When my husband and I visited Italy our favorite thing to do was go to a corner shop and have a cup of espresso. We loved the look of the old fashioned espresso machines and especially the taste of espresso. We knew that when we got home we'd want to be able to recreate this experience. That meant that we'd have to purchase an Italian espresso machine.
We'd also have to learn the best type of coffee to use. Espresso machines work somewhat like typical drip machines, except that the water in an espresso machine is forced through at high pressure, and the coffee used to make espresso is very finely ground, almost as fine as powdered sugar. One thing we were surprised to find out was that espresso contains less caffeine than drip coffee. Caffeine levels in a cup of coffee is determined by the length of time the water sits on the coffee while brewing. Since espresso water is forced through the coffee in about 25 seconds there isn't as much time for caffeine to develop.
We also learned that some espresso machine manufacturers require you to use “softened" water in their machines and will void warranties for problems caused by using hard water in the machines.
There are many different manufacturers of Italian espresso machines. Some of them are Vittoria Express, Saeco, Alessi and La Pavoni . My husband and I wanted a classic “lever and pump" espresso maker so we looked at the line from La Pavoni. We shopped the La Pavoni domestic line. They offer several different models within this line, Europiccola, Professional, Stradivari, and Romantica. Their domestic line also has several pod espresso makers, the Lamborghini, the Micropod Steam and the Profipod Steam.
We loved the classic look of the Europiccola line. Nothing is more Italian to us than a brass and copper espresso maker. These Italian espresso makers run between $1,300 and $1,500.
Another brand of espresso maker that we looked at was Elektra. Again, they are level models, unmistakably Italian. Elektra has some beautiful semi-commercial family espresso machines. You can choose from copper and brass, chrome, chrome and brass and chrome and Murano glass lever machines. They also offer copper and brass and chrome Verticale machines. The Verticale machines run about $2,300. The semi-professional machines run between $1,400 and $2,100.
We're so glad that we purchased an Italian espresso maker. We can relive our wonderful vacation anytime we want now, and our friends and family enjoy the fresh espresso too.
Learn about Italian espresso machines and other items for your kitchen at busy-kitchen.com