Looking for the best espresso machine for your home?
It's easy to get confused by the many types and functions available.
But we've spent dozens of hours researching the best deals on the market.
We selected the Breville BES870XL as the top contender because it brews high-quality espresso at home. In addition, it has a built-in coffee grinder with 18 grind size settings and a steam wand for creating latte art.
This article provides detailed descriptions of the best deals from different brands.
Keep reading to find the espresso machine that suits your needs.
OUR TOP PICKS
Best Espresso Machine
Create great tasting espresso in less than a minute. The Barista Express allows you to grind the beans right before extraction, and its interchangeable filters and a choice of automatic or manual operation ensure authentic café style results in no time at all.
Best Budget Pick
“The De'Longhi was head and shoulders above the rest,” said coffee guru James Hoffman when comparing budget espresso machines. And indeed it is. With the De'Longhi EC155, you get the perfect drink quickly and easily.
The Best Espresso Machines Of 2021
- Breville BES870XL - Best Espresso Machine
- De'Longhi EC155 - Best Budget Espresso Machine
- Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista - Best Cappuccino & Latte Maker
- De’Longhi EC680M - Espresso Machine For Small Kitchen
- Nespresso VertuoPlus - Best Pod Espresso Machine
- Breville Nespresso Creatista - Premium Pod Espresso Machine
- De’Longhi ESAM3300 - Best Super-Automatic Pick
- Gaggia Brera - Best Choice With Milk Steamer
- Flair - Best Manual Espresso Machine
- La Pavoni PBB-16 - Best Lever Espresso Machine
- STARESSO - Best Portable Espresso Machines (For Traveling)
- Wacaco Nanopresso - Best Compact Espresso Machine
What to Look for When Buying the Best Espresso Machine?
What makes a good espresso machine? Let’s take a look at the basic specifications that determine which machine you should choose.
Of particular importance is the material the portafilter is made of. Your portafilter should be made of steel so that it heats the coffee grounds well when hot water flows through. This helps the coffee’s aromas end up in the brewed drink.
On some devices, you can find an indicator showing 15 to 20 bar of pressure. This is the working pressure of the pump. In the portafilter, the pressure will be 8 to 9 bar. This is the best pressure for a delicious, frothy espresso.
The pressure must be at least 8 bar. Machines with a lower pressure will cost less, but the quality of the espresso will be negatively affected.
If you are a lover of coffee drinks made with milk, you should pay attention to how conveniently the espresso machine can make cappuccinos, lattes, and other similar drinks. Modern espresso machines have several options for steaming milk.
Grinder burrs are made mainly of two materials: stainless steel and ceramics.
If possible, you should buy a machine with ceramic burrs, as they provide a more perfect grind, which ensures that the water flows through the coffee evenly and the taste of the drink is perfect. A ceramic burr grinder will not allow coffee to overheat and have a burnt aftertaste.
It is also important to have the ability to adjust the grind size because, for the full realization of aroma and taste, different types of coffee require different degrees of grinding.
And be sure to pay attention to how beans are poured into the built-in grinder. It is important that this can be done easily.
On average, water tanks are large enough to make up to 8 cups of coffee in a row. It’s important to consider not just the number of cups, but how easy and convenient it is to pour water into the machine. On some espresso makers, only a small opening is provided for adding water, while others may have a separate removable tank that can be filled from the tap, and a lid that opens on top. More expensive espresso machines can even be connected directly to your home's water supply, from which the machine will draw water automatically.
Cleaning and maintenance
Machines must be cleaned regularly, as stated in the instructions. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
Built-in cleaning systems, which automatically clean the milk jug and run a rinse cycle and descaling cycle, also facilitate the maintenance of espresso makers. Nevertheless, an automatic cleaning system does not mean that the expresso machine itself will fulfill all the necessary care and maintenance.
In addition to having an automatic cleaning system, it is worth paying attention to whether certain parts of the machine can be washed separately and whether the machine has a water filter.
What Are Must-Have Espresso Machine Accessories?
The main purpose of accessories is to make the brewing process more convenient.
If you want to brew café-quality espresso and and espresso-based drinks at home, you should consider purchasing these accessories.
Some come with espresso machines, while others will have to be purchased separately.
A tamper is required to evenly tamp the coffee grounds in the portafilter.
This allows the water to properly pass through the ground coffee and extract essential oils and flavors for a tastier espresso.
To tamp the coffee grounds well, you need to apply force. It's difficult to do this on smooth surfaces, so use a tamping mat.
They are made of rubber and prevent slipping while tamping.
This is an indispensable accessory if you plan to make cappuccinos or lattes at home. It allows you to control the amount of milk and the milk's temperature.
A pitcher makes latte art easy because it has a special spout for pouring steamed milk into your espresso.
Espresso glasses and mugs
Special espresso glasses and mugs are another way to control the taste of your coffee.
Most often, these are small 2-3oz cups. They help keep your drink hot longer.
This is a container for used coffee grounds. It has a sturdy bar in the middle that helps knock the used espresso puck out of the portafilter.
For regular care and cleaning of your espresso machine, use a cleaning brush. The cleaner your espresso machine, the better your coffee will taste.
Our Top Picks
OUR TOP PICK
Breville makes it possible to brew true café- quality espresso at home.
• Built-in coffee grinder grinds on-demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter
• Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
• Steam wand performance allows you to hand texture micro-foam milk that enhances flavor and enables latte art
BEST BUDGET CHOICE
You think a good espresso machine cannot be affordable? This product will convince you otherwise.
• Compact design (12.2 x 19.3 x 15 inches)
• Easy to use, even without barista training
• 15-bar pressure makes good espresso
BEST FOR HOME USE
What should an espresso machine be for a home? It should be compact, easy to use and make great espresso.
• Makes cappuccinos and lattes thanks to the automatic milk frother
• 15-bar pressure allows you to make great espresso
• Simple settings and the ability to make a double espresso
BEST AUTOMATIC ESPRESSO MACHINE
Want to press a button and get great coffee? This espresso machine will make coffee completely on its own.
• In addition to espresso can prepare cappuccino, latte and black coffee
• Built-in grinder with 13 settings
• Easy to clean
BEST POD ESPRESSO MACHINE
If speed and convenience are important to you, then there is nothing better than a Nespresso machine.
• Insert the capsule and press the button - the espresso is ready
• The ability to make milk foam with an Aeroccino
• Super compact and lightweight - perfect for the office
The Best Home Espresso Machines Reviews
1. Breville BES870XL - Best Espresso Machine
Breville's Barista Express espresso machine provides better extraction of your coffee thanks to its built-in temperature and pressure control sensors. An integrated coffee grinder with 18 grind size settings delivers coffee directly to the portafilter. Plus there's a steam wand for latte art. This is truly an all-in-one espresso machine!
The Barista Express is the best semi-automatic espresso machine on the market. You can experiment with all sorts of drinks. You can adjust grind size, dosage, water temperature, and brewing pressure, making experimentation easy. The machine prepares a single or double shot in one go. It's a real find for a home barista.
The machine's stylish design will be appreciated by even the most discerning users. The BES870XL's body, portafilter, and milk jug are made of stainless steel, and its chrome buttons are backlit. These materials give the machine a sleek, expensie look.
It is the best espresso machine with grinder. The convenient built-in coffee grinder grinds on demand and delivers the right amount of coffee directly to the portafilter. The grinding is uniform and has an easy step adjustment.
The espresso machine is equipped with a dial that makes it easy to control the grind size no matter what type of espresso beans you choose. You can always choose the perfect grind size—there are 18 settings, from very fine to very coarse.
Because the grinder is built into the semi-automatic coffee machine, you don't have to waste counter space for a separate grinder. Plus, the dosage feature means you can always get the same amount of ground coffee.
For espresso connoisseurs, it is important that every cup of coffee has a stable taste and aroma. Stable extraction of espresso depends on the temperature of the brewing water. To ensure you enjoy the best cup of coffee every morning, the Breville Barista Express is equipped with digital temperature control (PID).
