Updated: Nov 13, 2020
If your objective is to make espresso or espresso based drinks at home comparable to a coffee house, then you need to consider this famous saying about espresso from its birthplace, Italy.
The four M’s of a good espresso:
1. “miscela” (the blend) The use of a good coffee blend is the essential starting point for preparing a perfect Espresso.
2. “macinadosatore” (The grinder-doser) The grinder-doser is an essential operational tool that grinds the coffee beans into powder and delivers the correct dose for extraction of the Espresso.
3. “Macchina per espresso” (The espresso machine) The Espresso machine is the other key operational tool allowing us to make Espresso,
4. “MANO” (A GOOD HAND) Despite the fact that nowadays highly sophisticated equipment is available, the barista’s expertise and manual skill are still key components in making a perfect Espresso or Cappuccino.
As you can read, merely buying an espresso machine of any calibre will not automatically enable one to make good tasting espresso at home. You need to equally consider the other three factors as well.
Of the hundred’s of options possible for the home espresso enthusiast, our recommendation would be to start with a simple, no frills espresso machine designed for home use from either of these two commercial espresso manufacturing companies - Gaggia or Rancilio. Both companies have been around for many decades and you can find their products in use in commercial cafes.
The two recommended models are Gaggia Classic and Rancilio Silvia.
Image: The Gaggia Classic
They are simple to use, built to last and will teach you a lot about espresso. Your espresso shots will keep improving as you traverse the home espresso learning curve year after year. Both companies also offer comparable quality grinders to go along with their machines, grinder being one of the M’s.
Last but not the least, both machines have been around for decades and have a very large and dedicated user community and fan following on the Internet where one can learn from other’s experience and improve one’s own skills.
To know more about this topic we recommend that you read our post on Which is the best espresso coffee machine available in India for home use, comparable to cafes?