Buying an espresso machine to produce the perfect coffee will depend on several things. The make, time, durability, and of course, the cost of the equipment, not forgetting a few other minute factors that will influence your decision. Before buying any espresso machine, it is important to know how they work as well as their advantages and disadvantages. This will greatly assist in making the right purchase, thereby suiting your likes.
Manual Espresso Machine
With the rise in technology today, not many individuals are fans of the manual espresso machine. Although it’s been known to produce some of the best coffee, it’s also been recognized for its frustration and equally infuriation. It is, therefore, not ideal for people who love saving time but can be considered as hands-on experience and even fun for those who love getting their hands dirty. There are two types of manual espresso machines, they include:-
- Spring Piston lever – This machine has got an inner calibrated spring that pushes down the ground coffee. The temperature and pressure are mainly controlled by the user, one making the coffee using the machine. This method lets the brewer control every process of which is an added advantage when compared to the now automatic machines. It allows you to control the time and pressure as well as the pre-infusion within the machine.
- Direct Lever Machines – This machine is much similar to the spring piston lever in its operations. The major difference, however, is the placement of the lever, which is different in comparison to the spring piston. Here, you can control the pressure, temperature, and the amount of water that will be incorporated into the making of your coffee, much like the spring piston. It is important to know how different blends will need different pressures to produce the best coffee.
The semi-automatic espresso machine is designed to work on the espresso beans without being fully monitored as compared to the manual espresso machine. It not only takes a shorter time but also does away with the headache and frustration that is accompanied by dealing with the manual machine. It controls the pressure and temperature exerted on the beans, also regulating the time on the coffee beans. However, you will have to choose the duration of time you want it to spend on the extraction of the coffee beans, which bears the main difference between the semi-automatic and the super-automatic.
They feature a port filter, boiler, and then activate/deactivate button on the machine that enables the user to determine the time spent on the coffee beans.
The fact that it lets you choose the duration of time on brewing the coffee also allows you to determine the flow of water in the machine hence ensuring that you get the perfect coffee in the end. The presence of port filters and grinders in the semi-automatic espresso machine also acts as a temperature stabilizer. This depends on whether the port filter is pressurized or non-pressurized and will greatly influence the quality of the espresso.
There are different semi-automatic espresso machines that come with different types of boilers. Depending on the make, the presence of both a boiler and steamer will assure you of boiling your coffee and steaming it at the same time. But with smaller semi-automatic machines, they will only allow you to tackle one thing at a time.
Super Automatic Espresso Machine
As compared to both the manual and the semi-automatic espresso machine, the super-automatic espresso machine is the easiest and most efficient espresso machine in the market today. It will do everything from grinding, brewing, and even steaming within a very short time without any fuss as compared to the other two. This is very convenient for people who like to have their beverage ready in a very short time.
As much as it does just about everything, it will also have you to initiate the time taken on the extraction, time to brew the coffee as well as the water hardness throughout the process. They also have their own inbuilt grinders, which saves you the time to grind the coffee beans by yourself. The best part about this feature is that you will get to choose how fine you want it to be ground and time taken on it.
When it comes to steaming and brewing, the super-automatic machine has the same features as the semi-automatic espresso machine. In that, there are some that will not allow you to brew and steam your milk at the same time while there are others that will allow you to carry out these processes concurrently.
The super-automatic espresso machine is the most convenient, especially when you want to save time. However, if you are a hands-on person and love to get your hands dirty from time to time, then the manual espresso machine is the way to go.