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Choosing a Home Espresso Machine

By on January 17th, 2007
Posted in Uncategorized |


Espresso machines come in a variety of styles. Which kind is right for you?
You’ve decided you need an espresso machine at home, but what kind? They all have the same basic mechanism: forcing hot water through coffee grounds under pressure. But there are different ways to accomplish that. There are 4 basic machines, and each has its positive and negative features.

Pump Espresso Machines
• These use a powered pump to produce the right amount of water pressure
• Usually the most expensive
• Can be quite large, bulky and noisy
• Produces excellent espresso
• Pump can get clogged with mineral deposits from the water
• Commercial machines are often this type

Lever/Piston Espresso Machines
• There is a manual lever and piston on these models to create the pressure
• Can be hard on the arm
• Very quiet machine
• Espresso quality can vary
• Few parts, low maintenance

Steam Powered Espresso Machines
• The steam from heated water creates the pressure
• Pressure isn’t always strong enough to make a good Espresso
• Smaller machine, sleek design
• Quick and easy to use

Moka Pots • These are simple stove-top pots
• Water in the bottom half of the pot, forces steam through the coffee into the top half of the pot
• Super simple
• Less pressure than the mechanized versions
• No milk frothing/foaming attachments
• Least expensive of all these models

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