Best Espresso Machines Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Sometimes all you really want is a good cup of coffee, and other mornings you find yourself needing something just a little bit stronger. While under doing the water, or even just letting the hot coffee pot sit on the warmer till the water evaporates down can make a lot stronger of a cup, maybe there is something a bit easier. Espressos are quite a bit more caffeinated and they take the same amount of time to make as a cup of coffee, so rather than trying to thicken that stuff to sludge, why not get a good Espresso machine? But how can you know which one to get with so many types and brands on the market? Well, that is where we come in to help, and you do not even need to leave the house and try to take on the world first!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research
10 Best Espresso Machines
1. Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop
Not dishwasher safe
There are few people who seem to know espresso the way the Italians do, which makes sense as they invented it. We scanned high and low to bring you some of the best available at this one is no exception. If you are looking for a simple way to make coffee just check out this little gem.
A lot of the espresso makers we found only came in one or two sizes, but this brand had five options. They range from a single cup to a twelve-cup maker. Of course, these are the espresso cups which are two ounces compared to the normal coffee cups that most of us are used to that are eight ounces. That does not detract from the awesomeness that is the traditional style espresso these pots are capable of.
Two Year Warranty
While a lot of these style mechanics are on the delicate side most still do not come with a form of warranty. Luckily Bialetti has been in business for over 80 years and has enough faith in their product to give a two-year warranty against malfunction and failure as long as you follow the easy-care instructions that come with the product. This is something you need to wash by hand and dry thoroughly. Think of treating it much like you would cast iron and you shouldn’t have any issues.
Cost and Value
This is one of the lowest priced machines on our list which kind of surprised us. Pleasantly it is also one of the only stove top versions which is nice for the people who prefer to go more old school in their espresso approach. Taking in to account the fact that it had multiple size and color options available and a two-year warranty we think this is a fantastic value. If you are looking for something that won’t leave a footprint and is well priced even for the larger sizes this may just be what you are looking for.
2. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
Easy to fill the water reservoir
One touch control Panel
Auto turn off
Needs to be cleaned regularly
If you are looking for a name that you know, then we have found one for you. Mr. Coffee is well known for their coffee machines the world around and they have updated their standard to come out with this little gem. If you like the option of coffee, espresso, or a cappuccino in the morning this may well be what you are looking for. It may take you a little TLC to get it where you want performance wise, but it seems well worth the effort.
Automatically Froths Milk
Most of the espresso machines that we found focused solely on the espresso itself with few or no other options. This one, however, will even froth your milk automatically into your latte and cappuccino options. Just fill the milk reservoir and your all set. A nice option for those of us that can’t quite handle pure espresso.
Removable Water Reservoir
You can easily keep the water filled in this machine. Just remove it from the maker and fill it to the line, at which point you are ready to make your choice of liquid concoctions. Filtered water is suggested but you can use tap water as long as it isn’t hard, so it won’t clog up your system. There is a way to delime your machine if you do end up with an issue, but it is an easy fix and takes little time.
Cost and Value
The cost of this machine is on the higher end but by no stretch the most expensive one we found. It includes all the things needed for not only espresso but lattes and even regular coffee if that is your preference. You also don’t want to forget the cappuccino. All in all, with everything this does and including the easy functionality and variations it seems a good value for your money. If you just want espresso there are other options out there but if you want till fill the desire of your hidden barista this will get the job done.
3. Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-IQ
Size options included
Brew type options
Intelligent warming plate
Must be cleaned often
Coming in at number four on our list is the Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-IQ. It has lots of features we just loved and makes a great tasting coffee to boot. Thermal technology is something that that is apparently very important when it comes to any espresso-based drink. Check out what all we found when we checked it out below.
Most people understand the concept of hard water, and what it can do to your pipes and skin. What we found out was that it can also affect how your coffee not only tastes but how your coffee maker works. There are specific instructions on the best way to make sure your water system stays nice and clean so at least you will not have to fly blind. A nice touch if you ask us.
