Having your first cup of coffee in the morning can be an expensive habit! If you make your own espresso drinks, or use an old-fashioned drip machine to prepare beverages, then it is very possible to spend less money if you are careful about what supplies you have and how much you buy them.
In this article, we will talk about some great ways to save money by making your own beverages. We will also discuss why buying a new espresso maker may not always be your best bet.
If you feel that you could use a new machine, don’t hesitate to look into one.
Types of coffee machines
The term ‘coffee machine’ can be quite a broad one, so it is helpful to understand the different types of espresso machines there are! There are two main type groups: manual and automatic. Within those, you have either pre-dosed or batch style brewers.
A pre-dosed brewer will automatically pour a set amount of coffee into a cup. This is great if you do not like strong cups of coffee, as it changes depending on how much liquid is in the cup! For this reason, most people prefer using a pre-dosed brewer unless they enjoy very strong beverages.
Batch style brewers work similarly to what we know them from at home — you make a mug full of hot water and then add milk and sugar, etc. according to your preference. After that, you drop in a scoop of freshly ground coffee and stir it around until it all mixes together.
The difference comes when you start extracting the flavor out of the grounds. Automatic machines will determine how much coffee per volume of liquid you put in has an adequate amount of extraction, while manually adjusted ones may over or under extract due to how much pressure is applied during use.
Which one is right for you? That depends on what kind of drinker you are! If you like extremely rich drinks with lots of cream and sweeteners, then an automatic machine with less pressure would be better than one that extracts too much.
Price ranges of coffee machines
Consistently good quality espresso or cappuccino made in a decent sized machine with professional grade equipment is not cheap! An average cost for an entry level model is around 250 dollars, but you can find much more expensive ones that are slightly better than others.
There are many different brands that make great quality espresso making machines so it will depend on your budget which one you feel comfortable buying. A lot of them use technology to optimize the process of creating espressos so they are worth looking into.
Buying tips for coffee machines
First, you should always check out forums and reviews before buying anything. You can find lots of information about different brands as well as in-depth insights from other users’ experiences with them!
We have gathered some helpful recommendations and tips for your consideration here. Read on to learn more!
Disclaimer: We are not professionals, so take these suggestions with that caveat. However, we hope our insights help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a coffee machine.
The most important thing is to be comfortable with how much money you want to spend. A budget of less than $100 will almost certainly ensure poor quality espresso or no flavor at all due to lack of water or milk.
That said, we recommend thinking about spending around $150 – $200 depending on whether you like overpriced products or not. This price range is very good because you get excellent quality beverages that taste great.
Now let’s dive into some pros and cons of various types of coffee makers.
Care and maintenance of coffee machines
While not expensive, it is important to take care of your machine properly as this will ensure its longevity and quality espresso shots. Regularly checking the settings and features of your machine can help make sure it works effectively and you are able to use all of its functions.
It is also important to keep an eye out for any warning signs that your machine may need service. If your machine starts to burn or smoke heavily, let go and call someone immediately!
You should always clean your espresso maker using paper cups and tins to avoid oils in containers leaking onto the machine. Some people even use plain water as there are special cleaning liquids that do not cost too much.
Never pour boiling liquid into a hot device as this could cause damage. Make sure to run each component under cold tap water before putting back together.
How to choose the right size of coffee machine
When deciding how many cups of espresso you need, remember that every type of drink has different levels of flavor and strength.
Longer brewed beverages like lattes and macchiatos are made by adding more water after the milk froth is done. Therefore, your beverage length will determine how much powder you use to make the same amount of liquid.
The price per cup also matters! The cost per ounce for espresso makes a difference in what size machine you get. A longer brew time results in slightly thicker drinks, which some people prefer over lighter taste.
We recommend buying an average-sized mug (8 ounces or 0.5 liter) at least once to see if this style of drink fits you before investing in a larger one.
Consider the location of the coffee machine
The size, shape, and feature settings of your espresso or cappuccino maker will determine how much it costs to own it. More elaborate machines cost more because they are more sophisticated.
Many brands have beginner-friendly models that do not include all of the features you can find with pricier ones. If you are new to drinking espresso drinks or buying an espresso drink making device, we recommend starting off with a less expensive model before moving up.
We also suggest reading our article about types of milk froths for tips on what is necessary to make good beverages.
Is your coffee machine digital?
Many people have heard of or seen a digital espresso maker before, but how much they use it and what functions they use them for is dependent on individual preferences and needs.
Some like to upload their favorite beverages onto the device so that it can find and brew them for when they want to make them, while others prefer using a browser to do this.
There are some brands that offer more advanced features than the average person, making these users feel more technologically savvy!
Overall, most people seem to enjoy having a quick and easy way to start their day with an excellent beverage.
Does the coffee machine have a water reservoir?
A well-designed espresso or cappuccino maker will have an insulated water reservoir that can be accessed via a spout or pouring device. This is necessary to make good espresso, as it must be able to get enough liquid needed to froth and flavor your drink.
The water reservoir should also stay full for at least two cups of use before needing to be refilled. If it does not, this could cause poor quality beverages due to lack of foam and/or watered down drinks.
Some reservoirs are removable, which helps if you want to take your espresso drinking experience with you.