Non-Pump vs Pump Espresso Machines: Everything You Need to Know

For some coffee drinkers, all espresso machines are the same: they make espresso. But for the more discerning coffee lover, this isn't the case, particularly those who brew their own coffee at home. In fact, there are a few types of espresso makers, each producing varying qualities of espresso. One of the biggest differences between espresso machines is whether or not it is pump-driven, as espresso is made by pushing hot water through ground coffee. There are three main types of espresso machine: lever-driven, steam-driven and pump-driven. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on steam-driven and pump-driven machines, as they are the most common types found on the market today.

Firstly – what makes a good espresso?

[caption id="attachment_6414" align="alignnone" width="2560"]espresso being extracted from a coffee machine Observe the frothy thickness of the crema. Photo from Blake Richard Verdoorn[/caption] How you make your espresso has a significant impact on the quality of your brew, especially the type of espresso machine you use. One of the ways to measure your espresso’s quality is through the crema produced – you should aim to get crema that is foamy and golden. But do note that some coffee beans contain less oil, which results in less crema. Taste-wise, a well-pulled espresso will have the perfect combination of bitterness, sweetness and acidity.
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