And if you can't imagine your day without a cappuccino or latte, use out the steam wand to prepare perfectly textured micro-foam.
You can also make coffee for company without extra effort. The machine has a spacious 0.5 lb. bean hopper, and the water tank can hold 67 ounces. This is enough to make 20 cups in a row.
2. De'Longhi EC155 - Best Budget Espresso Machine
This espresso machine is ideal for aspiring home baristas. You can prepare the most delicate cappuccino or latte in just two minutes.
The De'Longhi EC155 is the best at home espresso machine of 2021, especially if you want to save some money. It's so easy to use that you don't even need an instruction manual.
To prepare your first cup, you don't have to wait long. Although the manual says that the machine warms up in 15 minutes, users note that it is ready for use in 2-3 minutes.
Do you want to brew several cups in a row for yourself and your family or friends? With this semi-automatic machine, you no longer have to wait between cups. The advanced system maintains the optimum temperature so you can brew multiple shots in a row.
It's hard to find another affordable machine that makes the same delicious espresso. The famous barista James Hoffman is also convinced of this. He compared 5 budget espresso machines:
In this video, he says you can brew good espresso, but not great espresso, with the De'Longhi machine. We agree; if you want super high-quality espresso, you should look at more expensive machines. But if you're looking for the best espresso machine under $100, none will make a tastier espresso than the De'Longhi machine.
The De'Longhi Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is not only budget-friendly, but also compact. It measures just 12.2 x 19.3 x 15 inches. You can easily place it anywhere, so it's ideal for those with limited kitchen space.
If you're not a fan of plain espresso, then use the built-in milk frother. You no longer have to stand in line at a coffee shop for a coveted cappuccino or latte. Now you can prepare a drink at home in two minutes. The powerful 15-bar pump system and useful steam wand will always ensure perfect results.
The water tank is removable, so you can easily and quickly add water. And so you do not have to guess when it is time to refill the water tank, there is a special window on the front of the machine that shows the water level.
The De'Longhi espresso machine is very easy to clean because the water tray and drip tank and removable and dishwasher-safe.
3. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista - Best Cappuccino & Latte Maker
Would you like to enjoy an espresso or cappuccino, or are you in the mood for a latte with the perfect, thick milk foam? The semi-automatic, 3-in-1 Cafe Barista espresso machine is perfect for those who want a drink without any hassle. Just choose your drink on the control panel, press a button, and the machine will brew it for you.
Mid-range espresso machines make good espresso. They're not as customizable as high-end espresso machines, but they're an affordable home option.
Can a home espresso machine make a good cappuccino? The Mr. Coffee Café Barista shows us the answer is "Yes!" To make a cappuccino or latte, just press one button and the coffee machine will do the rest. This is possible thanks to the automatic milk steamer, which prepares milk foam in less than two minutes.
Want to make two lattes or cappuccinos at the same time? No problem! You can froth 16 ounces of milk at once thanks to the spacious container.
To make an espresso shot, you just have to press one button. The machine's 15-bar pressure pump extracts quality aroma and caffeine from the grounds to create a vibrant impression for your taste buds.
The water tank holds 54 oz. This is enough to make at least 7 cups of coffee. You will certainly appreciate this if you like to drink several cups in a row or make coffee for the whole family.
Another feature that cannot be overlooked is the ability to brew either one or two shots of espresso. It is important to note that by choosing two shots, you can only make a double portion, not brew two separate shots at once. This is because only one mug will fit under the portafilter.
A great benefit of this machine is that you don't have to worry about cleaning—it comes with removable, easy-to-clean milk and water tanks.
4. De’Longhi EC680M - Espresso Machine For Small Kitchen
The super-compact De'Longhi Dedica allows you to prepare a single or double espresso and even to select the size of the shot.
If you need a coffee machine that doesn't take up much space, the De'Longhi Dedica is definitely the best espresso machine for your home. It is super small and can easily fit in any kitchen. It's only 5.9 inches wide, which is less than the height of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The semi-automatic machine has a stylish, uncomplicated design. The water tank is located at the rear and can be filled without having to move the machine.
