The only problem is, is that you don't have the first idea of what to look for to make sure you get a quality machine.
There are a few key items that you should take into consideration before you plunk down your cash.
Construction of the espresso maker is always a consideration.
It should feel like it has some weight to it and that the components are heavy duty and not just a hunk of plastic that will break over time.
You will also want to know about the brewing and steaming temperatures.
Ideally the machine will have separate thermostats for each.
The steaming temperature should be 260 degrees and the brewing should take place at 195 degrees.
In order to attain the temperatures needed to brew and steam you will want to make sure that the espresso machine that your thinking of purchasing provides at a minimum 750 watts of power.
In addition, in order to brew quality coffee and espresso drinks, you will need an extraction pressure of 6-9 atmospheres.
This might be stated as 90-130 P.
, with 130 P.
being the perfect pressure.
The porta filter is another concern.
I have seen some really cheap and lightweight porta filters.
Personally I like it to have some heft to it like a heavy duty commercial one.
When it comes to the steam wand you will need one that ideally swivels but more importantly one that a 1/2 liter steaming pitcher can be placed under easily.
A few other items to look for are the size of the water bin, whether or not the pump is self priming, and if there are status lights to let you know if the water is done heating or if the power is on or off.