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Which is the Best Espresso Machine?

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Is the highlight of your customer's dining experience the fresh espresso coffee at the end of a beautiful meal?  Are you running a dedicated coffee shop and your customers crave their early morning espresso pick-me-up?  Or maybe, they are frustrated with their home coffee brewing abilities and want to try something new?  Whatever your business there is an espresso machine out there for you if you take the time to look.  Or even if you're not in business but a hard core home Barista!  Let us point you in the right direction.

Did you know that espresso coffee forms the basis to other coffee beverages such as Cappuccino, Cafe mocha and Cafe Latte?  No, not many people do.  Espresso coffee is brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans. Unlike coffee made via drip brew processes involving coffee filters, espresso coffee is characteristically concentrated, strong and thick. It can either be consumed straight away or immediately added to frothy or steamed milk to create delicious highly aromatic coffee beverages.

Traditionally, espresso coffee was brewed on a stove or hob via an eight-sided stove-top espresso pot (left). Many people still favor this traditional method today.  However, for connoisseurs searching for the ultimate in espresso coffee experience and others meerly seeking to achieve better success in their espresso coffee making, modern day automatic espresso machines have become a more attractive alternative.

Traditional stove top

Semi-automatic with stove top looks

 

When shopping for your new espresso machine, it is important to bear in mind a few points.

Branding:-  There are a number of strong competitors selling to the espresso machine market.  Most prominent you will find De'Longhi, Cuisinart, Krups, Gaggia and Bialetti.  All of these are reputable names synonymous with good quality, reliability and durability. In order to select the right machine for you, therefore, more market research is required.

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Automatic v Semi-automatic:-  These are the 2 types of powered espresso coffee maker.  Be sure you know the difference between them and are able to make a more informed decision with regards your purchase.

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Steam Wand:-  Installed in most espresso coffee machines.  This wand will facilitate the making of steamed frothy milk.  It is wise to ensure this wand is easily cleaned and maintained.

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Super Automatic Espresso Machine:- This is truly the ultimate luxury in espresso coffee making.  It not only brews excellent espresso coffee but grinds the coffee beans, adjusts the shot (amount of espresso), and automatically varies the water flow.  Such a machine, although a privilege to own, may not suit everyone's pockets however should you choose to purchase one of these it is the ultimate in bean to cup espresso experience.

 

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The most important thing about coffee making in general is that it is to be enjoyable and pleasurable.  The same is true with an espresso coffee.  Often part of this experience is the theatre of the brew with all it's sights, sounds and aromas - coffee is a highly sensual experience.  The machine to the right shows that it also doesn't have to be expensive either.

Developed in Italy and now consumed worldwide, espresso coffee is not for the faint hearted.  It is full of big flavors, huge aromas and has a powerful sensory influence. Once you have brewed your coffee, it is essential that you consume espresso coffee immediately since exposure to oxygen quickly reduces its aroma and flavor.  And we wouldn't want that now, would we?