|1. Bialetti||2. De’Longhi||3. Mr. Coffee|
Who doesn’t enjoy a strong espresso early in the morning? Sometimes even a single whiff from the cup is enough to wake you up and get the energy flowing.
Considering the effort that goes into making it to a coffee shop and waiting in lines, few would deny the comfort of getting a strong espresso with the effortless press of a button. However, finding the best espresso machine for yourself can be quite a dreadful task, given the countless gears available in the market.
You may find that the price alone won’t help you buy better. You need to know more about the machine to buy the best. Worry not, this guide would help to get the best quality espresso machine and would enlighten a thing or two about how this espresso works.
Are Coffee Machines And Espresso Machines Different?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions and many people end up making wrong decisions when they fail to understand the answer for the same. You cannot make espresso using a coffee maker, because coffee and espresso aren’t the same.
Coffee, as in filter coffee and espresso may contain the same base ingredients, but the concentration of each ingredient varies and that brings about the difference.
The caffeine content in espresso is way higher than that present in coffee, even though both are made from coffee beans. The former is much creamier and thicker. Obtained as shots from the machine, espresso can be consumed as it is or can be used as a base ingredient to make latte, cappuccino or macchiato.
The espresso is characterized by three layers known as the heart, body, and crema. Deep brown in color, the heart forms the bottom layer of the espresso and is bitter in taste. The body forms the middle layer and has the color of a freshly prepared caramel sauce. Crema forms the layer that is at the top and is responsible for that alluring aroma.
The process of brewing makes the two machines different. While grinding, the espresso machine has a very fine grinding process. Whereas in the case of a coffee machine, the coffee beans are coarse and have a comparatively thick grind.
Since the grind of the espresso machine is very fine, the brewing process takes only 30 seconds. In the case of a coffee machine, it can go up to 10 minutes owing to the larger grind.
If you are an ardent fan of coffee, then an espresso machine would be great for you. If you are looking for the kick of caffeine and want to have a rich taste each time you take a sip, then without a doubt go for the espresso maker. The coffee from a coffee maker is comparatively weak and would not be able to satisfy your caffeine hunger.
The History Behind The Espresso Machine
The main motive behind the invention of the espresso machine was to reduce the brewing time and serve a large number of customers. Without the espresso machine, you would have to wait about five to seven minutes to get a shot glass of espresso. It was in the year 1884 that the first patented design of the espresso machine came out in the markets.
The mastermind behind the invention was Angelo Moriondo. But the machine itself was bulky. Thus, by 1905, the market of Milan witnessed the much smaller espresso machine made by Luigi Bezzera.
Factors To Consider When Buying An Espresso Machine
Commercially available espresso machines are mainly used in households and small cafes. Normally, fast food chains develop high power espresso machines either from the makers or by themselves. Here are some of the factors to look for when buying an espresso machine for your home.
If you intend to buy the best espresso machine, the important factor to look upon is the durability. Some espresso machines can work all day without getting heated up or malfunctioning. These machines are commonly employed in cafes. Normally espresso machines designed for households, cannot function all day long without getting heated up. Thus, if your caffeine intakes are high, then you would need to get a high-power machine.
Buying the cheapest machine available can result in improper brewing and you would not get the creaminess and that caffeine-rich smell of espresso. Also, these machines would work for very little time.
Another feature to look for is the capacity of the tank. Check how many glasses of espresso you can make in one brew. Also, have a check on the coffee bean container capacity. This can help you plan accordingly and fill before the machine runs out of coffee beans.
2. Type Of Grinding Employed
The commercially available espresso machine has two types of grinding: grinding the coffee beans using a separate grinder or using a built-in grinder. If the espresso machine comes without a built-in grinder, you would probably have to buy an external grinder to do the grinding process.
Built-in coffee grinders are usually found inexpensive, high power capacity espresso makers that are mostly employed in cafes. If you are an ardent fan of caffeine and hosts a lot of house parties, then you might need this espresso machine. As it is automatic, you just have to press the button and you get your shots without a mess.
Even in some built-in grinder espresso machines, you will have to transfer the ground coffee into the basket manually. If this step is essential, then that means your espresso machine isn’t completely automatic. You can find machines that do this job for you. These machines are super-automatic and are therefore the easiest and convenient one to use.
