Hi, I’m Ken. Welcome to my Best Espresso Machine & Espresso Machine Reviews website! If you plan to buy a new espresso machine and looking for some recommendations, you have come to the right place. I own couple types of espresso machine and I think making espresso shots at home is just a plain simple way to enjoy life.
On the other hand, if you are looking for the best coffee maker instead of an espresso machine, I have a guide and reviews for the coffee makers too. I’ve recently updated with my coffee maker reviews for the top coffee makers of all types, including drip coffee makers, french presses, vacuum coffee makers, siphons, moka pots and single serve brewers. Do check them out!
How to Pick the Best Espresso Machine?
To start with, you can decide which type of espresso machine best suits you. Usually people would choose between these types:
- Steam-driven espresso machine – Produces strong coffee instead of real espresso. Very affordable. ($40 – $60)
- Pump-driven espresso machine– Makes real crema-topped espresso. The more common variations are:
- Manual espresso machine – Gives you total control over what comes out in the cup. Only for real enthusiasts. ($300 – $1500)
- Semi-automatic espresso machine – Gives you some control over espresso quality but needs a bit of skill to use. ($100 – $1000)
- Automatic espresso machine – Uses pods or capsules for mess-free and consistently good espresso drinks. No skill needed. ($100 – $300)
- Super automatic espresso machine – When time is your constraint and budget is not. ($500 – $3000)
When purchasing your first serious espresso machine, I would recommend you to pick semi automatic espresso machine or super automatic espresso machine. Well, if you like to know more about the types of espresso machines, you can read more here. To make it easy for you, I’ve listed out my recommendations and top rated espresso machine reviews below.
My Reviews and Top Picks
Semi Automatic Espresso Machines
- Best Budget Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Best espresso machine under $100! Best for those on a tight budget.
- Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – The best semi-auto espresso machine that can easily outperform Starbucks. Best espresso machine under $1000.
- Best Value Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Great value and best buy for first entry level home espresso machine if you have the budget. Best espresso machine under $500.
Automatic Espresso Machines
- Best Automatic Espresso Machine – Get the consistent perfect shot every time with no mess and no fuss. Best for office use.
- Best Budget Automatic Espresso Machine – A compact automatic espresso machine below $100 with very good value!
Super Automatic Espresso Machines
- Best Value Super Automatic Espresso Machine – A good buy and best for cappuccino lovers.
- Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine – Press a few buttons and you’ll have great espresso!
- Best Budget Super Automatic Espresso Machine – Best for those on a tight budget and still want a super automatic.
Steam Driven Espresso Machines
- Best Steam-Driven Espresso Machine – The cheapest alternative to real espresso. Just below $50!
Manual Espresso Machines
- Best Manual Espresso Machine – Have total control over what comes out into the cup. Only for the espresso enthusiasts!
- Best Travel Espresso Maker – Great for making decent espresso in camping or road trips where electricity is non existent.
If you like to read more recommendations and reviews of espresso machines, you can check out my blog where I have written down my opinions about many models of espresso machines.
What Determines a Good Espresso Machine
There are a few things that determine whether an espresso machine is good, and they are:
- Sturdy and replaceable parts
- Quality boiler(s)
- Heats up fast
- Easy accessible/adjustable spouts for different sizes of coffee
- Safe design
- Easy to clean
So now you know how to pick a good espresso machine; just read the espresso machine review of any recommended model and see what other people say regarding these features! There probably isn’t one machine that is perfect, but five or six ticks for the list above qualify it as one of the best espresso machines. To understand more about the features above, click here to go to my guide on How to Choose the Right Espresso Machine.
Other Tips and Guides for Espresso Machines
As you know I am a big fan of espresso and espresso machines, so in my free time I’ve written down some tips and guides which may be interesting or helpful. Hope you like them!
- What Can I Make With My Espresso Machine
- Why Should I Clean My Espresso Machine Often
- How To Clean My Espresso Machine
Top Espresso Machine List
- Rancilio Silvia – Best semi-automatic and best espresso machine overall. (5-star machine for the would-be baristas!)
- Gaggia Classic – Cheaper than Rancilio. Best value! (Recommended as entry level machine.)
- DeLonghi EC155 – Best for those on a tight budget but still want a good and real espresso. College students should love this!
- Jura-Capresso 13548 Impressa J6 – Best super automatic espresso machine. Press a few buttons and there you go! Great espresso!
- DeLonghi ESAM3300 – Best for cappuccino lovers. Good value for a super automatic!
- Philips Saeco Vienna Plus – Budget super automatic espresso maker. (Remember that the price range for super automatics is $500 – $3000)
- Mr. Coffee ECM160 – Best steam-driven espresso machine. Very cheap and makes a reasonable coffee close to real espresso.
Top Espresso Machines by Brands
- Delonghi espresso makers
- Gaggia espresso makers
- Breville espresso makers
- La Pavoni espresso makers
- Rancilio espresso makers
- Nespresso espresso makers
- Capresso espresso makers
The Right Espresso Machine – What Else Do I Need?
Well, if you plan to get a semi-automatic espresso machine, you need to buy a coffee grinder. Super automatic espresso machines have grinders incorporated in them, so you won’t need a separate grinder. For all regular coffee makers except those with built-in grinder, you also need to buy a grinder. Check out my best coffee grinder list below if you need a coffee grinder too.
Anyway, my rule of thumb for buying a coffee grinder is making the budget at least half the price of my espresso machine. You’d actually get better tasting espresso if you have a grinder which is more expensive than your espresso machine. Why? Because the secret to creating a great espresso is a consistently even-sized and fine grind that you can only achieve with a good grinder.
When we complain that we can’t produce the exact taste of Starbucks espresso shots, or how our shots were lousy, or how the shots taste excessively bitter and so on, most of the time, the problem is in the grind. When you buy pre-ground or pre-packaged coffee, it will work but it wouldn’t taste as good as getting your own beans and coffee grinder. So get a coffee grinder if you want to make great espresso shots or coffee!
Best Grinder List
I highly recommend that you get a burr type grinder if you are using a pump espresso machine. Blade grinders produce too much coffee dust that will make your espresso sludgy. If you are wondering what the difference is between burr and blade coffee grinders, check out this guide.
- Best Blade Coffee Grinder – Krups Fast Touch 203
- Best Budget Burr Coffee Grinder – Capresso 560.01 Infinity
- Best Burr Coffee Grinder – Rancilio Rocky Doserless
More About Espresso Machines
All right, I hope what I’ve summarized here helps you choose the right espresso machine for your home. Once you get that lovely machine that matches your taste for espresso, you’ll soon find out how blissful it is to save $1.50 every day and yet enjoy quality coffee comparable to or even better than Starbucks!