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Espresso Machines

This page is all about espressomachines for use at home.

To make espresso you´ll need an machine.

There are quite a few to choose between. These are the most common.

In Italy latte is usually prepared with coffee from an mokaMoka: Moka is an ingenious pressure device made up of three parts: on the bottom a chamber for heating the water, in the middle a filter that holds the ground coffee, and an upper container that receives the brewed coffee. The lower boiling chamber is filled with tap water or even non-carbonated spring water up to the level of the pressure valve.

The filter is filled with a good amount of finely ground coffee, not so much, however, as to overly compress the ground coffee. Use about 6-7 grams (about a quarter of an ounce) per cup of coffee. The moka brewer should be placed on a medium heat source (either gas or electric) so that the water passes slowly through the ground coffee. The volume of brewed coffee per cup averages from 40 to 50 milliliters (a little less than a quarter of a cup). The coffee should be stirred before pouring in order to even its consistency. The moka brewer should never be washed with soap, but only with water or with water and baking soda, and then allowed to dry well.

Read more about mokas at Bialettis excellent site.

There are a good runthrough of various espressomodels in Rose Mary Furfaros coffeepage.
Visit Coffeekid, a nice site with espressomachinereviews and more.

Earlier I had an low budget steam driven espresso machine with which I just barely could make a decent cup of espresso with very thin crema. I then bought a Gaggia Tebe and it was another ballpark altogether, thick delicous crema without any trouble at all. After seven years my trustworhy Gaggia now has earned retirement and I´ve replaced it with a Pavoni Europiccola.

An advice! If you´re serious about your espresso, do not buy the cheapest machines. Read David Bogies mini-faq before buying a machine.


The cheap espressomachines are usually steamdriven and only just makes a decent cup of coffee. If you can afford it don´t buy!

Espresso Machine:Gaggia Tebe A machine that heats purified (or softened) water to a temperature between 90 and 94 degrees Centigrade (app. 200 degrees Fahrenheit); for home espresso makers, non-carbonated mineral water with a low salt and mineral content may be used. The water is made to pass at very high pressure (9-10 atmospheres) through a filter containing the ground coffee.

The filter should contain 6-7 gram / cup of finely ground coffee, firmly pressed into the filter. The amount of coffee per cup averages between 20 and 35 milliliters (from one to one and a half fluid ounces or about one eighth of a cup). It is important to make sure that the espresso brewer reaches the indicated temperature and pressure levels, and that the parts through which the brewed coffee flows to the cup are good and hot as well. It takes time to learn how to make great coffee with your espressomachine, but the effort is well worth it. Practice makes perfection.

In order to make it simpler to make a good cup of espresso the industry has developed the ESE-system where the coffee is packed in small paperpods. It makes it easier (but more dull ?) to make a good cup. A lot of companies has jumped on this bandwagon.

Pumpdriven espressomachines have a pump making the pressure, relatively easy to make a great tasting, cremafilled cup of espresso.

Some links to companies making good pumpdriven machines.
Gaggia
Cimbali
Brasilia
Pavoni Has a great on-line-instruction för their machines.
Nuova Simonelli
ECM
Saeco
Olympia Express
Rancilio
Gensaco

Read about the right way to pack your coffee by David Schoemer. It´s crucial!

PavoniPiston espressomachines has to be called the king of espressomachines. The barista manually accomplish the necessary pressure to make a great cup of espresso. Hard to master. The most famous of the piston models are Pavoni. Read what an pavoniuser says.

Cheapest are the espressomachines in Italy of course. Best of Italy is one italian online store that sells Pavoni, Saeco and Gaggia at low prices. I myself purchased my Pavoni Europiccola (sweet sweet machine) from Best of italy,

Last updated april 27, 2005

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