What is the best espresso maker for Dads? This is a question that has plagued me for a while. I love espresso and drink it nearly every day. So I need an every day espresso maker that is affordable, easy to clean and makes great coffee. So which is the best one for Dads?
The average Dad who drinks coffee chugs a solid 3.2 cups per day. So if you’re drinking that much coffee, you want it to be of good quality.
For me, you can’t get better than a double espresso mixed with a little water, sipped while reading a good book. It will give you the energy and mental focus to keep going throughout the day.
Plus studies have shown that coffee drinkers live longer than non-coffee drinkers. Just make sure you give the grande pumpkin spice latte a body swerve.
The best way to drink coffee is black. A cup of joe with nothing added is just fifteen calories (mostly from the oils that make the coffee). Adding a little stevia sweetner will take the edge off the bitterness while you learn to drink it like a man.
What to Look for in an Espresso Maker?
So I’ve established that, for coffee drinking Dads, espresso is where it’s at. Espresso coffee is superior in taste to filter coffees (not to mention instant – yuk) and packs less of a caffeine punch meaning you won’t get the jitters in the same way.
As a Dad there is one thing you don’t have much of – time. So, you need a maker that is:
Quick to set up
Easy to clean
Can make multiple cups if required
You’ll also want a maker which isn’t over-the-top expensive to buy or to run. Oh, and it has to make a great espresso.
Not asking for much are we?
Machine or Stove-Top?
To keep it simple, I’m going to distinguish between the two:
A Stove-Top espresso maker is a bit like a tea pot that you put coffee and water in, but separate. The water heats and steams through the coffee before being pushed up into the main container and condensing, leaving you with a generous helping of the black gold. It takes minutes and is very easy to clean. Oh and they take up almost no space.
A machine runs off electricity and will normally pour hot water through the grounds into a cup below. With machines, the sky is the limit when it comes to price. A basic machine which just makes espresso is an affordable alternative to some of the £3000 contraptions you can buy.
In this review I’m going to look at two types of machine – traditional and pod-based. As well as comparing with the stove-top espresso maker so you can see which of these really is the best espresso maker for busy, hard working Dads!
DeLonghi Pump Espresso – The Affordable Espresso Workhorse
I got my DeLonghi Cafe Treviso as a wedding present and it’s lasted ever since. I use it at least daily (sometimes more) and it delivers for me every time. I rarely have to clean it (much to my wife’s dismay) and it is very efficient when it comes to buying coffee.
The little cup where you put the coffee holds two small scoops of ground coffee and makes a double shot with a real kick. I find that the finest ground coffee works best and it really has to be espresso ground (other grinds are too coarse and the coffee kinda sucks).
The Cafe Treviso also comes with a little milk steamer which lets you make a range of milk-based coffee drinks.
Price wise, these start at around £100 but there are offers to be had. This sounds like a lot of cash, but if you spend £3 a day on takeaway coffees, you’d have that hundred back in a few months of use.
You can get the (much more modern looking) DeLonghi Pump Espresso machine here (Amazon).
My trusty, basic pump espresso machine has had a good innings. I use mine at least once a day, and have done for years.
The Magimix Nespresso Inissia Pod Coffee System
The Nespresso system was actually invented back in 1976 and lay on the dusty shelves of a Nestle product developer’s office for twenty years before being patented in 1996. In 2000, Nestle started licencing machines using the Nespresso brand.
Nespresso uses pre-filled capsules or ‘pods’ which are inserted into a compatible machine and punctured. Water is then pumped through the capsule to make your coffee. The used pod can then be thrown away.
Nespresso is probably the most convenient way to make an espresso at home. There’s no mess and it is so easy, even a child could do it for you while you lie in bed reading the financial supplement of the Times newspaper (just me?)
The Magimix Inissia Nespresso machine is a very affordable option at £90 but you can spend anything from £50-300 for a Nespresso machine.
One draw back is the cost. The pods ain’t cheap and if you drink a lot of coffee (like me) you’ll get through a lot of capsules. That said, you could have a Nespresso machine as a time-saving back up for when you’re in a real rush.
The Bialetti Stove Top Espresso Maker – Best for Economic Meltdown
Both of these machines are great. Until there’s a power cut. And then you’re screwed. No more coffee for you mate! Imagine if there was a global apocalypse and you needed coffee but couldn’t because all your espresso making equipment needed mains power to run?
Not to worry, because the Good Lord has given us the stove-top espresso maker and it is Goo-oood.
Water goes in the bottom, coffee in the top, stick it on something hot and BAM!
You got espresso.
Even with the zombie hoards breaking down your door, at least you’re going out with the taste of good coffee in your mouth and a fire in your soul (fire in soul is optional).
Stove tops are probably the most affordable way to drink espresso – you can pick one up for a few quid, they don’t need electricity, they are super quick and they are also quite forgiving when it comes to the type of coffee you use (even filter ground).
I own a Bialetti Venus which goes nicely on my induction hob (but works on regular fire too). It also looks quite stylish for when you’re trying to entertain (impress) guests.