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Best Coffee and Espresso Machine Combos in 2021

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  • Best Coffee and Espresso Machine Combos in 2021

    Many groggy workday mornings involve the same routine. The phone alarm, the hurried shower, down to the same cup of coffee. But, like hitting snooze for another 10 minutes of bliss, it feels good to shake things up.

    Combination coffee-and-espresso makers come in many forms, from manual to automatic, but they all have the versatility to make multiple kinds of drinks. A handful of options (including ones on this list) can brew drip coffee, pull a shot of espresso, and even froth milk for lattes and cappuccinos. There are some drawbacks to consider—these machines tend to be pricier and take up more space than standard brewers—but variety is an essential part of why we love coffee.

  • #2
    Coffee-and-espresso machines can be sorted into categories based on their level of automation: manual, semi-automatic, fully automatic, and super-automatic. With manual machines, you have to pull on a lever to create pressure; it's a difficult process, which is why you won't see any on this list. Semi-automatic machines involve packing the portafilter by hand and deciding when to stop pulling the shot, giving you the most control over your coffee. However, they're also messier and more time-consuming.

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    • #3
      With a fully automatic machine, you still have to pack the portafilter by hand, but the flow of water automatically stops when the espresso is finished to prevent over-extraction. Finally, super-automatic machines make every drink with the touch of a button, from regular coffee to cappuccinos—they can even froth the milk for you. They tend to be the most compact, but they're also the most expensive.

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      • #4
        Some machines allow users to control key espresso factors like pressure and water temperature. Just like drip coffee, espresso tastes best when the water is between 195 and 204 degrees. Less than that, and it’s hard for espresso to reach the proper extraction percentage, meaning it will be weak and watery. Pressure is a more complicated matter. Brands love advertising that a product can reach 20-plus bars of pressure, but all you actually need is 15 bars. Anything higher is superfluous. A 15-bar machine is able to create the perfect amount of pressure at the brew head, which is 9 bars.

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        • #5
          Some machines are compatible with both coffee pods and coffee grounds, but typically you have to choose between the two. Freshly ground coffee beans are usually more flavorful than pods and can be adjusted to make coffee stronger or weaker. Grounds are also more affordable than pods over time and can be purchased in a wider array of flavors and blends. Pod-based machines offer convenience, as they speed up the brewing process, make cleanup easier, and eliminate the hassle of packing the filter by hand. These are predominantly single serve, while brewers that use ground coffee can often make multiple servings at once.

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          • #6
            The best part of this state-of-the-art coffee machine is the automated parts. It is equipped with a color touch screen at the front center part. Once you turn the machine on, the screen will show you how to set up the machine through simple diagrams and texts. Overall, the KRUPS EA8442 is sophisticated and durable. It is a one-touch, fully automatic machine that suits modern coffee enthusiasts.

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