Best Espresso Machine – Buyer’s Guide (May 2018)
I hope you can agree with me when I say…
It’s tough to choose the best espresso machine in 2018 when most of them are super alike in quality! Don’t you agree?
I too have experienced this struggle of finding the perfect espresso machine for myself. There just hasn’t been a good source where I can see what espresso machines are ranking as the top espresso machines.
I’ve decided to create a list of the best espresso machines of 2018 with complete benchmarks including pros and cons of each espresso maker.
An espresso machine is a vital machine to have in the household. It brews coffee by forcing highly pressurized water near boiling point through a small “puck” of ground coffee and filter in order to produce a thick, concentrated coffee known as your typical espresso. Did you know that the first espresso machine was built and patented in 1884 by Angelo Moriondo of Turin, Italy? That’s not so long ago if you really think about. A good quality espresso machine should be able to bring out the full potential of the coffee beans. In my eyes, espresso making process is an art. The coffee beans must be finely ground in order to produce a very strong coffee known as a “shot.” You must also know how much caffeine is in your cup to get the best shot. Read the review on the top 10 best espresso machines of 2018 and you will understand the major differences and similarities that most espresso machines have!
Best Espresso Machines 2018 Reviews
I know how difficult it is to go about your day without a shot of espresso in the morning. It’s, honestly, difficult to function throughout the day without a cup of coffee or a single (maybe two) shots of espresso. Spending money at coffee shops tends to add up quick. Having a top notch espresso machine at home could potentially save you tons of money instead of buying beverages at espresso stands on a daily. That is why I’ve created this list of the top espresso machines of 2018 that I think are worth looking at. So here is the list of the best espresso machines reviews.
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine: Best Espresso Machine For Home
The BES870XL gives you the ability to create miraculous baristas at the comfort of your own home. It allows you to customize every aspect vital to a signature flavored espresso. Whether you are a hardcore coffee lover or just an average, this semi-automatic espresso machine may be the “complete package” that’s designed just for you. Let’s get started.
When it comes to versatility, the Breville BES870XL is like no other. This is the best espresso machine for home. You have the ability to adjust coffee bean grind size, water temperature and pressure, tamping pressure and a bit more. With a functional pressure gauge, you are able to monitor things like the espresso extraction pressure. Some other features on the BES870XL include an integrated burr grinder, half-pound bean hopper, a cup warmer, steam wand, and a 67-ounce water tank.
The conical burr grinder on top of the best espresso machine for home allows you to serve freshly grounded coffee right into the stainless steel portafilter. The Breville does have the grind size feature in which you have the option to adjust the grind size to your liking. Moreover, the Thermo coil heating system and the 15 bar pump gives you the power to consistently serve the ideal espresso. Furthermore, the Breville Barista Express BES870XL utilizes a standard steaming wand found in commercial espresso machines. This allows the wand to produce way better forth than pannarello wands found in other expresso machines.
Overall, the Breville Barista Express BES870XL is the “complete package,” making it our top choice for the best espresso machine of 2018. The Barista has many features such as an integrated burr grinder, steaming wand, and a powerful thermal coil heating system, that makes this a unique espresso machine. At the price point, the Barista Express may not be for everyone. But if you are a coffee lover like myself, this would be considered a long term investment. You don’t have to spend a fortune in coffee shops to enjoy great coffee on a daily. If you are a beginner, this is the machine that you can grow with and transition to becoming an expert. If you are looking for a great performing espresso machine that will last you a good amount, then look no further. The Breville Barista Express BES870XL is the right one for you as it’s the best espresso machine 2018. As a side note, I have also done a separate extensive review on the Barista 870XL.
De'Longhi ESAM3500.N Magnifica Digital Super-Automatic: Best Home Espresso Machine Under 2000
If you are in the market for a quality, taste and complete convenience (and budget is not of concern), then this espresso machine is our top recommendation for you. All things considered, the 3500 Magnifica Is the “Big Daddy” of super automatic coffee machines. With a few touches of a button, you can create several coffee drinks ranging from a silky smooth espresso to a rich Latte with extra forth.
The De'Longhi Magnifica is the best home espresso machine under $2000. The DeLonghi 3500 Magnifica features a conical burr grinder that grinds fresh coffee beans without the loud noise compared to other super automatic espresso machines. When it comes to brewing, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. All you have to do is select the size (5 available sizes) and the coffee strength and the machine will brew you a shot of espresso or other milk based coffee drinks with ease. The convenience of having two separate boilers on the 3500 Magnifica is that there is no wait between brewing espresso and steaming milk. Furthermore, the Magnifica features a timer that allows you to prepare a coffee at a set time, like in the morning when you wake.
