Espresso originated in Italy, but took roots across the globe quite quickly, becoming an unavoidable ritual for some. Mostly appreciated for its ‘pick me up’ abilities, espresso can invigorate you, and it is a great start to any day. The best part is, you no longer have to visit coffee shops for that excellent shot, but you can make it at home if you decide to buy one of the top rated espresso machines we have reviewed here for your convenience!
Simply relax in the comfort of your own home and treat yourself to a taste of Italy! There is something here for everyone, from beginners to the most experienced connoisseurs. Mind you, buying an espresso machine can be a daunting task, but it is well-worth investigating different products on the market in search for the one that delivers ounces of pure energy!
Have in mind that here you make your own type of pure pleasure in a cup. Whether you like long macchiato with extra sugar or you are a hardcore lover of a pure black, it is all up to you. With the minimum wait for your espresso, your day will start better and you will feel fresh and ready to cease it.
Types of Home Espresso Machines
As we already mentioned, choosing an espresso machine can be a bit tricky, especially for novices who do not understand that there are different types of espresso machines out there on the market, from your stovetop machines to the latest craze, the pod espresso machines.
Then you can choose between stainless steel espresso maker, super automatic espresso machine, espresso cappuccino machine and many other variations on the theme. As we said, I lot of thought should be put into buying an espresso machine! So, we advise you to take your time, relax, grab a cup of coffee and dive with us into the world of espresso machines. We did our job of finding which ones are the best so you won’t have to.
But luckily for you, we have prepared a list of top rated espresso machines and best espresso makers currently on the market. Our team of espresso enthusiasts poured through thousands of reviews and tested hundreds of products and we are confident that you will find what you are looking for among the machines we decided to feature in our reviews! First, let us take a look at different types of espresso machines currently on the market.
Automatic Espresso Machines
Automatic espresso machines are dividing into three categories; semi-automatic machines, automatic machines, and super-automatic machines. Some are more hands-on than the others, but all share a common trait; they pretty much the simplest way to make espresso.
Semi-automatic machines regulate the pump and the temperature but allow you to decide when to turn the pump off thus giving you the opportunity to regulate how much coffee you squeeze out of your coffee beans. Automatic machines take that option away as they come preset with the amount of water one cup is made with. Super-automatic machines do everything for you at the press of a button; they grind, fill, brew and basically clean themselves. These machines are mostly commercially used, but there are those manufactured for home use.
Now here is a machine for people who love good espresso and the exquisite convenience of making a good shot every single time! This Breville espresso machine is super automatic, which basically means it will do everything for you. This, however, does not mean that you simply press a button and coffee come pouring right out.
You will go through a trial and error process with this machine for sure, but it will pay out in the end, belief in us. Every single shot drawn from this machine is as perfect as it can get once you get a hang of using it properly. Making good espresso is a form of art, and this machine allows you to release your inner artist, intuitively nudging you through the process.
Features of Breville BES870XL Barista Express
If you are an inexperienced barista, this machine will come in handy as it has two dual-walled, pressurized filters that will help you make an excellent shot of espresso. Once you get a hang of the process or simply want to experiment a bit, you can replace that filter with a single-walled, non-pressurized one and toy around with the grind and tampering. Most baristas agree that the best espresso comes with a bit of practice and from non-pressurized filters and this machine gives you both options!
It is made from high-quality materials, so it will last for years and years with proper care, and it is encased in a stainless steel housing, giving it a very modern and sleek appearance. The best coffee is just ground coffee (meaning coffee ground immediately before pulling a shot), and this machine allows you to grind your coffee directly into the filter. What is more, you can even indicate whether you are using single-wall or double-wall filters, and the grinder will adjust the amount of coffee it dispenses.
Advantages of Breville BES870XL Barista Express
- Integrated grinder – Integrated grinder helps keep your coffee beans fresh and grinds them directly into the filter. You can easily choose grind size and adjust it perfectly, so making excellent espresso has never been easier! It also comes with an integrated tamper held on a magnetic coil!
- Easy cleaning – This machine tells you when it is the time to clean it! You will get a full set of instructions with it for hassle-free cleaning, and a hidden compartment holds everything you need for cleaning the machine!
- Warranty – It comes with a 1-year full manufacturer’s warranty so you can rest assured that if anything goes wrong, the company has your back! Also, they provide excellent customer service and their agents are on call to help you make the most out of your espresso machine!
