Guide To Choosing The Perfect Coffee Machine
As the craze for high-quality fresh coffee brew increases, companies have come up with state-of-the-art machines to quench the thirst of caffeine lovers. However, researching the best espresso machine to find the one that suits your needs can easily become complicated. If your particular drink is espresso, here is a look at the factors you should consider when searching for a suitable coffee machine.
What to look for when buying an espresso machine
Every user has different needs when it comes to a kitchen appliance. Our budgets and kitchen space are different too. This makes it important to buy an espresso machine that suits your needs. Think about the following aspects of a machine before purchasing one.
1. Performance and ease of use
Even if most manufacturers include a user manual to help the buyer understand how their model is used, some instructions can be complicated to understand and implement. Do not go for a complicated machine unless you buy from a vendor who can demonstrate how the equipment is used before purchasing.
However, there are automated models that do not require a lot of hands-on prepping, control and so forth. Automatic machines are programmable such that the user needs to only set a few functions to get the kind of espresso drink they are interested in.
Also, when considering their performance, it could be helpful to think about other features of the machine that could affect ease of use. For instance, does it come with an inbuilt grinder, frother or water filter? If a machine lacks these, it means you will do additional work to get the quality of coffee you are interested in.
2. Ease of maintenance and cleaning
Even with a machine that is easy to use, you need to think about its care. If you’ll have difficulties cleaning it, chances are after some time, you will endure dirty, ugly equipment for the rest of its lifetime unless you part with some money for professional care. Also, some coffee remains may collect inside it and interfere with its function or mar the taste of brew you get from the coffee maker. Ask about the cleaning process so that you can assess if it’s something you’ll be happy to carry out.
3. Types of espresso drinks it can brew
There are different kinds of espresso drinks one can brew at home. These include cappuccino, Americano, espresso shot, latte, and macchiato. The basic drink is the espresso shot, the rest are based on it. If you want to experiment with the various options, you should consider equipment that is versatile enough to produce either.
4. Design and durability
Machines can also add to the aesthetic appeal of your home. This makes it useful to consider how it is designed. Fortunately, there are numerous stylish designs of espresso coffee makers that will improve the appearance of your kitchen. Nevertheless, make sure it is designed with sturdy materials that can last long. Some brands come with a warranty or money-back guarantee. This can boost your confidence that you are getting a durable machine worthy your money.
People have different purchasing abilities depending on their financial status. Thankfully, the models of coffee makers in the market today are varied, some with high prices and others low. This caters for people with different budgets. Of importance is to avoid compromising on quality features for a cheaper deal.
The price will depend on the quality of materials used, features, and technology or ease of use. If an espresso coffee maker is designed to last long, you are likely to pay more for it compared to the price of one that is made of low-quality materials. Also, intelligent machines are likely to be more expensive than manual ones. Extra features such as a water filter, frothing capability and so forth will up the price of a machine too.
There are huge espresso makers in the market today. You cannot opt for such if you have a tiny kitchen. That’s why there are also small designs that can fit in almost every kitchen effortless. Also, some designs are actually miniature allowing users to carry the machine wherever they go so they won’t miss the thrill of a home-made high-quality espresso drink anytime of the day.
Different styles of espresso machines
When you set out to look for an espresso machine, you will come across three broad categories. These include the bean-to-cup, capsule, and manual espresso machine. Here is a look at the key differences between each style.
Bean-to-cup espresso machines
If you love fresh coffee from freshly ground beans, this is the kind of machine you should consider. It is designed to grind the beans before brewing it and pouring into your cup. Simply put, all you need is properly roasted beans, among other ingredients, to attain tasty espresso with this equipment.
Capsule machines have been designed to offer a fresh cup of coffee fast and without a mess. The coffee is prepared from fresh grounds of high-quality coffee enclosed in a capsule-like packaging. The machine will give one cup at a go. If you love good coffee but do not have time for pounding beans or cleaning after, this is your go-to choice. Capsules are, however, an expensive alternative to beans.
