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Home & Office Espresso Machines

Home & Office Espresso Machines

We have separated our espresso machines into three categories so that you can easily look at the espresso machines appropriate to your needs. You might also wish to read a few of the articles in our " Understanding Espresso & Espresso Machines" articles section.

Lever Espresso Machines are historic and classical. These are probably not what you want if you "just want a machine to make espresso drinks." These are for classic espresso lovers. They would also make outstanding gifts for anyone you know who is a real coffee lover - even if they already have a standard espresso machine. They make great espresso, and are beautiful decor items.

Semiautomatic and Fully Automatic Espresso Machines are what most people mean when they say "Espresso Machine." You put ground coffee into them, and they make espresso. They also have steam wands for frothing milk, so that you can make latte and cappuccino with your espresso. "Pod Machines" are a relatively new innovation. They are also Semiautomatic or Fully Automatic espresso machines, but they use prepackaged Espresso Pods instead of ground coffee. It's much easier, and makes much less of a mess. These are nice and convenient.

Superautomatic and Ultra-Automatic espresso machines have integrated coffee grinders, and have hoppers into which you load coffee beans. When you push the buttons, the machine automatically grinds the right amount of coffee, and makes the espresso for you. Both types of machines have steam wands for frothing milk. But the Ultra-automatics have a "milk-input" hose, and can draw the milk in, and froth it automatically. You will pay more for all of this function.

How Are You Going to Use Your Espresso Machine?

Espresso is made by pushing hot water through a compacted "puck" of coffee grounds under high pressure. With the exception of lever espresso machines and stovetop espresso makers (moka pots), all of the espresso machines on TheCoffeeBrewers website use a powerful electric pump to create that pressure. If you have heard the term " pump driven espresso machines," that describes all of the espresso machines in this section except the lever espresso machines.

With the exception of the two Pasquini espresso machines that you will find in this section of the website, all of these espresso machines are meant for home or office use (meaning "not meant for commercial use"). If you are buying an espresso machine for a coffee shop, see our " Commercial Espresso Machines" section.

Almost any zoning board will require that espresso machines being used in a food-service business have NSF certification. The only two espresso machines in this section that have NSF certification are the two Pasquini espresso machines.

Even so, the Pasquini espresso machines are the same compact size as the other espresso machines in this section. While they are approved for commercial use, they can not handle the volumes that the large commercial espresso machines in our " Commercial Espresso Machines" section were built for.

The Pasquini espresso machines are perfect in low-volume environments like clothing boutiques, beauty spas, or bakery shops, where espresso is not your main business, although you would like to be able to make it for your customers. If you are not actually going to sell the espresso, there are usually no specific requirements made by your zoning board. You will need to ask them.

When we say that the espresso machines in this section are meant for "home or office use," what we mean is that they are not built to bang-out hundreds of drinks per day, the way that a commercial espresso machine does. If you try to do this with one of these espresso machines, you will wear it out very quickly.

However, if you are a social organization - like a church parish or a Lion's club, you may get away with it if you don't run the espresso machine like this every day. For example, a church parish may want to make 100 coffee drinks or so after worship on Sundays only. That's fine with most of these espresso machines.

We would also recommend that if you are buying an espresso machine for this kind of useage, or for usage in a spa or a medium-sized office, when many different (and untrained) people will be using the machine, the espresso machines in the " Super Automatic Espresso & Coffee Centers" and " Ultra Automatic Espresso & Coffee Centers" sections may be best for you.

As their names imply, the "Super Automatic Espresso & Coffee Centers," and "Ultra Automatic Espresso & Coffee Centers" do it all automatically at the push of a button. The operator does not need to know how to make espresso or latte or cappuccino or coffee. All that you need to do with these espresso machines is to push a button. The espresso machine does the rest, and there is no mess.

And for the espresso purists, we have lever espresso machines. Unlike the other espresso machines, the lever espresso machines do not use a pump. Instead, like an old-world barista, you "pull the shot" yourself, using a lever, and a little bit of strength. This requires you to learn this old-world barista technique. It is not difficult to learn, but expect to use up your first 1/2 pound of coffee perfecting it.

After you've learned to pull a shot, many espresso enthusiasts will claim that lever espresso machines make the best espresso. The lever espresso machines are also quite beautiful pieces of equipment, and are sure to be conversation starters. Many people have never seen a lever espresso machine, and are sure to ask you about it.

Below are very quick explanations of each of the five categories: