Espresso Machine Deals, News, Reviews, and Information

How Important Is The Steam Wand?

I sent out a poll to my newsletter subscribers a while back (are you a subscriber? It's free - subscribe by clicking on the Newsletter link at the top of the page) asking them why they originally got interested in home espresso machines.

After all, they're expensive, they're messy, they can take a lot of maintenance, you need accessories like bean grinders, not to mention the can be a hassle. I know why I wanted to buy one way back when, but I was curious about other people.

The answer was overwhelmingly uniform. Most people bought their first espresso machine because they wanted to make Starbucks-like drinks in their home because it would be more convenient and less expensive. We're talking cappuccino, latte, mocha, Americano, etc.

Most Of Those Drinks Have One Thing In Common

What do those drinks have in common? You need to froth milk! Hence, you need a steam wand.

Now this is no mystery, and I don't know of a single espresso machine on the market today that doesn't come with its own steam frother wand (except maybe some of those single cup coffee centers that purport to make cappuccino from a pod or capsule).

So what are we talking about here?

Sure, all machines HAVE steam wands
but not all machines have GOOD steam wands!

I like to hold espresso machines in my hand, test them out, put them through their paces before I write up a review for this site. Unfortunately, that's not always possible. I can't afford to buy every espresso machine on the market, and companies won't always send me review copies to test out.

So I have to rely on customer reviews in order to help me come to a solid conclusion about a machine. Otherwise, I'd just be rehashing product features and you can get that info from the companies web site without me! So I read as many reviews as I can.

You'd be amazed at how often people complain that a steam wand doesn't work well, or brakes easily, or even blows up!

Since this is an issue and a feature that is absolutely essential to most people when buying an espresso maker, I tend to focus on it as much as I can. One of the first things I look out for is news about the frother. And you should too.

So don't buy an espresso machine until you hear, one way or another, about it's frother wand. If you read my reviews, I'm always on the lookout for you and I'll write whatever I find. If you rely on your own research, be sure to pay special attention to that sort of thing when reading reviews yourself.

Because you don't want to spend $500 on an espresso machine, only to have the frother wand stop working in 2 months! Then all you'd have is a clunky box that spits out straight espresso! Sure, you can buy one of those cheap manual frother device things, but no one really wants to use those...

What About Fancy Frothers?

There are fancy frother attachments out there that come standard on some machines such as the Pannerello wand that Saeco uses on some of its (and it's Gaggia line) espresso machines. Are they worth the extra money? I don't really know. They're ok, sort of like an added bonus. But I wouldn't buy a machine solely to get that special wand.

The bottom line is, keep an eye out what people say about frother wands on customer reviews before you buy any espresso machine. You'll be glad you did!

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