I have always been fascinated by machines and have come to appreciate painstaking workmanship and carefully engineered and tested designs. Finding the very best quality design and craftsmanship at a reasonable cost in an espresso machine can be a daunting task. In some cases the beauty and quality is only skin deep and doesn’t extend beyond the polished metal finish, as the structure and type of components can be affected by the manufacturers desire to be cost competitive.
In a quest to find a really good espresso machine one must first think about what makes a great shot of espresso. Clean water, correctly ground beans, careful preparation of the grounds and very precise control of the brew-water temperature and brewing dwell-time along with plenty of steam for milk drinks. Once you find a machine that will help you meet the criteria for great espresso you are well on the way to being a gratified espresso machine owner. And in the case of the class of machines known as semi-automatic it comes down to filtering the water, and controlling water temperature, pressure, volume, and dwell-time for brewing and making steam for milk additions.
The best of breed for controlling water temperature for both brewing and steaming are machines with dual boilers. One boiler is dedicated to making a large volume of hot water and steam for making americanos and frothing and heating milk for lattes and cappuccinos. The second, and by the nature of its job, smaller boiler is dedicated to producing precisely temperature-controlled water for brewing shots of espresso. With this dual boiler plumbing arrangement many features can be added to keep critical temperature needs monitored and controlled.
Thinking about these facts I admire two machines in this class, the Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler and the LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso machines. Both machines have programmable controls and pay very careful attention to the brew temperature. Breville as a manufacturer has earned consumer respect for producing very high quality appliances for the home, and the Breville espresso machine is a modern sleek looking design with a great deal of carefully engineered features under the skin. LaSpaziale has a respected Italian heritage, commercial quality components, and very good craftsmanship. And by looking at buyer reviews of the LaSpaziale it is clear that it has a rock solid reputation for steady performance and a growing fan base.
When you get ready to become an espresso machine owner and avail yourself of great coffee drinks either at home or in the office, it would be worth your effort to take a careful look at both of these machines and to compare them to any others in their class.