If you’re a coffee-lover, it’s worth investing in a quality espresso machine. There are tons of advantages to having an espresso coffee maker at home. You can get your quick morning fix, be in control of all aspects and enjoy delicious espresso any time of the day while saving money as well as time. Also, with espresso, you can make and drink a variety of other coffee beverages including cappuccino, latte, mocha, and macchiato.
To choose the best espresso coffee maker for yourself, you need to take into account the factors that matter to you the most. Although there are different kinds of espresso makers in the market, the four most popular and easy-to-use kinds are manual, automatic, fully automatic, and portable espresso machines. Read on to find out which espresso maker would work the best for your coffee needs and what factors you should consider when buying one.
In today’s automated world, purchasing a manual espresso maker may seem like an odd choice. However, true espresso connoisseurs would agree that old ways produce the best results, especially when it comes to espresso. So if you enjoy the process of coffee making, then you must get a manual espresso machine and experience all that it has to offer.
The greatest advantage you have with manual machines is that you have control over each step of the process, from the pressure to the steam to the brewing. The most distinctive feature of these coffee machines is the lever. Some manual machines have a direct lever while others have a spring-piston design. The former involves more work on the part of the user. So choose accordingly.
Another major benefit of manual espresso machines is that they are much cheaper as compared to their automatic counterparts. They allow you to experiment with different kinds of roasts, beans, and brewing methods to produce different beverages that would otherwise cost you quite a lot at coffee shops. Manual coffee machines are also an attractive appliance to be placed on your kitchen countertops. They last longer if they’re taken care of. However, their units tend to be expensive. We’d only recommend it if you’re an experienced connoisseur.
Semi-automatic espresso machines are arguably the most popular type of coffee machines today which is why you’ll find a great variety of them by different brands. And the reason for this is that these coffee makers give you the control of the manual machine along with the ease of use that the automatic machines are known for.
With the semi-automatic espresso machine, you can grind the beans as well as tamp and extract your espresso shot. But due to their electric pumps, all these processes are made easier and require less effort (than manual coffee makers). Also, the pump eliminates the chances of inconsistency as it ensures that the water is delivered at the right time and with the right pressure each time. While all semi-automatic espresso makers have the same components when buying one you need to be able to distinguish between those that are meant for home use and commercial use.
The semi-automatic espresso machines that are meant for commercial purposes are sturdier, larger, and use a big-size portafilter. Their diameter is usually 58mm while that for home-use machines usually falls between 49 to 54mm. Also, commercial portafilters are very sensitive to the coffee grind and tamping pressure; it should be perfect in order to deliver the right resistance when the water flows through the appliance.
A semi-automatic espresso machine that’s designed for home use, as well as light commercial use, is called a prosumer espresso maker. These are typically larger than home-use coffee makers and consist of a heat exchange boiler that lets the user froth, steam, and brew all at the same time. These espresso makers require a commercial-style portafilter made of chrome-plated brass. That’s because it provides temperature stability which plays a pivotal role to deliver a quality espresso brew.
There are several affordable semi-automatic coffee makers in the market though some models are quite expensive. So choose according to your requirements. Regardless of which machine you go for, all semi-automatic coffee makers would give you a high level of control and let you make delicious espresso shots. Having said that, the use of these machines is not as simple as that offered by automatic espresso makers.
Fully automatic espresso machines are a lifesaver for people who have round-the-clock lifestyle. All you have to do is turn it on and the machine will control and automate the volume and pressure of water when it flows through the coffee grounds. When the predetermined amount of coffee is brewed, the machine stops automatically.
All these features make this type of coffee maker even easier to use than the semi-automatic models. It eliminates the chances of human error almost entirely. The flip side is that it takes away all controls of the coffee-making process from the user. This can at times be bothersome for people who are very particular about the taste and texture of their brew.
As in the case of semi-automatic machines, fully automatic espresso makers are available in a wide price range, from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. So it’s easy to find one that fits your budget and suits your needs.
One downside of automatic espresso makers is that because they are electric, their parts may be prone to damage.
Portable espresso makers are tiny size devices that can be carried anywhere to fulfill your coffee needs. There are two main types of portable espresso makers: manual and automatic. The former lets you control all aspects of the brewing process. But if you don’t have the muscle power required to use it effectively, this may not be a suitable choice for you. It’s also worth mentioning that to use this type of machine, you will first need an external heat source to boil water
On the other hand, the automatic portable espresso machine operates through electricity. You either have to use a battery or plug it in. Such models usually come with user-friendly features like self-healing and self-cleaning cycles.
Portable espresso machines are available in a variety of sizes and designs. They are generally lightweight and are priced reasonably. When choosing one for yourself, you must consider factors such as power, brewing time, cleaning ease, and durability.