What is an espresso machine? An espresso machine helps in brewing coffee. The first-ever espresso machine was built in 1884 by Italy’s Angelo Moriondo. Later Luigi Bezzera patented an improved design in April 1903.
Since then, lots of espresso machines have been designed. Some of these machines have similar features like a portafilter and a grouphead. Also included in some espresso machines is a steam wand which helps in frothing and steaming liquids like milk for use in coffee drinks like caffe latte and cappuccino.
Espresso machines could be pump-driven, steam-driven, air-pump-driven, or piston-driven.
Drive Mechanisms of Espresso Machines
The designs of espresso machines like the flair espresso maker share some features. Varying the grind’s fineness, the pressure used in tampering the grinds, or the pressure could be used in varying the espresso’s taste.
Pump-driven espresso machines were introduced back in 1961 and are the most commonly used for brewing espresso in commercial bars. Rather than using manual force, the force required for brewing espresso is provided by a motor-driven pump.
The best built in espresso machine is designed to either get its water source from a tank that is hand-filled with water or through a cold water supply, which is usually found in commercial installations.
Steam-driven units work by using steam pressure or steam to force water through the coffee. Steam-driven espressos were the very first types of espresso machines made. It is still used in espresso making today, as it doesn’t have to contain moving parts.
Asides from this, steam-driven machines fail to produce the required pressure for extraction in contrast to the pump-driven machines; from this, you get a low-quality espresso.
Recently, espresso machines driven by air-pumps came into existence. They make use of compressed air in forcing hot water via the coffee grounds. A Thermo flask or a kettle is used in adding the hot water.
One major advantage of this type of espresso machine is that they are lighter and smaller compared to the electric machines. Most times, they are portable and handheld.
The Piston-driven or the lever-driven espresso machine was manufactured in 1945 in Italy by Achille Gaggia. Generally, this design pumps by utilizing a lever, and then pressurizes hot water which is then sent through the coffee grinds.
The piston-driven machines come in two types – the spring piston and the manual piston design. For the former, the operator tensions a spring; this then goes on to deliver the required pressure for the espresso machine to work, which is usually between 8 and 10 bar, while the latter requires the operator to push water directly through the grounds.
Difference Between Espresso and Coffee
Concerning the difference between espresso and coffee, is the way espressos are prepared that sets it apart. Other brewing methods are time-consuming because they depend on the filtering of hot water, which usually takes place at a slow rate. This means you will have to wait for several minutes to get yourself a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
Espresso machine under 200 dollar work by pressurizing and shooting almost boiled water through well-ground coffee beans that are packaged into cakes. With this method, you get a caffeine-packed, aromatic, and complex cup of coffee within 30 seconds.
For sure, there’s no need for a fancy machine. All it does is make the preparation process more accurate and easier. You can make espresso without making use of an espresso machine, but get ready because this requires you to put in extra work.
From here, we can say the differences between espresso and coffee can be seen in their method of preparation, which begins with the beans used. The coffee beans used for espresso are usually roasted for long periods compared to beans used for drip coffee. Also, beans used for espresso are usually grounded to have a finer look, similar to sand than gravel.
An espresso machine helps in brewing coffee and it comes in different types; this is based on their drive mechanism. We have also highlighted the differences between espresso and coffee. If you gained a lot from this article, feel free to share it on social media.