Espresso is a concentrated form of coffee that is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee at a high pressure.
In order to force water through fine-ground coffee, espresso machines use pressure that comes from heating water inside a sealed vessel. Some machines a pump driven, while others are steam driven. Pump driven machines generate more consistent pressure at optimal brewing temperature. Most commercial grade machines are pump driven. A steam driven machine is most common at lower-end of consumer market.
Espresso machines can be bought from around $30 up to many thousands - and there are even variations of espresso machine made especially for camping trips. All machines work on same basic principles.
Finding Right Espresso Machine for You
Making a quality espresso drink is an art form. Fortunately, options are available that match your skill level - or desire for ease of use. Some machines will do everything for you. Other espresso machines require a high level of operator skill and interaction. Tip your barista well!
It's important to consider various elements involved. You may want supreme simplicity in a home espresso machine - insert espresso pod, push go, wait 45 seconds and enjoy.
Or you may be in market for a commercial grade machine which requires a commercial grade grinder, direct plumbing and electrical.
Why buy an espresso machine?
You might be a little shocked and surprised when you start your espresso machine shopping adventure. These machines aren't cheap! Not good ones anyway.