How many espresso machines are there?
Espresso machine is a coffee maker specializing for making espresso and other espresso-based coffees. The most special thing which makes espresso different from other types of coffee recipes is the way of using high pressure to make it. The basic mechanism of an espresso machine is to forcing hot water coming through ground coffee under pressure.
There are four main kinds of espresso machine, including pump espresso machine, lever/piston espresso machine, steam powered espresso machine and moka pots. Each kind has its own pros and cons which can or cannot fit your needs.
#1. Pump espresso machine
This machine uses a pump to pressure water and measure the right amount of water for brewing coffee. Most of pump espresso machines are automatic and run electrical power. However, some are still manual coffee makers.
The force is very intense pressure which can result the very high-quality and excellent espresso. A good pump espresso machine must have high bars of pressure for a full-flavored espresso. High bar of pressure is a measurement of steam pressure that is pushed through the grind. The machine with 15.0 to 18.0 bars is considered as the high bar of pressure machine.
Some pump espresso machine can be featured with additional functions such as adjustable coffee strength options, large water capacity, multiple cup sizes, automatic frothier, etc. A pump espresso maker can be big, bulky and noisy which is somehow just perfect for coffee shops with high coffee consumption.
#2. Steam power espresso machine
This kind of machine makes coffee by the steam from boiled water used as pressure. It is the first type of espresso machine invented in the world. It is easy to assemble and its price is not quite expensive.
Because of using steam as pressure and there is not always enough steam to create strong pressure, it sometimes cannot make a full-flavored espresso. It can make one carafe at once (about four shots of espresso). Besides, you cannot open it in the middle of processing to add more water because it needs to keep water to be hot to create pressure.
#3. Lever/Piston espresso machine
It is a manual machine, using a lever or a piston to create pressure. You need to have strong hands to push the lever when making coffee.
The basic mechanism of this machine is that you use manual strength to force the water running through the coffee ground. This can be known as a machine, but it also requires a lot of arm strength and skills. However, if it is pressed by a handful barista, it can provide a very great and tasteful cup of espresso.
#4. Moka pots
Moka pot is another name of stove-top espresso pots. It is a simplest appliance to make espresso. It contains a super simple pot with two different parts: the bottom half and the top half. When heating up the pot on stove, the water at the bottom part will be boiled, which forces the steam coming through ground coffee in the top half. That is the main principle of making espresso by moka pot.
Moka pot is the cheapest product of all types. It is easy to use but it creates less pressure than other types. Therefore, it makes the lightest-flavored espresso with no foaming frothing along with.
To sum up, we have already moved across most common types of espresso machines from the low-tech ones with manual function to high-tech ones with automatic operations. Although they all brew a cup of espresso, each possesses its own characteristics. Understanding details of each type of espresso machine can help you find the best one for you.