May 14

Why is Espresso Machines so Expensive? 4 Reasons!

Why is Espresso Machines so Expensive? 4 Reasons!

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Why is espresso machines so expensive?

The reason behind their high cost is that they're used for demonstrating taste and character of the coffee beans. For doing it, they should also include the pressure, specifications, pumps and the right equipment.

For making a perfect tasting espresso right from the start, the temperature has to remain within the ideal range and must be stable

When it comes to costly coffee machines most people straight away think of the automatic espresso machines. So, why is espresso machines so expensive?

The pressure needs to be adjusted to right limits. Just mess with all these settings and you end up with a lifeless espresso!

Such types of tight conditions mean that many parts making up espresso machine have to be of high quality, like the pressure stat and boiler. Also in fact a lot of espresso machines are custom made and you end up with a costly kit.

For understanding everything making a simple looking espresso machine really expensive, you'll have to understand why espresso is also different compared to other coffee making methods.

Espresso is also made through forcing hot water through tightly packed coffee ground 'puck' at higher pressure. Water also makes way through puck in few seconds, and you get the rub. 

Unlike French Press brew consuming around 4 to 5 minutes, the espresso can take around 10 to 15 seconds. You can make sure to get conditions such as pressure, temperature at check.

Also wrong grind size with espresso and other simple little mistakes can get amplified. Also under commercial settings the machine has to function constantly and reliably over long time periods, and sometimes it is used hundreds of times per day.

Pressure stat regulating temperature and pressure within the machine costs more than $100! The commercial espresso machines can go upwards up to $20,000.

Are Espresso Machines Worth it?

So why is espresso machines so expensive? Espresso can be a great addition to a coffee shop or a bakery, but for home use, it's quite a hassle. Making good espresso shots can involve  a long learning period along with great love for espresso!

With the typical machines, you grind beans along with adjusting the right temperature setting.

While the process might not sound like rocket science, but it's too much time consuming, also it takes a while to making much more than only an espresso cup.

With High end automatic espresso machine all of that is taken care of. All you need to do is pour in coffee beans in hopper and refill water tank in a few days.

espresso machine for home worth it

Within a minute or two you get a fresh espresso shot out of nozzle according to specified settings. Whether you want single, double, two cups, one cup, Americano, all of it is possible with only a button press.

Most of these machines have sky high prices and a lot of maintenance is involved with them.

When comparing, the cost per espresso cup can be cheap from super automatic high end machines compared to Nespresso, but this depends a lot on your selection of beans.

Unless you expect the highest quality from a cup, a reasonably costing Nespresso would work well for occasional use. Super automatics are great for preparing great espresso, but a lot of maintenance work must be done frequently for the machine.

 Also preparing coffee can get you and the machine dirty and these automatic machines aren't capable of clearing it out.

How much should you spend on an espresso machine?

The purchasing decision along with cost gets influenced by lots of reasons.

Common mistakes made by people when buying espresso machines is either overpaying or underpaying. Before spending on an espresso machine, you need to have few answers for these three questions:

  • What your personal budget is?
  • Do you need it for your shop? How busy will it be?
  • What are the must haves for espresso machines?

It is possible to have car-purchase analogy when consulting with the wholesale customers and students on the problem. You don't have to purchase care when you wish to have heavy-duty vehicles.

Make sure you're not purchasing Ferrari and when the budget is only able to support Ford.

While lots of money can be spent on finest machines, the higher price doesn't mean that you'll have the best one or the most suitable one. So how much should you spend on the machine?

how much to spend on an espresso machine

The answer is really based on where you're when it is about your current abilities and skills, and how much developed coffee palate you've got - but you can begin when you're able to and from there you can grow.

You can consider a $100 or less if you're a novice. For beginners anything that helps in pulling shots at home is fine, so a good machine under $200 will work just well. Or for the enthusiasts there are other options from $600 ones to machines that can go more than $20,000.

It all depends on how much effort you're willing to put in and what you expect the final outcome to be like.

Is espresso better than regular coffee?

A coffee isn't just a cup of coffee as it is really a complicated beverage, and it is impossible to certainly say that "espresso is coffee's pinnacle" as we get lots of variety and depth to explore.

So is the espresso really better than the regular morning black coffee? Yes it certainly is! But how exactly? Espresso is a coffee type. To be technically more precise, espresso is the method of coffee extraction.

The best thing about the espresso is that it is quick. Pour-over coffee generally is ground at medium and it is only brewed for around 1 to 2 minutes.

The French press coffee typically gets grounded to corase size with brewing time of 4 to 6 minutes. But with espresso shot? The coffee gets grounded finely and is "brewed" in only about 20 to 30 seconds.

Espresso has much stronger taste compared to typical black coffee, also with same liquid volume. So to know what makes the espresso better we can consider the following:

  • Espresso tastes better and stronger compared to brewed coffee
  • Espresso coffee making method is quite specific
  • Not everyone will appreciate the fine espresso taste

To be on the stronger side, we'll definitely support the espresso, but taste-wise it's more of a matter of preferences.

How to Make a Decent Espresso at Home?

If you're like us and you tried making espresso at home without a machine, but it just wasn't the same then lets explain why! As mentioned before, espresso is made by shooting a jet of pressurized water through coffee, the end result is espresso.

Espresso is amazing when brewed correctly, you can literally taste all the amazing flavors locked within the bean and to top it off it usually has a really great aromatic smell to it.

So, how do you make decent espresso at home? Let's take a look at our step by step guide below:

  1. Firstly, you need an entry level espresso machine that can deliver 15 bars of pressure. One of these will work just great.
  2. Next you need some amazing coffee beans that should be grinded using a burr grinder. Burr grinders are beneficial at getting the grind size very fine (what you require) compared to an ordinary kitchen blade grinder. Some machines will have a built in burr grinder, but these espresso machines are generally more costly.
  3. Add your espresso grind into a portafilter, and lock it into the pressurised head of the machine.
  4. Hit brew, and watch your espresso drip out. 
  5. What you're looking for is a silky black coffee, with a 1/2 inch thick creama (espresso foam). This is what we call the perfect espresso.

If the instructions above are two tedious to follow along, simply watch the video below to get the perfect espresso shot.

Final Thoughts

Making good espresso requires the use of high-quality equipment and using a high end espresso machine is quite simple and that the cheap Walmart coffee makers also get made on production line where the process has been automated and you also get the benefit of economics of the scale.

Also, a lot of espresso machines are hand-made. With demand of having espresso mass produced, then the prices can go through floor.

Finally, on extreme upper end where you're getting espresso machines with $20,000 or higher priced, all these are meant for commercial usage.

While it's simple to find cheap ones in the range of $30 - $50 on Walmart, these function similar to the $500 to $600 ones generally recommended by a local roaster.

However, the truth is that you're getting just coffee spurt out through both of these. However to get the most premium quality-coffee you can definitely consider the higher end espresso machines certified through SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America), and a lot of these are available in the price bracket of $500 to $600.

With higher priced ones you also get the option of changing recipe, individually adjusting volume, strength and drink temperature. It is possible to make up to 8 user profiles with these machines.

Also you'll not have to worry about maintenance as the machine reminds you about its requirement. All such features and the quality of final product definitely make these machines worthy of the high price tag.


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