Monday, July 30, 2012

How to pick an Espresso machine?

We’ve gone through many many many many (did I say many?) espresso machines in our time and we decided that it’s about time somebody writes a brief article about helping people pick an espresso machine.  So…here you go:

Going through the process of purchasing an Espresso machine is kind of like those children’s books that can have many different endings.  You know, those books that you determine which direction to take the main character.  We’ll here’s the story of you (ya you) and your Espresso Machine purchase.  The title is: “(Insert your name here) and the purchase of the perfect espresso machine”.  Here at Espresso Bella Inc. we just LOVE coffee…if you saw our wide range of personal coffee brewers, you would think that we just can’t make up our minds.  Well it’s true, we love making coffee as much as we love coffee.

So the first step is to pick from one of the three options below.  Each option has its pros and cons and we’ve listed them for your convenience so you can determine what you are willing or not-willing to put up with.  This article is meant to put you into the right direction only; you’ll have to do your own due diligence in picking the exact machine.  Come on…you can’t expect us to do all the work!  We’re too busy providing Coffee and Espresso Bar Catering for Toronto and the GTA to do all the leg work.  Enjoy…

Option  #1:

Grounds based machine
  • Pros: Inexpensive and you have the most control over the strength of the coffee.  Very little maintenance required and costs of repairs are usually more expensive than just buying a new machine.
  • Cons: Out of all the options this one can make the most mess (for example, during grounds transferring or draining the drip trays can cause spillage).

Beans based machine
  • Pros: Very simple to use and to clean.  No need to purchase a separate grinder.  Great when you have company and need to make many espressos quickly.  Can make you look like you have a lot of money if you’re the type to want to impress your guests (especially if you get a $5000+ machine).
  • Cons: You are limited to the dosage level options so forget about making a “very strong espresso”.  You have no control over the tamp pressure or you can’t change the brew by changing the tamp.  There are many moving parts so when things break it can be very expensive.  Expensive to maintain (you will need to buy filters and descaling stuff on a monthly basis that will add up).

Capsule based machine
  • Pros: Very simple to use and to clean.  No need to purchase a separate grinder.  Perfect for the family who wants to make 1 or 2 espresso’s a day.  Perfect for businesses as it is very sanitary for multi-person usage.  Usually quite inexpensive to repair.
  • Cons: You have to buy the capsules which can be pricy if you consume a lot.  Usually you’re stuck with 1 brand.

Options #2:  So depending on your choice, below are some of the popular brand names that you will have to research:

Grounds based machines

Beans based machines
  • DeLonghi – made in Italy
  • Saeco – made in Italy (we think the same plant as Gaggia)
  • Gaggia – made in Italy (we think the same plant as Saeco)
  • Jura – made in Switzerland

Capsule based machines

If you choose a machine that works on Beans, don't forget to try out our own private label coffee!  Roasted fresh weekly - Click: Buy Fresh Coffee Beans NOW to buy.