If you’re a coffee aficionado, browsing between different sorts of coffee in a supermarket aisle, or an artisan brewer’s coffee shop, is a special sort of pleasure.
Whether you like Brazilian strong, espresso, café au lait, macchiato, mocha, or caffè Americano, chances are – you procure just as much pleasure drinking the beverage as you do preparing it. Heck, sometimes it is even interesting to simply watch as a professional coffee maker prepares your favorite beverage.
While most kinds of coffee can be made fairly easily, as all the ingredients you typically need is coffee, water, sugar, cream, or a bit of milk (or a bit of whiskey for a proper Irish coffee), not all types of coffee can be made with the help of a simple coffeepot and a source of heat.
Of course, the vast majority of coffee-based drinks are made in this way, but there is considerable nuance as to how this is done when it comes to different sorts of coffee.
For example, for Irish coffee, you don’t even have to boil the water to make the beverage. The coffee is mixed with water and then left to drain for some time so that all the flavors are retained in the cup once the process is done. Then you add a bit of cream, a bit of whiskey, and voila! – you have homemade Irish coffee.
Now, although you can make some seemingly complex coffee recipes fairly easily, some of them are more difficult and require specialized machinery, so to speak. For example, any sort of coffee involving frothed milk requires one of those steam-spewing machines with nozzles – otherwise, you won’t be able to make it as well without these.
In this article, we’re going to concentrate on one special breed of coffee-making contraptions – espresso machines. These apparatuses are made specifically for making this sort of coffee, so if you like to drink espresso, having one of these contraptions is an absolute must.
In the passages below, we have prepared a buyer’s guide where we explain what features to pay attention to when buying an espresso machine. Also, we’ve added a section about how to clean them and what types of these machines are there.
Of course, there is a list of the 10 best espresso machines currently on the market and we have ventured to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about espresso machines.
Without further ado, here’s the deal.
Our Favorite Espresso Machine
Best Espresso Machine Wirecutter: A List of Products
1) Breville – The Barista Express Espresso Machine
- Digital temperature control
- Grind filtration size button
- Can be set to fill one or two cups at the same time
- Attractive design
- Advanced steam wand allowing you to make micro-foam milk
- Hands-free operation (no need to touch coffee with your hands)
- Fairly expensive
- A bit chunky
Boasting an appearance of a high-tech contraption that you may expect to see on a spaceship in a sci-fi film, this Breville espresso-making contraption is a reliable kitchen utensil that comes with plenty of interesting options.
Since this thing comes with its coffee grinder, you won’t have to worry about having to do the grinding itself and buy a separate product just for the grinding process.
What’s more, this Breville espresso machine will not only grind your coffee, but it will also determine the exact amount of freshly ground coffee you need for the beverage. (Of course, you need to set this parameter using the control panel on the top of this unit.)
Speaking of which, the control panel on this machine allows you to set the amount of coffee you want to grind, the size of the filter (how large the coffee grounds will be that pass through it), as well as to choose the self-cleaning program.
2) De’Longhi – Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- Easy maintenance
- Comes with a drip tray
- Removable water tank with a water lever mark
- Can fill two cups of coffee at the same time
- Compact design
- The boiler made out of stainless steel
- 1,000 Watts of heating power
- The space for cups could have been bigger (you can’t put cups beneath it over 2.5 inches without having to slant them)
- Some users have reported that this model can vibrate a lot during the brewing
Compact in size and offering a simple and intuitive control panel consisting of one large knob with which you can control the parameters of the coffee-making task before you, this De’Longhi espresso and cappuccino maker is a must-have for anyone who likes espresso as well as cappuccino.
Thanks to its simple but efficient dual nozzle design, you can fill two cups of your favorite beverage at the same time. What makes this so interesting is that many other models also feature this option, but they have two separate grinders and filters, which makes the whole apparatus bigger and more expensive.
With this one, however, you get the functionality of a dual grinder design, without having to pay the extra buck for it. (Or, designate more kitchen space, for that matter.)
