Express Yourself with Espresso Machines

espresso-1It can be a little overwhelming deciding where to start when choosing a home espresso machine. There are so many brands and models available out there that it boggles the mind. There is certainly something for everyone; it’s just a matter of finding the right fit. Here we’ll cover the very basic factors that you should consider when looking to fill that empty space on your counter. In a later post we’ll delve into finer technical details.

Boiler Type

There are 3 main types of espresso machines. Single boiler, heat exchanger and double boiler (also known as dual boiler).  You can read more about these machine types here (http://www.clivecoffee.com/espresso_buyers_guide.html) but the crux of the matter is that for temperature consistency and the ability to pull shots and steam milk at the same time a double boiler is required.

Size

Espresso machines weren’t designed with American countertops in mind. Before you buy check the dimensions of the machine, particularly the height. Also bear in mind that you’ll need a burr grinder to get the most out of your machine, which further adds to the footprint.

Water Source

Some machines have to be plumbed in. Some can’t. They instead make use of a manually filled water reservoir inside the machine. And some nifty machines have the capability to do both. Many people are renting but want the flexibility to plumb in their machine if they move houses so it’s good to have this option. If you do go for a reservoir machine be sure to check the access point is easily accessible from where your machine is going to live.

Cooking Rice

A rice cooker can be a very useful and versatile kitchen appliance. In addition to being one of our favorite household pieces of equipment it is one of our top 10 must have appliances for dorm room cooking. Learn how to select a rice cooker; our article lists features, and tips on how to find the right rice cooker for you.

A rice cooker can be used to cook rice, hot cereal, desserts and even steam vegetables and cook soups and stews. Not every rice cooker can perform every task so make sure you to select the right cooker for your needs. The best quality rice cookers are still made in Japan. You can purchase less expensive machines made in other countries but you won’t get the same amount of use out of them.

Rice Cooker Size

Rice cookers measure capacity by the cup and range from 3 cups to 10 cups. Don’t buy a large unit than you need because the rice cooker is designed to operate properly with a specific amount of rice and water. You also want to avoid overfilling your cooker because it will cause it to boil over which is quite messy.