One of the features of the De'Longhi EC680M semi-automatic espresso machine is that you can make 2 cups of espresso, or one double espresso, at a time. This is convenient if your family has more than one coffee lover.
The machine is also equipped with a manual steam wand, which will please lovers of cappuccinos and lattes. It creates rich, creamy froth for evenly textured drinks.
The Dedica easily accommodates cups up to 3 inches high. But if you like larger drinks, don't worry—the unit has an easily adjustable bottom tray that can be removed altogether to use cups up to 4.5 inches tall.
This best espresso machine for home has a programmable shot size. Always want to get a shot of a certain size? Just set up your De'Longhi for this. You can also increase the water dose if you like espresso lungo. This programming is very simple and you can revert to the original settings at any time.
5. Nespresso VertuoPlus - Best Pod Espresso Machine
So, you want to brew an espresso with minimal effort? Look no further than the Nespresso VertuoPlus. This espresso maker is a great choice for those who only have enough time to drink coffee, not prepare it. Choose from five drink sizes and get a drink in just 10 seconds with just one press of a button.
The desire to brew a real espresso is great, but sometimes convenience comes first. The Nespresso coffee maker is perfectly easy to use. It brews an espresso shot in just a few seconds. All you have to do is place an espresso capsule in the machine and press a button.
If for some reason you cannot afford a traditional espresso maker, then a capsule machine is the best option. These devices require no grinding or other time-consuming steps. They are quick to use and easy to maintain.
Capsule models are designed for those who do not want to think at all about preparing their own cup of coffee. To this end, manufacturers strive to make their models easy to use and give them a pleasant interface. Capsule models, especially Nespresso machines, brew high-quality coffee.
This machine is much more convenient to use than any other espresso coffee maker. It's compact and does not require much maintenance.
Nespresso has 16 kinds of capsules. Each contains a unique mix of high-quality coffee from different countries. You can choose a capsule for a certain level of roast, or for volume of beverage output (from 0.35 oz to 14 oz). When you order the machine, you can also order 3 packs of capsules.
Do you like coffee with milk foam? The Aeroccino 3 milk frother is included with this coffee machine. The Aeroccino can make steamed milk, hot milk foam, or cold milk foam, so you can create all sorts of drinks.
6. Breville Nespresso Creatista - Premium Pod Espresso Machine
The Breville Nespresso Creatista uses Nespresso Original Line pods and is even compatible with other manufacturers' capsules, which means you can save money and expand your coffee tastes. Plus, this pod espresso machine prepares perfect milk froth with very little effort from you.
How cool it is to press two buttons and get a cappuccino without having to know anything about coffee or milk?
There are many capsule machines on the market, but machines by Nespresso create superior espresso. The only problem is that some Nespresso capsule machines don’t include a milk steamer.
But you can solve this problem by buying the Breville Nespresso Creatista. This coffee machine has a built-in steam wand. If you want to make a cappuccino or latte, just pour the milk into the jug, lower the steam wand, and press the start button. The built-in temperature sensor automates the steaming process and you don't even need to understand such subtleties as the angle of the jug or the temperature of the milk to get perfectly steamed milk.
At the touch of a button, you can choose between 3 sizes of drinks: ristretto (0.5 oz), espresso (1.35 oz), and lungo (5 oz). The settings for your drink can be selected very easily thanks to the TFT LCD display.
The large water tank is enough for preparing drinks for a large company. You can brew up to 10 lungos in a row.
The model heats up in less than 3 seconds, and you can start brewing your cup of coffee instantly. Those who like to sleep a little longer in the morning or are used to saving time will certainly appreciate this speed.
Do you sometimes forget to turn off appliances? You don't have to worry about that anymore—the device will automatically turn off 9 minutes after last use.
7. De’Longhi ESAM3300 - Best Super-Automatic Pick
Super-automatic espresso machines are like mechanical baristas. Outwardly, they look simple, but inside, the whole process of making espresso takes place. This is very convenient if you want to brew great espresso with minimal effort.