To add frothed milk to your coffee, there is the swiveling jet frothing arm, so you can simply bring it over the cup, add some milk in the cup, and then let this frothing ‘limb’ do its job.
Another plus for this model would be its easy-to-remove and clean water tank, which comes with a marked water level indicator, so you always know when it needs a refill.
3) De’Longhi – Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
- 1,350-Watt strong heater
- Easy-to-use control panel
- Adjustable spigot for filling coffee cups of various sizes
- Automatic shutoff feature
- Comes with a manual frothing swiveling ‘arm’
- Can fill two cups of coffee at the same time
- Removable drip tray
- Fairly pricey
- Some users reported problems with the coffee beans getting stuck in the grinder
As our entry number three, we’ve picked another De’Longhi model – this time it’s bigger, more powerful, and has more options to choose from. (It’s also considerably more expensive, of course.) For starters, this thing has a more powerful heater than the model above, because this machine wields 1,350 Watts of heating power.
This De’Longhi coffee maker also gives you plenty of room to work with in terms of how tall the coffee cup can be. With this model, the limit is about 4.25 inches, which is more than enough for many small to medium-sized cups and even some larger ones. This is thanks to a unique feature that allows you to move the spigot out of which fresh coffee is poured.
For both safety-related and energy-saving reasons, the folks at De’Longhi built in an automatic shutoff timer, which will turn this thing off after 3 hours if it’s not been in use.
4) Breville – The Infuser Espresso Machine
- 1,600-Watt water heater
- Comes with a set of accessories (single & dual filter baskets, a jug, and a cleaning kit)
- Stainless steel temperature control water coil
- 61-once water tank
- Elegant futuristic design
- Easy-to-use control panel
- On the higher end of the price range
- Some users have reported problems with the infuser
Featuring a modern appearance with a sliver build and a neatly arranged row of control buttons on the top of this unit, this Breville contraption can be a perfect solution for a person looking for an espresso maker that can both make delicious espresso and look good doing it, so to speak.
The qualities of this apparatus aren’t merely surface-deep, though. With its powerful 1,600-Watt heater, this thing will heat the water for your espresso as fast as you can say, Jack Robinson.
What’s more, the temperature-regulating system in this model features an integrated stainless steel water coil, so you can rest assured that the temperature will be even and reliable throughout the brewing process.
Another impressive thing about this espresso machine would be that the folks at Breville made sure to include a set of useful accessories including a stainless steel jug (for adding milk), filter baskets for single and dual operation, as well as cleaning kit with a cleaning disk, tablets, and a special cleaning tool.
5) SOWTECH – 4-Cup Espresso Maker & Cappuccino Machine
A simple design, large capacity, and ease of use are what makes this SOWTECH espresso & cappuccino machine a great value-for-money option for folks looking for an affordable coffee maker.
What you get with this model is fairly simple – a carafe, a drip tray, a detachable filter, and a removable frothing nozzle. Of course, there are more parts than this, but the aforementioned objects are all you need to make delicious cappuccino and espresso whenever you like.
Following through with the compact design of this unit, the folks at SOWTECH have made sure that even a complete rookie can learn to use this coffee machine straight out of the box.
As far as the controls are concerned, all you have is a single knob with which you can choose the mode of operation. There is also a red ON/OFF indicator light located below it.
When it comes to the materials this model is made of, there is stainless steel and there is some black plastic. The drip tray, for example, is made out of plastic and is also removable, so you can easily take it out when it gets dirty, relieve it of its contents, so to speak, and then just rinse it with water.
Arguably the most attractive feature of this model would be its rather large carafe enabling you to make up to 4 cups of coffee at the same time. There are beverage level markings on the side of this container, too, so you can know how much coffee you’ve made.
6) De’Longhi – 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker
- 1,100-Watts of heating power
- Stainless steel design (even the drip tray is stainless steel)
- Comes with a water level indicator
- Removable water tank
- Two separate thermostats (water and steam pressures are controlled separately)
- Can make two cups of coffee in a single go
- Can be quite loud
- Some users reported that the steamer rubber tends to wear out too quickly
If you prefer pump-driven coffee machine models over semi or fully automatic ones, this model from De’Longhi represents an interesting candidate, as it belongs to the higher price bracket in comparison to other bar-pump-based models out there.
