If you are trying to find the expresso machine that is best for you, you will first have to decide which are the features that are the most important to you. With all of the expresso models out there, even many models from the same manufacturer, it will be hard to choose among all of them. Even for the experts who own fancy coffee houses, with all of their knowledge about what should be the best expresso machine and the ability to compare notes with others in the field, it is difficult to have to understand what they want since so many new models come out all the time. If they have a hard time, what about us poor ordinary consumers?
One of the most important things you want to consider in an expresso machine is the built in grinder. Freshly ground coffee is important to good expresso. Many of these machines will have a grind dial that will allow you to fine-tune the density of the grind. If you machine does not have a built in grinder, you will have to make sure you grind your coffee to match the expresso machine. If your machine is set too low, for a mocha or drip brewing grind, you will have to keep experimenting until you find the right consistency for your expresso machine. The recommended ratio is w ounces of expresso from the beaker in about 27 seconds.
A good machine should be able to stand a grind that is a little too thick, so don;t be afraid to experiment. A good expresso machine will not jam if the grinds are too coarse or too fine. The really high quality machines will have a check valve. This allows the the machine to have a higher tolerance for finer grinds that require higher pressure. Until you find the right grind for your machine, you may not get the best results. There is a certain pressure necessary for the best extraction, and if it is too high, you will have a bitter cup of coffee.
Sound levels are another good barometer of a fine expresso machine. The best machines are quiet, as low as a whisper. If you can't carry on a normal conversation near the machine, it is too loud, and consequently not of good quality. This will let you tell your friends about your great new expresso machine.
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