Normally the pressure of commercial espresso machines is very high (9-15 bar), however this stove top machine is designed to make a perfect espresso but at a lower pressure (approx 3 bar) for two main reasons.
1) Lower Pressure ensures greater safety for domestic use. The coffee maker is also equipped with a safety valve to ensure the pressure does not get too high that it becomes dangerous.
2) The main advantage is in the taste, because at the lower pressure the steam temperature is not scorching the coffee. This is why most coffee bars run at the low range of pressure! Just like at higher pressure, the steam at 3 bar rises up and presses through the coffee mixture however the oils are not burned in the process, preserving the flavour.
Here is a good table that shows the higher the pressure the higher the temperature of the steam. For example, the higher temp of some commercial units at 15 bar is almost 200c, and that is pressed through the coffee mixture! http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/saturated-steam-properties-d_457.html
There ya go. Four brief paragraphs of utter bullcrap. When they start by claiming "Lower pressure creates perfect espresso", the lie is plain. If water is not espressed through the grounds(Driven through under pressure because without that pressure it would not pass through), it's not espresso at all. It might be a nice hot different coffee drink. It's like saying "Using oranges instead of apples makes a more perfect apple juice". Sure orange juice could be better, but it's not apple juice. I'd avoid giving any money to the companies that have to lie to you to make a sale.
The "greater safety" lie is ridiculous. Once the water is boiling it's dangerous. One avoids submersing their face in it and one is okay. The table is suggesting that their machine is unlike others because the others are actually brewing with the steam, not the water from the machine. They're asuming you're an idiot. No real espresso machines are brewing with the steam, unless they're not working correctly. AVOID that company. Always think a little bit about what marketing people are presenting as fact.
...and to add to that BS...N'espresso claims that 15 bar is the optimum brew pressure! I got into an argument with a rep in a WS store once about it. He didn't have a freakin' clue what he was talking about. but hey, if they sound like they know what they're saying, then people will believe it and buy it.
...and Martin, if you want to know what espresso really is...I recommend reading the INEI (Instituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano) guidelines...excerpted here...
Necessary portion of ground coffee 7 g ± 0,5 Exit temperature of water from the unit 88°C ± 2°C Temperature of the drink in the cup 67°C ± 3°C Entry water pressure 9 bar ± 1 Percolation time 25 seconds ± 5 seconds Viscosity at 45°C > 1,5 mPa s Total fat > 2 mg/ml Caffeine < 100 mg/cup Millilitres in the cup (including froth) 25 ml ± 2,5
By definition, if you ain't doing this, it ain't espresso...period!
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
Careful. I think those numbers would apply strictly to pump machines? Anyone that's owned a small spring lever machine knows they don't hit anywhere near 9 BAR usually. More like 6 BAR in a declining profile, and what they produce is very much espresso.
Well I went ahead and bought one. I do not know what you call the brown liquid that comes out of the machine, but it tastes pretty good. It is actually quite nice, the one down side is no milk frother built in but that is an easy fix.
It produces a double shot of "a nice tasting hot brown liquid" within about a minute which is good for me, and there is NO CLEANUP. Just dump the filter holder
Here are some photos, and they were nice enough to send the single and double filter holders.
Posted Sat Sep 28, 2013, 5:09am Subject: Re: Stove Top Espresso Cappichino Maker
unfortunately your photos are blocked by my over-whacko work IT people. However, I'm glad you are enjoying your new toy! Bellman makes a stovetop steamer, if you're interested. They make a few different models, which either make coffee similar to what you're getting and steam, or just steam. IIRC, the steam only model is 50SS or maybe it's just 50S.,,and it happens to be about $50. I've yet to try it, but have read good things here and on Home-Barista. One of my very close friends just got one from his wife for a B-Day present and he says it's very powerful and should be able to make great microfoam (he's seen my machine in action more than a few times, so he does have some point of reference). Soon, I'll get over to his house and help him with technique (and get to play with it in the process:)).
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
cappuccinoboy Senior Member Joined: 27 Jun 2009 Posts: 798 Location: MILANO Expertise: Professional
Espresso: Milano pod, Milano fully... Grinder: grind on demand
Posted Sat Sep 28, 2013, 7:40am Subject: Re: Stove Top Espresso Cappichino Maker
I have been researching and trying to locate the best option for coffee that works well on the stove top.. I have found Moka, basic camping units or even a French press but really want some good coffee, and not the watery junk you get from a French press. .................... Love to hear your feedback as I am anxious to pull the trigger on one of these but do not want to drop the money on one if they are not worthwhile
What I'm saying is that steam pressure alone is not anywhere near what espresso needs. It's why espresso machines have big levers or electric pumps. Steam pressure is about 1.5 bar, whereas you need six times as much pressure to actually make espresso. Also, like other methods of brewing coffee, this stovetop moka (because that's what it is, just in a different shape) will vary greatly depending on your grinder and bean age/quality.
There is only one stove top that makes perfect espresso at 9 bar and thatis "BACCHI", that incidentally used to be carried by Orphan Espresso, alas it cost more than a cheap espresso maker. It was discussed in a couple of threads here at Coffeegeek. You can find info on : www.caffemotive.com Ciao, Pietro
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