Some might say that espresso machine types are expensive, more expensive, and more expensive, but that’s not (entirely) the case. For most buyers, you should have no problem finding a model that meets your needs without breaking the bank. Here are your choices:
Manual: Mastering them might take a little extra effort, but manual machines easily offer the most customization of any other espresso machine. To work, you’ll need to drop your grounds into a portafilter or group handle, then attach it to the brew head and pull a lever to pour water over the grounds. (Have you ever heard that phrase “pull a shot”? That’s where it came from!) These models need to be calibrated, so if you don’t have the bandwidth for regular maintenance, it’s not probably not the option for you.
Automatique: Unlike manual machines, automatic machines brew espresso using a button instead of a lever. These programmable models are much more consistent and require less guesswork, making them a great option for beginners who want to upgrade to a “real” espresso machine, but aren’t ready to go full throttle. Note that some automatic machines don’t do all the work for you; you may still need to grind and tamp your coffee beans.
Semi-automatic: As RuPaul says, “You better get to work,” and if you want to reap the rewards of making your own espresso, a semi-automatic machine may be just what you’re looking for. These models offer more consistency than a manual machine, but still require a bit more of a learning curve than an automatic option. You’ll still need to keep an eye on your brew and grind and tamp your own grounds, but it’s a great choice if you want a little more precision with its controllable settings and lever-less design.
Super-automatic: We get it, sometimes we don’t want to lift a finger when making our coffee either. Fortunately, super automatic espresso machines exist. These machines have all convenience: programmable settings and the ability to measure, grind and taste your beans. But they come at a cost. (Literally, they’re the most expensive option out there.)
Capsule: Ideal for beginners or those looking for a low-maintenance (and low-cost) home espresso machine, capsule systems use pre-measured containers like K-cups or Nespresso pods to dispense that juice. sweet and sweet beans. In addition to offering more versatility, they are easy to use and relatively consistent between drinks. However, the capsules themselves can be expensive, and because they’re filled with pre-ground coffee, you don’t get all the benefits of freshly ground beans.