Sunday, January 26, 2014

What is a Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine?

Semi-automatic espresso machines are the most popular type used by home users. They are easy to use, and with the right brand they can deliver outstanding espresso.

A semi-automatic espresso machine uses an electric pump to force heated water through finely ground espresso that has been compressed in a portafilter. The semi-automatic espresso machine was invented to reduce some of the physical effort and skill needed to operate a traditional hand lever operated machine. The machine is operated by first placing finely ground coffee in a portafilter and then compressing the coffee with a tamper to ensure that it is compact enough to create resistance when water is forced through the grounds, creating the pressure needed to properly extract espresso. After the portafilter has been mounted on the machine, the user can simply push a button or flip a switch to start the pump that will force preheated water through the grounds.

Most semi-automatic machines also have steam wands for frothing or steaming milk used in making cappuccinos, lattes and mochas. For people who like tea and other hot beverages, some models even have a built in hot water dispenser.

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