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Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive

An espresso machine is a device that is specially designed to produce espresso drinks. Espresso is the mixture that results from passing hot and pressurized water through a compact layer of finely ground coffee. This process requires specially made high-quality espresso machines. However, most of the espresso machines are not cheap. An effective espresso machine should have the ability to regulate the pressure and temperature of water effectively, and this requires high-quality materials that are expensive. Over time, the price of espresso machines has been reducing, but here are the specific attributes of why are espresso machines so expensive.

Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive

  • An espresso machine should effectively regulate the temperature of the water.

Water temperatures have a direct impact on how your cup of espresso is going to taste. For this, espresso machines should be capable of keeping water temperatures high and within a specific range effectively. To maintain water temperatures high and within the range, espresso machines require a PID controller. A PID controller is a device that helps to maintain temperatures within a specified range effectively. PID controllers are expensive, and this causes the price of espresso machines to go up as well.

  • Espresso machines are made from expensive materials.

The cost of production determines the price of the end product. The materials used to make espresso machines are high cost, which pushes up the price of espresso machines. Keeping water under high pressure and being subjected to high pressure, stresses espresso machines. Thus, the materials used in making espresso machines should be able to withstand the conditions in order to maintain high steams without causing any dangers effectively.

Espresso machines are made of materials made from stainless steel. The boiler and pump used to maintain high temperatures should be quality tested and maintain high standards. They should be highly effective to avoid becoming a hazard.

  • Target customers are willing to buy them.

Espresso machines are costly because people are willing to purchase them. Most espresso machine customers are cafes and coffee shops that need the machine as an investment to earn more money. They focus more on effectiveness and quality instead of the price of the machine, and they are willing to spend a lot of money on purchasing the machine.

  • Production of espresso coffee machines is done in small quantities

Demand for espresso machines is not that high, like pod machines, since they require a lot more effort to use. Due to the low requirement, espresso machines are produced in small batches, which make the producers not to enjoy the benefit of economies of scale associated with large scale production. This makes manufacturing costs to be high, and therefore higher prices are charged on the machine.

  • Most espresso machines are hand-made

Espresso machines require frequent repairs and maintenance since the high temperatures and pressure may keep damaging the machine despite the use of high quality materials. This makes it hard to automate the production process, thus require a lot of human labor, which is expensive.

History Of Espresso And The First Espresso Machine

In 1884 a steam-driven, coffee beverage making machine was patented by Angelo Moriondo, an Italian from Turin. The machine brewed in bulk, unlike the modern espresso machines, which make individual servings. Seventeen years later, several improvements were made on the espresso machine in 1901 by the Milanese engineer Luigi Bezzera. This gave rise to espresso, which means "strong coffee made under high pressure." The improved machine was granted a patent number in June 1902. In 1903, Luigi sold the patent rights to the Italian industrialist Desiderio Pavoni, the founder of La Pavoni company, which industrially manufactured the machine, with one machine daily production.

In the 1920s, other inventions like Victoria Arduino and tower-like Pavoni coffee makers were developed and became popular in Italian coffee joints. They spread through to Europe and America making espresso coffee culture popular. In 1947, Achille Gaggia started the production of semi-automated coffee machines. In 1971, Faema produced a coffee machine which passed water through coffee grounds using an electric pump, steaming milk at the same time.

History Of Espresso And The First Espresso Machine

What Makes Espresso Machines So Expensive

Espresso machines define coffee beans' character and taste using quality equipment, pressure, pumps, and specifications. It is quite an evidence that the higher the price of espresso machines, the higher the quality of coffee it makes. There are some unique features associated with espresso machines, and they will help us to understand; why are espresso machines so expensive.

Research and development

Espresso machines have a long history characterized by intense research and development. This has helped the machines to advance, leading to increase in prices.

Quality

Espresso machines are made from high-quality materials such as stainless steel, brass, and metal, which are expensive. Espresso machines are of high quality and are made to give effective and stable temperatures. Producers use lower-cost materials to make the case, frame, and interior parts of espresso machines to reduce their cost.

Industrial plastics that are used to make the frames of espresso machines does not affect the quality of production, but they do not last long enough. Semi-automatic and manual espresso machines give high-quality espresso at a lower cost.

Brand name

Brand names are a valuable additional feature. Some brands have exclusivity affixed to the label, escalating the prices.

Digital display

Digital display machines are made of high-quality materials and have stable temperatures, making the process easier. The display has special features like; shot timers, on & off settings, a delay before infusion, cleaning settings, water temperature adjustments, equipment diagnostics, and filter placement guides.

Adjustable brewing temperature

Some espresso machines are fitted with special automated features to regulate temperatures and the boiler. The regulators give control over the brewing temperatures and help prevent temperature fluctuations.

Temperature adjustment – separate groups

Modern espresso machines have temperature control settings. This makes it possible to brew multiple espressos from one machine at the same time. This feature gives full control over the brewing temperatures and makes it easy to serve more than one coffee profile. Machines with this feature are made of high-quality materials, unique design, a digital display, and multiple barista control settings.

