While comparing the prices of drip coffee makers to that Espresso coffee machine, there are maximum chances that one question always might arise in your mind that Why are espresso machines so expensive?
Espresso machines are Expensive!
A decent starter espresso coffee model seems to go around 300-400$(pretty Expensive) and last is sometimes even 10 times of them. It goes up to 20000$.so you must be wondering why espresso machines are too costly and are there is any other way to brew Espresso more cheaply.
The reason behind the high cost of Espresso machines is that they have to be constructed out of high-quality materials that have high-quality standards to withstand pressure, temperature, specialized condition because they have been used to demonstrate the taste and texture of coffee beans to make perfect espresso shot.
Suppose you are a newbie and just want to enjoy a decent cappuccino at an affordable price without creating a mess. In that case, you might have heard about DeLonghi ECP3420 and DeLonghi EC155. These products can brew decent coffee for you and prove worthy for you.
What is Espresso Machine?
Espresso is defined as a mixture of drinks when you pass hot & pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans.
Espresso is the machine that is used to produce Espresso coffee drinks. The working method includes passing hot water through a compact layer of finely ground coffee beans at high pressure. Some Espresso models also come inbuilt streamer.
History of Espresso Machines?
The Espresso coffee machine was firstly invented on November 18, 1901, by the Milanese engineer Luigi Bezzer. Later on, Espresso drink became famous as strong coffee, which is produced by pressing coffee beans under high pressure in the special machine with the help of Lever. Before it becomes automatic, pressing is done manually to lower the Lever and exert the necessary pressure for extraction.
In 1903, the Italian industrialist Desiderius Pavoni with his teammate manufacture Bezzera coffee machines. After their efforts in the early 1920s, many other inventors also manufactured the tower-like Pavoni and Victoria Audrina coffee makers, which later became the characteristic feature of Italian cafes. This gets popular and famous for spreading espresso coffee culture in Europe and America.
Later on, Milan bartender and inventor Achilles Gaggia 1949 began manufacturing semi-automatic coffee machines. The desired pressure is achieved with water, and they successfully capture 90% of global coffee maker machines.
Faema, later in 1961, manufactured coffee machines that worked on a method in which water was passed through coffee using an electric pump. Modern coffee makers still use this design. The brewing method is still the same; an electric pump drives cold water through a heat exchanger placed in a boiler. The heated water then passes through fine coffee grounds. Milk is steamed at the same time.
Read more: Why is Espresso Served with Water?
What makes Espresso machines so Expensive?
When you looking for an espresso machine for purchasing, you will find Espresso machines are pretty expensive. Here we find out some of the most popular reasons that why are Espresso machines so expensive? You might get interested in some cheap options and some of the most popular alternative ways to brew Espresso without an Espresso machine.
To achieve stable brewing temperature and withstand high pressure, Commercial Espresso machines are made of high standard quality materials that have a high standard, e.g. brass, stainless steel and metals.
Some manufacturing companies may use industrial plastic in body frames to cut off the price; However, it doesn’t make the difference directly; the weaker structure somehow affects the quality of the Espresso machine in terms of durability.
Another factor, such as variation in brass quality, also cause a sudden effect on temperature change, which further affects the quality of the Espresso machine. If you looking for better quality at a comparatively lower price, you may opt for semi-automatic or manual machines.
Espresso machines look like beautiful appliances that are made of more excellent materials. Unlike the drip coffee maker, the espresso machine doesn’t need gravity to produce the drink. Instead, specialized parts must withstand high pressure and sometimes high temperature and projectile the water to produce high caffeine drinks.
The internal parts of the Espresso machine, such as the brew group and thermo block, are the most expensive among other parts. Furthermore, external parts are finished well with Polished or brushed aluminium/stainless steel that is more expensive than plastic to make the overall look of Espresso great.
That’s precisely what you are paying for; the higher the quality of material, the more expensive will Espresso go. Commercial espresso machines tend to be more expensive. They are made of higher durable material that can stand higher usage.
Espresso is brewed at higher pressure ranges from 9 BAR to 15 Bar in some Espresso machines. Therefore, manufacturing such a machine that can withstand this higher pressure and brew a cup of coffee without creating a mess is not an easy task. Therefore many things need to consider like proper research about material quality, proper quality builds, more parts use and more care.
