Instead of running to your local coffee shop or favorite corner caf for the perfect cut of espresso, consider making your own at home. If the thought of becoming a kitchen barista has you shaking without any caffeine, think again! There are a wide variety of espresso machines that are geared for home use, from the basic to the same machines used by the professionals. However, before you drop a couple hundred of dollars on that top of the line espresso machine, consider your options and needs. Also, if you are experiencing sticker shock from some of the higher end espresso machines, keep in mind that you are saving a great deal on a daily basis by avoiding high priced indulgences at coffee shops or cafes.
The first think you should know before choosing a home espresso machine is that there are several different varieties of machines. Each different type of machine will come with a different price tag and different capabilities. Although the top of the line machine may be nice, it may not necessarily meet your needs. Instead of buying an espresso machine simply because it is deemed the best, buy a machine that you can (and will) use on a regular basis. The different types of home espresso machines are.
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Pump Espresso: Typically what you will find in a coffee shop, a pump espresso machine are usually made for commercial purposes, but can be used in your home. Be prepared to expand your budget if you are looking to purchase a pump espresso machine, since they are typically the priciest of the bunch. Also, pump espresso machines are usually the largest, heaviest, and noisiest of the options, but it produces a fantastic cup of espresso. These machines work by using a pump to keep the water pressure at an appropriate level.
Piston Espresso: If you are looking for a great, low maintenance espresso machine, consider those than run on a piston or lever system. Instead of a pump to create pressure, these machines use a level that must be maneuvered in order to create steam. Although a piston espresso machine is very quiet, they may require a great deal of arm strength to continually pull on the lever. Furthermore, the piston espresso machine is capable of making a great cup of espresso, but it may take practice to get the hang of the process.
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Steam Espresso: Using steam to create pressure to make the espresso, these steam powered espresso machines are typically the type found in the home. With smaller machines that occupy less space and cost less money, steam espresso machines are quite quick and easy to use. However, keep in mind that the steam produced may not provide the appropriate level of pressure, so the steam level should be constantly maintained.
Moka Pots: Moka Pots are a stovetop method to producing espresso. The process is simple and easy, although the final product may be less than professional. Using specially designed two-part pot, the steam produced by the water boiling in the bottom of the pot is forced into the top part of the pot, where the coffee is boiling.
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It requires a great deal less pressure than the other types of home espresso machines, but there is no milk frothing or foaming attachments, so you may have to sacrifice that feature for price and size. Any one of these different types of home espresso machines will allow you to make a delicious cup of espresso. Your choice should be based upon needs, usability, overall size of the machine, and of course the price. A high end espresso machine can run up a bill in the thousands of dollars.
An Introduction To Gourmet Coffee
Over five hundred billion cups of coffee are consumed each year making it the most popular drink on this earth. For centuries, this aromatic, spirit-lifting drink has been the beverage to serve at any and all events. Many board meetings and friendships have thrived over a cup of coffee. Extracted from the seed of cherries growing on coffee trees, coffee is grown extensively in fifty-three countries across the equator.
Specialty gourmet coffee is very popular among coffee drinkers today. As a matter of fact, statistic show that it is one of the fastest growing food retailers netting approximately $8.5 billion a year. People enjoy the taste of the sophisticated beans used in the making of this delightful gourmet drink. The beans are grown at very high altitudes on Arabic trees and feed on volcanic ash. A cool climate and lots of moisture result in a high quality bean group. The soil the beans are grown in produces the very distinct flavors of the gourmet beans.
Gourmet coffee has a more balanced flavor and richer taste than the standard mass-produced coffee. The beans go through a rigorous process of certification that is very strict to help keep the quality high. To help keep standards high, the Specialty Coffee Association of American was created in 1982, for the specialty coffee trade. You can find gourmet coffee in most grocery stores, specialty shops, restaurants and coffee shops. If you are a true connoisseur, you might compare gourmet coffee to a wonderful bottle of wine.