Hey 👋🏼 I'm Chris

I'm a espresso obsessed home barista, cyclist, and software engineer who's on a mission to build the best espresso resource on the internet.

Updated March, 2024

Anyone else squat while pulling a shot to make sure the flow starts correctly? 👆🏼

What do you mean, obsessed?
I mean I am 100% prime time, in love with espresso (how could I not make a Top Gun reference?). Although I only started drinking coffee after graduating school, I quickly fell in love. Within a month of getting my first AeroPress, I was researching how to get the most flavor and texture out of my brews and was heading towards espresso without even knowing it.

Shortly after that, I got my first espresso machine, the Breville Barista Express. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about espresso, and I picked it because my brother-in-law had one, and I thought it was sweet!

Although the Barista Express served me well, I quickly went down the rabbit hole of espresso machines, grinders, and accessories. I started to learn the theory of espresso, the science behind the shots, and the art of pulling a perfect shot.

When it was time to upgrade, I knew I wanted to look at all the options out there, regardless of vendor or manufacturer. That's how Espresso Setup Builder was born. At first, it was a simple spreadsheet-style database, but with a little blood, sweat, and caffeine, ESB started to take shape.

The Original ESB Interface

Got my first espresso machine

Picked up my first espresso machine and dove head-first into learning about the craft. Countless hours on YouTube and forums.

Decided to upgrade

Had gotten all I could out of my machine and realized I wanted an upgrade. Started to feel the pain of the disjointed information out there.

Released ESB 'Spreadsheet'

Built and shared the very first version of ESB. It was functionally a spreadsheet with pictures. And it looked terrible on mobile!

Published Version 1.0

Built up the ESB database, added grinders and accessories, and release ESB version 1.0. A big step forward, and even more to come!

What you'll find on ESB
My goal with Espresso Setup Builder is to examine all the options and provide 100% honest and opinionated recommendations to help you find the best gear for you.

Looking at all the options means aggregating machines, grinders, and accessories across vendors and manufacturers. You'll find everything in the ESB database on the respective discover pages for each category. Each machine and grinder has a dedicated details page with specs, features, and similar products.

100% honest and opinionated means that once I've evaluated all that's out there, I'm going to form meaningful opinions to point you in the right direction. I'm here to help you find the gear for you, not to be upsold on what's hot, or to leave you with decision fatigue by stating that everything is the best. All my thoughts are mine, No Sugar Added.

How I evaluate. To me, it's all about value. I want to get you the most value when making a purchase. This means I look at the price, the features, the quality, and the overall product experience. From there, I'll give you my thoughts on what the product provides for the price and whether it is a winner in its category.
What you won't see here
ESB is not going to be a generic coffee blog where you find fluff coffee content without a purpose and thousands of sponsored articles and posts.

"Well, it depends." Intentional content is the name of the game. I'm not going to end every article with "it depends", and leave you with more confusion than when you started. I'm going to give you my thoughts and tell you why I believe in the products I do, and why I don't believe in the others. I'm not here to mince words.

Note: Although this has long been my personal perspective, some of the earlier writing on ESB was less opinionated than I'd like. I'm working hard to make sure the newer content supports this goal and helps you make deceisions better.

No Shady Sh*t. The review world is full of sponsored content and shady deals. That's not going to happen here. Although I partner with specific vendors to help support the site, I don't take hush money for incognito positive reviews, and I don't let vendors influence my opinions. I'm here to help you, not to make a quick buck. I'll also always have a note at the top of my content to indicate how I got the product and what research I performed to make my decisions.
Speaking of dollars...
Let's talk about the money part.

Free To Use. Always. My vision with ESB was to have a free resource for the community. That meant making all the data I collect and opinions I've formed accessible without a paywall. Forever. My mission is to help make informative, actionable, and accessible content so you know you're making the best decision for you.

Affiliate Business. ESB uses a pretty standard affiliate model top help cover the costs. That means if you click on one of my links, I sometimes will make a small percetange at no cost to you. However, I still include dozens of brands and hundreds of products that I have no affiliation with, and your purchases often have no impact on my bottom line.

Consultations Although I strive to write the best content I can, sometimes it helps to get a little more hands-on with your decision. I offer 1:1 video chat advice to help folks like you make the right decision. The small fee I charge for these consultations helps cover the time I spend preparing and researching for our call.

Ads, YouTube, and Sponsorships. Today, ESB has no advertisements or sponsorships. That may not always be the case, but similar to the affiliate model, I'm going to be very intentional about how I use these tools to ensure they don't detract from the content you're here for. More to come if and when I consider this route.
Let's get brewing!
With that, let's get brewing! I'm excited to have you here, and if you ever want to get in touch to ask questions, talk coffee, or just introduce yourself, my email is chris@espressosetupbuilder.com

- Chris

5 Easy Ways To Use Espresso Setup Builder

Product screenshot

1. Take the Quiz

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Want straight-to-the-point recommendations? We built an interactive quiz that gives you personalized suggestions based on your preferences!

2. Discover the Best

ESB is a collection of the best machines, grinders, and accessories out there. If you just want to see what's available, you can discover all machines, grinders, and accessories here.

3. Get 1-on-1 Help


Prefer a little more guidance? Book a private one-on-one free consulation with me, the ESB Concierge!

4. Pull a Shot


Already have you setup and are just looking to improve your shots? Read this in depth guide on how to pull a delicious shot, every time!

5. Get the News


Just here to stay up to date on the latest espresso news and reviews? Check out our blog for the latest updates!

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