Coffee Machine Buying Guide: How to buy a manual coffee machine
Manual coffee machines are the favorite models for coffee lovers who prefer to prepare their own drinks as if they were in their trusted bar. There are many models of manual coffee machines that adapt to all types of budgets. In this article we want to list some features that can affect the purchasing choices of a particular model of traditional coffee machine.
The dimensions are very important especially for the areas of use and the type of drinks that can be prepared. A domestic coffee machine with a small boiler will have more difficulty keeping the water warm enough and an ideal steam for whipping milk. The professional coffee machine on the other hand, characterized by a heavier structure, and with a lot of metal, will keep the pressure and therefore the heat of the water at its best.
For lovers of cappuccinos our advice is to evaluate the models of double boiler coffee machines like Bezzera Duo MN.
Another important factor is the pump pressure which on average, for domestic use, must be within a range of 9-15 bar. The pump is a very important element because it allows the water to be crushed against the coffee at a pressure that can be controlled by means of a pressure gauge.
Rancilio Silvia is fitted with a ULKA line pump used by the best coffee machines for domestic use.
The filter holder is used to insert and remove coffee doses in the group.
Some models such as La Pavoni Gran Caffè Pressurizzato use the pressurized portafilter which allows the coffee to be dispensed only when an ideal pressure level is reached. This type of filter holder is suitable for less experienced users who can easily obtain a good cream.
The classic filter holder is instead aimed at a professional user and requires that the dose is adequately pressed and characterized by a correct grinding. The result however, is an espresso with a thick and consistent cream. Quick Mill Carola is equipped with a series of filter holders for various types of use.
Type of boiler
The boiler is used to keep the water warm through a heat exchanger and to deliver steam and hot water. Usually the domestic coffee machine models have boilers made of steel or aluminum.
The aluminum boiler has advantages in terms of heating speed and lower energy consumption but is more subject to wear due to limestone. Gaggia Classic is a coffee machine model equipped with an aluminum boiler.
Otherwise the steel boiler is more resistant to wear and offers higher temperature maintenance capacities. The Profitec Pro line is instead equipped with a stainless steel boiler.