3. The Frother
Most espresso machines can also be used to make macchiatos, cappuccinos, and lattes which are in fact derived forms of the espresso coffee. If you are eyeing an all in one espresso machine, then make sure the machine has a frother. The frother makes froth out of the pasteurized milk and is essential for cappuccinos and lattes.
4. Water Storage Capacity
Commercially available espresso machines will have a minimum water capacity to make 8 standard cups of espresso. If you need to make more than that at a time, you have to buy a powerful espresso machine with a bigger water tank.
Some espresso machines will have a sprout opening that leads to the water tank. Thus, the opening is a small spout, you will have to purchase a funnel to easily fill the tank without creating a mess.
A high-end, powerful espresso machine can be directly connected to a water source, like a water dispenser. In order to use this type of espresso machine, you might have to make changes with your piping. So, find out the requirements and then buy the espresso machine. Usually, these kinds of espresso machines are found in commercial places like cafes and restaurants.
5. Ease Of Cleaning
Cleaning the espresso machine can be a daunting task. The ease of cleaning depends on how easy it is to disassemble and reassemble the parts of the machine. The machine must be frequently cleaned so as to maintain it as such and to get the optimum performance.
The parts such as the water receptacle, the frother (frothing equipment), the cups and the parts that are exposed to moisture and air. The parts must be dried thoroughly after cleaning and should be used only after the parts are free from moisture.
Always take care of the dishwashing soap or liquid you use to clean the espresso. If not rinsed properly, the soap, when mixed with the coffee beans, gives an awful taste that you surely won’t like your cup of espresso to have. Some parts can be washed in the dishwasher, but before you pop the parts in, make sure the brand you have chosen is dishwasher friendly.
6. Ease Of Storage
If you don’t use the espresso machine often, then you need to store it properly in order to maintain the machine. If you have opted for a large machine, you can probably say goodbye to compactness, and storage would be a problem as well. Popping it into the garage can be a dangerous thing to do. The machine might get destroyed either by rust or chances are that other things in the garage might fall on the top.
7. Aesthetic Appeal
When you buy an espresso machine for your home, it should suit your interiors and shouldn’t look clumsy. It should look good on the kitchen tabletop or even on your dining table. Thus, aesthetics is an important factor to look for. Nobody would like to have a clumsy, large box as an espresso machine.
The placement of the parts of the espresso machine does play a crucial role in the aesthetics of the machine. The placement of the spout, the length of the cord or cable and the color of the parts that are visible do have a role to play in the aesthetic appeal of the machine.
If the location of the pout is visible and is placed at an angle at which pouring is difficult, then you would need some time to pour the water into it and at the same time should be highly careful not to create a mess.
If the espresso machine is made of stainless- steel or has a metallic finish, while other appliances have a white and black touch, then the espresso machine will look like the odd one out. The espresso machine will look odd one out even if the reverse happens.
If the espresso machine has to be filled periodically, then a short cord would make the process dreadful. Thus, you might require a long cord. But a long, thick cord can make the machine look boring. So, a balance needs to be struck between the two factors.
8. The Drive Mechanism
You can find four different drive mechanisms in an espresso machine – steam-driven, piston-driven, pump-driven, or air-pump-driven. Varying the pressure given can affect the fineness of the grind and eventually alter the taste of the espresso. Thus, the type of drive mechanism is an important factor to look for when buying an espresso machine.
1. Piston Driven
This drive mechanism was patented in 1945. In a piston-driven espresso machine, the lever is the main component that is pumped with the help of the operator. This pumping of the lever helps to heat the water to the required temperature. The hot water is forced through the fine coffee grinds that were ground beforehand.
Making espresso in this type of machine can be termed as pulling a shot of espresso. This is because in order to get an espresso shot a long handle is to be pulled. Thus lever-driven espresso machines are classified as manual espresso machines.
The lever-driven espresso machines are further classified as manual piston and spring piston. In the case of a manual piston espresso machine, the water is pushed to the grounds by the lever using the operator. Whereas in the case of a spring-piston type, spring is tensioned by the operator, and this spring provides the pressure required to make the espresso.