This lovely piece of machinery comes with a limited one-year warranty. Basically, that means that if something goes wrong and it isn’t caused by you throwing the carafe around then they will work with you on it and try correcting it. The important thing to remember when getting a product like this is that you can always buy a protection plan on top of what the manufacturer supplies. Equipment like this tends to be a tad on the fragile side so keep that in mind.
Cost and Value
Once again, we are on the lower price range for this type of appliance. That in no way effects the quality of the product simply the overall cost and what you get for the price. This comes with 6 selectable sizes from a single cup to a full carafe which is a nice feature. You can choose from various types of brewing based on your flavor preference and it has a built in frother to whisk your milk into that creamy smoothness we all love. Overall for the cost and the warranty we think this is a good deal.
4. Breville BES870XL Barista
Sometimes we all crave a thing that just seems extravagant or at least makes us feel like it is. If this sounds like you than the Breville BES870XL Barista is just what you are looking for. This machine is almost as fancy as the ones you find in a coffee café. In fact, it is a model that has been used in restaurants all over. If quality is what you are looking for, read what we had to say below.
A lot of the machines we looked at had various bells and whistles but surprisingly not all of them had their own coffee bean grinder. This simple option allows you to find your favorite flavor and roast of fresh coffee beans and use them in your machine. You can keep the whole beans in your freezer for freshness and just add in what you need when you want to make that ultimate cup of java goodness.
We looked high and low and were surprised to find how few of these style machines had a tray to catch oopsies. This little appliance managed to find a way to place a shallow catch all so if you make a spill whether it is wet or dry and all you have to do is pull it up and rinse it over the sink then place it back. Simple and easy to maintain it is simply a nice way to keep things tidy.
Cost and Value
This is a bit on the pricey side, but we found a lot of the higher quality espresso machines are. The overall quality of what you get from this machine seems to be well established on the high end, what you are looking for when you want to make the special coffees so many of us are fond of. You are not stuck buying all kinds of expensive accessories either which is a nice change from some of the other options out there. The fact that it has a manual and an automatic setting can be a useful tool as well as not all of us are really meant to be Baristas. Cup for cup, this is a nice investment if you are looking for something that will allow you to get fancy for your taste buds.
5. DeLonghi Magnifica
Programmable menu settings
Complicated to work/clean
Weak or strong, weak or hot this machine by DeLonghi has a little something for everyone. When we checked it out we were impressed and slightly nervous by all the gadgets we found on it. However, after some ample instructional reading and a bit of trial and error, we think this may be what the coffee virtuoso would look for.
The coffee spigot on this gizmo allows you to adjust for any height cup from a classic espresso shot to a full-size tall mug. This is a great feature and the cup tray will either warm it up before you add your coffee or keep it warm for you in between which is also a nice addition. We thought this was a nice addition to the machine.
Automatic Shut off
We were pleased to find that this particular model comes with an automatic three hour shut off. Some of the models we check out were completely reliant on the operator to do all the little things but not this one. There is also a water level indicator, so you know when it needs to be refilled. In our opinion another nifty contrivance.
Cost and Value
Coming in at number five on our list the DeLonghi is certainly not cheap. That said however every dollar is spent on a function or quality control issue that potentially makes this one of the best out there. On top of that, there is a 2-year warranty against manufacturer defect that the company is more than happy to work with you on. Over all even though this costs a pretty penny it seems like you are paying for what you get.
6. Unique Imports
Up to 20 ounces of espresso
If you are looking for a smaller than average footprint and a decent price you may just be looking for the Unique Imports espresso machine. We certainly put it through its paces and found it to get the job done with minimal fuss. Read what else we had to say below and see what you think of all our hard work.
This particular device comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty. If you have any issues due to manufacturers defect just get in touch with them and they will be happy to help you. They will usually walk you through a simple fix but if needed they will replace the unit for you. Not a bad deal.
