Do Nespresso Machines Make Good Espresso?

do nespresso machines make good espresso ...

When it comes to espresso, Nespresso is one of the popular brands in the world. However, do Nespresso machines make good espresso?

Coffee lovers know there’s nothing better than a shot of espresso pulled by an expert barista. Espresso’s rich crema, intense flavor and silky texture make this complex beverage a favorite around the world.

What is espresso?

Espresso is a super concentrated coffee beverage topped with a thick, creamy layer called crema. Genuine espresso is made by forcing hot water at a temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit through ground coffee at 9-12 atmospheres of pressure. The hot water extracts flavoring compounds from the ground coffee. The high pressure then forces tiny particles of flavoring compounds into a creamy solution known as colloidal foam. It’s this foam that rises to the top of the cup and makes the rich, delicious crema.

Creating enough pressure to make espresso is not an easy task. In fact, for most of the 20th century it was only possible in large commercial machines.

Over the last 20 years, appliance manufacturers have made many attempts to solve the problem of home espresso. Sadly, the vast majority of these attempts have failed to capture the beautiful flavors available in a professionally pulled shot.

The problem with most home espresso machines

The 9 to 12 atmospheres of pressure needed to make a good espresso is enough to blow parts of the machine across the room. It’s one of the reasons early espresso machines were very dangerous (don’t worry, modern machines have robust safety features). Creating that much pressure requires a strong pump, but most home espresso machines rely on built up steam to pressurize their brewing system, which makes getting the right pressure virtually impossible.

Steam powered espresso machines only give about 1.5 atmospheres of pressure

Since the steam in an espresso machine is also used to texturize your milk, it’s important that the pressure not be too high. If you tried to steam milk using 9 atmospheres of pressure, you would have a serious mess on your hands. Hot milk flying through the air is a generally considered a bad thing. This means that a steam powered espresso machine will only be able to achieve about a little more than 1/10th of the pressure you need to make great espresso.

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Solving the pressure problem

With recent advancement in materials and manufacturing techniques, the home espresso machine has made some great leaps forward in terms of functionality.

Modern home espresso machines like Nespresso use some clever innovations to achieve the high pressure necessary to brew a good shot. In fact, Nespresso claims that they’re able to achieve 19 atmospheres of pressure. Whether more pressure is actually a good thing or not is a topic for another time. The problem of the low-pressure steam powered machine, though, is solved.

Do Nespresso machines make good espresso?

Of course the proof is, as they say, in the cup. Tech specs can only go so far in telling you about an espresso machine, what matters is whether it makes a shot of espresso.

Like with wine, Scotch, and any other fine food product, the quality of an espresso is largely defined by the taste of the person drinking it. Your tastes are your own. So there is no definite answer when it comes to answering the question of whether Nespresso machines make “good” espresso.

That said, Machines like Nespresso are as close as you’ll get to cafe-quality espresso at home. That is, without shelling out big bucks for a semi-pro or commercial machine.

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Do Nespresso Machines make good espresso? In conclusion, with personal taste aside and based just on tech specs, the answer is yes.

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