Coffee Machine Buying Guide – Step 1: The Class

Rocket Premium Plus Giotto v2 3If you’re buying your first espresso machine you may be slightly taken aback by the huge range available. We have a lot of customers that come into our showroom who give us the same answer: “I just want one that makes good coffee”. Well we’re taking this as a given, but there is far more to consider:

Which type of espresso machine do you need?

There are four main classes of coffee machine:

Manual Coffee Machines – Manual espresso machines (often referred to as lever espresso machines) offer a completely hands on espresso making experience. You control everything from temperature to dose size to extraction speed. These machines require a lot of practice and are arguably best left to the experienced barista.

Semi-Automatic Coffee Machines – These will feature an automated pump, temperature controls, activation and de-activation switches. You will have some control over the subtleties of your espresso but you will need some practice before you can start producing café quality espresso. (Probably not necessary for solely milk based coffee drinkers).

Automatic Machines – These will feature a pump, automated temperature controls for the boiler and automated pre-set dosing volumes.
Super-Automatic Machines – These intelligent machines do everything for you at the press of a button. Grind, dose, tamp, brew and even steam milk. This is a completely hands-off machine that does it all.

There is also a little sub-class or coffee or pod espresso machines. These are generally designed to be compact, cheap options for your home, the coffee is very drinkable without being delicious but the process is incredibly simple.

For the best balance between hands on and assistance we find that most of our customers will go for a Semi-Automatic or Automatic machine. These both give you the feeling of actually ‘making’ your own coffee without the potential disaster of manual machines.
Great examples of these are the Sunbeam Café Series EM7000, Rancilio Silvia or for the true barista the Giotto Rocket range.

If you want to get the most out of your new machine there are several coffee making classes in Perth that can teach you everything from the basics to latte art.

For large scale operations where you are mass producing coffee, such as office or mass catering, you may want to go for a large Super-Automatic machine. For a full bean to cup machine we recommend Jura machines in general. An alternative option is the Technosystem pod coffee machines. These are one of very few large pod coffee machines on the market.

For a balance between volume and quality you will want a dual group machine. There are too many options, variations and requirements to cover here but please feel free to call our team on 08 9330 1577 for some free advice.

How much do you want to spend?

This may seem like an obvious point but is actually quite a stumbling block. Coffee machines vary hugely in price depending on style, output and most importantly, quality. For example a top of the range café quality machine can cost around $25,000 whilst a small capsule machine can be as cheap as $100. As a general rule of thumb a good quality semi-automatic or automatic machine will cost between $700-$2,000 while super-automatic coffee machines can coast anything from $1,000-$10,000.