Best Home Espresso Machine

Choosing the Best Home Espresso Machine: Reviews and Tips to Help You with the Process

Making espresso at home can save you quite a bit of time and money. Although espresso machines range in price from around $100 to upwards of $1,500, the expense is worth it. With the best home espresso machine, you’ll be able to make your favorite coffee drink on demand – without having to stand in line at a coffee shop.

Choosing an espresso machine that meets your needs can be tricky. There are so many models available that even narrowing down that list can be a daunting task. Rest assured, we researched many of the top machines on the market for you. The ones described here are on top of our list. We went tested them thoroughly so that you don’t have to.

And just to make things that much easier, before you dive into the entire list, here are the three espresso machines that we like the most:

  1. Aicok Espresso Machine – This inexpensive model is a good all-around semi-automatic machine.
  2. Philips Saeco HD8771/93 Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine – This super automatic espresso maker is an all-around hit.
  3. Breville BES870CBXL – This is another super automatic machine that turns the user into a barista.

Now, let’s go through all of the espresso machines one at a time.

1. Aicok Espresso Machine

Aicok Espresso Machine

This espresso machine does quadruple-duty – it can brew mochas, lattes, and cappuccinos as well as an excellent cup of espresso. It also has a milk frother, and can even brew two cups at once. This is great if you have other espresso fans in the house – or even if you need a little extra coffee yourself one day. Its quick brew time is impressive. It only takes a minute and a half to brew an excellent cup of espresso.

The Aicok Espresso Machine features automatic temperature controls and has a body of stainless steel. The removable tank holds 1.25 liters of water, making it easy for you to brew enough espresso for more than one person at a time. The dual spouts help with this as well. Also, the machine’s pumps are made in Germany – the place to go for high-quality engineering.

In all, the Aicok Espresso Machine is an excellent option for people who love espresso and want a machine that is easy to use. The single dial is simple to set, and the indicators light up accordingly. You really can’t go wrong with this semi-automatic machine.

The Good

  • The stainless steel body looks sleek.
  • It also makes your espresso fairly quickly.
  • The machine can handle more than one type of coffee.
  • It even has a milk frother.

The Bad

  • This machine is not light; it weighs 11.2 pounds.
  • It’s a semi-automatic machine, so you’ll still have to grind the beans yourself.

Summary

The Aicok Espresso Machine is a great piece of high-quality engineering. It’s easy to use and will look nice on your kitchen counter. Since it can brew more than one type of coffee (despite its name), its versatility makes the price worthwhile.

2. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

The Rancilio Silvia is a semi-automatic espresso maker made from quality materials. The frame is constructed from iron, and the side panels are made of stainless steel. While this machine weighs quite a bit – 30 pounds – you won’t have to worry about it falling apart.

This machine has a single boiler with a large capacity. Its brass boiler (that’s also chrome plated for extra heat dispensing power) holds around 12 ounces of water. The additional reservoir can hold around two quarts of water. The boiler heats up very quickly and can produce a tasty cup of espresso. Thanks to the large reservoir, you can make centerafter shot of espresso about as quickly as you can replace the grinds.

The Rancilio Silvia is not only sturdy, but it is designed to take up as little space as possible on your counter. It also has an attractive finish that can match various styles of décor. Plus, there are several additional options available, including a pod and a kit that contains a capsule adaptor.

The Silvia comes with a 58 mm portafilter, an articulating steam wand, a professionally designed steam knob, and some basic tools, including a coffee scoop, a set of filter baskets, and a plastic tamper. All that you need to add is the coffee and the water. And the cup for your espresso, of course.

The Good

  • Quickly heats up the water.
  • Made of very strong parts that won’t break down easily. (No plastic.)
  • Professional options that result in a great shot of espresso.

The Bad

  • Beginners may find it difficult to use.
  • Some of the controls can be finicky.
  • The 30-pound weight might seem overwhelming.
  • Only makes espresso.

Summary

The Rancilio Silvia is a good semi-automatic model with a reputation for being consistent. With that said it’s very heavy and might be tough to operate if you aren’t an espresso expert. As long as you can figure out the controls, then this machine might just meet your needs.

3. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

The name of the Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker says it all. This machine can make espresso, cappuccino, and lattes, which is a plus if you enjoy all three of those drinks. It features a 15-bar pump system, as well as an automatic milk frother. The single panel is easy to use, and this entire lightweight espresso maker will look nice sitting on your counter.

The Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker lives up to its brand name. The Mr. Coffee company certainly knows how to make a great cup of espresso. However, the machine does have one fault – it tends to pull too much water through the grinds, resulting in the occasional watery cup of brew. With that said, it’s good on a consistent basis and thanks to the easy-fill and completely removable reservoirs for milk and water. It even has a programmable cleaning cycle, which makes your job that much easier.

