Reading Time: 15 minutes
Learn: 7 items to look for when buying an espresso machine, The best espresso machine in 6 categories.
You are here because like me you are a coffee freak.
You might just be getting into espressso or you may be a die hard fan looking for a machine upgrade.
THIS guide is for you. I went through more machines than I can count to create this best list. Any of theses machines listed will not disappoint.
Whether you are looking for an entry level machine or a pricy super automatic, you want the best and I have compiled a list of the best in each of 6 categories below.
There are a ton of great looking espresso machines available for purchase, equipped with just about any feature you can imagine (fingerprint coffee identification, anyone?) Picking out one machine from the rest is going to require research and a little understanding of the jargon associated with espresso makers. Honestly, who has time for that?
Want to know why a 19 bar Italian pump is better than a 15 bar Italian pump and provides more complete volumetric control? Frankly I don’t know. All I really care about is that these machines make amazing tasting espresso. I am not going to waste your time with espresso machine engineering jargon.
We are interested in the beautiful, delicious thick tasting espresso with the amazing floating creamy creama on top. If our machine does that we are instantly transported for a brief moment to HEAVEN.
All of these espresso machines are selected from different price points, designed for a range of purposes and have varying ease of use, but they all have one common denominator: they all make outstanding espresso.
Below is a comparison chart of our top 10 picks for 2018. They range in style and cost.
|Espresso Machines||Rating||Price||Machine Type|
|De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker||4.0||$||Semi-Automatic|
|DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless||3.4||$$||Automatic|
|Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine||4.4||$$$||Semi-Automatic|
|Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine, Black||3.7||$||Steam|
|Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel||3.9||$$$||Semi-Automatic|
|Philips Saeco RI9737/21 Vienna Plus Automatic Espresso Machine, Graphite||3.8||$$$||Super Automatic|
|Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, Electric Titan||4.3||$$||Super Automatic|
|Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine||4.3||$$$$||Super Automatic|
|DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine||4.0||$$$$||Super Automatic|
|Lello 1375 Ariete Cafe Prestige Coffee Maker||3.7||$$||Steam|
I came up with 7 things you should look at when purchasing a new machine. Its not hard you just need to make sure the machine fits your lifestyle. Everyones drink choice, volume and kitchen is different. Just keep these in mind when making your purchase.
You should know how much the espresso machine can handle before purchasing it. A professional-grade espresso machine should be able to work all day without malfunctioning. A small, budget-friendly espresso machine might break or overheat if used all day.
Being able to handle lots of pressure is paramount. Just DON’T buy a cheapy machine and you will be fine.
Find out how much coffee beans the espresso machine can hold and if there is an external grinder attached to it. You should also find out the amount of water the tank can hold and how many cups of espresso it can make within each brewing session. If you brew a lot get a higher capacity machine.
2. Grinding Capacity
There are two types of grinding when it comes to espresso machines: using a built-in grinder or a separate grinder. Espresso machines without built-in grinders will need a separate grinder.I have a few articles on the best automatic and manual external grinders if you need one. Only the more expensive super automatic machines will come with the built in grinders.
If you brew a lot or have a bunch of people using the machine make sure you get a higher capacity grinder.
Built-in coffee grinders are most convenient, but find out if you need to put the ground coffee into the basket after grinding. This is an extra step. Some machines will drop the grinds right into the basket without your help. Pure Bliss!
3. Water Storage
Most espresso machines can hold enough water for making up to 8 cups of espresso. If you need more than that you are making a ton of espresso! Some machines have water tanks with small filling spouts. For these machines it is handy to have a a funnel.
Large, high-end espresso machines are designed to connect to a water source, like a refrigerator with a water dispenser. Before you purchase this type of an espresso machine find out if you need your piping rerouted just to accommodate it.
This is usually for commercial grade machines and the ones listed below are meant for home use and won’t need the fancy hookup
4. Frothing Capability
Most espresso machines can make espresso-based drinks like, lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. If you like these brews make sure you purchase an espresso machine that comes with a frother which froths the pressurized milk.
Most espresso machines come with the frother unless you are going for a really low budget machine. Just be aware that some of cheaper ones do not have it and only make espresso.