The piston-driven espressos are one of the olden types of espresso machines and are still in use. You can find these types of espresso machines in cafes and restaurants. You can also find one for your kitchen as well, but due to the popularity and convenience provided by the automatic espresso machines, the piston-driven espresso machines are no longer the first choice for households.
The steam-driven espresso machine employs the pressure obtained from the steam to force the water to the coffee grinds. Steam-driven espresso machines were the first type of espresso machine to be introduced in the market.
The machine consists of a common boiler that was then connected to multiple group heads. In this way, more than one type of coffee could be made with the same machine at the same time. Even though it is one of the oldest designs, it is employed to make low-cost consumer espresso machines.
As the machine doesn’t contain any moving parts and doesn’t produce a very high pressure for the process of extraction, the quality of the espresso obtained would be comparatively lower than other types of espresso machines. This is because the quality of the crema, which is one of the main layers of the espresso is compromised.
The pump-driven design is the modified version of the piston-driven design. Instead of applying the force manually, a motor is employed to create the required pressure to drive the pump. The pump, in turn, produces the required force needed for the brewing of the espresso.
In the pump-driven espresso machine, the water can be either directly supplied from a dispenser or can be filled in the tank manually. The former is found in commercially used espresso machines while the latter is employed in low cost and low capacity commercial as well as domestic installations.
The pump-driven espresso machines are also known as the solenoid piston-driven espresso machine. This is because of the high pressure that has been employed by the motor-driven pump.
The pump-driven espresso machines are further classified into four types – Single Boiler, Single boiler/ double use, dual boiler and heat exchanger. The single boiler as the name suggests has a single boiler and can be used to brew only. You can’t steam using this type of boiler.
In the single boiler/ double use, a common boiler is used for two purposes. It can be used to heat the water to the required temperature needed for brewing or use the chamber to heat the water to the boiling point (100 degrees Celsius) for steaming the milk. But both the processes can’t be carried out simultaneously.
The heat exchanger model is a complicated type and is not widely used. In this model too there exists a single boiler. The boiler is maintained at the steaming temperature, while the water needed for the brewing process is made to pass through the heat exchanger.
The heat required is supplied in the form of steam from the main boiler. A cooling flush is employed to lower the temperature of the water further, so as to make it apt for the extraction of the coffee.
The dual boiler, as the name suggests employs two separate boilers (or heaters). This mechanism is usually found in high capacity commercially used machines. One boiler is used for brewing the espresso while the other chamber isn’t necessarily a boiler but a thermoblock. The thermoblock is employed to heat the brewed water at the steaming temperature.
4. Air-pump Driven
The air-pump design is the most recent drive mechanism employed in the espresso machines. The design employs pressure to compress the air. This compressed air is further used to force the hot water to the coffee grinds.
The hot water is to be added externally from a kettle or either from a thermos flask. The compressed air generated with the help of an electric compressor. Some machines also employ NO2 or CO2 cartridges. You can also find a hand-pump compressor being employed as well.
The air-pump design has helped to reduce the size and increase the compactness of the espresso machine. The handheld and portable espresso machines use this technology. The design was first released commercially in the year 2005 and a slight variation was introduced in the year 2007.
9. The Type Of Automation
The espresso machines can be semi-automatic, automatic and super-automatic. In a semi-automatic espresso machine, a pump is used to deliver the water instead of using manual force. The brew pressure that is left in the basket is made to release through the three-way valve.
The automatic machines are capable of automating the brew volume and brew time. In order to achieve this, an in-line flow meter is embedded in the group head. The pump then allows the programmed quantity of water to flow through the meter.
Once the required quantity has been passed through the meter, the pump turns off automatically. The tamping and grinding processes are to be done manually.
The super-automatic machine is pure bliss. The tamping, grinding and the extraction process of the espresso – all is done automatically and doesn’t require any human intervention. The only thing you need to do is refill the coffee hopper regularly and connect the water inlet to a water dispenser. You can also buy super-automatic machines that have an automatic frother and dispenser.
The Top 20 Best Espresso Machines 2020
1. Bialetti 06799
This espresso pot isn’t exactly an espresso machine but is great for use at your home. The Moka pot has to be filled with water and coffee grind. It has to be placed over a gas stove. The brewing time required is around 5 to 6 minutes. Once you hear the gurgling sound, the coffee is ready to be served.
