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What to look out for when buying an espresso machine?

For the start of a nice day, nothing beats a cup of coffee with a strong taste like it’s delicious and topped with a dash of creamy foam! Like many others, you dream of the perfect coffee machine for the morning when things are not going well. If you want to make sure you can find it, follow the instructions!

Different types of machines?

  • Several types of coffee makers exist in the market:
  • Capsule model
  • The automatic pattern for coffee beans
  • Manual model (piston for ground coffee).

Capsules/pod machines

Most of these machines are automatic: one capsule and the machine does the rest in terms of dosage. Popular brands: Nespresso, Tassimo, Dolce Gusto and Senseo. Read our comparative article on capsule/pod machines to learn more.

This machine requires a higher pressure than the manual/automatic machine because the pressure must (1) penetrate the capsule and (2) the larger the blender, the better the pressure will extract the perfume.

You will find below a brief table about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of machine.

Automatic machine with a coffee grinder (grinder)

These coffee makers automatically grind the beans to give you a delicious espresso. Grain grinder, also called mill, is made of metal or ceramic.

The automatic machine has the advantage of being easier to use than the manual because it quantifies your coffee (short | long) according to a predefined program. The guide, therefore, has the advantage of allowing you the freedom to drink coffee and is especially suited to coffee enthusiasts. There are some differences that we have reported in the comparison article between manual and automatic machines.

How to choose your espresso machine?

The first choice to make, and perhaps most importantly, with regard to the type of coffee machine you will have: automatic or manual?

If, for you, making coffee is done easily and quickly, then obviously, this is an automatic coffee machine for you. This type of espresso machine gives you the opportunity to quickly prepare both black coffee and milk drinks. In order not to spoil anything, they allow you to determine the intensity and length of the coffee you want.

For a manual coffee machine, it is created for people who cannot separate the brewing of coffee from a ritual where certain imagination and passion have their place. If you are one of these, you will have undeniable pleasure when using the manual coffee machine.

The main difference between post and auto is the ability to create the perfect coffee for you. In other words, with a craft coffee machine, you can become a barista, a true coffee artist!

Also, don’t forget that a classic cup of coffee (with skin or with coffee beans) contains 7 g of coffee. However, a manual coffee machine gives you the option to increase this value to 9 g. If there is one negative point to mention about this machine, it involves the production of milk drinks. To achieve good results, it is really necessary to be proficient in using the steam nozzle.

 What are the major brands of coffee machines?

The most famous brands are Delonghi, Krups, Melitta, Saeco, and Jura. To learn more about Delonghi machines, read this article. Delonghi and Krups make both automatic and manual machines.

Coffee maker with or without a blender?

Are you a fan of fresh coffee? Coffee maker with a blender is the one for you. Especially easy to use, the espresso grinder automatically takes care of your coffee beans as well as the correct and accurate dosage of water and ground coffee, resulting in espresso.

It turns out it is more expensive, but it still saves you significantly in the long run. Coffee beans are cheaper than capsules and skins. You can also grind coffee with a coffee grinder and use a manual coffee maker to make coffee.

Steel or ceramic grinding machine? Are you looking for silence?

To make shredders, manufacturers use in most cases of steel or ceramic.

Most shredders are made of steel. This material turned out to be reliable and solid. A steel crusher gave it unbreakable, but it could not resist the wear and tear of time.

Ceramic grinders are more expensive than steel machines, as they benefit from more complex technology. It has the advantage of being less noisy than its counterpart, in addition to being resistant to abrasion and therefore extremely reliable. With ceramic grinding, grinding is always homogeneous.

In addition, it keeps all the aroma of coffee intact as it does not heat the beans. The only downside with this crusher is that it may be damaged.

Adjust the blender variation with a blender: bland or bitter?

It should be noted that the shredder is manufactured with medium settings. This setting may not be suitable for your needs. Also, if some factories provide instructions for factory presets, it becomes clear fairly quickly that these instructions are not always reliable.

Either way, calibrating the mill is nothing complicated. To do this, all you need is a timer to determine the extraction time. Is there anything to know about these factors later?

The extraction of 40 ml of espresso takes 25 to 30 seconds for a dose of 7 or 8 g of coffee. Faster extraction leads to bland coffee because the extracted flavor is not enough. Also, the faster the water passes through the grind, the coarser. Then it is necessary to make a finer grind.

On the one hand, an extract lasting more than 30 seconds produces bitter coffee: water does not penetrate and only undergoes a very fine grinding process. Therefore, the extraction is done too slowly and as a result, the coffee is uncomfortable for flavor. Then it is necessary to make a finer grind.

A question about pressure? 15 or 19 bars?

Express usually indicates a pressure of 15 to 19 bar but the optimum pressure to extract the proper aroma from coffee is from 8 to 10 bar (ideally 9 bar). Excessive pressure is a marketing argument. Note that excessive pressure may over-extract coffee and excessive pressure for excessive extraction.

At ideal pressure, water is sprayed at high pressure on ground coffee and gives off the slightest aroma.

The result: a delicious cup of coffee, full of sophistication and adorned with a layer of cream foam.

Why must we adjust the temperature?

You should know that water temperature is an essential criterion to get as much flavor from coffee as possible. Even for those who do not really love coffee, it is easy to recognize the difference between types of coffee only 1 degree Celsius apart. When the temperature is too low, the coffee becomes pale and light. tenderness; If the temperature is too high, coffee has a bitter taste. For espresso, the ideal temperature is between 88 and 92 ° C.

Water tank and bean container capacity

The comfort of using your espresso machine will vary significantly depending on the volume of the water tank and the bean container. Depending on the model, this tank can hold from 1.2 liters to 5 liters of water. The container for beans can receive from 125 grams to 500 grams.

What maintenance for your device?

If you want to maintain the life of an automatic coffee maker and keep the flavor of the coffee it creates intact, you will have to agree to do some work. Therefore, an automatic coffee machine requires regular maintenance, including water filtration, cleaning, and descaling.

A manual coffee machine, on the other hand, requires little maintenance. In addition, it is less risky when having trouble. However, it will need regular cleaning to ensure its longevity, but you can keep it for 15 years or more.

Softshell or ESE shell?

Softshells are widely used. They are suitable for low-pressure machines (like Senseo) and offer you a fairly standard coffee, relatively close to the filter coffee machine. Its nice foam, however, will remind you of espresso.

ESE shell (Easy Serving Espresso) creates a real espresso. Their use is suitable for machines where water is pumped at very high pressures (about 15 lines versus 1 to 2 lines for flexible case receivers).


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