9 Bar vs 15 Bar

9 Bar vs 15 Bar: Discovering the Ideal Espresso Brewing Pressure for You

The significant difference between the 9 and 15 bars is the extraction pressure each espresso machine generates. Compared to 9 bar, a 15 bar machine produces a richer and creamier espresso with a thicker body.

In this post, we will compare both bars to find the most suitable espresso machine for you.

Read and explore.

Comparison between 9 Bar and 15 Bar Espresso Machines

Check out the table at a glance and see how both machines are different.

Aspects9 bar15 bar
Pressure It can generate up to 9X the atmospheric pressure.This machine can generate up to 15X the atmospheric pressure.
Espresso qualityA 9 bar machine will deliver milder-tasting espresso with less crema.A 15 bar machine will produce comparatively stronger espresso with more crema.
Maintenance Requires low maintenance.Requires relatively higher maintenance.
Suitable forBeginners Both home and professional users.
Price CheaperHigher than 9 bar machines.

If you don’t think the above chart is insufficient to choose between them, let’s go into their details. Read the following sections carefully.

9 Bar vs 15 Bar

9 Bar Espresso Machines: Excellent for Starters

You need 7 to 11 bar pressure to produce espresso. But 9 bar is considered the standard pressure for extraction as it is suitable for most espresso grinds. 9 bar espresso machines are more affordable and easier to maintain than high-bar machines. That’s why it is commonly used in homes and small coffee shops.

Quality of Espresso It Produces:

A 9 bar machine can produce standard espresso, which is suitable for most espresso lovers. Since it is a low-bar espresso machine, you cannot expect a high level of crema and a thicker body in the beverage. The espresso it produces will have lighter crema and a thinner body. The taste it will deliver can vary depending on the roast of the coffee beans, the grind size, the water temperature, and your brewing technique.

Maintenance Required:

For the best performance from a 9 bar espresso machine, you should clean it regularly and descale it once a month. The process will remove all mineral deposits and impurities that affect the taste of espresso and the machine’s performance.
Unfortunately, many 9 bar machines lack automatic cleaning cycles. So, you have to depend on a manual maintenance routine. But an advantage of such a low-bar machine is that their gaskets and group heads have a low risk of wear and tear due to less pressure generation.


  • Its limited pressure can reduce the quality of the espresso compared to high-bar models.
  • 9 bar machines lack advanced features and customization options. So, you may not be able to experiment with different brewing methods.
  • Due to miniature pressure, it may not be a good tool for espresso beverages like cappuccinos and lattes.

Who should choose a 9 bar espresso machine?

A 9 bar espresso machine is a more affordable option and requires a straightforward brewing process. If you are just starting home espresso making and are not interested in making more complex beverages, a 9 bar machine seems an excellent choice.

15 Bar Espresso Machines: Good for Well-Balanced Espresso

A 15 bar machine can add more customization to your espresso brewing technique. It helps you produce high-quality espresso shots with rich crema by fixing grind size, water temperature, and extraction time. 15 bar has been popular as a balanced extraction tool. So, home and professional users rely on its performance.

Quality of Espresso It Produces:

15 bar pressure is well-balanced for espresso brewing, neither too less nor excessive. A machine with 15 bars produces richer and fuller-bodied espresso with a thicker crema. The pressure is also ideal for extracting more coffee oils and flavors from the grounds. It means that a 15 bar machine will deliver a more intense and complex taste.

Maintenance Required:

High-pressure espresso machines can build more coffee residue and mineral deposits in the internal components. So, you must clean and descale it frequently.
A 15 bar machine may have complex and sophisticated parts. They can require specialized maintenance and repairs. Unless you want to damage them while cleaning, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance.

  • Its price is much higher than low bar machines.
  • Operating a 15 bar machine can be challenging for beginners.
  • Due to higher pressure and more mineral deposits buildup, you have to clean and descale it frequently.

Who Should Choose A 15 Bar Espresso Machine?

A 15 bar espresso machine produces a well-balanced shot with a more crema and full-bodied flavor. It is also good for producing more espresso for multiple people more quickly. If you are a professional or have prior experience operating an espresso machine, 15 bar is a wise choice.

Final Words

The entire article summarizes that you can expect nearly double performance from a 15 bar espresso machine compared to a 9 bar. If you are a beginner or enthusiast of traditional espresso, go for a 9 bar machine. On the other hand, 15 bar can be a good option for experienced users who wants to enjoy different espresso beverage with full-bodied flavor.

FAQs Section

Which type of espresso machine is better for beginners?

Beginners can choose espresso machines with automatic features. It is because these machines can automatically fix mistakes in grinding and tamping. Thus, they help enjoy well-extracted espresso.

How important is bar pressure in making espresso?

Bar pressure is quite important in making espresso because it is linked to optimal extraction. It affects the extraction process and the final outcome.

Can cheap espresso machines with low-bar pressure brew good espresso?

An espresso machine costs cheap does not mean it is bad at performance. Instead, you should consider the pressure it will generate. Regardless of the price, always pick an espresso machine with minimum 9 bar pressure.

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