This difference in price, of course, can be best accounted for by the fact that this machine is more powerful and robust than some of its smaller cousins.
The water tank capacity on this unit amounts to 44 ounces (or about 1.3 liters), so you won’t have to refill it every time you want to make some coffee. Also, you will be able to tell when the water levels are getting low because there are special marks on the water tank itself, printed for this purpose.
This model is made out of mostly stainless steel and what is interesting is that the drip tray is also made out of this material. So, you won’t have to worry about accidentally dropping it and breaking it (as with plastic drip trays), or about rust. Also, this De’Longhi model is a part of the ‘family’ of espresso machines that can make two cups of coffee at the same time, which would be another plus.
7) EspressoWorks – All-In-Once Espresso Machine & Cappuccino Maker
- Stainless steel heating tray (located on the top of this machine)
- Thermoblock heating system
- A powerful, 1,350-Watt heater
- Removable drip tray
- Features a built-in steamer
- Easy-to-remove water tank (it is also see-through, so you always know the water level in it)
- Comes with a stainless steel milk frothing cup
- Some users may not like the design of this unit
- Some users complained that the paint finish can start chipping off after a while
Sporting an interesting cubical design, this espresso & cappuccino maker is a contraption that you don’t want to miss out on if you’d like to be able to prepare both of these beverages using the same machine.
The heat-up time on this model is fairly quick, as it can prepare your coffee in as little time as 45 seconds. This is thanks to the powerful, 1,350-Watt heater, as well as the Thermoblock fast heating system this thing comes with.
To make the cleanup easier after you’ve prepared your favorite beverage, the folks at EspressoWorks included an easy-to-remove drip tray. So, as soon as the little compartment below the cups starts looking dodgy and glistening with dirty water, all you need to do is simply remove it, rinse the tray under a stream of water, pop it back in, and that’s it.
Another part of this offer would include a stainless steel milk frothing cup, which is a breeze to clean thanks to the natural properties of stainless steel. As for the water tank, it has a capacity of some 42 ounces (1.2 liters). When it needs a refill, removing it is easy thanks to a convenient handle you can use to pick this thing up from above.
8) Breville – Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
- Dual stainless steel temperature control boilers
- Can fill one, two, or more cups’ worth at the same time (It can physically fill a maximum of two cups at the same time, so for larger quantities, you need to get a different container)
- Stainless steel build
- LCD screen for easy settings
- Features a water hardness test
- Comes with a ‘descaling alert’ feature
- Quite expensive
- Fairly heavy and takes up a lot of space (suitable for restaurants and bars)
Made out of high-quality stainless steel and possessing some impressive technical characteristics, this Breville espresso machine is a juggernaut among its competitors on the market. Of course, the price is also significantly higher on this model than the majority of others.
Thanks to the dual stainless steel boilers the folks at Breville installed in this unit, you don’t need to worry about regulating the temperature for your coffee-brewing sessions, as this thing will do it for you.
When it comes to handling this piece of coffee-making machinery, the way you do it is via an LCD screen. Using the buttons below it, you can set the water temperature, as well as the timer, so that you know when your coffee is ready.
Also, two buttons are using which you can choose the shot control – 1 cup, 2 cups, or manual. This means that you can pour way more than just two cups in the container you place below, as your only limit is the water in the tank.
9) Lavazza – Classy Mini Espresso Coffee Machine
- Comes with a powerful, 1,250-Watt heater
- Stylish design
- ‘Empty tank’ visual indicator
- Can stack 5 coffee capsules in its ‘magazine’
- Transparent water tank (5 fluid ounce capacity, or 0.7 liters)
- Can make espresso coffee and lungo coffee
- Only works with special Lavazza coffee capsules
- Buying the capsules can be expensive and inconvenient
In case you’re looking for a small espresso machine for yourself and possibly one other person, this Lavazza mini espresso coffee maker can be an interesting solution. Despite its size, this thing packs a powerful healing punch thanks to the 1,250-Watt heater. This means that, although you can only prepare one cup at a time, this cup will be ready fairly quickly.
