I need help picking an espresso machine. I drink flavored lattes and, in the summer, blended ice coffee drinks. Probably 1-2 per day. I don't consider myself a coffee connoisseur by any means, but I can tell when the shots are weak, made wrong, etc. Honestly I'd rather drink soda (or anything else) than a poorly made espresso/latte drink.
Budget-wise I'd prefer a solution under $1,000 (and don't need a blender). I've had a Krups 863 since the mid-90's, but it's been hit and miss for years trying to get stores to grind the beans right for it. As such, my wish list starts with a good grinding solution (and built-in would be handy but not required). Would also like something that's faster (dual boiler) and gave me some more feedback in regards to the water temperature.
In watching videos on your YouTube site, my wife became a fan of the super-autos because, "it's something she could use as well." She's never used my espresso machine (too complicated) but when we're out she does order flavored lattes and red eyes.
When it comes to super-autos, I don't think I'd ever use any of the one-touch milk solutions as my experience with them is that the milk doesn't get hot enough and it's a pain to clean and store compared to just using a pitcher and the wand. I'm also concerned about reliability. I don't need something to last for 20 years like my last machine, but I also don't want something that has to be replaced in just a year or two.
Can someone point me to 3-4 models I should consider and chime in on the supers vs. the semis and if I should go that way?
Thanks in advance for your help. It is appreciated.