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.
Espresso Machine Reviews 2016
Find my list of the best espresso machines according to their types:
- Best Espresso Machines 2016 – My updated list of the best espresso makers to buy.
- Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machines 2016 – The most popular type of espresso maker that provides a balance between control and convenience. (Avg price $500)
- Best Automatic Espresso Machines 2016 – Use pods for ultimate convenience and minimal mess. (Avg price $200)
- Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines 2016 – From grinding to brewing, the process of espresso making is automated. (Avg price $1500)
- Best Espresso Machine Under 200 – Affordable, beginner espresso makers with a basic build.
- Best Manual Espresso Machine – High end espresso maker, fully manual and only for those who enjoy espresso making as a hobby.
- Best Steam Espresso Maker – Cheap espresso maker that makes a decent strong coffee.
- Best Portable Stovetop Espresso Maker – Make espresso anywhere on a stove or fire pit.
- How to Choose the Best Espresso Maker
- Best Espresso Maker Brands
- More Tips for Buying an Espresso Maker
Best Espresso Makers 2016
Looking for a quick list of the best espresso machines to buy? Here is my updated list for 2016.
Best Value Semi Automatic Espresso Maker – Breville BES870XL
I’m impressed at how many useful features they managed to put into this one machine. Great for beginners and experienced users alike. If you’re looking for a good bargain in a semi automatic espresso maker, this is the one to consider. Read my review here: Breville BES870XL
Best Entry Level Semi Automatic Espresso Machine – Gaggia Classic
Here is something every novice barista who’s serious in espresso making will like. The Gaggia Classic is easy to use, just the right build quality and priced very reasonably for someone who’s buying his first serious espresso machine. Read my review here: Gaggia Classic
Best Budget Super Automatic Espresso Machine – DeLonghi ESAM3300
Looking for a fully automatic espresso machine that won’t break the bank? You’d be pleased to know that this one comes for a very affordable price and makes great espressos. It makes quite a wicked cappuccino too. Read my review here: DeLonghi ESAM3300
Best Automatic Espresso Machine – Nespresso Citiz
The Citiz remains as one of my favorite espresso makers. Although it uses Nespresso proprietary pods, the espresso drinks are tasty, the milk frother works wonderfully and it’s just too easy to make an espresso with this machine. The design is also aesthetically more pleasing than the compact models. Read my review here: Nespresso Citiz
Best Budget Automatic Espresso Maker – Nespresso Inissia
If you have to save a hundred bucks, the Inissia works similarly to the Citiz with a less sophisticated build and design. This automatic espresso maker also doesn’t come with a milk frother. This is a great option if you’re getting a second, cheap espresso machine to make a fuss-free, quick drink. Read my review here: Nespresso Inissia
Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machine – Rancilio HSD-Silvia
If you’re looking for durable parts, brass boiler, easy to use design and all in all premium quality in a home espresso maker, the Rancilio Silvia is sure to please with its commercial grade build. Make sure to pair it with a good conical burr grinder, as to get the most out of the machine. Read my review here: Rancilio HSD-Silvia
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.
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.
Another type of manual espresso maker is the stovetop espresso maker. This portable espresso maker can be used anywhere, while you travel, at home on your stove top, or as a camping espresso maker over the campfire. The best stovetop espresso maker is the Bialetti Moka Express.
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.
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.
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 automatic espresso 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.
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.
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.
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
- Delonghi espresso makers
- Nespresso espresso makers
- Breville espresso makers
- Capresso espresso makers
- Jura espresso makers
- La Pavoni 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!