Semi-Automated Espresso Machines
Semi automatic machines allow you more control in the brewing process. These are the most popular in home machines. You start and stop the brewing process, which only takes about thirty seconds. Most come with either a frothing adapter or a stem want for making cappuccino or other specialty drinks.
Semi automatics come with either a pressurized or a commercial portafilter. A commercial portafilter has a metal holder with a plastic handle. These are found on coffee shop cappuccino makers. You need to get the grind setting, tamp pressure and timing right to get the best cup possible. It takes a few tries to perfect this process.
A pressurized portafilter has a ring inside that adjusts the flow of the water. the water will flow slower for coarse grounds and faster for finer grounds. The ring also enhances the crema on top and makes a better cup with less effort from you. With a pressurized portafilter, you don’t need to worry as much about the tamp pressure or grind of the beans.