In the world of espresso coffee machines, this Lavazza contraption occupies a special spot, because you can only use it with a special sort of coffee. In particular, this coffee comes in capsules made by Lavazza themselves. This can be a serious turn-off for many people, but if you happen to like the Lavazza style of espresso coffee, this model will do the coffee-making trick fairly well.
In general, if you like espresso, but aren’t particularly keen on learning the secrets for a perfect recipe and just want to have a cup of espresso first thing in the morning, for example, this product can be a good match for you.
The operation is fairly straightforward, as all you need to do amounts to popping a couple of capsules (or ‘pods’ as they’re also called) into this machine, do some button-pushing, and there you go – you have a steaming hot espresso you can drink right away.
10) Calphalon – Temp iQ Espresso Machine
- Made out of stainless steel and plastic
- Elegant design
- Comes with a cup-warming tray
- Easy-to-use control panel
- Features a stainless steel milk pitcher as an addition
- Comes with a cleaning disc, pin, and a cleaning brush
- Coffee tamper included
- On the more expensive side of the price scale
- Some users reported that learning how to use this coffee maker can be tough for beginners
Possessing such useful features such as a cup-warming tray, a knob for setting the preferred mode of operation (hot water or steam), and three large and easy-to-use buttons designating the amount of coffee you want to make, this Calphalon coffee maker is a breeze to use, even if you’re a complete rookie with espresso machines.
The three buttons we mentioned, for example, are used to picking how much of the coffee you want to pour in the cup below. The second option reads ‘1 SHOT’, meaning that this machine will automatically limit the amount of coffee and hot water that comes out of the nozzle to only one cup. The third option is ‘2 SHOT’, which is fairly self-explanatory.
As for the first option, the letters on the button say ‘MANUAL’, so you can determine the amount of coffee you want to pour. Of course, the only limiting factor in this mode would be the capacity of the water tank, or how large cups you have.
Speaking of the water tank, the one the folks at Calphalon decided to install in this model is one of the largest on the market, at least when it comes to commercial espresso machines. It can house about 74.5 ounces (2.2 liters), which is plenty of water to make coffee for a dozen people at once, or more.
Espresso Machine Buyer’s Guide
The water tank on an espresso machine may not be its most conspicuous part (because it’s often at the back), but it is a part without which the contraption wouldn’t work.
Not only that, but the size of the water tank will also determine how much coffee you can make with it, without having to refill the tank. This can be an important parameter when it comes to coffee machines, especially for baristas, cooks, and other folks who make espresso professionally and need to make large quantities of it quickly.
Generally speaking, the water tank sizes on most commercially-sold espresso machines go from about 35 ounces (about 1 liter), to up to about 75 ounces (2.2 liters approximately). Of course, there are models with water tanks larger than those, but those would fall into the category of professional espresso machines.
Swiveling Jet Frothing Arm
Although swiveling frothing arms are nowadays pretty much a standard part of an espresso machine’s arsenal, it’s worth pointing out why this seemingly secondary function of these machines is still quite important.
The thing is, without this little addition to the design of a coffee maker, you can’t make any sort of frothy milk. Many coffee-based beverages cannot go without cream or they lose their taste, so ensuring the product you’re considering buying has this feature is a must.
Also, inspecting this aspect of espresso machines in more detail can be a smart idea, too, because some models have two different heating coils – one for the water tank, and one for the steam (which the swiveling arm distributes).
Whenever you have a contraption that comes in contact with high temperatures and moisture, you want to check what it’s made of.
If you look at the bodies of the large majority of kitchen appliances worldwide, chances are – they’re made of plastic. Now, while products with plastic constructions can survive for years and even decades, it’s always better to buy food or beverage-making contraption that has a metal build.
