Whether you are new to the world of coffee and espresso, or are an experienced barista looking for opinions on machines you are thinking of trying, we have you covered! At Your Best Espresso Reviews, we will go over a variety of espresso machines, beans, accessories and more. Browse, enjoy, and happy brewing!
Pump-driven machines contain a Thermo-Block that heats the water (as opposed to boiling in the reservoir like non-pump models). The benefit of this system is that it allows users to heat water at separate temperatures for boiling and steaming, and will create crema (the foam on the surface of espresso that contains most of the flavor) as well as providing continuous steam for lattes and cappuccinos.
Benefits of a pump-driven system
- Reduced time between making multiple brews
- Different temperatures for brewing and steaming mean beverages are not overly heated
- Higher quality and makes better tasting espresso than counterparts
Disadvantages of pump-driven systems
While the pump machines will make higher quality and better tasting espresso, they are often at a price point that may discourage first time buyers who are just getting their feet wet in the world of espresso.
Note: The pump-driven machines are great when quality is a top priority!
Non-Pump Espresso Machines
Non-pump espresso machines make great starter or gift espresso machines for beginners who want to experiment without breaking the bank. Non-pump systems differ from pump espresso machines in that the water is heated to a boil in a reservoir to the point of turning into steam. The steam then creates pressure and forces the water through the grinds or steam arm. While this makes a great starter machine, it does not create the same rich flavor profile as pump machines.
Benefits of non-pump machines
- Great for beginners who are not overly concerned with “perfect taste”
- Price point makes it a purchase that does not break the bank
Disadvantages of non-pump machines
- Cannot make crema
- Needs a cool down time before another brew
- High water temperature may burn espresso causing lessened flavor
- Removing stopper before steam pressure is gone can be dangerous
If You Choose A Pump Machine, What Then?
If you have decided that great tasting espresso if what you are after and you want to purchase a pump-driven machine, there are a few more things you will need to consider. Namely, do you want a semi-automatic or a super-automatic machine?
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
Semi-automatic espresso machines take some of the tediousness out of creating espresso by automating various steps in the process. Things like water temperature and pressure are automated, meaning you do not need to tinker to find what brings out the best flavor. However, you will still need to manually tamp and grind beans (although you may also want to adjust water flow for desired taste).
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
Super-automatic espresso machines make the entire espresso making process virtually automatic. Grinding, tamping, and brewing are all automated, and virtual displays, programmable presets, and a host of other features make brewing a breeze. On top of this, many super-automatic machines have features that allow you to make lattes, cappuccinos, and more at the push of a button.