Espresso lovers who want to have their beverage of choice available whenever they want it while they’re at home may find it worth the cost to buy an espresso machine. Then comes the decision – how automated do you want your espresso machine. Many people opt for one of the Best Semi-automatic Espresso machines.
A semi-automatic espresso machine gives you control over how long you want the extraction process to take and the water flow. This means you can figure out just the right time so that you get just the right strength of espresso for you every time. It may take some experimentation, but with a superautomatic machine, you don’t have as much control and your espresso might not wind up the strength you prefer it to be.
Pressurized vs. Non-Pressurized Portafilters
These are the two options with semi-automatic machines. Those who don’t want to have to worry about getting the perfect grind of coffee and tamping their coffee down will want to get a machine with a pressurized portafilter, while those that are very particular about their espresso and want to have as much control as possible over the variables involved may prefer a non-pressurized portafilter along with a separate high-quality grinder.
Brewing and Steaming Capability
Opting for one of the better espresso machines instead of one of the smaller inexpensive models will make is so you’ll be more likely to be able to steam your milk at the same time as you brew your coffee because the better machines have either more than on boiler or a larger boiler. Machines under $1,000 often don’t brew and steam at the same time. Single boiler heat exchanger machines typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000 and allow both brewing and steaming at the same time. To get a machine that has a double boiler, you usually have to spend at least $2,000.
While semi-automatic espresso machines give you more control over the finished product than super-automatic machines, they also require more maintenance. This includes regularly cleaning the baskets, shower screen and portafilters as well as the brew group, steam wand and steam valve.