- Completely automatic – This exquisite espresso maker is fully automatic so if you are not an expert barista and like to take the easy road, you don’t have to worry! However, if you do like to experiment a bit, it also provides you with that possibility!
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is most certainly one of the best commercial espresso makers intended for home use currently on the market! While it is a bit pricier, consider it a lifelong investment, since you will be using it for years. Just make sure to clean and service it regularly.
Stovetop Espresso Coffee Makers
The first and the most basic way to make espresso is by using these retro-looking stovetops espresso makers. They may look complicated at first but are relatively easy to use once you get the hang of them, and have been around for over 70 years! Popularly known as Moka pots (after the brand name of the most popular manufacturer, Bialetti Industries), some dispute that they actually make espresso, but those who took a sip from the Moka fountain beg to differ.
The parts of the Moka make an airtight container, and the bottom part is used to store water. The middle part is a funnel-like filter where coffee is placed, and the top part is where brewed espresso is collected. So simply pour in some water, place the funnel on top of it and fill it with coffee. And then secure the top part. Place the device over the stovetop and watch finely brewed coffee fill the top part. Make sure to keep an eye on it, though, overexposure to heat will see you drinking bitter, bitter coffee!
Moka espresso maker revolutionized homemade espresso scene back in the 1930ies when Alfonso Bialetti first came up with the idea of brewing good, strong espresso at home with relative ease. This product is relatively easy to use, but there are a couple of things you need to be aware of.
First, use fine to medium ground coffee and never stuff too much of it inside –you will likely end up clogging the filter. Make sure to use this stovetop espresso maker often, since if it is left unused the coffee will not taste as good. Do not crank up the heat; make your coffee at very low heat. It will take you 10 minutes, but your coffee will not taste burnt.
Also, keep in mind that it is not a smart idea to wash it in the dishwasher. Simply run it under cold water when cleaning it and do not use detergents. Occasionally make sure to replace the gasket. Do this every 3-4 months to avoid it breaking apart inside the Moka.
Features of Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
This product uses pressurized steam to produce top-quality espresso and the principles of how it works are relatively easy. Moka espresso maker consists of several parts; water container, filter and coffee top. Water in the container comes to a boil and is pushed through the filter which is filled with ground coffee and into the coffee top. And that is basically it! Easy-peasy! When you use it properly (making coffee on the lowest heat setting) it is going to take you around 10 minutes, regardless of the size of the pot.
It is washed easily and is made from durable, polished aluminum in an octagon shape, so it is also very attractive. There are different sizes to choose from; you can buy a single cup espresso maker, or a 12 cup espresso maker, depending on your needs and preferences.
Advantages of Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
- Made from quality materials – Bialetti espresso makers are made from strong, quality materials, which make it a durable, lasting product. Make sure to buy original Bialetti product from a reputable vendor, and avoid buying cheaper, knock-off versions of the product.
- Parts easy to replace – Some of the parts have a limited lifespan, such as the knobs, the handle, and the gasket. These can be easily ordered online, and are relatively inexpensive. This means you can use your Moka espresso maker for years and years, simply replacing parts that show signs of wear and tear.
- Makes strong espresso – Years of honing this product have made it perfectly capable of brewing strong, pick-me-up espresso, so do not be discouraged by the fact it is not made in the traditional espresso way. This coffee packs a punch and we guarantee it.
- Serves 12 people – This product makes 12 2-ounce cups of coffee easily, but there are different sizes you can get, some that serve 1 person, and others for 3 or 6 people.
Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 12-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker is an excellent choice for casual espresso drinkers, but if you are a connoisseur you might not find it to be your cup of coffee, so to speak. If you do decide to get it, keep in mind that it is relatively inexpensive, and will last for years with proper care and maintenance!
Pod Espresso Machines
These machines make it easier for those who always over or underestimate the amount of coffee needed to make a perfect espresso. They also pump operated and come in a variety of styles and colors but shorten the time needed to make a perfect cup ten-fold. This is because of the use of pre-filled capsules that have just the right amount of coffee in them. The water is heated and goes through the pod, and within a minute, you have a perfect cup of espresso.
They are easy to operate and to clean, and are a perfect pick for all those espresso lovers who just don’t have the time to hassle with grinding and measuring coffee!
Nespresso’s or pod espresso machines offer a convenient way of making espresso which eliminates the need for grinding coffee beans. They are unique in a sense that they are filled with cartridges, or pods, that have coffee grind in them already. This machine is geared toward busy individuals who do not have time to prepare a barista style espresso but are similar in taste and strength to espresso made with an automatic espresso maker.
