Whether you are a hard working dad, a restless student or a stay-at-home mum, I am sure you love your share of high caffeine drinks. As a matter of fact, who doesn’t? If someone doesn’t like coffee, or espresso for that matter, don’t trust that person! Never!
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk more about the best espresso machines that are currently available on the market. In recent times, espresso machines went from being a coffee shop luxury to an everyday item that is quite commonly seen on kitchen counters across the world. And this comes as no surprise given the fact that more and more people can’t get enough of that crispy high caffeine flavor that packs an extra punch for those tough mornings…
Before I start with this list, I just want to point out that the list will feature a wide variety of espresso machines, ranging from the cheapest ones to commercial grade ones. In other words, please do stick around until the end of this list because there is something for everyone!
With this being said, I will now start with the list and its first category – best espresso machine below $100
Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker
Who would have guessed that nowadays one can find a decent quality espresso machines for under $100? A couple of years ago, something like this was unheard of. But today, I will tell you more about the well-known budget espresso machine – Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker, which will cost you less than a top tier video game – just $59. Yup, that’s right. You will get this cheap bad boy for only 59 bucks. Sounds too good to be true? Well let’s go quickly go through its key features so you know what exactly are you buying:
First of all, the thing costs just $59 so don’t expect it to be a chunky metal beast with a bunch of handles and a LCD display on top. No, you won’t get any of these things on this machine… But what you will get is a decent tasting espresso and the ability to brew 2 shots at once, which is something many young couples look for in their very first espresso brewer. Other than that, you’ll get a frothing arm which gets you an awesome topping of rich crema that will spice up your shot time and time again… Click the link down below to see the entire list.
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker Electric Titan
This machine costs just $90 more than the previous one, but it sure as hell packs quite a punch within the package. Nespresso Pixie is not exactly the most known espresso machine manufacturer in the world, but time and time again, they are showing us that they can make top quality barista equipment at a modest price. Nothing is different with their newest machine called Electric Titan. It’s quite a beefy name for an espresso machine which is why we are going to take a quick look at its main feature so you can get a better feel for it.
With its automatic power-off / on system and compact size along with an LED water level indicator (which, by the way, can hold up to 26oz of water because of the machines miniature size), Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker Electric Titan will attract quite a few looks towards itself and will fit in, pretty much, every kitchen. But don’t let its size fool you because It is able to heat up water in roughly 30 seconds and prepare a fine espresso shot with just a few button presses. If fast and tasty espresso shots are your thing but you are on a strict budget, then Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker Electric Titan is the espresso brewer you need! Click the link down below to see the entire list.
De’Longhi EC680 Dedica
Slowly but surely, we are coming to the big boys among espresso machines. The first two came from smaller manufacturers who are mostly looking to “get involved” within budget market, but now we are going to take a closer look at one of the fully fledged espresso machines that is sitting comfortably in the mid-price range at under 300 bucks.
As you can conclude from the subtitle of this chapter, I am talking about the De’Longhi EC680 Dedica which usually costs right around the $300 mark, but nowadays you can get it on sale for roughly $250. It sets the tone for your kitchen with its sturdy stainless steel design which will, without a doubt, attract many looks from your friends and family. It is able to produce top quality espresso shots which is no surprise considering it sports a 15 bar pressure pump (which is, if we are to be completely honest here, to be expected from a $200+ machine). In addition to this, the De’Longhi EC680 Dedica also features a steam wand and knob which will (if used correctly, of course) give you that sweet foamy milk for those early morning shots that you love so much. The fun doesn’t end there but I have to cut this paragraph short because we must move on to the next best espresso machine within its respective category, and that is – machines under $500! Click the link down below to see the entire list.
We are slowly reaching those big buck machines that have lots of advanced features and a price that can match them. With this being said, keep in mind that these are still machines suitable for home use, meaning they are not strictly for professional barista’s.
After looking at the first 3 sections of this list, I am sure all of you are slowly starting to get into the correct rhythm here, at least when it comes to expectations. These $500 machines are occupying a huge part of the market and it was pretty hard for me to pick out a clear winner. Needless to say, it was a very unforgiving task but I am confident that I did a good job… So, with that in mind, let’s see what can this baby do!
