Before you decide on which machine you want, you should know the differences between a regular coffeemaker and an espresso machine. The main difference is the amount of pressure that is needed to make the coffee. The process by which the coffee is made is different with each machine. Coffeemakers use more of a drip method, while espresso machines can be steam-driven or automatic, and use freshly ground beans.
Espresso machines are more costly than your standard coffeemaker. Some are relatively simple and require only little maintenance, while others can be very complex. There are two types of espresso machines: steam-driven and pump-driven. A steam-driven machine uses steam pressure to force the water through, while a pump-driven machine uses an electric pump.
Coffeemakers come in a variety of different models such as the drip coffee machines, the French press, and single serve coffeemakers. The drip coffee machine is the most common, as well as one of the most affordable. French presses require manual operation. The grounds are manually pushed to the bottom through a fine mesh, and then the coffee is poured. Single serve coffeemakers brew only a single cup of coffee at a time. These are most convenient for filling travel mugs on your way out the door in the morning.
The biggest deciding factor, other than cost, would be to determine how much time you can allocate while using the machine. Espresso machines brew more quickly due to the finely ground coffee beans. A coffeemaker brews for a longer amount of time because it is not espresso, it is brewing a simple pot of coffee. Maintenance and cleaning time is an important consideration as well. Your standard coffeemaker takes little to no extra time to clean, while an espresso machine and all of its complex parts, could take twice the amount of time to clean, sanitize, and maintain.
Your choice will come down to the budget you have, the time you have, and the experience you have. If you just want a simple and straight forward cup of coffee in the morning, a standard coffeemaker would prove to be the better option for you. However, if you have a little extra time and energy and want something a little more complex, than an espresso machine could prove to provide a tasty early morning treat.
Steps to Make Espresso
- Find the roast you will like best. Medium roast? Dark roast?
- Ground the coffee beans into a fine powder
- Add the appropriate amount of purified water and be sure it gets up to a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit
- Make sure you use the proper amount of your freshly ground coffee
- Pack the grinds in using a tamper. You need to achieve the right amount of pressure, otherwise it could end up taking too long to brew. The crema will appear on the surface when it is finished.