The only people more dedicated to caffeine than regular coffee lovers are the espresso-obsessed. If you’re not one yourself, you definitely know one.People who drink espresso know that it’s all about quality, which means if you’re not getting your tiny cup of life from your local barista, you best do your research and invest in a worthy espresso machine to make it at home. To save you some time on your search, we put together a list of the best espresso makers from across the internet. But first, here’s an espresso-like shot of need-to-know information.
What is espresso?
Espresso, which originated in Italy, is a finely ground, highly concentrated version of coffee that packs a serious punch of caffeine into a single shot (or two, if you’d like a double-shot), making it richer and stronger than a regular cup of coffee. It’s made by forcing very hot water at a high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans.
What are the different types of espresso machine?
Ah yes, that’s an important question. It’s not just a case of buying a good espresso machine, but choosing which type of machine. Because there are plenty to consider. These are the main types that you’ll come across when shopping:Pod Machines — These are automatic machines. Just pop in the pod and push the button. They’re space-saving and affordable, and fast and easy to use. Though buying pods can get pricey in the long run and they do create waste.Bean-to-Cup Machines — This is a bit like having a barista-coffee machine combo. Add beans as you need them, adjust your preferred pressure and coarseness settings, and its internal grinder goes to work. It then blasts in hot water in to deliver a perfect cup of coffee. They’re usually big, bulky, expensive machines.Manual Machines — These machines put the power of good taste in your hands. You pull a lever to make your espresso, deciding on the level of pressure. That allows you to experiment with pressure and taste. They’re worth it in the long run, but hard to use at first and take some practice to get right.
What is bar pressure?
You’ll see this term a lot when researching coffee machines. A bar is a metric unit of pressure — a means of measuring just how much pressure you’ll putting on those coffee beans. The higher the pressure, the faster the coffee is extracted from the grounds. Coffee experts agree that 9 bars of pressure is perfect for great tasting espresso. Anything above or below 9 bars will push the water through too quickly or slowly, making it weak or overly thick and strong. Machines go as high as 15 bars, but 9 bars is what you should aim for.
What is the best temperature for making espresso?
Like pressure, the temperature as which espresso is made will affect the taste. Most coffee experts would aim between 90-95°C, though there’s a wide flavour spectrum within that range. Higher and lower temperatures will affect the extraction of the ground coffee. Other factors affected include the time of extraction, the water to coffee ratio, and the coarseness of the ground beans.
Do you need a milk frother?
It really depends how you like your coffee, but if you enjoy some foam with your espresso, a milk frothers is a must-have standard accessory for espresso lovers. They’re best used with whole milk, for a richer, creamier foam. Some espresso machine come with a frother or built-in milk wand. Otherwise, this Nespresso frother is an excellent and affordable option,
What is the best espresso machine?
It’s all down to taste. Quite literally, in fact. We’ve pulled together a good selection of machines at a range of prices, which should help you pick the perfect option — not to mention make the perfect espresso.These are the best espresso machines for 2022.