Espresso Coffee Machines 101

Eidolonai December 9, 2017
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Starbucks didn’t invent espresso but they revolutionized the way we look at it. From cappuccinos to lattes or just a straight shot of espresso, coffee and coffee drinks have become the drink of the morning. You can find a coffee shop on just about every corner in every town. However, with the cost of coffee on the rise and the world economy on the decline, espresso coffee machines have boomed in sales.

Buying an espresso machine for your home should be researched before you run to the nearest big box store and grab the first one off the shelf. You should decide ahead of time how much you are willing to invest in your espresso maker. They can range in price from under $ 50 to well over $ 1000. It all depends on what you are looking for.

There are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you determine how much you are willing to spend. As a general rule of thumb they are:

* How often do you plan on using the machine? If you know you are going to use it on a daily basis you will want to purchase a machine that is sturdy enough to hold up to repeated use. You should also look into one with a warranty in the event that it is damaged.
* Do you want a fully automatic machine that does everything for you? If you want your espresso machine to do everything but drink your espresso for you, be prepared to pay a premium price. If however you don’t mind adding the coffee to the machine and other small steps, you can save a lot of money.
* How much room do you have for the espresso machine? Espresso makers range in size from countertop models to ones that take up the space of a small refrigerator. Keep this in mind as you shop.

Types to Choose From

With those basic questions answered you are now ready to decide what kind of espresso machine you want. There are five basic types of machines to choose from, ranging from the simplest to the most complex and automated.

* Stovetop espresso makers, sometimes called stovetop percolators are great for the occasional espresso drinker or for campers who want their shot of caffeine even in the woods. The drawback to the stovetop espresso pot is that it only makes one cup at a time. It must cool between cups and it doesn’t form that wonderful crema that espresso drinkers love.

On the plus side, they are very inexpensive. You can pick on up around $ 20. They are very portable and take up no space. They can also be used without electricity, for example over a campfire.

* Piston driven espresso makers are based on the original espresso makers from long ago. They are the reason for the wonderful crema we have all come to know and love. The piston driven espresso machine requires more manual labor. This is where the term ‘pulling a shot’ originated.

* Pump driven espresso makers are the most popular variety of espresso makers for commercial use. An offspring of the piston driven maker, they are typically plumbed to a water source and use a timing device to insure that every shot of espresso pulled is of the same quality.

* Automatic and super automatic espresso machines are the newest makers to hit the market. These machines are capable of doing everything, even grinding the coffee beans. They are also the most expensive, most complicated to repair and usually take up the most space.

Automatic espresso machines do produce a more consistent shot of espresso than other machines and don’t require your assistance to do anything. They are also more capable of adjustments than other machines, allowing you to have espresso they way you want it every time.

Purchasing an espresso maker for your home can be a money saving investment. Your initial purchase may seem expensive, but making sure you are getting a quality product that will bring you years of espresso enjoyment will pay for itself in no time. And you will impress your friends and guests with the great coffee drinks you prepare for them.

Katya Coen provides information on espresso machines for Espresso Xpert – your online guide to espresso!

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