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What could be better than waking your spirits up with a cup of espresso or cappuccino in the morning and starting the day with new energy? If operated correctly, the best espresso machines deliver full espresso enjoyment. Not for nothing do you find them in Italian bars and coffee houses around the world.
In this review, you’ll find a list of the best rated espresso machines, carefully selected taking their designs, coffee compatibility, and extra features into consideration. The guide discusses which criteria you should pay attention to, from the ease of use and maintenance to the advanced features.
"A semi-automatic machine with a 67-ounce water tank and a half-pound bean container, as well as the advanced temperature management system.Grind size dial.Micro-foam milk texturing.Thermocoil heating system."
"An automatic coffee maker with a grinder that comes with a lot of advantages, including the practical Latte Go milk carafe.12-step grinder adjustment.4 coffee styles.3 aroma strength and 3 temperature settings."
"An upgraded version of the Gaggia Classic espresso machine that has been around for decades and one of the most popular coffee machines of the Italian brand.Rocker switch controls.Commercial steam wand and portafilter.30-second heat-up."
The Breville is one of the best-rated espresso machines on the market. It’s a semi-automatic machine with a 67-ounce water tank and a half-pound bean container. The coffee maker is capable of frothing milk. The water temperature is managed by a digital system, which continuously maintains it at the best possible level. The pressure during the extraction is 9 bars. This ensures you can obtain a smooth and pleasant coffee that will concentrate the potential of the chosen beans. The power of the heating system is 1600 watts while the pressure displayed by the device is 15 bars. The water tank is 2L and has a handle that makes it easy to grab to fill it again. The capacity is sufficient for fairly large coffee production.
With this machine, you will be able to avoid waste, since you can choose precisely the quantity of grains you want to grind as well as the size. It is therefore a tool for true coffee connoisseurs, who will know how to use the device to unleash the best of their products.
What makes it stand out?
What we like best about the Breville Barista Express BES870BSXL is that it takes less than a minute for this machine to produce exceptional coffee. You select your coffee beans, you place them in the dedicated container, and thanks to the particularly powerful conical coffee grinder contained in the device, they very quickly transform into an intense and subtle espresso. It takes a few tries to find the perfect settings. Easy to clean. The steam and heat gently froth the milk and are instantly usable for making espresso.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
The price of the coffee machine is on the high side. If you just want a good espresso once in a while, that's a bit too heavy an expense. However, note that it's built to cope with commercial demands. We also consider it one of the best home espresso machines.
The Magnifica ESAM 3000.B is part of the entry-level segment of the Delonghi catalog. This is an automatic machine with a grinder. The top of the machine accommodates a bean container with a capacity of 8.8 ounces. The grinding adjustment can be made in seven levels. As is often the case with the latest models from Delonghi, the water tank is located on the right side of the machine. To extract it, it is necessary to place the steam nozzle on the far left, otherwise, it blocks the tray which becomes impossible to dislodge. The tank is extracted by pulling it slightly towards you.
Neither too bulky (unlike the Jura Impressa C65 / 60) nor really compact (unlike the Scott Slimissimo), the Magnifica ESAM 3000.B is relatively well proportioned and we can consider installing it in a medium-sized kitchen. The finishes are obviously of lower quality than on the Dinamica (the mid-range at Delonghi) or PrimaDonna (high-end) models. If you are a coffee connoisseur, note that you will have to put aside some advanced features, as you can find on the Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite.
What stands out?
We liked how quiet this machine is. Very discreet, the Magnifica ESAM is the worthy heir to the Delonghi machines. The action of the crusher generates a sound level of 68 dB and the extraction emits about 57 dB.
What cons did we manage to find?
We have some doubts about the durability of the dial dedicated to the distribution of steam and hot water. It is difficult to turn, in either direction. On the left, the steam and hot water distribution dial; on the right, the length and intensity adjustment knobs. The design is all plastic and we think they could be built with more reliable material.
