Cliff & Pebble sources our products from all over the world, mainly Italy. We've cultivated relationships with top performing manufacturers like Rocket Espresso Milano, Lelit, Quick Mill, La Spaziale, and more to bring our customers Italian-made products that are built to last. You may notice we don't sell every brand - and that's by design. Cliff & Pebble has curated a list of Italian espresso machines from brands we know, love, and most importantly, trust. If you don't see a brand on our website, it's most likely because the service records are below our standards.
Why are espresso machines so expensive?
While there are certainly less expensive espresso machines on the market, Cliff & Pebble only offers prosumer machines. What's prosumer mean? Prosumer is essentially a professional (or commercial) quality product that is built for domestic use for non-professionals (non-baristas in our case). So, basically a prosumer espresso machine is a commercial-grade machine shrunken down in size to be used at home.
The quality of materials used in our products are far superior to that of cheaper machines. What this translates to is a machine that will last at least a decade if taken care of properly. Sure, you can save plenty of money by buying something on Amazon however what you'll experience is inconsistent results and a machine that will most likely break down or need to be replaced entirely after only a year or two of use. Additionally, the quality of coffee is not comparable.
How important is the grinder?
More important than the espresso machine itself. I know, that isn't what most want to hear. After all, the espresso machine is the sexier purchase. However, you can spend $100k on an espresso machine and pair it with a $50 blade grinder and what you'll end up with is a $100k paper weight on your kitchen counter.
A prosumer espresso machine is only as good as the grinder you pair it with. We recommend allocating at least 40% of your budget to the grinder. Avoid blade grinders entirely and focus on burr size. The larger you go the more consistent your grind will be, the better the retention will be (how much of your coffee beans your grinder retains), and the fast your grinder will be.