Thinking youíd like to brew your own espresso? Wondering what kinds of espresso machines are available?

Hereís some basic information to get you started on your coffee-making journey

We know: All About Espresso Machines

What is espresso?

Espresso refers to a method for brewing coffee that pushes very hot water through a bed of finely ground coffee beans.

How does an espresso machine work?

An espresso machine heats the water with a boiler or thermoblock device, then pressurizes the water with a pump and pushes it through a brewing chamber into a basket filled with coffee grounds. The coffee liquid then comes out a spout ready to drink. The whole process takes about 30 seconds.

What are the basic kinds of espresso machines?

  • Manual or hand lever espresso machines allow you to pump the espresso through the machine yourself. This is the Ďartí part, and the art is in the pumping. These machines, like the automated machines, can also make steam to produce steamed milk for lattes, cappuccinos and mochas.
  • Semi-automatic espresso machines automate some of the process. The automate the brewing of the water, and provide an electric pump. When the water is heated, you add the pre-ground coffee into the filter basket and push the brew button. When youíve got the espresso you want in your cup, you turn it off.
  • Automatic espresso machines are just like semi-automatic, except they control the volume of water dispensed by the machine, so you donít have to monitor it. They can be programmed to dispense a certain number of shots of espresso.
  • Super automatic espresso machines go a step farther and provide an internal automated brewing system and a high quality coffee grinder. They use a computer system to help ensure a consistent cup of espresso every time. You push the right buttons and the machine grinds, brews and dispenses, all by itself. These machines often also brew regular cups of coffee. Of course, they come with all the other bells and whistles, such as the steamer.

What is the range in espresso machine prices?

Espresso machines range in price from $100 to thousands of dollars. Here are some sample brands and prices:

  • Briel Lido Espresso & Cappuccino Machine - about $100
  • la Pavoni Europiccola Manual Espresso/Cappuccino Machine - about $550
  • Krups Semi Automatic Espresso/Cappuccino Machine - about $250
  • Nespresso Automatic Espresso/Cappuccino Machine - about $400
  • Capressso Super Automatic Espresso/Cappuccino and Coffee Center - about $800
  • Jura Capresso Impressa Super Automatic Espresso/Cappuccino and Coffee Center -About $2200

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