The Moka pot is made from aluminum and therefore heats up fast. It is easy to use as well as easy to store. Care must be taken to not use too fine coffee grind or too coarse coffee grind. Too fine grind can clog the pot and too coarse grind will make the coffee taste awful.
If you are to use this mocha pot, you have to be by the side of it until the coffee is made. A round of stirring is to be done at the end before serving in order to mix the layers of the coffee. The mocha pot is available in 12 different sizes (1 cup to 12 cups serving).
The coffee pot is ideal for daily use in your home but the main problem arises when you have to clean the pot. The cleaning process is tedious and has to be done by hand. Also, you can’t use the product on an induction stove. The conventional flame stove is needed and you would have to find burner attachments in order to fit the Moka pot.
If you are too lazy to make a coffee all by yourself in the morning, this isn’t for you. But if you are okay with making coffee and ready to wash the product by hand, then this Moka pot would be a perfect choice for you. The product is durable and handy as well.
2. De’Longhi EC155
This espresso machine can be used to make perfect latte and cappuccino each time, all thanks to the dual function filter. The self-priming feature reduces the time required for start-up preparation. So, you can use the machine as and when you switch on the machine.
The two separate thermostats used help to control the temperature of the steam and water at the same time. Thus, the espresso can be brewed easily at the required temperature. The espresso machine has a single boiler made of stainless steel and has a pressure of 15 bar.
If you don’t want to use the frother, you can simply close it by using the steam dial. Make sure the dial is fully closed else water would come out of the frother as well. The adjustable controls help you to customize your coffee and get the perfect taste you want, each time.
You can either use the ground coffee or use a coffee pod. At a time two to three pods can be used. The three in one filter holder can be used to make two espresso shots at the same time. Also, you can brew the next cup of espresso shot immediately after another, as the machine is maintained at an optimum temperature after each use.
The machine can be easily disassembled and cleaned. If you use coffee pods, the process becomes much easier. The water tank has to be filled regularly and cannot be directly connected to the water dispenser.
The main disadvantage of this product is that after a couple of months of use, the three-in-one filter often starts leaking. When this happens, you have to either replace the washers inside or completely replace the three-in-one filter. Another problem is the pump used might lose the capability to generate the force. If this happens, the pump has to be replaced.
3. Mr. Coffee
This espresso maker is of semi-automatic type and can be used to make espresso, latte, and cappuccino. The pump has a pressure capacity of 15 bar and helps to create a rich and creamy espresso each time.
The panel has controls to make different drinks and can also select if you want froth or not. The espresso machine has two reservoirs, one for water and another for milk. The reservoirs can be easily filled and can be removed easily as well for cleaning purposes. The froth tube has to be cleaned after each use, in order to get perfect froth each time. The machine will stop automatically once the brewing and foaming cycle ends.
You can either use coffee grinds or coffee pods. The usage of the latter makes the cleaning process much easier. The parts aren’t dishwasher friendly but can be easily washed with your hands. Even if the machine isn’t capable of brew-and-run, the quality of the drinks is unmatchable.
After a couple of months of use, you might face trouble brewing your espresso. Either the espresso won’t come at all or if it comes, it won’t taste good at all. In the first case, you would be hearing the sound of the pump working but it halts after a few minutes of operation.
Another problem you might face is the inconsistency in the temperature of the drink. Either it would come out very hot or at times perfectly. This problem starts to occur after regular use for six to seven months. You might also face problems with inconsistency in the quantity of the froth. Either it would be too little or too much.
4. Breville BES870XL
This espresso machine from Barista employs its patented dose grinding technology. Only the required amount of coffee is ground at a time. This makes the process faster and also helps to extract the richness from the coffee grind.
This espresso machine has an adjustable frother which has a swivel action. You can use any kind of milk to form the froth. The PID controllers effectively control the temperature of the water to deliver the perfect espresso with minimum brewing time. The machine takes up to 4 to 5 minutes to brew the espresso.
You can either use coarse coffee grind or coffee beans and the reservoir is easily visible. The controls help to control the number of coffee beans to be ground at an instance. You can also adjust the size of the filter accordingly.
The parts of the espresso machine can be easily disassembled but are not dishwasher friendly. Make sure you reassemble only when the parts are dry. The main problem you might face while using the espresso machine is the inconsistency of the grind.