Stainless steel, in particular, can be an excellent option, because it looks good, it’s fairly tough, and most importantly – it doesn’t rust. Of course, the truth of the matter is, espresso machines made out of 100% stainless steel are a rarity.
That said, you still may want to look for models that are made out of part plastic and part stainless steel. Typically, manufacturers of espresso machines try to protect the parts of the machine that is the most exposed to heat, so you may want to look for models that have stainless steel cup warmers, or drip trays.
… or, just a single temperature control knob on the side of the machine, depends on what unit we’re talking about.
Although there is a certain number of espresso machines out there that don’t have a control panel per se (but a single button or a knob, instead), most modern-day coffee makers come with a host of options you can choose from when it comes to making your espresso.
Some of these options include the number of cups, choosing the temperature of the water, or setting the timer, to name a few. To use these with ease, the manufacturers of espresso machines go out of their way to make user-friendly control panels, so that their customers can explore the possibilities their coffee-makers are capable of, so to speak.
A well-made and easy-to-use control panel can help new users quickly learn their way around the machine, and it’s especially important for folks who never used one of these apparatuses.
Coffee machine maintenance can get tricky at times, but if you do everything according to the instruction sheets, you should be able to reduce the maintenance to a minimum.
The thing is, coffee machines need to have their water tanks refilled often and the drip trays also need to be cleaned to prevent the accumulation of unsanitary sediment, so to speak. If you aren’t the biggest fan of having to clean and refill your espresso machine all the time, try finding a model with: a) a large water tank, and b) an easy-to-clean drip tray.
If you can get a model with a drip tray made out of stainless steel, this would make the job even easier, although plastic can be just as good, as long as you’re careful not to damage it while handling and cleaning it.
How to Clean Your Espresso Machine:
1. Use Special Cleaning Agent to Clean the Machine Head
Cleaning coffee machines and similar food and beverage contraptions (such as blenders) with plenty of grainy or moist residue may seem like a nightmare, but it can be done fairly easily if you have the right tools – at least when espresso machines are in question.
To clean the espresso machine head (the part where you put coffee), stick it to the machine, and run hot water for a couple of seconds on empty. Let it sit for a couple of seconds more and then empty the contents in the sink.
Next, pour some of the detergents you’ve chosen to place in the machine head and make sure the brand of detergent you’re using can be used for coffee makers. (Not all detergents are safe for food products. Typically, the manufacturers will points this out themselves in the instruction sheets.)
After you’ve added detergent, run the hot water again and make sure all the remaining traces of detergent are gone. After that, let the machine head dry.
While you’re at it, you can also empty the drip tray after the aforementioned procedure.
2. Cleaning the Showerhead
If you’re wondering what a showerhead is – it’s the nozzle that sprays water onto the coffee while the machine head is stuck in its position.
This showerhead will be located above the machine head, when the head is locked, so you may need to tilt the coffee maker or approach it from another angle. (Make sure there’s no water in the tank if you’re tilting it.)
Once you ‘access’ this showerhead, you’ll see tiny nozzles that spray water. Clean these with a small brush carefully and make sure to get rid of any coffee grounds that got stuck or other impurities. If you don’t do this regularly, the machine can get clogged, which can damage it if it’s left unaddressed.
Wipe and Unclog the Steam Wand
… if it’s clogged.
If it isn’t clogged, then just wipe it clean.
The steam wand is the swiveling arm that disperses steam and it often gets dirty because it comes in contact with milk. Therefore, you must always clean it after use, or you risk having it get clogged. If this happens, the steam pressure can build up, which can create a mini-explosion.
Types of Espresso Machines
1. Pump-Driven Models
As their name suggests, pump-driven espresso machines ‘squeeze’ the coffee by the power of water and a pump. The pump itself is typically powered by electricity, and its intensity can be adjusted by setting up different parameters on the espresso machine’s control panel. (Or, some other form of control such as a rotary knob.)
Anyway, most modern-day models work on this principle, and they’re popular because they’re easy to use, and they can have your coffee ready relatively quickly.
