Don’t want to head to the coffee shop every time you want to enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee? With an espresso maker, you can brew your own delicious espresso at home. This is a great way to save money on coffee, especially if the coffee shop is a regular stop for you. It also saves you time since you can get your coffee ready to go in the morning while you’re eating breakfast or reading the morning paper. An espresso machine is also a perfect addition to the office break room. Espresso machines are affordable and easy to maintain, and will keep your employees happy and productive.
Shopping for the Best Espresso Machine
How do you find the best home espresso machine? When shopping for a coffee machine, you will want to keep some key criteria in mind.
- Automatic vs. Manual. An automatic espresso machine will be sufficient for the majority of home and office buyers who just want something fast, simple, and easy to use. An automatic espresso machine will play the role of the barista, doing most of the hard work for you, while still giving you a reasonable amount of control over the process. If you want even more control, you might opt for a manual espresso machine.
- Espresso Cups. Some machines use espresso cups or pods to make your coffee. This is a very easy way to do things, since you simply pop in the cartridge, and the machine has everything it needs to make your beverage. If your priority is to save money, however, you may want to buy a coffee machine which allows you to grind and add beans yourself (some automatic machines permit this). Grinding your own beans will slash your costs in half (not counting the cost of the espresso machine itself).
- Size. Espresso machines with more features tend to also take up more counter space, though they offer added convenience. Grinders make espresso machines larger and more unwieldy, but take care of the grinding for you so you do not have to do it yourself. Manual espresso machines are typically larger than automatics. A self-cleaning espresso coffee maker will also take up less space and will be easier to maintain.
- Grinder Quality. It is absolutely essential that you have a high-quality grinder, whether as part of the espresso machine, or separately if you are purchasing an espresso maker without a grinder. This will have a huge effect on the quality of your finished beverages.
How do you choose the best home espresso machine? When you are purchasing an espresso maker, try to think about the long term. A high-quality machine can work great for many years to come. When you spread out the cost over all those years, a coffee machine which initially looks expensive may actually be quite reasonable, and may offer you the best value.
Espresso Machine Reviews
When you are shopping for the best espresso machine, it pays off to read customer reviews, as well as reviews by third parties. We have done a lot of research to help you select the best home espresso machine or purchase the commercial espresso machine which will bring you the best value over the long term. Here are some of the brands that we recommend based on our research of espresso machine reviews on Amazon.com.
Aerobie Aeropress Coffee Maker
The Aerobie 80R08 AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker is a very highly rated coffee maker with an incredible number of positive customer reviews on Amazon.com. As of right now, the coffee maker averages 4.5 stars for more than 2,300 customer reviews. This espresso machine is one of the most affordable models you are going to find, running about $20 to $30, and may just be the best home espresso machine at this price range. If you are looking for a latte machine, this little unit has you covered. You can make coffee to enjoy by itself, or espresso to mix into cappuccinos or lattes. The coffee maker uses a low temperature and a unique pressure brewing process to produce coffee with low acidity. The machine is incredibly compact, and can be easily stored in a kitchen cabinet!
Bialetti Espresso Maker
Another espresso coffee maker to look into is the Bialetti 6800 Moka Express Stovetop Percolator. This stovetop espresso machine, like the Aerobie, is also incredibly compact and affordable, retailing in the $20 to $30 price range. The unit has 4.5 stars, and as of right now, more than 1,600 reviews on Amazon. You can choose from a range of cup sizes. The stovetop espresso machine has a beautiful polished chrome construction which is easy to clean and maintain.
Breville Espresso Machine
Breville Espresso is a brand which we can highly recommend, as they have a number of exciting espresso machines to choose from. Look into the Breville Espresso BES840XL The Infuser Espresso Machine, or consider the Breville BES870XL The Barista Express Coffee Machine. Looking for something semi-automatic? The Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler Semi Automatic Espresso Machine is a great choice. Two more to look into include the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker and the Breville 800ESXL 15-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso Machine.
Capresso Espresso Machine
There are two machines that we suggest by this brand: the Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, and the Capresso EC100 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine. The 303.01 4-Cup machine is priced around $50 to $60. It is relatively compact, and includes a coffee/steam selector, adjustable strength, and a swivel frother. The EC100 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine is more expensive, costing around $125 to $145. This machine is highly rated and includes a stainless steel lined ThermoBlock heating system, a swivel frother, and two sieves which allow you to make single or double espresso shots.
Cuisinart Espresso Maker
Cuisinart is of course a well known and respected brand for cookware. In their range of espresso makers, we can recommend the Cuisinart EM-100 1000-Watt 15-Bar Espresso Maker Stainless Steel and the Cuisinart EM-200 Programmable 15-Bar Espresso Maker Stainless Steel. Both of these home espresso makers include 15 bars of pressure to produce high-quality coffee drinks. One attractive feature for both is the capability to accept pods or ground coffee beans. This makes either unit a flexible investment.