Even when you use the same type of coffee beans, the grind appears to be different. After a couple of uses, you might also hear loud noises from the grinder. If this happens, contact the customer care immediately.
5. Keurig K-Cafe
This espresso machine can be used to brew iced latte, cappuccino, and a hot latte. You can also make normal coffee. The energy-efficient feature helps the machine to save energy as the machine automatically switches off two hours after the last brew. The heating and brewing take place in one step therefore you do not have to wait until the machine is warmed up.
The reservoir to store water can be easily removed and can hold up to six cups of water. The water level indicator indicates the remaining amount of water in the tank and notifies once the water in the tank runs out.
You can use any kind of milk – soy, almond, pasteurized or skimmed milk- to make the froth and the frother is completely dishwasher friendly. The mug clearance is about 6 inches with the drip tray in place and once it is removed the clearance increases to 7.2 inches.
As the parts of the espresso machine are completely dishwasher shaped, it can be disassembled and popped into the dishwasher. Make sure you do not reassemble when the parts are wet in case you go for hand washing.
After a couple of weeks, you might face a problem with the frother. Make sure you use the frother with the lid on. If this doesn’t work then contact the customer care as soon as possible. Another problem you might face will be with the brewing. You might at times receive cold coffee smelling water instead of a proper espresso. If this happens, reboot the machine and turn off the automatic-off feature.
This espresso machine comes with a carafe, so there is no chance of the coffee spilling over. You can either use coffee grinds or coffee pods in the filter. The latter would make the process of cleaning much easier and faster.
The frother arm can be swiveled up to an angle of 180 degrees and the thickness of the froth can be decided upon. The water reservoir can be easily filled by removing the cap on the top. Therefore, the cleaning process becomes much easier. Even though the reservoir can’t be removed, it can be easily cleaned.
The parts can be easily disassembled but are not dishwasher friendly. The machine is powerful enough and can brew the espresso in five to six minutes. Make sure you provide adequate warming up time for the machine before starting to brew your coffee. Also, use only pasteurized or skimmed milk to form the froth and consult with customer care if you want to use non-dairy milk.
It is recommended to use the carafe to collect the brewed espresso. You might face problems when you use other custom cups. Another problem you might face is with the frother. The frother takes time to stop even after the machine is switched off. This can be dangerous as the milk will be at high temperature and can cause burns.
7. Breville BNV220BLK1BUC1
This espresso machine from Breville can help you brew barista grade coffee within minutes at the comfort of your house. But you can only use the specially designed Nespresso Vertuo Capsule in the filter. You cannot use coffee pods or coffee grinds and would have to restock the capsules once it runs out. When you buy the espresso machine, you get 12 complimentary capsules along with it.
You can’t use this machine to make lattes or cappuccinos as there is no frother available. The design is simple and in order to make the espresso, all you have to do is drop in the capsule and fill the tank with water. Then switch on the machine and wait for the espresso to brew.
You will have to wait up to 15 seconds after switching on the machine and this is the warming up time required to prepare for the brewing process. You could easily remove the water reservoir from the machine but it isn’t dishwasher friendly.
The problem with the machine is that when the espresso comes it is medium hot or just warm, you won’t be able to get the piping hot coffee. Also, the espresso isn’t exactly the authentic espresso, it comes out like a whipped espresso, which might disappoint the real espresso lovers.
8. DeLonghi EC702
The DeLonghi espresso machine is of pump-driven types and the pump can create pressure up to 15 bars. The water reservoir has a capacity of 1.3 liters and as the tank is removable, it can be easily cleaned. The water level indicator indicates the remaining water in the reservoir and gives a warning signal once the level is below the minimum limit.
You can either use coffee pods or ground coffee in the filter. As the parts aren’t dishwasher friendly, it is recommended to use coffee pods to avoid the mess from ground coffee. The specially patented frother helps to make cappuccino and lattes all with the same machine.
The filter allows you to get two espresso shots at the same time. So, load the filter accordingly for your requirements. As the water and steam can be controlled separately using two different thermostats, you can get the perfect hot espresso just like the way you want it.
The non-drip design and quick warm-up feature ensure that you have a wonderful experience using the machine. The single stainless-steel boiler makes sure that the right temperature is maintained and you can control the setting with the controls provided on the front of the machine.
