Coffee Machine Buying Guide

Welcome from me, Paul, owner of K Bean Coffee Machines, Melbourne. I supply Italian coffee machines for home at the Best Prices in Australia along with Free Training, Online Guides and Premium Support.

I have designed this Buying Guide to help you to choose the best coffee machine for your home. Please read through then take a look at my Recommended Coffee Machines

How to Choose the Best Coffee Machine for Home

When it comes to finding the best home coffee machine, manual coffee machines from Italy have you covered. These machines are capable of making magnificent coffee in the hands of a trained operator. By trained I mean “attended my free home barista training session” or “read my online guides and workflows” then followed the steps. The simplicity of the Italian coffee machine experience surprises almost everyone.

This guide will help you to focus in on the best espresso coffee machine for your home. Italian coffee machines are a long way ahead of the crowd when you consider the 3 critical factors:

  • Performance (in-the-cup results)

  • Quality (build quality & durability)

  • Experience (usability and aesthetics)

Performance (in the cup results) is a key influencer when choosing a home coffee machine. Another is quality. Don’t be blinded by shiny panels. Look beneath the surface and to find out and what is going on inside. And don’t forget about the user experience. Who wants a perfect cup of coffee from a poor quality coffee machine that breaks down every 2-3 years and isn’t any fun to use? Not me.

With a little guidance you can find a coffee espresso machine that ticks all three boxes - Performance, Quality, Experience - then you can head off on the home barista pathway with the best coffee machine for your home.

Types of Italian Coffee Machines

Single Boiler coffee machines have one small boiler that is set to brew temperature for pulling shots, then with a flick of a switch, the boiler temperature increases to get the machine ready to steam milk. These can certainly make great coffee, but toggling between brew and steam temperatures can be fiddly so I always recommend stretching to a heat exchanger espresso machine if you can.

How does a single boiler coffee machines work? This single boiler coffee machine schematic will help Italian coffee machine buyers to understand how manual Italian single boiler coffee machines work and why Italian coffee single boiler machines are a great choice for home espresso

Heat exchanger coffee machines have one large boiler that is set to steam temperature. For brewing coffee, water is pumped through a heat exchanger to pick up heat on-the-run. These are a great choice as they let you brew and steam at the same time and most come with the an E61 group for thermal stability along with gentle brew pressure ramp up. For great coffee there is no need to go any further.

How does a heat exchanger coffee machines work? This heat exchanger (HX) coffee machine schematic will help Italian coffee machine buyers to understand how manual Italian single boiler coffee machines work and why heat exchanger coffee single boiler machines are a great choice for home espresso.

Dual boiler coffee machines have a small brew boiler and a large steam boiler. In the past people looked to dual boiler espresso machines for the best in brew temperature stability. However, many modern heat exchanger machines with E61 groups can achieve similar stability. With this in mind I generally recommend high end heat exchanger coffee machines as these cost less and are just as effective at delivery quality coffee.

How does a dual boiler coffee machines work? This dual boiler coffee machine schematic will help Italian coffee machine buyers to understand how manual Italian dual boiler coffee machines work and why dual boiler coffee single boiler machines are a great choice for home espresso.

5 Best Coffee Machines for Home

Choosing the best Italian coffee machine for you home can be daunting, as many machines look similar, and even comparing specs can be like splitting hairs. The truth is that to get an understanding of the quality of these machines it really helps if you can feel, see and hear them. Understanding what lies beneath the shiny panels is also important.

You won’t be able to get your hands on all of the machines that you can find online, so let me guide you. I know the ins-and-outs of most Italian coffee machines available in Australia, and I I make the process of choosing the best coffee machine for you home easy with my list of recommended machines. When making these recommendations I ask myself this “what would I buy at a given price point?”

Here are my recommendations for the best Italian coffee machines for home:

Lelit Victoria A premium single boiler machine, packed with innovative features

Lelit Mara A brilliant compact coffee machine that is great for small spaces

La Pavoni Cellini A rock solid Italian coffee machine at a great price point

Profitec Pro 500 A superstar - this one outsells all of my other machines combined

Profitec Pro 700 The pinnacle - for a home barista experience without compromise

Italian Coffee Machine FAQs

When you start out as a new home barista it’s completely normal for your head to fill with questions as the new hobby comes to light. For answers to many of the questions that are bubbling away in your head right now please take a look at my FAQs:

  • Are manual coffee machines easy to use?

  • Why is an Italian coffee machine a smart choice?

  • Why are manual coffee machines the best choice for home?

  • How much should I spend on a home coffee machine?

  • What is the payback period for a home barista setup?

  • What drinks can I make with my coffee machine?

  • Do Italian coffee machines take a long time to warm up?

  • Should I choose a coffee machine with a rotary pump?

  • Should I choose a coffee machine with a dual boiler?

  • Which domestic machines can make back to back coffees?

  • Is electronic temperature control effective on heat exchanger machines?

  • What is an Aus Spec coffee machine?

  • How effective are pre-wetting and pre-infusion?

  • How effective are pressure profiling and flow profiling?

  • Is high steam pressure useful to a home barista?

  • Are Italian coffee machines easy to maintain?

Answers - Click Here


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