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Espresso Machines

Best Espresso Machine

The perfect espresso is easy to taste but can be hard to make. We have picked the best espresso machines that make a great cup of coffee and won't cost you thousands of dollars.

Last Updated: August 2019

Espresso Machine Buyers Guide – 2019

Espresso is the cornerstone of many of our favorite caffeinated beverages, including lattes, macchiatos, and cappuccinos. That makes a good espresso maker an essential kitchen appliance for those of us looking for a yummy morning pick-me-up without a visit to the local coffee shop.

Choosing the best espresso machine for your needs all depends on how much labor you want to put into creating your coffee concoctions. There are fully automatic, semi-automatic, and manual espresso makers on the market.

Different types of espresso machines require different levels of work from you when it comes to keeping track of water levels, brewing time, and other variables. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide on how to choose the best espresso machine for you.
Take a look at our top espresso maker recommendations to get insider knowledge of the fine details on the best espresso machines. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about key espresso maker considerations and features…

How We Chose the Best Espresso Machines

1) Convenience

One of the biggest differences in espresso maker models is how easy they are to use. If you’re looking to automate your morning coffee creation routine, you should look for an espresso machine that’s automated and comes with programmable settings. Many of the best espresso makers come with features that allow you to make more complicated coffee drinks with the press of a button.

2) Cleaning Process

Some espresso machines can make a cappuccino in a flash, but they also require a cleanup process that’s a serious pain. If it takes forever to clean your espresso maker, it’s not really convenient, no matter how many extra settings it comes with. We looked at how hard it is to clean some of the best espresso makers and took cleanup time into account when adding models to our list of recommended espresso machines.

3) Price Point

When creating our espresso machine reviews, we found that the price range varies quite a bit between available models. With the higher-end espresso makers, you tend to pay more for extra features, ease of use, and overall quality. When it comes to the best espresso machines, you should remember that you really are getting what you pay for, and value is determined by much more than just the price.

4) Durability

Our espresso maker reviews also took durability into account. We looked at both the quality of the material and available warranties before adding any model to our list of espresso machine recommendations. We found that metal espresso makers tend to maintain heat better and last longer than those made from other materials.

5) Counter Space

If you’ve ever been to a Starbucks, you know that some espresso machines can definitely be on the large size. Chances are, you don’t have the same counter space in your kitchen that most coffee shops have in theirs. That means you need to keep size in mind when shopping for an espresso maker. You want to find the sweet spot of an espresso maker that doesn’t take up too much space on your kitchen counter, but that also comes with the features and benefits you’re looking for in an espresso machine.

At a glance: Recommended Espresso Machines

Rank
Brand
Highlights
#1
Editor's Choice: The Nespresso Vertuo
  • A good espresso machine at an affordable price range
  • Very popular "pod" brand that makes coffee making easy
  • Packed with great features to make espresso your way
#2
Breville the Barista Express
  • Best espresso machine you will find within price range
  • Packed with features used in a commercial coffee house
  • Get full-flavored coffee with the push of a button
  • Plenty of accessories included
#3
Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300
  • Patented "Cappuccino System" frother that mixes steam and milk
  • Great design with space saving footprint
  • Easy to clean and simple operation
#4
    Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
  • Semi automatic functionality
  • Lower priced than others
  • Inconsistent foam
#5
Sowtech Espresso Machine
  • Simple minimalistic design
  • Low priced offers strong value
  • Only 3.5 Bar strength
#6
Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Espresso Machine
  • Entry level espresso machine
  • Makes up to 20 oz per brew

Top 5 Best Espresso Machines


Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker
Breville the Barista Express – BES870XL
Delonghi Magnifica – ESAM3300
Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Sowtech Espresso Machine

Our Full List of Espresso Machines for 2019

#1 Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker

Product Highlights

  • A good espresso machine at an affordable price range
  • Packed with great features to make espresso your way
Overview
The Nespresso Vertuo Machine is continually evolving the way you drink espresso and coffee. It delivers freshly brewed coffee with crema as well as delicious, authentic Espresso, it also conveniently makes two cup sizes at the touch of a button. To quickly make your coffee, it uses two different capsule sizes: a large capsule for coffee and a small one for espresso. Now you can have your coffee exactly how you do at the shops.

