For the uninitiated, espresso is more than just coffee. Made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans under pressure, a shot of espresso is delicious and packs a lot of energy in a tiny cup. Unfortunately for the espresso lovers among us, it’s also one of the more expensive selections at coffee shops.
What to Know Before Buying an Espresso Machine
The reason a coffee shop can charge more for espresso than a cup of coffee that costs the same for them to make is that they know that most of their customers don’t have the equipment to make their own espresso at home. What most aficionados do not realize, however, is that a good espresso machine does not have to cost as much as they might think. Today, we’ll share our tips for shopping for an espresso machine that won’t break the bank.
We’ll start by looking at the two main kinds of espresso machines, semi-automatic and drip brewers.
A semi-automatic machine is the larger, more complex espresso machine type with multiple components and accessories. Depending on the brand, you can produce a number of different types of coffee. Some of the machines are user-friendly, and they can come in smaller sizes with less complex mechanisms.
A drip brewer is very basic and doesn’t have any of the complexities of the semi-automatic. It’s more compact and light in weight and produces only one or two types of coffee depending on the brand. It doesn’t have a lot of functions and is more user-friendly.
What Does the Drip Brewer Look Like?
These machines are smaller and usually have grip handles, so you can easily move them around. All that’s required is to place a pod inside the capsule holder and let the coffee drip into your cup. Some of these designs come in a number of colors for style.
These machines come with these basics:
- Removable water tank
- Removable drip tray
- One-touch function
- Pod capsule installation
- Capsule dispenser
What Components to Look for in Both Types of Machines
Different types of machines produce different tasting brews. Capsule machines make more watered down and strong based coffees. Semi-automatic and manual machines produce rich and creamy textures with sweeter based brews.
If you just want espressos, then a drip brewer or capsule machine is the right product for you. But if you want more of a variety, then semi-automatic machines are better suited as they produce many different types of coffee such as:
Automatic machines such as drip brewers tend to only accommodate multiple cups of coffee, whereas semi-automatic or pod machines only allow you to produce one or two cups at a time.
Semi-automatic machines are extremely complex, especially to a novice. It isn’t easy to know where the components fit and how everything works without reading the manuals or doing extensive research. A drip brewer only needs a push of a button to make espresso, although the taste might not be as rich with a drip brewer.
A drip brewer is extremely limited to the strength of brew you want or the taste of the coffee you prefer. A semi-automatic is more diverse in the controls, allowing you to adjust your brew’s flavor and strength. It helps in knowing how to use a semi-automatic espresso machine if you want to produce café level coffees.
Size of Your Machine
A drip brewer is usually small and compact with a grip handle allowing you to move it around. It’s suitable for kitchens that have limited space. A semi-automatic is much bigger and has a lot of components that stick out. It’s a lot heavier and would probably be suitable for any size kitchen but preferable a large area.
The Cleaning Process
A drip brewer has fewer parts that need cleaning and maintenance, so it’s easy to clean and put back together. A semi-automatic machine has many removable components that need to be removed and cleaned regularly to maintain the machine and coffee taste.
Delectable coffee is yours for the taking, and life is too short ever to have a badly made cup-o-joe. You deserve only the finest your money can buy, and with a little research, you can enjoy the art of coffee making without feeling bad about spending.