You want the best-tasting espresso possible, but which type of espresso machine is best? There are several espresso maker types, and you’ll find people that swear by each type. The main difference between these machines is how the espresso is created.
As for which machine produces the best taste – that’s a truly personal preference.
Let’s take a look at the different types of espresso machines that you’ll find online and in stores across the world.
The most basic espresso makers; also known as the moka pot. These models don’t come with fancy features, or moving parts. Instead, they sit on your stove and heat as a result. The way that espresso is made in a typical moka pot is by:
- Adding water into the bottom reservoir.
- Adding espresso into the filter.
- Allowing the water to heat up as the steam goes through the bottom of the screen.
- The espresso is pushed into a small pipe and goes into the top chamber.
The long wait time is the biggest issue with these types of espresso makers, but the taste is very hardy and strong.
A manual machine that requires physical force to brew espresso. You’ll squeeze the water, by pressing the lever, through the coffee grounds. Essentially, you’re forcing the water through the grinds and extracting the flavor in the process.
With lever machines, you have control over the strength and taste of the espresso.
The only downside is that you have to manually make your own espresso.
Pump and Automatic Machines
Automatic and pump machines will do all of the brewing for you. Mostly electronic, these machines use pumps to force the water through the grounds. Automatic models are great because they offer:
- Different temperature ranges.
- Automatic brewing features.
- Frothing options.
- Timer settings.
More often than not, most automatic models are pump driven. You’ll even find high-end models that will include bean grinders so that you have the freshest espresso possible. Most models will also have a hot water spout that will allow the machine to make tea as well as espresso and cappuccinos.
Mostly pump-powered, pod models don’t use bean grinds to produce espresso. These machines will use pods instead of fresh coffee to perform the brewing process. Nespresso is a prime example of a pod model that is highly successful.
This is the right choice for anyone that doesn’t wind to grind their own beans.
With pod models, the brewing process is fast and efficient, but you’re limited to the espresso that you buy. If you don’t like any of the flavors available in pod form, you’re out of luck because you can’t provide your own pods.
Newer models may have attachments that allow you to use your own grinds in lieu of a pod.
Another downside is that pods don’t provide the utmost in flavor. However, they offer very fast brewing, which is a major benefit for users.
Steam Espresso Machines
The first automated way to make espresso. Steam espresso models are less expensive than their pump counterparts and hold steam in a pressurized cap before forcing it through the grinds to produce espresso.
The taste of steam models is less bold and powerful than other espresso machines.
If you’re not too picky about the taste and aren’t an espresso aficionado, steam espresso machines are a great option due to their low price.