Are you a coffee looking for the best home espresso machine? One that will enable you to make an invigorating espresso that is as tasty as you would find at your local café?
We have researched and put together a buying guide to make your work easy when choosing the best espresso machine for home.
We have also added 5 of the top espresso machine reviews to assist you in making the right decision.
5 best espresso makers rating chart:
There is something for everyone here, from beginners to experienced connoisseurs, if you are searching for an espresso machine to give you the perfect shot, we have found some of the best options available.
Table of Contents
What is an Espresso Machine Used For?
One of the most important things you need to know about espresso maker is that it is not a type of roast or a type of coffee bean; it is a method of brewing coffee.
An espresso machine uses high pressure to push hot water through compacted coffee grounds, producing an aromatic, flavorful 1-2 ounce shot of espresso.
The best home espresso machine will not only produce the perfect shot of espresso, but it will also have a wand for steaming and frothing milk or a frothing pitcher. This will allow you to also make a latte, macchiato or cappuccino.
What Makes the Best Home Espresso Machine?
Espresso machines vary in several different ways.
With some machines you can make more than one type of drink, some espresso machines allow you to make multiple servings at once, while others brew just one cup at a time and some machines require more maintenance than others.
When choosing the best home espresso machine, it is important to pay attention to features, such as the frothing aids, thermostats and water tank storage. So, what do you look for to determine what makes an espresso machine the best?
The flavor and final result of your espresso is extremely dependent on the amount of pressure used to push the water through the grounds.
A semi-automatic espresso machine that has nine bars of pressure or more is typically the best for extracting the best amount of flavor from freshly ground coffee.
But, some semi-automatic espresso machines may have too little or too much pressure for the best brewing, so you should be able to dial the pressure up or down.
Since espresso is made with pressure and steam, it can be rough on some materials. An espresso machine with a plastic housing generally will not hold up as well as stainless-steel housing.
Stainless-steel also is more resistant to corrosion than other types of materials.
Removable Water Tank
Espresso makers that have a removable water tank are the easiest to fill as well as clean.
Keep in mind that some espresso machines can be heavy, as much as 30 pounds or more, making it difficult to carry to the sink for water, so without a removable tank you would need another container to add water to the machine.
Moveable Steam Arm
A rotating steam arm allows you to have more control of the amount and consistency of froth in your drink. The arm should also be long enough and have enough room to comfortably fit a container under it.
Coffee Pod Adaptable
If you use fresh grounds for all of your coffee beverages, an espresso machine that also uses coffee pods isn’t essential, but it is a nice feature to have, especially if you are in a hurry because the coffee pods save time in the brewing process.
Coffee aficionados swear that a warm cup is essential for maintaining the temperature of their freshly brewed espresso. If you have the option, a cup warmer is a great addition, but you can always simply rinse your cup in hot water first to warm it up.
How to Choose the Best Home Espresso Machine
Home espresso machines basically fall into four primary categories; semi-automatic espresso machine, fully automatic espresso machine, manual espresso maker and super automatic espresso machine.
Semi-automatic and fully automatic espresso machines are the most popular styles on the market, mostly because of the convenience they provide.
- Semi-automatic espresso machines are just that-semi-automatic. In other words, some of the steps are automated, while others are not.
- This type of machine will allow you to put your personal stamp on the final results, but you will not have to do some of the tedious steps that are involved in making your espresso with a stove top espresso machine.
- Some of the features with a semi-automatic machine include automated water temperature and pressure, the ability to adjust the steam and water flow and control over the pump.
- This type of espresso machine typically does not have a built-in grinder, so you will need to fill the portafilter with ground coffee and tamp the grounds.
Recommended best semi automatic espresso machine : Gaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker.
- Fully automatic espresso machines will regulate the amount of water that travels through the machine, you do not control the pump at all.
Recommended best automatic espresso machine : Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine.
- Manual espresso machines generally require more labor. For example, you will need to manually push the water through the machine, which can cause significant variations in the results.
- However, an experienced espresso maker often tends to have the best results with the type of machine.
Recommended best manual espresso machine : STARESSO Espresso Coffee Maker.
- Super-automatic espresso machines are all about being convenient and not having to make any small adjustments.
- With a super-automatic espresso maker, almost all of the brewing steps will be automated, meaning that all you will have to do is fill the hopper with some coffee beans and turn the machine on.
