Home Espresso Machine vs Coffee Shop – Convenience or Exceptional Quality?

We’re not here to drag home espresso machines through the mud – after all, nobody can deny their obvious appeal. However, the most common complaint of amateur baristas and espresso DIYers is these poorly constructed machines’ inability to perform like the real thing.

Commercial espresso machines offer superior quality espresso because they’re built to a much higher standard, with a larger beverage turnout in mind. Simply put – these gourmet-grade espresso machines (like the ones proudly displayed at your local Waves Coffee House) are built to last. This is why there’s no comparing a residentially-geared machine’s “latte” with the delectable drinks you’d expect from your neighbourhood coffee shop (and professional barista).

Speaking of baristas – these brew experts help to further the café cause and provide yet another explanation for why you’re left feeling frustrated over your subpar homemade latte. Professional baristas have been extensively trained in the art of creating espresso-based beverages. This artform cannot be mastered overnight, and many of the biggest DIY espresso evangelists around still rely on the expertise of baristas on those days when they are craving truly gourmet and professional quality espresso.

The Limitations of Plastic-Based Coffee Machines

While these gadgets make popular Christmas gifts, they’re not for everyone – genuine coffee aficionados can attest to this.

For example, machines that offer “pod-style” coffee are not capable of producing the authentic espresso you’d find in a dedicated, specialty coffee shop. In fact, you’ll find that a lot of these brands mention this in their FAQs – as we know, companies can find themselves in hot water (no pun intended) for false advertising. This is why more often than not, you’ll notice that the wording used to describe their caffeinated beverages includes phrases like “espresso-like – but not true espresso”.

This is due to the lack of pressure utilized in the traditional espresso-making process. Freshly ground and tamped espresso beans are tightly compressed by hot water (i.e. the “pressure”), infusing and creating the delicious drinks that we know and love – it’s called espresso for a reason, folks. Instead, pod-style machines brew a more concentrated, 2 oz. cup of coffee to act as the “espresso” for specialty beverages.

For those who don’t mind gas station cappuccinos, the above might suffice. To diehard espresso enthusiasts, however, this style of machine is an inferior choice and frankly, might as well be labelled an abomination. Additionally, many of those cheaply manufactured appliances do not feature milk steaming or frothing capabilities – a huge component in espresso-based beverages.

We Crave Our Morning Coffee Shop Run

2020 has been challenging for all of us, and one thing that we can agree on is that everyone’s routine has been disrupted to some degree.

Many nine-to-fivers have been working from home for the better part of the year. These same individuals used to frequent their local coffee shop on the way to the office – a small act that had considerable influence on how the next several hours would play out. It was their happy place – their “something to look forward to”. This rings true now more than ever. The morning coffee run is something that many of us are clinging tightly to in an attempt to maintain some semblance of normalcy.

Our morning latte doesn’t just wake and warm us up in the literal sense – it warms our hearts and minds, too. It empowers us to take on the day, and gives us the motivation to accomplish anything. That makes for one small, yet powerful act.

A lot has changed, but there’s one thing that doesn’t have to. At your neighbourhood Waves, we remain ready to provide that perfect cup of coffee – and that small bit of normal you need to keep your spirits up and your morning routine the same, if nothing else.