I’m personally not a coffee drinker, but so many of my friends and family are, so I recently bought an espresso coffee machine for when guests come over. Not only do my friends love it, but it saves us all money and time rather than having to go the cafe and lining up.
Not knowing a lot about coffee, I did have to spend quite a lot of time sifting through various espresso machine reviews, learning about what makes the best espresso machine as well as the various espresso machine brands. Whilst I found it somewhat confusing at the time, I now like to think of myself as bit of an expert when it comes to espresso machines!
If you’re also in the market for the best home espresso machine, then you will love this guide I have put together. It contains everything I have learned from my own research, so you don’t have to spend hours looking around at all the various espresso coffee maker options.
In this best espresso coffee machine reviews, I not only explain the different types of espresso machines available but also compare some of the best machines currently on the market.
So whether you’re after the best capsule coffee machine, the best automatic coffee machine, the best manual espresso machine, or just the best cheap espresso machine, I have no doubt you will find the perfect espresso machine in this ultimate guide and home espresso machine reviews.
What You Need For A Perfect Espresso (The Essentials)
If you want to have the best espresso at home, you’re going to need a few essentials:
EspressoMachine: Of course you’re going to need an espresso machine. Lucky for you, I have listed the best espresso maker options for home use below in this guide.
Grinder: For great tasting espresso, you’re going to need to grind your own coffee beans fresh right before you brew the coffee. You can get an espresso machine with grinder already built in. Otherwise you will need to purchase a good quality grinder. I have listed a few machines with built in grinders below, otherwise check my guide on how to choose the perfect coffee grinder.
Tamper: This is a tool used to pack the espresso grounds into the machine. The purpose of the tamping process is to ensure the grounds are tightly packed evenly for a great tasting shot. You may also like to invest in a tamping mat to avoid scratching and loud noises on your kitchen bench.
Scales: A scale is important to ensure you measure out the correct dose, that is how much beans you will use for one shot. Whilst some people measure this out by volume, for the ultimate accuracy, given beans can vary in their weight, it is best to measure the dose by weight.
Thermometer: Unless you have a fully automatic espresso machine, a thermometer is an essential tool to ensure the correct brewing temperature and to check the temperature of the milk froth.
Espresso Cups: You can’t serve espresso in any old kitchen mug. Make sure you invest in some good quality porcelain espresso cups.
Finding The Best Espresso Machine 2019
Types Of Espresso Machine
Super Automatic Espresso Machine
If you don’t want to be fussing about with your espresso machine, you want a super automatic espresso machine that will do everything for you. These one touch machines will grind the coffee, tamp, fill the water, pull the shot and dispense the frothed milk.
These machines are super easy to use, ideal for the first time user. However on the down side, they do tend to be on the expensive side and your locked into the type of espresso the machine brews for you, there is little to no ability to make any adjustments.
Automatic Espresso Machine
Somewhere in between a super automatic and semi automatic espresso machine, an automatic machine will pretty much do everything for you. However, you do still need to grind and tamp the coffee and then press the button; the machine will take care of the rest for you.
These machines are great for people who want a little control over the flavour of their coffee but are happy for the machine to do most of the work.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
A semi automatic espresso machine is perfect for those who want to experiment a little with their coffee or consider themselves a bit of a home barista. To operate these espresso machines you’ll need to firstly grind the coffee, load the portafilter, tamp and set the machine to pour.
The machines will automatically cut off the flow of coffee once the preset amount has been poured, whereas with a manual machine, you’re required to cut the flow of coffee yourself.
These espresso machines are for experienced espresso makers or for those willing to put the effort into learn. You will need to learn some skills and knowledge with regards to grinding, tamping and when the shot starts and stops.
Capsule Espresso Machine
Similar to the super automatic espresso machines, a capsule machine (or espresso pod machine) does everything for you. The difference being though that a capsule espresso machine uses a capsule or pod of coffee that you pop into the machine.
A capsule or pod espresso machine is super convenient, relatively inexpensive, easy to use and with minimum tidy up required. However the downside is you’re often limited to one brand of capsules determined by the manufacturer of the machine and the capsules work out to be more expensive in the long run compared to coffee beans.
A capsule machine is ideal if you want a portable espresso machine as they are small and compact and can easily be transported.
Manual Lever Espresso Machine
If you consider yourself a coffee barrista you may prefer a manual lever espresso machine so you control the entire coffee making process. With a manual machine you will need to make all the decisions which can be rather tricky, but you will have the ultimate reward of fantastic tasting coffee, just the way you like it.
