How does a Steam Coffee Machine work? -Quick Start Guide

Inspired by the espresso machines, the steam coffee machines have managed to distinguish themselves as completely independent products. Because these machines, also known as hydro-pressure coffee machines, do not aim to imitate espresso machines, but offer a completely different coffee with their own strong arguments.

How does a steam coffee machine work?

There are different models of steam coffee machines on the market, which differ slightly in both appearance and operation. Nevertheless, they are all based on the same principle and work in much the same way:

  • The ground coffee is placed in the filter holder.
  • The tank is filled with water.
  • Steam coffee machines are usually electric and reach an average power of around 800 watts. This is enough to complete the whole process in an estimated time of 5 minutes.
  • The water reaches and exceeds the boiling point.
  • Once that temperature is reached, the water turns into steam.
  • Thanks to the pressure generated, the steam flows through the coffee filter, thereby infusing the coffee.
  • The coffee falls by gravity into a separate container or carafe.

The operation of the steam coffee machine is very simple, which makes the coffee machine more compact and lighter. It is also cheaper than its main competitor, the espresso machine.

Accessories for a steam coffee machine

These coffee machines have a number of accessories similar to those of an espresso machine:

  • A filter holder with a handle that holds the filter and the ground coffee.
  • An object to press the coffee once it is in the filter.
  • A container or carafe to hold the brewed coffee.
  • A tube through which the milk is steamed.
  • A temperature and pressure gauge.

How do you use a steam coffee machine?

Now that you know how it works, we’ll explain step by step how to use it like a pro.


The first thing you need to do is choose the type of coffee you want to use. We recommend that you choose the same type of coffee that you use for a traditional espresso. However, we advise you to use a coarser grind if possible. This is because the coffee is extracted more slowly than with an espresso machine, so the coffee is in contact with the water longer.

Coffee preparation step by step

  • Put the ground coffee in the filter holder.
  • The coffee machines have an accessory for pressing the coffee, a tamper. Be careful not to press the coffee too hard.
  • Now you can attach the filter holder to the coffee machine.
  • Fill the tank with water and close it. The lid is hermetically sealed to promote internal water pressure.
  • Now you can switch on the device.
  • Don’t forget to set up the carafe or vessel into which the coffee will be poured.
  • You can monitor the internal pressure and brewing time at any time.
  • As soon as the water has turned into steam, the coffee starts dripping out of the spout under the filter.
  • This process is very quick, so once the container is full, you can pour in the cups and enjoy a light espresso.

How do you make a cappuccino with a steam coffee machine?

One of the advantages of high-pressure coffee machines is that in most cases they have a milk frother that allows you to make a good cappuccino.

  • When the espresso is ready, we can use the milk frothing function.
  • We need to have a container of milk ready to insert the hose into. This happens when the pipe starts developing steam, which means the temperature is ideal.
  • The frothing time depends on the amount of milk in the container, but is also very short.
  • Now all you have to do is mix the evaporated milk with the espresso. Then you can enjoy a delicious cappuccino.

Please note that you have to master the technique if you want to prepare the best milk coffee. A little practice is therefore beneficial.

Results with a steam coffee machine

The coffee made with a steam coffee maker is a light espresso that is not as strong in body and flavor. However, its flavor and body are stronger than that of a drip coffee. So that doesn’t make him better or worse, just different.

It is important to mention that this coffee is very well received by connoisseurs and coffee lovers.

With cappuccino, on the other hand, the final quality depends on the milk used and your skill with frothing and mixing. We advise you to use a milk that matches the coffee for the best possible result.