Extra features: 15-bar pump system; automatic milk frother; one-touch control panel
The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is a semi-automatic machine that uses pre-ground coffee. It is a 15-bar pump espresso machine with an automatic milk frother with a one-touch control panel. There are three dedicated buttons on the machine: one for espresso, one for cappuccino, and one for a latte. So you can make your favorite drink with a touch of a button. Coming for an under $200 price, this is one of the best budget espresso machines on the market.
The espresso machine from Mr. Coffee is a great pick for those who want to brew perfect coffee drinks at home like a barista. It’s ideal for anyone who wants a model that automatically froths milk for latte and cappuccino selections.
What stands out?
The most unique tool in the cafe barista is its milk frother which is built into the machine. We liked this feature as it takes the guesswork out. The machine is also inexpensive. It is a fraction of the price of some of the other models. If you don't have the hundreds or even thousands of dollars it takes to buy a top-of-the-line espresso machine then the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is a great budget alternative and that's why it's our best value product.
What cons did we manage to find?
It doesn't come with many features found in other models. But we don't expect much from it because of its price level. Neither fundamentally bad nor especially excellent, the Mr. Coffee machine does not stand out for any technical prowess. However, it does exactly what is expected of it, namely to prepare a coffee easily with a few customization functions.
Capacity: 6 oz. (water tank), ½ lb. (bean container)
Dimensions: 14.5 x 14 x 12.5 in
Warranty: 2 years
Extra features: 1-second quick start; active temperature control; advanced latte system
Do you think espresso tastes best when it’s prepared quickly and easily? Professional machines offer many advanced features, but sometimes lack ease of use. However, there is one reference that has been able to combine high quality and intuitiveness: the De’Longhi La Specialista. The De’Longhi La Specialista is a high-end espresso coffee maker that is ideal for your mornings because it starts quickly. Relatively easy to use and install. It is a very quiet machine. It has a lot of functions for making different drinks (coffee, tea, frothing milk, etc.). This coffee maker has an integrated grinder. You can therefore place beans in the hopper, and systematically have a fresh grind, the thickness of which can be adjusted on six levels.
The machine contains two heating units that can operate at the same time. One is responsible for bringing the water to the optimum temperature. The other will allow you to froth milk. The De’Longhi La Specialista is ideal for aficionados of cappuccino and latte art, as you can choose between a fine or thick foam. In addition to the milk nozzle, there is another designed to pour hot water into your cup. This allows you, for example, to prepare tea for a guest who is not a fan of espressos. The water tank has a capacity of 68 oz.
What makes it special?
The best part about this machine is that it starts quickly. Very quickly: it takes 1 second to turn on, and it is instantly usable. If you are often in a hurry in the morning, it is particularly comfortable.
What cons did we find?
The espresso machine could have been more customizable. The active temperature control function is the only customizability feature that catches our fancy. We expected more at this over $500 price level.
Capacity: 33.8 oz. (water tank), 9.7 oz. (bean container)
Dimensions: 9.7 x 14.6 x 17 in
Warranty: 2 years
Extra features: 12-step grinder adjustment; 4 coffee styles; 3 aroma strength and 3 temperature settings; touch screen display
The Philips 3200 Series automatic coffee maker with grinder comes with a lot of advantages, foremost among which is the Latte Go milk carafe – it’s still as practical as ever. It is also very easy to maintain and control thanks to its control panel lined with all kinds of indications. Its tank can hold 9.7 ounces of coffee beans and the device exerts a pressure of 15 bars. More importantly, this coffee machine can brew up to five types of coffee, including the popular cappuccinos or latte macchiato. The various settings of this popular item allow its owner to personalize the coffee.
Like many automatic coffee makers with grinders, the Philips Series 3200 EP3246 / 70 is a big baby. It measures 25 cm wide by 43 cm deep and, empty, it still weighs 8 kg. It will therefore preferably be installed on a work surface rather than on a shelf. While some devices of this type, such as the Scott Slimissimo, benefit from a relatively sleek front to blend in with the decor, Philips prefers an all-sensitive control panel, well provided with various and varied icons.
What are our favorite features?
In addition to the traditional espresso, long coffee, and Americano, this machine makes it possible to prepare cappuccinos and latte macchiatos. Like all automatic machines with a grinder, the Series 3200 delivers a powerful pressure of 15 bars thanks to its power of 1,500 W.
What could be better?
On the other side of the coin, we think its abundance of controls will perhaps slow down users looking for a more refined device. A little slow at start-up, the noise level is also relatively high.
The Essenza mini coffee machine works with a pump pressure of 19 bars. This is the ideal pressure for making an espresso or a lungo. With this Nespresso machine, you will get the correct dosage effortlessly and without difficulty. The quality of the coffee remains constant, regardless of the time and frequency of preparation. Despite its small size, it is rather very efficient and operates with a power of 1150 W. It remains stable throughout the preparation time thanks to its non-slip feet.
If you want to drink a very full-bodied frothy espresso or a good lungo that is a little less dense, you will be satisfied with this machine. The drink prepared with this Essenza Mini DeLonghi machine is of impeccable quality, reminding you of real coffee served after the evening meal in Italian restaurants.
What do we love it for?
We liked how this machine keeps the freshness of your espresso, thanks to the gradual grinding process inside. The espresso maker is also quite easy to use. We liked its ability to quickly prepare and reheat coffee. Its automatic shut-off function also ensures energy saving.
What were we disappointed with?
The Nespresso could feature a screen to check the adjustment parameters. Asides from that, it's a good machine. Its high pressure of 19 bars is one of the highest here.
Extra features: rocker switch controls; commercial steam wand and portafilter; 30-second heat-up
The Gaggia Classic is a machine you may have encountered before. It has been around for years and its production has never stopped as it has proven to be very popular in many countries around the world, especially Italy. However, in 2019 came the new improved Gaggia RI9380/46. The Gaggia Classic Pro is mostly metallic in design, with a brushed stainless-steel exterior that gives it a much more upscale feel than most modern coffee machines, which mostly use a lot of plastic.
The Gaggia Classic Pro is an upgraded version of the Gaggia Classic espresso machine that has been around for decades. It is one of the most popular coffee machines of the Italian brand. It produces some of the best espressos you can get at this price! The Gaggia Classic Pro is a coffee machine for true espresso lovers.
Why did it make our list?
While some parts are plastic, you can't help but notice that the core parts of the Gaggia Classic Pro are made of high-quality brushed stainless steel. In quality, it's much closer to those of much more expensive machines. The coffee stand, for example, is much larger than on the machines of its level.
What is not ideal about it?
One of the most important things to consider here, however, is that the Gaggia Classic Pro is an espresso machine in a pure sense. The height of the coffee arm is designed to accommodate only small espresso cups. There is simply not enough free space for those who like to make lattes in a larger cup. However, there is a trick, even if it's not particularly glamorous: remove the cup holder.
Extra features: 19-bar pump; single or double shots; automatic milk frother
The Mr. Coffee espresso machine brings coffee home. This semi-automatic espresso machine has great features for home coffee lovers. To take the guesswork out of it, Mr. Coffee designed the espresso machine with a one-touch interface system. So, there’s no need to think about it before enjoying your first cup.
You have the option of making one or two draws as well as automatic frothing of the milk. You will appreciate the light and airy foam with every cup. The milk container can be easily removed to fill it with milk, store it or clean it. Its adjustable drink trays let you choose the cup size you want. Overall, it’s great for espresso and cappuccino baristas.
What stands out?
We liked its thermocouple heating system. It heats water faster and more evenly. After use, a removable water tank allows easy access for filling or cleaning. The One-Touch CoffeeHouse is a fantastic machine for those who want to get the best possible espresso from an inexpensive machine. While the machine is pretty inflexible in some aspects, it produces great coffee which is the main thing in the end.
What cons did we manage to find?
