If you like espresso then you might be considering getting an espresso machine.
This post will show you whether or not it would be worth it for you and the things to consider when getting one.
So, are espresso machines worth it? If you plan on making a lot of espressos then it would likely be worth it for you. If you only plan on making espresso occasionally then it would likely be better to opt for a less expensive stovetop espresso maker instead.
There are actually a number of things to consider when deciding on whether or not to get an espresso machine. There are also a lot of things to consider when deciding on the type of espresso machine to get as well.
Why you should or should not get an espresso machine
Below, I will mention a number of things to consider when deciding on whether or not to get an espresso machine and when deciding on the type of espresso machine to get.
Consider how often you drink espresso
The main thing to consider when deciding on whether or not to get an espresso machine is how much you actually like espresso and how much you think that you will be using it.
If you do not think that you will be using it a lot or you are not sure how often you would use an espresso machine then consider getting a stovetop espresso maker instead.
Stovetop makers can also be used to make espresso and they are much cheaper compared to traditional espresso machines.
Stovetop makers work by creating steam pressure at the bottom of the pot then the steam goes up through a cup containing the coffee grind then through a filter leaving you with the espresso at the top of the device.
The stovetop maker that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done.
The problem with stovetop espresso makers is that they the espresso that they make is not as high quality as the espresso that you can make with traditional espresso makers.
You will likely find that the espresso made using a stovetop maker will be slightly less dense, rich, sweet and bitter compared to espresso made with traditional espresso makers.
With that being said, if you are on the fence on whether or not to get a traditional espresso machine then consider trialing with a stovetop maker. If you’re still using it after a month then it would likely mean that you would get your money’s worth out of an espresso machine.
Consider how much you care about the taste
If you want to get the most authentic tasting espresso possible then it will be necessary for you to use an espresso machine.
However, if you are not overly concerned with getting the espresso to taste as good as possible then it would likely be more worthwhile to get a stovetop espresso maker. The espresso that they make does still taste good and you will still be able to control the way that it tastes by changing the grind and the beans that you use.
It can have a steep learning curve
Making espresso with espresso machines is somewhat of an art that has a steep learning curve.
It will likely take you a lot of experimenting with the amount of grind that you use, the heat and amount of water that you use, how hard that you tamp the grind, the type, origin, grind, roast and blend of beans you use, to get to an espresso that you really like.
If you are looking for a way to make espresso easily without a lot of effort then it would be more likely that an espresso machine wouldn’t be for you. In your case, a pod-style espresso machine would likely be a better option that is discussed below.
It will take time to clean and to get the ingredients
Another thing to consider is that it will be necessary for you to take the time to get the ingredients and to clean the espresso machine.
It will be necessary to backflush the machine on the days that you use it as well as to properly clean the machine regularly as well.
It will also be necessary for you to get the ingredients to make the espresso. Coffee beans are supposed to be used within 3 weeks of being roasted. This means that you will find yourself having to get new ingredients often.
Both of these things can take up a lot of time. If you don’t care a lot about the quality of your espresso then consider getting a pod-style machine since they are much faster to use and require less maintenance.
Traditional vs pod-style
Another thing to consider is whether or not you should get a traditional style espresso machine or a pod-style espresso machine.
To use a traditional style espresso machine it will be necessary for you to get the beans, grind and tamp them, put them in the portafilter which is a container for the grind, put the portafilter into the machine and then to turn it on.
Whereas, with a pod-style machine it is just necessary for you to put the pod and water into the machine and then to turn it on.
The advantage with traditional espresso machines is that you will have full control over the way that the espresso tastes. This is because you will have control over the type of beans used and their grind, the amount that you use, the temperature that you use and the amount that you tamp the beans. This will mean that you will be able to experiment with all of the different factors until you get to an espresso that you like the most.
The problem with using traditional espresso machines, compared to pod-style machines, is that they require more work on your part and it can be difficult to consistently make an espresso that you like.
The traditional style espresso machine that I would recommend the most, for home use, would be this one on Amazon.
Whereas, the advantages with pod-style machines are that they do not have a steep learning curve, they are quick and easy to use, they will give you a consistently good tasting espresso and they require less maintenance.
The problem, however, is that they will not give you a truly authentic tasting espresso like a traditional espresso machine will and you will have less control over the way that it tastes. However, there are many different pod flavors that you can choose from so it would be unlikely that you won’t find a flavor that you like.
The pod-style machine that I would recommend the most would be the Nespresso VertuoPlus. However, it does require that you use special Nespresso VertuoLine pods that do have a wide selection. But, If you want to be able to use any pods from third parties then consider the Nespresso Inissia.
What about a dual espresso and coffee machine?
If you are not sure that you will be making espresso a lot but you are sure that you will be making coffee a lot or you like them both then consider getting a dual espresso and coffee machine.
By doing so you will be able to get more use out of the machine, you’ll be able to save money by only buying one machine and it will save some space as well.
The dual machine that I would recommend the most would be the DeLonghi Combi Coffee & Espresso Maker. It allows you to make both espresso and coffee without sacrificing on the quality of either of them and it has been well received by its users.
How much should I spend on an espresso machine? This will largely depend on the budget that you have, how much you want to use it and how much you care about quality. If you want really high quality then expect to spend around $1000. If you want a good quality espresso then there are some machines that will do it for around $200.
It’s important to be aware that the grinder that you use is important as well. If you want a high-quality espresso then it will likely be necessary for you to spend over $200 on a good quality grinder. But for an espresso that tastes reasonably good then you can expect to pay around $40.