The main problem you might face while using the machine is the noise it produces during its operation. This espresso machine is a little louder than its counterparts. you might hear noises from the pump as well.
This is because there is no water left in the reservoir and you need to immediately turn off the machine once you hear the sound to prevent the damage of the pump and associated controls. If these disadvantages are kept apart, this is one of the best home espresso machines available in the market.
9. Breville BEC220BLK1AUC1
This espresso machine from Breville is an energy-efficient machine that turns off itself after nine minutes of inactivity. The warm-up time of 25 seconds is needed before the actual brewing can start. The machine itself is very handy and light in weight.
The cleaning process is very easy. The machine is best for making single-serve espresso and the machine can be easily disassembled and reassembled. In order to fill the water reservoir, you have to open the top cover of the machine.
The main disadvantage is that there is no indicator that indicates the water level and you will have to regularly check if there is a minimum water level in the reservoir.
You can only use the Nespresso special capsules in the filter and as a complimentary gift, you get 16 capsules along with the product. Thus, if the capsules run out, you can’t use ground coffee or coffee pods in the machine.
Even though the espresso machine is a mini machine, the pressure produced is about 19 bar which is comparatively higher than the counterparts. but the main problem is the inconsistency in the brewing of the espresso. Rich and creamy espresso isn’t granted, but you would be able to make a decent latte. For the price range, this espresso machine does its work and is therefore worth every penny.
10. Capresso 303.01
This espresso machine comes with a carafe that can hold up to four glasses of espresso, thus you can brew four cups of espresso at a time. The safety valve installed in the machine makes sure that the steam doesn’t escape.
The frother too works decently and therefore the machine can be used to make lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas. You can use dairy as well as non-dairy milk to produce the froth. The filter has just one spout and that is connected to the carafe. Make sure you do not use any other container to collect the espresso.
The filter can accept either fine grind coffee or coffee pods. As the parts aren’t dishwasher friendly, it is better to go for coffee pods to avoid creating the mess. This espresso machine is of single boiler type and therefore there are minimal controls to control the temperature of the steam and water.
You would encounter problems with the boiler after a couple of uses. You would be getting coffees that are warm and not piping hot. Also, the thickness of the froth cannot be controlled and there is inconsistency in the quantity of froth that comes out each time.
11. Wacaco Nanopresso
This is a portable espresso maker that requires no electricity or flame to work. You can brew your espresso manually. Up to 18 bars of pressure can be achieved with your hands and the brewing takes only 1 to 2 minutes.
The espresso maker is best for travelers and all you need is some fine grind coffee and boiling water to make your favorite espresso on the go. The Nanopresso comes with a mini brush to clean the filter after use. Make sure you only use fine grind coffee. If you use coarse grind coffee, the espresso won’t be rich in caffeine flavor and will lack the creaminess.
The parts of the Nanopresso can be easily disassembled and washed with cold to lukewarm water. As it is light in weight and at the same time durable, the Nanopresso can be easily carried along wherever you want.
After a couple of uses, you might face a problem with the washer of the holding cup. The cup might not close properly and if not taken care the hot water can fall into your hands causing burns.
12. Aicook 3.5Bar
This espresso maker from Aicook can be used to brew up to 4 cups of espresso at a time. The machine is of no-nonsense design and there are very few controls. Thus, you can easily operate the machine without much trouble.
You can either use coffee pods or ground coffee in the filter. The filter along with the nozzle can be easily detached but aren’t dishwasher friendly. The milk tube of the frother can also be removed by just twisting it. The milk reservoir can’t be removed from the place but you can fill the container without spilling the milk.
You can either use dairy milk or non-dairy milk. If you are into non-dairy milk, make sure that it is filtered of any insoluble particles before pouring into the milk reservoir.
Once you have made a batch of the espresso, make sure you don’t pour water into the tank immediately, instead wait for about 1 to 2 minutes. The lid of the espresso machine must not be opened while the espresso is brewing. This can lead to the escape of steam and the brewing might not happen properly.
The machine might start to show problems at the time of switching on and off. The frother won’t stop working even after the switch is turned off. So, make sure you keep your hands off from the frother even after switching off the machine.
