What To Look For When Buying An Espresso Machine
With so many different models and options available in market, it can be hard to choose the right espresso machine for your home or office. But there are certain key-features that you should definitely look for when buying an espresso machine. Here are some pinpoints to help you out with your decision:
1. Know what you want from your espresso machine:
Do you want a machine that just makes espresso? Or would you like to have the option to create other coffee drinks? Would you prefer that your machine has built-in frother and grinder or would you rather buy those separately?
2. Capabilities and Features:
Once you’ve decided what you want your espresso machine to do, you’ll know which kind to go for. For example: if you decided that you want to make espresso only, you can go for a single-serve espresso machine like a Nespresso, which can make you a perfect shot of espresso with a push of a button. And if you ever decide you want more of it, you can add a milk frother and make more drinks. If you decided that you want a machine that makes more, with a built-in grinder and frother, then this calls for an Automatic espresso machine like the Saeco Incanto Deluxe or these automatic espresso machines all under $500.
Other features to look for is: water tank capacity, pump bar pressure (should be 15 and more), bean tank capacity (if the machine has a built-in grinder), programmability (if you can reset the machine default settings to your liking).
Some not-so-important features:
Cup warming tray: this is the top part of the machine where you can set your cups for the machine to keep warm. It’s a nice feature to have but definitely not very important as you can heat the cup the same way using the steam wand.
Froth aiders: Some machines include what they call a frothing aider which attaches to the steam wand to help with the frothing process. This is not an important thing. The perfect froth requires some practicing, and a froth aider won’t help you (or not help you) in the progress.
Things that make an espresso machine practical to use and durable:
What the machine is built of: is it all plastic? has some plastic parts? stainless steel housing? Of course, stainless steel is your best option. It’s easy to clean and very durable. But that will affect the price as well. So depending on your budget, try to for a machine that has at least some stainless steel parts, or as less plastic-y as possible.
Removable parts that make maintaining easy: it is best to go for a machine with a removable water tank for easy refilling, removable drip tray, and if it has a milk tank, then that should be detachable, too, for easy refilling, cleaning and for keeping leftover milk in the fridge.
Adjustable cup tray or coffee spout: either part should be adjustable to allow you to fit in different cup sizes under the coffee spout.
Easy to read control panel: whether the machine has easy to read buttons, light indicators, or in some cases an LCD display.
4. Design of the Machine:
I know many people look for great features in an espresso machine, but let’s not forget, an espresso machine is a counter-top appliance that is on display in your kitchen at all times. You’ll want a machine that looks as good as it works, and that matches your kitchen decor. Some machines, like the DeLonghi Kmix, are available in a wide range of colors to choose from.