However, the milk reservoir won’t keep the milk cool on its own. This means that when you aren’t using the machine, you’ll have to remember to place it in the refrigerator, lest your milk go rancid. While this is a small issue, it’s one more step that you’ll have to deal with before you turn the espresso maker on.

On a positive note, the Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is a semi-automatic device that can measure out the amounts of liquid needed when you’re using it. You won’t have to worry about getting them just right as you would with a fully manual machine.

The Good

  • Automatically turns itself off when not in use.
  • Fairly easy to use.
  • Lightweight and small.
  • Makes more than just espresso.

The Bad

  • Sometimes pulls too much water through the grinds.
  • The water reservoir is prone to leakage.

Summary

The Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappucino Maker is a great, reliable machine at an affordable price. If you want a cup of no-frills espresso, then this is a good entry-level option. While it doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles, it will serve its purpose.

4. Philips Saeco HD8771/93 Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine

Philips Saeco HD8771/93 Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine

Now, let’s review an espresso machine with a long name. The Philips Saeco HD8771/93 Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine has some noteworthy features, including a set of ceramic grinders and a milk frother. Yes, this is a super automatic machine with all of the options.

The ceramic grinders can be set to ten different settings. This means that you can grind beans finely and precisely for espresso or slightly coarser for other types of coffee. It makes more than just espresso. In fact, you can make cappuccinos, lattes, and more. The milk frother can even handle chocolate milk, just in case you want to give your cappuccino or café mocha an extra touch.

The Philips Saeco HD8771/93 Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine boasts about its one-touch interface. While there are multiple buttons, the machine is designed to switch modes with the touch of a single button. You can choose between the various types of coffee without needing to move a wide array of levers or press multiple buttons.

With that said, the Philips Saeco HD8771/93 Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine is not inexpensive. You get what you pay for – a very precise and intelligent machine. It’s designed to be easy to clean, and there’s even a memory mode. This means that you set the machine to remember your favorite type of coffee and its strength. Every time you want the perfect cup, all that you have to do is go into that mode.

The Philips Saeco HD8771/93 Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine does have one issue, however – parts of it, notably the side panels, are made from plastic. We haven’t had any issues with them leaking, but you’d think that a high-end machine like this one would be made entirely of metal.

The Good

  • Features ceramic grinders and a very fast boiler.
  • The button-based interface is easy to use.
  • Entire brewing group comes out for easy cleaning.

The Bad

  • Might be out of the price range for many people.
  • Parts of it are made out of plastic.

Summary

The Philips Saeco HD8771/93 Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine is a great super automatic espresso maker that can handle more than just one type of coffee. It operates with the touch of a button, unlike similar machines that can be tricky to use.

5. Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by De’Longhi

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by De'Longhi

With a name like Nespresso, it has to be good, right? Well, this small machine – it weighs 5.29 pounds and is 12 inches high, by 4.7 wide, and 9 inches long – does hit some of the right buttons. The Nespresso Inissia is designed to be simple to use. Simply insert the pod (the device uses Nespresso pods, not a system of loose grounds in baskets), ensure that the water is ready, and press the button.

The Nespresso Inissia is built to deliver 19 bars of pressure, meaning that the force by which the water goes through the grounds is ideal to produce that perfect cup of espresso. The water heats up very quickly, in 25 seconds, to be precise. The water reservoir also holds enough to make nine espresso shots, meaning that you won’t have to refill it after each cup.

On top of this, the Nespresso Inissia makes more than just espresso. It also makes lungo. For those who aren’t aware of this coffee option, it’s a type of Italian coffee made from espresso beans. It’s strong and dark, but larger than an espresso shot.

The device also has a foldable drip tray to keep your counters clean. It’s also designed to save energy, as it will turn off automatically within nine minutes unless you go back in to use it again. However, the Nespresso Inissia is tricky to clean, as the water reservoir isn’t removable. You also have to use the special Nespresso pods, which come with the grounds already loaded into them. To put it simply, this is a great machine for beginners.

The Good

  • Makes both espresso and lungo, a type of Italian coffee drink.
  • Easy to set up and operate.

The Bad

  • Uses Nespresso pods, not individual grounds.
  • No milk frother.

Summary

If you’re new to the world of making espresso at home, then this is the machine for you. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and makes a great shot of espresso. It isn’t complicated, although it can be tricky to clean. That’s the price that you have to pay for such a simple espresso machine.

6. Breville BES870CBXL – The Barista Express

Breville BES870CBXL

The Breville BES870CBXL is a super automatic espresso maker that’s also known as the Barista Express. This machine handles everything from the beginning to the end – it grinds the beans, makes the espresso, and even froths the milk. It is like having a barista in your own home.

