Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machine 2016

Because they can be very sophisticated, finding the best espresso machine can be quite a difficult and confusing ordeal. However, I have written this article to try and make it simpler for those thinking about buying one for their home.

Home espresso machines are perfect for those who enjoy extremely high quality gourmet coffee. They use finely ground coffee beans to truly unlock the maximum flavor intensity from every bean. They are very versatile, capable of producing a plethora of different styles. Espresso shots are usually drank from miniature cups, but good espresso machines also come with a frothing tube that aids in making milk-based gourmet coffees such as lattes and cappuccinos.

If you are a regular drinker of espresso, this is an excellent investment as it will eventually pay for itself when you consider the cost accrued when buying espresso from coffee shops and stands over the years. The market has become very competitive in recent years with manufacturers seeking to produce the best home espresso machines which rival even their commercial counterparts.

Espresso machines are definitely the gold standard when it comes to coffee machines. They are the most professional looking (plenty of models wouldn’t look out of place in a Starbucks) and many say produce the finest coffee possible.

Factors to Consider

Machine Type

Espresso machines generally come in 4 varieties: manual, semi-automatic, automatic and super-automatic. Manuals are the cheapest and as the name suggests, are brewed manually whereas the other kinds offer automatic functionality so the machine brews for you. Semi-automatic and super-automatic espresso machines have more sophisticated programming and customization options and usually come at an increased price.

Price

When it comes to price, there is an espresso machine for every budget. More primitive and low-end models can sometimes come under $50 and the price can go all the way up to $1000+ for the deluxe commercial style makers.

Extra Features

There are so many features included in such a wide-array of machines nowadays that it would be impossible to summarize them all into one paragraph. The key things to look out for are whether the machine contains a built-in grinder – if not you’ll have to purchase one separately – and whether or not it comes with a high grade frother. You might also want to consider how durable and sturdy the espresso maker is as it can sometimes be more cost effective to buy a more expensive model that lasts rather than going cheap and having to pay for repairs or replacement parts often.

Best Espresso Machine for Home – Deluxe

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

This is one of the most versatile home espresso machines ever made, with the ability to brew just about any type of coffee beverage you can imagine. The Breville BES870XL Barista is a programmable semi-automatic machine and boasts a built-in conical burr grinder with a multitude of consistency settings (1-16 going from fine to coarse). It has the ability to deliver the perfect amount of finely ground coffee beans and brew an espresso shot in less than a minute.

Like most espresso machines, there is a learning curve and it does take some time before you completely master the system, but when you do you will be producing gourmet espressos, cappuccinos and even more in a convenient manner. However, if you are impatient or unwilling to take the time to experiment with the machine it is advisable to choose a simpler model.

This machine is compatible with both ground coffee as well as pods, and includes more advanced features like the auto-purge function which automatically adjusts water temperature after steaming and a 360-degree swivel action steam wand for easy and simple milk texturing.

Another positive is the stainless steel design which is not only robust but also very pleasing to the eye. These machines last for a long time and it’s unlikely you will need to replace it any time soon as long as you follow cleaning instructions and take care of it properly.

Pros

Pro Ideal for beginners: 2 double-wall pressurized filters offer greater control over tamping. (Also includes 2 non-pressurized single-wall filters for more experienced users)
Pro PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) temperature control for higher accuracy.
Pro Perfect for espresso, cappuccinos, lattes and more.
Pro Built-in adjustable grinder
Pro Easy to use but has a learning curve to truly master
Pro Clean-me light and cleaning kit included
Pro Removable 67oz water tank
Pro Removable drip tray with full indicator

Cons

Cancel Quite messy, clean up is required after every usage

 

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KRUPS EA8250 Espresseria Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

The KRUPS EA8250 Espresseria is a fully automatic espresso machine and has in my opinion the best quality-price ratio out of any machine on the market. It has a built-in metal conical burr grinder with an adjustable setting – fine for espresso lovers, coarser for those wanting an ordinary coffee – and its compact size means it’s perfect for any kitchen.

It has a sleek and simple design with an LCD screen and intuitive user interface, which can be easily mastered by even the novice user. The Espresseria comes with patented thermoblock heating technology for perfect consistent heat control and has a remarkable steam nozzle for those who prefer a latte or other milky beverages.

With a quick brew time of under 2 minutes it’s perfect for people with a tight morning routine and is French-made: the machine itself and all parts feel very well made when compared to many other cheaper espresso machines.

Pros

Pro Quick and convenient: has an auto-clean and rinse cycle and only needs complete cleaning around every 360 cycles
Pro Perfect for a beginner or a novice
Pro Intuitive design with LCD screen
Pro Energy efficient and equipped with auto-off
Pro Alerts for all required functions such as cleaning and replacement
Pro Great value for money – rivals some $600+ machines
Pro Modern design and compact size
Pro Built-in adjustable grinder
Pro Very high quality steam nozzle

Cons

Cancel Water filters need to be replaced every 2 months
Cancel Pretty noisy
Cancel Frother is quite inflexible

 

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Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

This is the costliest espresso maker I have mentioned and is probably only suitable for people really willing to break the bank for a super-flashy and professional model, but it’s so impressive that it’s definitely worth mentioning. If you’re addicted to gourmet coffee or consider yourself a connoisseur this is the dream coffee maker.

