Portafilter or fully automatic machine - it all depends

Whether Portafilter or fully automatic machine is the better choice for you at home depends on various factors. For many, this decision is anything but easy.
Basically, there are questions about budget, space, time and, last but not least, taste.
We'll tell you what you should consider when making your decision, so that you can find the best machine shape for the perfect espresso or delicious coffee for you.

The characteristics of the two "competitors

A portafilter machine and a fully automatic machine differ in several aspects. We would like to explain to you what makes the two devices different and what the advantages and disadvantages are.

The fully automatic coffee machine as an all-in-one solution

A fully automatic coffee machine makes it possible to prepare different coffee specialties in a very short time. Whether espresso, cappuccino, Latte Macchiato or the classic cup of coffee - the fully automatic machine can make them all! It usually includes an integrated grinder, a brewing group, a water tank, a container for coffee beans, a system for milk foam as well as a residual water tray and a coffee grounds container.

This all-in-one system brings several advantages:

The advantages of a fully automatic machine

The first positive thing that stands out when buying a fully automatic coffee machine is the cost savings it offers compared to a portafilter. Many portafilter machines are still manufactured in factories and the material value is also a lot higher, which leads to prices that not everyone is willing to spend on a coffee machine.

The fact that the above-mentioned components are all combined in one system - meaning that there is no need to set up a separate coffee grinder or knock-off container - means that the fully automatic machine can be placed in a wide variety of locations, such as the kitchen or the office.

Preparing a coffee beverage with a fully automatic machine enables time savings on two levels at once. Thanks to the simple operation at the touch of a button, each step is carried out independently by the machine, which not only has the advantage that the individual processes run faster - not least because the machine heats up immediately and is ready for use - but also saves an enormous amount of time in terms of cleaning. As a rule, a fully automatic machine cleans itself just as it brews coffee. For this purpose, there are descaling and cleaning tablets specially adapted to the respective machine. These are inserted into the appropriate containers during the guided cleaning process and then automatically rinsed by the machine into the areas to be cleaned. Occasionally, the brew group and nozzles have to be cleaned manually, but the frequency and the amount of work involved are kept well within limits.

Fortunately, those who have little time to concern themselves with the interaction of bean and grind do not have to fear any loss of taste with a fully automatic machine. Depending on the selected coffee beverage, the fully automatic machine adjusts the grind as well as the amount of beans and any coffee beverage can be enjoyed at any time with full flavor. The beans are freshly ground before each brewing process and thus retain their aroma for a long time.

... and its disadvantages

In contrast to a portafilter, a fully automatic machine usually has significantly more technology and digital components. In the event of malfunctions, faults or damage, there is therefore a potential need for additional repairs.

Those who value the absolute maximum in optimal flavor extraction are definitely better off with a portafilter machine. Although the manual and individual adjustment of the grind and the manual milk frothing require more time and a certain amount of expertise, the taste result is undoubtedly much better. A fully automatic machine can only come up to the aromatic demands of a fragrant lover to a limited extent.

The portafilter machine - individuality & first-class quality

The portafilter is an espresso machine that relies on manual operation. Each step on the way to the finished specialty coffee is done yourself and can therefore be done individually. In addition to the portafilter, you need an external coffee grinder, ideally an electronic one with manual grind adjustment. This can be used to grind the coffee grounds directly into the Portafilter . The loose grounds must then be compressed with a tamper in the sieve before being clamped into the brewing group of the machine. With a high pressure of about 9 bar, the portafilter machine pumps hot water through the filled sieve with the flick of a switch or lever.
To prepare milk drinks, most portafilter machines have a steam lance for frothing milk. For those who want to try their hand at the art of latte art, the steam lance is indispensable!

The advantages of the portafilter

If you love coffee and want to do justice to high-quality beans, you need a portafilter machine! We at Espresso Perfetto are absolutely convinced of this and of course we are not alone in this opinion.

Of course, this love means a little more effort and cost, but we think it's definitely worth it, because no other machine can match the taste experience of coffee from a portafilter! In addition, a portafilter machine - especially in a classy chrome look - is always an eye-catcher in any kitchen. Not every kitchen/household utensil can score with great design in addition to functionality.

The disadvantages of the portafilter

The main disadvantages have already been mentioned in the course of this article. First, portafilter machines in combination with grinders and the necessary accessories are in most cases more expensive than a fully automatic machine. As with all purchases, the available budget and your own requirements for a coffee machine must be considered individually. Furthermore, the morning coffee before work is an absolute must, for which unfortunately not always enough time is available. Heating up the portafilter (this usually takes 10-15 minutes), grinding the beans, brewing the coffee, frothing the milk, tapping out the sieve, cleaning the lance, washing Portafilter and rinsing the brew group are all necessary processes on the way to perfect coffee and with a view to ensuring the machine's long service life. If you take good care of it, it will accompany you for a good 30 to years.

Our tip: Get yourself a Wi-Fi socket! When you get up or get ready in the bathroom in the morning, you can switch on the machine directly via your smartphone or voice assistant and it will be heated up and ready to use as soon as you walk into the kitchen.

How do I decide now?

Of course, we can't take the decision away from you, but as a leading dealer of portafilter machines, our heart always beats - oh wonder - of course for the Portafilter. We have given you the reasons.

Of course, we can understand very well that not everyone has time, money and fun for and on a portafilter machine. The fully automatic machine is definitely a solid solution. Because as long as freshly ground beans and waste prevention are given, you are already doing a lot right in terms of coffee preparation!

Any other questions?

No problem! Our knowledgeable staff in our stores will advise you at any time with questions about both the Espresso machineas well as the espresso grinder!

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