If you’re a coffee lover and have decided to invest in an espresso machine, one question that may be on your mind is whether to buy a 15 bar or a 20 bar machine. While both are designed to extract quality espresso, there are some key differences between the two that may impact your decision.

To start, let’s discuss what the bar rating actually means. The bar rating refers to the amount of pressure that the machine uses to extract espresso from the coffee grounds. In general, the higher the bar rating, the more pressure that can be applied to the grounds, which can lead to a richer, creamier shot. However, it’s worth noting that pressure isn’t the only factor that affects the quality of espresso.

When it comes to 15 bar machines, these are what you’ll typically find in most homes and smaller coffee shops. They work by using a single boiler to heat the water for both brewing and steaming milk. This means that you’ll need to wait for the machine to switch between the two modes, which can take some time. However, 15 bar machines can still produce excellent espresso shots with a good amount of crema.

On the other hand, 20 bar machines are typically found in higher-end cafes and restaurants. These machines use a double boiler system, which allows for quicker heating and more consistency in temperature control. Additionally, the higher pressure can create a smoother and creamier shot, as well as more tightly-packed and evenly extracted puck of grounds.

When deciding between a 15 bar and a 20 bar machine, it’s important to consider your needs and priorities. If you just want to have good quality espresso shots at home, a 15 bar machine will likely meet your needs. However, if you are looking to become a home barista and want the ability to make latte art, a 20 bar machine may be a better investment.

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Ultimately, whether you go with a 15 bar or a 20 bar machine, the key to great espresso is using quality beans and properly grinding and tamping the grounds. Both machines can produce delicious espresso, so it really comes down to personal preference and what you’re willing to invest in your home brewing setup.

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