Manual espresso machines are not really that popular (even in cafes) with most people opting for the more convenient semi-automatic machine.
Some coffee machines make multiple cups of coffee at once, whilst others make only one cup at a time. In order to choose the best coffee machines for home use in your household, you will need to consider how many people will be drinking coffee at the same time. If you are the only coffee drinker than perhaps the best small coffee machine will be the better choice rather than a large capacity coffee machine.
You will also need to consider the availability of space in your kitchen and the size of the espresso machine. Some espresso machines can be reasonably large and will take up quite a bit of bench space, whilst others are small and compact.
Motor Power & Precision
Larger espresso machines will require more powerful motors for optimal performance. This is more so important for the super automatic espresso machines that are also grinding the coffee beans.
For the perfect coffee blend and brew each time, look for espresso machines with more precise settings such as automatic machines that can be programmed.
Build Quality & Durability
Some espresso machines will be the most used appliances in the home, so it’s worth investing in a machine that has a solid build and of a durable quality. Espresso machines with a stainless steel exterior are the preferred choice.
Other Key Features
For the best coffee making experience, look for espresso machines with advanced settings. Espresso machines with a digital display are easier to understand than indicator lights as well as one with built in features such as a timer and temperature gauge.
For authentic cafe style coffee, you will love the Breville Barista coffee machine, the perfect choice for those looking for the best automatic espresso machine on the market.
With the choice of automatic or manual operation, you can make your coffee just as you like it. Make the milk as hot or as frothy as you like, the coffee as strong or as weak as you like. Single or double settings as well as the fully adjustable grind size and dose allows you to customise to suit your taste.
Read any of the Breville automatic coffee machine reviews and you will find many happy customers. Many customers say one of the stand out features is the in-built stainless steel burr coffee grinder. Not only does the grinder streamline the coffee making process but it saves you money by not having to buy a peripheral grinder.
The inbuilt grinder, with 18 different settings, also allows for consistency by having the same dose of coffee every single time.
Other great features of this bean to cup coffee machine include an in-built heat exchange boiler system which allows you to steam milk and extract espresso simultaneously whilst maintaining a consistent temperature.
The steam wand enables you to create silky steamed milk and create latte art if you are that way inclined. This Breville espresso machine weighs just under 13 kgs and has an excellent water tank capacity of 2 litres.
This Barista coffee machine is not for the impatient coffee drinker, it will take time, effort and patience to adequately understand all its features, but once you do you will be rewarded with superior tasting coffee every time!
The Sunbeam EM5000 is a great choice for coffee lovers wanting to purchase the best home espresso machine that’s not going to break the bank.
This electric espresso maker serves up a variety of coffee types via its friendly control panel. With a touch of a button you can have an espresso, cappuccino or latte. The Sunbeam even automatically combines frothy milk with minimum effort. The milk reservoir is removable and so can be stored in the fridge so you always have fresh milk on hand.
This is a great looking machine, made from stainless steel and weighing in at a relatively light 4.7 kg. Not only will this stainless steel espresso maker look great in your kitchen but you will love the relatively low price too – perfect for those after the best budget espresso machine.
Once you have purchased the Sunbeam EM5000 there will be no need for takeaway coffee anymore!
If you’re after an automatic coffee machine for the home, look no further than the DeLonghi Magnifica Coffee Machine.
The Delonghi espresso machine is fully automated, so you can make a superior cup of coffee by simply pressing a button. The user friendly control panel allows you to change the strength of the coffee as well as the cup size. This espresso machine also makes lattes and cappuccinos.
You will love the adjustable spouts which allow you to use a range of different size and shape cups, from an espresso cup to a large coffee mug. Some other great features include the instant reheat function, automatic shut off after 4 hours of non use, a great milk frothing wand for the perfect cappuccino or latte and the built in conical burr grinder can be adjusted to change the fineness of the ground beans.
The machine looks great with its stainless steel finish and is fairly compact so won’t take up too much space in your kitchen. It is also reasonably easy to clean, with all parts able easily removed for cleaning.
This coffee machine is perfect for those who want a top quality automatic espresso machine.
This Mr Coffee Automatic Espresso System is the perfect machine for those coffee lovers who want top quality barista made espresso in the comfort of their own home.
This is a top of the line machine and it will have you making your own espresso, cappuccino and lattes like a true barista. The 15 bar pump system that provides powerful pressure to extract a dark, rich espresso, whilst the frothing arm makes creamy froth for the perfect finish to your cappuccinos and lattes.
