How To Save Money By Making Your Own Coffee?
Espresso drinks from your favorite coffee shop, or chain like Starbucks, can quickly become a costly habit. Prices start at $4 for a basic tall or grande café latte. This is a habit that can cost you up to $1,200 per annum if you consume 300 of them per year. You might consider buying your own espresso machine to save money and control the quality of your beans.
For enthusiasts who want complete control, this is the classic manual
Rancilio Silvia, starting at $775, is the manual home espresso machine that’s like a Porsche 911 or Volkswagen. It has a classic design and excellent performance. It comes with a standard 58mm filter and other accessories (such tampers and levelers), a single boiler design and a vibratory pump. It was my first espresso machine. Many home espresso lovers swear by it. They can also use Gen 1 machines with simple tools to maintain them.
The pros:Classic design which has not changed in 20 years. It is reliable, highly modifiable and easy to use. It produces consistent good shots with excellent crema extraction when combined with a grinder. It also uses standard 58mm portafilters, baskets and other accessories.
Cons Although the vibratory pump is durable and can be replaced easily, it has a five-year life expectancy with regular use. The vibratory pump requires fine coffee grinding and requires consistent shots. For $300 more , you can have the integrated PID pre-installed on the basic model. The Pro model, which was introduced in 2020, features dual boilers and dual-function PID units. It costs $1690.
Alternative: from blackbearhardford Gaggia Classic ($450). is also cheaper and can be modified easily with a PID with a community of like-minded enthusiasts.
Breville Barista Express/Barista Pro/Barista Touch
Semiautomatics that do almost everything
Breville’s Barista home espresso machine line has made waves over the years. It incorporates a conical burr grinder, ensuring a seamless experience.
The Barista Express base-level model is priced at $700 and features “dose control”, which allows you to grind on-demand so that the perfect amount of coffee is delivered directly into your specially-designed portafilter.
The Barista Pro ($800), features an LCD display with integrated PID. This upgrade is well-worth the $100 cost for espresso lovers who want to achieve greater temperature precision in their extractions, and faster heat-up times in steamer mode.
The Barista Touch ($1000), costs $200 more and includes a color touch screen, 5 pre-programmed beverage types, 8 adjustable coffee temperature settings, and an instant hot drink dispenser.
The best all-inclusive value machine you can buy.
Cons: One boiler design. It is relatively expensive compared to a lower-end model if it is paired with a grinder. The base model doesn’t have a PID like the Calphalon.
Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine
Powerhouse of PIDs at a lower price
The Calphalon Temp iQ espresso machine is a top-performing consumer espresso machine at a price of $400, often on sale for less than $350. The integrated PID system has an intelligent boiler temperature control system. It also includes a warming tray that allows you to heat your drinks to the right temperature. There is also an extra portafilter that allows you to properly wet the coffee grounds so that the flavor is extracted. This machine comes with a milk frother that can be used to make lattes or other specialty coffee drinks.
You can upgrade the machine for $200 to include a conical burr coffee grinder and 30 adjustment settings.
The best home espresso machine that produces a high-quality extraction and has an integrated PID.
Cons Users have complained that it is more difficult to use the portafilter than other models.
Philips 3200 Superautomatic Espresso Machine
You can do everything with a touch of a button
Philips Saeco has been producing top-quality superautomatic espresso machines since well over a decade. The price of these systems has dropped significantly in recent years — the “Lattego”, 3200 series with milk dispensing machine streets, is now only $800. The machine can make a perfect espresso or latte by simply loading the milk and water reservoirs with freshly roasted beans.
Pros – Fully automated espresso machine with touchscreen display. 12 grinder settings, ceramic grinder, and milk frother/dispenser are all available.
Cons. Like all super-automatics, it is mechanically complex and needs to be repaired in the factory if needed. It requires more countertop space than other options.
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
A budget machine that still delivers great results
The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista espresso machine is less than $200 and has semi-automatic capabilities. The machine features a 15-bar pump with integrated milk dispenser/frother and one-touch controls, making it easy to make your morning coffee.
