How To Choose The Best Espresso Machine

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Once you get the hang of brewing espresso, you will never want to brew any other type of coffee again! Espresso is one of the most fundamental parts of making many different coffee drinks. It offers limitless opportunities to improve the art and add your own twist to the brew.  But to brew Espresso, you must have an Espresso machine. Unlike other coffee brewing methods, Espresso requires specific tools and adherence to certain recipes and guidelines similar to French Press coffee. 

Getting Started with Espresso Machines 

Once you get an Espresso Coffee Maker, you are all set to master the art of brewing espresso, with enough time and practice, you will also be able to brew café-quality espresso. But you must first pick the right Espresso Machine. 

best espresso machine

You must pick the right espresso machine because it will determine how long it takes you to master espresso brewing. There are a few common parts of every Espresso Machine. All of them work by forcing hot water through a finely ground bed of coffee (puck) under high pressure. An Espresso machine will extract a flavorful and robust shot of coffee in about a minute.  

There are certain Espresso Machines capable of grinding and brewing a cup of coffee without direct input from the user. These programmable Espresso Machines will make your life easier. Professional Espresso Machines have internal boilers. They heat the water to the desired temperature as well as producing multiple bars of pressure. 

Flair The NEO Espresso - An all manual lever espresso maker for the home, no pods and no plugs (White)

A manual Espresso Machine comes with a lever instead of an electric pump. Some of them are completely unpowered. This means you have to use hot water from an external source. 

De'Longhi EC680M Espresso, Stainless Steel, Metallic

On the other hand, there are Semi-automatic espresso machines. These machines come with an electric pump and also provide the brewing pressure. They also come with a boiler or a thermoblock for heating water. 

Espressione Concierge

Then we have the Fully Automatic Espresso Machines. These machines come with advanced programmable features that include automatically starting and stopping the entire brewing process. 

Saeco PicoBaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine, Countertop, Piano Black, HD8927/37

The final and the Espresso Machine that takes the crown of being the best of its kind- Superautomatic espresso machines. These devices dose, tamp, grind, brew, and self-clean once the brewing process is complete.  These advanced Espresso Machines come with advanced features to adjust the brew temperature, dose size, and beverage volume. The only input required from the user is selecting what type of coffee they want, and the machine will take care of the rest. 

Espresso Machine Features: Which Ones Do You Need 

If you’re considering buying an Espresso Machine, here are a few things to keep in mind. The first decision you need to make is whether you want a pump-powered or a steam-powered Espresso Machine. While pump powered machines (in our opinion) are better, they do come with a larger price tag. On the other hand, steam-powered machines are cheaper. 

The next feature you should consider is how much control you want over your espresso machine. With a Semi-Automatic Espresso machine, you will need to start and stop the shot by pressing buttons or pulling the levers. 

Remember, when starting, you don’t need the most expensive machine on the market. If you are new to brewing espresso, you should start with something moderately priced. Once you have the skills to brew delicious cups of espresso without making any mistakes, only then should you purchase a more expensive machine.

When it comes to Automatic Espresso Machines, you start the shot yourself, but the machine will stop after a certain amount of time. With these machines, you have full control over every aspect of grind settings. Then we have the Super-Automatic Espresso Machines. They do things such as grinding coffee, pulling the shots, and steaming the milk. 

If you are new to brewing espresso, try to get an espresso machine with a display. These displays will show you the pressure, the brew volume, and the estimated time for the brew to complete. But some models only come with a temperature gauge. 

Many Espresso machines come with secondary water spouts, called the tea water dispenser. They help heat up the mugs before serving. 

If you are looking for something fancier, try to get an Espresso machine with a steam wand. These steam wands will help you create beautiful visuals on top of your brew. But stay away from steam wands with black plastic endings. They are the lowest quality of steam wands. The right steam wand will help you froth milk to the right temperature, smoothness, and creaminess. 

Now it is time to talk about portafilters. It is advised that you use double shots for a standard shot of espresso. As a rule of thumb, you need 16-22g of coffee grounds to yield 30-40g grams of espresso. Make sure your espresso machine has a large enough group head to accommodate that portafilter. 

The Verdict

We hope this article sheds light on all the important aspects of buying an Espresso Machine. We looked into what Espresso Machines have to offer and what you should expect from them. Here is a quick tip for you. If you can assign a dedicated counter space with direct access to plumbing, that will be the wisest thing to do. It will be highly convenient as your Espresso Machine will have access to a direct water line.