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Do I Need An Expensive Espresso Machine?

What is EspressoThe question of whether or not an expensive espresso machine is worthwhile comes up in circles of passionate coffee drinkers, and the answer is not an easy one to determine. For some coffee drinkers, particularly those that are most passionate about their espresso shots, the answer is a resounding yes, and investing in a quality espresso machine is a good investment when compared to the yearly cost of daily espresso shots.

For most people, though, an expensive espresso machine is not a necessity, and with this in mind, many coffee brewer brands have sought to produce quality espresso drinks from more standard, affordable coffee makers.

To determine if an espresso machine is a good investment for you, we need to look at what defines espresso to most people and what level of engagement you might need.

What is Espresso?

Espresso is a specific roast, but it is also much more than that. Espresso is also a specific fineness of coffee bean grind, but it is also a certain coffee preparation of that specific roast, certain grind coffee. When most people think of espresso, they think of the creamy shot of coffee extract produced from an espresso machine and used in many espresso coffee drinks.

Espresso roast is a dark roasting style of Italian origin. The long roast of these beans provides the distinctive roasty, smoky, bold flavor that is associated with espresso drinks. These dark roast coffee beans are then ground very fine to promote maximum extraction. They are then put into a compacted vessel before having boiling water forced through them with more pressure than most coffee makers apply.

The result is a thick and creamy coffee extract that is renowned for its crema, a thick, almost whipped, foam of pure coffee extract that accompanies an espresso extraction.

Do I Need an Espresso Machine to Enjoy Espresso Drinks?

Gevalia Espresso T-DiscsIf you are passionate about your espresso and yearn for that ideal crema, then you should invest in an espresso machine. However, if you are more into lattes and cappuccinos and want to save a bit of money on the machine that you buy, then there are many options for you that involve less initial investment and a greater diversity of coffee options.

Of particular note are Tassimo T-Disc machines. These versatile single cup coffee makers offer a variety of espresso options that emulate authentic espresso machine extracts. The T-Disc use of a milk disk also opens up the potential for quality espresso drinks without the need for an espresso machine.

So, if you are truly passionate about espresso, then splurge on a quality espresso machine, but if you just want a quick and easy cappuccino, single cup coffee makers such as those made by Tassimo are a great option.

Comments for Do I Need An Expensive Espresso Machine?

Name: Jessica
Time: Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tassimo and their ilk are not really an economical alternative, when you consider the end price for a pound of coffee via pod can be $50.

Name: Alessandro
Time: Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I buy very good quality espresso roasted beans for about 4$ a pound (average EU price). After buying less than 10 pounds I repaid the price difference between my gorgeous Gaggia espresso machine with adjustable grinder and the Tassimo T-Disc. I don't even mention the next-to-professional level performance my outfit allows for. Should I start a "coffeeformuchless" website? :))

Name: Andrew Rollason
Time: Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why wouldn't you just get a Bialetti moka pot or "caffettiera"?

Bialetti patented it in 1933 and even a cheap one will cost as little as $20.
The coffee which a moka pot produces will not usually have the same crema as something made with a fancy espresso machine because the coffee itself isn't under the same amount of pressure but because the water is forced through the coffee bucket in the device, all the flavour of a fancy espresso machine is retained.
Also, it's what you'll usually find in most provincial coffee houses in Italy.

The answer quite frankly is a resounding NO, and investing in a quality espresso machine is an investment in little more than a Veblen good.

Name: tahrey
Time: Thursday, October 25, 2012

I can condense the whole copytext of this article down to one word: "No."

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