This espresso machine has a conical burr grinder built right into this. If you want your espresso to be made with super fresh grounds, then this is the perfect feature. It also comes with a number of important accessories, including a cleaning kit, a milk jug made of stainless steel, a set of four filter baskets, and a special water filter holder.

The Breville BES870CBXL comes with a 2-liter water tank, so you won’t have to keep refilling it in between uses. It’s designed to adjust the water temperature for you, so you won’t have to do any calculations in order to make espresso. Plus, the Breville can also make lattes and other coffee drinks.

One thing to note is that this is not a one-touch system. The interface contains a number of buttons and dials for the various settings. You’ll need to know what they all are before you use it, or else you may not end up with your ideal espresso shot. With that said, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be glad that you have the Breville BES870CBXL.

The Good

  • The bean hopper holds a ½ pound of beans.
  • Sleek stainless steel finish.
  • Contains a milk frother and many other useful features.

The Bad

  • Can be a little tricky to use.
  • The espresso-making process tends to be messy, with ground beans getting everywhere.

Summary

If you truly want to be a barista, then look no further than the Breville BES870CBXL. As long as you know what each setting is and how to utilize them in the espresso making process, then this is a great choice for making espresso at home.

7. Delonghi EC680M DEDICA

Delonghi EC680M DEDICA

The Delonghi EC680M DEDICA is a manual espresso machine that comes without all of the fancy options of its competitors. If you want to make espresso the old fashioned way, then this is the device for you.

The Delonghi EC680M DEDICA comes in an array of colors, making it easy to find a model that matches your kitchen décor. It is lightweight – only 9.3 pounds, and fairly simple to use. You’ll need a separate grinder for your beans, and be prepared to pull a lever to send the water through them, but in the end, you’ll have a cup of espresso made without fancy machinery.

This espresso machine features a boiler made from cast aluminum that has a stainless steel coil. This will conduct heat quite well, ensuring that your espresso is hot enough every time. It doesn’t come with a tamper, so you’ll have to purchase your own. Otherwise, the grounds may not be compressed enough to produce espresso.

With that said, the manual system isn’t for everyone, since you’ll need to know exactly how many scoops of ground beans to use, and what the best temperature is to brew them at. It might take a little and trial error before you’ve mastered it.

The Good

  • Very reliable.
  • Comes in several colors.
  • Takes up very little counter space.

The Bad

  • Prone to leakage.
  • Manual systems aren’t everyone.

Summary

The Delonghi EC680M DEDICA is a reliable manual espresso maker. It doesn’t come with any of the usual accessories, but if you want to make your espresso the old fashioned way, then that’s the price that you must pay.

The espresso machines reviewed here are some of the best that we’ve found. They run the gamut in price range and abilities. Depending on what you’re looking for in a coffee maker, this is a great place to start your research. You’ll find many of the pros and cons here will help you determine which one might be right for you.

Information on How to Pick the Best Espresso Machine

Before you choose a model based off of the reviews listed here, you need to know some basic facts about espresso makers. The more you know, the better off you’ll be when you’re in the store examining the machines. You’ll also be able to ask constructive questions to the salespeople trying to help.

There are Four Basic Types of Espresso Machines

Manual – A manual machine is considered an old-world one. That is, this is the way that espresso was made for years in Europe. It involves using a lever that controls how quickly (and with how much force) the water is pushed against the ground beans. Basically, you’ll be making from coffee quite literally by hand. This is a very traditional, purist type of machine. Also, it can sometimes be referred to as a lever machine.

Elektra S1C Manual Espresso Machines

Semi-automatic – Semi-automatic machines sometimes have levers, but they shouldn’t be confused with the ones on manual espresso makers. A semi-automatic maker uses ground coffee. The grinds are measured out and placed in the machine, along with the water. Once the water is fully heated, you pull the lever or push a button that starts the espresso making process. You can control how much espresso comes out by moving the lever back into place or hitting the button again.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Fully automatic – A fully automatic espresso machine is more exact. The machine has a microprocessor that controls the ground beans to water ratio. These machines are designed to make more than one cup size. You’ll often see buttons on them for a single cup, double cup, and so on. All that you need to do is place the ground beans in the hopper, pour in the water, and then select the cup size. The machine does the rest, as it automatically determines the amounts of both that are needed.

Krups Barista Fully Automatic

Super-automatic – Finally, there’s the super-automatic model. These machines operate like their fully automatic counterparts, with one additional feature – they grind the beans as well. This is particularly handy if you want a very, very fresh cup of espresso. Most coffee purists realize that freshly ground beans are a necessity in order to the flavor that they desire. This machine handles everything from start to finish.

