What Espresso Machine To Buy
This fancy-looking semi-automatic espresso machine comes in at under $1,000 and includes a built-in grinder and steam wand for frothing milk. We found it easy to use and adjust based on your preferences. Choose from eight grind sizes to perfect your ideal shot of espresso, then select single espresso, double espresso or Americano (Keep in mind there may be an initial learning curve to determine which grind is right for your ideal shot). It also dispenses hot water for tea.
what espresso machine to buy
The La Specialista Prestigio has a built-in tamping mechanism, which helps pack your grounds perfectly. A pressure gauge helps ensure you selected the right grind and you're pulling the perfect shot. We loved the espresso it produced; it was full-bodied with thin, silky crema. A knock box for used grounds can be bought separately, which we found very useful when making espresso after espresso. Overall, we also found this espresso machine to be easy to clean.
At around $200, The Café TS Touchscreen Espresso Machine is more affordable than other espresso machines on the market and performed well in our Lab testing. The machine pre-infuses espresso grinds with water to saturate them before brewing. In our tests, this led to smooth extraction and a lot of crema on top of the shot of espresso. We found this model easy to use with nice-to-have features like a detachable water tank and a warming plate on top to warm up your mug before pulling shots or keep your drink warm while you make a second.
This model offers an easy-to-navigate touchscreen with one-shot, two-shot, hot water and steam options. Measure out your ground espresso with the included scoop to ensure that you pull a great shot each time. While this machine offers a steaming wand to whip up your favorite coffee shop beverage, you will need to purchase a steaming pitcher for whipping up frothed milk.
Like other Breville espresso makers, this model comes with two single and two double-walled filters. The double-walled filters are great for producing a thick layer of crema even with older espresso beans or pre-ground coffee. We recommend playing around with the settings, starting with the defaults and then tweaking as you go to create your perfect espresso. All parts are easy to wash and wipe down and in our tests, we were especially impressed with how quickly the system heated up compared to other models.
In our tests, every cup of espresso and coffee came out hot and well-rounded with a luxurious crema. We also like that the position of the water tank can be moved around to accommodate your counter space. Another noteworthy perk is that Nespresso recycles used pods if you send them back to the company, and the brand's newest Vertuo machine is made with 54% recycled plastic. Finally, you can't beat the price, and it requires barely any cleanup.
The Café Affetto is a sleek, design-forward and compact model with Wi-Fi connectivity. Compared to other semi-automatic espresso makers on the market, this machine doesn't take up too much space on your countertop. This smart espresso maker connects with the SmartHQ app to help you customize the temperature and grind dosage for your desired strength. The top of this model has a sleek touchscreen control panel with the following settings: espresso, americano, my cup or hot water. "My cup" is automatically set to ristretto, but you can change it to your favorite coffee drink in the SmartHQ app. In our tests, this machine produced a really beautiful espresso that was silky with a golden brown crema.
The water reservoir and hopper are hidden for a sleeker look. The milk frother tilts to the side so you can froth easily into the included pitcher and operates with a steam button that responds relatively quickly. In our tests, milk heated quickly and foamed nicely. We also appreciate that the frothing pitcher has measurement markings which is not common. You can also remove the milk frothing wand for easy cleaning and the entire exterior is easy to wipe down without extra knobs or buttons. Take note that the brand recommends not using dark roast coffee beans in the machine because they tend to contain more oils that can adhere to the machine's components and potentially cause damage.
This super-automatic espresso maker grinds your beans and turns out excellent, hot espresso with a thin but creamy crema. Our experts were particularly impressed with the unique milk hopper and frothing capabilities: It's easy to fill, attach, detach and clean. When you choose a drink that incorporates milk, the machine indicates the frother setting and gives you time to select it from three options before frothing begins. It also reminds you to run the cleaning stage for the milk container.
