Semi-automatic espresso machines look much like super automatic espresso machines. What these machines do is allow you take more control over the espresso brewing process. But, they still doing a lot of the work for you and are preferred among espresso aficionados
Your basic semi-automatic machine offers the following the main component over other espresso machine types:
Manual Brewing Control
Instead of adhering to an internal clock or preprogrammed setting, these machines will require you to stop the espresso machine when you think enough extraction has occurred. This allows for real-time control over the extraction, but it’s more work than a super automatic machine requires.
For example, you may want a strong shot of espresso or maybe even a double shot, so you would allow the extractions the last 40 to 50 seconds before hitting the stop button.
Normally, 20 to 30 seconds is the ideal range of extraction.
But, many other models do not offer this much control over the brewing process. Sure, it is an extra step, and may not be ideal for some users who are on the go and just want a shot of espresso without much thought behind it.
While finding your desired dosage range is a little inconvenient, virtually every model does include a program setting that allows you to set the ideal extraction time and maintain this time internally inside of your brewing machine.
This allows you to find the right extraction time on your own and then set it automatically.
Now, you’ll also have to do a lot of other intricate brewing necessities that the super automatic would not require. With a semi-automatic espresso machine, you’ll need to:
- Tamp: This is the leveling and compacting of the grinds that occurs prior to the extraction process. When done correctly, this will ensure a more potent and strong flavor from your espresso.
- Grinding: I can’t stress enough the importance of grinding your own coffee beans before having any shot of espresso. What this allows is for the utmost in flavor to exist inside of the beans and eventually enter your coffee.
Cleaning assistance may be given, but these features will be less robust than the super automatic models offered. You’ll find that you clean these models more thoroughly by yourself than automatically with just a machine setting.
And, these machines also cost less than a super automatic – they’re definitely more budget-friendly.
When you choose a semi-automatic model, you’ll be saving money while having more control over the espresso brewing process. This is the perfect option for anyone that doesn’t mind having to do some of the brewing process on their own. But, if you want an espresso machine that does everything for you without too much thought, I would have to recommend the super automatic model to you.
However, if you want to achieve a taste that is perfect for your preference and don’t mind grinding your own coffee beans or tampering, a semi-automatic will work perfectly for you. In fact, I know many espresso lovers that swear by these models because they’re exceptional in terms of flavor control.