5. Ease Of Cleaning
Find out how easy the espresso machine you would like could be disassembled and reassembled. Cleaning the espresso machine can be a chore, but it is necessary to do every so often to keep it operating at a high level.
The water receptacle, the frothing equipment, the cups, and the rest of the parts that will be exposed to moisture should always be cleaned and dried properly after use.
MAKE SURE you should also use the correct soap to clean the parts. If not rinsed properly, harsh soap will make your espresso taste awful.
6. Ease Of Storage
If you don’t drink coffee daily, you should find out how easy it would be to store the espresso machine you would like. A large espresso maker could be difficult to store safely. They can be heavy!
For instance: if you can’t store it in a kitchen cabinet, you might have to store it in the garage, where it could be in danger of rusting, getting knocked over, and getting fallen upon by the other things you store there. If you don’t have a lot of counter space go for a more compact machine.
7. Pleasing Aesthetics
The factors that make an espresso machine aesthetically pleasing shouldn’t stop at whether it would like nice on your kitchen countertop, coffee table, or dining table. There are several other critical factors, including spout placement, cord length, and what color or material the exterior would bear.
If the spout is attached at an awkward location or angle, pouring will be difficult.
If the espresso machine you would set your heart on is made predominantly of stainless steel, but most of the other appliances in your kitchen are black or white in color, the espresso machine will stand out like a sore thumb. An espresso machine white or black in color would stand out in the same way in a kitchen in which the rest of the appliances are made of stainless steel.
If the espresso machine would need to be refilled regularly, a short cord could make doing so a hassle.
Designed to be relatively compact at 9 lbs and 8” x 11” x 10”, the De’Longhi 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker would fit conveniently on your kitchen countertop, coffee bar, or island, providing you with the joy of brewing espresso and cappuccinos anytime, right in the comfort of your home.
If you’re sensitive to hot coffee, the espresso and cappuccino maker lets you brew using 2 separate thermostats, enabling you to enjoy espressos and cappuccinos at the temperature with which you’d be comfortable.
If you would prefer espresso, the espresso and cappuccino maker lets you brew ground espresso (or easy-serving espresso (ESE) pods, as De’Longhi refers to theirs) with its unique, patented, dual-filter holder. If you would prefer cappuccino, the espresso and cappuccino maker comes with an easy-to-use swivel jet frother, which makes cappuccino topped with foamy steamed milk every time.
Despite all of its noteworthy features, the espresso and cappuccino maker isn’t perfect. There are some downsides to it, according to some customers. They complained about the frothing wand, the grounds basket, and the built-in tamper According to them: the frothing wand is too short, extending only 3 ¼ inches; the grounds basket is too close to the tray (2 1/2 inches); the built-in tamper doesn’t function as well as hoped; and a soup-like liquid is left in the grounds basket after each cup of espresso is made, producing a wet puck.
Nevertheless, the espresso and cappuccino maker received a rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s priced at $79.95.
A great place to buy is on Amazon and here is why:
Coming in at 14 lbs and 11” x 9.1” x 11.6”, The Delonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker is heavier and larger than the previous espresso and cappuccino maker. But it would still make for a nice, functional centerpiece on your kitchen countertop, coffee table, or dining table that could provide you with proper espresso.
If you’re finicky regarding the temperature at which you like to drink espresso, the said espresso maker comes with 2 separate thermostats, which enable you to control water pressure and steam pressure separately. But if you aren’t a coffee Nazi, the espresso maker comes with De’Longhi’s patented dual function holder, which not only lets you use pods and ground coffee beans, but also makes brewing quick and hassle-free.
Those who live at a fast pace will surely enjoy the espresso maker’s self-priming operation, which brews faster than most other commercially sold espresso makers. But on the weekend, you may leave your cup on the tray while you do the laundry or prepare brunch as the espresso maker comes with a cup-warming tray, which keeps your cup warm no matter how long you would let it sit.
The only evident imperfection the espresso maker has is its steaming wand. It doesn’t function as well as hoped, according to some customers. But they say that the espresso maker always makes great espresso despite its less-than-satisfying steaming wand.
The espresso maker received a rating of 3 and a half stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s currently priced at $175.99.
