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Are Espresso Machines Loud? 3 Reasons Why Espresso Machines Can Be Noisy

Noisy espresso machine

Are you considering buying an espresso machine, but you’re worried it might be too loud? 

Maybe your espresso machine wakes the whole family when you brew your morning coffee, leaving you wondering whether it’s really supposed to be so noisy. 

The answer is that espresso machines are supposed to be quite loud, but some machines are significantly louder than others. Whether your particular espresso machine makes a low-level hum or an ear-splitting roar comes down to three factors.

What Makes Espresso Machines Loud?

Three things make an espresso machine loud: the pump, the grinder, and the steaming wand.

By understanding these three factors, you can make an informed decision about which espresso machine to buy and learn how to make your espresso as quietly as possible.

1. Vibratory Pumps vs. Rotary Pumps

Your espresso machine will either use a vibratory pump (also known as a vibe pump) or a rotary pump to push water through your coffee grounds. 

Vibe pumps force water through the espresso machine using a piston that moves backward and forwards about 60 times per second. Most home machines use this type of pump, as they are small, cheap, and easy to replace. Unfortunately, the downside to vibe pumps is that the rapidly vibrating piston can cause a lot of noise!

Rotary pumps work differently. They use an impeller wheel that spins at high speeds to generate pressure and push water through the coffee grounds. The rotary method still produces some noise but is much quieter than a vibratory pump.

If you’re choosing which espresso machine to buy and your priority is a quiet machine, it’s worth understanding the parts of the espresso machine and searching for a model with a rotary pump. However, if you are on a tight budget, you may struggle to find a rotary pump espresso machine within your price range. 

2. The Grinder

Most mid-range and higher-end espresso machines feature an integrated burr grinder. Unfortunately, burr grinders are usually quite loud, producing a sound similar to a lawnmower or a vacuum cleaner. This noise comes from the burrs inside the grinder as they crush and break down the beans into small particles ready for extraction.

Not all espresso machines contain a built-in grinder. Some take pre-ground coffee, which you buy from the store, or make from beans using a separate coffee grinder.

If your top priority is making an espresso quietly, you can avoid grinding at home by choosing an espresso machine that takes store-bought ground coffee. But, of course, the trade-off is that you lose the freshness that comes from freshly ground beans.

Alternatively, you could use a separate grinder rather than one built-in to your espresso machine. If you choose to go down this route, blade grinders and conical burr grinders are quieter than flat burr grinders. However, the noisier flat burr grinder will produce a more consistent grind.

3. The Steaming Wand

Steaming wands on espresso machines can be noisy. This is because the steam has to pass through a small hole to create pressure, which causes it to make a loud noise.

Besides drinking your coffee without steamed milk, there’s not much you can do about the noise from your steaming wand. You can try reducing the steam pressure, but if you reduce it too much, this may result in less frothy milk.

It is important to note that your steaming wand shouldn’t ever make a screaming noise. If you hear a high-pitched scream from your espresso machine while steaming, then you should lift the want to the surface of the milk to allow it to get more air.

Are Espresso Machines Supposed To Be Loud?

Generally speaking, espresso machines are supposed to be loud, and there’s not much you can do to make them quieter.

Your espresso machine will produce noise when it is grinding beans (assuming it has a built-in grinder), pumping water through the coffee grounds, and steaming the milk.

As grinding beans and steaming milk are optional, the loudest unavoidable noise comes from the pump. Therefore, the best way to make an espresso quietly is to choose a machine that uses a relatively quiet rotary pump rather than the noisier vibe pump.

Quiet Espresso Machines: Our Top 3 Picks

Good rotary pump espresso machines don’t come cheap, but if you have the budget, they are an excellent choice for the coffee connoisseur looking for a quieter way to make their espresso.

No espresso machine is completely silent, particularly when you consider the noise of grinding beans. But in terms of noise from the pump, our top 3 picks are some of the quietest espresso machines available today.

