Waking up to the smell of freshly-brewed espresso is now easier than ever before because there are so many great espresso machines on the market. While some are perfect for those on a budget or those who want to make a simple cup of coffee in the morning, others are great for those who want commercial results at home. As you look over our list of the best machines, you’ll find that we narrowed down our list of the top 25 to the five best in several different categories. Look at the type of machine you need before picking out the best model.
Types of Espresso Machines
While you might think that one espresso machine is as good as the next, it’s important that you take a look at some of the different types. In addition to basic espresso machines, we want you to learn more about semi automatic and other types.
Home Espresso Machines
A commercial machine comes fully loaded will all the bells and whistles that you would expect to find in the machine that your favorite coffee shop uses. Home machines streamline the process of making a cup of espresso to make it easier for those with less experience. Though some machines will let you make just one cup at a time, others will let you brew up a larger batch for a bigger group. Home machines are generally smaller and easier to use than other types.
Semi Automatic Espresso Machines
With a semi automatic espresso machine, you have a little more control over each cup that you make. These machines come with both an automated pump and an automated boiler. The boiler is what controls the temperature of the water inside the reservoir. Small buttons or switches on the front let you decide when to turn on the boiler and the pump, and those switches also let you adjust the temperature in seconds. Semi automatic espresso machines are quite similar to those used in smaller coffee houses and restaurants.
How to Choose the Best Espresso Machine
Though you probably already know whether you want an espresso machine designed for home or commercial use, there are some other things you should consider before buying one of these machines online.
Pump vs. Steam
Steam machines generate enough heat to turn water into steam, which then moves slowly through the coffee grounds to make a simple cup. Pump machines use an electric pump to deliver a deeper and more roasted flavor in a shorter period of time.
Home models often have a smaller footprint that lets you place the machine on your counter without sacrificing valuable space. Other models are larger in size and may take up more space than you would like. Keep in mind that size can also dictate the number of cups you can make at one time.
If you rent, or you frequently move houses, you’ll want an espresso machine with a built-in tank or reservoir. This lets you pour in water from the tap for making espresso. Other machines actually let you hook the machine up to your home’s water system. Those with a built-in tank may purify the water before brewing.
Making a cappuccino or a macchiato like you might get in your favorite restaurant is easy to do at home, but you’ll want an espresso machine that comes with its own built-in steamer. The steamer heats the milk to the perfect temperature for mixing with or adding to your coffee.
Ease of Use
Always look at how easily you can use the machine, especially if you have limited experience. A commercial or professional machine may take months or even years to master.
You’ll also want to consider how easily you can clean the machine. If it requires that you take the machine apart and wash each component by hand, you may use it less often than you would like.
Look for machines that come with programmed settings too. These machines let you press a button on the front to make an instant cappuccino, espresso or a specialty drink.
Top Espresso Machines on the Market
5 Best Home Espresso Machines
1. Jura IMPRESSA F8 Automatic Coffee Machine
Almost everything about this home espresso machine practically screams class and elegance, but unlike some of its more expensive competitors, this one is also easy to use. A built-in aroma grinder grinds your beans to the perfect consistency and lets the scent of those beans waft over you as the machine works. A small silver tray on the front holds two cups for whipping up espresso for yourself and a guest, but that tray also has slots that allows any spilled coffee to move into a special container for easy cleaning later. You’ll also love the unique display on the front that shows you what stage the machine is currently in to help you keep track of each cup. Programmed settings let you make more than just espresso though. One touch of a button lets you create the perfect cappuccino and other drinks you thought you could only get from a professional shop.
2. Breville BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine
Though this Breville espresso machine might look a little futuristic and hard to use, it comes loaded with great programmed features and settings that make using it a snap. A built-in grinder grinds your beans to make brewing espresso at home easier, and it also comes with a built-in tamper that turns you into a barista. Made from stainless steel, the espresso machine also comes with a milking feature that lets you add perfectly steamed milk to your next cup without even pressing a button first. You can actually let the machine know that you want milk and how much milk you want when you turn it on in the morning. The display on the front shows you the current temperature setting and lets you change that setting from 190 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can also program the machine to use a Celsius temperature range when making espresso.
3. Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
While this Breville model is similar to the last one on our list, it’s a little different. This one comes with a pressure valve that keeps the machine from overheating and ensures that the extraction pressure remains at a safe level. A thermometer placed on the very front shows you the current temperature of the machine, but you can use the buttons to adjust that temperature. The digital display will show you the setting you selected. Small buttons underneath the display let you adjust the temperature up and down and access the menu to change your settings. You’ll also like that the LCD display can act like a countdown clock to show you just how much time is left before your cup is ready. Breville included a testing strip for checking for hard water before using the machine and an alert that lets you know when you need to descale it.
4. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine with Iron Frame and Stainless Steel Side Panels
Make any day the perfect day for espresso with this machine that has a professional look but an easier to use design. The filter features an ergonomically designed handle that fits perfectly in your hand and reduces both pressure and strain in your wrist and hand to help you brew multiple cups without missing a beat. Designed to help you save space around your kitchen, this machine has a linear design that takes up less space on your counter and a chrome finish that will match almost any type of kitchen. It even has a small shelf on the very top that is just the right size for holding several coffee cups. You’ll also like its commercial design and how it comes packed with features found on pro models like a group head that better regulates the temperature and a steam wand that rotates at an angle in multiple directions.
