If you’re a coffee aficionado, you might routinely stop by your local coffee shop for your favorite espresso drinks. The professional, commercial-grade espresso machines they use are key for getting your drink of choice perfect every time. The downside? It can be expensive and inconvenient to visit a coffee shop so frequently.
Fortunately, there are many espresso makers that’ll allow you to easily make those same high-quality drinks at home. There are plenty of machines to choose from, too, so we figured we’d break it down a little. There are manual espresso machines, along with semi-automatic and fully automatic, while others use capsules (think: Nespresso). You also have the ability to keep things simple or splurge for one that has a built-in grinder and milk frother.
With so many options to choose from, we rounded up nine of the best espresso makers, considering different features and various price points, to help you choose the best one for making espresso like a barista in the comfort of your own home.
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Put your former coffee shop to shame with this beautiful espresso machine (which comes in brushed stainless steel or black sesame). With a bean hopper that holds half a pound of coffee beans and a built-in conical burr grinder with 15 grind settings, you can always have freshly ground coffee on demand. The 15-bar Italian pump and thermocoil heating system extract espresso at the right time and temperature, whether you’re using single or double-shot filters, to ensure it’s not too bitter nor too weak. And if you’ve been wanting to try your hand at latte art, you’re in luck: Use the manual milk frother to give it a try.
If you’re looking for a more economical (and space-saving) choice, this stainless-steel manual espresso maker might be for you. It’s compact but delivers 15-bar pressure, and the three-in-one filter holder can accommodate single or double espresso shots, as well as espresso pods. The water tank is removable, making it easy to fill and clean, and the bottom tray can be removed when you want to use larger cup/mug sizes. Additionally, it has a simple dial, is easy to use, and the manual frother lets you mix and steam milk to create a creamy froth—seems like an easy choice.
3. Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine, $1100
This at-home barista espresso maker is designed for people who prefer the ease of a touchscreen control panel. You can swipe and choose your selection (espresso, Americano, latte, flat white, cappuccino) from the drink menu screen and customize your extraction time and milk temperature. The espresso machine also has an 8-ounce bean hopper, built-in grinder, single-wall filters for grinding fresh, whole coffee beans, and dual-wall filter baskets for pre-ground coffee. An additional perk: The stylish, stainless-steel milk jug can be used for hands-free milk texturing.
If you like to alternate between using fresh beans or grounds and capsules, this elegant-looking machine has you covered. Not only can it brew from both, but the machine can also recognize the capsule size and dispense the right amount of water for a perfectly balanced pour. It delivers 19 bars of pressure and uses three simple buttons: small for a 1.4-ounce espresso or 5-ounce coffee, medium for a 2.7-ounce espresso or 8-ounce coffee, and large for a 3.7-ounce espresso or 12-ounce coffee. L’OR makes a variety of capsule flavors— vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and decaf are just a few— but is also compatible with Nespresso Original capsules.
Connect your espresso machine to your smartphone? Yes, please! This espresso maker has built-in Wi-Fi and an app that lets you customize the espresso’s volume and strength, get tips on making the perfect cup, and also view cleaning and care videos. The espresso maker uses thermoblock heating and provides 15-bar-pump pressure. It also has a burr grinder (which baristas often agree is the best) with 16 adjustable settings, features an LED control panel, and comes in three finishes: matte black, matte white, and silver.
Make espresso anywhere, literally, with this portable espresso machine— you don’t even need electricity or a rechargeable battery. Just make sure you have hot water and coffee grounds and you’re set. The tiny espresso maker (6.14 inches in length) provides 18 bars of pressure and the water tank can hold 2.7 ounces, making it perfect when you need a quick coffee fix while traveling or camping. The espresso maker is available in several colors—including black, arctic blue, chill white, lava red, and moss green—and comes with a protective case, filter basket, built-in espresso cup, scoop, brush, and instruction book.
Here’s another choice for an authentic barista experience that doesn’t require any work on your part. The automatic espresso maker has a built-in conical burr grinder with 13 adjustment settings, although you can bypass the grinder to use ground coffee instead. With the touchscreen panel—which includes both text and icons—it’s easy to select between several hot coffee drinks, including espresso, coffee, long, and Americano. Additionally, there’s a stainless steel frothing pitcher for use with the adjustable frother, which can also accept alternative types of milk.
A more economically priced Breville, this compact model lacks a grinder, but the espresso maker has many of the same features as the larger models. It combines low-pressure, pre-infusion with a ThermoJet heating system that has a three-second heat-up time, which allows for a rich, balanced flavor. The simple button controls let you to choose between a single or double shot, three milk temperatures, as well as three textures for the automatic microfoam milk-texturing feature. Color choices include brushed stainless steel and black truffle.
9. Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine,
One of the most popular choices among consumers, this stainless-steel espresso and cappuccino machine has an electric 15-bar pump and two filters for single and double shots. The one-touch controls have selections for a single or double espresso, cappuccino, or latte, and you can also customize your drink (and adjust the cup height tray). The water tank is removable for easy filling and cleaning and the removable milk tank automatically froths the milk. No wonder it’s a customer favorite.
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