The Main Differences between Coffee Makers and Espresso Machines

People who have only discovered their love for coffee and/or espresso tend to get coffee makers and espresso machines mixed up.

To matter worse, there are the coffee pods and E.S.E. pods, so which genre do they belongs to? Anyway, that belongs to another article together, this article is solely about differences between coffee makers and the espresso machines.

Brewing Method

The most obvious difference between coffee makers and espresso machines can be seen in the way they brew coffee.

Coffee machines brew coffee using a very simple method. Coffee makers use gravity to introduce the hot water to the coffee grounds.


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Once the hot water interacts with the coffee grounds, the coffee extraction process begins.

Water then accumulates within the filter basket, saturating the coffee grounds, and then eventually flowing through the filter and into a collecting reservoir, which in this case, is a carafe, decanter, or coffee cup.

Espresso makers, on the other hand, use a more sophisticated brewing method.

Unlike coffee makers, which make use of gravity, espresso makers make use of high amounts of pressure to force hot water through an even and tight pack of finely ground coffee grounds to extract the flavor and aroma of the grounds.


It is then forced through the portafilter and eventually flows into a small espresso cup.

As a result, espresso is more intensified compared to coffee. And this is why espresso is best served in small quantities (2 ounces) since it is basically a more concentrated version of coffee.

On the other hand, coffee is normally served in larger quantities (normally 8-12 ounces).

Furthermore, it is a more difficult to brew a good shot of espresso and other espresso-based drinks than to brew a good pot of coffee.

Brewing espresso requires the use of special barista techniques, such as tamping and dosing, which can only be developed through experience and practice.


The next obvious difference would be in the cost of coffee makers and espresso machines.

The bottom line is that espresso machines tend to be more expensive than coffee makers due to the high pressures that espresso machines need to generate in order to brew espresso.

In fact, some home espresso machines can be even more expensive than some commercial-grade coffee makers, due to the simple fact that espresso machines have more sophisticated components, such as thermostats, boilers, and frothers, among others.


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