13. Staresso Portable
This Staresso portable espresso machine can be used to brew espresso without the use of electricity or battery. The machine also comes with an option to froth skimmed milk; therefore you can make lattes and cappuccinos without wasting time for the coffee to brew.
In order to brew the coffee, you need to push the handle on the top of the espresso maker down with force. To make froth, you need to change the filter and add milk, then repeat the same procedure.
You can brew up to a medium glass of coffee at a time. If you want a hot brewed espresso, you need to add boiling hot water. You can also add ice-cold water to make iced lattes. You can either use the Nespresso pods or go for the ground coffee. Make sure the grind is not too fine.
The Staresso portable espresso machine must be used with utmost care. If too much pressure is exerted, the handle will break. Also, care must be taken while choosing the coffee grind. If the too fine coffee grind is chosen, the espresso will have the coffee grind and if the too coarse grind is used, the espresso will lack the authentic caffeine flavor, instead it would be watery.
14. Hamilton Beach 40792
Using this Hamilton Beach Espresso machine, you can easily make lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos at the comfort of your home. You can either use ground coffee or go for coffee pods. The latter would be the wise decision, as the filter won’t get clogged easily and no mess would be created.
A cup warmer is installed at the top of the espresso machine so that you can warm your cups until the espresso is ready. The slide and lock filter help to hold the filter in position without getting loose.
The parts can be easily detached and the filter is dishwasher friendly. All other parts have to wash in soapy water. Make sure you dry the parts before reassembling it. The pump attached to the motor can produce a pressure of 15 bar and this is enough to give the espresso a rich and creamy texture.
The main problem associated with this espresso maker is that it starts to leak after a few uses. The washers have to be constantly replaced without fail and there is no other way to curb the leakage. At times, the espresso that comes out will not be hot enough and would be just warm.
15. Breville BEC120RED1AUC1
Breville is a brand name when it comes to the espresso machine. This model doesn’t contain frother and therefore can’t be used to make lattes or cappuccinos. Once the machine is on, you have to wait up to 25 seconds before you can start the process of brewing. This is the warming up time required for the machine to fully start and be operational.
The water container is present at the back of the machine and the water level is clearly visible. In order to clean the water reservoir, you would probably have to use a damp cloth. The product comes with 16 espresso pods. The filter only accepts espresso pods specially made by the company itself. So, if you run out of these pods, you can’t use the normal coffee pods instead.
The serving of the espresso can be adjusted as there is a control for selecting the cup size. The drip is large enough to hold cups of any size.
The machine would seem to work perfectly for three to four months and after that, the controls to adjust the serving size won’t work consistently. If the smaller cup size is selected, then the quantity would be too less and if the larger cup size is selected, then the cup would overflow. After a while, the tank of the machine would start leaking. If this happens, then it is a sign that it is time to change the washer.
16. ChefWave Mini
This espresso maker from ChefWave can be used to make a rich and creamy espresso. As there is no frother, you can’t make cappuccino or a latte. You can select between two cup sizes (small and medium).
The water tank of the machine is situated at the back and can be easily removed. The parts of this espresso machine aren’t dishwasher friendly and therefore you will have to wash it using soapy water and then pat dry using a dry cloth. Unless and until the parts are dry, don’t reassemble it or try to use the machine.
The manufacturer provides a warranty of one year and if any manufacturing flaw is encountered while in operation, the company would replace it. The product comes with 40 pods of espresso coffee grind. You can’t use ground coffee or normal coffee pods in the machine. You will have to purchase the special pods for using the machine.
The main problem is that the machine is not sturdy enough. The tank has a hook on the mechanism and it seems flimsy. You might also encounter problems with the consistency of the quantity of the coffee served. Either it would be too less or it will overflow.
17. Krups XP3208
This espresso maker from Krups helps you get rich and creamy espresso each time. The frother helps you to make cappuccino as well as a latte. You can use any kind of milk to form the froth ( diary as well as non-dairy). Make sure you filter the milk before pouring it into the milk reservoir. If any insoluble impurities are present, it would clog the milk tube and would affect the operation of the frother.
The milk tube, the filter, the drip tray as well as the water reservoir can be easily detached, but these aren’t dishwasher friendly, so you would have to clean them using soapy water and then wash off with lukewarm water.
