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Finding the Best Espresso and Cappuccino Machines for Your Needs

People love coffee, so there's no surprise that Espresso machines for the home are common, high-end appliances. They're easy to learn to use, and some models add to the decor of your kitchen. With a little practice, you'll be making cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos better than the Batista at your local coffee shop.

How do espresso machines work?

An espresso machine makes beverages by using pressure to force hot water through more finely ground beans. It creates a finished product that is usually served in small servings called shots. Many espresso machines also have steam jets called milk frothers to make lattes and cappuccinos. Cappuccinos and lattes are both made by combining espresso with milk. Cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk while lattes use twice as much milk that has been heated.

What are some of the features that espresso machines have?

While all espresso machines can make a shot of espresso, there are different levels of machine and different features:

  • Single vs. double shots: Some machines will allow you to make one shot at a time while others will allow you to make twice the coffee in the same amount of time.
  • Milk frother: Use the machine to make all parts of a drink.
  • Programmable capabilities: Start the day with a pre-made shot.
  • Built-in grinder: Add beans to the top of a hopper and grind with the touch of a button.
What's a milk frother?

A milk frother is a tool or gadget used to aerate milk, turning it into a thick, frothy, creamy topping for beverages. It ejects steam into milk or cream to foam or heat milk for beverages. You can find frothers that are electric, hand pumps, and motorized whisks.

How do you use an espresso maker?

When you purchase a new or used espresso maker on eBay, how to use it may not always be clear. Here are some guidelines to help.

  • Fill the espresso machine's reservoir with cold filtered water
  • Turn the machine on and let it warm up for a few minutes
  • Use a grinder to grind fresh beans to your preferred consistency
  • Put the ground coffee into your machine and tamp them down
  • Brew your fresh espresso shot
  • If you have a frother, use it to heat the milk to your temperature and consistency preference
  • Empty the grounds and rinse the grounds cup before refilling it for another shot
What are some popular brands of espresso machines?

DeLonghi, Nespresso, Bella, and Mr. Coffee are common machine brands available on eBay. There are many others, as well.

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