The Top 10 Best Espresso Machines – Reviews and Buying Guide

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Oh, how quickly time flies. Remember when you used to love mornings? There’s a chance that you still do, but there are a number of people out there who despise mornings. These are the same people who love their beds to the point of wanting to marry it. These are the people who dread the ringing of their alarm clocks. True enough: the idea of having to wake up early to face all those adult responsibilities is anything but motivating.

For many people, the best part of their morning is sitting down in front of the dining table to sip some coffee while eating breakfast. If you identify as one of these people, perhaps we can offer some assistance – by improving your coffee experience.

Perhaps you’re a coffee lover and you want to try something new. Regardless of whether you enjoy mornings or not, you are welcome here to read and learn all about the coffeecup.

Best Espresso Makers:

  •         Convenience 8 Stars (8 / 10)
  •         Features 7 Stars (7 / 10)
  •         Durability 6 Stars (6 / 10)
  •         Convenience 9 Stars (9 / 10)
  •         Features 7 Stars (7 / 10)
  •         Durability 7 Stars (7 / 10)
  •         Convenience 8 Stars (8 / 10)
  •         Features 7 Stars (7 / 10)
  •         Durability 6 Stars (6 / 10)
  •         Convenience 8 Stars (8 / 10)
  •         Features 8 Stars (8 / 10)
  •         Durability 6 Stars (6 / 10)
  •         Convenience 9 Stars (9 / 10)
  •         Features 7 Stars (7 / 10)
  •         Durability 9 Stars (9 / 10)

What is an Espresso?

For those of you who have never tried the full spectrum of offerings that a coffee shop can give you, you might not know exactly what an cup of joe is. Some people think it is made from special beans, but it’s actually not. What makes it special is the complicated process by which it is made.

The refined taste of an espresso is loved by millions of coffee lovers everywhere in the world. Creating it takes knowledge and dedication, and mastering it is an art form of its own. Making that distinct taste is a challenge, but it’s one worth accomplishing anyway.

This article is an all-encompassing guide that will briefly show you everything you need to know about making coffee and all the right tools that will help you do it. The main highlight would be a review of some of the best coffee machines under several different categories and price ranges, so that you can find one that suits you best.

Further in the guide, we’ll talk about the proper way of picking an espresso maker on your own, so you can do it even without this guide. If all else fails, feel free to refer to our list of recommended models.

It is not the easiest drink to make, but every drop is always worth it, especially for the coffee aficionado. Let’s get started on our short guide on how to make espresso coffee.

How to Make Espresso

There are a few things you need to know before making coffee. For example, you should know the importance of water in this endeavor. Making it involves forcing hot water into ground coffee to produce the final product, so make sure your water supply is absolutely clean and that there are no impurities to be found floating in it. Otherwise, it will affect the taste.

As for your ground salt, if you can compare its texture to table salt, you’re good to go. For this you need a coffee grinder that allows for a finer grind.

The standard serving size is a double shot, and the recommended dose is between 18 to 21 grams of ground coffee. This will yield enough coffee for a large shot glass. Adjust the dosage once you’re comfortable with – and also when you want to experiment on the taste.

For the water temperature, some coffee machines allow you to adjust it. If it doesn’t, then just assume it is set to a standard temperature for optimal quality. Just remember that adjusting the temperature also alters the taste of the yield – be it for better or for worse. It’s a matter of preference and technique.

Once you know all of these basics, you are ready to make an espresso. Get your coffee machine, your ground coffee, and your portafilter. This portafilter is a metal filter wherein you will insert the standard dose of ground coffee. Try to pour in the ground coffee as evenly as possible, and use a tamper to keep it equal. After tamping, connect the portafilter to your machine and turn it on.

It should take about 25 to 30 seconds to produce a nice shot. If it’s done right, it should have a frothy layer of crema sitting firmly on top of the cup. You can either stir it with the rest or sip it as it is.

Now without further ado, here are our picks for the best espresso dispensers!

The Top Espresso Coffee Machines


 

Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker

8/10 Convenience

7/10 Features

6/10 Durability

 

 

We’ll start off with one of the best – and also one of the cheapest – espresso makers on this list. The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker is the perfect choice for homeowners who don’t really want to invest too much on a simple coffee machine. For around $60 dollars, you can get this amazing model!

Other than just simply allowing you to make espressos and cappuccinos from the comfort of your very own home, it lets you make high-quality versions of these beverages with ease.