5. De’Longhi ECP3630 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
Capable of making both cappuccino and espresso, this machine will make you spend more time at home and less time at your favorite cafe. A removable water tank pops out of the bank easily and can hold up to 37 ounces, which is enough for nearly five full cups of coffee or even more cups of espresso. As the tank slides right out, you’ll find that you can easily clean it too. It comes with a drip tray on the front that collects and retains any spills or leaks for easy cleaning later, and that drip tray is larger than those found on other machines to accommodate bigger cups. You can turn the machine on and get it ready for use with just one flip of the switch, but the manufacturer also has its own handy phone line that you can call for help the first time that you use it.
5 Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machines
1. Luigi Lavazza One Cup Espresso Beverage System
Designed for use with special coffee pods from the manufacturer, this easy to use espresso machine lets you make three different types of coffee via the buttons on the front. The machine can turn one of those pods into the perfect cup of coffee, a cappuccino with foam on top or even a rich and smooth latte. It also works with other pods from the manufacturer for making a traditional cup of coffee or tea. Made from stainless steel, this machine also features gold and chrome accents on the top that make it look like a machine you might find in a coffee house. Gold bars across the front also transform the top into a storage area for your extra cups. We also like the hot water button for rinsing out cups before or after drinking and the external wand that froths milk to the perfect consistency for specialty drinks.
2. Breville BES840BSXL The Infuser Espresso Machine
Available in multiple colors, this Infuser model from Breville might make you feel like a barista in the comfort of your own kitchen. A special feature added to this model slowly pours water over your coffee grounds to expand those grounds and extract more flavor from each one. A water coil component on the inside made from stainless steel better regulates the internal temperature to cut down on the risk of burning the grounds or creating a cup of lukewarm espresso. Push buttons on the front let you brew one or two cups at a time and let you turn the machine on and off, but those buttons also let you make simple changes during the brewing process. The manufacturer also added a number of great tools that come right in the box, including a scoop for measuring coffee, two baskets, a water filter and tools for cleaning all internal parts.
3. KitchenAid KES0504OB Nespresso Bundle
Nespresso took the world by storm after introducing small coffee capsules that let you make pro drinks at home. This KitchenAid Nespresso bundle comes with everything you need to make espresso and coffee house drinks in your own home kitchen. The simple design requires that you just lift the lid, insert your capsule in the top, add a little water, drop the lid down and press a button to make a single cup of espresso. A knob at the top lets you decide on how much to brew based on the size of your cup. You can also use that knob to change the strength of the coffee. The removable water reservoir holds 1.3 liters, which is enough to make several cups in a row for sharing espresso and other drinks with friends. KitchenAid also added a milk frother that helps you turn an ordinary cup of espresso into a rich cappuccino.
4. Capresso Ultima Pro Espresso Maker
With this Capresso espresso maker, you can now make espresso like you always dreamed of making. Its unique and patented design creates espresso that has a thin layer of cream on the very top, which many consider a hallmark of espresso. This machine is extremely easy to use because of the simple buttons on the very front. The first two buttons let you make one or two cups of espresso, and the buttons on the opposite side let you froth or steam your drinks. It also features a simple power button for turning the machine on and brewing your coffee. You’ll also like the knob located on one side of the machine that lets you use the adjustable knob for steaming milk and other liquids. We also like that the buttons on this one light up to help you brew and make espresso in lower light conditions.
5. De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Though this model gets good reviews from users, we had to put it at the bottom of our list because it’s so small and compact. While some will love its smaller footprint, others will dislike that its size limits what it can do. Instead of push button controls, this one uses a simple knob on the front. You’ll need to turn that knob to the right or left to adjust the settings or decide on the type of coffee you want to brew. That smaller size also means it only works with smaller and more traditional espresso cups. Despite some flaws, it’s one of the easiest models we came across. You simply fill the tank with water, add your coffee grounds, adjust the knob and start brewing. Its water tank holds up to 35 ounces and slides out easily from the machine for fast and convenient cleaning as do other parts.
Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machine
The best semi automatic espresso machine is the Luigi Lavazza One Cup Espresso Beverage System, which has a water tank that can hold up to half of a gallon of water. Though it only brews one cup at a time, that larger tank lets you make cup after cup without running to the faucet. A hot water button lets you rinse out your cup to keep your espresso at the perfect temperature, and it also comes with a steaming wand for steaming your milk before adding it to your cup. It does almost everything you need via the buttons on the front.
Best Home Espresso Machine
Though a lot of companies fought it out for the top spot, our nod went to the Jura IMPRESSA F8 Automatic Coffee Machine. This machine delivers professional results in a simple machine that anyone can use, and unlike other machines that only brew one cup at a time, this one brews up two cups at once. The bright display on the front lets you decide how many cups you want to brew and even the strength of your espresso. That display also shows you which step of the process it is in to help you see when your cup is ready.