Not sure the 1980’s Krups that my sister gave me because she didn’t use it would now count as an espresso machine, but I thought it was. First with pre-ground Lavazza Oro, then Illy. Added a Braun grinder at some point, then a second Krups (looked more like the Business but was basically the same thing).
I then followed my wife to a year in the U.S. On the way there I spotted something amazing in a shop in Amsterdam: a Rancilio Silvia (it was 1998, and too expensive). I got a horrible DeLonghi from display to use while across the pond, but hated everything about it. Couldn’t get Silvia out of my head.
After the U.S. I followed my wife again, this time to Belgium. Amsterdam was close enough: got in the Corsa, drove to that shop behind Dam Square and got the V1 Silvia. Paired it with a Solis grinder, then another, then an Iberital.
Took me almost twenty years to realise that not doing temp surfing is the reason some shots are good and many are not. So decided I needed a PID, but wasn’t sure if the aging machine would survive the operation.
So got a shiny V6 Silvia. I was disappointed that out of the box not much has changed for Silvia in 20 years. So when I realised that adding a PID would bring me close to HX territory, I decided to move the new Silvia on and got a Mara X.
So yes, I have very fond memories of the mediocre coffee I had along the way, but I definitely prefer the taste of the present.