To save time, there is dual shot brewing so you can make 2 single shots at once and the thermoblock heating system heats water fast. Other great features include the removable and washable drip catcher, removable water reservoir for easy refilling and cleaning as well as included tamping tool and recipes.
For the best tasting espresso, look no further than the Mr Coffee Automatic Espresso system.
If you are looking to make the best tasting coffee every time then look no further than the Breville Duo Temp Pro.
The Duo Temp Pro will provide you with cafe quality taste in your own home. With precise espresso extraction, flavours are drawn evenly from all the grinds. Electronic temperature controls supply water at precisely the optimal temperature.
The Razor, also unique to Breville, simplifies manual dosing by controlling the amount of coffee in the filter basket. A precisely measured dose ensures you achieve consistent cafe quality coffee every time.
Of course, heating your milk is just as crucial. This machine uses a high powered 1700w element for high pressure to steam and heats your milk faster creating micro-foam necessary for creating cafe quality coffee or latte art.
If you want cafe quality without the huge price tag then this machine is perfect.
This one is for the serious coffee drinkers.The KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine offers power, speed and precision perfect for the home barista.
With two independent boilers for optimum brewing, there is no delay between brewing and frothing. The espresso boiler provides constant temperature for the perfectly brewed coffee whilst the steam boiler creates that rich, creamy milk perfect for cappuccino or lattes. The fast warm up time means your machine is ready within 6 minutes and can be interchanged from single to double shot baskets.
This retro candy red machine offers so much in style that it would be a statement piece on any benchtop. Made from die cast metals for durability and with brewing heads that are constructed from chrome plated brass similar to those used commercially, you know you have a quality product.
The cup tray on top will complete the cafe style look and provides easy storage for up to 6 espresso cups, ready for that perfect brew.
If your knowledge and skills in coffee making are high or you are willing to learn then this machine may just provide the best cup of coffee you have ever tasted.
When you want the perfect cup of coffee without any fuss, the DeLonghi espresso machine is the best choice.
With easy to use control panel and buttons and two-line text display, your perfect brew is only the touch of a button away. A huge 2 litre capacity, grinder and frother means this machine can do it all.
Drip coffee lovers will also love the long coffee button and the cup warmer feature means every aspect of care goes into making sure you have that perfect tasting coffee every shot.
Even cleaning is easy with this machine. The removable reservoir makes for no fuss cleaning.
If you love your daily coffee but don’t have the time or skills to put into manually making your own then this espresso machine will become your best friend. At the touch of a button have that perfect brew whatever style you like every single time.
If you’re looking for the best value espresso machine then the Sunbeam Cafe Espresso will deliver.
Enjoy the taste and aroma of cafe quality coffee as this machine delivers the optimum pressure required to extract oils resulting in a delicious espresso topped with a rich, golden crema. This Italian designed machine also features a crema system to help create great tasting espresso every time.
With a fast heat up to ensure water is of the required temperature for preparing espresso and textured milk, your perfect brew will only be moments away.
Lightweight at 6.2kg this won’t take up alot of room on your bench but offers style and sophistication. Also included is a 500ml stainless steel jug, coffee spoon and tamp to get you started.
If you love your morning coffee but don’t want to break the bank, this machine offers all the features needed for the perfect brew in a sleek and easy to use design.
The compact designed Breville Espresso Machine makes it a great choice for the best small espresso machine.
It’s temperature controlled through its auto purge feature to provide the appropriate pressure through its 15 bar Italian made pump. This ensures consistency from extraction to steaming milk whilst the dual wall filter systems assist to provide a thicker, richer crema. Included is 1 and 2 cup filters for single or double shot espresso.
This stylish stainless steel design also comes with a stainless steel jug, 50mm portafilter, tamper and measuring spoon.
When you want to have control over your coffee but you also don’t want a lot of fuss the Venezia Espresso Machine is a great option. A really great price, easy to use, stylish and compact.
If you are in the market for a pump espresso machine then the DeLonghi Dedica Pump Coffee Machine is a great option.
Delivering high performance from the electronically controlled temperatures, customisable coffee length and professional pump and filter holder, the perfect espresso can be made at home. Prepare all your favourite coffees from macchiato to lattes even tea and hot milk.
With a super fast heating element your machine will be ready in 40 seconds. The self priming system means the machine is always ready for use.
This slim look design of only 15cm in width may look small but it has all the style and features needed for that perfect coffee. The two level cup holder means you can even house glasses or tall cups for those who like their coffee a little larger.
If you are limited by space but don’t want to be limited by flavour then I strongly suggest the DeLonghi Dedica Pump Espresso Machine.