Articles From Whole Latte Love

A Semi-Automatic Machine for Every Price Range

Posted: 03/09/11
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Spring is just around the corner and with it comes extended daylight hours. If you've been cooped up all winter, now is the time to take advantage of the longer days. To make sure you get the most of your spring days, we're back with our picks of solid espresso machines sure to give you perfect pick-me-up brews. Best of all, there's a machine for every budget!

Capresso EC100Economy Machine
One of our newest semi-automatic machines, the Capresso EC100, proves that you can make good espresso and cappuccino without breaking the bank. This Espresso and Cappuccino Machine comes in under $150, yet does not scrimp on the features and benefits. Peel back the attractive polished black panels and you'll find a powerful 15-bar pump, capable of extracting crema-rich espresso. The EC100 is also backed by a stainless steel ThermoBlock heating system for respectable temperature stability.

This Capresso model is a great starter machine, can accommodate pods as well as ground espresso. Like milk-based beverages? The EC100 has creative milk solutions to deliver rich cappuccinos and lattes. This model comes with a unique frothing attachment, leave it in place to froth or detach it from the wand to steam.

Designed to make brewing and frothing hassle free, the Capresso EC100 features exceedingly simply controls. This machine is a solid choice for beginners. It even features a handsome exterior, with stainless steel accents, to ensure that it'll look great on your kitchen counter.

Gaggia ClassicMid-Range Machine
Our mid-range machine spotlight is a true classic. The Gaggia Classic is one of our most popular semi-automatic espresso machines. Costing just under $400, the Gaggia Classic gives you, arguably, the best value for your money. Though it is designed for home use, the Classic has a slew of high-end features including a commercial-grade brew group and chrome-plated brass portafilter as well as dual heating elements and a three-way solenoid valve. These features help to create a very impressive brewing experience.

One of the qualities that differentiates the Gaggia Classic from its peers is the remarkably quick warm-up time; from a cold start this machine is ready to brew in roughly 5 minutes. You'll also get three portafilter baskets—a pressurized, non-pressurized and pod basket. This allows the Classic to be completely flexible and accommodate a wide range of brewing preferences. Due to its flexibility and impressive capabilities, along with a history of reliable performance, the Gaggia Classic has earned a devoted following, one which includes our very own sales rep. Mike R. In fact, he has even written a blog contemplating whether or not the Classic is the perfect machine.

This Gaggia model is recommended for value-conscious espresso lovers. The Classic has a nice stainless steel housing unit that makes for easy cleaning and maintenance; Gaggia has done a great job of integrating very utilitarian features into this compact machines.

Expobar Brewtus IVHigh-End Machine

If you're looking to duplicate café quality results at home, the Expobar Brewtus IV may be the perfect machine for you. This prosumer espresso machine is a brewing and frothing marvel. Engineered for complete temperature stability, the Brewtus IV has dual copper boilers backed by 1250-watt heating elements. Since one boiler is dedicated exclusively to brewing and the other is used for steaming, frothing and dispensing hot water, the Brewtus IV can meticulously control its environment to deliver temperature appropriate espresso. A Gicar PID control takes it one step further, letting you adjust boiler temperatures to create optimal extraction conditions for any kind of roast.

This prosumer favorite operates using a vibration pump and comes equipped with a steam boiler switch. The switch is unique to Expobar; it will let you turn off the steam boiler and run just the brew boiler. Doing so will decrease warm-up time. With the steam boiler deactivated, the Expobar Brewtus IV can be ready to brew within 15 minutes of a cold start.

As you can see, a good espresso machine and can be had with any budget. Don’t get overwhelmed by your choices; give our Sales Department a call, our trained representatives can match you up with the perfect machine!