One type of espresso machine that is constantly popular is the manual espresso machine. They are the perfect machine for the individual who is seeking to become an at-home barista with full-control of each shot of espresso.
In that, these people understand the art behind pouring an espresso and, most likely, enjoy the art of the entire process. Here, you will learn more about the differences between manual machines and other espresso machines in the industry such as: semi-automatic, super-automatic, and capsule machines.
If you decide that manual espresso machines are for you, here are the Top 5 Rated Manual or lever Espresso Machines in the industry today.
What Exactly Is A Manual Espresso Machine?
A manual espresso machine is quite different than all other types of espresso machines. These are known as the classics in the industry.
Out of all of the variations of machines, this is the only machine that provide the user with the maximum amount of control over their shot of espresso. That means, the user is responsible for grinding the beans, measuring the espresso shots, timing the shot, applying the pressure, pulling the shot – essentially everything that other machines already do.
All manual espresso machines come with similar basic features such as:
- Steam Pressure Gauge
- Manual Level to Control Extraction
You might notice the simplicity of a manual machine. While this is quite different from many of the machines in the semi-automatic and automatic bracket, these machines are extremely popular. Now, rather than control over extraction, pressure and grind, those other machines have technology to do the work.
As a result, manual espresso machines can be considerably more expensive than semi-automatic and super automatic espresso machines. It may take more time and dedication, which could be at the cost of convenience but at the expense of higher-quality and controlled espresso shots. Many espresso lovers prefer manual espresso machines as the shots seem to taste stronger and fuller.
1. ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker
When it comes to the manual industry of espresso machines, it may take some skill to get use to controlling the entire process. However, with the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker, this is known as the easiest and most user-friendly manual espresso machine in the industry. Here is what to expect if you purchase this top-rated manual espresso machine:
- The machine has a very unique and industrial appearance. This seems to be a notable feature amongst the fans of this machine.
- The ROK Brand advertises that this machine requires no electricity at all. While this is a unique feature, it can have a downside to it.
- This is the perfect espresso machine for hikers, campers and those who seek to be “off the grid”.
- The machine is quite simple to use. All one must do is grind the beats, tamp and then pull a 9 bar pressure. While this will take a bit of skill to master – once done, this will produce one pure shot of strong and rich espresso.
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2. La Pavoni PC-16 Professional Espresso Machine
La Pavoni is one of the most infamous brands in the manual industry. This company produces nothing shy of perfection and professional for the home-espresso brewer. The machine operates based on a lever and will require some attention to detail and practice. If the design meets your taste, check out the features and important things to know:
- The machine is based off of a level function. What this means is that the user has ful control over the pre-infusion of the grounds. In other words, the machine wets the grounds just enough before you begin the entire brewing process.
- One of the benefits of this machine is that the user is the pump. As the user, you decide how strong, hard and fast you want the espresso to brew. This will take some time to get use to as many espresso fans have mentioned a learning-curve with this machine.
- If you are new to using a manual machine, this one comes with a pressure gauge to help gauge the extraction process.
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3. Elektra ART S1CO Micro Casa
The beauty of espresso machines in the home has been redefined by Elektra. Bringing forth the trends of retro into the industry and the home, the Art S1CO Micro Casa has caught the attention of all espresso lovers with it’s sleek, shiny and beautiful design. This is a lever-based manual machine and full of unique yet simple features. It all begins with it’s copper and brass or chrome and brass exterior.
- The machine is built with brass boilers, which are intended to create dry steam for micro foam. If you are seeking high-quality and thick foam, this is the machine in the manual market to do it!
- To assist the user in the extraction process, the machine has a pressure gauge to help measure the entire process. In practice, the user will masterfully be able to create and extract the perfect espresso shot.
- At the base of the espresso maker is a 10-inch circular base. Visually appealing in all directions, this is the perfect complement to any kitchen.
- One unique feature of this machine that many other manual machines lack is an internal pressure regulator. Its purpose is to assure the perfect temperature for extraction. In other words, every shot with this machine will be at the perfect warmth for you.
- Another favorite amongst espresso-fans is the 61-ounce boiler. This is significantly larger than many other manual espresso makers in the market right now
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4. Quickmill Andreja Premium Espresso Machine
When it comes to higher-end and quality manual machines, the Quickmill Andreja surpasses its competition with hands down. With all of the bells and whistles attached, this manual espresso machine is just waiting for you to bring it home. Check out the list of unique features and benefits of this machine.
- With this award-worthy machine, the user has full control over the grinding process and what they wish their grounds to be like. They also have control over the amount of grounds per shot and tamping pressure.
- The Quickmill Andreja places the entire experience in the hands of the at-home barista. You are required to operate the Starbucks espresso machine yourself – per say. That means the user is required to measure the shots and insure the extraction to its completion.
- On top of it’s many features, this machine is one of the most beautiful and shiny pieces of machinery out there.
- For those who enjoy frothing or steaming milk, the Quickmill features not only a steaming wand but also a hot water dispenser.
- If you are unaware when the water tank might be empty, the Quickmill will let you know with an audible alarm. This is definitely a handy feature!
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5. La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine
As we discussed earlier in the article, La Pavoni is one of the leading-edge companies for espresso machines in the industry. With that being said, you should not be surprised that there are two of these on the list! This machine is genuinely acknowledged as the perfect choice for beginners and simply espresso users. If that sounds like you, check out these features!
- This machine is perfect for producing a maximum of 8 shots of 2oz espresso before needing to be refilled. For those with a busy lifestyle, that means only once a week will your machine need to be filled if you have a shot of espresso each day.
- While this is a machine, the user does have full control over the entire process including the extraction. This may take practice to measure and gauge each shot, but unlike other machines in this category, this is seemingly the easiest to get used to.
- For any user seeking to invest in buying this machine, it is recommended that you buy a high-quality grinder alongside it. If you did not know, grinding is one of the most important aspects of espresso – without one, each shot of espresso will lose significant taste and scent.
- One beneficial feature of the machine is the internal temperature gauge to help measure the temperature of each shot. To avoid any issues, it’s essential to learn the machine and it’s formalities.
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