Coffee & Espresso Makers, How to Choose the Best! Coffee & espresso makers are all the rage, nowadays! The only real question in most of our minds, is which type to choose. There are a number of different makes and models. But this is not that hard to figure out, because there are only really four kinds of coffee & espresso makers to choose from, automatic, piston, pump, and finally steam driven. Let's look at these and see what their pros and cons are. If you're into espresso but you don't have a lot of time, then the right coffee & espresso makers for you might be automatic machines. Automatic machines are great! They don't have all the mess and fuss of piston and pump driven machines, but they'll still make a really nice foamy cup of espresso. If you think you're really going to get into this espresso thing, then you might want to investigate a pump driven machine. It's a modern version of the piston driven machines, but still easier to use. You do, however, have more control over the espresso making process with this sort of coffee & espresso maker. It's kind of like the difference between a fully automatic camera and a manual camera. Other types of coffee & espresso makers you need to think about would be piston driven machines. Now, these are the real classics! As a matter of fact, they're difficult to come by. If you can get one at a decent price, snag it. It's a collector's item. Finally, for the budget conscious, there's the steam driven machine. These are the ones you see in the department store around Christmas. I'm not saying they're not good, but really they're not quite the quality of coffee & espresso makers that the other three types are.