Should I go for a semi-auto or super-auto espresso machine for my home office?
With the increase of the corporate force working in their home offices, I am sure most of them realize that a home office is not complete without a espresso machine. Leaving home twice a day to grab a latte from somewhere gets old real quick. This is evident when these people have the idea of staying home in the comfort of their home while still having access to coffee. There are 3 simple steps to consider before choosing between a super automatic espresso machine and a seni automatic espresso machine. TIME, EXPERIENCE AND COST. Keep in mind this will be a brief guide and there is more information online about the technicalities between the two.
Before delving into those 3 steps, let us go over a few differences between the 2 types of espresso machines
- Super auto: It does everything for you, so there is no need to purchase a grinder and milk frother/steamer (sometimes.) Makes various coffee drinks, (emphasis on literally any kind of milk-based drink.) Of course super-autos are completely programmable from your mobile and/or computer. A couple other aspects to keep in mind that with all the features, there is more chance for technical issues. In addition, the frequent use of milk with the machine means you need to clean the machine more to prevent bacteria buildup. Super autos do not fare well with cheaper beans that may be oily and dark roast as it can clog the machine.
- Semi auto: You do all the work which includes grinding the beans, tamping, pulling the shot and steaming milk. You would have a high level of control over the shot. This route would be the ultimate opportunity to develop your skills as a barista and become a true connoisseur of espresso. With that in mind the mechanics are very simple, sturdy and reliable. Due to its simplicity, semis have the option of being more compact than an auto.
- With choosing a machine you have to consider how much time you have or how much time you are willing to sacrifice for a cup of coffee. The clear winner in convenience and time is the super auto as at the click of a button you have your drink. Because of all the steps that are necessary with a semi, you have to be willing to spend the time for it to be worth it. There is always the chance of screwing up your shot with the semi resulting in a do over, but with the super, the chances of a failed shot are inexistent.
- For the beginner who is not willing to undergo the learning curve or is simply not that passionate about the perfect cup of coffee, the super automatic home machine once again takes the cake. I have been in the coffee industry for a bit now and still struggle to make a nice coffee on a semi-auto household machine, but the truth is that once you get it, it is not that time consuming or complicated and I am sure it is much more rewarding. The taste of success.
- If on a tight budget you should avoid the super-automatic and opt for a manual machine. It is evident that you are paying for all the technical extra features and paying for conveninece. For a super-auto I would not buy a low end or even medium end machine, you have to go for a high end one as you dont want your machine breaking down all the time. At around 2000$. you can get a decent super auto. One thing to note with the semi however, is that you will need the mandatory grinder which adds another one or two hundred bucks to your invoice. Even with the grinder, you can get a quality semi auto machine at around 1000$.
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