A 3-way solenoid valve relieves the portafilter of pressure and moisture after the extraction. This produces a dry puck which can easily be removed afterwards. It also means that you don’t have to wait for the pressure to equalise, so that you can make back-to-back coffees.
41% have it
3. Has a commercial steam wand
It comes with a commercial style steam wand as opposed to a pannarello steam wand. These are harder to master but can allow you to produce better, richer milk froth.
37% have it
4. Has dry puck feature
At the end of the extraction process, all moisture is removed from the puck. This allows you to easily tap out the coffee from the portafilter afterwards, reducing mess and the need to clean it as often.
31% have it
5. Indicates when drip tray is full
With a drip tray indicator the machine informs you of when you need to empty the tray.
25% have it
6. Has integrated filter
An integrated water filter produces cleaner water for brewing espresso. It also helps to prevent the build up of limescale.
With a double boiler or heat exchanger system, you can brew and steam milk at the same time. This has an advantage over single boiler machines where you have to wait between brewing and steaming for the temperature to adjust.
31% have it
11. Has an integrated grinder
The espresso machine has an integrated grinder so that you don’t have to buy a separate one.
3% have it
12. Has a pre-infusion function
With a pre-infusion function you get a low pressure of water before it ramps up to around 9 bar of pressure. This gently expands the grinds to get a smooth extraction and to help prevent channeling in the cake.
These buttons can be programmed for different types of coffee such as an espresso, doppio or ristretto. This means once you have mastered a particular style of coffee, you can get it the same every time.
A hot water outlet is useful as it can be used to heat cups, as well as making americanos, long blacks and teas.
84% have it
20. Has a steam wand
It has a steam wand, which allows you to make steamed/frothed milk to create other drinks from an espresso base.
21. Has anti-burn steam wand
Steam wands are a fairly common source of burns when using espresso machines. An anti-burn steam wand has a lining inside that prevents the wand from getting scalding hot.
9% have it
22. Prevents overheating
It has an internal fuse/thermal sensors which prevents the machine from overheating.
3% have it
23. Has a shot clock
The time taken to pull an espresso shot is one of four key elements, and should be around 19-22 seconds. Once you have the grind, dose and tamp correct, you can use the shot clock to time the pull perfectly.
6% have it
24. Has a rotary vane pump
A rotary vane pump is most often found on commercial and high-end consumer machines, and offers much quieter operation compared to the more common, vibratory pump.
16% have it
25. Has cup warmer
With a cup warmer you can heat the cups before pulling your espresso so that it doesn't go cold quickly, which affects the taste and quality. It also means that you don’t have to manually heat them using hot water.