Constant pressure and profiling

Constant pressure and profiling features are very important, and they serve to make espresso machines more valuable. Some low-cost espresso machines could be lacking these features. New models are made with this feature that enables consumers to customize their pressure profile.

These advancements and the use of new technologies on espresso machines have made the prices to rise. Sophisticated electronic and mechanical internal structures have taken espresso to the higher end.

Different Types Of Espresso Machines?

Types of Espresso Machines

The main distinguishing factor in the types of expresso makers is the ease of use. Here are four major types of espresso making machines;

Manual espresso maker

Manual espresso machines are made for people who can add a little more effort into their espresso. Manual espresso makers give you full control over the entire process of espresso shots making, which pays off by giving a perfect shot. It takes some time to learn, and if you do not do everything right, you can easily screw your espresso.

Some manual espresso machines have a spring piston lever design while others a direct lever design, which requires more work. Manual espresso machines are expensive, but if you put in the extra work, they give a great espresso shot, which makes up for the high cost.

PROS:

  • Production of great-tasting and high-quality espresso shots.
  • One has full control over the espresso producing process.
  • Looks appealing on your countertop.
  • They are long-lasting.

CONS:

  • High purchase cost.
  • Easy to mess up
  • Recommended for highly experienced baristas.

Semi-automatic espresso maker

Semi-automatic espresso machines are the most popular in the coffee industry today. They are equipped with electric pumps that make them easier to use compared to manual machines. Semi-automatic espresso machines give you some control over the brewing process but not as much control as the manual counterparts. Some semi-automatic machines are cheaper than the manual ones.

PROS:

  • Easier to use than manual machines.
  • Give high-level control.
  • Produce tasty and high-quality shots of espresso.
  • There are affordable, good quality models.

CONS:

  • Some models are not cost friendly.
  • They are complicated to use.

Fully automatic espresso maker

Fully automatic espresso machines are made with an electronic pump. The machine is also made to automate the amount and delivery of water during the espresso brewing process. Due to the automated features, the machine is easier to use than semi-automatic machines, although it requires some hand controls that influence the shots produced. The prices of fully automated espresso machines have a wide range, from affordable to highly expensive.

PROS:

  • They are easy to use
  • Have pocket, friendly models

CONS:

  • Due to the many automated features, the machine is prone to breakages.
  • They give less control over the outcome of the espresso shots.
  • Some models are too expensive.

Super-automatic espresso maker

With super-automatic espresso makers, there are no hand controls needed making it the easiest to use. This unit has made espresso-making easy. All that is required of you is to add your coffee grounds and just press a button. The machine does not require any specialized learning or experience to make espresso shots. Espresso shots made from this machine are good for people who do not pay detailed attention to flavors.

PROS:

  • It is the easiest to use
  • Has built-in grinders and programmable settings
  • Does not require specialized learning or experience to use
  • No mess up

CONS:

  • Lack of control
  • They are more expensive than other espresso machines.

Why Are (Auto-drip) Coffee Makers So Much Cheaper

Drip coffee makers are very popular and are highly demanded in the market, and they are manufactured in large numbers giving the manufacturer the benefit of economies of scale. This reduces the cost of production, which in turn reduces the cost price. Drip coffee is made by pouring hot water over roasted coffee beans with a coarse grind, hence do not require sophisticated, high-quality materials to make the auto-drip coffee machine. The manufacturing process of auto-drip coffee makers is automated and requires less human labor than expresso coffee makers.

FAQs

What is the price of an espresso machines cost?

The price of espresso machines is defined and influenced by multiple factors. The price will then vary depending on what kind of machine you are looking for and what kind of espresso shots you aim at producing. If you care about tastes and quality in your espresso shots, then the cost will dig deep into your pockets since high-quality espressos come with a higher cost. If all you want are just shots to get you through the day, there are cost-friendly models.

Is it worth to buy an expensive espresso machine?

The answer is yes; with such machines, coffee recipes can be varied. With the digital display, one can create several consumer profiles, save recipes, and make brews by pressing buttons. The machines do not require any skilled expertise. The machines are self-diagnostic hence do not bother with maintenance needs. Some machines have been modernized and can be linked to smartphones for remote controls.

What is the difference between ordinary coffee and expresso?

Espresso making machines and regular coffee making machines do not work the same way. Espresso is made by passing hot and pressurized water through the finely ground coffee, and it pours in a cup put below a porta-filter. In contrast, drip coffee is made by pouring hot water over coarse roasted coffee beans.  Due to the highly pressurized water, espresso is brewed at a shorter time compared to regular coffee. Espresso is also richer in taste and flavor compared to regular coffee. Espresso boasts of higher coffee concentrations, and it has a thicker texture. Espresso has higher caffeine levels than regular coffee.

Conclusion  

Regardless of the espresso machine that you settle for, and choose to buy, you will always get a higher quality and tastier brew that is better than what you will make with an ordinary coffee maker. Despite espresso having higher caffeine levels than regular coffee, the standard servings of espresso shots contain less caffeine than regular drip coffee serving.

References

How to Buy An Espresso Machine: Compactappliance

Espresso: Wikipedia

 

Danny Hills

My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.

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