Gaggia Babila Super Automatic Espresso Machine

Interested in other coffee machines? Check this other article

Other Features and Options

Another thing to consider when shopping for an espresso machine is the additional features. Things like boilers (which heat the water), milk frothers, and multiple spouts are just some of these. Others include the ability to make more than one cup at a time, as well as making differently sized cups of espresso. There are even models, besides the super-automatic of course, which have bean grinders attached. Basically, there are so many additional options and features that it could easily become overwhelming. You need to think about your exact coffee machine needs before going to the store. Also, you need to consider how much you want to spend on a machine.

What Are Your Favorite Drinks?

Although it sounds counterintuitive, you need to think about your favorite coffee drinks before buying an espresso machine. Obviously, you like espresso. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even be reading this. However, many espresso machines handle other types of drinks as well. They’ll make lattes or cappuccinos. If you like these drinks, then you’ll want to find an espresso machine that can handle them. Also, you need to consider the needs of any other coffee drinkers in the house. Which beverages do they prefer? It’s easy to justify buying a machine if it serves more than one purpose.

Don’t Forget About the Price Range

Espresso machines range in price from less to a hundred dollars to well over a thousand. The cost is determined by where it’s manufactured, the level of engineering involved, and the overall type of espresso machine – manual versus super automatic. Obviously, you’re going to pay more for a model that handles more of the steps on its own. It all comes down to how much machine you can afford, and whether or not you think that those features are worth the price. There’s no easy answer here. You’ll have to come up with it on your own.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

After reading this article, choosing an espesso machine for your home might seem like a daunting task. In order to make it a bit easier, we’ve come up with some popular questions that may come up. We’ve answered them as well. Hopefully, this will help you narrow down the model options until you find the perfect one for your needs.

1) What features should I be looking for? What’s commonly included?

The most important things to look for here are the machine’s pump pressure and its self-priming features. If it isn’t self-priming, then you need to consider its included boiler. Also, does it seem like it’ll be easy to use? Some machines come with so many features that they end up looking like a space station console. A plethora of buttons and options might make it difficult to brew your espresso. If this is the case, then you’re probably better off with a less expensive machine with fewer options.

Every espresso machine should have a place to put the beans (ground or whole), a tank for the water, a heating mechanism, and a button or lever that starts the process. After that, everything else is an option.

2) Is the most expensive machine better than the cheapest model?

There are plenty of reasons for buying an expensive model. These machines are usually made from high-quality metals, like stainless steel, and offer some features. They will produce a quality shot of espresso fairly quickly. However, the cheaper models will make the same shot of espresso just a quickly. But, it may not taste as good, unless the model comes with a thermostat.

The number one factor involved in making espresso is the quality of the coffee beans that are used. If you start with great ones, then you’ve solved that part of the equation. The other factor is the brewing process. This is where the expensive machines have an advantage over the cheaper ones. The very expensive ones are more precise. They heat up the water to the correct temperature and know the right pressure involved in forcing the water over the grinds.

With that said, although a cheaper expensive machine might be less precise, as long as it makes espresso that you like, then that’s all that matters.

3) Is the machine easy to clean?

The more complicated the espresso machine, the more working parts that you’ll have to clean. Some might be difficult to take apart to clean. Since the taste of your coffee depends on how spic and span the machine is, your more expensive models might become giant headaches. Before you pick an espresso maker, ask yourself how much time you want to spend cleaning it.

4) Will this machine make me a coffee making professional?

While answering this question doesn’t involve any particular espresso machine, the response is fairly easy. Knowing how to use an espresso machine isn’t quite enough to turn you into a barista. However, reading over the articles on this site should steer you in that direction.

5) Do I need just the machine, or should I invest in a bean grinder?

Unless you choose a super automatic machine, then you’re going to need a bean grinder. The trick to making an awesome shot of espresso involves a finely ground helping of beans. While you can purchase them that way at the store, there’s no telling how long ago those beans were ground. (Although most stores offer this service, which solves part of the problem.) With that said, espresso aficionados know that the best beans are the ones that they ground themselves right before putting them in the machine. So yes, purchase a grinder along with your espresso maker.

Now, do you feel like you’re ready to take the plunge and purchase an espresso machine? Have you weighed the pros and cons and came up with a price range? Do you feel like an espresso expert? If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re ready! Head on out and get a machine so that you can start making espresso at home.

Recommended

Aicok Espresso Machine

Aicok Espresso Machine

Also Great

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Philips Saeco Intelia Cappuccino Deluxe 

Also Great

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

​Breville BES870CBXL

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