- This type of espresso machine has a built-in coffee grinder that automatically grinds, tamps and extracts a shot of espresso, it can be connected to a water line so it automatically fills or you can manually add water, has one button touch technology and higher end models are able to froth and dispense milk automatically, which gives you more options for lattes and caffe.
- This type of machine is ideal for those who want an excellent tasting espresso without all of the fuss involved in the process.
Recommended best super automatic espresso machine : Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso.
Consider the Types of Home Espresso Machines
When you are searching for the best home espresso machine to buy, one of the first things you will need to determine is which espresso machine best suits your needs. In terms of mechanically, there are two basic types of espresso machines; steam driven and pump-driven.
- Steam-Driven Machine – Espresso machines that worked on a steam-pressure basis were the first types of espresso machines and they are still in use today. A steam-driven espresso machine uses steam pressure or steam to force the water through the coffee grounds to make the espresso.
- Some steam-driven machines can make a small amount of crema (the foam), but they cannot generate enough pressure or provide the exact temperature necessary to produce a true espresso, which has a thick, flavorful crema.
In other words, they simply make an exceptionally strong cup of coffee with a small amount of thin crema.
- But, steam-driven espresso machines typically cost considerably less than a pump-driven machine, so if you are on a tight budget or if you are trying to test the waters with an espresso machine, this type of machine is an ideal option.
The manual and fully-automatic espresso machines fall under this category.
- Pump-Driven Espresso Machine – A pump-driven espresso machine uses an electric pump instead of steam generated pressure to force the water through the coffee grounds. Pump-driven machines make a true espresso. The semi-automatic espresso makers and the super automatic espresso makers are in the pump-driven category.
5 Best Espresso Machines Reviews
To help make it easy for you, we have gathered up information on the best espresso machines on the market, carefully prioritized several criteria and put together espresso machine reviews that specifically meant to help you cut through all of the confusing information and just get the best home espresso machine that suits your style.
DeLonghi EC680M Review – The Best Espresso Machine for Home
If you want the experience of being your own barrister and avoid having to go to the local café every time you want a good espresso, the DeLonghi EC680M espresso machine is the ideal machine for you.
This is the best affordable espresso machine for those who are on a limited budget and have limited space for an espresso machine.
Let’s get right into the pros and cons of the DeLonghi EC680M semi-automatic espresso machine:
- Novice Friendly machine makes it easy for those who are unfamiliar with operating an espresso machine
- Has thermos block technology which heats water to the ideal temperature in only 40 seconds
- Automatically shifts to standby mode after a certain period of inactivity, so it reduces energy consumption
- 3 levels for adjusting and customizing the brew temperature
- Steam wand for frothing
- Double shot option
- Automatic flow stop
- Easy cleaning and maintenance
- Compact design
- Since it is semi-automatic espresso, there is some work involved, including grinding the coffee and tamping it down
- Has a low height clearance for cup. The maximum cup size for this machine is approximately 3-inches
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Review – The Best Cappuccino Machine for Home
Whether you want espresso, cappuccino or a latte, you can get it with a simple push of the button.
This espresso/cappuccino machine allows you to control how many ounces of liquid you want in your cup, which is perfect for those days when you just can’t wake up.
Mr. Coffee will provide you with an all-in-one solution for all of your coffee needs, so you will never have to go to café again.
This machine is affordable and it is self-cleaning. Let’s look at the pros and cons the Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000:
- Ability to brew either single or double shots
- Automatic milk frother
- Adjustable cup tray
- One touch panel
- 55-ounce water container
- 15-bar pump pressure
- The temperature is low
- Have to heat cup before use for the best results
Best Budget Espresso Machine :
Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Automatic Espresso Machine Review
The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 is considered to be an entry-level espresso-cappuccino machine that is perfect for those who are on a tight budget, however, for the price it produces an excellent tasting espresso.
This Mr. Coffee ECMP50 espresso machine is a hybrid machine, meaning it makes both espresso and cappuccino. It is also a dual-shot brewing system, so you can make two single shots at the same time.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of this best budget espresso machine :
- Dual-shot brewing
- 15-bar pump pressure
- Frothing arm that provides excellent milk froth
- 40-ounce water reservoir
- Manually need to turn the dial to stop espresso
- Cannot make steam and espresso at the same time
De’Longhi EC155 Review
One of the best features of the De”Longhi Ec155 is that it is one of the more affordable espresso machines with a long-list of pros.
