Espresso Machines: The Right One for You

How to choose the right espresso machine for you

So you have decided to bring the experience of espresso into your home. That’s great! But what machine do you need? Espresso machines can range from simple and efficient to multifaceted and complex. The price range is as varied as the style.

So What’s the Perfect Machine for You?

Gaggia Classic is an excellent basic espresso machineThat depends on what you need from your espresso and your lifestyle. We all have our own preferences and tastes when it comes to this high-quality beverage, so how you like your espresso will really play into your decision. Perhaps you like your espresso elegant and simple, no bells or whistles. There are machines that handle only espresso beans and water, which sounds like the best bet for you. Or perhaps you like to add a little flair to your espresso with steamed milk. Some machines have steamers attached, and other features, for your enjoyment. If your budget has a say in the matter, then there are options that will please both you and your wallet.

No matter how you like your espresso, there is a machine that will help you make it the way you want. Finding the right machine that makes espresso the way you like it is the first step toward having your espresso experience at home. Take a few moments to decide on your dream espresso experience, and read on to discover which machines will provide you the beverage you desire. An important factor in every machine you are looking for will be the bars. A bar is the unit of pressure that the espresso machine will push the water into your ground beans. For example, 10 bars of pressure is 10 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level. Espresso is commonly made with 9 bars of pressure, but espresso machines can have wider ranges of pressure (i.e. up to 18 bars) for you to find your perfect brew. Because espresso is a personal experience, be aware you will be trying a few different features before you find the right method for you.

Espresso Machine types range from Basic to “All-Singing, All-Dancing” Models

Breville high end automatic home espresso machineThere are a few types of espresso machines within each category: semi-automatic, automatic, and super-automatic that will help you decide. Semi-automatic espresso machines have partial manual functions, so you still have a hand in part of the process. Machines with no bean grinder or automatic milk frother are an example of a semi-automatic. An automatic can be considered a machine with a bean grinder and tamper within the machine. Your role is to load up the beans and the water, set your bars and temperature and you’re good to go. A super-automatic machine is the same as an automatic, but with extra features such as a milk frother, and extra buttons for other espresso features. These are fantastic machines with a lot of tech inside them, so they can tend to sit at the top of the price point for espresso machines. No matter how you like making your espresso, be it manual grinding or hands free, there are options for you.

Simplicity

If you want a pure espresso with excellent crema and nothing else, then a simple espresso machine will do the trick. Just because they don’t have the bells and whistles doesn’t mean they’re any less quality, however. These machines just don’t have extra reservoirs for milk, or extra buttons for different functions that the other machines need. These machines will have just the basics: adjustable bars of pressure, a water reservoir, and an adjustable temperature gauge. You’ll want to complement your espresso machine with a high-quality espresso bean grinder.

Top of the Line

Some espresso machines will do everything for you and then some. If you want all the bells and whistles look for integrated menus, touch screens and attached bean grinders and tampers. These machines can also come with automatic milk frothers. This option is perfect if you have specifics for your favorite espresso and want a hands-free experience. Just make sure your machine is loaded, and you’re good to go! Swipe through the menu, touch your favorite beverage, and watch your drink brew before your eyes.

Budget

No matter what style machine you want, keeping your budget in mind is important. But you don’t have to let a budget sacrifice the type of espresso you can make at home. Even if you want a top of the line espresso machine, you can find a second hand machine from sites like eBay to suit your needs. You can have your steamed milk and drink it too! Keep in mind your absolutes when deciding your machine, then look for used machines or discounts where you can.

Bean Grinder

As always with fine coffee beverages, be sure to use your favorite espresso beans and a good quality grinder. The grind of the coffee beans will need to be like sand. When pinched, the grind should clump up slightly. This will give the best results when the espresso is processed in your machine. Choosing a grinder that complements your espresso machine is a simple process. Do you prefer to grind your beans by hand? Then you’ll want to pick up a manual grinder. If you don’t care for the manual experience, then an automatic grinder is the choice for you. Some espresso machines have automatic grinders installed, so be sure you take that into consideration when choosing your machine.

There is no right way to make an espresso, there’s only your way

Finding the best machine for you will ensure you get the espresso experience you’re looking for. Having your espresso at home means you can make it the way you like it. If you want steamed milk in your espresso, there’s a machine that will do that for you. If you want it simple and pure, then there’s a machine for that too. When you have the freedom to make your espresso at home, you can fine-tune your espresso process. Play with your espresso machine and find your favorite style of espresso.

Making espresso at home can become a calming ritual. Grind your coffee, add the water to your espresso machine and let the heavenly smell permeate your kitchen. It can also be the perfect wake up call. Stumble into your kitchen and swipe the touchscreen on your espresso machine, hit your favorite drink and let the machine do all the work for you. Want to change up your routine? Pick a different item from the innovative menu and try something new. Now that you have your machine in your home, you can craft your favorite espresso however you want, as often as you want it. Picking the right espresso machine for your personal needs is the most important step to getting your favorite espresso in your own home.

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