These past few years it seems like the home espresso market has grown significantly. We’re seeing a lot more variety in grinders, espresso/coffee machines, and accessories, and each and every one seem to say “we’re better than the previous.” It’s honestly getting confusing and it’s hard to compare, just because of the sheer number of good options. Videos and reviews from influencers are also on the rise and it’s hard to tell what’s good or bad as they aren’t the most impartial reviewers.
We’re seeing a lot of crowd-funding type machines, and even the well established companies are starting to notice the innovation in the home espresso market and want to get in. But the keenness of coffee-people (mainly keenness to part with their money) has made it very lucrative to churn out crowd funded machines (often leading to very very long waits) with little risk, and soon I can see the quality of these crowdfunded machines going down as more people jump on the free cash bandwagon. Honestly, if I had some capital I would probably try to make a machine too as it seems far too easy to convince people to buy your idea in this market.
China also seems to be making coffee related gear so fast that it’s scary. For example, I recently bought a very nice looking wooden needle distribution tool with integrated lid for £2 from Aliexpress, this would have been around £20 a year ago, same with tampers and other quality coffee related gear. Copy-cat machines seem to be on the rise too, most likely from IP theft of manufacturing info when getting things made in China. This is good in a way that it keeps prices down, but it makes discerning quality difficult.
I was thinking of changing my grinder (Mazzer SJ) but it seems every month there’s a new announcement of a grinder which does not help me as I’m very picky and don’t want to regret a purchase (and I’m currently tight cash-wise..) I’ve also stuck with my La Pavoni because at the price I bought it, I’m unlikely to make better espresso with an alternative (without far too much research and at least 10-20x the cost).
Does anyone else feel overwhelmed by the massive pick-up in the home coffee space, and if so what aspects?