Pros:Produces great espresso drinks at a reasonable price.
Con:Requires separate grinder. To get the best out of the machine, read the manual. This will show you how to properly prime it and clean it after each use.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
Your espresso machine is just as important to your grinder
A good conical burr grinder is essential if you want to purchase an espresso machine that does not have an integrated grinder. It will allow you to “dial in” the exact grind your machine requires to achieve consistent extraction. While there are many options on the market, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is the most affordable. It costs around $200 and is not as expensive as professional-grade models that cost $500.
Pros: Stainless steel conical burrs, 60 electronically-selected precise grind settings, 18oz coffee bean capacity, direct grind into 50mm, 54mm, and 58mm portafilters with intelligent dosing.
Cons: A grinder that is consumer-grade may not last for many years.
Alternative: Baratza Virtuoso+ ($249). The Baratza Virtuoso+ is also an excellent choice and might be a better option for heavy use.
Which espresso machine is best for you?
An espresso machine has many aspects to consider. An espresso machine needs to grind the coffee fresh every shot. You can either get an integrated grinder or a separate grinder. An espresso machine is not a coffeemaker like a Keurig, Nespresso or a traditional drip coffeemaker. It uses high-pressure boiling water (9 bar or higher) to extract the coffee beans and to produce crema. The emulsified oils are what rise to the top of each shot. A separate milk frother function will be included in an espresso machine to make popular drinks like cappuccinos or lattes.
There are many types of machines:
- Manual machines are manual machines that aren’t automated, but may include thermostatic temperature control via a PID controller ( Derivative, Integral, Proportional). This machine is what you’ll find in a cafe or restaurant, except for chains that have superautomatic units like the Mastrena. Each shot must be manually ground into a portafilter, and milk steaming must take place manually. This allows the barista to have complete control over all aspects of coffee making, including the latte art. To get the best results, you will need to practice setting the grind, grinding the shot, and tamping it. However, the end results are worth it.
- Semiautomatic machines can be partially computerized. They use automated functions to grind and dose coffee, or for milk dispensing and foaming. These machines require some skill and knowledge.
- These fully automated and computerized superautomatic machines will automatically grind and pour the coffee. You will not need to have any special skills to make coffee drinks. However, you will be able to lessen the control of the process and “tweak” the drink.
- A separate boiler is used for coffee extraction in commercial and high-end espresso machines. Faema E61-style group heads are used. They also use standard 58mm portafilters, baskets, and a Faema HTML61-style grouphead . The machines often include a PID unit that is used to maintain consistent espresso shots.
E61-style single-group head machines for small cafes or homes use heat exchangers for each function. They cost around $1400 and require a higher wattage circuit than typical home appliances. Prosumer- and cafe-grade machines have dual boilers, quieter rotary pumps, and better-quality rotary pumps.
These machines are priced separately from a Burr Coffee Grinder, which costs around $200 and is required to produce the fine, smooth, tightly packed grinds necessary for espresso extraction. We won’t be discussing these machines or grinders due to the high prices of these setups and the wide range of price points available in this category. If you’re interested in purchasing a machine of this kind, I recommend starting with specialty commerce sites like Seattle Coffee Gear and Whole Latte Love.
These less-expensive machines are more capable of making espresso drinks, and they have also become more reliable over the years. They use smaller group heads and portafilters that are not standardised than the E61 and will require a separate grinder in most cases. The majority of consumer machines under $700 don’t have PIDs. Some machines, like the Rancilio Siliva or the Gaggia can be retrofitted to get consistent shots that are comparable to professional-level extractions. Retrofit kits are usually $300 and higher. Some machines can also be purchased with them installed.
Filtered water is better than tap water for espresso machines. Mineral deposits can reduce the machine’s lifespan and increase the maintenance required. If your water is particularly hard or has not been filtered, you should descale your machine regularly.