It’s semi-automatic and has one of the most professional looking designs I’ve ever seen on a home espresso machine. The Silvia is fitted with many commercial grade parts and components and is found in many coffee shops and cafés across the United States.

The fact that it isn’t equipped with a built-in grinder is made up for by its heavy and enduring iron frame – this espresso machine is virtually bulletproof and I’ve known them to work for many years never needing even a single repair or replacement component.

It features a deluxe 58mm porta filter (the same one used in Rancilio’s commercial machines) and has the largest single boiler by volume capacity of any home espresso machine of its kind. The 2 quart water reservoir can either be removed or filled from the top during operation, making it extremely versatile. On top of all this, the steam wand on the Rancilio Silvia is definitely one of its finest features, and in my opinion the best one available on a machine at this price.

Click here to read my full review of the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine.

Pros

Pro Professional, commercial grade components
Pro Best espresso machine for durability
Pro Italian designed and made
Pro Extremely high quality steaming wand with full range of motion and control over steaming pressure
Pro Great recovery between shots
Pro Easily removable heating elements
Pro Best espresso machine for consistent rich flavor

Cons

Cancel Highly expensive
Cancel No built-in grinder

 

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Best Espresso Machine for Home – Budget

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker

The Pixie is – like the name suggests – a beautifully compact little espresso maker ideal for those who don’t want to shell out a fortune on a decent quality machine. The main attraction is obviously the small size, the Nespresso Pixie is well suited for even the smallest of kitchens and its attractive design adds a little flair to your abode.

It has a 19-bar pump and a very fast heating system that utilizes Thermoblock technology meaning that it’s ready to go in around 30 seconds. Rather than using coffee grounds, the Pixie uses the exclusive Nespresso coffee capsules/pods. These come in many different varieties and are good tasting.

There’s no steep learning curve and it’s really intuitive – the Pixie automatically fills up the cup according to your chosen volume and has a back-lit LED level detector for the removable water tank.

Pros

Pro Sleek, compact design perfect for any kitchen
Pro Best espresso machine for fast heating time
Pro Folding drip tray for use with any cup size
Pro Programmable for both espresso and lungo
Pro Lightweight and great for portable use

Cons

Cancel Water reservoir not that big owing to small size of machine
Cancel Folding drip tray doesn’t stay up by itself

 

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Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Dual-Shot Espresso & Cappuccino Maker

Mr. Coffee is one of the most popular household names in America when it comes to coffee makers. Their ECMP50 is a really impressive dual espresso/cappuccino system that comes at a very low price (less than $100.) Despite this, you get a lot of bang for your buck. The 15-bar pump system produces a rich brew at a quick speed thanks to the thermal block heating system.

The most notable feature is the dual-shot system which means you can make 2 single shots simultaneously. The steam feature is fairly powerful and one thing I particularly like about this budget espresso machine is that a standard size coffee cup easily fits under the spout.

The ECMP50 is remarkably easy to clean, and all parts are removable and dishwasher friendly.

Most importantly, for the price, the coffee is great tasting and quite consistent. If you’re not really a coffee connoisseur and just want a cheap but reliable espresso machine as a first time buy I would definitely highly recommend this one.

Pros

Pro Best espresso machine in terms of affordability
Pro Dual-shot brewing capability for making two shots at a time
Pro Very easy to clean, parts are easily detached and dishwasher safe
Pro Beginner friendly – comes with detailed manual and recipes

Cons

Cancel Some users report minor leakages
Cancel Less durable than higher priced models

 

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Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker

The Nespresso Inissia is an affordable espresso maker that, like the Pixie uses special Nespresso coffee pods to brew fine espresso. The Inissia can hold about 10 capsules at a time and can be easily inserted or taken out whenever you wish.

This machine comes in a bigger variety of styles and colors than its Pixie counterpart. It also seems a little sturdier and more reliable. Similarities include the 19-bar high pressure pump, programmable function for espresso and lungo, foldable drip tray and 24oz water reservoir. You can think of the Inissia as like a cousin to the Nespresso Pixie.

The Inissia is a little less expensive than the Pixie, partly owing to the lack of a few functions such as having no empty water tank detection and being a little more lightweight and less robust. It is nonetheless a decent machine capable of producing good espresso shots and worthy of its place in this list.

Pros

Pro Attractive modern design
Pro Best espresso machine for fast heating time
Pro Folding drip tray for use with any cup size
Pro Programmable for both espresso and lungo

Cons

Cancel Small water reservoir (24oz)
Cancel Folding drip tray doesn’t stay up by itself
Cancel Very lightweight and delicate

 

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Conclusion

Depending on the quality of espresso machine you’re looking for, I have two personal picks. If you’re really serious about espresso and have a lot of money to spend, the Rancilio Silvia is really the most fantastic professional model on this list, although the Breville BES870XL and KRUPS EA8250 are not far behind and priced a little lower.

For the budget buyer, I definitely think the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker is absolutely the best choice and can’t be matched for price.

Hopefully this guide has been educational and informative and has brought you closer to finding the best espresso machine for you. Have any further questions or comments? Please feel free to Contact Me, it’s always a pleasure to hear from fellow coffee lovers around the world.

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