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When buying your first home espresso machine, there are a few things you need to take into account.

First determine your needs, how much space you have, what your budget is and for how many persons the espresso machine is intended. Some can be pre-programmed, others only work with pods, capsules, ground coffee or all three, while some even work with whole beans, when they have a built-in grinder.

In this article we will focus on the espresso machines that work with ground coffee, because they leave you more flexibility as to the quality of coffee you can choose.


To make an excellent cup of true italian coffee with your espresso machine check the following technical details:

1. temperature of the water produced by the machine  should be at 90° C (195'F).

Note that a variation of only 2° (3.6') may cause your espresso to be either too strong or too weak.

2. the pressure produced by the expresso machine should be equal to 9 bar (less is not enough to make a good espresso, but a higher pressure can be equally damaging to the quality of your espresso).

3. the espresso should take 25 sec to be ready. Five seconds more or less may result in a coffee that is either too bitter or insipid.
How to select a good
espresso machine

Enjoy your espresso !
4. the coffee must be grinded fine, but not too fine. The commercially pre-grinded coffee for espresso machines usually has the correct ground. Coffee grinded on demand, like in some coffee shops, is sometimes grinded too fine. The ground should be nearly powder-fine but not as fine as icing sugar, for example. If the ground is too fine, the coffee will migrate together with the water and produce a coffee similar to a turkish coffee (where you have to wait untill the coffee ground settles to the bottom of the cup before you can drink it !) instead of an espresso.
See also:
How to make the real Italian coffee
The italian way of drinking coffee
Types of Italian Coffee

5. use about 25 cc (1 tb spoon) of ground coffee per cup and press the coffee down lightly and evenly. Again, if pressed too hard the coffee may become too strong; if not pressed enough, it will be too weak.
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