You can brew two cups of espresso at the same time and as the filter contains two spouts you can easily extract both the cups at the same time. Coffee pods, as well as coffee grinds, can be used in the filter, but the former is recommended as the cleaning process becomes much easier. It is advised to clean the frother after each use, in order to prevent the tube from clogging.
The product starts showing problems after a couple of uses. The brewer doesn’t work consistently and at times you might get coffee-flavored water instead of rich and creamy espresso.
If this happens, reboot the device and change the coffee grind and try again. Another problem is with the quantity of the espresso that comes out. Either the quantity would be too less that you might require to operate the machine two to three times just to get a cup. At times, the cup would overflow as well.
18. Bella 13683
The Bella personal Espresso maker is one of the best affordable espresso machines in the market and can be used to make professional, café-like espresso at home. The machine can also be used to make cappuccino and lattes. The carafe makes sure that the espresso won’t spill off and create a mess.
The product includes a measuring spoon that can be used to measure the amount of ground coffee needed for a cup of espresso. You can either use a coffee ground or go for coffee pods. The frother can be used to create creamy and fluffy froth each time. You can either use pasteurized milk or skimmed milk to produce the froth. If you are into non-dairy milk, then you can use soy milk to create the froth.
The parts of the espresso machine can be easily detached but aren’t dishwasher friendly. Always wash the milk tube soon after use to prevent clogging. Also, when the tube is left unattended after use, the milk gets dried and sticks onto the walls of the tube and would require a lot of effort to remove it.
As there is no pressure indicator, you won’t be able to determine when to open the top cap. If opened when the pressure is still high, it can cause serious accidents. So, it is wise to leave the machine alone for a couple of hours and then clean it.
19. Capresso EC100
Made from stainless steel, this espresso maker from Capresso is durable and at the same, it is easy to store. The machine can be used to make espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos. The frother is located on the right-hand side and therefore is easy to use. The swivel action of the frother makes it easy to rotate an angle of 180 degrees.
The frother is of a dual-type. For cappuccinos, you have to keep the frothing sleeve on and for lattes you can remove it to expose the milk tube. Make sure the milk tube is cleaned immediately after each use.
The two spouts in the filter help to brew two cups at the same time, but both cups would be of the same drink. You can either use coffee pods or ground coffee in the filter. The machine parts can be easily detached and you would have to wash it with your hands as the parts aren’t dishwasher friendly.
The main con of the product is that the inconsistency in the strength of the espresso obtained. Either it would be too strong or would taste watery. Another problem is with the frother which won’t stop even after the product is switched off. This problem can be rectified by rebooting the product.
20. De’Longhi ENV155T
This Nespresso from DeLonghi is one of the best-rated espresso machines available in the market. Even though you won’t be able to make cappuccinos or lattes, the espresso made is rich and creamy.
The Nespresso works only with the special Nespresso capsules and you can’t even exchange it with the coffee pods. The control button is situated at the top of the machine and the water tank is at the back. The innovative design makes the espresso machine easy to store and is light in weight.
The filter, drip pan, and the water tank can be easily removed, but you would have to wash it with your hands, as the parts aren’t dishwasher friendly. The water tank might leak after six months or so.
You can either return the product or change the washer. As there is a warranty of one year, the company provides a complete replacement policy if any design fault is encountered.
FAQs on Espresso Machines
1. Are Home Espresso Machines Worth It?
A home espresso machine is totally worth every penny if you are an ardent fan of espresso. If you can’t kick start your day with a good cup of espresso, you really need this machine at your house. Moreover, you can also make cappuccinos and lattes and would not have to rush to a café when you crave for one.
2. How Long Does An Espresso Machine Last?
An espresso machine, if well maintained can last up to 10 to 12 years. The machine has to be regularly cleaned after each use and make sure you reassemble once the parts are dry.
3. Is 15 Bars Enough For Espresso?
Normally the best espresso machines designed for the house have a pressure in the range of 15 bar to 17 bar. A 15-bar espresso is more than enough for your household use.
A cup of rich and creamy espresso is the best way to kick start your day. It would be difficult and expensive to rush to a nearby café to grab a cup of your favorite caffeine drink regularly.
This difficulty can be reduced if you have an espresso maker at your house. It is an added benefit if you can make cappuccinos and lattes with the same machine.