- Semiautomatics: Represents a common subtype of pump-driven espresso machines. The reason why they’re called ‘semiautomatic’ would be because while the heating and pumping process is automatic, the user has to control the ON/OFF switch for making the liquid flow. So, you start it up, wait until your cup is full, and then switch it off. (If you don’t, it will keep on running until it runs out of water.)
- Full-automatics: Fully-automated espresso machines are those models that can make you espresso at a press of a button. While semiautomatic coffee makers have a switch you have to turn on and off for them to work properly, automatics only need you to press the button of a beverage you want them to produce, and they will finish it on their own. This works because they have some sort of preprogrammed microprocessor that knows in advance what to do when you give the command. (That is when you press the button.)
- Super-automatics: Are a special breed of full-automatics that have one crucial thing different about them – they have an inbuilt coffee grinder. The rest is pretty much the same as with full-automatics. The fact that these super-automatics have a grinder means that the entire coffee-making process, from grinding to having a beverage ready to drink, can be completed using a single machine. For this reason, super-automatics are also often called ‘espresso centers’ or ‘coffee centers’.
- Ultra-automatics: Stand at the very end of the commercial espresso maker evolution cycle. They have all the features that all the types before they have, and the thing that makes these contraptions called ultra-automatics is the fact that they come with a milk-frothing arm. This addition completes the entire process of making espresso. From getting a freshly-roasted coffee bean to grinding it, mixing it with water to make a beverage, and then the last step is adding frothed milk on top of it. Following through with their bombastic name, these coffee-making machines tend to be fairly expensive, which makes them more worthwhile for professional baristas or restaurant and bar owners.
2. Moka Pot (Espresso Pot)
Representing the simplest way to make espresso, Moka pots are those little stainless steel kettle-like vessels that you may have seen your parents or grandparents use.
The main working principle of these pots is steam, which is used to create pressure that will send water flying through the ground coffee. The trouble with Moka pots is that they can’t generate enough pressure to extract the coffee in the best way.
The result is often an unrefined and bitter-tasting coffee. Now, the espresso made this way is still considered by some people to be delicious, but many people claim that using the Moka pot is the least efficient way of making this Italian beverage, due to the low amount of pressure the pot can create.
3. Lever Espresso Machines
Although these espresso machines may seem like a thing of coffee-making antiquity, they are still very much in use and are even beloved in many circles of espresso enthusiasts.
The way these machines work is that the pressure needed to make the water go through the ground coffee is created by the strength of the user. Of course, you don’t need to be Hulk Hogan to use a lever espresso maker, because the momentum of the lever doesn’t most of the job for you.
While learning how to make the perfect espresso this way can be a bit tough and demand time, once you get a hang of it you will have much more freedom to make your espresso just the way you like it.
Espresso Machine Brands
Before we cite some of our favorite brands, it’s important to point out that there are some high-quality brands out there, but these three represent some of the most beloved brands when it comes to espresso-making machines.
Established in Sydney, Australia, way back in 1932, Breville is one of the most well-known small appliance-making businesses in today’s market. They have branched out to over 70 countries around the world, where they are selling everything from blenders to toaster ovens.
Their espresso machines feature a stern but stylish look and typically an excellent stainless steel build. Also, they tend to make high-quality elaborate coffee-making contraptions more suited for buyers with a deeper pocket.
Dedicated to constantly improving the form and functionality of coffee makers, De’Longhi is an Italian kitchen appliance-making company that’s grown to become one of the best-recognized brands in the world.
The business has been family-owned ever since its inception in the year of 1902 when the De’Longhi family produced mainly small industrial parts. Over time, they have managed to enter virtually all fields of small appliance production, so to speak.
Their espresso machines are made out of high-quality materials and span all price ranges – from budget-friendly small coffee makers to large and complex coffee-making contraptions made for professionals.
Coming from Perrysburg, Ohio, USA, Calphalon is a company specializing in making cookware, bakeware, cutlery, and smaller kitchen utensils. Unlike the first two companies, the folks at Calphalon are concentrated on making the best cooking-related appliances they can, and they don’t make products outside of this rather broad niche.