It uses a thermal block heating system to heat water quickly – and it does this very efficiently, as most reviewers would agree. It also has a removable water reservoir for easy refilling. This pump-driven machine lets you create great coffee consistently.


De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

9/10 Convenience

7/10 Features

7/10 Durability

 

 

Similar to the Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker with how it combines both espresso and cappuccino making functions into one convenient machine, the De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker definitely deserves a cozy spot on our list.

It’s a bit pricier, currently going for at least $90 dollars, but this model makes up for it by adding in plenty of nice features.

It has a swivel jet frother that creates rich and creamy froth for your enjoyment, as well as a dual function filter holder that you can use to ground coffee or attach coffee pods to.

Easy to clean and boasting a removable drip tray, this is what convenience would look like if it looked like a coffee dispensing machine

If you want more of our recommended models under $100 dollars, feel free to click here.


 

The Keurig Rivo Cappuccino and Latte System

8/10 Convenience

7/10 Features

6/10 Durability

 

 

The Keurig Rivo Cappuccino and Latte System is a good example of a cheap coffee m done right. At a price of less than $130 dollars, it gives you plenty of functions to work with, allowing you to be more flexible with the beverages you produce.

Its convenient design allows you to brew coffee on one side will frothing milk on the other side. However, there are only two cup size options, one Short (1.4) and one Lungo (2.8 oz).

Nevertheless, it’s one simple, quick, and easy way to produce coffee beverages, so the fact that the model is named after the Italian word for ‘revolutionary’ is justified.


Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker

8/10 Convenience

8/10 Features

6/10 Durability

 

 

One recurring theme between models under $200 dollars is that they feature a milk frother that adds an extra layer of delight to your beverages. This is seen in the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker that is currently sold at around $150 dollars. Check out our other choices for the best espresso machines under $200 by clicking here.

It’s easy to use: a single touch of a button lets you choose between single or double servings of espresso, latte or cappuccino.

The model even comes in with a recipe book that features 10 delicious drinks you can make with the machine. This model essentially lets you become the barista of your own home.


 

De’Longhi EC680 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine

 

9/10 Convenience

7/10 Features

9/10 Durability

If you have at least $300 dollars to spare for a good espresso appliance, we’d recommend the De’Longhi EC680 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine. At a price of less than $290 dollars, it is one of the cheapest machines you can have if you want to make truly delicious Coffee.

What we love about this model is that it takes such little space, just about 6 inches of your countertop.

It also features a thermo-block technology that allows the machine to heat up very quickly – such is the signature function of most offerings from De’Longhi.


Capresso 118.05 EC PRO Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

8/10 Convenience

8/10 Features

10/10 Durability

 

One of the most warmly received entries on this list is the Capresso 118.05 EC PRO Espresso and Cappuccino Machine – and for good reason. It is still among the ranks of the inexpensive espresso machines, currently being sold at a price of less than $250 dollars. And it also features an advanced pump boiler system.

Its easy-to-use filters allow any person of any skill level to create high-quality, barista-level beverages.

This model was mostly made with beginners in mind. The components are durable, and the filter itself is heavy-duty. This should help in keeping the machine in perfect condition while you figure out how to make the best coffee ever.

It’s not actually hard to find great Coffee makers under $300 dollars. You just have to know where to look.


 

Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine

7/10 Convenience

6/10 Features

8/10 Durability

You wouldn’t regret spending nearly $480 dollars on this next beauty. The Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine is a master of providing a well-balanced flavor for your espresso. Unlike the other models on this list, this one focuses entirely on making espresso, instead of giving you functions that will let you make other beverages.

But what it is capable of doing, it manages to do well. It starts with a steady, low pressure to gently expand the ground coffee. Then it releases the high pressure that forces the flavor out of the filter and into your shot glass.


De’Longhi EC860 Espresso Maker

7/10 Convenience

6/10 Features

8/10 Durability

 

De’Longhi is at the top of its game when it comes to high quality coffee makers, and this is evident in their De’Longhi EC860 Espresso Maker. It costs a little over $430 dollars, but it gives you authentic, Italian barista-quality drinks. The company originated from Italy, and you know how much they love heir coffee there.

This is a manual, piston-driven model, so you’ll get to experience how to take control of the whole process – this is perfect for coffee enthusiasts everywhere.