Pressure Consistency is also important, and cants are ignored. Creating pressure of 9-15 bar isn’t easy, and releasing the pressure while keeping it the same add further complication. Espresso machines tend to be manufactured to build the pressure the same way they release it. These complications are compensated by adding cost involved in engineering solution that makes Espresso machine expensive.
Nowadays, many coffee machines that come into the market have a digital display. However, the Display used in traditional Espresso machines is quite different from the rest in terms of material quality and advanced controlled operations like excellent temperature stability.
Digital Display in Espresso machine is also programmed with advanced function. A person can easily operate them i-e on/off function, temperature and pressure adjustment, cleaning, and equipment diagnostics.
5)Brewing Temperature Adjustment
Espresso models come with an inbuilt temperature adjustment controller, which provides full control to the user to adjust the temperature without creating temperature Fluctuation. This function is for a newbie who doesn’t have expertise in brewing coffee.
Different models come with different availability of operating options, and more expensive ones come with an extensive list of available options.
6)Temperature Adjustment – for Individual Groups
Temperature Adjustment for individual groups in Espresso machines is another factor that many other brands lack while preparing multiple Espresso from a single machine. This is a great feature for that coffee lover who wants full control over the brewing temperature, serving more than one coffee or profile coffee.
Espresso machines with this function usually have unique and innovative designs, digital Display, and brewing control.
7)Production number and location
Unlike drip coffee makers, espresso machines are easy to manufacture. Many things need to consider which lead to greater cost. On the other hand, drip coffee makers are easy to manufacture. There isn’t much complication in manufacturing them, so they are manufactured in large numbers. The greater the production let them becomes cheaper.
Production Location is another parameter involved in making the Espresso machine expensive. Many electronic machines appliances are manufactured in low-wage countries like China. In contrast, some high-end espresso machines are manufactured in Italy. Since Espresso drink originates from the origin of Italy, there are quite a few Italian brands that make espresso machines.
8)Brand and Researching
All companies have to invest a lot in branding and research. Customers are unaware that espresso machines undergo a lengthy period of research and development to create safe and desirable models.
The staff itself which manufacture the machine is also responsible for the high prices of the espresso machine. Although they are a bit expensive, they are made from high-quality material and better than buying a cheaper coffee machine and worrying about the machine exploding on your face while using them.
Brands is another factor that makes a huge difference in a product’s cost. Branded products have an exclusivity attached to the label leading to high prices. Expensive espresso machines often come with a huge brand.
“You get what you pay for” is a famous phrase that fit exactly to Espresso Machines.
Espresso machines are not very much popular machines. Many people spend not more than $ 100 on a kitchen appliance. Low demand means there are not too many options available. The same applies to high-quality espresso machines, such as those used for commercial purposes. There are not many options available. Hence, you are forced to pay the highest price for advanced features and options.
The internal system of the espresso machine needs a lot of precision and patience. To brew a perfect cup of coffee at the specialized condition of lower temperature, high pressure, and calculated extraction time need well modified internal structure.
Complex structures need good engineering support and modification, which may make the espresso machine expensive.
What price is best?
Espresso machines really need a lot of research and great quality material to manufacture. You get what you pay for. That is why they are expensive; it doesn’t mean that manufactures are ripping you off. Now, the question arises what price is best? DO you need to invest a lot to brew Espresso?
The answer purely depends on your choice. Some features are overrated to be paid for, but it doesn’t mean you can go for a cheaper option. You can easily find a cheap espresso machine under $500 that can brew good Espresso and last for a longer period. But, if you looking for something with a more extensively available list of options, you should invest in some expensive model.
In other words, no need to invest in a cheaper model that is likely to break and no need to go after some super fancy machine that won’t produce good Espresso and comes with features you hardly use them.
Invest in the model after proper research and then make a purchase depending on the feature you want in your machine.
Different Types of Espresso Machines?
Now you have an idea about why espresso machines are expensive? Now let’s discuss different Espresso machines to help you choose the right one for you.
Angelo Moriondo, in 1884 introduced a new steam engine for the economical preparation of coffee drinks. Later the method for the preparation of coffee was born.
