There is almost nothing more satisfying when it comes to coffee than a well extracted, deeply intense shot of espresso. However, venturing out for daily espresso can quickly become expensive and impractical. By purchasing your own espresso machine, you can create the same quality of the espresso you've come to love and crave, but all within the comfort and convenience of your own home, and without the pricetag of a coffee shop latte. Whether your a novice or a barista, there is an espresso machine for you. Browse through our selection and make the choice that's best for you!
Cafe espresso has become an everyday indulgence due to ubiquity of coffee shops. Most cities have a cafe or coffee roastery on every corner. Even in the middle of nowhere, there are roadside drive-thru Starbucks chains and cafes inside supermarkets. Espresso is made by simply forcing hot water under pressure through extremely finely ground coffee.
The result is a rich, foaming coffee shot. The concept that has been around since the early 1900s, but modern refinements have made espresso machines better in quality and consistency. Most cafes use semi automatic or super automatic espresso machines, but manual espresso machines recreate the traditional process.
One way to make truly amazing espresso is to learn the process yourself. There are dozens of espresso machines on the market to allow for at-home espresso preparation. Old-world espresso machines, also called piston espresso machines or manual machines, allow for the most control over the extraction. The result is full-bodied espresso with a hint of crema, pure coffee lover bliss.
The one shortcoming of using manual espresso machines is that extraction is a sophisticated, tedious process. The key to perfect espresso is exerting a firm, consistent pressure on the lever when pulling it downwards. It can be difficult to learn how to use these types of espresso machines, so it helps to have someone with experience teach you. Go into espresso making with an open mind. Like any worthwhile craft, practice and focus are required.
True Coffee Love
Using espresso machines (especially a manual model) is a labor of love, ideal for those committed to mastering the ritual of espresso making. Most manual espresso machine users have a deep passion for coffee and experience making espresso. This is because manual espresso machines give baristas unprecedented control over the espresso.
Manual espresso machines are steam powered, using a piston lever to generate the necessary pressure for extraction. Pushing down on the lever exerts pressure on the portafilter, forcing hot water through the mound of ground coffee. What's left is a fresh espresso shot, about 1 oz. of liquid, comparable to an alcoholic shot.
A Functional Masterpiece
Manual espresso machines are the most decorative types of machines, partially because they are difficult to use compared to automated espresso machines. Deluxe lines offer quality manual espresso machines made of stainless steel, with brass, gold, or chrome finishes. Other espresso machine models include striking details, like eagle figurines or wooden handles. Your manual espresso machine can truly be a work of countertop art.
Levels of Pressure
While traditional manual espresso machines use a piston for pressure, pump-driven espresso machines have been around since 1961. Instead of using manual force, a motorized pump provides the pressure by heating up water. Pump-driven models come with different types of heating elements to boil water, creating steam to help pull down the piston. Sometimes extra boilers or dual-use heating elements are included in these espresso machines, to steam milk for cappuccinos, lattes, and other espresso drinks.