- 1 Choosing The Best Home Espresso Machine – A Detailed Buyer’s Guide
- 2 FAQ About Home Espresso Machines
- 3 Best Home Espresso Machines In 20018: My Top 5 Favorites
- 3.1 1. Nespresso Inissia Original Espresso Machine – A Good Place To Start
- 3.2 2. Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine – Feel Like A Barista
- 3.3 3. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker – Make Espresso With A Touch Of A Button
- 3.4 4. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle – Fast, Compact, And Affordable
- 3.5 5. Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker – Back To Basics
- 4 Final Word
Raise your hand if you can’t start your day without a hot cup of coffee in the morning!
If you’re anything like me, you can’t imagine going about your busy day without having your morning dose of caffeine. And if your lifestyle is genuinely hectic, standing in line in the coffee shop is a less-than-ideal solution, too. So why not bring that coffee shop flavor into your home, instead?
Keep on reading, and I’ll help you pick the best home espresso machine!
Choosing The Best Home Espresso Machine – A Detailed Buyer’s Guide
Buying the best espresso machine can turn out to be an overwhelming experience if you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing. With so many different types, features, and prices to choose from, you’re more likely to end up getting a headache, rather than a new espresso maker.
Luckily, you have me in your corner. Here’s all you need to know to make an informed purchase!
Pick The Right Type First
The first thing you need to choose is the type of espresso machine you’re interested in buying:
- Manual – Manual home espresso makers require a completely hands-on approach. You can’t push a few buttons and leave the unit to do the job for you, because you’re the one in control of the extraction process. It’s hard to master the skill of operating one of these, but the end product is well worth the hassle.
- Semi-Automatic And Automatic – If you want to take the guesswork out of the equation, you should focus on semi-automatic and automatic models, the slight difference between them being that the semi-automatic ones still give you some control over the pump.
- Super Automatic – If you want to be able to press a button and be done with it, super automatic is the way to go. It will grind, brew, pull, and froth – without ever asking you to do anything. Well, expect cleaning it from time to time, that is.
Recognize Your Particular Needs
Now that you know the different kinds of espresso makers available on the market, it’s time to ask yourself one crucial question:
Why do I need a home espresso machine, in the first place?
Sure, the most obvious answer would be to make espresso, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – most modern espresso makers are capable of making lattes and cappuccinos, too. Is that something you’d be interested in trying?
Moreover, are you the only one in your household that will use the espresso maker? If the answer is no, you should check the unit’s capacity, too.
There’s no right or wrong here, though – it’s all about recognizing your particular needs.
How Much Space Do You Have?
It might not have a lot to do with the overall quality of the coffee – or the machine itself – but don’t overlook the fact that this espresso machine has to fit somewhere in your kitchen. If you’re going to use it daily, it has to sit on the counter, along with some other essential kitchen appliances, right? And no, getting rid of other devices to make some space for an espresso machine isn’t an ideal solution, either.
All I’m saying is make sure you have enough room for that particular model you have in mind.
Set A Budget – And Stick With It
Okay, let’s talk money. One thing you need to know before you even start browsing the market is how much you’re willing to spend. Here’s the thing:
Home espresso machines can be super cheap, but the price tag can go well above the $2000 mark, too. And with so many options available, it’s easy to get carried away and forget to consult your wallet on the matter.
The good news is that most manufacturers offer models within different price ranges, so instead of going with the most expensive one, set a price you’re comfortable with, and pick a machine that has all the features you’re after – in that price range, of course.
FAQ About Home Espresso Machines
In case you have some additional questions, this round-up of frequently asked questions about espresso machines should help clear things up a bit!
- What’s the difference between regular coffee and espresso, anyway?
Sure, espresso is essentially coffee, but you’re buying a home espresso machine, not a regular drip coffee maker, so you already know there is a difference – even if you can’t put your finger on it. The difference lies in the preparation process – instead of slowly filtering hot water through coffee grounds, espresso relies on near-boiling water and pressure.
- When it comes to espresso machines, does “more expensive” equal better?
I won’t tell you that you should spend a small fortune on what is essentially a coffee maker. However, there’s a reason why all espresso machines don’t cost the same. That said, the unit’s price doesn’t play a huge role in the flavor – the brewing process and the coffee itself do. So, instead of getting caught up in the price tags, pay attention to features like temperature control that will ensure your coffee tastes perfect cup after cup.
- How am I supposed to clean my espresso machine?
Exact cleaning guidelines may vary greatly depending on what model you own, but most do allow you to take them apart to some extent and wash the pieces separately. A general rule you should always follow, though, is that you should never put the parts in the dishwasher if the instructions don’t explicitly say it’s safe to do that. Other than that, a quick wipe with a damp cloth should be more than enough.
Best Home Espresso Machines In 20018: My Top 5 Favorites
Now it’s time to check out the actual espresso machine reviews – here are some of my favorites that I’m sure you’ll like, too!
1. Nespresso Inissia Original Espresso Machine – A Good Place To Start
The first thing I noticed about the Nespresso Inissia is how compact and lightweight it is – if you’re struggling with finding enough space for your appliances as it is, this model is probably a perfect choice for you. I’m pretty sure you could bring it along on your trips if you’d like, too.
On top of that, it’s incredibly fast. All it takes for the water to reach the ideal brewing temperature is around 25 seconds, which means you’ll have your espresso ready almost instantly.
All in all, for an average espresso drinker, this model is an excellent place to start.
