Espresso is so popular these days that many people are getting their own machines to make their own at home. The market offers many different kinds of espresso makers made by almost every company you can think of. We have reviewed many of the models available and have compiled a list of our top five for you. You will find that this list includes both the pros and the cons with each unit. We feel that it is essential for you to know the benefits and disadvantages of a product before making your final decision.
|Breville BES870XL 'Barista Express'|
|DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic||31 lbs||4.5/5|
|EspressoWorks Espresso Machine & Barista Bundle Set|
(Best for the Money)
|Gaggia 1003380 Accademia||45 lbs||4.2/5|
|Saeco HD8645/47 Vapore||16 lbs||3.9/5|
Of all the espresso machines we reviewed, the Breville BES870XL is our favorite. It can make any coffee lover into a barista.
Breville’s Barista Express Espresso Machine comes with its own grinder built right in. It also has a grind size dial that gives you control over how fine you grind your beans. The ground beans go directly into the espresso port filter, so you don’t make a mess moving it from one place to another.
You can adjust the dosage control so it will instantly grind the exact amount of your favorite coffee bean. You can adjust the settings to make single or double shots.
This Breville model features a digital temperature control that you can adjust up or down by four degrees, for the perfect temperature for you. Once the beans are ground, and the temperature is set, all that is left is the less than 30 seconds that it takes to make your morning shot. The steam wand allows you to hand-texture micro-foam milk that will help enhance the flavor. There’s also a dedicated hot water dispenser.
This particular espresso machine comes with quite a few accessories. You will receive a razor dose trimming tool, a 54mm stainless steel port filter, and one-cup, two-cup, and dual wall filter baskets. Also included are a coffee scoop, an integrated tamper, a stainless steel milk jug, and some cleaning supplies.
The water tank is pretty small and needs to be refilled quite often, and some of the coffee grounds find their way into the drip tray, so it has to be cleaned out frequently. These are both more annoying than they are negative. Neither even comes close to being a dealbreaker.
The DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica is a super-automatic espresso machine with a programmable control panel. The built-in burr grinder allows you to grind your favorite coffee beans effortlessly. This grinder is adjustable and works well; just be aware that it is on the noisy side. Like many espresso makers, this model doesn’t handle oily beans very well. They tend to clog things, so you’ll have to clean all the little nooks and crannies often.
This machine has two stainless steel boilers that help provide the best heat distribution, no matter how long it has been between uses. The boilers keep the water at your ideal temperature, so you can instantly reheat your cup at any time. The only problem we found with this system is that the water tank is on the smaller side and requires frequent refilling.
This appliance has a patented cappuccino system, so you can make your coffee to meet your individual tastes. It rotates 180° so any size of milk container will fit. The coffee spigot also adjusts to accommodate any size of coffee cup.
The water tank and bean container are removable for cleaning. The stainless steel thermoblock makes this unit incredibly easy to keep clean. We do recommend that you descale your espresso maker once every two to three months, though, so you don’t get any build-up.
If you like different types of coffee but can’t afford a separate machine for each one, the EspressoWorks 7 Pc All-In-One Espresso Machine & Barista Bundle Set is for you. It has a built-in steamer that is ready for use within 45 seconds of turning it on. There is no auto-off button on this machine. Once you turn it on, you have to wait until it is finished so you can shut it off manually.
It has a 1.25-liter water reservoir, since it makes different sized cups of coffee. Since it is a larger tank, EspressoWorks has made the water tank easily removable so you can take it to your sink to fill. You don’t have to make multiple trips to get the reservoir full.
A stainless steel milk frothing cup comes with this set. Once you are done making your espresso, the frothing device and drip tray are also removable, making this an easy appliance to clean.
Though the all-in-one can be set to make a single or a double shot of espresso, they aren’t the best quality espresso you can get. As with anything that is “all-inclusive,” this machine is capable of doing many things; it just doesn’t do any of them exceptionally well. We found it somewhat challenging to make strong espresso shots with this machine. They tend to come out weak and watery.
This machine is built to make many different kinds of coffee, but it isn’t made to withstand constant use for an extended period of time. It is made of poor quality plastic that can break easily. It also isn’t really consistent with grinding coffee grounds. If you leave your beans bulkier, you don’t get stronger coffee. If you grind your beans finer to get the most out of them that you can, the grinder tends to clog up on you.
The Gaggia 1003380 Accademia is a programmable espresso machine with a ceramic burr grinder and an adjustable telescopic coffee dispenser. This dispenser can adjust to just over 6 ½ inches tall to accommodate a wide variety of different-sized cups. You do have to be somewhat careful when you are placing your cups, because the coffee spout is made of cheap, flimsy plastic that doesn’t always like to stay properly aligned.
Though this model comes with a 1 ½-gallon milk carafe, the bean hopper and water reservoirs are really small. This machine rinses itself every time it turns on and off. This means that it goes through a lot of water, so you’ll be emptying the water tanks regularly.
You can get a decent cup of coffee out of this machine if you need to, but you may find that it isn’t worth the hassle for what you get. You are always cleaning it and emptying the water reservoirs, and when your coffee comes out, nine times out of ten, it will only be lukewarm. You may find yourself popping your cup in the microwave for a few seconds to get it hot enough for your liking. It doesn’t show when the bean level is low, either.
The Saeco HD8645/47 Vapore Automatic Espresso Machine is for the person who loves coffee but has a small bank account. It comes equipped with a ceramic burr grinder and has an automatic rinse cycle that runs every time you turn the machine on, or periodically throughout the day if you leave it on all the time.