We think the machine could be perfect if a tamper were attached. It would have been a way to holding the portafilter in place to remove the spent espresso.
The DeLonghi EC702 comes with attractive stainless steel with silver vinyl construction and a durable boiler. It includes an easy-to-clean, removable 44-ounce water tank, dishwasher-safe, and a manual milk frother.
The machine can be used with pods as well as coffee grounds and can prepare double or single shots. It’s also ideal for those who love or make craft cappuccinos and lattes.
Why did it make our list?
We liked its durable steel boiler. You can make use of it to prepare double or single shots. It has a beautiful stainless steel and plastic body. We also liked that it's compatible with pods and coffee grounds.
What is not ideal about it?
The EC702 is quite expensive. DeLonghi offers a one-stop warranty, although repairs can be expensive and customer support isn't the most responsive. We also found the water tank to be difficult to handle during removal. Also, the model takes longer to heat up than some other models in this review.
Extra features: cup warmer; 15-bar pressure; accommodates taller cups
The De’Longhi Dedica machine is a classic model. Step by step, you’ll be able to make a cup of espresso by hand. With a width of only around 6 inches, this De’Longhi machine is the narrowest model offered by this manufacturer.
The compact portafilter coffee machine offers a variety of functions. There is a nozzle for frothing milk if you like the creamy and fluffy foam of milk which is frothed. The device can not only prepare espresso, but also café crema, cappuccino, Mocca, milk coffee, as well as latte macchiato.
Why are we impressed?
One of the best features we liked in this machine is the multifunctional filter holder. It is possible to prepare the espresso in the classic way it is done. You can also operate the portafilter machine with ESE pods. We also liked its high-quality full metal housing, the temperature control, and the short heat-up time.
What negatives must you be aware of?
Using the machine takes time. It takes about 40 seconds before it is ready to be used after it has been switched on.
Extra features: 6 to 9-bar pressure; bottomless 2-in-1 portafilter; custom pressure gauge
The Flair Espresso Maker is a manual espresso maker for pre-ground coffee. It produces 6 to 9-bar pressure and has a bottomless 2-in-1 portafilter. It comes in a high-quality case. The content consists of a base part, upper part with pressure lever, brewing head (multi-part), plastic funnel and plastic tamper, plastic plate, steel coffee stamp/steel tamper. It’s made of silver and bronze-colored steel and some plastic in black and red color.
If you have a real espresso lover in the family or as a close friend and want to do something good for them, then the Flair Espresso Maker is the right gift for a birthday, anniversary, wedding anniversary, etc. For this, it’s great that comes in a nice package.
What makes it special?
Overall, the machine makes a very chic, high-quality first impression. Everything is well sorted in the case, everything has its place. It is also lined with matching foam. The machine can be wonderfully stored here at any time.
What cons did we find?
Preparing more than 1 or 2 cups with this device is time-consuming. In addition, there is also laborious dismantling for cleaning and drying. The device is heavy and less suitable to take with you on the plane, as the additional costs for extra baggage are exploding there. We think the size and suitcase it comes with suggests it's a travel machine, but the weight makes that almost impossible. In addition, there is no kettle and grinder. There should however be no problem with this when traveling by train, car, etc.
The STARESSO can provide 20 pressure bars and is incredibly easy to squeeze by hand. It is a manual espresso maker that can brew pre-ground and pod coffee.
This version can be used with Nespresso pods and coffee grounds, although you will have to pierce them manually. The machine is user-friendly and easy to clean, but it’s not very durable, so it might be great for occasional uses while traveling or camping, instead of everyday home use.
What are its best features?
Despite its low price, we liked that Staresso offers a long warranty of two years. We also liked its low weight. It's easy to use and wash and has a beautiful compact design.
What could be improved?
The downside, we think is that you can only create one shot at a time, as it can only hold 2.7 ounces of water and half an ounce of coffee grounds at a time.