This bar pump espresso and cappuccino machine delivers a rich, tasty coffee, thanks in part to the swivel jet-frother and the self-priming function.
It is a versatile machine that also makes excellent cappuccino and latte in addition to making excellent espresso. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons with the De”Longhi Ec155:
- Excellent crema
- Uses pods or ground coffee
- Swivel jet frother
- Stainless-steel broiler
- Easy clean-up and maintenance
- 15 bars of pressure
- Limited clearance under the steam wand
- Sometimes shakes and rattles while brewing
De’Longhi ECP3420 Espresso and Cappuccino Maker Review
With the DeLonghi ECP3420 espresso machine, not only can you have a freshly brewed espresso, but you can also have a cappuccino…all without having to leave your kitchen.
De’Longhi is one of the most respected brands in the coffee industry, they have been in business since 1902, so it is fair to say they may know a thing or two about what it takes to brew a great espresso.
The De’Longhi ECP3420 is an affordable espresso machine for home that comes with many of the features you would expect to see on a high-end model.
Along with the self-priming feature that makes it easy to prepare for your brew, lets take a look at some of the other pros as well as the cons of this best home cappuccino machine :
- Single or double shot option
- No reheating wait time between brews
- Removable bottom tray to accommodate larger cups
- Large, removable and easy to clean water tank
- Stainless-steel broiler
- 15 bars of pressure for brewing authentic espresso
- Manual frother wand
- The frother produces a froth quickly, but it is seems to be light and bubbly, instead of thick and dense
Home Espresso Machine Accessories
From a tamper to a personalized cappuccino cup, accessories for your home espresso machine make each cup of espresso more personalized.
Some accessories can make the process of creating the drink easier, while others are designed to make cleanup easier.
Keep in mind when shopping for accessories for your home espresso machine that accessories vary in price, style and design, so choose the items that are best suited for your budget and your needs.
There are a lot of fun ways to accessorize your espresso machine, but the most popular items include:
- The tamper-every “craftsman” has their own favorite tool used for their trade. For espresso lovers, it’s their tampers.Many of the best home espresso machines come have a tamper included, which is often made from plastic and while it does the job, you may prefer to buy a better quality one.
- They can range in price, size and materials, including wood and metal, so choose one that best fits your machine’s basket and that will be best suited for your needs.
- Cups – the fun thing about cups is that you can choose something that fits your artistic likes and dislikes. Espresso and cappuccino cups aren’t just for aesthetic uses, they also play a major role in how your espresso develops in taste.
- The shape of the interior as well as the thickness of the cup can determine the temperature of the espresso and the taste. The most popular shape for espresso cups is a bowl shape, which is thought to retain the heat and taste better.
- Regardless of the type of cup you choose, remember to preheat it with the cup warming tray or by running hot water into first; this will prevent you being stuck with a tepid temperature beverage.
- Knock boxes – making a spent puck from a portafilter can be a difficult and messy task; a knock box helps you to make the perfect puck for your basket.
- You can choose from a built-in knock box or one that fits under the portafilter your machine, just be sure to choose one that will give you an ideal puck and that is easy to use.
- Steaming pitchers – these vary in size and shape, but the bell shaped pitcher is the most common type. When choosing a steaming pitcher, it is best to get one with a long, pointed spout.These seem to steam the best and will create a nice microfoam.
- A 12-ounce pitcher is the perfect size for one cappuccino, a small latte or two macchiatos, whereas a 16-ounce is best for making multiple cappuccinos or larger lattes.
Which One is the Best Espresso Machine for Home?
Based on the best espresso machine reviews we have compiled as well as the pros and cons that are related to each of the above 5 products, the DeLonghi EC680M Espresso Machine is the most likely to meet the needs of both inexperienced as well as experienced home baristas.
- We like that this machine has a stainless-steel housing, that it has 3 brew temperature levels and that it automatically shifts to standby mode, which is an important safety feature.
- One of the main reasons we like this best rated espresso machine is that it is truly a novice friendly machine, making it easy to enjoy a tasty espresso or cappuccino, even for those who aren’t quite familiar with operating an espresso machine.
We hope our buying guide to choosing the best home espresso machine and the 5 best espresso machine reviews will help you choose the right espresso machine for you and your specific needs.
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