The Best Espresso Machines for Those Who Are Serious About Caffeine

best espresso machines
Courtesy of Amazon

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While many continue to work from home, an excellent way to stick to your routine is by starting your day with a warm beverage. And though there is nothing wrong with a typical cup of drip coffee, why not treat yourself to something that captures coffee’s earthy and nutty flavor? While espresso is regularly consumed black with a creamy finish, it is also the base for delicious cappuccinos and other milky beverages like macchiatos. This is precisely why we recommend keeping the best espresso machine on your countertop.

Just in case you are new to espresso here are some details. Espresso is made from the same plant as regular coffee; however, it is more concentrated. Instead of serving it in a mug as you do your morning java, it is enjoyed as a “shot.” This is why it’s often served in a smaller mug or cup. Whether you chose to grind your own beans with a coffee grinder or buy coffee grounds, espresso is much more of a delicate ground. In addition to the correct type of ground, you will also need the right machine, because good espresso doesn’t just happen; it is something you create.

There are various types of espresso machines on the market, and some of them are incredibly expensive. But for the regular espresso consumer, you don’t have to invest an entire paycheck to enjoy its smooth, creamy yet complex taste. So whether you choose to tuck your beans in the fridge or store them in a cool, dry and dark place, we have rounded up the best espresso machines that can help you to savor their flavor without breaking the bank.

  

1. Philips 3200 Series Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother

BEST OVERALL

This Philips espresso machine is fully automatic and features a built-in milk frother. Choose from four different kinds of coffee beverages with easy-to-navigate touchscreen buttons. Users can adjust the strength and quantity, and unlike cheaper machines, it can brew up to 5,000 cups without needing to descale, thanks to their AquaClean technology. Buyers describe it as “ pure and fresh” with a less watered-down effect than the Nespresso devices. Though the price tag is a little higher, it’s worth the investment if you want the absolute best espresso.

Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother Courtesy of Amazon
  

2. Cuisinart 1-Cup Espresso Defined Black Espresso Machine

RUNNER UP

This 1-cup espresso machine is one of the most handsome pod-compatible espresso makers on the market. From cappuccinos to lattes, choose from adjustment options like brew temperature, froth volume, and flavor strength. It’s a step up from cheaper Nespresso machines, and ideal for those who prefer a stainless steel look and want to customize their coffee order a little more precisely. A built-in frother allows you to make cafe-quality drinks every time.

Cuisinart 1-Cup Espresso Defined Black Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Machine Courtesy of Home Depot
  

3. Smeg Espresso Machine

TRENDY PICK

Smeg’s conversation-sparking espresso machine has a charming 1950s retro look, but its vintage aesthetic isn’t just what makes it stand out. It has a slim profile and makes tasty espresso each and every time. This simple-to-use machine is ideal for espresso beginners and looks like a piece of art wherever you put it. If you’re not ready to splurge on the more advanced and expensive models for home baristas which can cost over $1,000.

Smeg Espresso Machine Courtesy of Food 52
  

4. Bonjour Espresso Maker

BEST STOVETOP PICK

Many espresso machines have lots of bells and whistles, and there is nothing wrong with that, but the Bonjour espresso maker is a simple stovetop brewing system. It is made with stainless steel and produces a rich and full-bodied cup of espresso. The only shortfall is that this isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it espresso machine. But if you can sit for the five minutes it takes to boil, you will be treated to an authentic tasting cup of espresso.

BonJour Stovetop Espresso Maker, Best Espresso Machines Image Courtesy of Amazon
    

5. Hamilton Beach Espresso & Cappuccino Maker

EASIEST TO USE

Whether you like to use coffee grounds or capsules, Hamilton Beach Espresso & Cappuccino Maker has you covered. This machine is perfect for those who have struggled with espresso machines in the past when locking a portafilter into place. Hamilton Beach uses a slide and lock mechanism that helps to secure the filter so anyone can utilize their machine. It offers 15 bars of pressure so that it steams quickly and froths the milk just right for making cappuccinos. The only suggestion when frothing milk is to make sure that your milk is cold.

Read more: Best Coffee Makers — from Drip to Cold Brew, and More

Hamilton Beach Espresso & Cappuccino Maker, Best espresso machines Image Courtesy of Hamilton Beach
  

6. Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

MOST COMPACT

Even though the name implies small (bambino means baby in Italian) the Breville Bambino Espresso Machine offers big flavor. Its thermojet technology heats up the machine in three seconds but is still able to keep the temperature balanced. It easily whips up lattes, cappuccinos and Americanos. The only thing you need to worry about is whether you are going to have one or two shots.

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine, Best Espresso Machines Image Courtesy of Williams Sonoma
  

7. Mr. Coffee Café Barista

EASIEST TO CLEAN

We all have heard and know the name Mr. Coffee but who knew that the brand had upped its game and stepped into the espresso sphere? Well, they did, and we are glad because this three-in-one espresso, cappuccino, and latte maker is easy to fill, clean and use. Plus its 15 pump system creates a brew that will leave you feeling satisfied.

