Guide to buying an espresso machine
Steam Espresso Machines
Steam-driven models are inexpensive and quick and easy to use, but usually fail to generate consistent pressure at an optimal brewing temperature. The result is a bitter shot of coffee.
While not recommended for regular indoor use, stovetop models are ideal for espresso on-the-go.
More about steam-driven models.
Pump Espresso Machines
Pump-driven models are more expensive, but usually generate more consistent pressure than a steam-driven machine. Water also passes through the coffee at a slightly cooler temperature which is optimal for espresso.
When used correctly, this type of machine produces a far better shot of coffee.
More about pump-driven models.