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The brew produced by espresso machines gives a jolt of energy few beverages can match. Brewing espresso requires grinding coffee beans to a fine dust and then pushing hot, highly pressurized water through a layer of those fine grounds. There are many espresso machines for sale that make the brewing process easier.
How Espresso and Coffee Are Different Although both are made from coffee beans and pack a caffeine punch, espresso and coffee are very different. Coffee tends to be thin and washes through the drinker's mouth like water, whereas the best espresso machines produce espresso that has a rich, thick consistency and coats the drinker's mouth, awakening all of the taste buds on its way down. A dark, foamy layer of crema produced during the brewing process tops off each cup. Overall, the best espresso makers produce a thick liquid that tastes like coffee, but leaves a rich, nutty flavor behind long after it's gone. There are four types of espresso coffee machines available from Staples.
Manual espresso machines are the most complicated. Generally, these units require users to repeatedly press a lever to push water through the coffee wafer. Manual espresso makers have no pumps to produce the espresso. The whole brewing process is left up to the user, and the quality of the espresso varies widely depending on the extent of the user's brewing expertise.
Semi-automated espresso machines include electric pumps that automatically push water through the coffee wafer, as well as controls to maintain optimal water temperature. These units are much easier to operate than manual machines, and the consistency and quality of the espresso doesn't depend as much on the user's brewing experience. But because users must turn the water pump on and off to manually control the volume of water pushed through the coffee wafer, these espresso makers are referred to as semi-automated.
Fully automated espresso makers are a lot like semi-automated units, except they include a mechanism that allows users to program the amount of water that is pushed through the coffee wafer; thus, they are referred to as fully automatic espresso machines.
Although semi-automated and fully automated espresso makers require little or no input from users during the brewing process, both these models still need users to grind the coffee beans to a fine dust and create the coffee wafer. For many consumers, that leaves too much room for error, so they opt for super-automated espresso machines that not only include all the bells and whistles of fully automated units, but also grind the coffee beans and create the coffee wafer. Super-automated units are often considered the best espresso machines because they are the easiest to use and produce the most consistent cup of espresso.