The conical burr grinder on the ESAM3500.N holds up to 8 oz. of beans, enough for 8-10 cups of coffee. You can also adjust the grind size of the beans with a rotational knob located on the machine. The Magnifica does include a separate compartment for utilizing ground coffee. Furthermore, the power of two boilers allows the 3500 Magnifica to brew multiple cups of coffee without any delay. Great for large families. The patented and compact brew group allows this best home espresso machine under $2000 to pull delicious espresso with rich crema. The separate milk carafe that comes with the ESAM3500 Magnifica can be used to steam or froth milk without much of a mess afterward. I created a separate guide for frothing milk properly for beginners that you can check out here.
Overall, this machine tops all major categories when it comes to brewing the perfect espresso. The Magnifica is powered by high-end dual boilers and integrated with a silent grinder, that brews rich espresso and automatically steams milk through the carafe. The Magnifica is very versatile and required minimal effort from the user. Ultimately, if you want the “Big Daddy” of super automatic coffee machines, you’ll have to invest your money's worth in the DeLonghi ESAM3500 Magnifica. Compared to money spend in coffee shops, the Magnifica is a magnificent long term investment.
Jura Ena Micro 1: Best Espresso Machine Under 1000
Sleek and compact, the Jura Ena Micro, one of the top notch espresso machines of 2018, delivers one of the purest shots out of a home espresso machine that we’ve ever experienced. If you are a fan of lattes or any other milk-centric coffee drinks, you are out of luck. However, if you are looking for something special, something like no other, something that can pull the purest shot you’ve ever tasted, then look no further. The conical burr grinder allows this espresso machine to offer the pure bean-to-cup experience. If budget isn’t an issue, then this espresso machine of 2018 is worth taking a look at.
The Jura Ena is one of the best espresso machine under $1000. Beautifully designed, the Jura Ena stands a little over twelve inches in height. This makes it a very compact espresso. A bit hefty, Jura wanted to invent the smallest unit possible for making a completely fresh cup of coffee directly from freshly ground beans. Lacking a milk reservoir or a cup warmer, the Micro 1 is relatively thin and aimed toward those looking for a single-touch espresso. The user has the option to pour their own coffee grinds in the left port on at the top on the Jura Ena Micro 1. On the other hand, the conical burr grinder is capable of finely grinding coffee beans to your likings (adjustable grind size dial).
Brewing with the Ena Micro is quite simple. To begin with, you have the choice pouring beans into the bean hopper in the back, or you can simply add your grinds into a small port on the top left of this espresso machine. Note, you can control how fine the beans are ground with the dial at the top of the espresso maker. Then, on the display panel, you have the option to pick between ristretto (stronger brew), espresso, and normal black coffee. Next step includes, choosing between a normal and strong brew. And finally, once you have selected all your desired settings, simply hit “Jura” and the brewing process should begin. The process usually takes 60 seconds before you have access to your fresh, pure cup of espresso.
Overall, the Ena Micro is a great-looking, great-performing, specialized coffee and espresso maker suited for lovers of espresso who simply want an excellent cup of coffee. There is a lot to like about this fantastic espresso maker. Top notch, quality coffee is a given. You have the ability to change the size of the cup, the strength of the coffee, and the grind type of your coffee beans. This best espresso machine under $1000 helps with maintenance as it actively performs a service flush when needed. In conclusion, this espresso machine is meant for lovers of great espresso who do not want to do all the nasty bits themselves and just have a fabulous coffee without an inconvenience. This is definitely a machine worth having.
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso machine: Best Rated Espresso Machine
With an intelligent design, the Gaggia Brera has a delightful tendency to consistently pour out delicious coffee with minimal effort. This is one of the best rated espresso machine in 2018. If you want a compact espresso machine with an inbuilt grinder that does not ask much from you and consistently makes delicious cups of coffee, then this one may be the right one for you. Let's begin our review.
First off, the compact design of the Brera make is an ideal for use in small kitchens with limited countertop space. On top of that, the water reservoir on this espresso machine pulls out from the front, making it convenient to handle while reducing the potential for scratches. The Brera utilizes a combination of plastic and metal to house the beast compactly. The front is made up of stainless steel while the remainder of the espresso machine housing is plastic. Though the outer bit may be plastic, the inner mechanisms are made with quality to work flawlessly for years to come.
When it comes to convenience, nothing can beat the Gaggia Brera. To brew your coffee drink, you simply start off by placing coffee beans in the air-tight container on the top capable of serving 8-10 cups of espresso. After the beans run through the inbuilt burr grinder, the Brera will begin to utilize the pre-infusion mechanism and soak the coffee before extraction. This is a highly recommended technique used by many experienced Baristas for a better espresso. Finally, after choosing the brew strength, choose the brew volume and wait a minute for your rich tasting coffee.
Moreover, frothing and steaming milk on the Gaggia Brera requires input from the user. With the Pannarello wand, it does not take much expertise to get going. Simply place the container with cold milk under the wand and turn the knob on the center to the let. The froth will begin to rise relatively quickly, so do be careful. Furthermore, cleaning the Gaggia Brera is not much of an issue. You simply take the cleaning parts, such as the wand, the reservoir, and the drip tray, and rinse them in water under your water faucet.
Overall, the Gaggia Brera is a great compact espresso machine that conveniently brews several cups of consistently great tasting coffee with minimal effort. This is our top pick for a budget friendly super automatic espresso machine. It is definitely the best rated espresso machine.
Gaggia 14101 Classic: Best Inexpensive Espresso Machine
If you are looking for an entry-level espresso machine that doesn’t suck and isn’t overpriced, then this may be the right one for you. You can’t go wrong with the Gaggia 14101 if this is your first espresso maker because it is the best inexpensive espresso machine in 2018. You get all the basics and a few extras and more quality for less than you would pay for the competition. The bottom line is that the Gaggia 14101 Classic is the best budget semi-automatic espresso machine. And here is why this espresso may be the right one for you.
First thing to note, the Gaggia 14101 is straight from Italy. When it comes to espresso, Italians are on top of their game. The built quality is top notch. Though this best inexpensive espresso machine lacks a coffee grinder, it is powered by a beast of a broiler that generates over 17 bars of pressure, more than enough for espresso machine of this class. It also features a large 72 oz. removable water reservoir. The pressurized baskets allow for the use of ground coffee as well as ESE pods. However, it is highly recommended to grind your own fresh beans.
Brewing is simple as turning on the machine, loading coffee grounds in the solid brass portafilter, attaching the portafilter to the group head, and simply hitting the brew button. After about a minute, the heated boilers will pull a shot of espresso in 30 seconds. The Gaggia allows for a single and a double shot, pressurized and non-pressurized baskets that come included. Steaming is made easy with the pannarello wand. As mentioned before, the pannarello wand is easy to use and especially great for beginners. Compared to other entry-level espresso machines, the froth generated by this espresso machine is fairly rich and consistent. Great for cappuccinos or lattes.
Overall, the Gaggia Classic a great choice for beginners who are looking to start their espresso journey. The Classic is well built, feels substantial, and works like a charm. The water heats up really fast with this espresso machine. The portafilter is chrome plated brass and the machine overall feels nice and heavy. Lacking fancy electronics, the Gaggia Classic is a long lasting espresso machine that reportedly can last over a decade. Simply put, the Gaggia Class is an excellent product that consistently makes good espresso. This makes the Gaggia Class a bang for your buck!
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker: Best Espresso Machine Under $300
Nowadays, we are always busy with our time. My mornings are short, and I often skip breakfast. Sometimes, I just want to make quick, amazing espresso shots without hassle and time. I think Nespresso Pixie is perfect for this. The Pixie Espresso obeys by this concept of being hassle-free, convenient, and super quite. The super-stylish and compact design of this espresso machine is a plus. Read on to find out why the Nespresso Pixie Espresso is on the list of the best espresso makers of 2018.
The Pixie Espresso, a fully automatic brewing machine, does not require much from the user, aside from the coffee capsule that’s inserted into the brewer head. This best espresso machine under $300 is a chrome-plated mug with s non-stick coating on the inside. The Thermo block technology on this espresso machine allows for the ideal temperature with each and every cup you brew. Moreover, the milk frother on the Nespresso Pixie ensures that you get the perfect foam with just a touch of a button. The aeroccino plus (milk frother) is an additional option, offered on amazon when you purchase the espresso machine, comes with two whisk attachments and an auto-shut off for safety. On a side note, the how to milk frothing for beginners article that I created can help you create the perfect milk froth. In addition, the three shot size selector on the Pixie gives you the pleasure of choosing your desired shot size.
Brewing an espresso shot has never been so simple and quick with the Nespresso Pixie. All you have to do is insert the capsule into the brew head and tap the brew button for operation. The After selecting the espresso size, the unit takes 15 seconds to heat up. You will be served with a delicious shot of espresso within 45 seconds. This best espresso machine under $300 uses advanced technology that allows for the pre-ground capsules of coffee to be presoaked with water. Then, after the presoak process, the 19 bars of pressure applied to the extract the coffee. The 19 bars of pressure feature on this unit is a powerhouse that leads to a delicious cup of coffee with a rich crema.
The Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker is perfect for those you are looking for a great way to enjoy, instant, fresh, foamy froth in your cups of lattes, espressos, cappuccinos and caffes, but do not prefer spending big bucks on a top of the line espresso machine. However, if you are looking for a full espresso making experience or need to make more than one cup of coffee drink at a time, then you are better off going with a unit such as the Breville BES870XL above. The Nespresso Pixie does not allow for you to use your own coffee grounds, beans, and blend. The bottom line is that the Pixie is a super easy to use espresso machine that makes amazing froth and brews a fast cup of Nespresso under a minute or two.
Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium: Best Espresso Machine Under $200
Do you want to enjoy coffee-shop quality recipes with the comfort of your home? Are you in love with milk-based coffee drinks? Those who are on the lookout for a no-hassle espresso machine on a budget, the Barista may be the perfect espresso machine for you. This espresso machine automatically froths milk for cappuccinos and lattes with a simple one-touch operation, making it one of the most convenient espresso machines for beginners. The milk reservoir is removable, so you can store in the fridge so that you have cold milk for different drinks. Fill in the 55 oz. reservoir and go! This is the best espresso machine under $200 that you will find in 2018.
The minimalistic design of the Café Barista gives it a well-balanced sleek look. The stainless steel display makes cleaning a breeze. Though the Mr. Coffee Barista lacks an integrated grinder, it comes equipped with an automatic milk frother that takes the complex guesswork out of steaming and frothing milk for lattes and other milk-based drinks. Moreover, the indicator lights on the control panel confirm your choice as you click the user-friendly buttons, choosing your desired drink preferences.
This stainless steel espresso machine comes with a convenient portafilter that allows for a brewing of purely filtered coffee grounds. The two shot function on the Barista Premium allows for either a single shot of serving or double shot of espresso (the two filter basket is included). The 15-bar pressure on this espresso machine is in the mid range compared to its competition. With the use of quality ground beans, you can easily pull quality espresso shots with a creamy look every time.
To make quality drinks with the ECMP1000 Café Barista, start off by pouring freshly ground coffee beans into the portafilter. Thereafter, tamp the coffee grounds with the included tamper. A snapping noise will be heard once you carefully place the portafilter back into its proper position. Next, choose the amount of froth you want on your espresso with a froth control knob located on the espresso maker. And lastly, select your preferred espresso drink on the control panel and wait for the magic to happen. This best espresso machine under $200 comes with an included recipe manual so that you can make those perfect coffee-shop drinks at the comfort of your own home.
In conclusion, if you are tired of spending $5 for a fancy milk based drink at Starbucks, or any other coffee-shop, every single day, then this best espresso machine under $200 may be the right espresso machine for you. The sleek, compact design is a bonus to a user-friendly machine with an automatic milk frother. The Barista is one of the best inexpensive espresso machines in 2018. The included recipe manual makes it a pleasure to froth up those fancy coffee-shop drinks at the comfort of your kitchen. Though there are a few drawbacks to the Café Barista. For a true coffee lover, the taste quality won’t be on par when compared to other more expensive machines. However, if you are an average coffee drinker, then the quality won’t be that big of an issue, especially if you love milk based drinks. With that being said, the Café Barista is definitely on the list of top 10 best espresso machines of 2018. On a separate page, I have done an extensive review on the Cafe Barista .
De’Longhi EC155: Best Affordable Espresso Machine
If you are looking for a bang for your buck espresso machine, then look no further. This espresso maker is the cheapest on our line of recommendations for quality 2018 espresso machines. Not to mention the fact that it also holds the title of #1 Bestseller on Amazon. When it comes to brewing a cup of delicious espresso, it does this extremely well. However, there is a list of shortcomings that may be a bit annoying. Here is everything you should know about the the best affordable espresso machine on the list.
To brew coffee, begin by loading ESE pods or ground coffee in the pressurized portafilter (single or double basket) and begin tamping. Though there is a fixed plastic tamper attached to the group head of this espresso maker, it is highly recommended to buy a metal tamper on your own. The fixed plastic makes it difficult to apply the right pressure, and it’s just overall inconvenient for a machine of this size. With the DeLonghi EC155, there is no fixed volume for the espresso pulled; thus you can stop brewing whenever you want.
The taste of coffee produced by this machine highly depends on the coffee grounds used. Quality coffee beans are recommended. But overall espresso pull by the best affordable espresso machine is consistently rich in crema and has a smooth texture. It gives you that ‘jolt’ that many seek from a morning espresso. Steaming milk with the DeLonghi EC155 is a bit difficult if you have a large mug that you want to froth up. This is due to the small height of this espresso maker. In general, steaming is straightforward as the Panarello wand does most of the work. If you are making a milk based drink, it is highly recommended that you froth the milk first before you brew the coffee, because it takes time for the bubbly froth to settle down.
