There are many designs and brands you can choose from, which is why looking for an espresso machine may prove to be more complicated than you think. However, there are a few aspects that you need to consider before making a purchase, and as long as you keep those in mind, you should be able to make a smart choice. Here is what you need to look at.
- Depending on your preferences, you can go for an espresso machine that uses ground coffee, which you need to put in the portafilter, or you can go for the pods. In my experience ground coffee is almost always better than the pods. You have more control over the coffee you put in. Maybe you prefer a particular assortment. You can choose the brand when it comes to pods, but not all coffee manufacturers make pods that are compatible with all espresso machines. Furthermore, capsules can be used only with single-serve espresso machines, while those that use ground coffee are able to brew more coffee at once, depending on the model.
- Durability – you should know that durability is often correlated with cost. Espresso machines can be rather expensive. A high-end coffee maker will cost around 200$, while a high-quality espresso maker can reach the price of over 2000$. The point is that you must pay attention to the material the machine is made of. Stainless steel is to be preferred, but you can find other materials that are just as sturdy.
- In-built grinder – personally, I have an espresso machine that uses ground coffee, but the machine grinds the beans for me. It is a lot more convenient, the coffee is fresher when it’s ground on the spot, and you can see the difference in taste. Some models even allow choosing the level of grounding, which is important when you brew different types of coffee.
- Plumbing or water container – some designs can be connected to your house plumbing for an infinite water supply. If you use this machine at home, when you brew a couple of cups per day, I find that rather useless. But if you are looking for an espresso machine to put in your coffee place or restaurant then plumbing is necessary. That way nobody has to refill the container multiple times a day.
- Ease of cleaning – keeping an espresso machine clean is of the utmost importance. Leaving it dirty can affect the taste of the coffee and can produce severe damage to the appliance. Choose a model that is very easy to disassemble and allows you to clean all the parts thoroughly.
- The frother – as I mentioned above, I like making all sorts of coffee. I like macchiatos and cappuccinos, but I wouldn’t be able to make those without a brother. How else would I make the milk so frothy? That is why I opted for an inbuilt frother that allows me to make delicious beverages.
There are other things you should look at, such as appearance if it means much to you, but those are the most important features that the best espresso machine should have.