Thursday, October 8, 2009

Espresso Coffee Machines: Italian Machines Are The Best

By Mark Knowles

Thanks to the commercialized coffee industry espresso has become of of the worlds most popular coffee based drinks. Espresso makers can be found in coffee houses as well as the average persons home these days and there are many options available.

The espresso machine was first invented in 1901 and since then there have been many versions to hit the market. Common mechanisms on an espresso maker include the portafilter which use a metal basket to hold the coffee grounds and a steam wand which can be used to froth and steam milk for drinks when needed.

There are four common styles of the espresso coffee machine. Each of these will be briefly discussed in the text following. Each one has it's own unique aspects.

Piston: The famous espresso machine manufacturer Gaggia has roots in the creation of the piston driven coffee maker. Founder Achille Gaggia invented his creation in Italy in 1945. His coffee maker is easy to use and employs a lever mechanism to force hot tap water through the coffee grounds. This maker is the basis of the popular term "pulling a shot" because of the repeated pulling action of the handle that is required. The piston driven espresso maker comes in two main forms, the manual and the spring driven version. A manual espresso coffee maker simply requires the hot water to be forced through the grounds by means of pulling the lever. The spring driven alternative requires tension to be put on a spring which builds the proper pressure that is needed.

Pump: Pump style espresso makers work off of a motorized pump. This pumps builds the force needed to brew the drink properly. This is the type of machine you will see most often in coffee shops because it gets the job done quickly. Commercial styles are hooked in to the buildings plumbing making them ideal for business use while cheaper versions that are normally used at home come with a built in water reservoir.

Steam: Steam driven machines work just the way the sound. Water is forced through the coffee using steam pressure. The very first espresso makers were steam powered and is still used today in low end coffee makers used in homes. They are still used because of the cheap manufacturing cost and lack of need for moving parts.

Air Pressure: Air pressure espresso makers are more commonly known as Handpresso makers. This name comes from the creater, Nielsen Innovation, who invented the product in 2006. It met fame in 2007 when it was first introduced in stores.

If you are looking to add an espresso coffee maker to your home or business you can see that you have a lot of options. The setting and frequency in which you will be using the maker should be a big factor in your purchase decision. The price range on espresso coffee machines are vast and brand and ability play a huge role in the sticker price. All will give you the same result in the end, great espresso drinks.

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