Aside from cost savings, which can be substantial, have you considered how much time you could free up when you own a home espresso machine? In my previous blog, “The Hidden Cost of Not Owning Your Own Espresso Machine,” I did the calculations and was shocked to find that the average person spends 52 hrs a year waiting for their morning beverage. The solution is clear; an espresso machine will let you skip those long lines.
I have researched the benefits of owning a machine, in terms of potential time savings. One of the machines I experimented with was the popular Gaggia Platinum Vision. Here is what I found:
First, you must, obviously, turn the machine on and wait for it to heat up before making an espresso. Including the short rinse cycle, the Gaggia Vision will be ready to brew within 1 minute and 20 seconds. The brewing process, itself, lasts a mere 45 seconds. Finally, with the Gaggia Milk Island, steaming and frothing milk can be accomplished in 1 minute and 34 seconds. (14 seconds to produce steam and an additional minute and 20 seconds before the steaming is complete.).
As you can see, from beginning to end, it only takes 3 minutes and 57 seconds to make a drink. In less than 4 minutes, you can go from a cold machine to a hot beverage, not bad. It would take you longer than that to even get to a coffee shop! (My tests with other Jura and Gaggia super automatic espresso machines yielded very similar results.).
For comparison’s sake, I also tested a few popular semi-automatic machines including the Gaggia Classic and Rancilio Silvia. Although they did require slightly more time to make a beverage, I was still quite happy with the outcomes.
Including initial heat up time, the Classic only needed 5 minutes to brew espresso and steam milk for a latte or cappuccino. The Silvia has a larger boiler (12oz); so it needs a little extra time for the boiler to warm up. Miss Silvia requires about 8 minutes and 30 seconds, from start to finish, to make a cappuccino.
Consider the boiler type when you’re trying to determine machine warm-up speed. Machines that have just a single boiler and one heating element will be among the slowest to heat up. After extracting a shot of espresso, these machines will require a little time to achieve the proper steam temperature.
Models with a single boiler and two heating elements will be a bit quicker to warm up. These machines often have rapid steam features or technology. For example, the Gaggia Vision that I tested uses rapid steam technology; it only needed 14 seconds to make the switch from brewing to steaming.
Machines with either a heat-exchange boiler, or two separate boilers, offer the best performance. With these units, there is often no wait time, at all, between brewing an espresso and steaming milk.
There are also other factors that will influence the speed of a machine such as: the size of the boiler and heating elements, as well as the unit’s power supply. The staff, at Whole Latte Love, has spent a lot of time testing the different espresso machines on our site, the results of these tests are available for your review on the Compare-O-Matic. If you require additional assistance, feel free to give us a call!
Do yourself a favor and consider the alternatives. Given your home brewing options, there is no reason to waste time waiting in those long coffee-shop lines! .