Talk:Espresso machine

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Factual accuracy[edit]

This is a very weak article characterised by the statement "An espresso machine forces water ... at 9 bar of pressure". My research, starting from a point of ignorance, tells me that a good or professional result requires at least 15 bar. I believe that millions consider making espresso art and I visited here to understand that. It did nothing for me. I love Wikipedia but this time I'm disappointed. This article needs more on technique and passion. --Tatty 12:32, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree. There are some glaring omissions. Your reference to pressure is one of them. Steam driven machines such as stovetop espresso machines and home espresso machines without pumps typically run hotter (212+F or 100+C) and only get to a maximum of 3 bars of pressure. No reference is made to this consideration which changes the flavor of the final product siginficantly. Also, no reference to the fact that the La Pavoni machine is considered to be the machine of choice in certain circles because the resistance of the lever gives feedback to the user that is unavailable in any other device. The lever grants an additional degree of freedom in controlling the brewing process. No reason is given for tamping the coffee. By most references I have seen the given ideal temperature is too hot. No mention of the off taste given by aluminum stovetop machines. No no mention of the variety of beans with respect to crema (robusta beans produce better crema than arabica). StateOfTheUnion 10:51, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

As far as proper pressure goes, I'd refer to David Schomer of Espresso Vivace for reference. He's one of the leading experts on formalizing the process of brewing espresso. Since I can't reference his book Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques directly here, I'd point you out to the following page:, where he lists the "correct" pressure as 8.2 bars. In his book, he states 9. I have no idea where you call for "at least 15", but citing that would be useful. I own a Livia 90, and the machine is factory set to about 10-11 bars. You get more crema with higher pressure (which is good), but many people report better taste by tuning the machine to a lower pressure.

As for the ideal temperature, that actually varies by the bean you are using, where again David S claims 203 degrees gives the best results. Many of the higher end espresso makers deliver temperatures in this range. It may be neccesary for Heat Exchange units to "temperature surf" (release some water from the heat exchange) before extracting a shot.

As far as robusta vs. arabica: That's why many espressos are blends, but they use very little robusta (10-15% tops).

Overall, I get the sense the authors of this article are not 'coffee geeks'.

Please check out —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The 9 bars is the number that I have seen in references as well. I have never seen a 15 bar espresso machine.
I looked at David Schomer's site and he says "My roast tastes best at 203 degrees F." I think that his comment is telling. In his article "The Keys to the Church" ( he writes about how certain coffee beans seem to make at better espresso at 203F, but he avoids making a blanket statement that all espresso is best brewed at 203F. In some of his older articles on his site, he claims that 195F is best ( Perhaps a mention of a traditional 195F with a mention that this is a rule of thumb and that some specific espresso coffees vendors have recommended other temperatures for certain types of coffee would be appropriate?
And I agree wholeheartedly with your summary that that the article was not written by "coffee geeks."
StateOfTheUnion 01:58, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry but the first comment here is a little ill informed. I'm a commercial barista of 10 years experience and have made hundreds of thousands of espresso based drinks. I have used many brands and makes of commercial espresso machine in this time and the average working pressure of these machines (i.e. whilst pulling a shot) has always been between 8.5 and 10 bars. It is most often (and ideally) about 9. It is never 15 bars, and if it was it's time to service or humanely put down your coffee machine. Higher pressures cause over compaction of the coffee grounds in the group handle (portafilter), increasing resistance to flow. The corresponding reduction in flow rate causes over extraction and consequently produces quite a lot of crema but a burnt taste (not so good). Yes there's lots more to add to this article but better to add it than criticise what's there. All in all I found it interesting and quite informative for such a short piece. One thing worth noting is that the author seems to be refering to the Italian standard espresso (7 grams grounds producing approx 30 ml espresso shot in around 15-20 seconds...depending on many variables). The trend in the US is (I'm told) toward using double and even triple ristretto pulls to produce single drinks .. so for example up to 20g of dry grounds may be used to produce a single espresso drink (e.g cappucino) One last comment: espresso culture is wonderful.. coffee snobs are not! after being intimately involved in this world for years I can tell you that the best coffee is the one you like. There is no perfect bean, no perfect blend, no perfect grind. It varies depending on everything from your mood to the time of day. Costa Rican arabica tastes completely different to Guatemalan arabica but both have there place. The same applies to mokas and french presses, arabica v robusta etc. Learn the art of using each tool to make the best possible coffee and learn to appreciate the different characteristics of each type of coffee. It's easy to be a self proclaimed coffee geek (what others call a coffee wanker) ... harder to be a person who really appreciates coffee in its many varied forms. Nevertheless its nice to see people taking such an interest in the fine art of espresso. Just be careful in criticising the opinions and research of others. It's easy to flame, harder to learn. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Stovetop espresso machines[edit]