Read more: The Best Keurig Coffee Makers

Mr. Coffee Café Barista, Best Espresso Maker Image Courtesy of Amazon
  

8. DeLonghi Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

MOST CUSTOMIZABLE 

A big issue with some espresso machines is the cleaning process. The DeLonghi Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine’s removable water tank and drip tray make cleaning easy. Still, though that is essential, taste is paramount, and this sleek machine uses 15-bar professional pressure to bring oomph to single or double espressos, cappuccinos or lattes. The frother isn’t automatic, allowing you the ability to control how thick, silky or creamy you want your milk. Plus, you can brew cup after cup with little to no waiting.

 DeLonghi Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, Best Espresso Machines Image Courtesy of Amazon
  

9. IMUSA Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

BEST NO-NONSENSE PICK

This espresso machine is made for a no-nonsense kind of person. It isn’t complicated, and you get a nice cup of espresso from its five-bar working pressure. The IMUSA is like the little engine that could, except, in this case, it can and does brew four servings of espresso, and even though it is small, it can froth milk so that you can also make cappuccinos, macchiatos and lattes.

IMUSA Espresso and Cappuccino Maker, Best Espresso Makers Image Courtesy of Amazon
  

10. Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine 

MOST BELLS & WHISTLES

If you are serious about your espresso and want to up your game, the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine can help you get there. It has a conical burr mill grinder with 30 settings, so you can be as particular as you want about getting the right sized grounds. Plus the 15 bars of pressure will help you get the right amount of flavor out of your grounds. There are pre-programmed settings for single and double shots and the ability to select steam or hot water. In addition to keeping the temperature balanced so that you have the right amount of heat to produce great espresso, it also has a warming tray so that your cups can be warm and ready to receive that rich brown liquid. And yes, the steam wand will froth your milk so that you can make beautiful cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, or any other beverage where warm and silky milk is necessary.

Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine, Best Espresso Machines Image Courtesy of Calphalon
  

11. Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro StainlessSteel Espresso Machine

BEST STAINLESS STEEL PICK

This handsome stainless steel espresso machine comes is amazing — it extracts flavors in an even and balanced way, automatically adjusting acidity and sweetness for the ultimate sip, every time. You can also manually control microfoam and practice latte art, while a unique auto-purge feature purges the heating system after steaming, setting your next espresso up for a better extraction. One buyer calls it a “nice upgrade from a Delonghi,” and we agree. That said, you should know your stuff if you’re going to dance with this device. This definitely isn’t an espresso machine for complete beginners.

Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro StainlessSteel Espresso Machine Courtesy of Amazon
  

12. De’Longhi All-in-One Combination Coffee Maker & Espresso Machine

MOST VERSATILE

De’Longhi does sell a machine that exclusively makes espresso, but why limit yourself when you can make practically anything with this combination machine that can make both coffee and espresso? It even has an adjustable milk frother and comes with an attractive 10-cup coffee pot made out of glass. While it’s not the most space-saving option on the market, this machine does it all for a reasonable price.

De'Longhi All-in-One Combination Coffee Maker & Espresso Machine + Advanced Adjustable Milk Frother Courtesy of Amazon
  

13. Espresso Works Espresso Machine

BEST POP OF COLOR

If you want a pop of color on your countertop, these European-inspired espresso makers come in unique shades like purple and red. Make a double or single shot and easily view how much water there is with the transparent removable tank. Multiple five-star reviews praise its small footprint, adequate pressure, and easy-to-clean features, with one customer commenting, “ I drink espresso straight, with a little sugar, so I can definitely taste the difference between good and bad espresso. This machine is excellent.”

Espresso Works Espresso Machine & Cappuccino Maker with Milk Steamer Courtesy of Amazon
  

14. illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Machine

BEST DESIGN

The illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Machine was designed by renowned architect Piero Lissoni to fit in the room of your choice. This espresso machine stands out because while it’s slim, it is capable of producing espresso and drip-style coffee all with one touch. It is also small enough for you to take with you on a weekend away. It is available in white, black and red. illy also has whole beans, capsules or grounded coffee for espresso or your regular joe. 

illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Machine, Best Espresso Machines Image Courtesy of Illy
  

15. Portable Black Espresso Machine with Filter

BEST PORTABLE PICK

If you have no counter space at all or just like your espresso on the go, consider the Simpresso portable black espresso machine. For under $80, this machine will take up no space at all in your kitchen, and yields a balanced espresso that even features a little crema. This hand-powered machine is compatible with Nespresso pods and can also be used with ground beans, providing anything from a single shot to a lungo.

Smposh Simpresso Portable Black Espresso Machine with Filter Courtesy of Home Depot
  

16. Nespresso by De’Longhi VertuoPlus

BEST POD-COMPATIBLE PICK

Nespresso’s Vertuo machines offer a more decadent and versatile espresso experience than their original machines, and while it’s not a classic espresso machine, it offers a competitive flavor and result that’s beginner-friendly. Each capsule features a barcode that helps deliver precise ratios each and every time, with delicious crema in espressos, gran lungos, coffee, or drinks meant to be paired with milk. Whether you’re making an iced caramel macchiato or a black Americano, the Vertuo Plus hits the spot every time.

Nespresso by De'Longhi VertuoPlus Courtesy of Walmart
  

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