Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Coffee Machines at Home: Button, Portafilter or Capsules?



The ever-faster pace of life even in daily tasks forces us to look for time-saving solutions. Not surprisingly, many coffee lovers are switching from regular brewed coffee to a coffee machine and its benefits. Properly chosen appliance not only allows you to enjoy a professionally prepared drink for longer, but also gives you the opportunity to feel like a real barista at home. Let‘s discuss in more detail – which coffee machine to choose and what criteria to follow when searching for the most suitable one.

Time saving – automatic coffee machines

The choice of coffee machine depends on personal needs and habits. So, before you go shopping, consider how much time you can spend not only on the coffee break, but also on the process of preparation and appliance maintenance. Today, coffee machines stand out not only for their stylish design, but also for maximum functionality.

Automatic coffee machines are one of the most popular and frequently chosen coffee machines to use at home. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this type of appliance is the ability to enjoy fresh, expertly prepared coffee every day at the touch of a button. Here are some noteworthy features of automatic coffee machines:

       Beans are ground separately for each cup of coffee. It helps to ensure freshness and aroma of the drink. Especially relevant for those who like espresso or black coffee.

       Possibility to select the desired coffee bean grinding level. It is important to emphasize that the taste of coffee strongly depends on the grind. The machine allows you to experiment and discover the most delicious way to make coffee, from fine to coarse grinding.

       Automatic cleaning program. This feature is usually available on the latest models, but for time savers, it is one of the most important features. On mornings where every minute counts, the automatic cleaning function becomes the biggest advantage.

Another unique feature is the pre-set recipes and the possibility to save them for the future. This feature is most appreciated in homes where everyone has their own favourite way of drinking coffee, from espresso to cappuccino with stiff foam. It‘s true that some automatic coffee machines have an integrated milk frothing system, others only have a hot steam milk nozzle. The latter is useful for those who like to get involved in the coffee making process, but those who save time should opt for an already integrated milk system.

Maintenance features: In order to enjoy delicious, fragrant coffee every day, you should pay attention to your automatic coffee machine. Once a week, the coffee brewing unit needs to be cleaned, and after each coffee with milk, the milk system also needs to be cleaned, especially if the machine is left unused for the whole day after morning coffee. The filling or descaling symbols indicated on the panel or display will inform about the needed refills or descaling. If you want to save every minute, pick a coffee machine with an integrated milk system and an automatic cleaning program.

Barista's choice for home - semi-automatic coffee machines

For many coffee professionals, coffee is more than just a drink. It’s an engaging process that brings you closer, it’s an opportunity to show attention or just enjoy the preparation process. For those who like to develop their coffee making skills or want to learn how to make coffee like real professionals, semi-automatic coffee machines are a great choice. They not only become an eye-catching detail in the kitchen interior, but are also a great tool to practice.

Semi-automatic coffee machines are more complex and sophisticated than automatic ones. They require already ground coffee and a little more effort than pressing a single button. The first step is to add the appropriate amount of coffee into the portafilter handle of the machine, tamp it well with a special tamper and add it to the coffee machine. The taste and quality of the drink depends on how you compress the coffee. However, for those already skilled in preparing drinks with a semi-automatic machine, preparing morning coffee will be like a joke.

Semi-automatic machines are most valued for their uniqueness. These coffee machines often become the main focus of the kitchen. In addition, many domestic appliances of this type are extremely compact, so you will not need much extra space for it.

Maintenance features: The most important rule here is to not to forget to clean the portafilter handle where you add ground coffee. It usually needs to be cleaned really well after a full day of use. If you drink just a few cups of coffee a day, it‘s much easier to wash off and not much effort is required. Also, be sure to descale the appliance regularly and rinse the hot steam nozzle. With proper care coffee will be delicious every morning.

For busy city people – capsule coffee machines

Capsule coffee machines are small, light, quiet enough and almost maintenance-free. Unlike the automatic and semi-automatic coffee machines mentioned above, these require special coffee capsules to prepare the drink - small plastic packages with an aluminium foil lid. They are filled with the appropriate amount of coffee blend. The selection of types and flavours is extremely wide, and the capsule coffee machine can prepare not only espresso or black coffee, but also late, cappuccino or other dessert-type coffees with perfect milk foam. No milk frothing, nozzles or cleaning. It is enough to discard and recycle the used capsule: throw the aluminium foil lid into a metal container, the plastic part into a plastic container. Here are some more features of capsule coffee machines:

       Extremely easy to use. Even on the busiest mornings there will be time for a cup of delicious coffee.

       Easy transportation. The appliance is convenient to take for holidays or weekends outside the home. However, make sure that the coffee capsules are placed next to the appliance. Without them, capsule coffee machines will not be able to perform their function, and ground coffee is not suitable here.

       Variety of flavours and coffee types - easy to choose for everyone. Late, cappuccino, black coffee, espresso, ristretto, macchiato - capsule coffee makers will prepare whatever drink you want.

Maintenance features: To enjoy good coffee every day, do not forget to clean it and descale it regularly. Descaling is required approximately every 3 months or every 400 cups. Also, be sure to discard and recycle the empty capsule after use.

Small, but functional and convenient capsule coffee machines are the best friends for those who rush out of the house every morning. Recommended for those who spend less time at home, but have a free minute and enjoy good coffee.

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