July 3, 2007

The Four Basic Types of Espresso Machines

There are essentially four basic types of home espresso makers on the market today. They are all different prices, and all different qualities of espresso. You’ll have to decide what is right for you, and how much you want to spend to get a cup of espresso.

1. Stove Top - Manual
The manual machine can take the form of the Mokka Pot where you need to add your ground espresso, put it on the stove top and let the water boil from the bottom of the pot, up through the grounds into the top of the pot. It won’t give you the extraction of the higher pressure pump-driven makers, but it will give you a decidedly strong cup of espresso. These are the most economical way to get a strong cup of espresso in a quick way… usually for $15 - $60. A good example here is the Bialetti 3 cup Moka Pot.

2. Pump Driven - Manual
The other manual higher pressure maker is similar to the Gaggia Achille maker that has you pumping with a long handle to get the hot water through the grounds at a pressure that will create a crema on your cup of espresso. These are rare machines and they are generally for true afficinatos and cost a lot of money.

3. Semi Automatic Espresso Coffee Machine
The semi-automatic machine takes espresso in the form of ground espresso, ESE Pods, or Nespresso Capsules in and does a lot of work for you. The basic ones, are steam based, and relies on the fact that when you boil water, it expands and the pressure forces the hot water through the coffee to make your espresso. Essentially it’s an updated and electrified Mokka Pot. These machines cost anywhere from $30 - $60. A good example here is the Krups FND111 Allegro Espresso Maker.

The other kind of Semi-Automatic Espresso machine relies on a high pressure pump to extract the wonderful flavors, solids, aromas and oils from the ground coffee actually creating an emulsion to form the crema on top of your cup. The higher pressure makes a big difference in flavor and body of the espresso. There are two levels of units here where the less expensive units require you to start and stop the machine by hitting a button or turning off a switch. These machines cost anywhere from $80 - $800. Good examples here are the Nespresso Esenza C100 (read my review), the Delonghi EC155, the Gaggia 35008 Carezza Espresso Machine and up to the FrancisFrancis! 201032 X1 Trio.

4. Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
These types of machines are wonderful units to have on your counter that can give you drinks at the push of a button. These units start with whole beans and usually grind the coffee, tamp it and then pump hot water through the ground coffee to extract your espresso for you. The more expensive Super Automatics also have the ability to draw milk right from a container and steam it for you right into your cup. These units often work off of one button; the Barista Button and it gives you easy and addictive access to wonderful espresso drinks at your finger tips. These machines can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,500. Good examples of these are: Jura-Capresso 13187 Impressa E8, the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Esclusivo Magnifica, or the Jura-Capresso 13214 Impressa Z5


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June 22, 2007

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

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Considered by many to be the best buy you can get in a Gaggia, we like the classic lines and rugged construction of the Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine. This is a very high performance espresso mac hine, with forged brass components to stabilize temperature along with a three-way solenoid valve and independent expansion valve. The Gaggia Classic turns anyone into a "Barista" in their own home. Includes two stainless steel filter baskets (single and double shot), coffee tamper and 7g measuring scoop. GET TAMPING!

At Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

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June 13, 2007

DeLonghi BAR32 Espresso Machine Arrives for Review

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DeLonghi has a nice in-expensive machine out in their BAR32 Espresso maker that has a fresh yet retro design that combines a lot of features in a relatively small footprint. The unit offers 15 bar of pressure in a pump driven machine to create espressos and lattes for you.

The DeLonghi Bar32 espresso puts a simple dial control up front to control the heating, brew and steam functions. It comes with two inserts; 1) a single/ESE pod holder, and 2) a double. The unit has a fairly large 35-ounce reservoir that fits on the back of the machine, and a decent size drip tray. On the right side, the unit also has a small tamp that will help set the coffee grounds in the portafilter. A tight tamp is not needed in the way that an open bottom portafilter needs it, as there is a small outlet in the bottom of the portafilter that serves to create the backpressure and thus the higher extraction of solids and oils that makes it an espresso.

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The DeLonghi BAR32 Espresso Machine comes with:
  • DeLonghi BAR 32 machine
  • Portafilter handle
  • Single/ESE Pod insert
  • Double Insert
  • 1 can of Illy ESE Pods
  • Coffee Scoop
  • Direction booklet

    DeLonghi BAR32 at Amazon

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  • June 6, 2007

    DeLonghi Exclusivo Gran Dama ESAM6600

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    DeLonghi has announced their new Esclusivo Gran Dama ESAM6600 model; their top of the line espresso and coffee center. The design is beautiful and elegant in an all stainless steel construction format that is quite a statement on any counter.

    The Esclusivo Gran Dama ESAM6600 super automatic machine features a digital controls and an LCD readout. The programmable buttons allow you to set your favorite drink and get it made time and time again. The Gran Dama makes not only one-touch Latte and Cappuccinos but a Macchiato too. Controls appear to be great, and with the removable milk container, it makes it fantastically easy to create great espresso drinks.