You might be surprised that I’ve picked out a machine that costs just over $300 mark for the under $500 category… Truth be told, there are probably one or two machines that could outperform this one, but when it comes to price / performance ratio, it doesn’t get any better than Breville 800ESXL 15-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso Machine. As its name implies, it features a 15 bar pressure pump along with a quick thermo-block heater that will make sure you get fast and tasty espresso shots every time. In addition to this, it features a removable water tank (for cleaning purposes) that can hold up to whopping 2 liters of water, and a pretty huge cup space that can easily fit a grown man’s cup without any issues. Combine all of this with the fact that Breville 800ESXL 15-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso Machine is an amazingly huge machine that sports a fresh looking stainless steel frame, and you will start to understand why I decided to place it here in the “Under $500” category. Click the link down below to see the entire list.
With the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine we are finishing up with price tier categories within this list. Needless to say, it has been quite a journey all the way from that bottom – under $100 tier, and I am sure all of you are looking forward to see what is this beefy (cca) $700 machine capable of. Well, without wasting any more of your precious time, let’s jump straight to action and see what can this bad Italian boy do!
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is, without a single doubt, a top tier machine in every aspect of its duty. Its steel and iron composition makes it stand out from its competition. When you combine that with its ridiculous size and weight, you will begin to understand that it must be a top notch product.
Even though it is suitable for home use, you will have quite a steep learning curve when trying to operate with it and using all of its wide range of functions in order to produce the perfect shot of espresso. In other words, the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is actually a non automatic espresso machines, meaning that you won’t be able to do those “press once to brew” early morning routines like most automatic machines feature. Nope, you will have to use flips, switches and wands in order to brew yourself a proper shot, and at the end of the day, that is exactly what many people love about it – the full control over the end product is what matters here… And if you are not prepared to learn everything there is about this machine, then, how should I put this lightly – you are not worthy of it! As simple as that… Click the link down below to see the entire list.
Breville BES870XL Barista Express
There is no doubt that Breville is among the most popular espresso machines manufacturers in modern day. They took the market by storm and are not planning on letting their shares go any time soon. Time after time, they are surprising us with top quality espresso brewing equipment and there is nothing different to be said about the machine which I picked out for this category. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine in order to see what exactly can it do!
After the Breville 800ESXL which I featured above, in the under $500 category, now we are going to take a closer look at another one of Breville’s top tier espresso machines, the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine to be more precise. While not that expensive (it can be found for around $500 on Amazon and similar marketplaces online), it still sports quite a quality look along with a sturdy stainless steel aluminum thermal coil which drastically helps with temperature… It is able to regulate it much better than regular thermal blocks that can be usually found with most of its competitors within this price range.
It features a lot of programmable functions for brewing that perfect espresso shots which comes as quite a surprise for an automatic machine, a removable water tank that can hold up to 64 ounces of water (this comes with a handy charcoal filter) and an XXL sized bean hopper that will fit all of your needs! Click the link down below to see the entire list.
Breville BES980XL Oracle
This category is for all of you who are planning on opening a small coffee shop business in the upcoming months / weeks / days. With this being said, there are really numerous espresso machines that were made specifically for commercial use and needless to say, picking the best one was pretty darn hard. But luckily, the Breville (yup, another espresso machine made by Breville – just shows how good of a company they really are) BES980XL Oracle Espresso Machine exceeded my expectations by a long shot. As I already said somewhere in the categories above, Breville is setting standards for the entire industry in recent years, and it comes as no surprise that so many of their machines earned top spots in my list.
Key aspects of a good commercial espresso machine are (primarily) the quality of shots it can produce, speed at which it works, and its lifetime. And believe it or not, this bad boy has it all. Its sturdy frame that is made out of stainless steel, its dual Italian pumps, conical burr grinder, automatic purge solution and what not, make it the best bang for the buck when it comes to espresso machines suited for commercial use. After reading all of the above, you might be wondering how on Earth is such a machine priced at only $2000? Well, that is the best part of Breville – they always have extremely competitive prices for all their products which is just one more thing that makes them the best espresso machines manufacturer in the world! Click the link down below to see the entire list.
