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Espresso Coffee Makers

For coffee aficionados, an espresso machine represents the height of brewing. Espresso coffee machines work the same way as ordinary drip coffee makers, but they use pressure instead of gravity to force water through the coffee grounds and produce a highly concentrated cup of coffee. Besides the obvious features like brewing capacity, what should you look for? Check for:

  • A manual model where you add grounds and water versus a fully automatic one that will grind, tamp, brew, and eject the spent grounds all by itself.
  • A quick heating boiler to generate the hot water and steam. Heating times range from ten seconds on the quickest home models to ten minutes for models that rival commercial products in capacity. Check for any time delays between brewing and frothing, and the cycle time between cups.
  • A built-in water filter ensures that none of the taste of chlorine or other distracting flavors from the water make it into the coffee.
  • A warmer to preheat your cup before filling with coffee.
  • The cleaning requirements to keep your machine in top shape. Most require partial disassembly, but some have an integrated back flush system.

You may also want to consider extras like a hot water dispenser, connection to a water supply, multi-holed steam wand for frothing, automatic on and off timers, and digital controls.

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