Archive for the ‘Coffee Benefits’ Category
An expert operator of an espresso machine is a “barista,” the Italian word for a bartender. In Italy and other parts of Europe, a barista is considered a career position, often with specific skills and training passed down from generation to generation.
In other parts of the world, the job of a barista has been frequently seen as an employment choice for young people, mostly as a starting point in their career, but is not seen as a life career choice. As a result, many coffee shops have moved to fully automatic espresso machines which allow a minimally-trained employee to create an espresso drink by merely pushing a button.
You might be forgiven for not knowing the difference between automatic and semiautomatic espresso machines. After all, both varieties feature buttons and switches that control electronic functions. And both varieties also perform a bulk of the work for you. The main difference involves water delivery; an automatic machine will sense the precise amount of water needed for an espresso shot, while the semiautomatic machine’s water delivery is up to you.
Note that both types feature temperature sensors that turn the heating element back on whenever the boiler cools down. This luxury takes much of the guesswork out of espresso making. In years past, a barista would have to estimate just when to engage and disengage the boiler – which often led to disastrous, barely palatable results. Semiautomatics are differentiated from manuals in that they apply a continual amount of pressure on the bed of coffee.
Automatic espresso machines can be used just like a semiautomatic, as most of them feature a water-delivery button that doesn’t turn off until it’s depressed. That allows the barista or coffee enthusiast to pour a short, normal or even a long shot of espresso. If you don’t trust yourself to properly gauge the amount of water needed for your espresso shots, consider going the automatic route.