I love my coffee – don’t we all? It’s the perfect drink for starting the day, delicious and energetic, and it’s one of the small pleasures that can be enjoyed during the day, especially after lunch. Of course, as we know very well, it might be quite a hard work making a good espresso.
I usually don’t have time to grind the coffee beans exactly like I want them: I have way too much to think about with my family, my job, all the usual everyday activities to actually stop for a few minutes and make coffee. That’s why I need a good coffee machine, one that can not only make a superb espresso, but also do it quickly and efficiently.
If you have the same needs, there is a great solution that allows you to enjoy your delicious espresso with no work at all.
Super automatic espresso machines make coffee on their own, without needing any impulse or help from you. All you have to do is put coffee beans inside of them, press a button and let them do their job. There is a coffee grinder inside that grinds the beans and makes your coffee quickly and efficiently – or you can just use coffee powder instead. Since you can use any kind of coffee beans you like, there are no limitations connected to different brands and blends.
These machines are very advanced: most of them have a digital control system that tells you when they need to be cleaned or when something isn’t working properly, suggesting you what the problem is.
They can be expensive, but cheaper models are available too, if you just know where to look. If you have a good budget and want to buy the best, you should definitely go for the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica model. It’s pricey, but it’s perfectly made and will guarantee you an excellent coffee quality.
The KRUPS EA8250001 Espresseria is not quite as expensive, but still offers a very good machine, with many advantages and a guarantee of efficiency and quality.
If you want a super automatic espresso machine but your budget is very limited, you can still try the Barista Express Coffee Machine model, one of my favourite made by Breville. It’s much cheaper that the others and maybe not quite as advanced, but the quality is good and you will still have your delicious espresso with no work at all.
Most people wonder whether it’s necessary to keep this kind of machines turned on all the time: it actually depends on the amount of coffee you make every day. Since it takes a while for them to boil the water and heat up, it might be convenient leaving it on if you use it more than three times a day. Otherwise, you can turn it off and just wait a little longer for your espresso, and also save some electricity, saving on your bills.
Did you ever ask yourself how exactly a coffee machine works? Those you can use at home work the same way the professional ones do: by pressure. A pressure between 12 and 15 bars allows your espresso to acquire all the aromas and substances contained in the coffee.
Coffee machines either use capsules, pods or ground coffee, but they all work the same way. They are made of steel, aluminium or brass, and they are made up of four basic elements: the boiler, the pump, the water tank and the cup of the filter. The pump pushes the water in the boiler, where it reaches the right temperature (90 Celsius degrees), then it goes to the filter and finally comes out and ends up in the cup. The higher the pressure is, the better your espresso will be.
Espresso machines can either be manual or automatic. Manual ones require you to choose the amount of coffee to brew, while automatic ones do it all by themselves. They have a small software that regulates just the right quantity of coffee and how long it is brewed for.
In some of those automatic espresso machines, this software also controls an automatic grinder that regulated the type of grinding and the exact amount of coffee that will arrive to the porta-filter.
Using them is extremely easy: you just have to select the amount of coffee you want and let it do its job.
This is precisely the reason why it’s much more convenient to choose an automatic espresso machine than a manual one: the latter requires a good knowledge of both coffee and machinery, while the first just needs you to press a button.
They are also faster and much more efficient, especially if you intend to use them every day.
Now with the next issue: should you choose a machine that works with capsules, pods or with ground coffee? Manual espresso machines usually work with ground coffee, but, if you have chosen an automatic one, then you will have to use either capsules or pods.
In pods, the coffee is inside a case of filter paper, while in the capsules it is inside a small plastic cone, closed with an aluminium seal. They both allow you not to have to clean the filter quite as often as in the manual ones (which get much dirtier much faster).
Until a few years ago, you could only use certain brands of coffee capsules or pods in certain machines (usually the same brand as the machine itself), but nowadays the competition is much harder. There are now many espresso machines that can work with any brand of coffee pod or capsule.