Coffee machines have been around for a long time and are here to stay. New technologies and innovations in the coffee machine world are constantly being developed. This article mainly discusses home coffee machines, so you won’t get information about commercial coffee machines here. Each coffee machine or espresso machine usually belongs to a specific system with pros and cons. So depending what you are looking for – comfort, variety, design, quality – you will have to decide what system or type of coffee machines you are going for. On this blog I focus on the 3 popular coffee machine systems:
- Traditional Coffee Machines – Use ground coffee or coffee pods
- Capsule System Coffee Machines – Use coffee capsules or coffee pods
- Bean to Cup Coffee Machines or Automatic Coffee Machines – Use coffee beans
Here is a small summary on each of those systems. However, I have posts on two of those systems if you want to read in more details, and of course I have written about and reviewed many coffee machines that belong to those system, so you can find specific articles about them. Just use the search box, or navigate using the different menus on the right.
So here is the rundown:
Capsule systems or Pod systems for coffee machines are a popular and more modern system than the traditional coffee handle machines, and are well fitted for home or small office uses. They offer a simpler, cleaner way for producing quality espresso and other coffee beverages or hot beverages in general. Essentially, each capsules or pod system consists of special capsules or pods which contain a measured amount of sealed ground coffee. Those capsules are inserted in specific coffee machines made for that system. The machines produce the coffee by piercing the top part of the capsule to allow the water to flow through. Following that, hot water is forced through the capsule with high pressure, extracting the beverage to the cup. Each capsule is used once and then disposed of.
The most popular capsule or pod coffee machines systems are: Nespresso, Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, Caffitaly, Senseo, Keurig, Lavazza A Modo Mio, and illy iperEspresso. Buying a machine from one of these systems is probably a more affordable option along with traditional coffee machines, than buying bean to cup machines.
It is important to understand that capsules made by Nespresso or for Nespresso will not fit machines that were made for the Tassimo system.
Read more here: Capsule System Coffee Machines
It isn’t hard to guess what “Bean to Cup” or automatic coffee machines are meant to give us. You supply the coffee beans of your choice (instead of ground coffee in capsules or any other form) and put them in a special compartment in the coffee machine, then let the machine take care of all the necessary phases:
- Grinding the coffee beans
- Measuring the correct dose of coffee grounds for our desired drink
- Pressing the coffee grounds
- Automatically setting the dose for an espresso, long or double espresso
- Brewing a delicious aromatic coffee drink
- In some machines, frothing the milk if needed
Bean to Cup machines are the most expensive option for home use. However there are of course different levels of prices.
Read more here: Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
Traditional Coffee Machines
Traditional espresso or coffee machines are where this started… For these machines you basically use ground coffee just like in your local cafe.
Buying coffee beans or ground coffee of your favorite kind, grinding the beans to fine ground coffee, measuring the right dose of coffee ground to put in the machine, pressing it just the right way and operating the machines – All this may be more of a hassle than the previously discussed machines, not to mention the cleanup, but it could be argued that they brew the best espresso coffee if you know your way. I do want to add that even though you have to put ground coffee in the coffee handle of a traditional coffee machine, you can also buy coffee pods which are pre-dosed packed ground coffee packs, that fit perfectly in the standard coffee handle size.
The traditional espresso machine gives you control over the entire espresso coffee brewing process: dosing, tamping, actioning the manual lever (or button…) to pressure the exact amount of water through the coffee as you like – and of course, timing each of these operations.
Traditional espresso machines for your home are manufactured by many companies and a lot of the pricing goes to the designer of the product. You can find machines that sell for just about £50, but take a look at this beautiful Francis Francis X1 coffee machine, that sells for over £550:
Enjoy the rest of your reading!