Are you are a coffee lover who simply can’t function without 2-3 cups o’ joe per day, and you’re sick and tired of paying a fortune at coffee shops? If this describes you, and if you simply adore the strong smell of ground coffee in the house, then you should considering buying your very own espresso machine. Buying an espresso machine requires a little bit of research. But don’t worry: Even if you’re a rookie barista, simply follow our advice and you’ll be pulling your own espresso shots in no time! We’re here to show you what to look for in an espresso machine.
Things to Consider
The primary considerations are your budget and your intentions. Are you buying an espresso machine with basic features because you don’t want to pay for overpriced coffee-shop coffee, or are you a coffee aficionado that wants the absolute highest-quality espresso machine money can buy? The product selections in the market are many and their features vary according to the price range.
Different Types of Espresso Machines
The cheapest ones can produce decent quality coffee for their low price (below 100$), but most of them just take coffee pods. Coffee pods are exactly what they sound like: prepackaged coffee which you place into the machine (- think Nespresso), These pod machines give you little-to-no control over the coffee making process and lack many features. So if you’re looking for a low-price pod machine, you can forget about making frothy milk, for example. But if you just want a simply cup of coffee and a low price, then maybe that’s all you need!
If you want better, coffee-shop quality espresso, you may opt for a more specialized espresso machine. These come in three main types:
– Fully Automatic
– Manual (or “Lever”)
The current consumer trend leans towards buying a semi-automatic machine. Semi-automatic take away much of the complicated processes, yet still allow for some manual control and ‘tweaking.’ If you want something that does pretty much everything except drink the espresso for you, then consider taking a look at fully-automatic espresso machines.
Semi- and fully- automatic espresso coffee machines have several systems in place in order to regulate the optimal temperature and steam pressure, but are relatively simple to operate. As is usually the case with most consumer products, the more money you invest in an espresso machine the more sophisticated its systems and craftsmanship are going to be.
If you decide to delve deeper into the art of espresso making, you should consider opting for a manually operated espresso machine. We wouldn’t quite recommended a lever machine if you are a beginner, since it puts all control of the process in your hands. On the other hand, if you are an expert or someone willing to learn through a bit of trial and error, you can get a manual espresso machine and truly have complete control over the espresso-making process. For those who love to constantly experiment, this is probably the best the best option for your home brewing endeavors.
Last but not least, keep in mind that you may need a few extras to complement the machine. A coffee grinder is important if you want to grind the coffee beans yourself. Any barista will tell you that fresh ground coffee is the only way to go. There are options that range from a simple home grinder under $150 all the way up to extravagant commercial-quality quality grinders like the Mahlkonig ek43. Once you discover the difference in flavor and quality, you’ll never want to go back to buying pre-ground coffee beans. You are also going to need cleaning supplies as well, since espresso machines require periodic cleaning.
Although this article was brief, we hope you find this advice helpful and informative! Espresso making is an absolute blast, we know you’ll love it! Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.