Guide to buying an espresso machine
Stovetop espresso machines
Stovetop espresso machines are the simplest type of espresso machine. Water is heated in an airtight chamber and the resulting steam is quickly forced through a bed of coffee grounds.
These are the least expensive type of espresso maker and are popular with hikers and tourists since they require no electricity.
The drawback is that stovetop espresso machines don't produce enough pressure to make great coffee. They also come with no attachments for frothing milk.
Electric steam espresso machines
Electric steam espresso machines work in more or less the same way as a stovetop model, only an electric coil heats the water.
They are inexpensive, quick and easy to use and, unlike stovetop espresso machines, usually include a steam wand so you can froth milk to make latte or cappuccino etc.