You don't have to waste your time by waiting. This model heats up in just over one minute and will brew you a cup of coffee in just 30 seconds. You can use the machine to brew two espressos at the same time or to brew one double espresso.
The 60oz water tank allows you to prepare more than 9 espressos in a row. The bean hopper holds the optimal amount of coffee—8.8 oz. You don't have to fill it up too often, and the beans won't dry out.
You will be surprised how easy it is to prepare a cup of coffee with this machine. You can make not only high-quality espresso but also cappuccinos and lattes. A manual frother blends steam and milk to create rich, creamy foam with an even texture. The De'Longhi ESAM3300 will accommodate cups up to 4.25 inches tall.
Not everyone is willing to spend time every morning setting up a coffee machine. The Magnifica will make your day even more pleasant by remembering all the details of your favorite drink. Just set the parameters once: temperature, coffee strength, and shot size.
You can experiment with different coffee beans to find the best ones for your espresso. And the Direct-to-Brew system grinds them instantly for you. You can choose from 13 adjustable grind settings.
The De'Longhi espresso machine is also easy to clean, and the useful 3-hour auto-shut-off feature saves energy and means you don't have to worry about whether you remembered to turn it off after brewing.
Take some time to read the instructions that come with the machine. Yes, you may have to spend a couple of hours setting it up, but trust us, it's worth it.
8. Gaggia Brera - Best Choice With Milk Steamer
With one touch of a button, the Gaggia Brera will make an espresso. The menu is easy to navigate, and you can manage all the machine’s functions quickly.
The built-in ceramic burr grinder has 5 degrees of grinding adjustment. Place the coffee beans here and select the grind size depending on what type of coffee you want to brew. For espresso, choose the finest grind
For espresso, you should use the strongest coffee. You can make any espresso-based drink with this machine by using the manual Pannarello steam wand. The steam wand also lets you add water to make an Americano or brew tea.
To create the best foam, tilt the nozzle at an angle to the surface of the milk, lowering it by half a centimeter to catch the border between the rising foam and milk. It is best to use milk with a high fat content (in the region of 3%).
The machine can handle cups from 3.25 to 4.5 inches tall. This, of course, does not allow you to prepare drinks in a travel mug, but it is quite suitable for making cappuccinos.
The Gaggia Brera automatically rinses the coffee filling system every time it is switched on and off. This ensures constant cleanliness. To make regular cleaning quick and easy, the waste bin, drip tray, and water tank are within easy reach and can be accessed from the front of the machine.
The Gaggia Brera includes a 8.8-oz bean hopper and a 1.2-liter water tank. But this may not be large enough, since the machine takes water for the self-cleaning cycle from the same tank. You can easily make coffee for two or three people, but if you have a large family or frequent guests, then it is worth considering other models.
9. Flair - Best Manual Espresso Machine
With the Flair Signature, you will not be left without a cup of coffee, even when there is no electricity. Prepare the perfect shot in no more than 45 seconds while controlling the whole process.
Yes, this is a manual lever espresso machine, but its design is stylish and unusual. But can it make a good espresso?
Yes! The Flair Signature makes a great espresso shot. It has a pressure of 6 to 9 bar, which is the ideal range for espresso extraction. Even coffee snobs will appreciate the taste of espresso made with this machine.
Working with a manual espresso machine is comparable to doing art. You will get real pleasure from being fully involved in the process. You only need to watch the video once or read the instructions to understand how it works. Then you can experiment with water and coffee dosages to find the perfect drink. To monitor pressure, you can purchase a pressure gauge.
This manual design has advantages. One of them is compactness. You can fold this espresso coffee maker and carry it in your bag. When it’s time to make coffee, just pull out your coffee maker and coffee grounds and find hot water.
You don't have to worry about possible damage because the Flair Signature is made of die-cast aluminum and stainless steel. This is the ideal construction for such a portable model. And for easy storage and transportation, it comes with a special case.
