Are you wondering how many bars your espresso machine should have? This answer depends on your tastes. Just how rich and flavorful do you want your espresso shots to be?
How Many Bars Should an Espresso Machine Have?
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here’s a quick answer to your question:
Nine bars is considered ideal for high-quality espresso, though you can also get solid extractions from seven or eight bars. If you’re thinking of using more bars than that, reconsider! It’s all about balance in the world of espresso, meaning too many bars can be just as damaging as not enough.
Continue reading to learn what pressure bars mean for espresso and what you should look for when purchasing an espresso machine.
Are 3.5 Bar Espresso Machines Good?
A 3.5 bar espresso machine is considered suitable for casual home use. It won’t be quite as rich or aromatic as a higher bar machine, but it’s perfectly acceptable for your occasional latte.
Fortunately, it takes more than pressure to make good espresso. If you use the right espresso grind and fresh beans, you can still make a very strong cup. Consider using dark roasted coffee beans, as they’re better suited to the higher pressure of espresso machines.
What Does 15 Bar Pump Mean?
Now that we’ve looked at the bare minimum pressure, let’s look at the other extreme. A 15 bar pump espresso machine has the maximum amount of pressure that can be applied to espresso.
Does that make the coffee taste better? Not at all. Adding too much pressure to your espresso grind will make it taste overextracted: this means bitter or sour. Coffee beans are more delicate than they look and require a balanced touch.
How Many Bars Are In a Professional Espresso Machine?
Professional, commercial-grade espresso machines generally use nine bars. They also tend to be pump-driven rather than steam-driven to get the most amount of pressure.
Depending on the machine you use, you can have coffee brewed with varying levels of pressure. This feature is best left to the experts, as it can lead to unwieldy results.
How Do I Increase Espresso Pressure?
Most espresso machines come with a pressure gauge for you to view and adjust pressure at will. Let’s use the Quick Mill Silvano Evo Espresso Machine 04005-A-EVO as an example.
This semi automatic espresso machine has its pressure gauge front and center: while it’s capable of sixteen bars of pressure, you should remain in the eight to nine bar range. Adjusting pressure is as simple as the press of a button.
You should adjust pressure before extracting your espresso so you don’t create an inconsistent shot.
See Also: Automatic Espresso Machine with Grinder
What Makes a Good Espresso Machine?
This distinction will vary a little depending on your needs. Espresso machines are more varied than they’ve ever been, able to suit you right down to the price point.
Finding your compatible espresso machine means asking questions about your preferences, experiences, and budget. For example: do you like to make coffee on a daily basis or are you someone who prefers one latte a week? If you’re a frequent coffee brewer that wants speed and convenience, get an espresso machine that has:
- Double spouts
- A built-in coffee grinder
- A built-in steam wand
- Programmable dosing
Perhaps you’re a coffee drinker with a little brewing experience. You want to get the most flavor out of your hard-earned coffee beans. Consider purchasing an espresso machine that has:
- Nine bars of pressure
- Volumetric dosing
Are you a complete beginner with espresso machines? Never fear. When starting out, you should consider features such as:
- Superautomatic or semiautomatic
- Programmable dosing
- Micrometric grind adjustment
- Automated cleaning
- Pressure gauge
See Also: Can You Use Turkish Coffee in an Espresso Machine?
Pressure is what separates espresso machines from coffeemakers and pour overs. It’s an incredible feat of technology that has completely changed the way the world looks at coffee.
Want to know more about espresso machines? Reach out to our live chat or send us a message with your coffee machine-related questions. We’re happy to help!
Read Next: Why Do Espresso Machines Have Two Spouts?