Brewing an espresso coffee drink is different compared to most other types of coffee. In fact, the rise in the popularity of espresso coffee over the last 20 years or so has been very significant.
Companies took notice and banked on the salability of espresso machines, competing for features and designs.
Due to this competition, espresso machines today come in varied forms, brands designs and sizes.
That variation gives rise to another problem: Which espresso machine is right for your needs?
Espresso machines, no matter what the brand, will serve the same basic purpose. Espresso machines pump out steam through a finely packed puck of powdered coffee beans for about 20 seconds and produces a drink that is slightly thick and deep brown in color, with a foam layer on top.
Espresso machines may have a combination or may include all of the following components:
• Heating Chamber
• Steam Wand
• Control Panel
Espresso machines have four basic styles.
Each type has its own positive features and each has its own disadvantages.
The pump style espresso machine
This type of espresso machines are of the larger variety and uses a power pump to provide the correct amount of water pressure. The pump style espresso machines are quite large and could be noisy. These machines are suitable for commercial establishments as they can produce more espresso coffee with settings. The machine is also the most expensive type, but produces the best tasting espressos. The disadvantage is that water deposits, which require regular and more vigorous maintenance, can clog the pump type espresso machine.
The lever style espresso machines
This machine is operated by manipulating the lever arm so that pressure is created that will force the steam through the coffee grinds. Compared to the pump style espresso machine, this espresso machine type is quiet, although it could be quite hard on the hands. Because this machine is manually operated, the quality of the espresso that is produced may vary. Compared to the pump style however, lever types have fewer parts and require less maintenance.
Steam powered espresso machines
The steam coming from the heated water creates the pressure for this espresso machine type. Because the pressure could be inconsistent and may not always be strong enough, the quality of espresso that may be produced may not always be good. The steam type espresso machine, however, is easy to use thanks to is smaller design.
The Moka Pot
The moka pot is the simplest and possibly the most ingenious way of producing espressos. The moka pot is placed on top of your stove and the burner is turned on. As the water boils in the bottom chamber of this espresso machine, a steam is forced through the upper chamber of the pot. Because the moka pot is not a mechanized espresso machine, the pressure produced from the process is weaker than its counterparts. The main feature of this espresso maker is its simplicity. As a disadvantage, it does not have attachments for foaming. The moka pot is the least expensive of all espresso machines on the market.
The sales of espresso coffee machines have been increasing. Espresso machines for home use, though, will naturally tend to be less bulky. The features mentioned above should be enough to determine the kind of an espresso machine that will suit your needs. Other features are merely bonuses.