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Shop by Category Capsule & Pod >Manual >Fully Automatic >Coffee Makers >

Manual Espresso Machines for Precise Espresso

Brewing the perfect at home espresso drink is a delicate process requiring control and precision. Four elements must be considered: the amount and quality of the coffee grounds, the water temperature, the pressure before brewing and the steam pressure. Manual espresso machines offer the user complete control over every step of the process, allowing for more precise and customizable beverages to be created.

Automatic vs. Manual Espresso Machines

Most espresso machines on the market for home use are automatic machines. Automatic espresso machines are operated with a simple push of a button. Manual espresso machines use a hand-operated lever to apply pressure on the water and extract the espresso. These manual coffee makers are mostly used in coffee shops.

  • While automatic machines are fairly intuitive, manual machines have a steep learning curve and require practice to operate.
  • However, once the art of using the manual lever is mastered, you can use these manual machines to create espresso shots and drinks that are uniquely tailored to your coffee tastes. Experiment with pressure variations to find the technique that works best for you.
  • While many automatic espresso makers rely on prepackaged coffee capsules, manual espresso makers usually use a filter and ground coffee. Pair your espresso maker with an electric coffee grinder to grind fresh espresso beans as you need them. Some machines also come with a built-in coffee grinder to save time and eliminate mess.

Other Features to Consider

The right espresso machine for your household will depend on a variety of personal factors, like your espresso drinking habits and your decorating style. Assess the different features for each machine to ensure you choose the right investment for your kitchen.

  • Brass, aluminum and stainless steel are the best materials for an espresso maker as they are durable and easy to keep clean. Classic silver machines look great against just about any countertop.
  • For busy households, look for machines with a large boiler capacity so you can brew multiple espresso shots before having to refill the water tank.
  • Some machines come with built-in milk frothers to put the finishing touches on your drinks but you can also add a separate frothing pitcher.

Though it may take a little more work, espresso drinks made using a manual espresso maker are sure to impress. Manual espresso machines allow the user to customize their beverage to their exact specifications. By varying the extraction pressure and using different espresso beans, you can create strong, rich and flavorful espresso beverages for you and your guests.

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