April 23, 2016 1 Comment
If you’re looking to buy an espresso machine, the first thing you need to figure out is what type of espresso machine best suits you.
Types of espresso machines: there are two basic types of espresso machines: Super-automatic and Semi-automatic espresso machines
While the obvious logic for most consumers would be that anything labeled “super” is going to be the “better” version, this is a common mistake buyers make. The difference between semi-automatic and super-automatic espresso machines isn’t which one is better than the other, but rather which one is better for you.
Semi-Automatic vs Super-Automatic Espresso Machines – What is the Difference?
Before we get into the technical aspects of the two types of espresso machines, here’s what you really need to know. Semi-automatic espresso machines are going to be perfect for the espresso connoisseur. If you’re the type that really wants to get the best-quality and taste out of your espresso machine and don’t mind taking a little more time and effort out of your schedule, the semi-automatic espresso maker is going to be for you. It’s a little bit more work, but the key here is that you ultimately have more control over every subtle nuance that goes into your version of the perfect shot of espresso with a semi-automatic.
If you don’t have the time or want to build a highly customized taste for your espresso mixes and just want a great tasting cup of espresso, super-automatic espresso makers are going to be your best bet. While you do give up some of the control you have over the final product, a super-automatic espresso maker automates almost all of the process for you, meaning that you can just get a great shot of espresso without having to do any extra work. This makes it perfect for people on the go or who prefer convenience over control.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Features
Semi-automatic espresso machines are just that—semi-automatic. Some of the steps are automated, but many are not. This allows the user to put their personal stamp on the final product but without doing some of the tedious steps that are involved in making an espresso on the stove top. Here’s a look at some of the features that make a semi-automatic espresso machine such a great pickup for the ultimate espresso lover:
Water temperature and pressure are automated so you get the perfect cup of espresso every time
User is able to adjust the steam and water flow for preference of taste
The pump is also user-operated as you must manually turn it on and off at the desired times for ultimate control
There is no built-in grinder so you must fill the portafilter with ground coffee, and tamp the grounds as well. You can purchase coffee already ground. But if you want to make the best-tasting shot of espresso, we recommend you purchase a grinder and grind your own fresh coffee beans. Check out our coffee grinder buying guide.
Overall, the semi-automatic espresso machine is all about fine-tuning, giving you the precise taste, temperature and body that you love in your shots of espresso.
Tip: If you’re a “hands on” espresso connoisseur who doesn’t mind performing a few extra steps to ensure the highest-quality espresso shot, a semi-automatic machine is your best option.
To make it easy for you, we’ve gathered up the best espresso machines on the market, carefully weighed, and prioritized several criteria in testing and put together these targeted espresso machine reviews that are specifically meant to help you cut through all the confusion and just get the best deal on the home espresso maker that fits your style.
Recommended Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
Best value semi-automatic espresso machine
Rancilio Silvia espresso machine – Best single-boiler semi-automatic espresso machine for under $1,000 currently available on the market. Complete bang for your buck!