Pros

  • Many useful features to help towards making the best coffee
  • Manufactured by one of the most trusted brands in kitchen appliances

Cons

  • Suffers from problems with heating the water to the right temperature 
  • Delivers a flat flavor at times
Bottom Line
While it makes beautiful, smooth coffee that comes in delicious flavors, the Nespresso Vertuo Machine is let down by its negligence towards temperature control and disappoints customers with water that's not even lukewarm. However, if the manufacturers get around to fixing this issue, then we are going to be in the presence of truly amazing coffee.  In conclusion, the Nespresso Vertuo Machine would have been the perfect espresso buddy, if it took the chance to look over its product before release. By missing out on perfecting such a critical part of coffee making, it missed out on the opportunity of being the best thing in our kitchens. It came close to achieving perfection and becoming the only coffee-related appliance that we would ever need but narrowly missed that chance. 

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker

#2 Breville the Barista Express – BES870XL

Product Highlights

  • Best espresso machine you will find within its price range
  • Packed with features that are used in a commercial coffee house
  • Get full-flavored coffee with the push of a button
Overview
The Breville the Barista Express – BES870XL is every coffee lover’s dream. Complete with everything you need for barista-quality coffee, this compact kitchen tool is ready to serve your favorite coffee from beans to espresso in under a minute.

Pros

  • Many useful features to help towards making the best coffee
  • Precise temperature control for perfectly hot espresso with each use
  • Complete with all the accessories you need to be your own barista
  • Manufactured by one of the most trusted brands in kitchen appliances

Cons

  • May have a few inconsistencies when making coffee
  • Parts may breakdown, and the grinder tends to stop working
Bottom Line
Breville's the Barista Express - BES870XL espresso machine does so many things right and delivers the perfect coffee that we long for. It takes away all the time wasted on lining up at large coffee shop crowds, spending money every day, and having the barista mess up our order for the 10th time. However, it isn't perfect, and it has obvious design flaws that prevent it from being the best espresso machine we can purchase, but it is the best that we can get our hands on right now. And despite its shortcomings, the Barista Express - BES870XL delivers what it promised to do, which is to brew the tastiest, creamiest, perfect tasting coffee that we can drink inside our own homes.

Breville the Barista Express – BES870XL

#3 Delonghi Magnifica – ESAM3300

Product Highlights

  • Make your favorite espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte, and more.
  • All units carry a one-year warranty
  • Beautifully designed with many features to quickly make coffee every day
Overview
The Delonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine gives you professionally made, fresh espresso with every cup. It uses a burr grinder with 13 adjustable settings to prepare coffee exactly how you want it. You can also use the manual frother to create a rich, creamy froth for perfectly textured drinks — even better than your favorite coffee shop.

Pros

  • 13 adjustable settings to choose from
  • Helpful features to get the perfect cup of coffee
  • Manual frother to get silky smooth milk for your creations
  • Easy to use and easy to clean

Cons

  • Beans can get stuck in the grinder
  • Compromised quality may lead to the product breaking sooner than expected
Bottom Line
While it is named Magnifica after magnificent, I'm sorry to say that it's anything but. Sure, it does a great job at making coffee, latte, espresso, you name it. However, its potentially costly repairs can set you back a couple of hundred dollars — which is pretty much the same price it goes for. Of course, we can't discredit the fact that it gives us so many features and settings to enjoy, but the fact that it has such significant system issues is more of a factor when buying a kitchen appliance worth more than $500. Even with all the fancy tricks, having to repair the product if it malfunctions consistently is enough to convince once-loyal customers to leave the Delonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine forever.

Delonghi Magnifica – ESAM3300

#4 Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Product Highlights

  • Easy to use, with a one-touch function
  • Much lower price tag compared to others of the same performance level
Overview
The Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker – BVMC-ECMP1000-RB brews espresso and automatically froths milk with one simple touch. You can forget about going out to an expensive coffee shop or telling the barista exactly how you want your coffee. Make your custom drinks by picking out your preferences and sit back while the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker does everything for you.

