Think about having a fresh, coffee-shop-quality espresso when you get up in the morning ñ without having to leave the house. This is what your very own espresso machine can provide, but it is important to make sure you buy the right product, and know how to use it when you get it home.
Espresso is a syrupy, traditionally Italian, specialty coffee. Coffee shop owners will tell you that making mouth-watering espresso is just like pulling the perfect pint of beer. It requires patience, practice, and is much harder than it looks. Good quality espresso machines can make it easier by controlling the temperature and the internal mechanisms more exactly.
These machines function in several different ways. If, for instance, you value authenticity, and have strong arms, a Piston-driven espresso maker could be for you. The design for this fully-manual espresso machine comes from as far back as 1938. Many are now sold for decorative value in addition to making a good cup of espresso coffee.
There are various types of semi-automatic espresso machines. In all cases the water is delivered via a pump mechanism, but the grinding, preparation and insertion of the coffee must be done by hand. These may be more difficult to find, as recently automatic or super-automatic machines are becoming more popular and cost-effective.
Automatic espresso machines are very similar to the semi-automatic version, but the temperature and amount of the water is also controlled automatically. Super-automatic espresso machines are still mostly for the high-end of the market. These basically only require you to put the coffee beans in! They may also have many extra features, such as milk frothing or filter coffee making. However, some coffee fans believe the super-automatic espresso machines produce poor quality espresso.
Prices for espresso machines range from below fifty dollars to over two thousand dollars. The most expensive are pump-controlled espresso machines, which are generally only used by coffee shops. If you are purchasing one of these, clearly it is vital to find a reputable provider with experience. Thanks to the Internet home espresso machines are becoming more easily available, even from non-specialist shopping websites.
The best advance the Internet has brought though is the increase in consumer reviews of espresso machines. This helps you to purchase based on the experience of others, rather than the sales materials provided by the manufacturer.
Once you have invested in the best espresso machine that suits your tastes, you will need to buy the best quality coffee beans. There is no point blaming the espresso machine if you have scrimped on this vital component! Espresso machine providers often offer their own range of coffee beans, which may be much wider than that available at your local supermarket.
An espresso machine is a perfect investment or gift for somebody really passionate about coffee. You should be willing, like the coffee shop connoisseurs, to put some time and effort into making the perfect cup. If you do this, and choose your espresso machine carefully, you could be well on your way to coffee heaven!