup tray accommodates tall glasses
  • 2 Programmable buttons for Espresso and lungo preparation

Simple operation

If you expect to use your espresso machine less than weekly, and you just want espresso and not so much the steamed milk, you might consider a pod machine like a Nespresso or a Gaggia for Illy. They don’t personally meet my needs, but we do have one at my office, and with the Nespresso you can get lighter to darker pods, and also a variery with flavors like hazlenut and coconut.

I’ve also used the milk heater and frother, and while it’s not a classic steamed milk, it is passable. I’d call it “not terrible”, and for occassional use, pretty good.

You can get this single serve Nespresso Inissia and Aeroccino milk frother together for around $150. While I’d be embarrassed to let someone hear me call it a cappuccino… I can still make decent espressos and cappuccinos and lattes with it and nobody complains that they suck when I give them one.

The pods are expensive, but if you don’t use it but so often the shelf stability of the pods is worth the added cost. If you use it a lot, take the time to get a grinder and regular machine and learn to use them. But if this solution floats your boat, by all means go for it.


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DeLonghi EC155 Pump Espresso Machine




DeLonghi EC155 Pump Espresso Machine

the minimum

Product Description

The DeLonghi EC155 is basically the minimum machine you should really consider. That said, it gets the job done. The only real drawback is the frother design with the big plastic cowbell. Hard(er) to clean. Doesn’t work any better. Not sure I like it. BUT IT WORKS. Never forget that quality when discussing the minimum entry point.

Product Features

  • 15 bars of pressure
  • Self priming operation
  • Brews from ground espresso or from pods
  • Water and steam controlled separately
  • Swivel jet frother

Simple operation

The entry level machines get the job done, and as an introductory or less frequently used machine, I actually prefer the DeLonghi EC155 as it is a perfectly good espresso maker, and it’s the cheapest.

In general these entry level machines are not flawless. Some claim they don’t make good enough espresso. Some claim they aren’t made sturdy enough, or they don’t last. And they are probably right. But they’re probably good enough for a starter, with the understanding that in a year or two you might be either wanting to move up to a better machine, or you might be replacing it because it just quit working. Either way, the entry machines get you in the game, and I can recommend any of them, so long as you accept the caveats.

My preference is the DeLonghi EC155, but the Cuisinart or the Saeco Poemia might be more available in your area, or might be more stylish, or might match your other appliances or grinder… and to be fair the only reason I find the DeLonghi to be better is because it’s cheaper. There. I said it.

This biggest caveat is that you can’t expect these to last forever. Maybe they will, but probably they won’t. However, at the $100 to $150 price point, if it drops dead in a year or two, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not saying it will. I had a $60 machine that lasted a long time. 4 years. But I’ve also tossed a far more expensive machine that died less than a month after the 1 year warranty expired. And it’s not one machine vs another. They’re all just prone to failure.

But with all that said… the DeLonghi EC155 is easy to recommend.


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Philips Saeco HD8327/47 Poemia Top Espresso Machine




Saeco Poemia Top Espresso Machine

…more stainless steel class than the Saeco Poemia Class

Product Description

The Saeco Poemia Top is the same machine as the Saeco Poemia Class, except it has a stainless shell. Considering that the stainless won’t make it last longer, won’t make better espresso, and really won’t even look that much better than the Class’s stainless front panel, I would suggest that in a budget class machine, to keep focused on the budget. In other words, save the bucks, and get the Class rather than the Top.

That said, the Poemia Class gets the job done all the same, and if you just really want the full stainless shell, who am I to judge. Go for it.

Product Features

  • Stainless steel body
  • Pressurized portafilter
  • 15 bars of pressure
  • Brews 1 or 2 cups
  • Brews from ground espresso or from pods
  • 53-ounce removable reservoir
  • Pannarello steam nozzle
  • Cup warming tray

Simple operation and traditional methods

The entry level machines get the job done, and as an introductory or less frequently used machine, the Saeco Poemia Top is a perfectly good espresso maker.

In general these entry level machines are not flawless. Some claim they don’t make good enough espresso. Some claim they aren’t made sturdy enough, or they don’t last. And they are probably right. But they’re probably good enough for a starter, with the understanding that in a year or two you might be either wanting to move up to a better machine, or you might be replacing it because it just quit working. Either way, the entry machines get you in the game, and I can recommend any of them, so long as you accept the caveats.

My preference is the DeLonghi EC155, but the Cuisinart might be more available in your ares, or might be more stylish, or might match your other Cuisinart appliances… and to be fair the only reason I find the DeLonghi to be better is because it’s cheaper. There. I said it.

This biggest caveat is that you can’t expect these to last forever. Maybe they will, but probably they won’t. However, at the $100 to $150 price point, if it drops dead in a year or two, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not saying it will. I had a $60 machine that lasted a long time. 4 years. But I’ve also tossed a far more expensive machine that died less than a month after the 1 year warranty expired. And it’s not one machine vs another. They’re all just prone to failure.

But with all that said… the Saeco Poemia Top is easy to recommend, and don’t forget, you can get same machine 9Saeco Poemia Class) with less stainless for about $50 less.


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Saeco HD8325/47 Poemia Class Manual Espresso Machine




Saeco Poemia Class Espresso Machine

basically basic which is basically perfect

Product Description

The Saeco Poemia Class gets the job done. It makes espresso. It steams milk. It froths. It can do single or double shots. It can use pods. It includes a scoop and a tamper. At an entry level price.

Although there is more that one could want, it’s not clear what more one really needs.

Product Features

  • Pressurized portafilter
  • 15 bars of pressure
  • Brews 1 or 2 cups
  • Brews from ground espresso or from pods
  • 53-ounce removable reservoir
  • Pannarello steam nozzle
  • Cup warming tray

Simple operation and traditional methods

The entry level machines get the job done, and as an introductory or less frequently used machine, the Saeco Poemia Class is a perfectly good espresso maker.

In general these entry level machines are not flawless. Some claim they don’t make good enough espresso. Some claim they aren’t made sturdy enough, or they don’t last. And they are probably right. But they’re probably good enough for a starter, with the understanding that in a year or two you might be either wanting to move up to a better machine, or you might be replacing it because it just quit working. Either way, the entry machines get you in the game, and I can recommend any of them, so long as you accept the caveats.

My preference is the DeLonghi EC155, but the Cuisinart might be more available in your ares, or might be more stylish, or might match your other Cuisinart appliances… and to be fair the only reason I find the DeLonghi to be better is because it’s cheaper. There. I said it.

This biggest caveat is that you can’t expect these to last forever. Maybe they will, but probably they won’t. However, at the $100 to $150 price point, if it drops dead in a year or two, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not saying it will. I had a $60 machine that lasted a long time. 4 years. But I’ve also tossed a far more expensive machine that died less than a month after the 1 year warranty expired. And it’s not one machine vs another. They’re all just prone to failure.

But with all that said… the Saeco Poemia Class is easy to recommend.


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