Learning to make espressos at home can be a highly enjoyable experience. The most important initial decision is which type of home espresso machine to purchase. To make this decision easier there are a few things that are important to consider, such as how much space is available for the machine, the amount of noise it produces, and the ease of use. The three most common types of home espresso machines are pump, lever, and steam powered.
A steam powered home espresso machine is considered one of the easiest to use. It is a great choice for beginners or for owners that want espressos that are quick and easy to make. Most of the steam powered machines for consumer use are small and easily storable. There are also no moving parts in steam powered machines, which makes them simple to maintain. The machine works by moving water through coffee by force of steam. Although it is a great option for the casual espresso drinker, owners that want a stronger flavor may need to consider a lever or pump home espresso machine.
Lever Espresso Machines
Some of the very earliest espresso machines were lever operated. Espressos made by lever machines can vary greatly in quality. This is because the machine is labor intensive, and depends on the operator to pressurize the hot water. Since the machine is hand operated it is very quiet, but can take longer to produce a quality espresso. This type of home espresso machine is ideal for coffee enthusiasts that truly enjoy the art of preparing individual shots of espresso in the convenience of their own home.
Pump Espresso Machines
The most expensive type of home espresso machine is operated by a motor driven pump. These machines are also some of the largest of the consumer espresso machines. The motor driven pump inside of the machine gives water an even stable force that is necessary to create amazing espressos every time. Some of these machines have water reservoirs built into them; while others are equipped to be directly connected to a water source. The reason that the pump home espresso machine is one of the most expensive is because it produces consistently high quality espressos with little work from the operator.
Automatic Espresso Machines
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is whether to purchase an automatic, semi-automatic, or truly hands on espresso machine. Automatic machines are the most simple to use, but they tend to take the creativity out of espresso making. Some automatic machines even use capsules or pods of flavored and premeasured coffee grounds. Semi-automatic machines are usually easy enough to use for beginners, but still give some room for personal preferences. With semi-automatic machines the fineness of the grind and water to coffee ratio can still be determined by the owner with basic dials or buttons. Lever machines are the ultimate way to be creative when brewing espressos. Determining the proper temperature and water pressure is a learned skill that makes using hands on machines more complex, but ultimately gives the brewer a greater sense of creativity.