If you're a coffee enthusiast and you haven't gotten a coffee espresso machine, what are you waiting for? It's practically a necessity for coffee lovers. There are so many types, brands, and styles of espresso coffee machines that making a final selection is actually quite difficult. Luckily, we can more easily compare the different kinds of espresso machines by separating them into three broad categories.
The first type of coffee espresso machine is the fully automatic machine. Fully automatic models do absolutely everything for you. You just need to fill it with beans, water, and whatever other ingredients are required. At the press of a button, the machine works its magic and comes up with a hot cup of espresso. This is pretty good for extremely busy people or those who like the taste of espresso but don't have much time to spend on preparing it.
The second type of machine is the partly automatic model. These machines are partly automated, but you also need to complete some of the steps yourself. These machines carry the added advantage of letting you control more of the coffee extraction process. It can be more personalized and you can make it just to your specifications. The third type of espresso coffee machine is the manual machine. I personally prefer this machine because I like the handle press. It feels like I'm making my own espresso.
What are good brands of espresso machines? Well, lots of manufacturers sell them, and the price can reach triple digits. Specialty companies as well as mainstream manufacturers like Drups, Bosch, and Capresso make great coffee machines. What features are important in an espresso machine? Fully automatic machines should come with integrated burr grinders, high-capacity bean hoppers, a high watt heater, a high-pressure pump and self-cleaning cycles. For lattes, it should feature an integrated frother. Semi automatic machines should be built with quality components made of stainless steel. Manual models are simple and straightforward. Just look for stainless steel or chrome coating so they last a long time and stay looking new. Plastic components aren't good for contact with hot water.
Pump driven machines are founding espresso bars and use a motor pump to force the water through the coffee grounds. Many times the most expensive machines can even be connected directly to your plumbing. You can also find home espresso pump machines that have separate chambers. One chamber is for the hot water, and then this goes to a heat exchanged before it is pushed through the coffee. There are also variations on these traditional espresso coffee makers that include a semi-automatic that uses a manual pump, the automatic uses a flow meter and electric pump, the super automatic will automatically grind the coffee, tamp, extract the coffee, add water and make the espresso.