Twenty ounces of Espresso
The standard espresso maker will stop off at two ounces or make a double, which entails 2 two-ounce glasses. This one will make you up to twenty ounces in one setting though, which means you can either serve a group of ten or have one mega cup of caffeine up and ready to get. If your car won’t get you to work twenty ounces of espresso will.
Cost and Value
At the low end of the cost scale, this little machine seems to be well worth what you spend to get it. It doesn’t require any type of high-end coffee to get a decent result and with the built-in milk frother, you can go for that cappuccino or latte if you prefer. If you add in the smaller than normal footprint and the one-year warranty that is included this seems like one of those deals that is hard to beat.
7. EspressoWorks Barista Bundle
A lot of parts
If you are looking for an all in one bundle look no further than the EspressoWorks Barista Bundle. It comes with everything you need for a great cup of joe minus the coffee beans. It brews, it steams, it well it makes great espresso and cappuccino. If you like something that does it all without the higher cost this is worth a look.
All parts included
This all in one is true to name. You get the grinder for your bean of choice, the removable water tank, built in steamer, a single or double shot basket portafilter, and even 2 ceramic espresso cups so you can share with a friend. No need to spend money on the extra parts when they all come with the set. Just bring the beans, water, and milk if needed and you are ready to go.
EspressoWorks guarantees that if your machines had issues within one year of the purchase date on your receipt they will repair or replace what is necessary for your satisfaction. They seem true to their word since, when they were contacted, they made a point to get back in touch as soon as possible which was a nice change.
Cost and Value
While this gizmo is not cheap it is as far from the high end of things as you can get and still expect such abundance. They include so many items that usually you would have to buy or plan around and their customer service can’t be beat. In our opinion, if you are looking for a great product and an awesome company to back it you can’t do better. Yes, it is a bit more than some other models but none of the others gives you so much for so little.
8. Keurig K-Café Single Serve
4 cup size options
Dishwasher safe frother
Can use with a travel mug
Only works with K-cups
Anyone who enjoys coffee has at one point or another seen or heard the name Keurig. We even have one here that we simply adore as it allows everyone to use their favorite blend of coffee without having to choke down a type someone else likes. When you want the personal touch, this is a great way to go. Read on down to see what else we had to say.
Dishwasher safe Frother
Many of the models of machines we researched were very specific when it came to not use a dishwasher on any part of the appliance. This one, however, had the magic words dishwasher safe, at least when it comes to the frother cup. This is the metal cup included in the kit you use to froth your milk for use in your various coffee drinks. Just settle the milk in the frother and follow the directions to make the perfect addition to your drink.
Another great feature of this mechanism is that it is extremely energy efficient. It not only had a programmable feature that allows you to set it to turn on or off as you desire, but it also will turn off automatically after two hours from the last brew to prevent overt energy usage and fire hazard. This is an especially nice safety feature if you are like most of us and are making your coffee to go.
Cost and Value
Cost wise this is on the lower end of the scale especially considering what you get in the kit. The one thing you need to consider is if you are looking for that true heavy espresso or not. This makes espresso like based drinks you will dream about but if you want that pungent and almost earthy thick true espresso you may not be able to get it here. There are ways to make a strong shot with this don’t get us wrong and we have the jitters to prove it, but when we look for versatility this is much more along the lines of what we want for the price.
9. Flair Manual Press
Extremely fresh espresso
All done by hand
Not dishwasher safe
If you are someone who really enjoys putting heart and soul into your espresso have, we got a treat for you. Most people would say that making espresso on your stovetop is the most old-fashioned way, but we dug around until we found a process even we didn’t expect. If you don’t mind a bit of elbow grease and you are a bit of a food purist this may be just what the doctor ordered.
We were curious when we found an espresso maker that was not only considered portable but comes with a carrying case. This espresso press and all its accouterments come with a special padded case that you can use to take it with you on the go. Whether you are bringing it with you to the office or away on vacation you won’t have to worry about losing out on your favorite brew.
Flair is so certain you will love their product that it comes with a five-year warranty. If it fails you for any reason or there is some part that is defective they will offer you numerous options to repair, replace, or otherwise satisfy you with their product. As we always say you have to love a company that stands behind their product.
