Buying an Espresso Machine can be a great investment, especially if you spend half of your morning commute in the drive-thru at your local coffee shop waiting to get that expensive cup to help you through the day. A good espresso maker will allow you to create the same creamy, refreshing frothy beverages at home. And there are plenty of different machines in the industry that offer a variety of features.
If you have browsed your local retailer or online store for the best espresso machine and are still confused about which product you should commit to, here are some more details about these high-tech machines that can help you combat your coffee addiction.
What Features Should an Espresso Machine Have for the Best Outcome?
If you would like to buy an espresso maker, but don’t know where to start, there are a few things that you should know about the features. Espresso machines can be moderately to extremely complex, and it’s important that you understand how all the bells and whistles work before you start to make your first round of espressos for guests.
To make a true espresso, you will need a machine that forces boiling water under at least 9 bars of pressure through finely ground coffee. This precise amount of pressure will help to ensure the quality of your beverage. The result will be an espresso that is thicker and much creamier, that also contains more caffeine. The pressure is the secret to making a real, authentic espresso at home. And that is why less-expensive stove-top boots do not provide you with the same results as an espresso machine. Yet even when you are shopping for a true espresso machine, be sure to check out the pressure features.
What are the Different Types of Espresso Machines?
There are two kinds of espresso machines, they are steam driven and pump driven. The steam driven machines are available in two types, stovetop, and pump-less electric machines. While they are good quality machines, steam driven are not often purchased by consumers for home use.
Pump-driven machines, however, are more popular with the average consumer. There are several varieties of pump-driven machines available such as
Manual Lever Pumps
This type of espresso machine works by the user manually pumping the espresso by hand without the use of electricity.
After you program the machine so that it’s at the correct temperature, an electronic pump will do all the work for you.
With this type of pump, the user grinds the beans and places them in the filter before they turn on the machine. Once the machine is running, you must pump the button until the water turns black, and then immediately turn it off.
While you still must grind and tamp the coffee beans into the portafilter for automatic pump machines, the machine will automatically turn on and brew the espresso all on its own.
Super Automatic Pumps
Super automatic pumps are the best of all because they take on all the hard work for you. These machines will grind the beans, tamp the grounds into the filter, boil your water, and push it with plenty of pressure. A super automatic pump will even take care of the waste for you. While they are useful, these added benefits also make them the most expensive of all pump driven machines.
What You Will Need to Make an Espresso
Since machines are so different, some will come with all the accessories that you need to make your first brew right out of the box, while others may require a few additional accessories to be purchased separately. Be sure to check to see if your machine needs anything else before you purchase it. Remember that you will need to have a grinder, a milk frother and a tamper.
If your machine doesn’t have a built-in grinder, and it isn’t the type that uses pods, you will need to purchase a separate grinder. It is a good idea to look for the most powerful that you can find to ensure quality. Burr brand grinders are an excellent choice. The key factor to look for is a grinder that will produce evenly ground coffee designed to work with an espresso machine. This will ensure that you get the most flavor out of your beans.
If you need to purchase a frother, you can find milk frothing pitchers that work well. If your machine doesn’t include a milk frothing wand, you can also purchase one of those separately. Sometimes espresso machines will have a frothing wand, but no pitcher, or vice versa. And sometimes they will come with both.
A tamper is a great tool for espresso machine owners that will evenly press your coffee grounds so that you can get the most out of your coffee beans as you make your espresso. There are several varieties of these on the market. However, most will perform the same way.
Purchasing your own espresso machine is a great way to enjoy your favorite coffee shop drinks at home. And they can also be useful when it comes to entertaining your friends and family. By understanding more about how these machines work, and learning about the additional accessories needed, you will be on your way to creating perfectly smooth espressos in your own kitchen in no time.