While I am no expert nor am I an Italian, but I do know a thing or two about coffee and espresso. And over the years, I have enjoyed studying various components of fine espresso machines. This has lead me to realize that in the midist of all the bells and whistles of modern day espresso machines, there are only a 3 basic requirements for a good espresso machine. I will highlight the three points I believe are must haves in order to pull a proper shot.
15 Bar Pressure
The pressure is extremely important when pulling the shot. The pressure is what causes the creama – the most desirable part of a shot, to form. In the original design, 15 bars of pressure is the minimum required be able to force the hot water through the finely ground beans, thus producing creama and the shot itself.
The desired 15 bar of presure can be obtained via one of two type of pumps, the original design of Italian pump and the viberation pump.
This one is pretty much self explanatory. Unless the espresso machine is connected in to a direct water line, the capacity of water storage will determine how often the tank must be filled. The larger the tank, the less often the chore of filling the tank will have to be performed.
Moveable Steam wand
The steam wand, used to froth milk should be safe and easily accessable. Most machines these days are equipped with a no burn tubing, which greatly improves the safety of the machine. There is nothing enjoyable about a nasty burn while making ones favorite drink. If this is an option, I highly recommend it be taken advantage of.
A wand that moves all directions is also desirable as this will allow one to froth and steam milk no matter the size of the container.
In today’s market, there are numerous options to choose from. I highly recommend you do your research and stick with known reputable brands. Especially those who specialize in making espresso machines, as they will have the background and expertise in making excellent espresso machines. No matter what you choose, be sure to pick a machine that meets your needs. Be safe and have fun!