A great cup of cappuccino or the perfect espresso requires the right equipment. Espresso machines make it easy to brew budget-friendly espressos, cappuccinos and lattes in your own kitchen.
Types of Espresso Makers
Here are some considerations when choosing a home espresso machine:
· Automatic Machines. An automatic espresso maker controls the brew volume with a flowmeter. When the preprogrammed amount of water passes through the flowmeter, the machine shuts off.
· Semi-Automatic Machines. These machines use a pump to deliver water, rather than manual force, which means you have more control over the volume of water.
· Dual Boiler Machines. Expand your offerings to guests with an espresso maker that works double duty. One boiler brews drip coffee while the other withdraws hot water for espresso.
· Cappuccino Machines. These machines include a milk frother to create rich and creamy foam atop your espresso.
· Stovetop Espresso Makers. Also called moka pots, stovetop espresso makers are smaller and sleeker than electric models. Because they don’t take up counter space, they’re perfect for smaller kitchens. They also make a sweeter-tasting drink because they brew under less pressure.
Espresso machines with built-in grinders allow you to adjust the coarseness of the coffee grounds to control the strength of your brew. They’re a bit pricier but they’re also a time and space saver -- the beans are ground and brewed in one step, eliminating the need for a separate coffee grinder.
Compact and Portable Espresso Makers
Single-serving espresso machines don’t require grinding or measuring to produce a quick, small shot with no mess. They also take up very little counter space. For the diehard coffee lover, lightweight, portable espresso makers are perfect for camping trips, vacations or potluck parties. They also make great gifts.