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 keep the best espresso machine on our countertop.
Just in case you are new to espresso here are some deets. 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. Bonjour Espresso Maker
Let’s start with the basics. 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.
2. illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Machine
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.
3. Hamilton Beach Espresso & Cappuccino Maker
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.
4. Breville Bambino Espresso Machine
Even though the name implies small (bambino=baby) the Breville Bambino Espresso Machine offers big things. 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.
5. Mr. Coffee Café Barista
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
6. DeLonghi Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
A big issue with some espresso machines is cleaning them. 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.
7. IMUSA Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
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.
8. Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine
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.