Espresso Machines – How they Work

There have been many people who bought bellman espresso machines for their homes. These machines are smaller and more efficient than the machines you see in the cafes. We will learn about the workings of household espresso machines in this article. Let’s start by understanding what espresso is.

What does Espresso mean?

Ground espresso and coffee beans 

When you ask for an espresso in a cafe, Espresso bar, or another place that serves espresso, the espresso will be served in a shot-sized cup with a small amount of coffee. There are many types and styles of espresso drinks.

The process of making an espresso shot is to force 1.5 ounces worth of hot water through finely-ground espresso beans. If everything goes according to plan, the final result will be a dark brown, slightly thickened liquid with a small amount crem (a foam akin to the head on an ale).

A shot of espresso can be made with many variables. Many factors influence the outcome of an espresso shot. To create a quality shot of espresso, the barista or skilled espresso maker controls all these variables.

A Simple Machine

To force the water through to the espresso, the simplest espresso makers use pressure. This is created by heating water in a sealed vessel. The principle is the same, so we’ll look at one of these camping-style machines.

This machine makes coffee by packing it in a funnel-shaped, metal tube. The tube extends from the bottom of the reservoir. After a few ounces are added to the reservoir, the top can be screwed on.

After the water has been heated on a fire, it builds pressure and can only escape up the tube. Because the tube’s ends are submerged in water, the pressure forces hot water up the tube.

There are disadvantages to such a machine. The temperature of the water is a key factor in the system’s pressure. The ideal brewing temperature might be too high to allow enough pressure to force water through the coffee.

Many home machines have a pump. Let’s take one look at this.


The reservoir holds hot water for the espresso machine. It can be removed, but it isn’t pressure-tight nor heated.

The Pump

The pump draws the water from the reservoir to heat the chamber at high pressure.

Heating Chamber

The heating Chamber, a robust, stainless-steel structure, has a heating unit built into the bottom. The resistive heating component is a coiled steel wire that heats when electricity is passed through it. This resistive element is made more durable by embedding the coil in plaster.

Also, the heating chamber has a one-way switch that allows water in from the pump to the chamber but not out of the chamber.


The portafilter holds the ground beans. There is a small removable screen inside the basket that holds the ground coffee. There are two outlets at the bottom where the espresso flows.

Steam Wand

The steam wand is used for heating and frothing milk for various espresso drinks. This wand can be connected to the heating container. The steam from heating vessels is released into the milk when the valve is in the steam position.


The control panel houses the on/off button, two indicator lights, and a control valve. One light indicates that the machine has turned on, while the other indicates whether the heating chamber is at the correct temperature. This valve is used for either to open the portafilter to let water pass through it, or to release steam from the steamer. It also controls one of the micro-switches used to control the pump, the heating element.

Let’s take a closer look at what happens when you make an espresso shot.

Making A Shot

Assuming there is water in the machine, turn it on. The heater light will indicate that the heating vessels have heated the water to the perfect temperature (just above boiling).

Next, pour the ground espresso into the basket. Finally, tamp the mixture down.

After the espresso has reached the cups, flip the switch back to the middle position. Most likely you’ll need to steam and froth some more milk.

Steaming milk for a cafe latte is as easy as placing some cold milk inside a container. Turn the valve to the steam position. This activates a resistive heater that boils water quickly. Once the valve is opened, steam will flow out of the tube. The pump operates intermittently to ensure that the heating vessel is always stocked with water. The steam quickly heats the milk and can be used to make froth if the steam nozzle is held near the surface.

There are many espresso-based drinks you can make at home or order at an espresso shop.


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