What is a One-Touch Espresso Machine?

If you are in the market for an espresso machine, you might have come across a term called “One Touch”. One touch may refer to a super-automatic espresso machine that not only grinds, tamps, extracts and dispenses the used coffee puck, but also frothes or steams milk with the single touch of a button. The entire process from end to end is seamless and there is no need to move the cup from the brewing dispenser to the cappuccino frother by pushing another button.

The second context where one touch is used to describe an automatic frothing/or steaming process in contrast with manually inserting a frother into the milk surface for a minute or so to prepare the milk for a cappuccino or latte drink. Typically a milk container of sort is hooked up with a frother where milk is siphoned, heated, frothed or steamed until it reaches to a pre-defined temperature range.

Not All Super-Automatic Espresso Machines Are One Touch

While many super-automatic models may be called One Touch in the Product Description, only a very few that are truly qualified for the first definition. One of the examples is the Jura Impressa J9 One Touch. In J9, there are two dispensing outlets with one for brewing espresso/coffee and dispensing hot water; and the other for frothing/steam and producing espresso continuously. If you’d like to make a cup of cappuccino, all you have to do is to fill the water tank with fresh water and bean container with coffee beans. The machine will do the rest once you press the Cappuccino button.

Certainly before pressing the one button, you can adjust multiple settings to suit your taste such as how much coffee in the drink, water volume, brewing temperature and the amount of froth monitored by seconds (3-120 seconds). The longer the time, the more milk it dispenses/frothes/steams.

What’s the Big Deal with One Touch Espresso Makers?

The most obvious advantage is the convenience and speed. There is hardly any downtime between frothing and brewing. Quite often the few seconds’ delay is programmed intentionally to allow the milk to settle before delivering the coffee for better layering.

The second benefit is that there is less mess to clean up and no need to hand hold the frother to steam or froth the milk. Quietness is yet another factor as manually frothing milk can be quite noisy.

With some of the features and benefits, the one touch espresso maker does come with a higher price tag. It’s a trade-off like everything else in life.

Who Is It For?

Who should consider one touch vs. just another super-automatic machine with two steps in brewing and frothing/steaming milk? I’d say for someone whose main coffee drinks are milk-based such as cappuccinos, lattes or macchiatos. It’s also perfect for group use. For example, if you host a dinner party, your guests don’t have to wait around for you to brew espresso first and then froth/steam milk. With even a minute extra in waiting time, it can diminish the enjoyment factor.

So if you have the cash to splurge, check out the Jura Impressa J9 to see if it’s the right machine for you. If you are only interested in a one-touch cappuccino frother, then the choices are abundant under my reviews of Jura One Touch Espresso Machines.

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