A traditional cup of coffee is the dark liquid we are all used to, milder and without any extra. An espresso, on the other hand, is more concentrated, aromatic, and with an extra layer of foam covering the top. If you want to buy your own espresso machine and become a home barista, this page has all you need.
This “shot” can be mixed with cream, milk, or anything else to make your favorite beverage. However, in order to do that, you will first need to get your hands on the best espresso machine for your needs.
Top 5 The Best Espresso Machine On The Market
Last update on 2021-10-21 PST - Details
What is the Best Espresso Machine? Keep reading to find out!
Breville BES870BSXL The Barista Express Coffee Machine - Best Espresso Machine
Last update on 2021-10-21 PST - Details
This Breville espresso machine comes with a variety of features that will make every espresso connoisseur happy – pretty much because they can’t be easily found in other items.
The device is a mix of super-automatic and semi-automatic. It has a built-in grinder that allows you to have freshly-ground coffee with every cup. It can take half a pound of coffee beans, and the sealed top will ensure that no flavor is lost.
At the same time, it’s customizable, so you can decide for yourself how coarse you want your espresso to be. The “preset” cup is 30 millimeters, but you still have control over the water amount that goes in your espresso.
This model features a two-cup option, which means that you can pour coffee for you and one more person, without wasting any time.
We have a more detailed review of The Barista, and if this the machine you are considering, it’s worth reading. Here is our shorter version of the review, in the mean time.
BES870BSXL is very easy to be taken apart, which means that it’s also very easy to clean. You can simply use a cloth to clean the wand and the rest of the surface, while the nozzle tip can be cleaned only by turning on the knob that controls the steam.
While this machine doesn’t brew regulars, you can still make a great Americano by brewing some espresso, followed by pouring hot water from the water dispenser.
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine - Best Espresso Machine Over $500
Last update on 2021-10-21 PST - Details
If you don’t mind spending a couple of extra bucks for a good cup, then the Rancilio espresso machine should totally be your top choice. This unit went through many upgrades to ensure that every cup of espresso is delicious to any connoisseur.
The portafilter and the group head are made of chrome-plated brass, which ensures heat retention and full extraction. The material also makes the device very durable, since it does not allow for mineral buildups.
The temperature is customizable, and while this may be challenging for beginners, it’s perfect for veterans that already know what temperature works for each cup.
You can see everything from the temperature to the steaming level on the display, which you can control with the knob.
Cleaning this device is also pretty easy, considering the multitude of features that it has. All you have to do is clean the exterior, the group head and the steam wand, after which you need to rinse the portafilter.
Rancilio Silvia also comes with several accessories that include two filter baskets (one for single shots and one for double shots), a measuring scoop and a plastic coffee tamper. You can also opt for a metal tamper, but that will cost you extra.
The boiler is one of the largest of the class, which means that the heating time is also shortened. Your coffee will be ready in a fairly short time – even faster compared to your average espresso makers.
Gaggia Brera Espresso Machine - Best Espresso Machine Under $500
Last update on 2021-10-20 PST - Details
The Gaggia espresso machine is perfect for those who want the high-end taste of coffee without bothering too much with the settings. This super-automatic espresso machine can offer you a classic Italian espresso with the mere touch of a button.
It may not have many tuning options, but you can still work the main settings. It’s a very suitable option for beginners since it will give them a kickstart in the world of coffee making.
This espresso machine may look simple, but it kicks a fairly strong punch. Featuring a wand frothing for milk drinks, this unit allows you to make lattes and cappuccinos as well.
Furthermore, the wand also acts as a hot water dispenser, so you may use this machine to pour yourself a cup of tea or prepare a good ol’ Americano.
The machine features a two-cup brewing process. The procedure isn’t simultaneous, as the espressos are brewed one after another. However, since you do not have to choose the settings again it still cuts down on the brewing time.
The Brera also features a 60-minute automatic standby option that signals the coffee machine to turn off if it’s not in use. This will allow you to save power and protect your home from hazards that may occur from forgetting your espresso machine on.