Capresso 118.05 EC PRO
After taking a closer look at the best espresso machine suited for commercial use, it is time to see what does the best home one look like. As you can conclude from the subtitle of this category, I have picked out quite an unusual one – the Capresso 118.05 EC PRO. While it may not be the most known machine on the market, it surely has a couple of tricks up its sleeve that is constantly attracting more and more customers to it.
With a whole heap of satisfied buyers, the Capresso 118.05 EC PRO made its way to the top of this category not only with its extremely simple (but stunning) look, but with its amazing espresso shots as well. It even features 2 espresso filters (one for control and another one for convenience) which means it is able to brew two espresso shots at once… and that is always handy for home espresso machines, especially if both you and your SO love that morning caffeine rush. With all this in mind, you will be quite stunned when I tell you that you can get this machine for under $250 which is just absurd since it is made from pure stainless steel and will fit perfectly into all kitchen counters worldwide. If that’s not enough for you to consider purchasing this beauty, then I should also add that it has a 15 bar pressure pump as well, which helps you get that rich crema for those early morning shots. Click the link down below to see the entire list.
Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pour Over
I am sure all of you know about the differences between semi-automatic, automatic and super (or fully) automatic machines, so I am not going to tell you about it here… But, if you do not know about these differences, I’m happy to inform you that there is an entire section dedicated to this down below all the categories. There, you can read all about the different types of espresso machines, which will, I am sure of it, help you decide which one to go for. With this being said, let us see what can this best do and why exactly is it listed as the best espresso machine in this category!
Nuova Simonelli is a renowned espresso machines manufacturers, and as such, they enjoy their (quite big) share of the market. Reason behind this is surely the fact that they only produce the best quality equipment and nothing short of that. This is true for their newest flagship espresso machine called Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pour Over Espresso Coffee Machine which aims to make quite a stir on the market. With its competitive price that goes around $1,300, there’s nothing surprising that it has already made its way into thousands of homes. It gives you amazing control over the quality of your end product and I am sure you all know that is exactly what matters, at least when it comes to semi-automatic espresso machines – the level of control. If you are one of those barista enthusiasts then this is surely the machine for you. It comes with commercial grade equipment made out of marine quality brass with an amazing looking silver finish on top of it that will fit perfectly on top of your kitchen counter. If you are looking for a top tier semi-automatic espresso machine and you know your way around them, then you cannot go wrong with the Nuova Simonelli Oscar Pour Over Espresso Coffee Machine… mark my words! J Click the link down below to see the entire list.
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic
For the best super automatic espresso machine, I had to dig quite a bit around in order to find the best one. It is not because there are not so many of them on the market, on the contrary, there are lots of them… the problem was in me. I am not such a big fan of super automatic espresso machines so I had to do quite a bit of research in order to know them better. Finally, after many hours spent into this research, I am presenting you with the final category – the best super automatic espresso machine currently available on the market… The Gaggia Brera Superautomatic Espresso Machine.
There is no doubt that Gaggia is becoming one of the best espresso equipment manufacturers in recent times. They managed to create a line of outstanding machines and, of course, their buyers noticed that and awarded them with a lot of sales. Their newest super automatic one is called Gaggia Brera Superautomatic Espresso Machine and it is such a lovely piece of espresso brewing technology. It is able to brew two shots at once, features a patented Mavea water filter which makes sure you have the optimal water for your shots and an effective power consumption mode that will save a couple of bucks on your electric bill… In addition to all of this, the Gaggia Brera Super automatic Espresso Machine is bound to brew a hassle free espresso shot with just a few button presses! Click the link down below to see the entire list.
Beans vs capsules
When buying your own espresso machine, you will stumble upon 2 different variations of them. Some will use beans and will feature a burr grinder while others will have sophisticated and modern capsule system for brewing purposes. At first, this all might sound quite confusing to you, but do not worry. I am here to clear everything up for you.
First of all, it is important to say that beans are the traditional way of brewing espresso shots, but I am pretty sure you guys already knew that one without me stating it, while capsule orientated ones started appearing a couple of years ago.
