Machines with a piston group have a longer lever that the user pushes down when brewing. The technology gave rise to the espresso coffee we know today and was launched in 1948 by Gaggia.

There is a small production of piston machines still today. For cafés that have no connection to water or electricity networks, it can heat the water with a gas flame and operate the machine without these modernities. Then it obviously gives an enhanced experience for the customer when the production gives even more feeling. A good reason for not having a piston machine on the serving is work environment reasons. The barista clamps up the spring-loaded piston by hand, which becomes heavy in the long run.

For home use, there is also a small market for piston machines. Those machines do not have the spring load that professional machines have, and the pressure must be completely regulated by pressing the lever with the right pressure. Many users risk serving or throwing away many bad cups because it is difficult to squeeze right.