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What You Need to Know Before Buying an Espresso Machine

Feb 22, 2020

Do you want an espresso machine but are overwhelmed by the choices? Not sure whether to invest in a prosumer or semi-automatic machine? Wondering if your new café machine needs pressure profiling? Take a look at this guide to buying the best machine for your home, café, or business.

Factors You Should Consider

There are a lot of good machines out there, but what works for one person may not be the best choice for another. Before you make any decisions, consider what you need from your machine. Here’s a list of things to think about:

  • Espresso quality

  • The time it takes to prepare an espresso

  • Installation site (space, existing infrastructure)

  • Available labour

  • Target consumer (you, your colleagues, paying customers)

  • Whether you will be preparing latte art or other drinks

  • Any personal preferences (design, manufacturer, country of production, etc.)

  • Price

But to make an informed choice, we need to look at where you’re pulling that shot.

Fully Automatic & Capsule Machines

coffee machine

Jetinno Bean to Cup Coffee Machine - JLTTN-ES4C-10-A

Fully automatic machines do it all. Simply make sure that they have coffee and water and press a button. They don’t allow you any control over the extraction, but they deliver a somewhat consistent espresso with minimum effort.

Capsule machines avoid human error almost entirely. Keep the water reservoir full, pop a sealed capsule of coffee into the machine, and press a button.

They don’t leave messy grounds to clean up, but bear in mind the environmental impact of single-use containers. Some manufacturers are introducing recycled and biodegradable versions, but do you really need a capsule? Many automatic machines leave you with a neat “puck” of coffee that is just as convenient to clean up.

They also have a bad name in the specialty coffee industry. You’re also limited to using the capsules available for the model of machine – and most of the brands making capsules are second-wave players. But there is a growing specialty capsule market, with brands working to create high-quality specialty pods that are sometimes decomposable, too.

Choosing an Espresso Machine For Your Business

Some businesses offer coffee as an add-on feature. Maybe you want to offer a cup at your salon, retail shop, or wine bar. In this case, you probably want a reliable, quick, and easy machine. Depending on your brand, the ability to control your espresso may be less important. The same likely applies for a business where coffee is provided for staff members.

For a consistent cup of coffee with minimal effort, automatic and capsule machines, or even vending machines, are popular. There are also SCA-certified batch brewers that make coffee to third wave standards and allow you to adjust the recipe to suit the coffee.

There are many factors to consider when buying an espresso machine. By thinking about these points, you can make the best choice for your circumstances. And don’t be afraid to shop around, do your research, and ask questions. The investment will be worth it when you taste that delicious espresso.