Having that perfect cup of espresso is a must for most of us. Don’t you agree?
There is a wide disparity in the prices of Espresso machines for sale. Luvmihome has taken the grunt work out of researching the myriad of Espresso machines on the market for you. Our guide will tell you how to buy an espresso machine in 2021.
How to Buy an Espresso Machine
For you espresso aficionados I am sure it’s a lifelong dream to be able to wake up every morning and enjoy a cup of espresso. This guide is designed mainly for first-time buyers. It might be a bit too basic for you espresso aficionados.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you decide to purchase an espresso machine.
- How much effort do you want to put into producing a cup of espresso. If you are not interested in grinding, tamping and steaming your cup of espresso and want to be totally hands-off in the experience.
- Have a look at how complicated your machine is. Will your espresso machine be easy to clean and maintain?
- You will need to get a very good coffee grinder. If you don’t grind you coffee properly you will get subpar espresso. If you espresso machine has a burr grinder this is a plus.
- More than likely you will be making your espresso in the morning. You will want to consider if your machine makes much noise. You don’t want to wake up your neighbors early in the morning!
- The quality of the pressure pump in your espresso machine is important. Remember that water passes through the ground beans. If the pressure is weak you will not have coffee with a rich strong.
- Make sure your espresso has a powerful frother. The more powerful the frother the more crème you will have on top of your espresso.
- Consider your espresso machine a lifetime investment. If you are going to have espresso daily consider the durability of the espresso machine.
- The water capacity of your espresso is important. You don’t want to have to fill up the water reservoir after every batch of coffee.
- Try and pick an espresso machine that is easy to clean.
Types of Espresso Machines
One of the main things you need to decide when you are purchasing an espresso machine is what type of espresso machine do you want to purchase. We have provided a brief overview of each type of espresso machine:
Manual Espresso Machine
These machines are considered classics, they offer you complete control over every aspect of the espresso-making process. You can fine-tune every aspect of the espresso shot process from grind, to temperature, to pressure to length of extraction. This machine is best for experienced home baristas.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
If you are the type of person who really values a good shot of espresso and you don’t mind putting in a bit of work to get the perfect shot a semi-automatic machine is perfect for you. With a semi-automatic espresso machine, users can decide when to turn the pump on and off. You have control over the length of extraction. You can program the machine to stop extraction after a certain amount of time.
Automatic Espresso Machine
These espresso machines are similar to a semi-automatic machine; however, they are programmed to regulate the amount of water that is dispersed through the espresso.
Super Automatic Espresso Machine
If all you want is a great cup of espresso and you are not concerned with the nuances of making that perfect cup of espresso this type of machine is perfect for you. Almost all of the steps involved in making a cup of espresso are automated. Simply add the coffee beans and press a button you will have a cup of quality espresso.
Steam Driven and Pump Drive Machines: What are they?
Steam Driven Machines: These machines use steam pressure to force water through ground coffee. This process produces espresso. These machines don’t produce the best quality espresso.
Pump Driven Machines: The pressure needed to generate the required pressure to force water through the ground coffee is generated by a pump. These type of espresso machines produce better quality coffee.
What is the Difference between a Single Boiler and Double Boiler Espresso Machine?
The boiler holds the water poured into the water reservoir of the espresso machine. The boiler heats the water to the required temperature to make espresso. The boiler also heats up the milk to produce the steam in the milk used for the frothing process.
Double Boiler Espresso Machine: A double-boiler espresso machine has two separate boilers one to heat up water that goes through the ground coffee and another boiler that is used to provide heat for the steaming of the milk. Double boiler espresso machines save time because both actions (brewing and steaming) can be done simultaneously. These type of machines produce the best espresso.
Single Boiler Espresso Machine: If you are using a single-boiler espresso the water has to be heated at a particular temperature for brewing and then at another temperature for steaming milk. This increases the wait time since both functions can’t be done simultaneously.
Like most things in life you get what you put into it. The most important thing that affects the quality of your espresso is the quality of the raw material. To get a great cup of espresso it is best to use fresh ground coffee instead of purchasing pre-ground coffee.
The grinder will be one of the most important things you should consider purchasing along with an espresso machine if you want to get good quality espresso. It is best to grind the coffee before you make your espresso to get the best quality.
The correct grind texture for your coffee will help to improve the quality of your espresso. The texture of your ground coffee should be a bit finer than table salt. If your espresso flows quickly you can make the coffee grind finer. If the espresso doesn’t flow quickly you can make the grind coarser.
Water Purity is Important
The water that you use for your coffee is important. It’s best that you purchase a water filtration system to make sure that the water you use for your espresso is pure. Not having pure water will also affect how long your espresso machine lasts.
Double Boiler Espresso machines
Espresso machines with double espresso produce the best espresso coffee.
Cleaning your Machine
It is best to clean your machine every day. This is a great way to make sure you don’t have any sediment build-up that will interfere with the extraction process.
Preheating your cups
It’s best to run hot water into your cup so it heats up and then throw it out. Don’t let the espresso heat up your cup.
Tamping your coffee
Tamping your ground coffee is one of the most important steps when you are making espresso. Tamping means packing your ground coffee so that it is evenly distributed; this ensures equal and consistent pressure on the ground coffee as water is forced through the ground coffee. The tamping has to be firm and even. If this is not done properly you will find that some parts of your coffee are over-extracted and other parts of the coffee are under-extracted.
Brew Temperature – What is best?
The best brew temperature for espresso is from 90 degrees centigrade to 96 degrees centigrade (195 degrees Fahrenheit to 205 degrees Fahrenheit)
What Brew Pressure is best?
The pressure should be 8 to 10 bars of pressure for proper espresso extraction.