The Different Kinds of Espresso Machines | Four Basic Models


Making espresso is an art form for many people.

It should come as no surprise that the process of making it can be one complicated affair. In fact, just choosing a single espresso machine can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with the way they work.

There are many different styles of espresso machines, and they’re all built with varying components. You have to know so many things before you can arrive at a proper decision. You must even be familiar with the techniques for making espresso before you can choose the right machine for the job. This is why it is unlikely for two models to be exactly the same.

And although it might seem impossible for us to classify them under a few generalized categories, we can at least define the factors that make them somehow the same. After all, these espresso machines are made simply to force hot water into coffee grounds in order to make a shot of espresso. At the end of the day, they are all the same.

Today, we’ll introduce you to some of the most basic kinds of espresso machines that you will surely encounter once you set out to buy one. Here are the four basic kinds of espresso machines.

Piston-Driven Espresso Machines

These are more commonly known as manual espresso machines because they make use of a lever to operate. They require your effort to squeeze water through the coffee grounds using a large handle. This kind of espresso maker is popular for traditionalists and those who are passionate about their coffee. The manual operation allows you to take control of the whole process, letting you create espresso with your own delicate techniques.

Depending on the machine, handling the lever can be either easy or fairly difficult. Get a grip on a model before buying it so you know exactly what kind of pressure you’ll be exerting every time you use it.

If you’re a fan of espresso, you’ll love how this enables you to make your shots stronger, weaker, or however you want them to be.

Check out our reviews on Piston-Driven Espresso Machines for under $300.

Automatic Espresso Machines

These espresso machines work automatically by using a pump to push the water through the coffee grounds. They don’t rely on your own sweat to manually control the process. Instead, the pump does that for you. Of course, this means less control, but more consistent results. It’s a good choice for people who are only beginning to fall in love with espresso. These electronic machines are handy when you pick the right kind.

Pod Espresso Machines

Pod espresso machines are also technically pump machines, but this machine eliminates the need for grinding your coffee beans. Thanks to this, you wouldn’t have to worry much about measuring how much coffee you need to put in because they are mostly pre-measured. This is a good choice for someone who is rather clueless about how to make espresso.

On the positive side, these machines are extremely convenient. However, it may limit you to the kind of coffee you can buy and enjoy. You have to get those pods that fit into your machine instead of buying coffee grounds. It’s certainly not a good option for people who love experimenting on different espresso tastes.

Steam-Driven Espresso Machines

Exactly as their names suggest, these machines are driven by steam. They are not complicated, but they are neither manual nor completely electronic. It is the first automated method of making espresso.

The exact process of making a shot of espresso through steam varies from model to model, but you can be sure that they all use steam and water pressure.

The best part about these models is that they are some of the most inexpensive choices. Go for a steam-driven espresso machine if you want to save more money.

If you want to check out all the different types of Espresso Machines, click here for our reviews of the best espresso machines.

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