Manual espresso machine
In case you have seen what many coffee shops use, then you have an idea what a manual espresso machine looks like. The machine can come with a single or double boiler. A double boiler could be expensive but enables you to brew your coffee and froth milk at the same time. It may require some level of manual work to get these kinds of machines ready for brewing, but they allow you the control you need to obtain an espresso brew of your choice.
Getting the perfect brew out of this machine may require some skill, practice, and patience. This is because you have to monitor the temperatures to know when to add your ingredients or to remove the brew, clip the grounds into the group head or tamp the coffee powder. There will be some cleaning left to do after the entire process as well.
Best Espresso Machine Comparison Chart
|Minipresso GR Hand Held Espresso Maker||Manual||No||5.0|
|Capresso 12401 Ultima PRO||Semi-Auto||Yes||4.7|
|Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker||Capsule||No||4.4|
|Hamilton Beach 40792 Espresso Maker||Semi-Auto||Yes||4.4|
|Mr. Coffee K-Cup Brewing System SC100||Capsule||No||4.0|
A quick review of the best espresso machines on the market today
Mr. Coffee K-Cup Brewing System with Reusable Grounds Filter, Silver, SC100
Ensure a daily caffeine fix conveniently every morning with this versatile and affordable coffee maker. With a capacity of up to 10 ounces, this Mr. Coffee K-Cup brewing system is affordable for the results it gives.
The home user who wants to save time when serving the family or guests without compromising on the quality of their coffee will find this machine a safe-haven.
You can choose between ground coffee and K-Cups, yet still keep your brewing space clean and neat by utilizing the removable and washable drip tray.
Its compact design in silver color makes this brewing system a suitable kitchen appliance for any home owner who is sensitive about style.
Capresso 12401 Ultima Pro Programmable Espresso and Cappuccino machine
Enjoy your home coffee brewing experience with this programmable machine. For the same price, the Capresso 12401 Ultima Pro comes with 2 cup and saucers of 3 oz, a stainless steel frothing pitcher, and a handheld milk frother.
It is a heavy-duty design with the outer surfaces accented with stainless steel polish. You can set it to brew one or two cups of espresso using the illuminated programming buttons and icons.
The portafilter is large and self-tamping making brewing of your cappuccino or espresso at home hassle-free.
MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker by Wacaco Company
If you must enjoy a quality shot of espresso anytime you want no matter where you are, this mini espresso machine should top your buying list.
With a stellar rating of 4.5 in Amazon and retailing under $60* at the time of penning this review, its compact, sleek design is a beauty to behold. Furthermore, it weighs 12.8 ounces only and doesn’t require batteries or electricity to operate, yet it produces exceptional results.
This makes it a perfect companion for your trip, outdoor excursions, or when you are at college, office, hotel room, and home.
Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker
From a leading brand in the coffee industry, Nespresso’s Inissia Espresso maker brings you convenience in brewing close-to-traditional quality espresso.
It is lightweight, compact and installed with an ergonomic handle to make your life easier during brewing. Besides, the Inissia capsule coffee maker comes in various colors, including black, white and red, to meet the preferences of different users.
Beware, though, the Nespresso Inissia Espresso maker is designed to work with Nespresso coffee capsules only. Other of its enviable qualities are 2 programmable buttons to prepare Espresso or lungo, a dense brewing unit technology, energy efficient and a 24-ounce water tank for a large serving.
Hamilton Beach 40792 Espresso & Cappuccino Maker
At face-value, you might think it’s difficult to operate. On the contrary, it comes with a Slide and Lock filter holder that makes the setup process a breeze.
With this coffee maker, you have the option of using finely ground espresso powder or a pod. Using the selector dial, you can command it to produce steam or espresso.
With 15 bars of pressure, the machine is capable of powerful extraction to give the perfect brew and rich crema. It is of a considerable size and beautifully polished with stainless steel which makes it a suitable addition to your kitchen.
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