Do you buy coffee ? I don’t mean coffee grounds, I’m talking about a good old cup of joe. A recent survey suggests that Americans spend on average over 1000$/year on coffee which comes down to 3$ on a daily basis. Sounds like a lot, but I can say in all honesty that in my case at least it was true.
Until I bought my espresso maker and decided not to waste my money anymore.
Espresso vs Filtered Coffee
If you are a filtered coffee kind of person, this post is probably not for you. I’m writing this for people who are like.
People who like espressos, lattes and cappuccinos and want to make them right at home.
That being said, even if you are a filtered coffee kind of guy, I’m still going to invite you to read on, hoping that I might be able to turn you onto espresso.
By the end of this post, you are hopefully going to have all the information you need to make your favourite expensive cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home.
First, let’s define espresso
Espresso is coffee brewed by expressing or forcing out a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.
In order to make good espresso at home, you’re going to have to invest in a solid espresso maker. No way around it my friend.
Luckily, there are several options that suit every budget. That being said, I will not be recommending in this post any high-end/over the top kind of machinery for a couple of reasons.
One, I don’t own any and two, I’m trying to help you save money not spend it all on a fancy Italian espresso maker.
For the Minimalists, Bialetti
You’ve seen this coming, right? When it comes to good quality and affordability nothing beats the classic stovetop espresso maker.
Bialetti makes the best of the best and they are built to last, like forever. .. . It works like a charm and makes fairly decent espresso considering the fact that it costs just around 30$.
- Makes fairly decent espresso.
- Very affordable.
- Easy to clean.
- Takes no space at all.
- If you like crema in your espresso, you will get very little of it if any.
- If you like lattes and cappuccinos you’re going to have to invest in a milk foamer.
- Not as good as your Starbucks latte.
Total cost: Under 50$ if you get everything from Amazon.
Entry Level Espresso Machine (200$ or lower)
If you’re not familiar with espresso machines, you’re probably a little confused as to which espresso machine is right for you.
What you have to know first is that there are 3 types of espresso makers: Manual, Semi-Automatic and Super Automatic.
For the purposes of this post, we will stick with Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine as they allow us to have a great control over the quality of the coffee and are easy to operate.
My personal advice to you is, if you’re looking to get a first espresso maker or are on a budget and don’t really want to spend much you should go with The Breville Cafe Roma.
I had this Espresso Machine for just about 3 years and it always worked well for me. I ended up giving it away to one of my friends when I was ready to upgrade and guess what? It’s still doing a great job.
- Small and compact.
- Makes good espresso and cappuccinos.
- It’s built to last.
- Not a very good-looking machine.
- The steam wand is a little tricky to handle.
- Overheats after making 2 lattes (in my experience).
- I would highly recommend this machine to anyone who does not have an espresso maker.
For the Home Baristas Who Want The Real Deal
If you are looking to step up your game and say goodbye to your 3$ daily cup of coffee, then this section is for you.
As I mentioned earlier, the average yearly cost of coffee for a worker is just a little over 1000$.
You might think that spending 600$ on a very good espresso machine might be a little over the top, but as far as I’m concerned you will still be saving at least 400$ if you do have a habit of buying coffee during your work week.
I know I saved way more than that, since both me and my wife used to buy coffee almost everyday.
My current machine and all-time favourite is the Breville Barista Express. Let’s break down the pros and cons
- Has a built-in grinder, which allows you to get the freshest cup of coffee every time.
- Excellent steam wand. It makes high-quality cappuccinos every time.
- Comes with a practical hot water dispenser.
- The espresso pressure gauge makes the process of extracting the perfect espresso much easier. No more guessing!
- Built to last forever.
- The stainless steel model (the one I have) is a fingerprint magnet, minor detail I know, but my OCD would simply not allow me not to mention it. For that reason, I recommend getting the black model.
- Big machine that needs quite a bit of counter space.
If you are a visual person, take a look at this video by Seattle Coffee Gear
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Have a great week,
Endlessly curious hipster
Vegan dabbler (I try !)