If you are looking for an espresso machine for home use, there are numerous options.
You can buy a simple, manual machine without paying too much.
And then there are the automatic espresso machines. There are dozens to choose from and they can cost anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.
If you want to feel the complete barista experience, you can buy a simple, manual machine...and take care of grinding the beans, measuring and tamping the coffee with the right pressure, watching the water pressure and timing the extraction process.
But we have found that while people may enjoy the novelty of doing everything when they first get their manual espresso machine, the thrill soon fades.
And that’s why we suggest that even if you don’t to go for a fully automatic machine, you might want to explore some of the semi-automatic options.
For a fully automatic, hassle-free espresso machine, you can choose from a variety of models from Nespresso.
Nespresso automatic espresso machines are automatic, beautifully designed, and won’t take up more counter space than a regular manual machine.
Plus,you don’t have to worry about grinding and tamping the coffee.
Instead, you use espresso capsules. Each contains the exact right amount of coffee, of the correct grind.
The water pressure and extraction time are taken care of as well.
In other words, you get many of the benefits of a fully automatic espresso machine, but at a fraction of the price.
If you have a bigger budget, check out some of the fully automatic espresso machines for home use.
If you have more to spend, and more counter space, there are some marvelous espresso machines to choose from.
These are fully automatic, beautifully made and they look great too.
Finally, some brewers make drinks that are almost espresso, but not quite.
The beverage created by a true espresso machine is not the same as the brew created by a coffee maker. The water pressure applied when making a true espresso has a unique and quite different effect on the ground coffee.
As a result, whether you are looking for a manual or automatic, if you want to be able to create a shot of espresso, you need to buy a genuine espresso machine.
This means you are not going to buy one of those single-serve coffee makers that come with capsules or discs for making cappuccinos and lattes.
For example, the Tassimo brewers use discs to make regular coffee, cappuccino and latte, along with some other beverages. But these are not espresso machines. They can’t make you a real shot of espresso. And their espresso-based beverages are not the real thing either.
This isn’t to say that a cappuccino made by a Tassimo brewer isn’t any good. It tastes just fine. But it really isn’t the same as the real thing.
To confuse things further, some espresso machines, like the Nespresso Essenza mentioned above, also use capsules or discs.
The bottom line is this…read the name of the machine carefully, before you buy. Be sure it includes the words “espresso machine” or “espresso maker”.
A display of home espresso machines, from very expensive automatic machines to inexpensive stove top alternatives.
About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…