You’re an Espresso Newbie – Where To Start?


Ever dream of being a world-class barista, but the learning curve just seemed too overwhelming? Maybe you’re tired of making that pit-stop every morning at your go-to coffee shop but are reluctant to take on the task of brewing your own beverage – after all, you do love your coffee and aren’t quite ready to relax your exacting caffeine standards. More and more coffee aficionados are contemplating the steps necessary to cut out the middleman and be masters of their own caffeinated universe. So where to start?

The list of entry-level espresso machines is long and can be quite overwhelming. That said, even though making café-quality espresso drinks on a home machine used to involve a lot of practice, the best new models tend to be extremely user-friendly. And the good news is that – with a little research and attention to detail – you will never find a better coffee than the one you can make at home – there are no trade-offs here.

Let’s look at some of the key considerations, and how one of Burnaby’s leading espresso machine distributors – Quality Coffee Systems – can help with this decision.

  1. What is your overall budget for your machine and grinder?

One of the most common mistakes new espresso enthusiasts make is to overbuy on the machine side, while under-allocating money to the grinder. That’s easy to do – some of the pricier machines integrate a high degree of kitchen art into their design. That said, if the goal is to replicate some of your high-end café beverages, it’s important to balance performance with aesthetics and space.

  1. What are your beverages of choice? Straight shot? Cappuccinos? Big foamy lattes?

It’s important to understand that some machines may not be the best to properly steam a 16 oz. latte that you prefer, while most are capable of delivering the perfect espresso. Those larger milk drinks make require a dual boiler or heat exchanger machine. We want to make sure that your machine matches your morning routine.

  1. How many drinks do you anticipate making back-to-back?

Here again, the amount of use will determine the type of espresso machine you select. Multiple back-to-back drinks can be best handled by a larger dual boiler machine.

  1. How big is the space for your new best friend? And do you plan to plumb it directly into a water source?

The important thing to consider here is whether you have enough cabinet clearance for your machine and your grinder – most non-plumbed machines have top-filling reservoirs, and hoppers also fill from the top. Espresso machines vary greatly in size, so a tape measure needs to be part of your selection process.

  1. What are some of your favourite go-to cafes?

The grinder that you choose will be a key component in replicating the flavours that appeal to you. It might be smart to check in with your favourite café and ask what type of grinder they use – the burr size and type (conical vs. flat) will have a direct impact on the beverage flavour.

Researching entry-level espresso machines doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Here at QCS, our team specialists live, breathe and drink coffee, with a high degree of product knowledge across all brands that we represent. Whether you’re looking for an adjustable spout, built-in grinder, variable strength settings, slim footprint, sustainability options or gleaming statement piece, we will be able to consider your every need – along with your budget – and match you up with a coffee system that will see you through many years of brewing. And our relationship doesn’t end the day you bring home your baby.  While the range of QCS products is designed and manufactured with meticulous European craftsmanship, should the need arise for a service or repair, our after-sales support is five-star. Our three-pronged service approach involves speedy diagnostics by factory-trained experts, transparent service terms/charges, and customer-centric troubleshooting along with unparalleled advisory support. You will always have access to quality resources at QCS.

Drop in to QCS today to check out our residential product range.


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