Many serious coffee lovers prefer espresso machine manual compared to automatic, because they have more freedom in modifying various aspects to make a perfect shot. However, choosing a good espresso machine needs considerations in various aspects. Here are some aspects you can compare between different products of espresso machine manual, to help you making informed decision.
Tips to Choose Espresso Machine Manual
The Preinfusion Factor
In espresso machine, “preinfusion” refers to the amount of time brewing water sits over the coffee bed inside the machine. Automatic machines do not have this, but espresso machine manual provides more freedom for any baristas in managing preinfusion time. The problem is: different coffee machines have different standards in setting the preinfusion time and boiler pressure.
There are no fixed rules in choosing the best espresso machine manual based on the preinfusion factor. All you can do is checking the specs of different espresso machines, and experiment at home. If there is product guide to make espresso, use that guide to start your experiments. Once you get the perfect combination between the preinfusion, coffee grinding level and brewing time, stick to that recipe.
The Perfect Brewing Temperature
Another “freedom” home baristas get when making coffee with espresso machine manual is the ability to regulate brewing temperature. Manufacturers usually regulate espresso machine at certain brewing temperatures; usually around 225F (107C) to 250F (121C), a little above boiling temperature. This temperature means you can get perfect espresso without bitterness that often comes from over extraction. Also, this temperature is perfect to steam milk for latte or cappuccino.
If you have coffee that brews best at certain temperature, using espresso machine manual can help you regulating how you pour the water into the machine. Depending on the set temperature, you may experiment by pouring water when the machine is unplugged, or letting the water rest for several minutes, or pulling several shots to get the perfect pour. While you still need to experiment, you can have more freedom in regulating the process.
Choosing Direct Lever or Spring Piston?
Espresso machine manual has two models regarding of the pumping action: the one with direct lever, and the one with spring piston. Between these models, espresso machine with direct lever provides more control in creating the best espresso shot. However, remember that direct lever means you have 100% responsibility in determining the right pressure in creating that ideal shot, because the pressure comes from your hand action.
While this sounds difficult, direct lever may give better level of control for brewing different types of coffee. This is because different coffee types often need variations in the espresso making process. You must know when to pull the lever and how much pressure to apply during the process. If you are a quite experienced home barista and love to experiment, you can get more freedom in creating a perfect espresso with direct lever machine.
In conclusion, choosing espresso machine requires more considerations than just nostalgia, price, or prestige. Espresso machine manual will give you perfect shots, but only if you understand how to choose and use it.