Today, enjoying a good espresso at home like the one you drink at your local bar is much easier than it used to be, thanks to the wide range of small, yet increasingly sophisticated electrical appliances available today for use with coffee pods or capsules. Which begs the question: how do I choose the right coffee machine?
It is indeed easy to get confused when faced with an array of machines that continues to grow as we speak. To help you buy the best system for your needs, we have pinpointed the characteristics you should bear in mind.
Differences between coffee machines
Capsules and pods: perfect for the coffee break in the office and at any time of the day at home, these are the elements that have won over the palate of coffee-lovers everywhere. They are single portions of ground coffee, pressed and inserted into filter paper for food use (pods) or inside a small rigid cylinder made of aluminium or plastic (capsule).
These pre-packed doses only work with specific devices, which have become increasingly more sophisticated in terms of design and offer a range of advanced functions. To understand how to choose the right coffee machine, let’s look at the main differences between the two systems.
Pod coffee machines
Pod coffee machines work using a filter-holder with handle and are dosed in a specific filter casing. They are easy to use: simply insert the single-dose portion into the machine, turn the handle and press a button to make the coffee come out.
Some of these machines can also be used with powdered coffee through another specific filter, whereas others cannot.
Capsule coffee machines
Capsule coffee machines are also very handy for those who want to make a good espresso easily and quickly. In this case, there are no handles to turn. All you have to do is insert the capsule and press the start button.
These small devices are the ultimate in practical coffee-making: there is no need to clean up because they don’t make a mess and preparing an espresso with a capsule takes just a few seconds and involves zero effort.
Now that we know the main differences between the two types of coffee machines, let’s look at the main elements to bear in mind in the purchasing phase.
Dimensions of the coffee machine
Before buying a coffee machine, do we already know where we are going to put it? The available space is one of the elements to bear in mind, also because some models are rather bulky, especially capsule machines.
But as well as size, let’s not forget weight: the lighter the machine is, the easier it will be to move when you need to clean the surface beneath it.
Pressure and “bars” for a top quality coffee
This is a very important point to consider when purchasing a coffee machine. There’s nothing else for it: to make a good espresso, the pressure that pushes the water into the filter is fundamental. So, the higher the pressure, the better the coffee.
To give you an idea, consider that in order to achieve a good result, the pressure should be at least between 12 and 15 bars.
Compatible pods and capsules
When understanding how to pick the right coffee machine to buy, one question you must ask yourself is this: does it work with any kind of pod or capsule?
Pods are universal as they all belong to the same international standard (E.S.E., that is, Easy Serving Espresso), so single portion pods of different brands can be used on any device with this system. It is also true that, since they are in contact with the air, they lose their aroma rather quickly, unless of course they are individually packaged, just like the Caffè Aiello pods.
When it comes to capsules, be careful, because some machines only work with the single-portion capsules of the same brand as the machine, and this can prove expensive, especially in the long run. The most popular system of machines is Nespresso, but it is not exactly easy to find single-portion capsules capable of giving the espresso from the bar a run for its money: this is why we created the finest Nespresso compatible capsules ever!