What things should you look for in a quality espresso maker?  It's not something that many people stop and think about when it's time to purchase one of these machines.  However, if you hastily purchase an inexpensive unit without knowing what to look for in a quality unit, you run the risk of purchasing one that will quickly break.  And let's get this out of the way up front... you are probably not going to be able to find a high quality unit at your local big box retailer.  Yes, you can buy espresso makers there but they tend to carry the lowest priced and lowest quality items you can buy.  Before you make any kind of purchase decision on one of these kitchen accessories, there are a few things you should consider.

Of course, the very first thing you should evaluate before purchasing any espresso maker is the brand of manufacturer.  Let's face it, not all manufacturers make products of the same quality.  Some brands are simply better made than others and have a reputation for lasting longer.  The better brands typically come with a lengthy warranty.  This alone is worth going with a premium brand.  It means they trust the quality of their products enough to make a promise to either repair or replace any defects at no cost to you for a period of time.  The best way to determine which brands are best is to check various product reviews on both the internet and in such publications as Consumer Reports and others.

The level of automation your new espresso maker provides is another thing you really want to think about before laying down your hard-earned money for an espresso making device.  Not all of these machines prepare your favorite beverage the same way.  Some of them are fully automated and do everything while others require actual human intervention to make things work.  Still others are somewhere in between the two extremes.  Which one is right for you?  Only you can decide that but it's important to remember that a higher level of automation often means a greater chance of something tearing up and needing a repair.  For many people manual models do the job just fine.

And last but certainly not least is how much you want to spend on one of these devices.  Espresso machines can be expensive.  Some of them even retail for over $2,000 each.  But you probably don't need to spend that much if you are looking for a nice unit for your kitchen to make the occasional espresso.  But how much do you need to spend to get a good kitchen unit?  Thankfully, not a lot.  You can find high quality kitchen units in the neighborhood of $300 that come with very nice warranties and are from name brand manufacturers. 

Don't make the mistake of purchasing a new espresso maker without considering the three attributes mentioned in this article.  It could save you some potential expensive problems later on down the road.  A quality unit, however, could last for many years.