Espresso the drink we all adore, served in small cups and a ginger biscuit in my locality. It falls in the coffee family and is popular in the cold seasons and the best taste only depends on a brewing machine to let the taste sink in.
Before the purchase of the machine one has to look at the material used, usability, switch buttons and the key elements.
Well automation machines have sensors, pumps, valves just to brew the coffee. Technology at its best.
However, there is the super and semi automatic machines and each differs from the other. Factors to consider being convenience, accessories, easy clean up, added features, warranty, safety components, service and performance.
Both automatic machines fall under the pump driven espresso machine and categorize into dual boiler, single boiler heat exchanger and single boiler dual use.
First things first let us handle each and maybe the differentiation can make you ponder on which to make the latte on.
Super – Automatic Machine
They are very expensive considering they are of high quality and popularly referred by people as they make work easier and if you have never made it before, this can do it in seconds without knocking on people’s doors seeking for help as it eliminates the human error syndrome of having to tamp it manually. It grinds, tamps, and extracts the espresso shot producing good results in the long run.
In brewing they have a wide range of programmability therefore the brewing volume, extraction, time, temperature and water hardness are adjusted to perfection.
Couple of choices are offered when it comes to steaming and frothing the milk in desired preferences. The inbuilt grinder unlike in the semi-automatic grinds the beans but it been automatic one has to adjust the flavor, strength, dosage and fineness so that the espresso does not go berserk on people’s throats. It is advantageous for its self cleaning thus easy to maintain, fine tuning, less mess, single servings, user control boosting one’s tastes, consistent results by using fresh beans and that no skills are needed to operate it in making it.
Every good thing however has its cons in this case been the oil the beans produce can block the grinder, medium dark espresso roasts and outer body made of plastics.
The super machines are of different categories ranging from the blue ribbon, big daddy, space saver, smooth operators among others each with its unique designs.
Semi – Automatic Machine
Continues to be used in most households as it allows control over the user to make into perfection. Way back the barista was in use but thanks to innovations the semi automatic came through to save the drink. Through grinding beans, putting them in a portafilter the semi automatic requires a press of the button and once the espresso is made to perfection another press of the button is made offering a real time control.
Features like automated pump, automated temperatures, controls for boiler, activation switches render it the name semi-automatic.
In brewing it leads to perfection by having control of water flow for every shot.
Portafilters are either pressurized or non-pressurized. The pressurized uses valve and let’s water out of portafilter if right amount of pressure is reached, while the non-pressurized is made of chrome and ensures temperatures are stable for better shot.
Traditional steam wand where milk is used to get the good forth renders more control over the final product. Programming is present in them fostering the extraction time when halt is needed.
Brewing temperatures are controlled by turning the heating element when it detects a drop in the boiler temperature. Pressure is not forgotten either as it is regulated and maintained for safety purposes. Moreover, the temperatures for steaming are maintained.
Its con is that it has no inbuilt grinder and one has to either use a separate grinder or ground coffee beans to dose your portafilter.
The floor is now set to make a decision on which machine to purchase that best suits your tastes and preference as a consumer. At the end of the day it is all about yearning to make, have or give that cup of a good drink to family, lovers and friends made by that machine.