And, to be honest, I’m not sure I ever would have made the investment on my own. But, lo and behold, turns out we had one. When we went over to clean out our rental house after the last of the legacy tenants moved out (read: Adam’s friends), we were greeted by more kitchenware than we know what to do with. A panini maker, waffle maker, and, yes, an espresso maker. Tucked away in mint condition on top of a cabinet.
A lot of items went to Goodwill but this one marched home with me. And, after a few months of pulling it out intermittently, I finally gave it a place of honor on the counter…and I haven’t looked back since.
Do I Need an Espresso Maker?
If you follow me on Instagram, you’re already well aware of my espresso obsession. I’ve been using it almost daily to create fancy lattes to spice up my mornings. So, the short answer here is: YES. Every single person that’s asked me whether they should get an espresso maker in response to my stories, I’ve given a resounding yes. Let’s talk about why.
What’s the difference between a cup of espresso v. a cup of coffee?
This is not going to be a scientific discussion of the strength of caffeine, the pressure on the grounds, the heat of the water, or anything like that. I’m just going to talk about what the difference is for a casual drinker.
To me, a cup of espresso has a frothier texture. It’s thicker due to the higher grounds-to-water ratio and, also because of that, has a bolder, stronger flavor — which is exactly why it can stand up to flavored lattes. Coffee, on the other hand, is lighter and thinner. Where espresso has a creamier texture, coffee has the consistency of water. Neither one is better than the other. Where I drink espresso most morning, Adam prefers coffee. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.
Does it take more time to make a cup of espresso?
Actually it takes less! It only takes a minute or so for my cup of espresso to fill up, while, with a cup of coffee, I have to heat the water, do a pour over or Moka pot, and it does take a few minutes. This is the number one thing I tell people: I’m not taking 15 minutes to make coffee every morning. It’s literally a 3-5 minute process to make a fancy latte.
Is an espresso maker worth the investment?
Absolutely. I’m not sure how old ours is but I’ve already decided that if it stops working, I’d 100% invest in another. They’re a bit pricy to start with but think about how much money you’ll save over the course of all those barista-worthy espresso drinks.
Note: latte art is clearly not within my skill set.
Capresso Espresso Machine Review
Since this is the only espresso machine I’ve owned and because I didn’t actually pick it out, I can’t speak to the research process or deciding on this particular espresso maker. However, I’ve found this particular model super easy to use and I’ve been happy with it so far.
We have the Capresso 116.04 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine. From my non-expert espresso perspective, this is a super straightforward and budget-friendly espresso maker. It’s going to run you about $150, which is significantly less than all the machines you’ll see that are $600 or more.
This is what you want if you want to make espresso. You don’t need all the bells and whistles of grinding your beans within the machine, programming it ahead of time, or having coffee and americano options within your espresso maker. You simply want a good shot of espresso — or two — and steamed or froth milk. That’s what this Capresso Espresso and Cappuccino Machine delivers and, for my needs, especially since I like having all my different coffee methods and don’t need an all-in-one machine, this is perfect.
It also doesn’t take up a ton of room and that’s HUGE. If you live in a small space, this can live happily on your countertop without feeling like it’s been taken over by an espresso maker.
A Few of My Favorite Espresso Drinks
By now, I’m sure you’re like, “Do I need an espresso maker? Heck yeah, I do!” and then you’re thinking, “so…what do I make once I’ve got it?” Well, let me introduce you to a few of my favorite go-to lattes…
A spoonful of honey is all you need. Though sometimes I like to make it salted.
Just a dash of almond extract and frothed milk is perfection.
Your winter and holiday season favorite, but made at home.
A teaspoon of maple is the perfect fall treat.
So, with my favorites aside, let me hear from you: do you have an espresso machine and, if so, which one? What are some of your favorite lattes to make?