Espresso Machines have become an integral part of our modern life, where waiting in long queues in cafe has become almost impossible in our busy schedules. We can make cafe quality coffee in one of the Best Espresso Machines.
In 1822 the French were the first to innovate a crude espresso machine. The Italians then perfected this machine and became the first to manufacture it.
How to prepare coffee in Espresso Machine
Before judging the best espresso machine, let us first understand how to prepare coffee in the Espresso Machines.
Step 1: Choose Coffee Beans and Coffee Roast according to your taste:
Coffee Beans go through a number of processes before they are ready to be consumed. More about the best espresso coffee beans can be found here.
First, they are harvested, which takes 12-13 years from planting a seed to getting a fully grown coffee plant. Once the tree is ready, the coffee pickers pick the Coffee Beans. These are then sorted by age and processed by drying and removing the pulp and skin. After this process, they are hulled, polished, cleaned and graded and then they are exported around the world. Finally, they are roasted. At each stage of coffee production, the coffee is tested for quality and taste by professional coffee tasters called cuppers.
There are two main species of coffee beans in the world:
- Coffee Arabica: These are high quality coffee beans and are referred as gourmet coffee. They are well-known for their soothing and aromatic taste.
- Coffee Robusta: They are of lower grade than Coffee Arabica. They have stronger flavor and contain a higher amount of caffeine.
There are also some other coffee beans, e.g. Bengal coffee, Congo coffee, Coffea bonnieiri, etc. which are not of export quality.
Coffee Beans when grown, are green in color. They are roasted in dry heat and have to be evenly heated. After this roasting process they become brown.
The three main categories of Roasted Coffee are:
- Light: These are less roasted, giving the lightest and the most delicate flavor and are often acidic due to roasting less.
- Medium: These are chocolate brown in color, less acidic and have a slightly sweet and toasty flavor. This is the most popular roast among all.
- Dark: These are roasted until the sugar gets caramelized and produce strong, smoky and sometimes spicy flavors.
The different types of Coffee Roast are blended to produce unique coffee tastes and depending on the taste, one has to choose their Coffee Beans and the extent to which they are roasted.
1. Have freshly grounded coffee beans- in the ratio 2:3 i.e if you want 30ml of espresso, measure 20g of dry fine ground coffee
2. Fill water into the machine reservoir. Before, ensure that you purge your machine by passing water through it.
3. Heat the water up to 90C degrees
4. Pack the tamper with the fine ground. Ensure that you evenly firm-press with your palm and return the tamper to the machine basket
6. Wait for around for 5-10 seconds for the first drop and 20-25 seconds to get enough to make one or two ounces. The espresso should have a crema on top. Lack of it indicates that your beans were past their prime and not fresh.
With the increasing use of Espresso Machines, we have so many choices now, that it is difficult to choose, which one to buy.
Prices of Espresso Machines vary, depending on the features of the machine and the type of coffee to be made.
Best Espresso Machines in 2016
Lets take a look at some simple categories for best espresso machine.
Best Espresso Machines under 100$:
- Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine: It is sleek and uses Nespresso Capsules. The brewer holds upto 11 capsules. It is energy efficient and pre-heats in 25 seconds,removable 24 ounce water tank and has adjustable and programmable buttons for espresso or lungo.
- Mr Coffee ECMP50 Espresso Machine: It is professional looking and can brew two shots at once, with movable frothing arm and thermal block heating system for instant brewing. It has one touch controls with bright indicator lights. It has 40 ounce removable water tank.
- Mr Coffee ECM160 Espresso Machine: It is small and uses steam to brew coffee. It holds up to 20 ounces of coffee and has conveniently placed frothing arms and easy to clean drip trays.
Best Espresso Machines under 200$:
- Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine: It is tiny and brews in 25 seconds. It is easy to program to prefered brew volume, with neat LED light. It has a removable 24 ounce water tank.
- Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine: It is small and has compact brewing technology with movable frothing arm. It brews up to two shots and has removable 24 ounce water tank. It has Class A energy rating and shuts off automatically after 9 minutes.
- Mr Coffee Barista Espresso Machine: It has automatic milk frother and one touch and programmable control panel. It is easy to clean with removable water tank and drip tray.
Best Espresso Machines under 1000$:
- Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine: It has a half pound bean hopper and 64 ounce removable water tank. It has programmable volume control and automatic filter fill up.
- Delonghi ESAM3300 Magnificia Espresso Machine: It is an automatic brewer and is power saving. It steams and froths milk perfectly.
- Delonghi ECAM22110B Magnifica XS Espresso Machine: It is an automatic brewer with every feature in front of the machine and has 60 ounce water tank.
While choosing the best Espresso Machine, one has to keep in mind:
- Size of Espresso Machine
- Ease of Use
The above article on Espresso Machines and Coffee can provide a brief information to the buyer; however one has to understand one’s own need of the Espresso machine, before choosing the right one.