I couldn’t imagine starting my day without espresso. I bought my first espresso machine in college, and I’ve never looked back. That enchanting aroma, rich flavor and quick jolt of energy are exactly what I need to get going in the morning.
About a week ago, my espresso machine finally kicked the bucket after six years of dedicated service. It’s been awhile since I last bought an espresso maker, but there are some key things that I’m looking for in my new machine. If you’re just buying your first espresso maker, best coffee maker or looking to replace an old one (like me), I’m going to share some tips (ones that I use personally) to help you find the right machine for your needs.
Know Your Drinking Habits – And Your Schedule
When do you drink espresso? How much time do you have to brew? These are important questions because they determine whether or not an automatic or manual machine is the best option for you.
If you have time in the morning, you can save yourself some money by choosing a manual machine. And by manual, I mean you’ll be grinding your own beans and tamping yourself. If you’re in a rush, an automatic machine may be your best option – but it will cost you.
Oh, and let’s not forget the trusty Moka Pot. I’d say it takes the most amount of time to brew espresso in a Moka Pot, so while it’s an affordable option, it may leave you with no time for your morning espresso.
Is Versatility Important?
Do you enjoy a good cappuccino, latte or Americano? If so, you’ll want a machine that comes with a steam wand or frother. Most espresso machines – even entry level models – come with a frother. But not all do. Check to make sure that the machine you’re considering offers one.
Some espresso machines, especially the high-end models, offer numerous drink options. If you have the budget and a taste for a variety of coffeehouse-style drinks, these machines are a smart investment.
Know Your Budget
It should go without saying that you’ll need to keep your budget in mind when buying an espresso machine. At one time, espresso machines were pretty pricey. Now, you can buy an entry-level model for as little as $40.
First, know what your budget is. Then, find the best quality machine in your price range, and go from there. I’ve reviewed machines in just about every price range from under $100, all the way up to machines that cost several thousand dollars. So, if you’re having trouble finding a good quality espresso maker, I recommend checking out my reviews to help you find a reliable model.
When I buy an espresso machine, I look for three key things: a bean grinder, frother and 15-bars of pressure. This way, I get convenience, versatility and the right amount of pressure to brew a great cup of espresso. So, if you’re in the market for a new espresso maker, keep these points in mind. Happy shopping!