You also don’t have to waste time cleaning. This is the only manual espresso machine with a fully removable brewing head. It can be easily removed, and every part can be washed under water. The overall design is so simple that cleaning is quick and easy.
10. La Pavoni PC-16 - Best Lever Espresso Machine
Do you associate Italian technology with quality in the world of coffee? Then you will definitely like La Pavoni's Professional PC-16.
This is a very stylish device with a classic chrome design that immediately attracts attention.
Despite the complexity of its design, the machine is quite simple to use.
You can change the speed at which water passes through the ground coffee beans, so you can be sure that the espresso is made exactly according to your requirements. Thanks to a built-in pressure gauge, it is easy to control the pressure under which your coffee is extracted.
The model seems so small that it is not suitable for large families, but this first impression is deceiving. The machine allows you to prepare a drink for two people at a time. And the water tank holds enough water for 8 cups of espresso brewed continuously, so you can easily brew for friends and family. You can even delight your loved ones with a cappuccino or latte. The machine is equipped with a steam wand so you can choose from as many coffee recipes as possible to suit your mood.
Another advantage of this machine is that it is very quiet, unlike most espresso makers.
And using this classic method of espresso brewing, the taste is incomparable.
11. STARESSO - Best Portable Espresso Machines (For Traveling)
This is a small, stylish espresso maker that costs less than $100. With it, you can prepare your cup of coffee anywhere, even without access to a power outlet.
In terms of functionality, the machine is incredibly simple. Just pour in the required amount of ground beans, fill the tank with hot water, and start pumping the machine. Soon, you’ll have an espresso with crema.
The device allows you to use up to 6 ounces of water for brewing. This is enough to make coffee for two people at a time.
The STARESSO Portable Espresso Maker weighs just over a pound, so you can easily carry it with you wherever you go. At just 7.5 inches tall, it's only slightly taller than a cell phone. You will not be left without a cup of invigorating coffee on a hike, in the office, or on the beach. And it's completely hand-powered.
12. Wacaco Nanopresso - Best Compact Espresso Machine
Looking for the best small espresso machine? The Wacaco Nanopresso is so small that it fits in your hand. It weighs only 0.855 pounds, but still makes delicious espresso.
You can even buy accessories that expand the capabilities of this espresso maker. For example, you can buy an adapter to use Nespresso capsules or an enlarged compartment to make double espresso.
Choose from black or yellow so your espresso maker can match your personality and style!
Which Type of Espresso Machine Fits Me?
The first espresso machine appeared in 1901. Now there are several types that differ from each other. Some of them are small and portable, others require electricity and a simple push of a button to make a wonderful drink.
The manual lever espresso machine is considered the first modern model. To use it, you raise and lower a lever, which controls a piston that pushes water through a layer of coffee grounds. Today, this model is not common, but if you want to go back to basics, then this is the machine for you.
These devices require your involvement. They use an automated system to supply heated water to the group head, while the barista controls grinding, tamping, and extraction time.
Automatic Espresso Machine
These are very similar to semi-automatic machines, except that the machine controls extraction time and automatically stops the flow of water. This ensures a constant volume of each serving of espresso and means that you do not need to stand by the machine every time you pull a shot to prevent the coffee from overflowing.
Super-automatic machines do everything themselves. The machine grinds and weighs coffee, fills the portafilter, and controls water temperature and extraction time. All you need to do is press a button, and you’ll get a perfect espresso every time.
Pod Espresso Machines
If for some reason you cannot afford a traditional espresso machine or do not have the time to brew coffee with one, then you should invest in a pod espresso machine. To make espresso in a pod machine, you just need to insert a coffee capsule and press the button.
Portable/Compact Espresso Makers
Portable espresso devices take up very little space, so they’re suitable for people who travel and can’t live without good coffee on the road. These machines are great for hiking, camping, and all sorts of travel.
Is Buying an Espresso Machine Worth It?
The short answer is “Yes!” Making coffee yourself is much cheaper than buying it in coffee shops.
But let’s take a look at this issue from another angle.
