Buying Guide: How To Shop For An Espresso Machine
If you are a habitual coffee drinker, you probably have a favorite coffee shop that you visit at least once every day. And you already know that coffee prices can add up fast. By becoming your own barista, you can save yourself a pretty penny and use that money on something else – without having to sacrifice your caffeine.
An espresso machine can be a great way to make your own custom coffee right at home. What you may not know is that there are many types of espresso machines, all with their own set of pros and cons. Keep reading to learn how to choose which one is right for you.
Semi-automatic espresso machines are the most popular type used in homes. Semi-automatics are fairly easy to use because almost everything is already programmed. The only work that you have to do is turn the pump on and off to engage the machine. Some people prefer this over a full automatic because you get to decide exactly how much water goes into your espresso shot. The Rancilio Silvia Machine and the Café Roma Deluxe both have good user reviews and fall into the mid-range of prices for semi-automatics. If you’re looking for something cheaper, the Espressione Minuetto Machine runs well under $300, which will definitely pay for itself over time.
Automatic machines are very similar to semi-automatics, but they tend to be more expensive. Automatics are perfect if you want your coffee to make itself while still having the option of controls built in. Many automatic machines have a semi-automatic switch for days when you feel like adding a personal touch to your espresso.
The one downside to automatic machines is that you have to be very careful with all of the electronic parts. If broken down, they can be difficult to repair. The Saeco Syntia Focus Espresso Machine is a great option for an automatic machine at home, running a bit cheaper than other automatics. If you have a bit more money to spare, the DeLonghi Ecam 23450 can make espresso, lattes and cappuccinos, all with the push of a button. It even offers a self-cleaning feature.
3. Super Automatic
The super automatic espresso machines really do it all. These even come with a built in coffee grinder so you have literally no work to do when making your morning coffee. However, they are quite expensive, a cost that you may be willing to pay for top-notch coffee at just the push of a button. Both the Gaggia 90950 and the Saeco Syntia espresso machines are highly recommended by many users.
Manual machines are exactly what they sound like – every step will require your own physical effort. While this can be frustrating and intimidating, manual espresso machines can also produce the best cups of coffee that you’ve ever had. Despite the lack of fancy electronic panels and automatic gears, these will still cost quite a bit. The La Pavoni PSW16 and the Elektra SX are both age old brands that will surely not disappoint. If you master the manual machine, you might not ever want store brewed coffee ever again.
Capsule machines are by far the easiest and cleanest machines to use. These machines require only pre-made capsules, rather than pure coffee beans – no grinding and no mess necessary. Of course, the drawback is that the coffee won’t taste as rich and flavorful as purely ground coffee would.
Some capsule machines will also lock you into a certain brand, so make sure you research what capsules can be sued before you make a purchase. A few good choices for these machines are the DeLonghi EN 520.R and the Gaggia 105399.
Espresso machines are definitely an investment, but if you drink coffee every day, these handy little machines will pay for themselves over time. Plus, it’s always nice to have your favorite coffee on hand right at home. Once you pick out the machine for you, stock up on your favorite coffee and coffee accessories and enjoy!