In conclusion, the De’Longhi EC155 consistently pulls great espresso with just a few drawbacks that may be under looked. If you are a first-time buyer, with a low budget, and want to get your hands on an espresso machine, then you would be pleased with the EC155, the best affordable espresso machine. However, if you want coffee-shop drinks likes Lattes, then this isn’t the best option. Cleaning is a hassle, and there are a few design features that are a bit annoying. Overall, this espresso machine is the best bang for your buck and you will be very well pleased with each espresso shot.
Rancilio Silvia: Best Value Espresso Machine
When we seek to make a big purchase, we always question, “what’s the value in this?” When looking for value, one thing we always make sure is durability. Will it last us a long time? Well, Rancilio, an Italian espresso machine manufacturing company, has figured it out how to bring that value to our kitchen with this powerhouse, named Silvia. The Rancilio Silvia is the complete bang for your buck. This is the best value espresso machine for the money you will get in a semi-automatic espresso maker.
The industrial design highlights the power of this beast. The iron frame and side panels are made from stainless steel. Rancilio is known for their quality commercial espresso machines. Such commercial grade elements come stock with this beast of an espresso machine. The quality group head is designed to deliver premium extraction of flavor and exceptional heat stability. Moreover, the portafilter is quite amazing as its very similar to the one found in commercial espresso makers. The impressive brass boiler on the Silvia Espresso provides super steaming power and fast recovery times between each shot. This espresso machine also comes equipped with a commercially designed steam known and an articulating steam wand, capable of a full range of motion when steaming milk. The Rancilio Silvia also comes with two filter baskets (double and single shots), plastic tampers, and coffee scoops.
The secret to making the perfect espresso every time with the Rancilio Silvia is quite simple. First off, you will need an excellent consistent espresso grinder as this one is not equipped with one. You will also need to develop some skills on frothing milk as the power on this steam wand is quite high. Moreover, you will also need to understand how this best value espresso machine works with different temperatures for different functions. The last thing to note, this espresso machine has a vibratory pump that has pressure waves which do not work well with a naked portafilter. If you do not neglect any of the above information, then you will make excellent espresso shots every time.
In conclusion, the Rancilio Silvia Espresso machine is not meant for a beginner who is looking to just simply press a button and be served with an excellent espresso. There is a bit of a learning curve to this one. This espresso machine, a well built single boiler machine, features a full-size commercial portafilter and a steam wand that requires a bit of skill to use. Those coffee lovers who are willing to invest time and money into producing a quality cup of coffee will love this best value espresso machine . In short, the Rancilio Silvia Espresso is sturdy and the espresso is simply, yummy!
De’Longhi America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine: Best Rated Home Espresso Machine
This De’Longhi America is on the list of top 10 best espresso machines for its ease of use and quality performance. This espresso machine is a compact pod machine. In other words, if you are looking for an espresso machine that takes in coffee grinds, this one is not for you. However, if you are in the market for a quality pod machine that comes packed with an automatic milk frother. This espresso machine does not require wands to achieve frothy toppings. One touch of a button and you are on your way to great tasting, top quality cappuccinos, latte macchiatos and babyccinos. The Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine is the best rated home espresso machine on the list.
By examining its design, you can really notice the subtle emphasis on the built quality of this unit. From brushed aluminum finish to the metal drip tray and the drop-down espresso cup support, the America Lattissima Pro truly makes its stand. The hot water spout, used during descaling, is nicely hidden in the side door of the machine. The Lattissima Pro allows you to personalize your coffee drinks by varying the amount of milk, froth, and coffee via the digital display. Its features have thoughtfully considered. With an internal bin for the pods, you do not have to empty it out after every drink.
Making your coffee drink with the Nespresso Lattissima Pro is quite simple. All you have to do is switch on the machine, insert a pod, close the lever to hold it in place and attach the milk carafe before choosing your desired drink via display monitor. Furthermore, You are not limited to a cup size as the cup platform isn’t restricted by any obstacles, unlike some of the espresso machines on our line of recommendation. The touchscreen menu is simple to use and has features that allow you to descale and rinse with ease.
Overall, the DeLonghi Lattissima Pro is one of the best coffee makers of 2018. The 19 bar of pressure produces a velvety, aromatic crema from our Crus Pods. Although this is an espresso machine that only takes in pods, the coffee produced is excellent and not too different from freshly ground beans. The milk froth is always consistent at maximum strength.