The first espresso machine was designed by Angelo Moriondo Turin in 1884. It is only in the 60s it will be equipped with a pump and became more popular. The espresso machine sets itself apart from other coffee machines thanks to its pressure which extracts the essence of the coffee beans. This is what allows it to offer lovers of this drink, a very pronounced taste and an exceptional aroma in a smaller cup size.
You might as well admit it: there are so many choices when it comes to these espresso makers that it would be impossible to write a detailed guide to all the products. Indeed, the offer is bloated, with some brands alone having an extremely large number of models. Fortunately, that does not prevent you from making up your mind. There are a series of parameters that you should take into account when selecting the machine you need. By paying attention to them, you should be able to avoid very low-end coffee makers as well as those with poor value for money, to buy a product that suits you at a fair price.
Different Types of Espresso Machines
There are several types of espresso machines on the market. These include the capsule models, automatic models for coffee beans, and the manual models which have pistons for ground coffee. Take a look at our other compilations if you already know what type you need:
Sometimes equipped with a grinder, the coffee made with this tastes better. Here, the bean is molded directly by the machine, which makes the coffee taste more authentic. But, on the other hand, the maintenance of the machine is more difficult and its cost to purchase higher. The Breville The Barista Express and the Philips 3200 Series espresso machines are typical examples of automatic espresso machines.
This coffee maker type works with ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods or ground coffee. As is the case with the Flair Signature Espresso Maker, it is you and only you who measure and set the strength and quantity of your cups of espresso. It is therefore a device to recommend to true enthusiasts, to those who want the best according to their criteria. Although harder to clean, these machines last significantly longer-serving than other types.
The De’Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini is an example of a capsule machine. Working with a percolator, pod, and capsule, these are one of the most popular on the market. The reason? They deliver great espresso in just a minute and are very easy to maintain. Nespresso machines are the most remarkable among pod models out there today.
The purchase of pods and capsules, however, can represent a rather large budget if you take coffee a lot. Also, the material of these capsules is not recyclable.
The best coffee possible is obtained by starting from the coffee. Some devices are therefore equipped with a container for the beans and an integrated mill. Others, on the other hand, allow you to use ground coffee only: if you use beans, you will have to grind yourself or with another machine.
Note that some devices like the De’Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini can also work with capsules. What to take into account is simply the coffee you use. So, choose a device that will match.
Espresso Machine Features to Consider
You need to pay attention to these criteria to buy a product that is right for you at a fair price.
Boilers: one or two circuit system?
The water tank and boiler are the be-all and end-all of hot water preparation. Here, too, there are various systems available on the market. With so-called single-circuit systems, the brewing water comes from a large boiler, whereby a compromise is made between brewing temperature and steam volume, depending on the model. In the case of two-circuit systems, on the other hand, the water is heated in a separate boiler. A heat exchanger then ensures that the brew group also has the right temperature.
With this system, the espresso is made from fresh water. The disadvantage: These models take a long time to heat up. A third variant are so-called thermoblock machines. In such models, the water is heated in an electric water heater; there is no boiler. This is why these devices are ready for use relatively quickly. However, the brewing pressure cannot be regulated on these machines.
Water Tank and Bean Container Capacity
A good water tank is removable, easy to grip, and easy to wash. These are the sine qua non conditions. These are met on the vast majority of devices, even on the low end. Then, the bean container capacity is important, and can also drive up the price of the device. Usually, it is at least 33 ounces and can go up to 68ounces. 33 ounces is fine for normal use, but if you are a very regular drinker or have a lot of guests regularly, you will need a larger espresso machine.
This is what can make the price of an espresso maker jump the most: the settings it allows. This is logical, since it is also what has a significant influence on the flavor of the coffee obtained. The vast majority of coffee makers are capable of making great coffee, but not all of them make great espresso.
The most modular machines come with an integrated coffee grinder, allow you to precisely choose the size of the ground coffee, and may even offer adjustment possibilities for the pre-brew temperature and pressure during brewing. They have an emulsifier for the milk.
