The 5 Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machines
How to get Hooked on Espresso
- Get a free trip to Rome when you are an impressionable teenager.
- Find gleaming machines with levers and spouts that spit steam and a strange brown liquid.
- Notice all the beautiful women and guys in sharp suits drinking this liquid.
- Try that liquid yourself.
That's my story! If yours is similar, those first wonderful encounters will leave an impression. You are never going to be completely happy with cappuccinos, drip coffee or even the finest latte. Only espresso will ever fire up your taste buds.
You need an espresso machine!
Why would you Need a Semi Automatic Espresso Machine?
A manual machine requires some real skills to operate successfully.
A quality semi automatic espresso maker takes a the guesswork out of making the perfect shot. We don't all have time to master a machine with wings on top!
Where To Buy
You will usually save money by buying online. More importantly, it is worth reading the buyer reviews at places like Amazon or the online versions of the major department stores. People are fussy about espresso and will tell you straight if a machine doesn't deliver.
A good Starter Machine -Cuisinart EM-100 15-Bar Espresso Maker
If you enjoy espresso but you are not a total fanatic, this is the kind of machine that will deliver quality espresso at a reasonable price.
The 15 bar pressure is adequate and will squeeze a good flavor.
Get the right coffee and it will give you as good a shot as you will find in many big-chain coffee shops.
Gaggia is one of the biggest names in espresso making and a lot of experience and quality technology has gone into this small (by Gaggia standards) machine.
It is one of the best selling models around and also one of the most reliable
- It offers a stainless steel single boiler with a 42 oz capacity water tank that is removable.
- 15 bar pump pressure.
- Chrome plated brass group head and filter holder.
- Pannarello frothing attachment.
It is also one of the most stylish espresso machines it you don't want a stainless steel finish.
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine - New 2009 Model V3
This is the machine to move onto when you have fully developed your taste for espresso and it is your coffee of choice.
The Rancilio Silvia will sit equally well in a great restaurant or a fine home. It can deliver the very best espresso you will ever taste. The generous half gallon tank will supply you and your quests with plenty of shots. The machine is built to last and owners report year after year of trouble free operation.
An affordable choice for connoisseurs.
The video below shows a Rancilio Silva in operation.
You can Make More than an Espresso with an Espresso Machine.
Best Baby Pink Espresso Machine!
I couldn't let this page go without mentioning Ascaso Dream.
Ascaso produce great espresso makers of all kinds but the Dream range is special. They have a retro styling and come in outrageous and wonderful colors. This is one range that should make you question the stainless steel standard!
They are expensive at around $600 online but you are getting more than just a pretty face- there is serious technology behind that beautiful facade.
A Beginners Guide to Making Espresso
What Makes One Espresso Machine Better than Another?
Great espresso makers deliver water at the right temperature and control the pumping accurately every time. They also need to produce steam at the right temperature for that frothy top.
The very best set ups uses two separate boilers- one for the coffee extraction, one for the topping. They can steam and brew at the same time. Cheaper, single boiler, dual use machines have just one boiler and move from brewing to steaming in sequence, They are obviously slower but can do the job,
A compromise system is a single boiler with a heat exchanger mechanism. The water for the steam passes through a coil in the boiler and is then quickly heated to steaming temperatures by a powerful heating element.
What Advantages Do Fully Automatic or Super Automatic Espresso Makers Offer?
The answer is that fully automatic machines offer more convenience and are programmable. They will make you wake up coffee for instance. Some will also handle the whole grinding, loading and tamping process for you.
What they cannot do, is give you better tasting coffee. In fact, the extra control a semi automatic gives you, will mean better coffee- once you have learnt your machines little quirks!