You do need to remember that you get what you pay for. This unit doesn’t have exquisite quality workmanship and tends to break relatively easily. It is also supposed to be very small. The bean hopper and water tank are. You will be refilling them regularly. But the actual footprint isn’t that small. It’s still about 17 inches deep on your countertop. Though that isn’t huge, it certainly isn’t extra-small either.
You also only have two choices for the size of the coffee cup that you can use: large or small. It doesn’t matter which you choose; the coffee comes out weak and watery. It can be a good machine for the person who just needs something, but there are definitely better choices if you can handle spending a little more.
There is coffee, and then there is espresso. Some people are espresso lovers and don’t even realize it because espresso is used to make some of the most popular coffee drinks available today.
Espresso Shot (or Double Shot):
This is the liquid as it comes out of the machine. It resembles black coffee but is darker in color.
A macchiato is a shot of espresso with a little steamed milk on top, adding some extra foam to help temper the strong espresso flavor.
A cappuccino is a macchiato that’s made with extra milk. It’s one of the most popular ways to drink espresso, and it is easy to make at home.
A latte is similar to a cappuccino since it has more milk than an espresso. It only has a thin layer of foam on the top, where the foam on a macchiato is thicker.
Mocha is a cappuccino with chocolate added into it.
A manual espresso maker allows you to control every aspect of making your espresso.
The semi-automatic espresso maker still gives you quite a bit of control over what goes into your espresso, but it is much easier to operate since it has an electric pump. This is the most popular type of espresso machine.
Fully automatic machines have an electric pump and a mechanism that automates the water delivery. It tells the device how much water to use and when the right time to dispense it is.
The super automatic espresso machine does everything for you from start to finish. It’s an excellent choice if you’re always in a hurry in the morning. They are the easiest to use. Many have special built-in features, such as grinders and programmable settings.
We’ve written more in-depth about the differences in this article.
People want different things from their espresso makers. Make sure that you check out reviews for the models that you are looking at. Here is a short list of things you’ll want to consider when reading reviews.
Ease of Use:
Don’t get a machine that will be too time-consuming or difficult for you to use.
Ease of Cleaning:
If a machine is a pain to clean, it won’t be convenient, and it will become a countertop decoration. Read what the cleaning process involves before you purchase it. Keep in mind that more features mean longer cleaning times.
The cost of espresso makers is high since there are so many to choose from. There’s a lot of competition, so you can find a machine in any category that you can afford. The most important thing is to get a machine that you will enjoy using and that gives you a great cup of joe.
Your Drink Preferences:
The best espresso maker for you is subjective to your taste. How your water is heated can change the flavor. The best machines have multiple boilers to keep the device at a steady temperature. You can also get ones that use steam, but they don’t make the best drinks.
Check what the finished temperature of your espresso will be. Some machines will only heat to 170 – 185°. Others will heat to 200°. Some people don’t mind the cooler machines; they just pop their cup in the microwave to reach the desired heat level. Some people don’t like the taste of microwaved espresso, or just don’t want the hassle.
Stainless steel espresso machines are the most durable and last the longest. They will also maintain heat levels better. We recommend that you stay away from one with a lot of plastic parts. The more plastic there is, the more easily it will break and the sooner you’ll have to replace it.
Know how much counter space you have available before you make your purchase. The more options on a machine, the bigger the footprint it will have. Some are big enough to make two shots at a time, side by side. It can be the best espresso maker in the world, but if it doesn’t fit in your space, it is useless.
1. Built-in Coffee Grinder:
A machine with a built-in coffee grinder saves space on your counter while still allowing you to have freshly ground beans all the time.
2. Water Filter:
Some of us have funky-tasting water. A built-in water filter can help keep any of those “interesting” tastes from ending up in your drink.
3. Cup Warmer:
Cup warmers help keep your drink warm without nuking it over and over again.
4. Programmable Settings:
You can program the machine to make it just the way you like, whenever you want it. Some devices even have multiple settings, allowing multiple users to program in their favorite shots.
5. Frothing Wand:
Most espresso makers include these wands. If you are purchasing a machine that uses steam to heat the drinks, make sure that a wand is included, because you won’t have any frothing without it.
Check that the company you purchase from has excellent customer service reviews. Nothing lasts forever, but you’ll want to make sure that reliable customer service is available and that replacement parts are easily accessible if something goes wrong with your machine.
When you have an espresso maker in your home, you can experiment with different concoctions that cater to your personal preferences. You can try flavorings like hazelnut or caramel, add whipped cream, or even use milk alternatives if you are lactose intolerant. The combinations you can try are only as limited as your mind. Note that if you use a milk alternative, it may not froth as well as cow’s milk.
Now that we have discussed the different types of espresso machines and any options you may want to look for in a machine, let’s quickly review our favorite five espresso machines with built-in grinders:
1. Breville BES870XL the Barista Express Espresso Machine – Top Pick
2. DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic – The Runner-Up
3. EspressoWorks 7 Pc All-In-One Espresso Machine & Barista Bundle Set – Best for the Money
4. Gaggia 1003380 Accademia Espresso Machine
5. Saeco HD8645/47 Vapore Automatic Espresso Machine
Hopefully, you now feel confident in choosing the correct machine to make your favorite kind of espresso. We wish you the best in making your best choice.
Table of Contents
Best Iced Coffee Makers 2019 – Reviews & Top Picks
Best Nespresso Machines 2019 – Top Picks & Reviews
Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines 2019 – Top Picks & Reviews
Best Coffee Makers with Grinders (Grind & Brew) – Reviews & Top Picks 2019
Best Kona Coffee Brands of 2019 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide