Tips for Choosing a Semi Automatic Espresso Machine
Are you looking for the best semi-automatic espresso machine you can get, so you can brew your own delicious drinks at home?
Do you want the best quality tasting espresso that has your signature stamp on each cup?
If so, then this free guide will help.
By the time you’re done reading this page, you’ll know exactly what you need to become a home espresso connoisseur.
Why Choose a Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine?
In the world of pump-driven espresso machines, there are several different types, including: automatic, semi-automatic and super-automatic.
For many home baristas, the semi-automatic machine is the optimal choice. That’s because it gives you more personal control over the final output and flavor of an espresso drink.
Automatic machines don’t usually appeal to espresso connoisseurs because they don’t give you any control over the outcome of the drink and solely rely on easy-serving-espresso (ESE) pods or capsules.
On the other hand, while super-automatic machines are the most advanced devices in the market, they remove the home brewer from the intimate aspects of making espresso; grinding beans, tamping them, controlling steam pressure, etc. These machines are also a lot more expensive to own.
Semi-automatic espresso machines offer the best mix of automation and control for a home brewer. With this type of machine you can get the best-quality and taste out of your coffee beans without a whole lot of extra effort.
In fact, many people spend years perfecting their style and technique to brewing espresso. This means that every time you brew a cup, it’s another chance to hone in on your signature taste and play with the subtle nuances that go into your version of the perfect espresso, cappuccino or latte.
What Makes these Machines so Desirable?
Now, keep in mind that semi-automatic espresso machines are just that – semi-automatic. You’ll find that some of the steps to making espresso are automated, but many are not. This is what allows you to put your personal stamp on the final product.
Below is a list of some of the features that make a semi-automatic espresso machine so desirable:
The water pressure and temperature are automated so these always stay consistent
You control the amount of steam and water flow for individual preference of taste
You control the pump and its flow by deciding when to turn it on and off
It doesn’t include a built-in bean grinder. You must grind the beans separately and tamp them into the portafilter yourself.
Now that you know why a semi-automatic is a great investment, we’ll go over how to choose the best grinder to compliment your machine.
Choosing the Best Espresso Grinder for Your Device
When owning a semi-automatic espresso machine you have to grind your own coffee beans.
Crafting a perfectly balanced cup of espresso is a real science and it all starts with the beans.
In fact, as soon as you grind coffee beans, they lose 40% of their flavors within just a few minutes. That’s why it’s very important that you brew your coffee drinks right after grinding you beans. Not doing so will rob you of intense espresso flavor.
These are cheapest option because they use a stainless steel blade that spins around to chop up to beans. Grind size is inconsistent and impacts the final espresso flavor.
If you’re on a budget, this is a good choice to get you into the world of making espressos using a semi-automatic machine. Once you can afford it, then you can move on to getting a burr grinder.
These are the most ideal for making espresso because they actually grind the coffee beans. Grind size is consistent and ensures rich, full flavor espresso with every cup.
The only downside to burr grinders is that they are more expensive than blade grinders. In fact, some models are priced up to the $400 range. However, just because a grinder has a higher price tag doesn’t mean it will extract much more flavor. Our suggestion is that you go for a medium price burr grinder ($100-200), and save the extra money on buying a more advanced semi-automatic espresso machine.