Cost and Value
This is by far not the most expensive machine on our list. Coming in at number nine is a food and drink purists dream. This hand press is indeed quite the invention and seems to be very popular. It doesn’t require any form of electricity or batteries and seems extremely durable to use. Fairly easy to use and clean and with that great five-year warranty if this is your kind of product we say go for it.
10. Mueller Austria
Lifetime replacement Guarantee
Ultra-fast heat up
Only works with Nespresso Capsules
If you are looking for premium Italian style espresso at an affordable cost, we might have found it. Mueller a long-time name in American kitchens has come up with a nice little espresso machine that does everything you could want and then some. If you want something that will get the job done check out our review and see if this is what you are looking for.
100% 2-year Warranty
If anything goes wrong with this little gem Mueller had devised a 100% two-year warranty against any type of mechanical failure. Not only that but they also have a lifetime replacement guarantee so if anything goes wrong at any point you get a no hassle replacement. We can’t stress enough how much we appreciate this kind of attention as a consumer.
Ultra-Fast Heat-Up system
Most espresso machines guarantee a fast cup of magic. However, after all our searching this one is by far the quickest automatic maker we found. Turn it on and in about 25 seconds you can get a hot cup of coffee ready to drink. It also saves you on power due to automatically going into energy saving mode and turning off within about 10 minutes of nonuse.
Cost and Value
Although this one is listed last on our list it is definitely higher than that in our estimation of worth. The price is great, the machine works well brewing great coffee every time and it only takes up a small footprint on your kitchen counter. When you add the quality this consistently puts out with the companies guarantees we don’t think you can do much better. You won’t break your wallet and you can still drink like a king or queen.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
As always, this is one of the first things we look at when considering a product. When it comes to anything you purchase, you want to know it will last. When it comes to our morning brew, this can be an extremely important aspect of your decision to buy. One of the biggest things you can do to assure that your purchase is going to last as expected is to make sure when you purchase it you are buying from a known and respected company or seller. Many of these products are imports and assuring that what you think you are buying and what you are actually getting is the same thing is a big part of this. When we built this list, we based our choices on the actual product and not knock off copies.
Like most things purchased online, it is hard to tell from a picture whether what is being sold is actually what is claimed. However, when you do get the product, you can check for the ISP and look for where it was manufactured compared to who and where it was supposed to come from. Most online places will help you with returns if you report a counterfeit and will want to know who sold it, so always keep your receipt information and all correspondence. When you get something that is falsely being sold as another product it can end up not being as durable and quality assurance is not there either. Always be cautious when the item is used to make any sort of food-especially cooked or that requires water since you never know the lead content that might be in the material or other known health hazards.
Ease of Use
Based on the actual machines, we chose those products whose use was easy to understand and did not take an expert to make your daily dose of caffeine. With espresso, the only real difference is in the time it takes and the pressure of the production. Espresso is a heavily condensed version of coffee so in making a cup it shouldn’t really be more difficult than using a coffee maker of the same style. We felt all of the machines were easy to understand and they come with instructions or were self-explanatory to start with and not a lot of effort had to go into setting them up before use. Always clean first though- as with anything your edibles will be coming from.
Coffee is an important start for many people’s days, so we took this into careful consideration. Only the products that could give you quality cups of coffee were put onto our lists, so we could make sure that you got every last penny-worth out of your morning cup. While some of these were rather expensive, the fact they were either imported or that they could change up what you made gave a great deal of them their value. The ease of use and the fact they last gives them even more value. Many of these are from trusted names as well, so you know when you wake up you can get that perfect cup every time instead of wondering if you’ll need to go out and get a new product in only a months’ time. We feel that each one of these machines definitely earns what it goes for.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Many people buy a coffee machine and expect that all they have to do, no matter the type of coffee they make, is to add the right grinds and water. This isn’t true for some though. When using purified water, such as bottled water, you may not have to do more than that, but if you use tap water it is often treated with certain chemical compounds to clean it and may be what is known as ‘hard’ water. What this means is you will have to clean certain espresso or coffee makers regularly to keep lime and other substances from building up and destroying your product.
