There are many domestic espresso coffee machines available on the market in Australia. The difficulty for the consumer is deciding what to choose for their individual needs.
It is important when choosing a coffee machine that the consumer has an idea of what they would like to buy and why.
Always follow some basic steps or rules, the same as if you were purchasing a blender or another kitchen appliance.
- Check that the brand is made by a reputable company and has national distribution throughout Australia.
- That it has a nationally approved parts and labour warranty (minimum 12 months).
- After the warranty has expired, check there is a repair service available within Australia and that it is not too costly (when compared with other coffee machines).
- The equipment you decide to purchase should be user-friendly and easy to operate, service, clean and repair.
- The build quality of the equipment should be of a high standard.
- Price isn’t everything, so consider the inexpensive models as well as the most expensive by doing your research.
The three domestic espresso machines that I am reviewing and comparing are quite different from one another.
The De'Longhi fully automatic domestic espresso machine
This is the most expensive of the three machines reviewed here but the only one that is fully automatic with an internal grinder, a cleaning cycle and a portion control panel (which can be programmed and changed).
This style or type of espresso machine is very popular with the consumer, judging by department stores sales and is very easy to operate because it is almost fully automated.
The KitchenAid manually operated domestic espresso machine
This is a manually operated espresso machine, which means the consumer needs to understand how to prepare and brew the coffee properly. Its design is based on the commercial espresso coffee machines you would normally see in your local café.
This espresso machine is designed to look great in your kitchen and is simple to operate once you have mastered the technique of coffee making.
The Atomic manually operated espresso machine and stove top brewer
This is the least expensive, the sturdiest and smallest of the three machines reviewed. It has been around since the 1950s.
Very popular amongst old-school coffee consumers because of its simplicity and reliability. It operates similarly to a caffettiera (Italian stove top brewer) but has an external filtering system (a group handle with a filter basket).
Which coffee machine to buy
All three espresso coffee machines have steam wands and the ability to heat and froth milk.
All three machines have water reservoirs that need to be filled.
The De`Longhi and the KitchenAid are electrical and need to be plugged in. The Atomic is a stovetop brewer.
The De`Longhi is the only coffee machine reviewed which can accept either coffee beans or ground coffee. The other two machines can only accept ground coffee when brewing.
All three coffee machines need to be cleaned after brewing coffee but the De` Longhi has a programmable cleaning cycle system.
All three coffee machines produce a “crema” (the golden-brown mousse), while extracting and brewing the coffee but the Atomic has the least crema of the three.
All coffee brewed from the machines was syrupy, concentrated and reasonably strong.