Which Coffee Machine Should I Buy?

By Chris Bennett | 21/06/2012 | Posted in Kitchen

Here at ‘Home of the House Proud’, we recognise that a good coffee machine can be an investment. Before you make your decision, you should know about all the various functions that you can choose from. You may want to get a feature you never knew existed.

Espresso Machines

For the true coffee connoisseur we recommend an espresso machine designed to deliver perfect espresso time after time.

Espresso machines must work at the optimum pressure (around 8 – 10 bar) and temperature (85 – 90ºC) to deliver true espresso. Most espresso machines come with frother attachments to allow cappuccino and latte coffee to be made, some more advanced models also feature dual boiler systems to minimise delays between each usage.

When choosing an espresso machine you should check the pump pressure of the machine. You will only require 8 – 10 bar pressure to produce real espresso but may need higher pressure to produce controlled steam. Usually a machine with around 15 bar nominal pressure is more than adequate.

Here at Morphy, we’ve recently launched our Mattino Espresso – an intelligent, versatile espresso machine that delivers great tasting coffee with minimum effort required. The built in Smart Press System intuitively tamps your coffee, maintaining 18 bar pressure. It is compatible with both ground coffee and E.S.E. pods and has three temperature settings meaning you can vary the taste and temperature according to your preference

Filter machines

or American coffee machines use a filter/drip system and are used with ground coffee.

Popular features to look for when buying an coffee machine:

Cup Warmer
Not exactly a high-tech feature. Most ‘cup warmers’ are just flat space on top of the machine, where it is warm. That’s it.

Frothing “steam” Wand
A steam wand for frothing milk is a must-have if you plan on making lattes or cappuccinos. Simpler espresso machines have just a wand, but more elaborate machines will actually have a canister for milk.

Hot Water Dispenser
A simple but very handy little feature if you use hot water around the kitchen. Saves you from dragging out the kettle when you want tea or hot chocolate.

Strength controls
A little more elaborate than coffee maker controls, good espresso machines allow you to control how much water is used for each pull (and even the amount of grounds, for semi or fully automatic machines that dose automatically). By fine-tuning water and grounds, you can really produce the exact espresso you’re looking for.

Pre-Moistening Cycle
Different brands will have their own name for this bit of technology. It basically just means that the coffee grounds are moistened prior to your shot being pulled. This little trick will help pull out the aromatic oils for a better espresso.

Pod Compatible
The lastest thing in espresso making are pods. These little pre-packed discs of coffee grounds make espresso preparation a snap with no mess.

Integrated Bean Grinder
Not a typical feature, but one for the real coffee coniseur , “bean to cup” espresso machines have a built-in grinder. These types of machines will usually grind just enough coffee with each use; these give the freshest brew around.

Pause n’ Serve
A very popular feature, You can remove the coffee pot before the brewing cycle is complete, without having coffee dribble all over the heating plate. The opening under the filter is low and touches the top of the pot. The valve closes when you take out the coffee pot.

Digital Controls
This encompasses a variety of little features, such as LCD display screens, clocks, and a timer. Another popular part of the controls package is the auto-off. A fabulous feature for absent-minded people who are tired of scorched coffee pots. Also, lighted buttons can be nice if you make coffee in the early (and still dark) morning. Easier on the eyes than lighting up the room to find the ON button.

Permanent Coffee Filter
These fine-mesh plastic or metal filters are cheaper than paper in the long run, and are more environmentally friendly. People with delicate palates will notice an improvement in taste too. No paper flavour.

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