That said, while their roster of coffee-making appliances isn’t extensive, so to speak, it does seem that they are focusing on making high-quality products rather than just cranking them out en masse.
Unfortunately for those working with a smaller budget, this also means that their products are typically leaning toward the more expensive side of the price spectrum.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Are espresso machines worth it?
If you fancy espresso, and you like to drink it fairly frequently, then getting an espresso machine would be worth the hassle and the money you’d spend.
That said, if you are only a casual drinker and you aren’t that interested in the quality of the espresso, you may be better of just buying some now and again, rather than buying an entire espresso machine. (And they can be fairly expensive.)
Of course, there are nuances in both the price and the functionality of these appliances, so if you like espresso, but not so much that you would be willing to grind the coffee and all, perhaps opting for a smaller model could be a good solution.
2) What is the best espresso machine for beginners?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as there are many models out there on the market that can work great for beginners.
Typically, simpler models with fewer complex features such as a regular semi-automatic pump-driven espresso machine can be an excellent solution for an absolute rookie who has never used one of these contraptions.
Companies such as De’Longhi, for example, among many others, have some relatively inexpensive espresso makers that could be perfect for a person just beginning to learn about using espresso machines.
3) What is the best affordable espresso machine?
Generally speaking, decent affordable espresso machines have strong heaters, few options to tinker with, and are durable enough to do their job for years.
Models such as SOWTECH’s 3.5-Bar Espresso Machine we featured above, for example, would be a great affordable solution because it is easy-to-use, has a decent heater, and has a large coffee receptacle that can hold up to 4 cups of coffee.
4) How do I choose an espresso machine?
First and foremost, you should take a minute and think about why you’d need an espresso machine.
Even the least expensive models can be a bit pricey, so it doesn’t make sense to buy something that you won’t use too much, and that costs an arm and a leg.
On the other hand, if you want to be able to make espresso while at home with a coffee-making machine of your own, consider your expertise level, the amount of coffee you plan to make (can be quite a steep number, if you’re a bar owner, for example), and how big of a budget you’re working with. Once you’ve determined that, consult our buyer’s guide above to get a clearer idea of what to look for.
Parameters such as the size of the water tank, the type of filtration, how much maintenance the machine needs, as well as what type of an espresso machine it is, should all play a role when it to deciding to purchase one of these appliances.
5) What is the best espresso maker for home use?
When it comes to choosing an espresso machine for a limited number of people (say, an average family), the goal should be to aim at the middle of the market and get a model that’s neither too bulky and complex nor completely stripped of all useful features.
There are many excellent espresso machine-producing brands out there on the market, so you will have plenty of choices. For example, De’Longhi is a company with a good name that makes espresso-making machines of different kinds, so one of their models will probably suit your needs. Other brands such as Breville, Cuisinart, and Calphalon also have excellent models, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.
6) What kind of espresso machine does Starbucks use?
At Starbucks, the employees use advanced so-called ‘ultra-automated coffee makers’ that do the entire process from grinding the coffee to making it completely automatically.
The brand Starbucks is partnered with is from Switzerland and it’s called Mastrena, but you can’t find any of their espresso machine models on sale commercially. They specialize in large, high-performance espresso and coffee machines, which they produce specifically for Starbucks.
When it comes to the basic principle of operation, espresso machines couldn’t be simpler – you put in some water in the water tank, heat it, force it through the ground coffee and the filter, and there you have it.
Of course, the more advanced models may also feature special grinding modes and additional niceties, but the ‘ground’ rules are virtually the same for nearly all espresso machines. Indeed, choosing the optimal model for your needs depends on what you expect from the machine and how much of a coffee connoisseur you are.
That said, one thing is sure – if you like espresso and you want to be able to make it in the comfort of your home, getting an espresso machine would probably be the best way to go about it. We hope this article helped you learn more about these useful machines and we wish you find the perfect model for yourself and your family.