The most popular type of coffee in the USA is drip coffee. Drip coffee is usually brewed in a standard coffee maker. But few people know that initially, black coffee was made from a base of espresso diluted with hot water (this is the drink we now call an Americano).
Espresso is the foundation of any coffee drink. To get a good cappuccino, latte, mocha, or Americano, you first need to brew an espresso.
There’s a reason that every coffee shop uses the best espresso machines: It’s the only way to brew a real shot of espresso. Usually, creating an espresso requires a fancy espresso machine and a skilled barista. But with a home espresso machine, you can make such a drink at home whenever you want.
How Much Does a Good Espresso Machine Cost?
The best at-home espresso makers can be bought for less than $100, but if you want a serious machine that makes great espresso, you’ll need to spend more money.
We have compiled a list of the most commonly used words when it comes to making espresso, and their definitions.
- A bar is a unit of steam pressure used in almost all espresso machines. 9 bar is the accepted pressure for making espresso.
- A blend is a mixture of different types of coffee beans.
- A boiler is one of the main components of a coffee machine, and it heats water to a certain temperature.
- Cupping is when professionals blind-taste coffee. The process requires extensive coffee knowledge. Such a specialist, a taster, is called a cupper.
- A group is the part of a coffee machine that contains the portafilter, group head, and filters.
- The dispenser is a part of the grinder that measures the right amount of ground coffee with the help of a built-in lever.
- Crema is foam on the surface of an espresso.
- Single-origin coffee is a type of coffee that is grown in one place.
- A pitcher is a jug for steaming and frothing milk. It is most often made of metal.
- The body of taste is a term that includes the totality of all the sensations in the mouth from a sip of coffee: saturation, texture, etc.
- The portafilter holds the ground, tamped coffee. When attached to the group head, water flows through the portafilter to create espresso.
- A tamper is an accessory for manual compaction of ground coffee in the portafilter.
- Extraction is the process of extracting flavors from coffee grounds when brewing.
Espresso Machines vs Coffee Makers
An espresso machine prepares espresso and a coffee maker prepares regular coffee.
An espresso machine brews coffee faster due to the fine grind required to make an espresso. The find grind ensures that the extraction time is short and allows you to extract the sweetness and multifaceted aroma from the beans.
Most coffee makers are automatic and don't require any special skills on your part. They're very simple to use. But to get a great cup of coffee from an espresso machine (unless it is super-automatic), you need some skill in choosing the right grind and dose of coffee and tamping the beans into the portafilter.
Some coffee makers allow you to brew a large number of cups at the same time, so that there is enough coffee for a group of three to six people. Espresso machines usually can't brew so much coffee at once.
They also differ in price—a coffee maker is significantly less expensive than an espresso machine, in most cases.
How Espresso Machines Work
Most espresso machines are equipped with buttons that control the coffee making process. To prepare a shot of espresso, the water in the machine's boiler is heated to just below its boiling point (203°F). The machine is now ready for operation, as is sometimes indicated by a light on a front panel.
Here are the basic steps of how an automatic, semi-automatic, or super-automatic espresso machine works:
- The portafilter is filled with ground coffee and installed in the group head.
- The user selects the desired drink on a control panel or by pressing a button.
- Hot water moves through the portafilter under pressure. As the water passes through the ground coffee, it extracts flavor components.
- The resulting coffee is poured out of the portafilter and into a cup.
Espresso Machine Brands
Breville was founded in Australia in 1932 as a manufacturer and marketer of small household appliances.
In 1974, the company produced an original product, a sandwich toaster, and in the first year after release, it sold more than 400,000 units. After that, the company entered foreign markets, and in some markets became a household name.
This is a well-known company that produces household appliances, including espresso machines. Founded in 1902 in Italy, De’Longhi has the highest status among customers and competitors. Its products are in great demand and have deservedly high reviews.
Nespresso is the brand name of Nestlé Nespresso S.A., a division of the Nestlé Group of Companies in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nespresso machines produce espresso from special capsules containing ground coffee. It’s a well-thought-out brand that caters to both gourmet coffee lovers and to those who just want a quick and easy coffee drink.