The grounds container is usually removable, and some devices have a dedicated space to keep your cup warm while you go about other activities. Sometimes specific buttons allow you to choose the type of coffee you want: ristretto, espresso, or double espresso.
The Supplied Accessories
Many machines come with a measuring spoon that usually doubles as a coffee press. But the quality isn’t always there, especially when you buy an entry-level product. It may therefore be necessary to provide for additional expenses for some elements.
It is also desirable to have a pitcher for the milk. Of course, a filter holder and filters are also essential. Filters generally allow you to choose between espresso or double espresso and some are also compatible with capsules.
Even though coffee makers are basically meant to stay in your home, restaurant, or coffee shop, it can be nice to be able to use them elsewhere or lend them to a friend or colleague. Unfortunately, as a rule of thumb, lighter weight and smaller size often go hand in hand with somewhat less sophisticated devices.
However, we shouldn’t over-generalize: brands are aware of the varying demands of consumers, and some have started to offer models that are both high-end and compact. If you have little space or want to be able to move your machine around a bit, consider the Keurig brand – they offer a range of compact yet functional models.
Espresso machines are complicated machines as they have a lot of moving parts. Therefore, warranty coverage may be needed. The machines we reviewed have no less than a year of warranty, although they can last up to ten decades. However, with 5 years of warranty, the Flair Signature Espresso Maker has the best warranty in the review. Note however that even if the machine has warranty coverage, you may be charged for repairs and shipping. So ensure you read the manual or warranty information before buying and make sure you register the machine as soon as you buy it.
The price varies greatly depending on the type of the device when we know that there are different types of espresso machines. You can therefore easily find them on the market from around $50, up to more than $2,500 for high-end espresso machines. The STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine costs less than $100 while the De’Longhi La Specialista costs more than $600.
However, do not be tempted by the low prices of entry-level models, because only machines offered from a hundred euros are the most recommended because of the quality they represent. It should also be noted that the devices with pods or capsules equipped with grinders are much more expensive.
The semi-automatic machine will appeal above all to those who want to enjoy optimal coffee quality, but without wasting time and putting in much. Semi-automatics take the guesswork out of espresso brewing. All you just need is to grind your beans, tank, and then attach your portafilter while the machine will finish the rest. However, with fully automatic machines, the espresso makers go further by controlling the water pushed around the grounds. The manual machine, on the other hand, will be much more suitable for coffee lovers who want to vary the tastes, aromas, and intensity of their favorite drink without having to lose quality. They are three different types, so the best choice will depend on which one you prefer.
Pre-ground coffee gives you the convenience of not needed to grind your coffee. Pre-ground coffee is best for those who have time. However, for lovers of details, you will need coffee beans and get a machine that grinds and brews coffee beans. Coffee beans are fresher and flavorful.
Yes, pressure matters. 15 bars, according to coffee connoisseurs, make the best coffee brews. However, you should note that more pressure doesn’t always mean better espresso shots. The optimum espresso is obtained at 9 bar pressure, but almost all machines have 15 to 19 bar pressure. This is not a mistake: it allows you to deal with ground coffee well in advance. Most coffee makers are designed to provide the best possible pressure when brewing.
Rated 9.9 out of a possible 10, Breville The Barista Express is our Editor’s Choice. This is a semi-automatic machine with a 67-ounce water tank and a half-pound bean container. The coffee maker is capable of frothing milk. The water temperature is managed by a digital system and the pressure during the extraction is 9 bars. It’s without a doubt our choice of the best espresso machine.
Meanwhile, the De’Longhi Magnifica, with the same rating, is the best super-automatic espresso machine in this review. The top of the machine accommodates a bean container with a capacity of 300 g. The grinding adjustment can be made in seven levels.
Rated 9.8, our Best Value product is the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista. It is a semi-automatic machine that uses pre-ground coffee. It is a 15-bar pump espresso machine with an automatic milk frother. It’s one of the best cheap espresso machines on the market.