1. La Marzocco Linea Mini

The Linea Mini is a home version of the Linea Classic commercial espresso machine. As long as you have the barista skills to operate the machine properly, the Linea Mini allows you to make the kind of coffee that you would usually only find in a high-end coffee shop.

It is handmade with a cool retro design and features dual boilers and an integrated brew group that ensures temperature stability even when pulling multiple espressos in quick succession.

However, the reason it makes this list is its commercial-grade rotary pump, which is consistent, reliable and quiet.

La Marzocco Linea Mini. Image source: espressocoffeeshop.es
La Marzocco Linea Mini. Image source: espressocoffeeshop.es

Product Overview

La Marzocco Linea Mini is a home version of the commercial espresso machine Linea Classic. It is handmade!

2. De’Longhi EC9335R La Specialista Espresso Machine

The De’Longhi EC9335R La Specialista offers a fantastic balance between power and low-volume operation.

The dual boiler system has great capacity, while the machine also features two pressure gauges and manual temperature controls alongside the PID controller, which automatically keeps your coffee at the correct brewing temperature.

The De'Longhi EC9335R espresso machine. Image source: delonghi.com
The De’Longhi EC9335R espresso machine. Image source: delonghi.com

Product Overview

The De’Longhi EC9335R with great capacity. It offers 1 second quick start: Power the machine on, grind and tamp your dose, then immediately brew authentic espresso.

3. Lucca M58

Like the first options on our list, the Lucca M58 is also a dual boiler system that features a rotary pump to help you make commercial quality espresso without the noise.

The Lucca M58 if you need to make one espresso after another. The PID temperature control allows the machine to pull a shot, steam 12oz milk, and return to the ideal temperature to pull the next shot, all within 90 seconds.

The Lucca M58, a true beauty. Image source: Luccaespresso.com
The Lucca M58, a true beauty. Image source: Luccaespresso.com

Product Overview

Lucca M58, a beautiful dual boiler system coffee machine.

In summary

While it is true that espresso machines are generally supposed to be loud, there is also a growing demand for quieter espresso machines.

In fact, many coffee enthusiasts and professionals are seeking out quieter machines to avoid disrupting the peaceful atmosphere of their cafes or homes.

Moreover, with advancements in technology, some espresso machine manufacturers are actively working to reduce the noise levels of their machines.

For instance, some machines now use quieter pumps and improved insulation to reduce the overall noise levels. This trend towards quieter machines shows that the coffee industry is paying attention to the needs and preferences of its customers, and is committed to making coffee-making a more enjoyable and pleasant experience.

In conclusion, while espresso machines are traditionally loud, there are options available for those who prefer a quieter experience. With technology advancing and manufacturers recognizing the demand for quieter machines, the future looks bright for coffee lovers who want to enjoy their daily brew without the accompanying noise.

FAQ – Are Espresso Machines Loud?

Are espresso machines loud?

Yes, generally speaking, espresso machines are supposed to be loud due to the noise produced when grinding beans, pumping water through the coffee grounds, and steaming milk. However, there are ways to reduce the noise level, such as choosing a machine that uses a quieter rotary pump instead of a vibratory pump.

What makes an espresso machine loud?

The pump, grinder, and steaming wand are the main components that make an espresso machine loud. Vibe pumps and burr grinders are particularly noisy, while the steaming wand produces a loud noise when the steam is forced through a small hole.

How can I make my espresso machine quieter?

Choose an espresso machine with a rotary pump instead of a vibe pump, use pre-ground coffee instead of grinding beans at home, or use a separate grinder with a blade or conical burr instead of a flat burr grinder. Unfortunately, the noise from the steaming wand is difficult to reduce.

How can I reduce the noise level of my espresso machine when steaming milk?

Steaming wands on espresso machines can be noisy due to the steam passing through a small hole to create pressure. While there’s not much that can be done about the noise from the steaming wand, reducing the steam pressure can help to some extent.

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