Machines have made life easier in all aspects of human life, including their aromatic world of coffee. Ever since Angelo Moriondo invented them that could make a fresh brew of java using the combination of steam, high pressure, and coffee grounds, the espresso machines underwent a great transformation before they are donning their current sexy form.
The latest espresso machines have a wider sense of control and user-friendliness compared to the ones in the earlier days. With lives being mechanized and people opting for convenience, espresso machines are in high usage all across the globe by coffee lovers. Good news is they are much affordable, sleek and can be set easily in any corner of the kitchen.
There are plenty of models and makes of espresso machines available in the market. However, it can be confusing for coffee lovers to choose the right model that caters their needs. Here is a quick guide on Coffee Dorks about the varieties of espresso machines, their pros and cons, and the tips to choose that espresso machine which serves your purpose.
There are three types of espresso machines in the market:
- Fully Automatic
- Super Automatic
Lets’ get to know each of them in detail now.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
Before this model, makers of coffee used to manually pump the piston of the coffee maker to make the brew. With the idea of Ernesto Valente, who replaced this manual pumping with motorized pumping mechanism, semi-automatic espresso machines came into the world. This means next time you feel like having a cup of coffee from a semi-automatic espresso machine, all you have to do is just press the button. And ta-da! The fresh hot brew is in your hands!
Yes, there is something you should know! The name itself indicates that it is ‘semi-automatic’ and now you would be wondering what if all that takes is a press of a button, why this model is called ‘semi’ rather than ‘fully’? You are right! In this model of espresso machines, you have to grind the coffee and load the filter, tamp and only then you will be ready for the press of a button!
Does this model suit you?
Here are the pros and cons of the semi-automatic espresso machine. Check how many points are on your tick list:
- You can choose the volume of the shot, start and stop of the brew, and the amount of coffee grounds.
- They suit best for homes and specialty-coffee shops.
- You can customize the flavor and strength of the coffee as you have full control over the brewing inputs.
- You have to spend time on grinding coffee beans and adding them to the filter.
- You have machines available with better features.
The name says it is a savior. Doesn’t it? Let’s move on to know more.
The main difference between a semi and a fully automatic espresso machine is the latter has a flow regulator that controls how much water has to pass through the puck. They also pose no hassles of controlling the brewing time. Of course, you have to add the grounds and tamp your beans. Some users feel that there is much similarity between a semi and fully automatic machines in this aspect.
However, the brewing time is controlled by the machine and in 25-30 seconds, your hot java is ready!
Does this model suit you?
Here are the pros and cons of the fully-automatic espresso machine. Check how many points are on your tick list:
- Consistency in flavor every time you need a sip, as the brewing time is fixed.
- Most brewing inputs are automatically controlled.
- You cannot control the brew time in case you want to customize coffee into your flavor.
These are super! Yes. When you compare a fully automatic and super-automatic espresso machine, the latter ones have everything automatic! You need not even grind your beans or tamp your grounds. The machine does it all!
Wait, that’s not the end! Super-automatic espresso machines offer a lot more:
- They contain automatic milk frothers, in case you love dairy in your cup of joe.
- All the parameters are displayed clearly.
- They steam the milk in a separate section.
Does this model suit you?
Here are the pros and cons of the super-automatic espresso machine. Check how many points are on your tick list:
It is the most convenient of all the models available in espresso machine range.
- You need to shell out a few extra dollars for availing the ‘super’ features.
- The taste is consistent; you have no control over the parameters of brew.
- Not much scope to adjust the ground size or the brew time.
- You will feel that manually boiled milk is better than the steamed milk coming out of this machine.
- You need a professional service to get them cleaned.
What else to consider before finalizing an espresso machine?
Don’t ever be tempted to buy an espresso machine just because you saw it somewhere and liked the flavor of joe it is serving. Here are some aspects that you have to keep in mind for choosing that perfect model of the espresso machine.
- Are you super busy and have no time to grind your beans and temp your grounds? Then super-automatic may be the best fit for you.
- You are a coffee lover and like to explore the taste by customizing the brewing parameters, and have time to experiment for your cup of joe, choose semi-automatic.
- You want to have enjoyed the automatic feature but do not wish to spend more, fully-automatic can get the work done for you.
- Do you know? Some automatic machines have the backup features that let you decide the mode of brew. This means you can enjoy two features in one machine itself.
- If you are looking for a coffee machine for your parents or any elderly people, super-automatic will be a wise choice. Its user-friendliness is something you can bet one on such occasions.
- If you are one of the tribes of coffee lovers who love dairy in their cup of joe, semi-automatic or fully-automatic will serve your purpose.
- Super-automatic will cost the highest among all the three models, while the other two models of espresso machines have different price ranges depending on the brand and their quality.
- If you are opting for semi-automatic or fully –automatic, you may need grinders to grind your beans.
Anthony at Coffee Dorks, an ardent lover of coffee, suggests the selection of the make of the espresso machine should be a personal choice and should be done only after considering all the factors discussed so far. He says a semi-automatic one will be the best choice for those who would love to experiment with flavors! Or if you want to save time and opt for fully automatic features, it is better to choose super-automatic, as it has a backup mode option where you can use it in either fully-automatic or super-automatic mode. The price is worth the features.
Whichever model you opt for, the price will be the worth You can enjoy the fresh brew as and when you want – sitting in your garden or reading your favorite book or catching up with friends! Happy Sipping!