Your Espresso Machine Purchase
Realizing you want to produce espresso in your own kitchen yields the decision to buy a home machine. You will then notice that there are many different models to choose from and you might be overwhelmed about which one to choose. Double or single boiler? Traditional or fully automatic? Do you want your machine to steam milk for you? Do you want your machine to grind your espresso beans and if so, what kind of grinder should be included? These choices do not have to be overwhelming. By figuring out a few simple answers, you’ll be able to find the perfect machine for you and your home.
- Double and Single Boilers
If you’ve seen a double boiler pot that some people use for melting chocolate or other things, this is not the same. The amount of boilers on your espresso machine refers to the functions it will be able to perform. A single boiler machine has just that, a single boiler. It can only boil water to brew espresso OR steam milk. It can’t do both at the same time. Many single boiler machines have a traditional look and might come in copper or other shiny looking and beautiful designs. A double boiler is a little larger and can have boiling water ready to both steam your milk and brew your espresso at the same time.
- Milk Steamers
The design and compact size of many single boiler and traditional home machines may appeal to you and your needs. This doesn’t mean that you can’t steam your milk and enjoy lattes as well. You’ll probably have to do a bit more work and you’ll have more parts to clean but milk steamers will get the job done. Since these parts don’t attach to you machine, you’ll be able to store them separately and keep extra room in your kitchen.
Your machine may be equipped with a grinder or you may choose to purchase one separately. Grinders are a matter of preference, with some people who are perfectly okay with a blade grinder and others who prefer the more precise method of a burr grinder. Burr grinders use a surface to literally grind the espresso beans against another surface. The result is uniform grounds that are better for packing into an espresso machine’s basket. Also, those uniform particles make it easier for the water to brew through the grounds more effectively. You’ll get more consistency in the strength and flavor of your espresso with this type of grinder. If your machine includes a grinder, make sure you inquire as to what type it is, blade or burr.
- Fully Automatic
This doesn’t mean that you won’t have anything to do with how your espresso is made. A fully automatic machine, when turned on, has the components to brew whatever type of espresso drink you like with the touch of a button. You’ll have to fill the machine with water, espresso beans, and keep it cleaned and maintained. These are the double boilers that have tanks for boiling water for both espresso and steaming milk. This is the kind of machine that is excellent for entertaining or the espresso lover on the go. If you’re always on the way out of the house, this is the machine you can turn on, press a couple of buttons, and have your latte without ever having to make a stop at a café on your way to your next destination.
You’ve taken the time to painstakingly design your kitchen exactly the way you want it and your new espresso machine should match up with the aesthetics. The different models are all there to help with this decision. A traditional model has a lot of flair and a very distinct look while the more commercial models may have more functions but are usually larger and sometimes cumbersome if your kitchen space is small. Be sure to measure the space you’ll be putting your new machine carefully. Leave room for the machines around it and to remove the machine from the space for cleaning and that there is a power source close by. In the end, it has to look good to you because you’re the one who will be looking at it and using it every day.
What do you want your espresso machine to do? It may be a personal machine just for you or something you’re purchasing for your office and all the employees to use. A machine that will get heavy use needs to be able to handle that traffic and a machine that won’t get as much use might be one you’d like to have that’s aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. Take these considerations into mind before you make your purchase and you’ll know that the machine you have is the one you’ve always wanted.
The Financial Side
After you get your answers, the espresso machines you look at could be pretty expensive. Do not let this stop you from making a purchase. If an espresso machine is what you want, it’s best to go high end. The better machines will give you the kind of brew you’re looking for and will last longer. Check with the manufacturer for payment plans, warrantee information, and service packages to keep your machine running in top shape for as long as possible. Proper cleaning and maintenance will be the best way to enjoy your machine every day. If this is a purchase you’re making for a large household or an office where many people will be using it, educate the other people about the way the machine is supposed to be used as well as how it should be cleaned between uses. A high-end machine will give you the gourmet experience that you and everyone else who uses your machine can really feel good about. Make a good decision with an excellent purchase!