How To Choose A Home Espresso Machine
Every year, we help clients thru the process of selecting their first home espresso machine purchase. We found that there a 5 key factors to consider when choosing your home espresso machine for your budget. These 5 factors are:
- What's your Budget
- What grinder
- What type of drinks
- How often and how many drinks
- Counter Space
This often is the most ciritical factor in determining what espresso machine to buy. Depending on how much you would be willing to allocate, the type of machine, its features, its aesthetics can vary greatly. There is certainly a degree of kitchen art in these handcrafted beauties. Our goal is to help you replicate high-end café performance at home while balancing aesthetics and space within your budget. P/S dont forget to budget for the grinder - more in this below.
Clients sometimes assume that buying pre ground coffee and/or getting a cheap grinder will do. But we advise our clients that selecting the right type of grinder is very important for the overall coffee experience. There are some many considerations when selecting a grinder - zero retention, single dose, conical vs flat burrs, ceramic vs stainless steel burrs, stepped vs steppless. I know it sounds confusing. Come talk with us and we will help you select a grinder that will ensure the cup of coffee brewed will be what you like and expect.
As part of the process we try to ensure that the machien purchased will fit the clients typical usage pattern. Everything we offer can make exceptional espresso. However, not all can properly steam large sized lattes. We want to make sure your machine matches your morning routine.
If you prefer large milk drinks, you will most likely need a dual boiler or heat exchanger machine, unless you are only making one drink at a time. If you like straight espressos or Americanos, a single boiler machine will work just fine.
How often will you use your machine? Is this for a single morning cup, or will you use it throughout the day for multiple drinks? Will you entertain friends and family and need to make back to back drinks?
For single morning drinks, a single boiler or small dual boiler will be good enough. If you make multiple back to back drinks during the day (for example, two large cappuccinos in the morning and 2 large lattes in the evening) a larger dual boiler machine will likely be preferable.
Another key consideration is space. Many people underestimate the space required to setup a proper coffee bar. You will need to ensure there is suffcient space for the espresso machine, the grinder and the barista tools used in the coffee brewing process. The real questions here are whether you have cabinet clearance constraints for either your espresso machine (most non-plumbed machines have top-filling water tanks) or your grinder (hoppers also fill from the top). While most customers work around this, it is an important consideration. Whether you plan to plumb this machine in now or in the future is also important.
We hope this article has been helpful in helping determine which espresso machine to select for your home. Feel free to tak with with us to walk thru your decision, we would love to help you choose the right equipment to enjoy that coffee at home.