The Manual espresso machine used to serve as the only apparatus for creating the caffeinated perfection you crave each morning. Manual espresso machines have been around since the late 1800s after Angelo Moriondo invented the very first one in 1884. Newer versions were inevitably created and patented following this breakthrough that changed the world of caffè forever – it would seem that the espresso is one of the most influential beverages of all time.

How Does a Manual Espresso Machine Work?

A manual espresso machine works to produce smooth and divinely rich espresso by forcing hot water through a filter of fresh, tamped coffee grounds at a high-pressure rate, thereby extracting an immense amount of flavour from the grounds. The result is intensely aromatic and palate-pleasing bliss.

The catalyst for gourmet caffeinated beverages, these machines began the movement of espresso obsession – a movement that, to this day, has never slowed down.

What Is the Difference Between Manual and Semi-Automatic? 

The manual espresso machine involves pulling a lever to create enough pressure to pull the shot. These machines are, while cool to watch in action, (understandably) tiring to operate. With so much physical labour required to produce espresso, the demand for ease and user friendly capabilities grew – and a new era was eventually brought in.

The semi-automatic machine entered the spotlight in the 1940s, when an Italian manufacturer invented a machine that took a lot of the legwork out of manual espresso making.

Although similar, the semi-automatic espresso machine has one major difference when compared to the manual espresso machine – the lack of a lever when pulling the shot. The automated pressure allowed baristas to simply press a button that would generate this process mechanically and automatically.

The Manual Espresso Machine Is Making a Comeback

Nowadays, automation and convenience are extremely valuable. However, some espresso aficionados are bringing it back to the basics and taking joy in the therapeutic practice of manual espresso making. As well, many manual espresso machines are an affordable alternative to their automatic and semi-automatic counterparts.

The best thing about some of these manual espresso machines is their portability – something that carries a great deal of weight with those who travel frequently but still prefer to make their own espresso each morning.

Whether you’re new to the world of espresso or an expert in all things coffee beans, the history of the specialty-beverage-shaping espresso shot is an interesting (and long) one. It’s clear that through the years, the method of how espresso has been produced has changed dramatically. And yet somehow, the old-school approach has reclaimed its popularity in recent years with a demand from coffee lovers all over the world. This glorious ritual has returned to its roots through genuine interest in the process of espresso making – something we at Quality Coffee Systems can surely relate to.

If you’re interested in learning more about the different ways to curate your own cappuccino, feel free to check out our blogs or browse through our selection.


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