The first thing to do is decide what you need to get from the coffee maker in general.
Suppose you are a lover of only espresso or large coffee. In that case, you can immediately “remove” models of coffee machines that have a system of automatic or automated frothing (frothing) of milk for the drink “cappuccino” and its derivatives.
And if you change your mind, virtually all modern manual espresso coffee makers can whip milk for cappuccino using steam.
If you like to be directly involved in making drinks or if the budget for the purchase is significantly limited, you should pay attention to the “camp” of traditional (manual, carob) espresso coffee makers. This type of coffee machine usually looks like this:
and usually consists of the coffee maker itself and the filter holder (horn, holder, portafilter). The cooking process is seemingly simple: we put a portion of ground coffee in the filter, ram it (if the preparation process for this model of the coffee maker provides it), and install (usually tightened by turning to the right or left) into the brewing group. Then we start the espresso brewing process (buttons, lever, touch control). And we get an espresso at the exit.
Among home manual coffee makers, there are also varieties in structure and, accordingly, in the details of the brewing process:
a) coffee makers with a valve in the filter holder or the filter itself (it is also called a pressure valve) – they make it easier to obtain stable foam (creams) for espresso and make the preparation process more friendly towards “newcomers to espresso,” but this very simplification is not possible to get an espresso for “5 points” due to its design features – we recommend this type of traditional espresso coffee makers only for beginners or for those who will not delve into the process of making espresso drinks
b) coffee makers without any “enhancer” or “facilitator” – the whole process of preparation and success in a cup depends at least half on the correct or incorrect actions of the operator himself. It is important here to choose the right grinding quality and the size of the coffee portion for a particular filter, correctly tamp the ground coffee (with the correct pressure), etc. This option provides for a set of “correct” coffee accessories for an espresso coffee maker – at least a high-quality tamper (rammer) for tamping ground coffee in a holder (portafilter) filter. We recommend this type of coffee machine to enthusiasts in the world of espresso, and people keen on coffee topics, and perfectionists who want to get an espresso drink at home like a minimum “4+”. We advise you to pay attention to the models with a solenoid valve on the group, which will allow you to more professionally clean the group and get a drier (easy to eject) tablet of used ground coffee after preparation.