Espresso Machines

All about espresso coffee machines

Like many people, you probably spend a ton of money on lattes, mochas and other fancy espresso drinks. Did you know that you can make these exact same drinks at home at a fraction of the cost? All you'll need is a home espresso machine!

Home Espresso Machines

Home coffee espresso machines are designed to push water at a high temperature and pressure through finely ground coffee beans. It is this special method of brewing that distinguishes regular coffee from powerful espresso. Most home espresso machines use the same basic technology found in your favorite coffee house, just scaled down a bit. However, some may use water at a slightly lower temperature or pressure, so consider looking at some smaller commercial espresso machines if you're a true espresso lover – you'll get a top-rate machine that will last for years even with heavy usage.

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Automatic Espresso Machines

Whatever model you end up buying, make sure to consult the manual to ensure that you're using your unit properly, since they vary greatly. In general, you'll want to purchase finely ground espresso roasted beans. If you choose an automatic espresso machine with a built-in coffee grinder, simply insert the dark roasted beans into the back of the unit and you'll be set to go. If your unit is freestanding, you'll also need to pour in some water.

Home and commercial espresso machines differ in terms of how much ground coffee is necessary to pull a shot and how the coffee needs to be treated before turning on the machine. For some units, you'll need to "tamp" your espresso – using an included device, you'll compact the espresso slightly so that it produces a thicker, richer brew.

When you're ready, turn on the machine. Some automatic espresso machines do all the work for you, and some require a few more steps. But in general, you'll place the device holding the ground espresso on the machine, select a number of shots and/or shot size, and press a button. Be careful, because the espresso is near boiling, so make sure to put a cup in place and stand well out of the way of any splatters. When you're done, drink the espresso straight or perhaps with a dollop of cream and natural brown sugar, or you can steam milk with the built-in steamer for a latte, mocha or other gourmet coffee drink.