With this being said, the main difference is that capsules are usually found on super automatic machines (more on them in the next chapter) and are relatively quicker to brew than regular beans… but… they do not taste as good as them. It is as simple as that. While capsules provide a clean and fast espresso brewing experience, you have no control over the end product meaning that your espresso will always be the same… Don’t get me wrong. Capsules produce decent espresso shots… but decent at best. They are not great, not nearly as they would be if brewed from fresh ground beans like in the old days, and that’s something which comes as no surprise.
While capsule machines tend to be priced quite lower than ones which use beans, in the long run capsule based systems will turn out to be more expensive than you’d think. Reason behind this is the fact that capsules (not capsule machiens) cost much more than a bag of quality beans. If budget is the biggest worry on your mind, I am afraid you will have to choose between paying a bit more up front for a beans orientated machine, or saving a couple of bucks at first but then paying more and more as time goes by.
So, in other words – if you want a quick and hassle free shot of espresso and you are willing to sacrifice optimal taste and a bit more money wasting in the long run, then capsules is your way to go! On the other hand, if you are an espresso enthusiast who loves taking things into your own two hands, then you will be extremely happy with a good old fashioned fresh coffee beans inside your semi-automatic espresso machine which will allow you to perfect your shot as time goes by.
Automatic vs semi-automatic vs super automatic
I am pretty sure most of you have realized (if not before, then surely you had to realize by looking at the categories in this article) that there are several different variations of espresso machines all of which are currently available on the market. Of course, I am talking about the automatization level of certain machines, and these can get quite complicated, especially to people who do not know that much about espresso machines in the first place. If you are one of those people, do not be alarmed! I am going to thoroughly explain all of these types and hopefully, after reading this part of my article, you will get a better picture of what exactly do they represent. So, without any further adue, let start!
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
When it comes to automatization levels of espresso machine, these ones are the ones that will give you most control over your end product. With this being said, you can think of semi-automatic espresso machines like semi-automatic rifles – they will do a good amount of work for you, but if you don’t know what you are doing, you might end up killing somebody… OK, that was probably not the best comparison in the world. Let me try again, but this time with a clear explanation:
Semi-automatic espresso machines allow you to manually configure the amount of water you want in your shot, how strong you want it to be, how big and so on… They have a lot of customizability options that will be of much importance to you if you know your way around them… or if you are ready to learn. On the other hand, if you are someone with not a lot of time around for learning to brew perfect espresso shots, then you are better off buying one of the following espresso machine types…
Automatic Espresso Machines
Truth be told, there are not so many differences when it comes to automatic and semi-automatic espresso machines. There are just a few and they are as follows: it automatically tracks amounts of water and is able to turn off by itself thus saving your electricity bill! Yup, that’s all folks! Let’s move onto the next category – the super automatic espresso machines.
Super Automatic Espresso Machines
As their name implies, these machines do all the work for you which means you can do something else while they are doing their thing. They are more commonly referred to as “bean to cup” machines meaning that you basically just put the beans in, press a couple of buttons here and there and that’s it… Your espresso shot will be done in no time at all! While this level of automatization might be convenient for some people because it is fast and hassle free, the quality of espresso shots cannot be compared to those made with semi-automatic (or automatic for that case) espresso machines with human presence in the process… But still, if you are considering to buy a machine that will brew you decent quality espresso’s while you are getting ready for work or doing something productive, then super automatic espresso machines are the ones you want!
That’s all folks! Yup, you read that correctly – we have come to the end of this wonderfully informative articles. With all of the things that I explained in the lines above, I hope I shed some light on espresso machines for you. As I already said in the beginning of this article, they used to be a luxury but nowadays people just can’t get enough of them… or the sweet, high caffeine drinks they produce! So, if you are planning on purchasing an espresso machine for yourself, I would advise you to go get yourself a cup of coffee from the nearest Starbucks and read through all espresso machines lists again. It’s a big decision, especially if you are planning on starting your own coffee shop business, but a sweet, juicy one for that matter!
With this in mind, I hope that this article was informative and that it, above all, helped you with your decision.
Until next time, cheers! J