Are you looking to buy an espresso machine but don’t know how to choose one? Not sure if you should invest in a semi-pro or semi-auto? Wondering if your new coffee machine needs a pressure profile change function? Read our guide to buying the best coffee machine for your home, cafe or business.
Factors to Consider While Buying Espresso Machine
There are many good cars out there, but what is good for one person may not be the best choice for another. Before making any decision, think about what exactly you want to get. Further on the points that you should pay attention to:
- Espresso quality
- Time spent making espresso
- Installation site (space required, existing infrastructure)
- Who will work behind the coffee machine
- Target audience (you and your loved ones, your colleagues, your guests at the coffee shop)
- Whether you will prepare drinks with or without milk
- Any other preferences (design, manufacturer, country of origin, etc.)
But in order to make an informed choice, you need to consider where you will prepare your perfect shot of espresso.
How to Choose coffee machine for a coffee shop?
Professional espresso machines give you complete control over the preparation of your espresso. Many factors affect the taste, aroma and quality of espresso: grind size, pressure, temperature, extraction time and much more. MyFriendsCoffee recommends check out commercial espresso machines because they allow you to fine-tune these parameters so that you can accentuate acidity, enhance flavor or hide grain defects.
No Compromise on Taste
A machine can iron out human error, but a good barista who understands his machine and knows how to make the best espresso is just as important to making quality drinks. Some professional machines have a touchscreen display to make it easier to control the preparation of espresso. But if it breaks, will you be able to continue using the coffee machine and will your baristas know how to manually control these factors?
Quantity Also Matters
How many car groups do you need? Do you need one steam wand or more? Having two or more groups will help prevent a queue of orders, but add to the worries of cleaning and maintenance. Accordingly, more space is required to install a two- or three-group coffee machine.
Brewing is an Art
Ask the seller about the number of boilers and how quickly the pressure recovers after one espresso is brewed. Pressure stability is an important indicator of performance and the most popular models have at least two boilers. In a busy café or coffee shop with good traffic, it is important to ensure that the espresso is stable even during peak periods.
Make Adjustments as per your Requirements
You may need an adjustable pressure coffee machine. Different pressure settings can significantly affect the final result. Adjusting the pressure can in some cases improve extraction and reduce the formation of cracks in the formed tablet, which also negatively affects the quality of the espresso.
Choosing a coffee machine for home
If you regularly grab a coffee on your way to work, a home coffee machine can be a good investment. But how much time and effort are you willing to spend each day making a cup of coffee? When choosing a home coffee machine, there is also something to think about.
All espresso machines require some maintenance: removing coffee grounds or empty capsules, cleaning the drip tray, filling the water tank, etc. Also decide if you need a machine with a removable brew group or not. This is the part of the machine where you insert the portafilter.
Some machines are equipped with removable brew groups that can be easily opened for cleaning or inspection. Coffee machines with a built-in brew group provide automatic cleaning. These are more difficult to get into if something goes wrong.
As with professional machines, you should consider the pump pressure. The pressure determines how intense the flavor of the resulting coffee will be, as well as the quality of the cream. Look for a machine with a pressure of 9 bar or more.
Semi-professional coffee machines
Alternatively, you can consider purchasing a professional or semi-professional one-group cappuccino maker. They allow you to prepare the same espresso-based drinks found in coffee shops. But ask yourself how complex a machine is for you.
With semi-professional machines, you will need to monitor the parameters of the espresso, as baristas do it: adjust the grind and the amount of ground bean, be able to properly temper, etc. It will take time to learn everything. Maybe you will like it; then go ahead, buy and enjoy mastering these parameters.
However, if you just want a quick and hassle-free morning coffee, this is not the type of machine you want.
Semi-automatic and super-automatic machines
If you feel like using semi-professional machines requires too much attention, consider a semi-automatic. These coffee machines take on some of the work.
Regular setfunctions include digital display, pre-programmed buttons, grain milling, pre-wetting and temperature control. Select a program and press the button. It’s much more difficult to screw things up here, but you are still in control.
Super-automatic machines are even easier to use. Start the pump by pressing a button and turn it off when the extraction is complete. This machine does most of the work by itself. And this is the most popular type of coffee machine for the home.
There are many factors to consider when buying an espresso machine. If you remember all this, you can choose the optimal coffee machine for your needs. And don’t be afraid to go shopping, research the range, and ask questions. The money spent will be worth it when you prepare your delicious espresso.