Review: Best Built Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Review: Best Built Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
The “Best of the Best” Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
There are several categories, or types, of the espresso and cappuccino maker. At the top of the list is the “super automatic espresso and cappuccino maker”.
They could change the name of this category to the “super awesomeautomatic espresso and cappuccino maker”. That’s an even better description. And standing at the top of the heap is what I consider to be the best quality all-round machine, the Gaggia Plantium Vision.
Espresso With Just the Touch of a Button
As it would seem, this machine does nearly everything you need to do to create a delicious shot of espresso, completely on its own, at the touch of a button. It will fresh-grind your chosen roasted whole bean coffee; it’s going to determine the correct quantity of freshly ground coffee to be used to brew your espresso; it will heat the water to the precise temperature that you have pre-set; based on which kind of drink you’re making the machine will determine the exact volume of water to use; and then, when everything is just right, it will pump the water through the brew group with just the proper amount of pressure and voila, the most perfect shot of espresso! And finally, this espresso and cappuccino maker will move the used grounds to the used grounds dump box where you can toss them out when the machine tells you to. Automatically. And you only pressed one button!
That $4 a Day Coffee Habit is Getting Pretty Expensive
An increasing number of cappuccino, latte, and espresso lovers are becoming more cognizant of the cost of their daily fix (sometimes 2 x daily), but they have become very attached to the good quality and taste of brewed espresso drinks from their beloved neighborhood caffè joint, even Starbucks. So they are choosing instead to make their own delicious espresso drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos, at home, and for a fraction of the cost, by buying their own espresso and cappuccino maker.
Today’s high tech, superbly designed, and well-crafted European espresso and cappuccino maker provides the home barista with the equipment that they need to create delicious espresso drinks every bit as good–no better!–than what they used to pay $5 or more for at Starbucks.
You will get dizzy investigating the many different brands and styles of espresso and cappuccino makers made by different companies. But beware, because not all brands are of the same quality. This can make it relatively hard to decide which kind of machine is the best for you.
After over twenty years of being a self-proclaimed espresso enthusiast, and multiple thousands of espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos, I believe that I am sufficiently qualified to make a recommendation of a very high quality, superbly engineered, and finely crafted espresso and cappuccino maker: the Gaggia Platinum Vision.
Here follows a summary of the type of features which can be found on these “best of the best” automatic espresso and cappuccino makers:
The LCD display on this espresso and cappuccino maker will show you in simple English what’s going on when using the machine, and even what needs to be carried out, such as adding water, adding beans, or emptying the dump container.
This can be one more method to fine-tune the flavor of your espresso. This feature allows you to adjust how fine, or how coarse you grind your coffee beans. Should you grind your coffee too fine you will usually get a coffee which may be bitter; too coarse and your coffee is going to be weak.
This feature enables you to “fine tune” your espresso beverages. By changing the amount of grounds used for each espresso shot you can control the strength and flavor of your coffee.
Water Quantity Control
This function means that you can automatically control the volume of water that is to be used in making whatever type of espresso beverage you’re making, from an espressos to a crèma.
Pre-Moistening the Ground Coffee
Before the beginning of the brew cycle the grounds are lightly moistened. Doing so will begin to leach out the flavorful and fragrant oils in the coffee to allow them to be more fully extracted while in the brew process.
This really is terrific engineering. The temperature that you brew espresso at is a lot lower than the temperature necessary to froth milk for a cappuccino. With single boiler systems you will have to wait around after you have brewed your coffee to allow the water to heat up to the correct temperature for frothing. This can be an inconvenient delay that is avoided with the double boiler system. Faster and hotter lattes and cappuccinos!
If you like your espresso piping hot you’ll be able to get it piping hot! Don’t set it too hot though. Espresso is typically brewed at a lower temperature than regular drip coffee since the process depends more on pressure than heat to extract the flavor from the coffee beans.
This programmable feature on this espresso and cappuccino maker will begin grinding beans and moving them to the brew group so they are prepared for the following shot.
Espresso is better when brewed straight into a warm cup. Considering the fact that espresso is brewed at a lower temperature than drip coffee, brewing into a cold cup will result in your coffee becoming, perhaps, cooler than you would like it.
This can be a pretty useful feature. It enables you to make a cup of coffee using pre-ground beans (perhaps decaf for example) by placing the grounds into the “by-pass” tube.
Why I Recommend the Gaggia Platinum Vision Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Where exactly was espresso “first created”? Italy! So where do you believe the best espresso machines are produced? That’s right, Italy! The Italians have perfected both the science and art of making the perfect shot of espresso. Milan, Italy, is home to the production facilities of Gaggia S.p.A, where Italian craftsmen and craftswomen help to make and build these amazing machines. Women and men who are themselves espresso lovers. This machine originates from the same country that engineers and makes the worlds best and most expensive sports cars. An espresso and cappuccino maker that is fully automatic – The Ferrari of espresso machines!
At the push of a button your espresso will begin brewing using freshly ground beans. Within an impressively short space of time you can be sipping a satisfying, rich espresso coffee topped with a gloriously thick crèma, just the way the Italians make it. Perfect each and every time. Just like you would get it in Italy. And away to work (or play!) you go. You’ve got your cappuccino in hand, no crowds of people, absolutely no waiting in line, no paper cups. Cappuccinos just seem to taste better when you don’t have to deal with throngs of people and lines.