To make a great espresso, you don’t just need a great coffee, you also need the best home espresso machine in your kitchen. And that is the best for YOU. You only know how your cup should be prepared, and for that reason there are also different espresso machine types that you may want to know about.
Every coffee lover knows it, a coffee and an espresso are two completely different beverage, though they use the same concept. Indeed, both are beverages brewed from ground coffee beans, and water passing though them. But they are not delivered with the same process. In addition, they don’t look the same and even taste the same. The flavor, strenght and aroma are different too.
Making an espresso requires hot water to be pressurized (thus the word espresso, nothing about express) and forced through the tamped coffee grounds. Tamping (compacting) is a step that you don’t have to practice with a simple coffee. When it lands in the cup, the espresso is thicker and topped with crema, this brown red top layer. Most people think an espresso is more cafeinated than a simple coffee from a drip coffee maker. This is not true, because less water is used, and coffee is compacted. Cafeine doesn’t have time to get extracted as it is with a drip coffee. However, flavor is thanks to pressure!
Finally, you can make great lattes and cappuccinos with an espresso, or simply enjoy it alone for its super aroma. Let’s seen the various types of home espresso machine you could land in your kitchen at anytime now!
Home Espresso Machine Types
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
The super-automatic type is the one that will require the least effort from your part. They brew the perfect cup of espresso from a simple press on a button. Super easy to use, they integrate a coffee grinder to automatically grind to the finesse you want. Then they automatically measure the amount of coffee needed, tamp the grounds and brew the different coffee style you may want. If they integrate a milk frothing system, you can for example prepare cappuccinos and lattes automatically too. They will even eject the used coffee grounds in a dedicated container for easy cleaning. You will only need to add water in the tank, and beans in the grinder. They are really the simplest to use machine as they do everything for you. They are also generally the most costly. With other machines you still have to use a separate grinder or have it ground by your favorite coffee merchant, fill the basket yourself, tamp it and clean it after each serving.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
With these espresso makers, you will almost get all the steps automated. This may be a great option to consider because you have more control on your coffee taste. A semi-automatic espresso machine contain a pressure pump of course and temperature control for more precision. But you decide when to activate the pump and when to stop it. The machine won’t do it for you but that’s not a bad thing. This is something a lot of people like that allows more control.
Steam Espresso Machines
As their nam suggest, these machines brew espresso with steam. They force water by pressurizing steam though the coffee grounds. These are generally the entry ticket in the world of espresso drinking. They are more compact in design than automatic machines and their price is quite affordable. However, water temperature can’t be controlled, or much less than with the other machine types.
Single Serve Brewers
This kind of home espresso machine is the latest innovation products on the market. It actually also has success in offices for their simplicity and the possibility to buy big packs of cups or pods. They became quickly very popular due to their ease of use, the possibiliy of preparing various hot drinks and affordable price. Indeed, the only required step is to slide in a pod, capsule, bag or cup, depending on the system, and press the brew button. These little prepackaged drink from various brands or taste will let you prepare coffee, tea or hot cocoa drinks. Few machines can even brew espresso thanks to a 15 bar or more pressure, and other drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, either with the help of an integrated milk frother or a specific capsule for milk.
Manual Espresso Machines
These are of course the least automated mechanism to prepare an espresso. They are made for the ultimate coffee lover who wants to experience a traditional way of preparing their favorite beverage. It offers the total control on the final drink. You indeed have to use your hand to force water through the grounds, and you do this by actioning a lever, with your own desired level of pressure. You also add water at the temperature you want. There is of course a learning curve with these machines and you will have to waste a bit of coffee before you can brew the perfect cup. Hopefully it is not that hard and once you get there you can experience the best coffee: the one you REALLY prepare yourself.
Stovetop Espresso Makers
The stovetop espresso pots are actually not espresso makers. Because the water is not pressurized through coffee grounds. However they make a delicious cup of coffee with an awesome espresso taste. In Italy, there is a stovetop in every kitchen, and they are also called Moka machines, or macchinetta. Their huge advantage is also their price, the best ones being about $30, this is a little appliance you can safely buy and enjoy using whenever you want some great coffee.
What’s The Best Home Espresso Machine For You?
From the various types above, you may already have an idea of what you would like to own. An espresso machine you can rely on and one that YOU will like to use everyday too. The design may also be a criteria of choice, and you will see there are litlerally hundreds of styles available for your home espresso machine. The many brands out there certainly have the system you are looking for.