What to decide when selecting an espresso machine

Espresso is a beverage made by brewing boiling water under pressure and through finely ground coffee beans. If you want an espresso at home, there are many varieties of espresso machines. To buy an espresso machine, you first need to decide on your budget, what type of espresso machine you would like and if the machine you’re considering has good consumer ratings. (See more: http://www.answers.com/article/768314/buying-an-espresso-machine)

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Choose a style of espresso machine

There are three main styles to choose from: semi– or fully automatic, super automatic and manual. A semi- or fully automatic espresso machine has a portafilter handle for filling with coffee and uses a pump to brew the espresso. Super automatic machines have built-in grinders to grind the coffee beans. A manual is aesthetically pleasing but requires more arm work as you pump the espresso yourself.

Consider your budget

Set a budget for the new espresso machine. Espresso machines have a very wide range in prices, starting at less than $200 to more than $1,000. The store you purchase it from, the brand, the accessories it comes with and the style of machine all determine the final cost. To set a realistic budget, start looking at different machines and noting their price. This is a good place to start to decide how much you’re willing to spend.

Read consumer reviews

While consumer reviews of espresso machines are not the only factor you consider, it is still a good idea to read them. To benefit effectively from reviews, use multiple sources instead of only the retail store’s internal reviewing system. Perform a search on the brand or style you are considering and find 5 to 10 different sites with consumer reviews. Look at the overall rating to determine if the majority are satisfied or disappointed.

” The basic shot making techniques get you decent espresso, but not necessarily the best espresso. For that, you want to find which combination of pressure, temperature, grind, and finishing color works best with the blend. Also, things do go wrong—temperatures and pressures can drift, burrs get dull, machines can build up coffee oils faster than usual and require an unscheduled cleaning. Each of these mars the taste and needs to be identified. A good barista can taste an espresso and have a fairly good idea of what adjustments are required to optimize the taste. By the second or third go round of tasting and adjusting, the blend should be well dialed in. This takes experience, but here are some tips to get you started.

The bulk of this section is dedicated to extraction options since most baristas, whether pro or amateur, have little awareness of what is available to them. In fact there isn’t even an agreed upon vocabulary to describe all the variations in extraction. However, before getting into extraction options, let’s cover a few tips on adjusting the pressure and temperature.” – Home Barista: Better extraction, better espresso

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