    ArrowContinue reading: "DeLonghi Exclusivo Gran Dama ESAM6600"

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    June 1, 2007

    Krups FND111 Allegro Espresso Maker

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    Want an affordable cup of espresso? The Krups Allegro FND111 Espresso Maker will only set you back $40 bucks and we think you'll be happy. We recently looked at this machine at two different stores, and we think the look and the quality of the machine is quite good.

    It has an easy to operate 4-bar steam espresso maker (okay - that's not much but we're talking about a $40 machine here) and it makes espresso, cappuccinos and lattes. The steam nozzle froths milk and is controlled by the oversized dial, which when we tried it was very ergonomically designed. The removable tray is dishwasher safe for easy clean up, and the compact size takes up little counter space.

    • Easy-to-use, 4-bar steam espresso machine for espresso, cappuccino, and lattes
    • Convenient large-capacity carafe with lid and handle equals easy pouring
    • Steam nozzle quickly froths milk, easily controlled by oversized dial
    • Space-saving design; removable drip tray for easy clean up
    • Built-in safety valve provides safe operation

    At Krups Allegro FND111 Espresso Maker

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    May 23, 2007

    New Colors for Nespresso Essenza Espresso Machines

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    We recently attended the Nespresso launch of the Nespresso Lattissima from Nespresso and DeLonghi, and we're pleasantly surprised to see the launch of new colors from Nespresso for their popular Nespresso Essenza models. You can read reviews of the Nespresso Essenza C100T model from us here at Single Serve Espresso and over at Single Serve Coffee.

    The new colors we witnessed for the Nespresso Essenza models are really quite refreshing. We especially like the Green Nespresso Essenza C100T.

    Check out our full selection of pictures from the show and we also included a few pictures of the new Crystal Couture models as well.

    ArrowContinue reading: "New Colors for Nespresso Essenza Espresso Machines"

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    May 22, 2007

    DeLonghi Esclusivo Magnifica ESAM 3300 Super-Auto Espresso Machine

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    DeLonghi has announced their new Esclusivo Magnifica ESAM3300 model, which should be replacing their EAM3200 model. The design is a smoother more sensuous design that rounds the features and sits comfortably on the counter of any modern kitchen. The controls are via knobs and dials, and doesn’t include the LCD readouts of the more expensive models.

    The Magnifica ESAM3300 super automatic machine includes a professional-quality conical burr grinder, which produces consistent, fresh and aromatic espresso or coffee. A nice change is that the grinder operates at a lower pitch, which allows for a quieter machine. Like most Super Automatics, the grind settings also allow the user to adjust the fineness for all types of beans. The 60 ounce water reservoir and the 7 ounce whole bean container should keep you brewing for a while before refilling. The Direct-to-Brew System, features a stainless steel piped double boiler, which guarantees that each grind is immediately processed into coffee or espresso.

    Features:

  • Makes coffee, espresso, latte and cappuccino
  • Lower pitch grinder
  • Double boiler means no wait between espresso and steam
  • Patented Cappuccino System Frother
  • Stainless steel piped double boiler
  • Cup warmer
  • Coffee strength and quantity controls
  • Height adjustable coffee spouts to accommodate any size mug

    At Amazon

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  • May 17, 2007

    Nespresso Lattissima in US

    Wanted to point out that our sister site SingleServeCoffee.com has made the trip to the New York Nespresso Boutique Espresso Bar to be a part of the US National launch event for the Nespresso Lattissima, an automatic beverage center that uses not only the Nespresso capsules, but the DeLonghi milk frothing capability, making lattes and cappuccinos at the push of a button. This is very similar to the DeLonghi EAM 3500 super automatic that I reviewed recently, in that it does all the work at the press of a button and allows you to refrigerate your fresh milk in the removable milk container.

    ReadMore at SingleServeCoffee.com

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    April 27, 2007

    Gaggia 90501 Stainless Super Auto Coffee/Espresso Center

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    This top of the line Espresso maker is a stunning beauty to sit atop any counter. The 100% stainless steel housing is impressive and houses some pretty impressive components. The unit makes push button espressos and whips up milk drinks quickly with two boilers; one for brewing and one for steaming/frothing.

  • It’s got adjustable strength brewing, adjust grind size, coffee and water amounts.
  • Large Whole Bean capacity – 250g
  • A 60-ounce water reservoir – good for the category.
  • Bypass doser to make a different coffee when you want.
  • Pre-infusion of the grounds
  • Three programmable push-buttons brew based on the liquid volume you choose.

    All that stainless is a perfect background for the cobalt blue LED readout.

    At Amazon

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  • April 19, 2007

    Lamborghini ESE Pod Espresso Maker

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    If you really needed a bit of speed decor in the kitchen well, now you have the opportunity to get in on the limited edition Lamborghini Espresso maker. Reportedly only 1,000 of the units will be made, and at $1,750 that may be plenty. Crafted with beautiful stainless steel, the unit looks ready to accept any ESE Espresso pods in the front, while steaming your milk on the side. I don't know about you, but I think my first car cost less than this.

    via

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    Scott Martin: Erik, Answering a few questions: So the whirring is definitely read more
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