Coffee Espresso Machine

Coffee Espresso Machine

You settle into your favorite chair, at your favorite table by the window, holding your warm cappuccino. You savor the aroma and admire the frothy, foamy peak your barista brought to life. Ahhh… and it’s quiet. Nobody’s around. No noisy people chatting on their cell phones, no boisterous chatter, no piped-in music.

And here’s the best part: your car keys are sitting on your dresser, and you’re still in your pajamas. That skillful barista who made the perfect foam on your cappuccino? That was you. You’ve created your own quaint little cafe right here at home, with your very own coffee espresso machine.

Think this is a dream? Think again! There are many different types of espresso machines on the market that are made especially for home use, ranging from very basic and affordable, right up to the same machines used by professional baristas.

However, before you rush into investing in a coffee espresso machine, take some time to do your homework and consider your needs and preferences. How often do you plan to make espresso drinks at home? How often to you also drink drip coffee? (Some machines have dual brewing capabilities.) How important is the milk frothing capability to you? If you have preferences in any areas such as these, this will help you narrow down the possibilities.

Also think about how you like your espresso drink to be made. For instance, my favorite part of an espresso shot is the crema – that’s the caramel-colored, creamy foam that forms on a perfectly pulled shot. Since transferring the espresso from a shot glass to a coffee mug wastes some of the crema (it sticks to the sides of the shot glasses), I prefer a coffee espresso machine that allows me to fit my whole mug under the group head, thereby capturing the entire shot in my drink.

Here are the basic types of coffee espresso machines on the market:

Pump Coffee Espresso Machine

This is the highest-end but most expensive type of machine to buy. The pump coffee espresso machine is called this because they use a pump to keep the water pressure at the appropriate level, which produces the best and most consistent shot of espresso. Even though this type of machine is very large and heavy (and noisy!), they can be used at home.

Piston Coffee Espresso Machine

This type of machine uses a piston or lever system to manually maintain the optimum pressure required for a great shot of espresso. This type of coffee espresso machine requires little maintenance, and is a lot less noisy than the pump machines. However, sometimes they require a lot of effort to keep the pressure at the right level, and it may take some practice to get the timing down. But if you’re willing to experiment and work out the process, you’ll be rewarded by a great shot, and a sense of accomplishment.

About the Steam Coffee Espresso Machine

The steam coffee espresso machine is typically smaller, easily accessible and relatively affordable, and it uses heat to produce steam instead of a pump or piston to create the pressure. While the lower prices are definitely an advantage for steam machines, if you’re very particular about the quality of your espresso shots, you may find that the steam does not always produced the optimum pressure for that perfect pull. Also, maintaining enough steam to both pull shots and steam milk at the same time is sometimes difficult.

About Moka Pots

This type of machine costs the least of all the options, and requires only your stovetop. The moka pot is a two-part pot which uses boiling water and the steam to create pressure, which pushes the boiling water up through the espresso grounds rather than gravity simply pulling heated what down. The coffee tastes great, but since you cannot froth milk with a moka pot, it’s not for you if you really like your lattes and cappuccinos. But if you like a good espresso or a shot in the dark (brewed coffee with a shot of espresso added) and have a limited budget, give the moka pot a try.

Don’t be put off by the high prices on a coffee espresso machine. Take a few moments to think about what you spend per day on your espresso drinks. A latte can cost you as much as $4. If you’re like me, you average about five a week. That’s $975 a year! Over the course of time you may find that dropping the money once up front is worth the investment – especially when you consider the convenience of enjoying your favorite espresso beverage at home.

Take some time to think about each of the options, and which one fits your lifestyle the best. No matter which coffee espresso machine you decide to buy, you’ll be enjoying espresso drinks with your friends at family in your own home cafe in no time.