La Pavoni is an Italian brand. It was founded in Milan in 1905, and the company adheres to the classic design of espresso machines.
This company produces first-class machines. Just take a look at its lever models. They represent the best combination of tradition and modern technology. In addition to traditional models, the company also develops automatic machines for commercial purposes.
Gaggia is a world-famous Italian manufacturer of coffee machines for professional and home use, and the brand has become synonymous with quality and reliability.
The company was founded in 1947 by Giovanni Achille Gaggia, the man to whom we owe the success of espresso all over the world today. It was he who received patent No. 365726 for the first modern, steamless coffee machine on September 5, 1938.
FAQs About Espresso Machines
What is the best espresso machine?
The answer to this question depends on your expectations and needs. If you want to learn how to make a great espresso yourself, the Breville BES870XL is a great choice. If you have a limited budget, the De'Longhi EC155 is the best choice. In addition, we have compiled a list of espresso machines that are suitable for different needs and requirements.
What are the best espresso machine brands?
It is difficult to identify one best manufacturer, but the top 5 brands are definitely Breville, De'Longhi, Nespresso, La Pavoni, and Gaggia. The best machines from these manufacturers are presented in this article.
Is a good grinder important for quality espresso?
There are many reasons that you need to grind your own coffee beans. One is that the interaction of ground beans with oxygen degrades the taste and aroma of the coffee. Grinding the beans just before brewing eliminates this issue. And to get great espresso, you need a high-quality grinder that produces a uniform, fine grind. There are two grinding options: using a separate coffee grinder, or purchasing the best-rated espresso machine with a built-in coffee grinder.
Is an espresso machine worth it?
If you love coffee and drink it all the time, buying an espresso machine is not only a convenient way to brew your favorite drink, but also a great way to save money. According to calculations by CHOICE, if you buy a good espresso machine, you'll pay less than half of what you'd pay if you bought coffee at a coffee shop every day.
Why are espresso machines so expensive?
The cost of an espresso machine depends on how complex its design is and on the materials from which it is made. Usually, espresso machines are made of expensive materials, which significantly increases the price. The most expensive materials used are tin and stainless steel. In addition, the price is determined by such nuances as the pressure that the coffee machine provides and the temperature to which it can heat the water.
When should I descale an espresso machine?
The answer depends on the coffee machine, the frequency of use, and the water used. Electric espresso machines will tell you when it's time to remove scale. However, this automatic reminder depends on the number of cups programmed by the manufacturer, which is not always accurate. That's why we recommend descaling once every 1-2 months.
How much is the best espresso machine?
A good home espresso machine can be bought for less than $200, but if you want a serious machine that makes the best espresso, then you’ll need to spend more money.
Which types of espresso machines are there?
There are several types: manual lever machines, semi-automatic, automatic, and super-automatic models, pod espresso machines, and compact portable espresso makers. Manual lever machines and some portable espresso machines don't require electricity.
Can espresso machines make lattes or cappuccinos?
Some models can make these types of drinks. As an example, the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker can do so. If the espresso machine has a steam wand, then you can make any espresso-and-milk-based drink.
What coffee beans should I use with my espresso machine?
Espresso coffee is almost always a blend of several types of beans. A variety of coffees provides ample opportunities for creating blends. The basic rules for creating an espresso blend are as follows: the coffee should have bitter, acidic, and sweet notes, and be full-bodied and sweet enough to balance the bitterness and acidity in the taste of the finished drink. As a rule, espresso blends are made from varieties of Arabica beans, though Robusta beans are sometimes used.
Making delicious coffee at home requires the best espresso machine. But finding one isn't always easy: your head can start spinning as soon as you start studying the market. It can seem easier just to buy drinks from coffee shops.
But we analyzed all the best deals for you and found the perfect solution.
If you don't want to waste time searching for an espresso machine, take a closer look at the Breville BES870XL. It can help you not only brew delicious espresso but also create smooth milk foam for cappuccinos or lattes. And stainless steel elements give the machine an elegant, expensive look.