Pros

  • Make your favorite drinks at the push of a button
  • The powerful pump extracts flavor to give you a bold taste
  • Semi-automatic 3-in-1 espresso, latte, and cappuccino maker
  • Free recipe book to provide you with ideas for your next favorite drink

Cons

  • Can have a short lifespan
  • May deliver an inconsistent performance with giving out coffee and foam
Bottom Line
While the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker - BVMC-ECMP1000-RB certainly poses an advantage for those looking for a low-budget alternative to the expensive brands and models, it may not be the best idea to always opt for the cheaper choice. Consumers shouldn't have to sacrifice quality coffee by making a purchase that you might regret a few months down the road. But if you want to be optimistic about it, then the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker can be a good addition to the kitchen, provided that it doesn't encounter any problems. It is capable of making tasty coffee, perform tasks without needing much help, and even comes with a recipe book for you to experiment with. For its price, it's not the worst thing to use for your next cup of coffee.

Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

#5 Sowtech Espresso Machine

Product Highlights

  • Comes with a price that anyone can afford — perfect for students
  • Makes excellent espresso, saves you the time going to a coffeehouse
Overview
Be your own barista with the Sowtech Espresso Machine, which uses the proper steam pressure to create the perfect foam for your espresso. Gone are the days when you have to race to the nearest coffee shop to get your daily caffeine dose. You can make espresso just the way you like it with the Sowtech Espresso Machine.

Pros

  • Simple, minimalistic design for smooth operation
  • Small and compact which saves space in smaller kitchens
  • Beautifully made espressos, perfect for mornings

Cons

  • Steamer tends to fail and may not heat milk at times
  • May malfunction at times, staying on when being turned off
Bottom Line
Making an espresso should be a delight with the Sowtech Espresso Machine in your kitchen. It delivers excellent tasting beverages with just a few simple steps, it is a well designed and compact machine for anyone who has limited kitchen space, and it's easy to use. However, these three things aren't perfected, which makes us think of how trivial they are compared to the technologically advanced espresso machines we see in markets. It's quite a shame that a product which offers so little doesn't at least get those small things right for everyone. Perhaps it's better to save up for a machine that will be able to do more with better quality. But if you are willing to look past the flaws that the Sowtech Espresso Machine has, it is capable of giving great espressos for as long as it functions well. And if you're really on a tight budget, then the Sowtech Espresso Machine is the best choice you have in the meantime until you can buy another machine in the future.

Sowtech Espresso Machine

#6 Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Espresso System

Product Highlights

  • Unbeatable price compared to other products that offer the same function
  • Multi-purpose functions to deliver all your favorite beverages
Overview
The Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Espresso System – ECM160-RB is equipped with a powerful frother and makes café-rich espressos. It can also whip up your cappuccinos and lattes to light, bubbly perfection. Using Steam Heat technology, hot steam is forced out the filter to make a dark and bold espresso brew.

Pros

  • Most affordable coffee maker worth investing on
  • Serves up to 4 shots with just one use
  • Make delicious lattes, cappuccinos, and other beverages
  • Get the perfect brew with the Steam Heat feature

Cons

  • Product has some minor design flaws
  • The steamer has issues and may lead to complications
Bottom Line
In the end, the small cost it takes to purchase the Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Espresso System - ECM160-RB doesn't do much to compensate for the failures that it is capable of. In the end, you're better off saving money and investing in a better model or brand. And while it can give the results that we look for — rich and creamy cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos, we deserve to have a product that goes above and beyond when it comes to coffee. After all, coffee has become such an essential part of our morning routines, so the machine we purchase to make it should be just as important. Sadly, the Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Espresso System just doesn't cut it.

Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Espresso System

Did you know?

Espresso machines came into being as a way to serve café customers faster in the 19th century. Back then, it could take up to five minutes to brew a single cup of coffee. Yikes! European inventors began looking for ways to use steam to reduce the amount of time it took to brew coffee.
Although there were many prototypes from all over Europe, it was the Italian inventor, Angelo Moriondo that was granted a patent for “new steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of a coffee beverage” in 1884. And so, the first espresso machine hit the market.

But it’s Luigi Bezerra and Desiderio Pavoni who are credited with being the inventors of the single-shot espresso brewer in 1906. This gave café owners a way to brew coffee correctly into a cup, instead of making an entire pot of coffee, which allowed for custom coffee creations that were fresh and hot.
From that point on, espresso makers have been a staple of coffee shops everywhere, which led to the introduction of machines for the home brewer in the 20th century. We can now enjoy delicious coffee concoctions in our own kitchens, thanks to impatient coffee drinkers and smart café owners in the 1800s.

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