Steam machines are still used and are affordable, manageable, and compact.
Working method: In a sealed tank, water is brought to a boil, and steam is formed. This creates pressure which pushes the water through the reservoir into the coffee. In these machines, the water is used to create steam made coffee. This means that the water almost boils when it hits the beans, which can lead to over-extraction and spoiling the taste of the coffee.
The disadvantage of steam machines is that they produce 1-1.5 bar of pressure while the ideal pressure for Espresso is 9 bar
Pump Driven Espresso Machine
Pump-driven work on pulling the piston to force the steam to pass through coffee beans to get the extraction. Pump-driven espresso machine uses the motor to force steam to pass through ground beans at higher pressure.
Prices for espresso machines range from hundred dollars for a simple model to thousands of dollars for an advanced machine. There are three main categories of pump-action coffee machines:
Semi-automatic, automatic and super-automatic, differ from each other on the type of pumps, the number of boilers, and the electronic controls.
Semi-automatic Espresso machine
Making Espresso includes several steps ranging from grinding the coffee beans, tamping coffee beans into a compact bed for brewing to stopping the brewing after some 30-40 sec, and emptying the used ground from the espresso machine.
When you switch on a semi-automatic espresso machine, water is pumped through the bed, and when the liquid colour turns black, you need to switch off the machine. In a semi-automatic espresso machine, you must grind beans and tamp into a compact bed for brewing. Rest is performed by machine.
Automatic Espresso machine
Automatic espresso machine works on same as semi-automatic espresso machine instead brewing process. It switches off the machine when brewing is done is performed by machine. But, you need to grind and tamper the beans on your own.
An automatic espresso machine is expensive and best suited for a newbie barista. It keeps temperature and pressures constant while adjusting only the ground texture and extraction time.
Super Automatic Espresso Machine
As the name suggests, a super-automatic Espresso machine takes full control. It performs all activities ranging from grinding, tamping, and brewing, further emptying the used waste into the internal container.
Some super-automatic models also have the feature to steam and froth milk. Users can control the amount of air injected. Super-automatic espresso machines fully impact the coffee flavor. If you are a true coffee lover and want full control over the machine, you should not opt for these features.
Read More: How long does an Espresso shot last?
Alternatives to Espresso coffee machines
Suppose you don’t want to pay a high price for an espresso machine and also don’t want to put an effort to brew Espresso. In that case, some alternatives are budget-friendly and are easy to operate.
Remember, you will never get a quality espresso drink with alternatives. Still, it can provide you with great espresso shots to some extent.
Pod machines are simple and easy to operate. All you need is to add water and pod into the machine and turn it on.
Pod machine doesn’t provide you control over the taste of Espresso, and the quality of it is Espresso also not too much great. But if you want to enjoy espresso shots to some extent in the budget, then you definitely choose a pod machine.
However, pod machines still make delicious-tasting Espresso and come with different pods flavours that you can form, and it requires very much less effort and time to make Espresso and further pods machines are easy to clean and maintain
Stovetop espresso makers or Moka pot
Espresso makers are cheap options to brew Espresso. It further allows you to learn how much you would use an espresso machine as a trail.
However, Espresso you get will not be of quality standard but definitely amuse you to some extent.
Using a stovetop espresso maker as an espresso maker, all you need to do is put water into the pot’s bottom and then put ground coffee beans above it and heat up the pot. Steam will create and mix and ground coffee beans resulting in the preparation of Espresso that will come out of a filter at the top of the machine.
Aero press is another cheap option to brew coffee. It brews strong coffee similar to Espresso. But if you don’t want to have the slightly bitter taste of Espresso and want to drink decent coffee, then you may choose aero press.
However, if you want a full taste of Espresso, the aero press is not a good option.
Check out the list and review of the more Best portable and Manual Espresso makers
Making Espresso is genuinely an art that is very much underappreciated. With the help of a suitable espresso machine, patience, and some skill development, you will definitely manage to expertise your abilities in brewing the perfect Espresso.
But if you are passionate about your Espresso and craving it, you need to invest in an espresso machine today! But what if you like more cappuccinos and lattes and want to save money on the machine you buy? Don’t worry. There are many alternatives in better coffee options and lower investment.
Anything you want to share, Do comment.