THE 3 BEST Espresso & Cappuccino Machines
October 2020
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No. PRODUCT MANUFACTURER PRICE RATINGS POPULARITY LINK
1. NESPRESSO £239.99
(from 299 reviews)
5.9
2. Wacaco £49.99
(from 12 reviews)
5.6
3. Gaggia £429.00
(from 98 reviews)
4.2

Buying Guide to Espresso and Cappuccino Machines

If you happen to love coffee, then, buying an espresso and cappuccino machine is a big deal for you.  There are many kinds of espresso and cappuccino machines available and we're going to discuss the different types, what other buyers are saying, what to look out for and some of the most available espresso and cappuccino machines available.

Types of Espresso and Cappuccino Machines

Piston-driven

The piston-driven, or lever-driven, machine was developed in Italy in 1945 by Achille Gaggia, founder of espresso machine manufacturer Gaggia . The design generically uses a lever, pumped by the operator, to pressurize hot water and send it through the coffee grinds. The act of producing a shot of espresso is colloquially termed pulling a shot, because these lever-driven espresso machines required pulling a long handle to produce a shot.  Lever-driven espresso machines are sometimes called manual espresso machines because of this.

Steam-driven

A steam-driven unit operates by forcing water through the coffee by using steam or steam pressure. The first espresso machines were steam types, produced when a common boiler was piped to four group heads so that multiple types of coffee could be made at the same time.  This design is still used today in lower-cost consumer machines, as it does not need to contain moving parts. Also, steam-driven machines do not produce as high of a pressure for extraction compared to pump-driven. This results in a lower quality crema, a hallmark of an espresso.

Pump-driven

A refinement of the piston machine is the pump-driven machine, which was introduced in the FaemaE61 in 1961, and has become the most popular design in commercial espresso bars. Instead of using manual force, a motor-driven pump provides the force necessary for espresso brewing. Espresso machines are made to accept water directly from a cold water line supply, common in commercial installations, or from a separate tank that must be filled with water by hand. The latter is more common with lower-volume commercial installations and domestic espresso machines. Due to the required high pumping pressure and precision flow control needed, the particular type of electric pumps typically used are known as solenoid-piston pumps. These pumps are classified as a positive displacement type (general category) of pump.

Single boiler

These machines can brew only, and not steam, requiring only a single boiler. They are relatively uncommon, with steam wands being a simple and valued addition.

Air-pump-driven

In recent years air-pump-driven espresso machines have emerged. These machines use compressed air to force the hot water through the coffee grounds. The hot water is typically added from a kettle or a thermo flask. The compressed air comes from either a hand-pump, N2 or CO2 cartridges or an electric compressor. One of the advantages of the air-pump-driven machines is that they are much smaller and lighter than electric machines. They are often handheld and portable. The first air-pump-driven machine was the AeroPress, which was invented by Alan Adler, an American inventor, and introduced in 2005. Handpresso Wild, invented by Nielsen Innovation SARL, a French innovation house, was introduced in 2007.

What Other Buyers Are Saying

When you choose an espresso and cappuccino machine, select one that is durable as it should take you years in using it.  There are many machines out there so, read the reviews that customers have left to get an idea on what their firsthand experience is when it comes to espresso and cappuccino machines.

Here are some feedback that an espresso and cappuccino machine has received from its clients:

What to Look Out for

If you are going to buy an espresso and cappuccino machine, be sure to check the directions to use and the wattage it consumes.  Make sure if it operates in 110v or 220v so, that you don't make the mistake of plugging it in the wrong outlet as this would cause the machine to short circuit and break down.  Also, you need to check if the machine can create the coffee that you desire.

Most Popular Brands

VonShef - is a well-known brand in the UK that manufactures espresso and cappuccino machines, which can also make lattes and hot chocolate.   It produces a flavourful, full bodied coffee with a tasty, foamy crema. Brews directly into the decanter provided.  Also it has a milk frothing arm, temperature gauge and removable drip tray.             

Wacaco - if you are on the go and you want to take coffee with you, you can avail of Wacaco's portable coffee maker that's compact and solid and has a built-in espresso cup.

De'Longhi - is a well-known brand in the UK that manufactures, which is suitable for coffee beans, ground coffee.  It has a traditional stainless steel milk frothing  arm and built-in burr grinder.