This innovative espresso machine earned a 2022 Good Housekeeping Coffee Award and helps you pull a perfect shot of espresso each time. Instead of pulling out your kitchen scale or simply guessing if you ground the right amount of espresso, this model utilizes a smart dosing technology that automatically weighs and dispenses the correct amount of ground coffee each time. Easily tamp down your coffee grounds with a press of the lever located on the left side for a consistent extraction. In our testing, this model produced dark, rich shots of espresso with a thick layer of crema on top. The milk frothing wand also excelled in tests producing a thick layer of froth on top of steamed milk.
This super-automatic espresso machine from Philips has a large, intuitive touchscreen control panel that makes it easy to select and brew drinks. It grinds whole beans for five different drink presets: espresso, cappuccino and latte macchiato as well as black coffee and Americano. Our testers found the drinks flavorful but light-bodied and were especially impressed with the cappuccinos and lattes.
It has a removable, dishwasher-safe milk hopper rather than a wand, so frothing milk is simple, hands-free and easy to clean up. This model also includes a water hardness test strip so that you can adjust the system based on your water's hardness level. An AquaClean filter reduces water hardness and prevents the build-up of limescale in your machine to ensure that each cup of espresso is excellent.
For our guide to the best espresso machines, we looked at semi-automatic machines as well as manual and fully automated pod-based devices that are made for home use. In order to find the best for most people, we consulted a handful of experts and baristas, conducted extensive testing, and held multiple taste tests. When you choose your machine, considering adding a set of the best espresso cups or one of the best tampers to your collection.
If you're just starting out, this is about as basic as espresso machines get without compromising quality. There are three buttons with corresponding lights (letting you know when the machine is primed) and a steam valve. The fact that there's no room for adjusting can seem a bit limiting at first, but fewer variables are a good thing for the budding barista.
It's a single-boiler model, which means it's going to take a while to switch between pulling shots and priming the steam wand (although this shouldn't be a problem if you're only making a few drinks at once). And while Gaggia claims that this machine puts out 15 bars of pressure, you really only need six to nine to achieve espresso.
In our quest to find the very best espresso machine with a built-in grinder, we've run tests of most of Breville's espresso machines. While the Barista Express Impress may not be the fastest or most feature-equipped, it is the first machine you can operate from start to finish with one lone hand, mess-free.
The Express Impress also comes with all of the features and accessories you'll find in any Breville machine: 15 bars of pressure (you only really need nine), a 67-ounce water tank (enough for a week's worth of espresso), a convenient water spout, a half-pound sealed bean hopper, a steaming wand, a frothing pitcher, two double-walled and two pressurized portafilter baskets (a single- and double-shot size of each), and the Razor leveling tool. You'll also find a brush with a clog-clearing pin and some descaling tablets.
There isn't another machine that is as easy to operate one-handed or mess free. You'd have a hard time finding all of the quality features in this package tidily wrapped in stainless steel, ready to adorn any countertop in style.Read our full review of the Breville Barista Pro espresso machine, where we compare it with the Express Impress.
What we like about General Electric's Café over the half-dozen other automatic machines we've tried is that it's significantly cheaper, about half the size, and makes something much more akin to true espresso.
You're not going to get the best grind with the Café's built-in grinder, but you can still use the freshly roasted beans of your choice and get a shot of espresso (or something close to it) at the push of a button. Two standout features that make this one of the best espresso machines we've tried are the options for an Americano (or long black) and a custom "my cup" setting.
We frothed both whole milk and almond milk and noted that the frother worked every bit as well as those on most semi-automatic machines. We also like that the wand is removable and washable. Oftentimes, automatic machines will have a milk pitcher and hoses that you insert into the machine. This keeps everything very tidy and behind the scenes, but it's too easy to forget the milk when it's out of sight and end up with a rancid mess. This much more traditional layout where the frother is directly attached to the body is far more error-proof.
Just know this before buying: using the Flair is slightly more time-consuming than making espresso with a machine by about two minutes. And, you'll still need a grinder. Again, though, if time is a real constraint, you may want to look to pod machines, or perhaps the Breville Barista Pro, which offers a relatively quicker shot. 041b061a72