Last Updated on February 14, 2022 by John Moretti
When it comes to coffee-making devices, the options are endless. It can sometimes become extremely overwhelming to understand the differences between them to decide which option will be best for you. Each type of device produces a completely different type and flavor of coffee, so the best machine for you will depend on how you like your coffee.
An espresso machine is a large, bulky machine that has been carefully designed to force water at high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans, producing an intense shot of coffee. An AeroPress is a small, portable device that uses manual pressure to produce coffee.
While some claim that AeroPress produces espresso, this is simply not true. Real espresso requires around nine bars of pressure to be forced through finely-ground beans, producing a rich, intense espresso shot with complex flavors. An AeroPress creates less than one bar of pressure and produces no crema as a result. What you have here is simply a strong cup of standard coffee.
Aeropress Vs. Espresso Machine
To make a good comparison between the two types of coffee makers, it’s important to understand the difference between the coffee they produce and how the machines actually work.
An espresso machine is a bulky device, usually manufactured using metal, which uses heated water (between 93 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit) at a pressure of nine bars or more. This water is forced through finely ground and compacted coffee beans that have been dark roasted specifically with espresso in mind.
The beans used for espresso have been roasted longer to make them effective in producing espresso. Normal beans used for AeroPress coffee have undergone a shorter roasting process, resulting ins a smoother and milder coffee.
An AeroPress is a simple plastic device that resembles a large syringe. Coarsely ground standard coffee is placed in the chamber with a filter, and hot water (90 to 94 degrees) is added. Next, the coffee is stirred before a plunger is inserted into the chamber. The coffee is manually pushed through into the cup below.
By relying on manual pressure, the AeroPress cannot produce the same amount of pressure created by an espresso machine. So the end result is similar to standard coffee but far smoother and milder.
Due to having few parts that are typically made of plastic, the simple AeroPress is far cheaper and easier to clean than an espresso machine, requiring very little maintenance, if any.
Espresso Machines Advantages & Disadvantages
Espresso machines work by pumping a little amount of water at high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans. The optimal pressure is said to be around nine bars, while some devices can achieve up to fifteen bars.
It’s worth noting that if you’re not an expert barista, extremely high pressure can damage your espresso.
This brewing method produces a rich and creamy espresso shot with a strong flavor and a thicker consistency than regular coffee. This shot can be consumed on its own or mixed with milk to create your favorite espresso-based beverage, such as a cappuccino or latte.
The heart, the body, and the crema are the three elements of an espresso shot. The bottom layer is the heart, which has a dark brown hue and a bitter flavor characteristic. The espresso shot’s body has a caramel brown color, with a golden layer on top that contains the majority of the scent and nuanced flavor. This is called the crema.
Manual, automated, and semi-automatic espresso machines are available, with each type allowing for a varying level of skill when it comes to using the machine. Most espresso machines come fitted with a steamer arm for steaming milk, and some even have a bean grinder, negating the need to purchase a separate grinder.
Once turned on, an espresso machine produces a shot within twenty to thirty seconds.
The Benefits of Espresso Machines
The most significant benefit of espresso machines is the high-quality coffee they generate, which can be used to create unique espresso-based cocktails. The espresso produced has a rich, complex flavor that is liked by most coffee enthusiasts throughout the world, and the brew time is much faster than with a drip machine.
The Drawbacks of Espresso Machines
Espresso machines, in addition to being more expensive, require more regular calibration, repairs, and part replacement. Maintenance must be performed on a regular basis to ensure the machine’s optimal performance, and the unit must be cleaned with appropriate equipment.
Espresso machines can be tricky to operate, and if you just want a simple cup of coffee, this machine will be out of your price range.
Aeropress Coffee Maker Advantages & Disadvantages
The AeroPress is a simple plastic coffee-making device that produces a smooth cup of coffee similar to normal filter coffee. The device is compact and fully portable, making it the ideal option for coffee on the go.
Benefits Of The Aeropress
One of the biggest advantages of AeroPress is that it is portable, giving you the option to take it with you wherever you like, producing good coffee no matter where you find yourself. The device is also relatively cheap, especially when compared to a full-size espresso machine.
An AeroPress allows you to adjust the ratio of coffee and water to produce the perfect strength of coffee according to your preferences. This device is also extremely easy to use, adding to its benefits. Many see the need for filters as a negative, but there are reusable filters that will ultimately reduce your environmental footprint.
If you’re looking for a smooth cup of coffee with low acidity, an AeroPress might just be the device you need.
Drawbacks Of The Aeropress
The biggest drawback of AeroPress is that it does not produce real espresso. If you are looking at purchasing an AeroPress with the hopes of making espresso, you will be disappointed. The device simply does not produce sufficient pressure in order to create proper espresso.
The AeroPress comes fitted with a rubber seal, and this has the tendency to become worn out with time. However, given the low price point of the device, it can quite easily be replaced at no major cost.
The AeroPress and espresso machines are such vastly different devices that it is difficult to compare them. Besides the machines themselves being extremely different, the coffee produced by them also differs dramatically.
As a result, your choice will come down to your preferences in terms of the coffee you like to drink, your need for portability, and the amount of money you’re willing to spend on a coffee-making device.