With this purchase, you will get a complimentary pod set, consisting of 16 individually flavored pods with distinct aromas, and then you are ready to start experimenting and finding your aroma! The machine itself is compact and small, making it perfect for smaller kitchens. Also, it is very easy to use as it already fully pre-programmed!
Features of Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker
As we already said the machine is only around four inches wide so it uses very little counter space. It is made from high-quality materials and the sides are made from premium aluminum, giving it a very sleek and avant-garde look that will most certainly compliment your kitchen!
The 19-bar pressure pump allows you to make barista-style espresso, strong, rich and tasty. You can also pre-program it to make lungo if that is your preference! It comes with a removable water container- make sure to never run the machine dry! – that can hold enough water for 8 cups of delicious espresso! When you run out of water an indicator light will turn on to warn you about it so keep that in mind!
The machine takes 30 seconds to preheat and your espresso is done in less than two minutes, so in no time at all! What is great about this device is its ability to hold differently flavored pods, so it is to experiment and find the aroma the best fits your personal preferences!
Advantages of Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker
- Easy to use – This machine is very intuitive and easy to use and gets rid of all the hassle you have to go through with other espresso machines, so there is no grinding, tampering or filters that you need to concern yourself with! This makes it very practical for busy individuals.
- Fast preheating – The device heats up in an instant, so there is no need to concern yourself with temperature levels! Pressure and temperature are both ideals for making a perfect, steaming cup of espresso!
- Compact and convenient – Its small size and convenience make it ideal for home use and small kitchens. It is also a great appliance for your office breakroom!
- Comes with accessories – Nespresso machine comes with a foldable tray so it can accommodate larger cups, a separate dispenser for used pods, and a water container.
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker Electric Titan is a great, compact machine that delivers what is promised, a great shot of espresso. Mostly used by busy professionals it is slowly making its way into the hearts of many consumers! Make sure to clean it properly and often, and to fill it with appropriate cartridges, and you will be drinking great espresso for years from it!
Steam Espresso Machines
Last, but not least, we have steam espresso machines. They can brag about being the first automated way to make espresso, and are also relatively simple to operate. They use steam pressure to push water down through the grind and are also brewers of what many believe to be inferior espresso. Don’t let that deter you from getting one! This espresso is still quite good, and most home espresso machines are of this variety.
They are cost-effective and if you are not very particular and picky about your espresso, these machines will fit you like a glove. If you want a stronger kick from your cup of espresso, however, take a look at some of the types we mentioned above.
This KRUPS espresso maker is perfect for making an on-the-go pick me up espresso both fast and easy. It is steam operated so it does not build as much pressure as automatic espresso makers, but do not let that discourage you, the espresso it makes still packs quite a punch.
This machine is relatively small so it will not require a whole kitchen counter-top to mount, which makes it very convenient for smaller kitchens. It also takes only three-four minutes to heat so your cup of espresso will never be too far away. Simply pour water into the container and let the markings on the espresso carafe guide you. The amount of water depends on the number of cups and the strength of espresso you want to brew. Use the measuring spoon to place the coffee inside the filter. One spoon will make one cup of strong espresso.
Features of KRUPS XP1000 Steam Espresso Machine
KRUPS XP1000 Steam Espresso Machine is easily operated, four-bar steam espresso machine perfect for home use. It will brew four cups of rich-tasting espresso in only a couple of minutes. The machine comes with a steam nozzle for frothing milk so you will be able to enjoy a tasty cup of cappuccino as well. You will be able to make a variety of espresso-based drinks, such as latte, in the comfort of your own home!
It is easy to clean and comes with a handy drip tray that you can take out and wash when needed. This espresso maker is made from quality materials and is very durable. If cared for properly, it can last for years, making it a worthy investment!
Advantages of KRUPS XP1000 Steam Espresso Machine
- Warranty – This machine comes with a two-year worldwide manufacturer’s warranty, so you can rest easy knowing that they believe in their product enough to vouch for it.
- Comes with an espresso carafe – Espresso carafe comes included with this product and is very handy since it has measures directly on it. Use it to pinpoint exactly how much water you need to brew one, or four perfect shots of espresso.
- Makes more than espresso – This steam operated espresso maker makes more than just espresso thanks to its integrated steam nozzle for frothing milk. You can experiment and make your own latte and cappuccino to spice up your espresso shots!
