Bob Terwilliger wrote:
I've had both steam-driven and pump-driven espresso machines. I bought the
pump-driven one because the steam-driven one makes HORRIBLE espresso. It
forces superheated water through the grounds, which brings out all the
bitterness. My pump-driven machine (a Starbucks "Barista") heats the water
to a lower temperature for making espresso, then uses a pump to push it
through the grounds. It uses a separate compartment to generate steam for
the steam tube.
I had good results with my steam driven machine but preferred the pump machines
because it is a PITA to make more than a few cups of espresso with the steam
machines because of the water supply, too much pressure to open when hot and
vacuum when cold. I had several of those Italian espresso pump machines.
Luckily I bought them at Canadian Tire where they have a one year replacement
policy and I was talking them back every 6 months or so after they died. I had a
Braun, and when the pump burned out it was cheaper to replace it with the Krupps
than to repair. I had considered a more expensive machine, but the repairman
who I had come to know well would not recommend any of them, showing me a $4500
machine someone had brought in that he could not get parts for. Another supplier
sold reconditioned machines starting at $2500, which is a little steep for home
http://www.directbuyimporters.com/pr..._id=4428833168 shows a
picture of the unit I have, though it cost less when I bought it several
years ago. I haven't had any problems with it breaking down; maybe I'm just
lucky in that respect.