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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 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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.