However, you should know that it’s noisy – not enough to wake up the entire house, but enough to annoy you when you’re fresh out of bed. You’ll get used to it, though.
Another thing I’ve noticed once I did the math was that the capsules it uses could turn out to be quite an impact on your monthly budget. They’re not exactly affordable, to begin with, and if you find yourself reaching for another cup every few hours, the costs will add up quickly.
- It heats up in less than 25 seconds
- Has a small footprint
- Makes up to nine coffees without refilling
- Brews two cup sizes – espresso and lungo
- Includes an automatic milk frother
- Suitable for making lattes and cappuccinos
- Turns off automatically
- It’s noisy
- The capsules are a bit pricey
2. Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine – Feel Like A Barista
If the previous model was suitable for the inexperienced, then the Breville espresso machine is the complete opposite – a semi-automatic unit that lets you adjust the grind size and amount, among others controls and settings. You’ll instantly feel like a real barista!
Moreover, the unit comes with all the essentials you might need for the best possible espresso making experience – a trimming tool for perfect dosage, a stainless steel milk jug, water filter, single and dual filter baskets, and a cleaning kit to keep your espresso machine in top shape!
However, since water is bound to end up in the drip tray after every brewing, you’ll have to empty it quite frequently – every few days, to be on the safe side. If you wait too long, you’re in for a mess.
But, these types of home espresso makers do come with a catch – when you’re able to control so many factors that go into making a cup of coffee, it usually means it comes with a learning curve.
That said, once you try the rich-tasting espresso you made, you’ll see that learning how to use one of these Breville espresso machines was well worth the effort.
- Has a built-in adjustable burr grinder
- Has a huge 67-ounce tank
- Brews single and double shots
- Uses a Thermo coil heating system
- The automatic Purge Function adjusts water temperature
- Comes with essential accessories
- It has a learning curve to it
- You have to empty the drip tray frequently
3. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker – Make Espresso With A Touch Of A Button
If you’re not a fan of messing around with a bunch of different adjustments and prefer the hands-off approach to making espresso, then this Mr. Coffee model is perfect for you – push a couple of buttons, and you’ll get consistent results every time. Even the milk frothing feature is automatic!
The unit gives you the option to choose between single or double shots, as well as making espresso, latte, or cappuccino, so it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone. Furthermore, the reservoir is large, so there’s no need to refill it that often.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that it’s loud. And I don’t mean like a steady murmur in the background – this thing goes into a full beast mode, especially when you’re making drinks that require milk frothing, too. That said, I’ve never seen – or used – a quiet espresso machine, anyway.
Oh, and one more thing – it doesn’t fit taller mugs, such as travel ones, so pouring coffee from your regular cups to the tall one might be your only option if you want coffee on the go.
- Makes espresso, latte, and cappuccino
- Brews single or double shots
- The one-touch panel makes everything easy
- The milk frother is automatic
- The water and milk tanks are removable
- It gets loud, especially when making lattes
- Doesn’t fit large mugs
4. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle – Fast, Compact, And Affordable
If you don’t want to bother learning what it takes to make a perfect shot of espresso, but you don’t mind drinking one yourself, you’ll love the Nespresso Vertuo’s automatic approach to everything from setting the temperature to shutting down when it’s done.
What sets it apart from other models on this round-up is the automatic blend recognition – the unit recognizes the blend and sets brewing parameters according to it, so you get excellent results each time. All you need to do is choose one of five different cup sizes, and in about 15 seconds, your espresso will be ready to be served. How amazing is that?
Now, if you like your coffee piping hot, this might not be the perfect choice for you. Sure, it’s warm but hot? Not so much.
Another thing I need warn you about is that the costs of the coffee pods tend to add up over the course of a month. That said, if you compare these expenses to the vast sums of money you were spending in your local coffee shop, you’re still saving up a lot – and that’s always a plus.
- Features automatic blend recognition
- Heats up in 15 seconds
- Brews five different coffee cup sizes
- Shuts down automatically
- Removable water tank with a 40-ounce capacity
- Comes with a milk frother
- The coffee isn’t hot
- The pods are expensive
5. Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker – Back To Basics
Lastly, I wanted to show you guys something entirely different – a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker. It’s time to get back to basics!
All these new models are great, because they don’t leave a lot of room for guesswork, but I wanted to include something for those of you that prefer the old-school approach for making espresso at home.
The unit features a recognizable eight-sided design, an aluminum body paired with a plastic handle, and it comes in a variety of colors. It’s super affordable, relatively easy to clean, and it makes excellent espresso – what’s not to love there?
It isn’t the best choice for a morning rusher, though – it takes at least five minutes to finish up, so you can’t just press a button, grab your cup, and be on your way. This one’s all about being patient and enjoying the process of brewing your cup of espresso.
Also, it will take at least a couple of brews for you to figure out everything – from the right temperature and grind, to how long it takes to make espresso that doesn’t taste burnt or bitter. But when you do get it right, it will be worth it!
- It makes six two-ounce cups at a time
- It’s easy to clean
- Has a patented safety valve
- Very affordable
- Comes in a variety of colors
- It takes time and practice to get it right
- It’s slow compared to its electric counterparts
So, there you have it – five fantastic espresso machines you can use at home. Now, which one of these is indeed the best? In my opinion, the title of the best home espresso machine should go to the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker.
Let me know which one of these is your personal favorite, and if you already own one of these, I want to hear your opinions on how easy it is to make top-notch espresso at home!