Before you jump into buying an espresso machine, you better know what you need to keep an eye out for. Nowadays there is a wide variety of espresso machines available in the market. You need to choose one according to your own convenience and lifestyle.
Anything we buy for our home, we can never ignore the aesthetic bit of it. Similarly while buying an espresso machine you might just want to check out how it looks. Some espresso machines come in plastic built bodies, whereas many others are made of stainless steel. The plastic ones often come in a wide variety of colors.
While we are at it, I would suggest that you try and skip the plastic ones and stick to the metal ones. An espresso machine needs to stand strong against a lot of heat. Hence it is always advisable to avoid plastic built machines. The metal, generally stainless steel, espresso machines might not come in a wide variety of color, but the metal body looks very assuring. This one actually is your call. You need to choose a machine according to your own sense of aesthetic.
To brew good quality espresso, it is essential that you reduce the amount of time between grinding the coffee beans and brewing the coffee. Some espresso machines, especially the super automatic ones, do have an in built grinder. But if you are choosing a model that does not have a grinder, buy a good quality coffee grinder first. A lot of the taste depends on the grinding prowess actually.
Espresso machines have an inbuilt water tank for storing water. If you have a big family of coffee drinkers who all need their morning cup of Joe, you might want to look at machines with a water tank of higher capacity. But if you know it is going to be more or less you, you can safely buy a machine with much lesser water tank capacity.
If you like espresso, then it is simpler. But are you one of those espresso based milk coffee drinkers? If yes then buy an espresso machine that has a milk steamer/frother. This will enable you to make all your fancy cappuccinos and Lattes.
Some espresso machines, especially the slightly expensive ones, come with a double boiler. In case of a double boiler machine, you can simultaneously brew espresso and heat/steam/froth milk. And thus the minute your espresso is brewed, you Latte is ready.
If you are planning to buy a bigger espresso machine, do make sure you have that space in your kitchen. In case you have a smaller kitchen/ lesser space available, then you might want to consider buying a small espresso machine.
A cup warming tray is always an additional joy as it warms your cup prior to the brewing of the coffee, thus maintaining a nice temperature. Some machines also come with a hot water dispenser. If you want one to make the tea, Find a machine that has a hot water tap.
Do check how much customization is allowed with the machine. Some machines do let you control the amount of water for each espresso shot and the strength of coffee.
Coffee pods are simpler to use for the busy coffee drinkers as they release you from the burden of cleaning the coffee muck every time after a brew. If that is the case with you, pick a machine that is compatible with pods. Also, ask your appliance seller to give you a demo on cleaning the machines. You will know how complicated or not is the cleaning task going to be. Do check out a number of machines before settling for the one. You can do the checking out and research bit online. Though I would say that I feel you should buy electrical goods only from shops, after they have given you a demo. To ensure you buy only the best and recent espresso machines, check out espresso machine reviews. Reviews will help you choose the right one four your needs.