Hi, this is my blog on the best espresso machines or espresso makers. I may not be an espresso connoisseur (I enjoy drinking a good cup of espresso but I’m not an expert), but when you’re talking about espresso makers, I certainly know a thing or two. When it comes to all types of espresso machines, I love to test them out and find out which is the best espresso machine for home use. I hope to write commercial espresso machine reviews in the future as well.
I have some of the top espresso machines reviewed here. My espresso maker reviews are often on popular machines in the market, but sometimes there is a good espresso maker that gets overlooked so I include it as well.
Best Espresso Machine Reviews 2015
Here’s a quick list of all the best espresso machines I’ve reviewed:
- Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machine
- Best Value Semi Automatic Espresso Maker
- Best Automatic Espresso Machine
- Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine
- Best Manual Espresso Machine
- Best Steam Espresso Machine
- Best Espresso Machine Under 200
How to Choose the Best Espresso Maker
There are two main types of home espresso machines, namely the steam espresso machine and the pump espresso machine. This is based on how the espresso maker works to extract the coffee out of the ground coffee beans.
Do read on to find out what these espresso makers do.
Steam Espresso Makers
I personally do not think that the steam espresso maker is a true espresso machine, considering that what it produces usually doesn’t have the body of the espresso produced by a pump espresso maker.
I would say that the steam espresso machine makes very strong coffee instead of true espressos.
Anyway the steam espresso machines are really cheap; you can easily get one for less than $50. The best steam espresso machine you can get is the Mr. Coffee ECM160. It is priced below $50 and it’s a really cheap way to get decent coffee that is espresso-like.
- Mr. Coffee ECM160 – Read my review here.
Pump Espresso Makers
The pump espresso maker is the best home espresso machine. This type of espresso machine uses a pump with high bar pressure, usually above 15-bar, to extract coffee out of the beans quickly. The power of the high pressure is able to create a better coffee out of the same beans compared to a steam espresso maker.
Pump espresso machines come in several forms (manual, semi automatic, automatic, super automatic), from the most hand operated and controlled machines to the most automated ones.
If you already know how to pull a shot of espresso, or perhaps worked in a cafe before and enjoyed being a barista, you may like the manual espresso machine.
Manual Espresso Makers
These espresso makers let you control everything from temperature to timing the shot, so you have to be skilled, or at least willing to learn, to use them.
The manual espresso machines are not cheap. The cheapest ones are around $300 and the price goes up to $1500.
The best manual espresso machine is the Italy-made La Pavoni Europiccola EPC-8 that espresso enthusiasts will love. With this machine you can make the tastiest espresso and be satisfied in the knowledge that you made it yourself.
- La Pavoni Europiccola EPC-8 – Read my review here.
However, if you are getting your first espresso maker or don’t know a lot about espresso making, you’ll be better off with the more automated espresso machines.
Semi Automatic Espresso Makers
A semi automatic espresso machine can be a good choice for people who care to experiment with different grinds and tamp pressure for their espressos. The semi automatic is also what most people buy as it can be found for as little as $100 and less than $1000, and it’s not difficult to make a good espresso with it.
If you want any pump espresso machine that is affordable, go for a budget semi automatic espresso machine. The Delonghi ECC-155 is the the best espresso machine under $100 you can find.
For the best value semi automatic espresso maker with a hardier build that’s also good for first time buyers, try the Gaggia Classic. A good entry level espresso maker, Gaggia Classic gives good value for the money and is also the best espresso maker you can get under $500.
- Gaggia Classic – Read my review here.
Going all in for the best semi automatic espresso machine you should check out Breville Barista Express BES870XL. This is the best espresso machine for home users and it can make an espresso much better than your regular Starbucks.
- Breville Barista Express BES870XL – Read my review here.
No espresso making skill will be needed if you go for automatic or super automatic espresso machines as all the work would be done for you by the machine itself. The main difference between these two is that automatic espresso makers use only capsules or pods, while super automatic ones often use coffee beans but some models do allow you to use pods as well.
Automatic Espresso Makers
The top advantage to having automatic espresso machines is a no-mess operation. Using coffee capsules with ground espresso in them, you can get espresso with a consistent taste by just pressing a couple of buttons.
The machine will even keep several used pods in it until you empty the compartment. Imagine the convenience! This is why I recommend people who are getting espresso makers for their office to get an automatic espresso machine. The automatic is the best espresso machine for office use. Some automatic espresso makers like Nespresso machines are only priced between $100 and $300 too.
- Nespresso machines – Read my review here.
The best automatic espresso machine is Nespresso Citiz which comes with a milk steamer and frother so that you can make other types of espresso drinks like cappuccino and latte. You can get a cheaper automatic espresso maker without the milk frother if you only drink it black.
- Nespresso Citiz – Read my review here.
Equally effortless to use is the super automatic espresso machine, although you will have to fork out more money for it.
Super Automatic Espresso Makers
The super automatic espresso machine is often found in establishments like hotel restaurants, so I’m sure most people would have used them before.
These machines come with a built-in coffee grinder, so you can buy your favorite coffee beans and just put them in the espresso machine. When you need an espresso, just press a button and the machine will grind, tamp and brew your espresso in matter of seconds.
You can easily expect a high end espresso maker like that to cost more than $500. In fact, the top range ones can cost as much as $3000. For the office or for home use, the best super automatic espresso machine is the Jura-Capresso Impressa J6. Read my review here.
Best Espresso Machine Brands
I will be updating my blog with more espresso machine reviews and some articles on espresso machines, espresso making and related stuff. If you have a certain brand you like, you can read my reviews on the best espresso machines according to their brands also. Here’s the list.
- Gaggia espresso makers
- La Pavoni espresso makers
- Delonghi espresso makers
- Nespresso espresso makers
- Breville espresso makers
- Jura espresso makers
- Capresso espresso makers
- Mr. Coffee espresso makers
Tips for Finding the Best Espresso Machine
I like to look at new espresso machines even though I have quite a few already, and there’s no stopping me examining the espresso makers my friends bought. To me, a good espresso machine is not just something that makes good espresso, it should also be durable, user-friendly, easy to clean and safe to use.
When determining those points, you’ll need an eye for quality parts that make up the espresso machine. Are they sturdy or flimsy? What material are they made of? Metal is certainly better than plastic. Look at the boiler too. A copper boiler is better than a stainless steel boiler and the latter is better than an aluminum boiler. Two boilers are better than one.
Aside from the parts, look at the design of the machine. Is it easy to fill up with water? Are parts removable for cleaning? Are the spouts adjustable so that you can make a long black as well as an espresso shot?
Even if you’re buying online, you can find out all this information in espresso machine reviews.
More Espresso Maker Reviews
Remember to check out my blog for my latest espresso maker reviews. I will be updating it with related articles as well, such as more tips for choosing the best espresso machine, how to make espresso drinks, how to maintain your espresso machine and so on.
Hopefully you’ll be able to find the espresso maker that makes you great espressos and saves you hundreds of bucks a year for not going to Starbucks!