We all love coffee, don’t we? That rush of caffeine to the brain is exactly what we need to get us going in the morning. But some people need an extra boost, something stronger than regular coffee. That’s why they drink espresso. This concentrated coffee is their drug of choice. But since it can get expensive, a great option is to buy your own espresso machine. But what makes for a good espresso machine? Here is an espresso machine buying guide for you to help you make an informed final decision.
Espresso machines come in a variety of price ranges, from fairly cheap to very expensive. Sometimes, the higher cost is due more for durability and quality of materials than anything else. Other times, you’re paying for extra features on your espresso machine, such as frothing wands and water filters. Also, you may be paying for your espresso to taste better.
The most expensive models are usually a combination of the best features. You know the old adage, you get what you pay for. You have to think about how particular you are about your coffee. If you want the best-tasting, you probably want a higher-end model. If you want the most added features, again, you want to spend more money. If, however, you just want the frothy goodness of a shot of espresso and don’t need any fancy bonuses, then something less costly is for you.
There are different types of espresso machines and their ease of use is what sets them apart from each other. For example, the manual espresso maker, the semi-automatic espresso maker, the fully automatic espresso maker, and the super automatic espresso maker. The manual espresso makers are controlled by you. If done correctly, they can produce an excellent shot of espresso; but they are easy to mess up. The semi-automatic espresso maker gives you some control, but is easier to use. It’s controlled by an electric pump. The fully automated espresso makers take control of the entire process. They have an electric pump and also control the amount of water that goes in. The super automated espresso makers are the easiest to use and control everything with the push of a button.
When choosing an espresso machine, you have to consider what you want on it. Do you want just a basic machine or would you like some extra features? Some designs have built-in coffee grinders, water filters, cup warmers, programmable settings, or frothing wands. The closer to your drink that you grind your coffee, the better it will taste, so having a built-in coffee grinder can be very convenient.
The purity of your water will change your coffee’s flavor. A water filter can filter out any impurities your water may have to ensure a clean-tasting cup. A warmer cup will keep your cup from sucking all of the warmth from your coffee. Programmable settings can make life easier by letting you always remember how you like your espresso made. A lot of espresso machines have frothing wands, but if you like cappuccinos and other frothed-milk drinks, you have to make sure you get this feature.
And since these machines can get pretty big, you want to take size into consideration. The extra features mentioned will make the machine bigger. Also, a lot of the bigger models have the option of making two shots instead of one. So you have to decide whether you want a smaller machine with fewer features or a larger one with more.
You want to make sure your espresso machine is durable. Read reviews on how people’s machines have stood the tests of time. This will give you an idea of which brands will last. Also, make sure you get a machine made of metal as it will last longer and retain heat better. Manual machines will likely need fewer repairs than automated ones with electrical parts.
5. Bar Pressure
When making espresso, the water pressure it is made with is measured in Bar Units. The best Bar pressure to use is 9 Bar. However, a lot of commercial espresso machines list much higher numbers. This will make the taste of your espresso change. Ideally, 9 Bar is what you want, but between 8 and 10 is acceptable.
If you’re a fan of espresso and drink it multiple times a day, consider buying your own espresso machine and save money. Make sure you weigh in price, as this will determine everything about your machine, from durability to features. Then determine what type of espresso machine is right for you. Remember, you have four to choose from, ranging from difficult to super easy to use. Next, consider the design. What extras do you need on your machine? Get one made from metal as it will last longest and retain heat best. Finally, get one that produces as close to 9 Bar Units of pressure as possible. If you keep in mind all the factors mentioned in this espresso machine buying guide, you’ll find the right product in no time.