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Buyer’s Guide: Types of Espresso Machines

From its humble beginnings in Italy, espresso has since evolved into one of the most popular menu items in coffee shops across the globe. Are you on the hunt for a commercial espresso machine for your own business? You have a variety of options available to you, and if you’re a first-time buyer, it can be a little confusing. How can you possibly decide which one is right for you, when you have no idea how to tell the difference between each machine? That’s why we have created this simple guide to help you become a more educated consumer as you’re making your purchase decision. There are four categories of espresso machines—manual, semi automatic, automatic, and super automatic. So, let’s take a closer look at each one: (1) Manual Machines More commonly known as lever espresso machines, manual espresso machines offer the most control over grind, temperature, steam pressure, and length of extraction. While it requires more patience to produce espresso using these types of machines, coffee connoisseurs generally believe it produces the best quality espresso. The principle behind producing espresso is that a small amount of water is quickly forced through finely ground coffee. With a manual espresso machine, you use your arm strength to pull a lever, which acts as this force. As we mentioned, it’s certainly worth the extra effort, and gets you involved in the whole process. (2) Semi Automatic Machines Semi automatic espresso machines are the most popular for home users, as they are generally very user friendly, and offer good control. This type of espresso machine features an automated pump, automated temperature controls for the boiler, and switches to engage or disengage the pump. It’s called semi-automatic as it allows the user to decide when to turn the pump on or off, determining when the extraction is complete. (3) Automatic Machines An automatic espresso machine is controlled using a set of buttons that you push for a single or double shot, and the machine determines how much water to push through the ground coffee. Like semi automatic machines, automatic espresso machines feature an automated pump and automated temperature controls. However, it has automated, preset water volumes, which is what makes it automatic. (4) Super Automatic Machines If you’re looking for an espresso machine that requires virtually no effort at all, then you may want to consider a super automatic machine. With just a push of a button, this machine will automatically estimate the amount of coffee beans required for the particular drink, will grind the coffee, and this freshly ground coffee will automatically be pressurized and extracted as espresso. Super automatic machines can last for a long time, and save both time and money, making it the machine of choice for coffee shops and restaurants. At CoffeeAM, we carry all four categories of commercial espresso machines, and hopefully, you now have a more thorough understanding of each one. If you have any questions about any of our coffee equipment, please post them below or contact us toll free at 1-800-803-7774, and we’ll be happy to answer them.
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