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What To Look For When Buying an Espresso Machine

If you are thinking about getting your own espresso machine, you need to consider a few factors: Four different classes of espresso machines:

how to buy Espresso Machine

1. Manual Machines

Manual machines are also referred to as lever espresso machines and know to be the most hands-on machines. If you decide to buy a manual espresso machine reviews, you will need to use a lever to manually press the hot water through the ground coffee, ensuring you use the right timing, force and speed.

There are two sub-classes in manual machines, namely “spring piston lever” machines and “direct lever” machines. Operating a spring lever machine is slightly easier than operating a direct lever machine.

Manual espresso machines are usually attractive appliances and produce a high-quality espresso. You will have more control over the brewing process. Manual espresso machines also have a reputation for durability. The down-sides to manual espresso machines are that the units tend to be more expensive and the most difficult to operate.

2. Semi-Automatic Machines

Semi-automatic espresso machines features an automated internal pump, automated temperature controls for the boiler and activation switches, which engages and disengages the pump. You will need to switch the pump on and when the machine brewed the desired amount of coffee, switch the machine off to stop brewing. You will be responsible for grinding the coffee, tamping it into the portafilter (group handle) and cleaning the used puck.

Semi-automatic espresso machines are easier to operate than manual machines. You control the brewing process to a large extend to make high-quality espresso shots. There are affordable models of good quality brands available in the market, however some models can be very expensive. The semi-automatic espresso machine is more difficult to operate, compared to automatic and super automatic espresso machines.

Espresso Machine Buying guide

3. Automatic Machines

Automatic espresso machines features a pump, automated temperature controls for the boiler and an automated pre-set water volume, which is selected with the press of a button. Most automatic espresso machines have controls that allows you to use them as a semi-automatic machine. You will still have to grind the coffee, tamping it into the portafilter and cleaning the used puck, when operating an automatic espresso machine.

Automatic espresso machines are very easy to operate and a range of affordable models are available on the market. You need to consider that automatic models can have more complex parts and some models can be very expensive. You also have less control over the flavor of the espresso.

4. Super Automatic Machines

Super automatic espresso machines are able to automatically grind beans, compact them, heat the water, force it through with the correct pressure and eject a spent puck, with the press of a button.

The super automatic espresso machine is the easiest class of espresso maker to operate and has a lot of options available, such as programmable settings and built-in coffee grinder. This class of espresso makers are considered to be the most expensive.

Ease of use:

A big differentiating factor in different espresso models is how easy and convenient they are to use. Some espresso machines are automated and can brew complicated espresso drinks with the press of a button.


Super automatic espresso machines are usually more expensive when compared to a semi-automatic espresso machines. Higher-end machines comes with extra features and are more durable, but less expensive models can also produce a high quality espresso shot. Another significant factor involved in the pricing of espresso machines is whether the machine is handmade and involve complex, specialized parts.

Grinding capabilities:

Some espresso machines has built-in grinders that host the coffee beans within a canister. You will then select the amount of coffee that should be ground for the brew. Other espresso machines has a receptacle for coffee grinds. A quality grinder is important to freshly grind the coffee to the precise particle sizes needed for good extraction.

Frothing Capabilities

Espresso machines can also provide espresso-based beverages like cappuccino, macchiato and Americano. In order to froth the milk correctly, the espresso machine needs to have a spout for milk to flow from, at the correct temperature and pressure.

Updated: June 14, 2017 — 6:47 am

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