There are so many different types, brands, and models of espresso machines on the market today. You will find that there is a wide range of machines which are either dead-simple to use, easy to use, and everything in between. We made this website to provide you with reviews that will help you decide which machine fits your budget and needs while also having the right features and options.
How To Choose The Best Espresso Machine
Before moving further, it’s important to learn what the different types of espresso machines there are on the market today. You will find that different types of machines fit different budgets and needs.
Categories of Espresso Machines
Espresso machines are broken down into two separate categories: Steam Driven and Pump Driven.
Steam-Driven Espresso Machines
What is a Steam-Driven Espresso Machine?
Steam-pressure espresso machines were the first ones around to help people make their shots. Today, they are still in use. You will find that with a steam driven machine, it makes an incredibly strong tasting coffee. But, the benefit is that they cost much less than their counterpart, pump-driven machines.
How Do They Work?
Steam-driven espresso machines work by forcing water through grounds of coffee and in turn, producing a delicious dark espresso.
Some steam-driven units are able to produce the best part of espresso known as the “crema,” but not all machines can.
Best Steam Driven Espresso Machine:
Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine, Black
This is a great alternative to a true espresso machine. Allows you to make shots of espresso whenever you want for just $35 with free shipping.
The Conclusion On Steam-driven Espresso Machines
Steam-driven espresso machines do not generate enough heat and pressure to provide us with the proper temperature control to make the best tasting real espresso drinks.
Therefore, we do not recommend that you purchase a steam-driven espresso machine.
Pump-Driven Espresso Machines
The main difference between a pump-driven espresso machine and a steam-driven espresso machine is that the pump-driven unit uses an electric pump instead of steam pressure. The electric pump pushes water through the grounds of coffee.
Pump-driven espresso machines are separated into two different types:
These two types of machines will fit the needs of different consumers. It is important that you take the time to understand what’s different about super and semi automatic espresso machines. Most people just assume that the “super” espresso machine will be the better version, but that may not be true for you!
It will depend on which one you like and which one fits your budget. So let’s take a look at what the differences are between semi-automatic and super-automatic:
Semi-Automatic Versus Super-Automatic Comparison
Without wasting any of your time, I will give you a quick rundown on what’s different between the two. If you’re an espresso expert, then semi-automatic espresso machines will fit your needs perfectly. This type of machine will allow you to get the absolute best tasting espresso out of your machine.
We only recommend this type of espresso machine if you are planning on spending some time and effort out of your schedule to make your drinks. With the semi-automatic machine, you have a lot more control over subtle details of each drink that you make. This will allow you to make the perfect shot of espresso for you and your guests.
The super-automatic version is for those of us who don’t have much time on their hands who may prefer an option that offers more convenience. Although the super-automatic machine option doesn’t allow you to customize your drink to the extent that a semi-automatic machine would, it still provides you with a delicious tasting serving of espresso with each use.
Despite giving up some control, the super-automatic machine will give you the final product that you’re seeking: a delicious shot of espresso. The super-automatic option is the absolute best choice for those who are on the go often.
Features Of Semi and Super Automatic Espresso Makers
Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Features
What we’ve noticed is that super-automatic espresso machines are built for those who want a quick shot of espresso conveniently. You won’t be able to fine tune any of the details about each drink with the super-automatic.
Nearly the entire process of making a drink is automated with a super-automatic espresso machine. Typically, you will simply have to pour your selection of coffee beans into the hopper and turn the machine on.
Here is a breakdown of the features which make a super-automatic espresso maker so easy to use:
- Coffee grinder built-in will: grind, tamp, and also extract the entire shot of espresso on its own
- Directly connect your water source to the machine via water line and it will automatically fill up on its own, or you can manually add water
- Push button technology allows even the busiest user to quickly get high-quality shots of espresso in just minutes
- Some of the more expensive models have milk options also, so they will automatically dispense and froth milk to make lattes and cappuccinos
Super-automatic espresso machines are a great pick for those of you who want to have espresso drinks ready on-the-go without any fuss.
If convenience is your main focus in purchasing an espresso machine, then super-automatic is the right option for you.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Features
With a semi-automatic espresso maker, you’ll find that some of the processes are still automated, but not all of them. Semi-automatic machines allow each individual user to be creative when making their drink. You’ll be able to alter the final product to your liking without all of the annoying steps that are associated with making espresso drinks on the stove.
In this section you’ll find a breakdown on some of the common features that come with a semi-automatic espresso maker. We think that this type of machine is an awesome pickup for any one who loves espresso.
Features of semi-automatic espresso machines:
- Both pressure and water temperature are automated and controlled, giving you the perfect serving of espresso each time you use the machine
- Adjustable flow of water and steam, allowing you to create the perfect tasting cup of espresso
- Many manually controlled settings, including device power, pump, and more
- Semi-automatic espresso machines do not have built in coffee grinders, so you will need a solution. You can either purchase coffee that has already been ground, or find a good coffee grinder and grind your own coffee. We recommend freshly grinding your own coffee, as this results in the best tasting espresso.
In conclusion, we have found that semi-automatic units are the best for changing minor details of each drink, giving you the most control over the end-result and taste of your espresso.
We recommend the semi-automatic espresso machine for those who don’t mind being involved with the actual process of making the shot of espresso. It will take a little bit more work because of the extra steps, but you will be able to control the outcome more effectively.