KRUPS XP1000 Steam Espresso Machine with Frothing Nozzle for Cappuccino is a great, cost-effective way to make your own cup of hot, steaming espresso without ever having to leave your home. Espresso made this way is perhaps not the best in the world, but is good enough for thousands of consumers, as guaranteed by thousands of satisfied customers. However, if you are an espresso aficionado and a true connoisseur you might want to take a look at some of our featured automatic espresso makers.
The Lever Espresso Machines
This device is something that true lovers of espresso will enjoy immensely! Making espresso as it was made at the start of all things espresso means that you are involved in every step of the process. These are also very fun to use, and offer a great start to finish espresso experience! However, they should be avoided by those not willing to put in the work that making espresso this way entails.
These work on pure arm power. You ground your coffee beans just how you like them, place them into the appropriate container, add water and heat it and get to squeezing. The stronger your arm, the better the cup of espresso you make! Of course, these are not appropriate for people lacking in upper body strength. For them, we have some other, a rather uncomplicated and carefree machine on the offer!
They can be a tad difficult to operate, but once you get the hang of it, you will be making the best espresso this side of Italy! The machine is attractive, very much so if we may add, so you will want to leave it out on the countertop, especially since you will be brewing your perfect espresso every day with it.
Pavoni is a reputable manufacturer of lever-style espresso machines, so the quality you get with this purchase is indisputable. The design is very reminiscent of the 1950ies in make and materials used. 4-6 shots are optimal to brew, even though the machine can hold enough water for eight 2-oz cups.
Features of La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine
This is steam and piston operated machine that requires electricity to work, but everything except the temperature is completely under your control. The lever requires some finesse, but a video is included with the purchase and it shows you the ropes, making it easier to learn how to operate it.
The machine is made from durable triple-plated chrome base, and boiler valve and gauge are nickel-plated solid brass. This reduces water build-up in the machine and helps protect it from hard water damage. The drip tray is removable so it is easy to clean and maintain, and an included steam wand will allow you to make thick, rich foam, and heat milk for lattes.
Advantages of La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine
- A lifetime purchase – With proper care this espresso machine can last you a long, long time. Simply make sure to clean it regularly, and avoid using tap water if it is too hard. Have it serviced once every couple of years to ensure its longevity and you will enjoy great espresso for years to come!
- Manufacturer’s warranty – This product comes with 1-year manufacturer’s warranty so you can rest easy knowing that if during that time anything goes wrong with it, you can have it easily repaired or replaced!
- Total control – You get total and irrevocable control over your espresso shots with this unit! This means you can control how strong it is and how much of it, you want! Granted, it takes a bit of time to nail it down, but when you do you will be drinking it all the time!
- Customizable – All the knobs and buttons are standard size and easily replaceable if the need arises. You can even customize its look, opting for different color and material knobs and levers!
La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine is an excellent purchase for all espresso lovers, guaranteed to make excellent coffee for years! One minor issue with the machine heats build-up, but since it warms up in under 5 minutes you should be perfectly ok with making 5 cups in a single go. If heat becomes a problem simply turn the machine off and allow it to cool down a bit!
What to Look for In a Good Home Espresso Machine
There are several things you have to pay attention to when buying a good espresso machine. These will all differ, depending on the type of the machine you decide to get, but here are some of the most basic you will need to keep an eye out for.
- Warranty – make sure to get an espresso maker that has a valid manufacturer’s warranty, especially if you are going all out and buying a pricey automatic or super automatic machine.
- Materials used – get quality products. We can’t stress how many bad products are out there in the markets that use poor quality materials that break frequently. Buying cheap means you will spend more money getting your machine serviced, and it will end up costing you more in the long run.
- Accessories – pick out accessories to go along with your espresso machine. These will consist of the tamper, knock-boxes, pitchers, cups, and saucers. Some espresso machine manufacturers offer these as an add-on when buying their machine, so keep your eyes peeled for these freebies.
- Usability – make sure that the machine you pick out compliments your kitchen, or better yet, can actually fit in the position you have intended for it. Don’t buy bulky machines that will be in the way and pay special attention to spots, warming tray, and buttons and levers. See if they are fully functional and robust.
- The grinder – pick out a good coffee bean grinder! A good cup of espresso depends as much on the grind as it does on the machine you use! Don’t skimp on this vital piece of equipment or you will come to regret it!