Removed "...the coffee is brewed with boiling water, causing overextraction and a characteristic burnt taste." This is pure POV and if it happens, it just means that you left the pot on the stove for too long. If you use it right, your coffee will not taste burnt. Lupo 09:08, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Respectfully, all matters of "taste" beyond sweet/salty/sour/bitter are subejctive, and therefore point of view. Simply stating that "coffee has a distinctive taste" is, by this reasoning, point of view. I think it would be fair to correct the article to read "... which some claim causes overextraction and characteristic burnt taste", but removing it entirely removes a widely held point of view (which should be documented.) WanderingHermit 06:44, 1 Aug 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the reference to boiling water is a nod to the fact that higher temperature removes extractables from coffee more quickly. Automatic drip and pump driven espresso machines normally keep the water close to, but below the boiling point (around 195F). The reason for this is that the extractables that come out at lower temperatures are not as bitter as the extractables that readily come out of ground coffee at the boiling point. It is also notable that even at lower temperature these more bitter extractables will come out of coffee if enough time and water is used. I contend that the word "burnt" is perhaps the wrong descriptor and perhaps "bitter" would be more approriate. I also contend that this is not POV because it is a characteristic of the coffee extraction process and is a consideration in the design and operation of pump driven espresso machines (The temperature of the water is intentionally set to limit but not eliminate the amount of bitters extracted). Steam pressure driven espresso machines (like the stovetop machine) use steam as a driving force. No consideration is made to the effect of temperature on the extraction process. POV in this case is whether bitter coffee is preferable to less bitter coffee. StateOfTheUnion 13:34, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

In the stovetop espresso maker section, I am not entirely sure what was intended with the statement, "Sometimes they are referred to as Spain coffee makers." so I changed the sentence to read, "Sometimes they are referred to as Spanish coffee makers or in Spanish as a cafeteria." Because this is an implied reference to the fact that stovetop espresso makers are the predominant home coffee making machine in Spain, I added Spain to the beginning of this section (along with Italy) as areas where stovetop espresso makers enjoy common usage. StateOfTheUnion 10:10, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


I thought one of the most important elements when making espresso was the quality and fineness of the grind. You can't use a percolator grind in an espresso machine and expect the same quality, can you?. Is the information about the fineness of the grind in there and I just missed it, or is it completely missing? Still 16:51, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

a commercial advert ?[edit]

Why does this line, below, sound like an advert for one (very minor) manufacture? "One example of this is the Super Automatic Aroma 3500 Espresso Machine from HLF Design in Italy that is popular in Hollywood." It contributes nothing of substance to the article, yet this Wikipedia link is displayed quite prominently on this product's distributor's home page ( I suggest the line be deleted.Kemailer 18:55, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

The handpresso advert should also be deleted User:nielsle 29 Feb 2008 —Preceding comment was added at 09:20, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Heating Element et al[edit]

