Having an espresso machine is high on the list of kitchenware needs to coffee aficionados the world over. The prospect of having cafe-quality (or better) espresso coffee on demand in one’s own kitchen is important, even to the casual coffee drinker.
The world of espresso machines, however, is vast and diverse, with different functions and options, being manual or automated, and the various accouterments to choose from; this can make what is intended to facilitate a stress-relieving occasion into rather an anxiety-inducing one.
But, with some key pointers in mind, and just a little perseverance, there should be no reason why anyone cannot find the espresso machine to suit their needs.
If you are the type of person who is very discerning regarding their espresso needs, you might think about investing in a manual machine. These, whilst offering the greatest amount of personalization and adjustment, require the greatest amount of skill to operate effectively.
Manual coffee-making equipment uses fine grounds, so you may want to consider whether or not it is worth investing in a machine with its own automated grinder if you prefer to use whole beans, no espresso pods allowed here.
A drawback about manual machines is that they tend to be on the pricier side, but are usually very stylish and since they have mostly mechanical parts, they are built to last.
Automated coffee-making equipment comes in a variety of kinds, from steam-powered to super-automatic. The former is considered by connoisseurs to be a sacrilege and its product unworthy of the name espresso.
These machines are tempting to those who are operating on a lower budget, or who simply aren’t committed to the investment of a superior machine, and unfortunately, the trade-off is a poor-quality brew. That being said, your coffee can be made quickly and with very little effort.
Capsule Espresso Machine
The capsule machine finds its forte in providing good quality coffee already ground inside the capsules which, when inserted into the machine, are quickly transformed into a delicious espresso with a thick crema, all at the touch of a button.
When the machine has completed the brewing process you simply discard the capsule and top up the attached water reservoir to the required level, ready for next use. A drawback of this type of machine is the lack of brewing options on some models.
Semi-automatic machines have some elements of the manual machine, like the ability to adjust your grind fineness and experiment with how you like your espresso to turn out.
This, in turn, also requires some amount of skill to perfect, but for the enthusiast, there is no question as to the worth of this effort. Semi-automatic machines come with an electric water pump which is simple to operate and regulates the temperature of the water effectively, a key component of any good espresso machine.
The all-in-one espresso maker of choice is the super-automatic. These ultra-sophisticated pieces of equipment take the hassle out of coffee making, without compromise.
Whilst there might not be as many options as rival automatic machines offer, there remain enough choices in a super-automatic to satisfy most consumers.
The Super-Automatic machine will freshly grind the beans, heat the water and dispense the correct volume, create a thick crema, and even froth your milk for drinks like a latte or cappuccino, which makes this machine a popular choice. In just a few minutes all of this can be in your cup, ready to enjoy.