If you want to avoid this issue, you may want to check which products this is going to effect before making your purchase. If you don’t mind the hassle, though, but don’t know how to clean these products, we have sources below to check out that can walk you through the steps. Be sure to look over and follow the directions fully, not doing so can cause several health concerns in the end.
As odd as it sounds, brewing the perfect cup of coffee or espresso can be more complicated than you think! During our research, we found out that many of our morning brews might have been less than optimal for our taste buds. What temp water you put in can have a big part in just how good our morning coffee is. Ever heard to start with cold water? We have- and that can make your coffee ‘flat’ according to several sources. Also, what temp your machine brews at can play a huge part in the flavor- and for an espresso machine, this is even more true!
Espresso should be brewed at a range between 195 and 210 to really be done as it was meant. If the machine does it at too high or too low, it can cause your espresso to not actually be espresso and it will taste awful when you drink it. With that in mind, we tried to assure that our choices worked properly.
Did you know that the main differences between coffee, espresso, latte, and cappuccino is caffeine content and what is added to it after or during? They are all coffee, just made at different temps and under different levels of pressure to get stronger or weaker flavor out of the grinds. This means that any argument over it is really in the taste. This is also why espresso is traditionally served in smaller cups- the amount of water to coffee is less, and so there is more caffeine in less serving size.
Before getting excited and deciding to just make bigger cups, what you should know is that any style of coffee should be regulated in how much you drink. This is due to the caffeine content and the fact that it is a stimulant. While you may think that making a taller glass of espresso is a great idea, for the energy alone, you may want to consider your health before jumping into such a thing. There is a reason that the energy shots are only given in small doses after all. The effects of too much caffeine can be devastating.
However, before you get scared and think that caffeine if used appropriately, is bad for you, let us assure you that it has even more benefits than you likely realize. If taken in appropriate doses caffeine not only gives you an energy boost but is actually really good for your digestive system. It can help some to regulate their body the same way some other health foods do. It can also help many to alleviate consistent headaches or migraines. In fact, it is recommended to patients with certain types of health conditions, such as Chiari, to help getting them through the day and to boost the effects of some medications. It can even help prevent certain types of diabetes if drank appropriately.
As with anything though, overdoing it does come with risks. People with heart issues should likely avoid it as well as some people who suffer from anxiety. Like any other superficial energy source, it can cause the heart to pump faster and cause damage.
Other Factors to Consider
While not all of these machines offer to make more than espresso, many of them do. The versatility came with not just the products themselves, but in knowing everyone has a different taste, and perhaps a different way they prefer their espresso to be produced. In order to make sure we covered all grounds (no pun intended), we put the best brewers we could find from every way of making a cup that we could! We feel that by remaining open to the different methods we can bring the best to everyone and not just a select few. Of course, it is always nice to know you can pick between your types of coffee, so adding the combo machines only seemed natural!
This is surprisingly important. What your cup of espresso brews at can determine just how enjoyable it is. Following directions plays an important part in this, as the temperature of the starting water source can have a drastic effect on the flavor. This is also why we look at the machines themselves, because some brew at a higher temp, and others at a lower range. Knowing that they produce your espresso at the right temp is what we wanted to know, so we looked at the end temperature to make sure that what it held your cup at is just right.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What size is a traditional espresso serving?
1-2oz cup is the intended original serving size for espresso. A 2 oz cup of espresso is nearly the equivalent of an 8 oz cup of a normal cup of black coffee.
q: What types of espresso machines require cleaning from tap water?
All of the espresso machines will tell you how to care for them in their owner’s manuals. It is actually recommended for all coffee and espresso machines but builds quicker in stove top and kettle style makers. Always check the owner’s manual before doing this, however, since your warranty may have stipulations on how you clean it and might be voided if you don’t follow the instructions and it ends up broken or unusable because of it.