I notice a lot of space given to the pressure mechanism, but based on my reading (I'm looking for my first pump driven model now) there seams to be just as much concern about the heating element (and also "pressurized portafilters" the portafilter page seam sadly lacking too...) obviously single/double boiler systems are a big distinction, but apparently there is debate with regards to the advantages of boiler/thermostat systems as opposed to thermoblocks (I'm not sure if there are any other systems out now) also seams like some consideration should be given to milk steaming mechanisms since there are a flood of "frothing aids" shipped with (or permanently attached to) most consumer level espresso makers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tletnes (talkcontribs) 20:12, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Badly needs citations[edit]

I tagged a few statements with {{fact}} and {{who?}}, especially the statements about "ideals" and the very specific numbers about the espresso-making process. I also tagged the whole article with {{more footnotes}}, because the citations used so far are only enough for the article to read "The espresso machine was invented in 1901", which makes for a pretty poor article.

The article also needs significant expansion or rearranging since there's more discussion about the types of machines than there is about the process, history, or its invention. — Saxifrage 20:30, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Poor quality article =[edit]

Little discussion of the coffee grinds properties despite their central importance. Unsupported and rather remarkable claims. Isn't "manual" a "variation" in the mechanism ? Why is "piston" presumed to always imply "manual" ? That may be the most common implementation but it conflates the mechanism of pressure creations vs the driving force. Is a motor driven piston impossible ? Is a steam driven pump impossible ? Of course these are possible - the author hasn't rationally dissected the topic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:19, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

While I agree that a rotary vane pump in a professional espresso machine is different than a vibratory pump in many home models and that hand powered and electric powered pump mechanisms are indeed different, I don't think that a treatise on every combination and permutation of power source and pump type is appropriate. For example, I am not aware of any "steam driven pump" espresso machines . . . while I concede that this idea of yours is certainly conceivable, if we cannot find a reference to one that exists, is it worthwhile to include it as a theoretical construct? Should we also include the non-existence of other conceivable espresso machines like gas powered, nuclear powered, and coal fired espresso machines?
Without citing the existence of a motor driven piston espresso machine nor other machine that breaks the categorization in the article, I submit that what you refer to as conflation is merely categorization. The examples that you give while conceivable, do not describe existing espresso machines and in my opinion would clutter the article with theoretical constructs. StateOfTheUnion (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:20, 10 June 2010 (UTC).

Lacking technical details and part names[edit]

Someone (not me) should create a cross section view / schematic of the different types and name the parts. Parts are, what a machine is made of, and there are a number of non-standard parts in an espresso machine that are not mentioned. I'm especially interested in what the part is called that contains the ground coffee and is pressurized during extraction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:37, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Remove this Article[edit]

This article is full of misinformation and is even self-contradictory (see date(s) of supposed invention of the espresso machine). It is also badly skewed toward home machines. Everything in it has been better and more accurately covered (with better vetting) in the article "Espresso." Please remove this page altogether. Zaffiro (talk) 17:33, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Definition of group or grouphead[edit]

The article doesn't have a definition of group or grouphead. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Best Espresso Maker under $200[edit]

Seriously? This cant possibly allowed to exist on this page. Its a pure advert section with links to Amazon. There is no relevance what so ever to the article and its higly biased. And also, if youre going to put an advert in, why dont you make it relevant. He lists Nespresso machines for christs sake — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Two more pictures needed IMO[edit]

It would add much to the article if we had a picture one of the original steam driven machines and of a modern commercial espresso machine. Here are a couples of example links to what I'm talking about:

Early steam-driven espresso machine:

Modern commercial espresso machine:

Now of course the above photos are non-free so we would need someone to provide similar photos licensed for use on Wikpedia. But if anyone has access to either such machines (or both) and would be willing to provide photos of either (or both) (or provide photos taken in the past they own the copyright on. --Notcharliechaplin (talk) 03:12, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Manual or spring Piston[edit]

Is the machine shown in the first photo not a spring piston one, rather than, as labelled, a manual piston one?     ←   ZScarpia   17:12, 6 December 2013 (UTC)