De’Longhi Espresso Maker
A De’Longhi espresso machine is an excellent choice. There are a number of models by this brand which have received high ratings and wonderful reviews on Amazon. If you are looking for a De’Longhi espresso machine, check out the De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. The De’Longhi EC5 Steam-Driven 4-Cup Espresso and Coffee Maker Black is great, and so is the De’Longhi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker Stainless.
The De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine provides excellent performance. Also look at the De’Longhi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic Cappuccino Latte and Espresso Machine for a small unit. Finally, think about the De’Longhi BAR32 Retro 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker, or the De’Longhi Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System. The fact that De’Longhi makes a two-in-one espresso and latte machine makes them easy to recommend.
Espressione Espresso Machine
Espressione makes a great home espresso machine called the Espressione Café Minuetto Professional Thermoblock Espresso Machine Silver. This espresso maker is a more expensive choice in the $200 to $220 price range, but the machine offers high performance and a number of different options. It is a fully fledged cappuccino maker which can deliver cappuccinos with no extra work on your part. It can take either ground coffee beans or ESE espresso cups. Fifteen bars of pump pressure deliver a delicious cup.
Gaggia Espresso Machine
The Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine Brushed Stainless Steel is a powerful automatic espresso machine with manual capabilities. You can choose to make either single or double shots of espresso, and the 17 ½ bar pump delivers unparalleled quality. The 72-ounce water reservoir is removable for easy cleaning, and the machine has a beautiful stainless steel housing which will look great on any kitchen counter. The espresso machine retails in the $380 to $420 range, but it has almost 200 customer reviews on Amazon as of right now, averaging out to 4 out of 5 stars. While this is a more expensive unit, it is comparable in quality to a commercial espresso machine, making it a great investment. If you are shopping in the upper price range, Gaggia also makes a super automatic espresso machine called the Gaggia 90500 Titanium that retails for around $800.
IMUSA Espresso Maker
From IMUSA, we have the IMUSA GAU-18200 Elecric Espresso/Cappuccino Maker with Milk Frother 4-Cup Black. This small, inexpensive steam-based machine will run you only $25 to $40, and includes a milk frother and a 4-cup glass carafe. This is a popular and highly-rated product with more than 150 customer reviews on Amazon.com.
KRUPS Espresso Machine
The KRUPS XP100050 Steam Espresso Machine with Frothing Nozzle for Cappuccino Black is a popular home espresso machine. It retails in the $55 to $65 price range, and is very compact with a removable tray which makes it easy to clean. A three-way switch knob and fixed steam nozzle make it easy to froth milk.
Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker
There are a number of espresso machines by Mr. Coffee that you will want to check out. Two of our favorites are the Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000 Café Barista Espresso Maker and the Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Cafe Latte. These machines have an array of powerful capabilities. Another one to consider is the Mr. Coffee BVMC-FM1 20-Ounce Frappe Maker, great if you like frappuccinos. The Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine Black and the Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker Black are also good models.
Mr. Coffee’s selection spans a wide price range. The ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso machine is a lower end espresso coffee maker in the $35 to $45 price range, but it is highly rated for its performance. The Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso Maker is a commercial espresso machine, selling for around $200, which is perfect for making espresso, latte, or cappuccino. Any one of these models could be the best home espresso machine for you.
The Nespresso C91 Essenza Espresso Machine and the Nespresso C60 Pixie Espresso Maker Electric Titan are both worth a look. The C91 is less expensive, priced around $85 to $105. Nineteen bars of pressure produce delicious coffee, and the matte black finish is very elegant. The more expensive C60 super automatic espresso machine has a chrome and black finish and a very sleek looking design, and retails for around $200. This device is fully programmable and allows you to brew a delicious espresso in under half a minute.
Saeco Espresso Machine
The Philips Saeco HD8325/47 Poemia Espresso Machine sells for around $85 to $95, and is highly rated by numerous customers online. The machine includes a patented pressurized port filter, which allows for an exquisite crème. You can use either ground coffee or espresso cups with the Saeco Poemia.
Rancilio Espresso Machine
The Rancilio Silvia Version 3 espresso machine is the most expensive model in our list, retailing for around $600 to $650. This commercial espresso machine is ultra-high in quality, and rates 4.5 stars on Amazon.com, with more than 150 customer reviews as of the time of this writing. While this is an expensive model compared to most, remember that a long-lasting machine that is well cared for will provide amazing value over the long term, even if the up-front cost seems hefty.
Shopping for the best espresso machine can be a challenge, but if you read espresso machine reviews and do the research, you will find that the best espresso machines span a whole range of prices and features. Whether you are in the market for a super automatic espresso machine or a manual machine, you’ll be able to find the perfect model for your home or office.