Coming in at 17 lbs and 10.2” x 12.5” x 13.2”, the Breville The Infuser Espresso Machine is another heavy hitter. Those at Breville have ensured that this espresso machine can make full-flavored espresso, having given it a special design. Instead of high-pressure bursts, the espresso machine starts brewing at low, steady pressure, which allows the ground coffee beans to slowly expand. Not only does this help fill in any cracks, gaps, or irregularities in the puck before full pressure is applied, but it also ensures pressure is applied to the entire puck, resulting in full flavor.
The said espresso maker is a veritable powerhouse when it comes to high-tech features. It comes with automatic features (Ex: temperature settings), programmable features (Ex: volumetric control), ‘pre-infusion technology’, a thermocoil heating system, and PID temperature control. The automatic features and the programmable features make brewing a breeze, the thermocoil heating system keeps water temperature consistent, and the PID temperature control regulates the temperature.
Despite the espresso machine’s several features, some customers have several complaints about it. They pointed out its lack of a built-in coffee grinder, its water tank, which they say is small when compared to others; and its lack of stability.
The espresso machine, however, received a rating of 4 and a half stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s currently priced at $479.97.
Coming in at 17 lbs and 10.2” x 12.5” x 13.2”, the Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine (Black) is currently the best steam-driven espresso machine. Indeed, this espresso machine is ranked as the best-selling steam-driven espresso machine being sold through Amazon.
If you drink a lot of espresso on a daily basis, the said espresso machine has the capacity to brew up to 4 20 oz cups of espresso at one time, which saves you from the pain of having to prep the espresso machine several times every time you want to drink more than one cup of espresso.
If you’re finicky regarding froth, the espresso machine comes with a built-in powerful, removable milk frother that gives you control over how the froth is made.
The espresso machine may be one of the best espresso machines being sold through Amazon, but it isn’t perfect. Some customers have complained about some of its features. One customer says that its tamper is just the flattened end of the coffee scooper, which makes scooping coffee clunky; the espresso machine’s lack of a frothing pitcher makes brewing less than optimal; and depressurizing the espresso machine requires multiple shots, which makes doing so a hassle.
Nevertheless, the espresso machine received a rating of 3 and a half stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s currently priced at $39.99.
Coming in at 20 lbs and 25” x 13” x 12”, the Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso (Machine Brushed Stainless Steel) is one of the two largest espresso machines on this list. It is also currently one of the best-selling espresso machines. Indeed, it is currently considered as one of the best semi-automatic espresso machines in the market.
Those who dislike waiting long for their espresso to be brewed will find relief with the said espresso machine. It comes with a three-way solenoid valve that releases pressure from the group head once an espresso pull is completed, producing espresso quickly.
You need not worry about whether the espresso machine can brew at stable temperature, because it comes with portafilters and a grouphead made of heavy-duty, marine-grade brass with chrome plating that ensure it can. The portafilters can be removed easily afterwards, making cleaning the espresso machine easy.
While the espresso maker is selling well through Amazon, some customers have complained about it. They pointed to its water tank, which they say is hard to clean; frothing wand, which they say doesn’t rotate 360 degrees; and boiler, which they say corrodes fast.
The espresso machine, however, received a rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s currently priced at $382.18.
The Philips Saeco Vienna Plus Automatic Espresso Machine is the second-largest espresso machine on this list, coming at 20 lbs and 25” x 13” x 12”. Like the previous espresso machine, it is also currently one of the best-selling espresso machines. Indeed, it is currently considered as one of the best ‘super-automatic’ espresso machines in the market.
If you drink nothing but full-flavored espresso, the said espresso machine’s optional Aroma System pre-brewing cycle injects hot water into the ground coffee beans to extract as much flavor from each granule as possible.
If you’re more finicky than this regarding the espresso you drink, the espresso machine comes with a Pannarello frothing device, which enables you to froth milk exactly the way you want, and ‘Optidose’ technology, which lets you choose how much coffee beans from 6-9 grams you would like each cup to consist of.
Among all of the espresso machines listed here, this one appears to be the best. Indeed, most of the customers praised its sturdy feel, simple operation, and relatively low noise emission. Moreover, the espresso machine received a rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s currently priced at $495.00.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.