Since it’s a super-automatic machine, it has a built-in grinder. Since it grinds the coffee beans on the spot, the coffee will be at its freshest. The only variable for this will be the quality of the coffee grounds.
Overall, this is a very good investment if you want a tasty espresso shot and fine-tune your barista skills. It is the best espresso machine under 500, so it should be affordable for everyone with a regular budget.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium System - Best Espresso Machine Under $200
Last update on 2021-10-21 PST - Details
If you are on a tight budget, this semi-automatic Mr. Coffee espresso machine is perfect for offering you a daily cup of espresso. This unit might be categorized as “cheap,” but the beverage that it makes sure doesn’t show it.
The reason why this machine is so affordable is not that it doesn’t have features; it’s because it uses mostly plastic instead of high-density metal. Still, this is the best espresso machine within the budget, and it will definitely last at least 5 years.
This espresso machine features an easy to use control panel and the whole LED lights tell you exactly when to start brewing. The only thing you’ll have to figure out for yourself is when to stop brewing.
Measuring 12x14 inches at the base, it’s slightly larger than most similar units; however, it’s not large enough to be bothersome in a small to medium-sized kitchen. If anything, the fact that it’s large offers you more beverage options.
De’Longhi EC155 15 Bar Pump Espresso Machine - Best Espresso Machine Under $100
This De’Longhi espresso machine is also a good choice if you are within a budget, but still want to enjoy a good-tasting espresso every morning. Not only is it the best espresso machine under 200, but it’s also the best under 100$.
It might be made mostly from plastic and this cuts from its durability, but it doesn’t look cheap in any way. It also needs little counter space, so you may use it even in a small kitchen.
This machine uses both coffee pods and grounds, which makes it very simple to operate even if you are a beginner. It only takes one press of a button and a 30-second waiting time until you get the perfect brew.
Why Should You Choose Your Espresso Machine Carefully?
“It just has to make espresso, why should I even care?” If this thought crossed your mind when you were out purchasing espresso machine, then it probably didn’t take you more than a couple of days to realize you want to change it.
This might come as a surprise to you, but not every espresso machine is the same. Depending on their automation, you may choose between manual, automatic, semi-automatic, and super-automatic.
If you’re asking yourself once more “why should I care,” think about this scenario: say you’ve bought a manual espresso machine because you found it at a low price. You went home, all ready to brew yourself a creamy shot.
The problems started when you realized your barista skills were horrible. Furthermore, even though it took you ages, it didn’t have the appropriate taste – despite the fact that it said it was the best espresso machine for home.
Quite the opposite, if you had barista skills or some personal taste and temperature preferences, a super-automatic espresso machine wouldn’t do you any good. These types of machines usually have preset espresso-making options.
Before choosing your espresso machine, you need to do an evaluation of your skills, as well as your time. Do you have the time to spend every morning on a manual espresso? Or does your idea of time revolve around “press a button, then scram”?
This is exactly why you need to be extra careful when buying the best espresso machine. What works best for your friend might not work best for you.
On What to Pay Attention When Choosing Your Espresso Machine
There are several things you need to be mindful of when choosing your espresso machine. These factors may not only influence the way it tastes, but also your nerve-wreck level.
Buying an espresso machine only to realize it’s more trouble than it’s worth is never fun. However, these are some aspects that you may want to consider when buying such a device.
When it comes to choosing the best espresso machine, you have several choices to make, each with its particular features.
An automatic espresso machine basically “automates” the amount of water that is delivered through the espresso shot. They’re considered the best espresso machines since they don’t need much human intervention, just the press of a button.
You will, however, have to grind the coffee beforehand. Most automatic espresso machines don’t include a grinder, so you will either have to add the ground coffee into the portafilter or attach the coffee capsules or pods to it.
A semi-automatic machine is like an automatic one, only you have a certain degree of control over the water used. While an automatic espresso maker stops shooting water once it reaches a set quantity, a semi-automatic one lets you stop it yourself.
