In 2014 , I was introduced to the world of making your own espresso. I thought that espresso makers were just that: machines that made those bitter shots of caffeine. Once I began to watch video demos of the Breville Barista Express, I learned that the espresso making portion of the machine was the gateway to all my favorite cafe coffee drinks. The type of coffee bean, milk, heat, and pressure all contribute to the perfect espresso drink.
I used the above pictured Breville Barista Express for about four years. The machine itself never let me down as far as quality. However, the entire process to make one coffee drink was tedious not to mention loud. The whole beans sit in the bean hopper until you are ready to make a drink in which case the grinder LOUDLY grinds to your chosen consistency. You have to pre-heat the portafilter and the mug. And then you have to use the LOUD milk frother wand to create your hot milk and foam. Once you have made your fancy coffee, latte, cappuccino you have to clean off the wand and the tube inside with a shot of steam, rise the portafilter, and dispose of the coffee grounds. A lot of work for one coffee!
I went on the hunt for a less noisy espresso maker. My research brought me to the Super Automatic Espresso category. These machines are far more expensive, but they do all the minute manual work without the intense noise. And by doing all the minute work for me, the espresso is consistent every time. Super Automatic Espresso Makers create a barista quality drink (espresso, milk, and foam) with the touch of a button.
I bought the above pictured Saeco Xelsis Espresso Machine. It has a touch screen interface. It also has saved profiles for multiple users. I have saved my customized drinks: temperature, amount of foam, amount of milk, amount of espresso, and so on. I have no complaints! In fact, it feels like I have an entire cafe restaurant on my counter.