If you think this style doesn’t suit you, feel free to click on this link to check out our other choices for espresso makers under $500 dollars.


 

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

9/10 Convenience

7/10 Features

8/10 Durability

Often described as an “excellent machine”, it comes as no surprise that the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine made it to our list. It may be one of the most expensive on this article, but it is one of the best in terms of service quality. In fact, it is one of our top picks for the top rated coffee makers under $1,000 dollars.

Right now, you can get this for under $600 dollars, and if that’s not a great bargain, we don’t know what is. This model takes pride in its speed and efficiency. You can go from beans to coffee in under a minute. With a fair number of additional features, this thing can easily rock your world.


De’Longhi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic Cappuccino, Latte and Espresso Machine

9/10 Convenience

8/10 Features

8/10 Durability

Capping off this list is another offering from De’Longhi, the De’Longhi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic Cappuccino, Latte and Espresso Machine.

Its most interesting asset is its compact size that lets you save space on your kitchen counter, while still enjoying the benefits of a truly awesome machine. Super easy to use and fully automatic, it can prepare lattes and cappuccino just as easily as it does with espresso. It even has a frother system.

This currently comes at a price of less than $750 dollars. It’s a bargain, if not just a simple worthy investment.


Buying Guide

Now that you’re familiar with all the great espresso makers you can possibly lay your hands on, it’s time to prepare your wings and fly on your own. Here is a simple buying guide that will teach you the ways of picking a machine all by yourself.

You probably want to explore your other options, or maybe you’re not convinced by our list. You’re gonna need an observant eye in order to find those bargains, but we’re going to help you through it.

First things first: there are many different kinds of machines out there. Don’t get confused and have them all mixed up. Their main function is to force water and ground coffee together, in order to create that specialized beverage we know and love. However, the way this combination is achieved varies from machine to machine.

You have to know the difference between the most basic kinds. We have the steam-driven, the piston-driven, the automatic, and the pod machines.

Steam-Driven coffee makers are – as their names suggest – powered by steam. They’re neither manual nor completely electronic, and they were the first automated method of making coffee. The biggest advantage of these is that they are usually the cheapest models.

manual espresso machine

Piston-Driven models are also referred to as manual coffee machines. These are for the coffee lovers who want to take full control of the brewing process. Depending on the model, this can either be a breeze or a challenge. This isn’t recommended for beginners though.

The most common kind of espresso maker that you’ll find out there is the automatic type. Automatic espresso makers are electronic, will hook up to your water supply or be refilled through a reservoir, and will make your coffee in a couple of seconds. They’re practical, handy and will give you a wealth of features and options.

Lastly, pod coffee machines can be considered the “odd man out” since they are the rarest kind. They are basically electronic pump machines, but instead of ground coffee, you use pods of coffee beans. This eliminates the need for a grinder, but you have no control over the coffee input because the pods already have a pre-measured amount within.

Now find out which among these would be most useful to you, and base the rest of your decisions from that.

Regardless of the type, you’ll probably encounter a couple of components that you need to understand before buying one for yourself. The water reservoir for example, should be easily removable so you can refill it as often as necessary. Don’t let water stagnate for so long inside the reservoir, because this will lead to your coffee tasting flat. Replace it every now and then.

As for the pump, keep in mind that 8 to 10 bar is enough to do the job. There’s no need to go over or under that.

Next, check the portafilter handle. Forged brass is usually used because of its durability. Aluminum is good enough for cheaper models, but expect it to fail faster than brass.

One of the most welcome features that an espresso machine can have is a built-in grinder. Who wants to buy a separate grinder if you can have it conveniently alongside your coffee machine?

Keep these in mind while buying an coffee making machine, and you are more likely to end up with a great model.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, no matter the level of complexity, it is all about loving coffee and attempting to make the best espresso ever. There’s no definite way to tell just how delicious it is, even if there is a general opinion and consensus regarding it. It’s all a matter of preference. People love different things, and we’re sure you’ll have fun anyway even if you don’t end up with the tastiest espresso in the world. Master the techniques if you want to, but don’t forget why you started learning about it in the first place. They are wonderful treats for your tongue, and a delightful experience that any coffee lover will enjoy.

Finally, just enjoy the coffee, man. It's the fuel that keeps human society going. Man would not have reached the moon without coffee. Movies would never get made. Wall street would grind to a halt. It's just coffee. It's not just coffee. It's life.

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