Espresso Machine Buying Guide

Espresso Machine Buying Guide

Espresso, your way


     There is nothing in life quite as satisfying as that perfectly pulled, velvety silky smooth shot of espresso. The crema, artfully cresting the top of the bitter yet satisfying coffee beneath it. And espresso’s thrill does not cease once you get in that nice pull of coffee. The countless espresso-based beverages to be expertly crafted is also part of the fun! Now to get a really perfect espresso, one needs the perfect machine. We have highlighted what are some qualities that make an espresso machine worthwhile to add to your café or kitchen appliance set and also offer a few choice selections from Comiso Coffee to choose from, too!


What are you in the market for?


So when considering what espresso machine is ideal, it's important to consider what kind of specs work best for you. While this may sound obvious, it is important to rank which of the following are the most important to you in an espresso machine:

  • Size: How much counter space can you spare for your desired machine?
  • Cost: Of course this one is paramount!
  • Ease of use: Are you looking for a user friendly machine for first timer espresso maestros or are you a seasoned barista who enjoys a more complicated and detailed piece of equipment?
  • Aesthetic: Design plays a bigger role than many of us would like to admit when we buy new equipment! Some just want an espresso machine that does its job while others want something that also matches the design of the kitchen or café, too.
  • Purpose: By which we mean is your machine for your personal or home use or is this a machine for your business?


Varieties of machines


There are a few different types of machines to choose from out there. And picking the right one is half the fun. So once you have navigated the variables above, next you can choose which of the three main machine types are ready for brewin'!

Super- Automatic Espresso Machines


Talk about ease of use, all these bad boys need is coffee beans and water. The rest is up to the touch of a button. What a world we live in! The grinder is also built in for most super-automatic machines. Some machines also have milk frothing attachments or compatible attachments that can be purchased separately later. This ease of use does however have the drawback of limiting the control you have on your shots. And what they trade in convenient espresso shots they make up for with complicated internal mechanics and sometimes require more extensive shelf space, too. But have no fear of low quality espresso, these machines are true maestros themselves, albeit of the mechanical rather than human variety! When it comes to maintenance, be aware that this is a complex machine and one in need of serious care if a component doesn’t work or is damaged. Here at Comiso Coffee, we offer some superb options on super-automatic machines:

Buona Mattina Single Automatic Espresso Machine - This item produces only the finest espresso consistently each and every time. Starring a sharp LCD display screen and state of the art water pressure technology, the Buona Mattina is guaranteed to provide you with, well, a buona mattina (Good morning)!


La Pavoni Rapido Espresso Machine - Featuring the use of coffee pods as opposed to grounds, this machine takes convenience to a whole other level. Rapido is right in the name for this machine.


La Pavoni Primo Espresso Machine - Another glorious item from La Pavoni, the paper pods that fuel this machine take grounds out of the equation and provide you with only the finest, most consistent and simplest method of high quality espresso around. And have no fear of pod waste, as these are special paper pods rather than those pernicious plastic and tin coffee pod cups!

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines


The semi-automatic espresso machine allows a bit more freedom and dexterity for its users. Featuring an electric brewing pump, a semi-automatic espresso machine still provides a comparatively convenient level of use but one still requiring some creativity and manual activity from the barista. Just like automatic machines, extra accouterments like milk frothing attachments can also be equipped on this type of machine. This machine is for those who like a flexible brewing experience with a minimal to moderate level of mechanical maintenance. Some of our personal favorites include:

Elektra Mini Verticale Espresso Machine - Coming in a classic silver or imperial gold the Elektra Mini Verticale is a true virtuoso of the semi-automatic variety of espresso machines. Removable parts like the drip tray and water reservoir are conducive to maintaining an exquisite machine year round!


La Pavoni Bar T-Espresso Machine - Another classic and chic machine outfitted with two levers for multiple espresso pulls. The color options for La Pavoni are also superb and can brighten or class up any bar or cafe's interior.


Vibiemme Domobar Double Boiler Espresso Machine - An incredible espresso machine equipped with some key features! The built-in milk frother is guaranteed to prepare the ideal cappuccino!

Manual Lever Espresso Machines


Here is a machine for the brewing virtuosos out there. The manual lever type machines often have a lovely and minimalist design and generally take up the least amount of space and also generally have the least amount of mechanical parts compared to their more automatic cousins. But they also require a great deal of precision, skill and technique on your part as the barista. This type of machine is for those who are interested in more of a challenge when it comes to brewing and that oh so satisfying feeling of pulling the perfect shot of espresso! For the curious tea lovers out there who may have been curiously eyeing an espresso machine or two, compare the Manual Lever machines to the preparation of matcha. It requires more skill, precision and focus than typical pot brewing, but the end result is more than worth it! Here are some keen choices we have on offer for those in the market for a manual lever espresso machine. Or those who are just looking:

Bezzera Strega Espresso Machine - "Strega" is Italian for "witch" and just as witches use their magic to conjure up fantastic brews and elixirs, so too can you pull otherworldly shots of espresso. This machine works like magic, eye-of-newt not required!


La Pavoni Grande Bellezza Espresso Machine - La Pavoni produces another exceptional piece of equipment featuring a rest button, a bottomless portafilter and even handy demonstration videos. This is one manual machine you should not pass up on.


Elektra S1 Microcasa Lever Espresso Machine - Elektra's superb unit has a very, very impressive list of specs and features. All of which contribute to an exceptional pull of espresso that will turn your espresso game from novice to expert in no time! Elektra models come featuring an eagle with its wings up.


Espresso, for you!

Espresso, for you!


Picking an espresso machine is no quick or simple task! But by zeroing in on the many diverse machines on the market, one can start to figure out which machine is ideal for them and their needs. Whether your machine will be a centerpiece for a cafe, a savior for designated drivers at the bar or pub, or a daily ritual item for your morning wake-up routines, Comiso Coffee has the machine for you!

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