With a semi-automatic coffee maker, you decide exactly how “strong” you want your espresso to be. You can also adjust the coffee quantity in the portafilter, giving you much more freedom to experiment.
A super-automatic espresso machine is even more automatic than the automatic version. You don’t even have to grind the coffee; most super-automatic espresso machines include a grinder, which will make these units even easier to use.
These machines may not offer you much freedom of customization, but you still have the advantage of freshly-ground coffee. Instead of resorting to pre-ground supermarket coffee, your espresso machine will grind it on the spot.
Therefore, your espresso will be tastier and more aromatic, since nothing will be lost in the pre-grinding and packaging process – which is why most people see it as the best espresso machine.
These are perfect for those individuals who like having full control over their coffee-making process and don’t mind adding some extra effort. With a little bit of practice, a manual espresso can offer you the perfect shot, exactly to your taste.
Manual espresso makers are also decorative, so they look fancy on a counter or a coffee table. Depending on the model, they can be pretty expensive; however, for a connoisseur, they can offer the perfect shot.
Quality Of Build
The quality of build will directly influence the durability of the espresso maker. By reading various espresso machine reviews, you can get an idea of how well a unit is built and whether or not it’s suitable for your use.
The material, in this case, is also of great importance. For example, a metal espresso maker will generally be more durable, and it will also keep on to heat. A device with many electric parts may also need more maintenance than the manual ones.
Ease Of Use
Some want an espresso machine because they like the taste. Other people want it because it takes the bother out of coffee-making. If you want a coffee machine that does everything automatically, you can easily find something.
Nowadays, there are even espresso makers that allow you to make fancy cappuccinos by just pressing a button.
If one of your priorities is convenience, then you may want to ditch the manual espresso machine and go for the automated categories. They have several programmable settings that will make it easier for you to use.
Make sure that you have all the features and buttons that you need before you buy it. The more buttons the best espresso machine has, the more options you will have.
Easy To Clean
If your espresso maker is very easy to use, but hell to clean, then your purchase probably wasn’t such a great investment. Make sure that you have an idea of how you’re supposed to clean it, as well as how long it should take.
Generally, the more features and components it has, the more troublesome it will be to clean. If you dislike spending the time to clean the machine, then you may want to go for something simple with few features.
Espresso machines are generally costly, but there’s a huge difference between a $200 and a $500 unit. Generally, the best espresso machine under 200 will offer you everything that you need for a tasty cup of coffee.
If you end up paying more, you’re probably paying for build quality and durability. Sometimes, you may be paying more for ease of use, and other times, the taste is the deciding factor.
If you’re very picky about the taste, then a more expensive espresso machine will most likely be a worthy acquisition.
On the other hand, if you just want something easy to use in order to get your daily dose of caffeine, then you may go just as well with a low-priced model.
There are espresso makers that only make espresso shots – and then there are espresso makers than make mochas, cappuccinos, lattes, long coffees, and other similar beverages.
If you don’t care about making any fancy drinks, then an espresso maker with a few particulars may not be up your alley. Those are even more expensive anyway, and you’ll be buying features that you don’t even use.
If you go past the “I just need caffeine” level and concern yourself with the taste, then the best espresso machine for you may have some extra features: boiler number, temperature choice, whether or not the device uses steam pressure, etc.
So, if just the regular espresso shot doesn’t do it for you, then it might be worth investing extra money in a machine with more features.
Some espresso makers, especially the high-end ones, can be pretty big – which can be fairly problematic if you have a small kitchen or live in a shared dorm room, for example. In this case, you may want to go with an espresso machine with fewer features.
If space is not an issue for you, then you might want to go for a larger model. These have useful extra features such as two portafilters or the ability to make customizable drinks.
Buying the best espresso machine involves more decisions than you would think. No machine has the same feature, and no two coffee connoisseurs have the same taste in espresso.
If you don’t care about fancy espressos and only want your daily dose of caffeine, then a model under $200 might do just the trick for you.
On the other hand, if you’re picky about what you drink and only want “the best,” then you may as well be prepared to pay over $500 – but at least you’ll know you have all the options available.