My steam powered Krups machine died. It went BOOM, the glass carafe broke, the cat jumped about 3 feet backwards, and the machine never made coffee again. It lasted maybe 15 years, but not all those years was I a daily coffee drinker.
The internet said my steam powered machine wasn’t really an espresso machine because it produced low pressure steam. I kind of agree, my drip machine often produced better tasting coffee. But ignorance was bliss and it made better coffee than Folger’s instant.
I’ve read tons of consumer reviews. My conclusion is that all espresso machines have limited lives and can fail at any time. So I have to pay attention to the quality of the retailer to make sure they have take backs or service. And warranties. And maintenance. Because the machines submerge parts in water, over time the water will try to destroy your machine. Machines differentiate themselves based on what strategy they use to resist the water.
I’ve watched a ton of espresso movies posted by ordinary people on youtube. This has got to be a most peculiar variety of movie. Many of them are video complaints about an espresso machine that broke, the rest are tutorials and show-offs. There are about 30 factoids you need to absorb to make reasonable espresso. O r so they say. Many people are inadvertently showing off the fact that they don’t known the customary recommendations for making espresso.
I’ve learned that espresso machines can take a long time to warm up and can use a lot of electricity, but it a lot for a short time, so it still doesn’t amount to a lot compared to the dryer, electric stove, and heaters.
I’ve learned my blade grinder is probably making my coffee worse. Blade grinders create chunks and powder, burr grinders create a lot of coffee particles the same size.
I’ve learned that the most common number used to differentiate espresso machines at home goods store is a crock. All espresso machines, (except mokka and steam) brew at about 8-12 bar, usually the lower of that range.
I’ve learned that espresso machines all have the same design, but vary by parameters. This is great for the industry, they can serve consumer niches from coffee shops to gourmets to nitwits with too much money. Now comes the big question: what niche am I in?