Buy a Steam Coffee Machine? – Everything you need to know

In the electric coffee maker market, there are two main types that account for the lion’s share of sales, namely espresso machines and drip coffee makers. They differ in their entirety, especially in aspects such as extraction and brewing time as well as the intensity of body and taste.

In between, however, are the steam or high-pressure coffee machines, which give very satisfactory results at a very affordable price.

Why buy a steam coffee machine?

There are many factors that make steam coffee machines recommended.

Economy of steam coffee machines

Steam coffee machines are a very economical alternative, especially when compared to espresso machines, both in the short and long term. There are two main reasons for this:

Market value

Hydro pressure coffee makers range in price from $40 to $80, which is less than a third of the price of an espresso machine with similar features.

This affordable price is achieved through a simple pressure system that works thanks to the pressure created by the steam generated by the water. In addition, the material of the coffee machine is usually made of plastic, since the machine does not have to withstand great pressure inside.

Operating cost

These steam coffee machines usually have a maximum output of 900 watts. That’s because the functions consist of heating the water to around 130 degrees Celsius and activating the steam nozzle for the milk. This means that the use of these devices does not incur high electricity costs.

Brewing speed of steam coffee machines

These water pressure coffee machines have the great advantage that they brew the coffee in a very short time. Although the process is slower than an espresso machine, you can brew your coffee in 5 minutes or less.

In addition, it is important to mention that some models of steam coffee machines have a heated base that maintains the temperature of the coffee for a longer period of time.

This makes this product ideal for people who are short on time.

Ease of use of steam coffee machines

One of the highlights of the steam coffee machines is their simple and easy handling. Most steam coffee makers work with a single knob on the side that can be turned to activate one of the machine’s functions.

The use essentially consists of:

  • Put ground coffee in the filter.
  • Adapt the filter holder to the coffee machine.
  • Pour water into the tank and put the lid on properly.
  • Turn on the coffee maker and wait.
  • Enjoy.

As you can see, these machines are not particularly complicated to operate. However, there are some models that have a display, an intensity control or more than one coffee spout.

That’s why we recommend you take a look at our guide on how a steam coffee maker works.

Coffee taste with a steam coffee machine

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of water pressure machines is the taste of the coffee. These coffee makers are clearly inspired by traditional espresso machines. The result can therefore be described as the light version of an espresso.

All aspects such as foam formation, body, aroma and taste are softened in this preparation. But that doesn’t make it a worse coffee, it’s just different.

However, it is not a 100% light coffee, which is not the case compared to a typical drip coffee. Steam brew coffee has a much higher overall intensity.

It is this middle ground that makes this coffee so popular with people.

Versatility of steam coffee machines

Steam coffee machines typically don’t offer many features. However, there are 4 factors that make them versatile:

  • With some models, the final coffee strength can be set. We can choose between mild, medium and strong.
  • They all have a milk frother, making them ideal for making cappuccinos or other milk-based drinks.
  • Some models have a double spout that allows you to use vessels other than the carafe without the need for an external adapter.
  • Depending on the model and brand, the pressure can vary between 3.5 and 5 bar. This affects the end result.

Size of gas coffee makers

In many cases, size is one of the most important factors when buying a coffee maker. This is not a big problem with hydro-pressure coffee makers as they tend to be quite compact and lightweight.

  • The overall size of these coffee makers is quite small, in some cases even the corners are rounded to save space.
  • As a result, the container is usually large enough to fit in the coffee maker.
  • The weight is also low, because only a few models weigh more than 2 kilograms and are therefore very light.

Why not buy a steam coffee machine?

Considering all of these aspects, a steam coffee maker seems like the ideal product, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Production capacity of a steam coffee machine

As already mentioned, these coffee machines are very small. In most cases, the tanks have a capacity of significantly less than 500 milliliters. That’s enough for 4 not very large cups.

Therefore, although the preparation is quick, preparing large quantities requires multiple operations and a lot of time.

Quality of materials for steam coffee machines

The main reason why they are cheap is due to the lack of quality materials. Although some coffee machines have stainless steel details, the structure is usually made of plastic.

As a result, the durability and lifespan of the product is lower and the vulnerability is higher.


Cleaning this type of coffee maker is easy and complicated at the same time. This is because the machine has removable parts that make cleaning easier, e.g. e.g.:

  • The filter and the filter holder.
  • The drip tray.
  • The pot.

There are also fixed parts like the water tank that cannot be detached, making thorough cleaning difficult.


As you can see, steam coffee makers are very good products that make an interesting intersection both in terms of price and features. While they do have some downsides, we think some of them are manageable without too much trouble.

In summary, a steam coffee machine is worthwhile without being a perfect product or suitable for everyone.