The 9 Best Espresso Machines

Updated September 02, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

9 Best Espresso Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Now you can enjoy all the flavor and aroma of high quality coffee in the comfort of your own home. These espresso machines will make the perfect cup of espresso, cappuccino or latte in minutes without the cost of high street coffee shops. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best espresso machine on Amazon.

9. Espressione Minuetto

The Espressione Minuetto pumps 1000 watts of energy into a finely tuned system. The cup warmer adds heat to your mug, which means you don't need to rush to drink your beverage, plus the machine takes both espresso pods and ground coffee.
  • makes perfectly balanced cappuccinos
  • high pressure release safety valve
  • frother takes some skill to perfect
Brand Espressione
Model 1334/1
Weight 14.2 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. BELLA 13683

The BELLA 13683 is a basic design at an affordable price. If you hate to clean, you'll love that it comes with dishwasher-friendly parts, and a steam-pressurized safety cap that prevents leaks. The frothing wand works quickly, too.
  • makes very strong shots
  • compact design fits in small spaces
  • cannot make regular drip coffee
Brand Bella
Model BLA13683
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Gaggia 14101 Classic

The Gaggia 14101 Classic brings commercial-grade design to your home kitchen, with a generously sized 72-ounce removable water reservoir, an elegant brushed stainless steel exterior, and the ability to brew two espressos simultaneously.
  • includes hot water dispenser for tea
  • built to last for years
  • housing is too thin
Brand Gaggia
Model 14101
Weight 21.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Mr. Coffee BVMC--ECMP1000

The Mr. Coffee BVMC--ECMP1000 is a convenient machine with an adjustable tray height that can hold all of your cups, from your large mugs to your smallest shot glasses. It also comes with a measuring scoop and lots of recipes.
  • accepts most types of coffee grounds
  • removable milk reservoir
  • tough to insert the poratfilter
Brand Mr. Coffee
Model BVMC-ECMP1000
Weight 12.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. De'Longhi ECP3420

The De'Longhi ECP3420 makes barista-quality espressos in your home. It features a self-priming operation, which means minimal startup time, and no matter how tightly you pack the espresso grounds, the drink comes out dark and even.
  • thorough instructional book
  • lightweight water tank
  • short mug space
Brand DeLonghi
Model ECP3420
Weight 11 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Keurig Rivo R500

The Keurig Rivo R500 has a convenient design, so you can brew and froth simultaneously. For serious froth lovers, there are 3 different modes: cappuccino, latte, and cold froth. The unit also comes with a convenient froth cup.
  • easy to adjust strength of coffee
  • makes short or long espressos
  • pods get pricey
Brand Keurig
Model R500
Weight 22.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. KRUPS EA8298

The KRUPS EA8298 provides an intuitive LCD screen, so users can easily make a variety of drinks. It's great for hosting guests because the large bean hopper prepares several drinks in a row, and the drip tray reduces messes.
  • thermoblock system
  • empty water tank detection
  • very expensive option
Model 8000035801
Weight 19.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Nespresso Inissia

The Nespresso Inissia boasts a rapid 25-second preheating cycle, which allows it to generate full-bodied tasting espresso in a fraction of the time compared to most machines. Plus, inserting the capsules is an easy, no-mess process.
  • automatically powers off
  • folding cup tray
  • available in 6 different colors
Brand Nespresso
Model D40-US-BK-NE
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Breville BES870XL

The Breville BES870XL gives espresso lovers quality espresso by using a sophisticated integrated burr grinder, which grinds coffee a few beans at a time, so you have the freshest, richest flavor. It also has a cool industrial look.
  • interface is simple to understand
  • easy to clean inside and out
  • has a cup warmer on the top
Brand Breville
Model BES870XL
Weight 26.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Common Misconceptions About Espresso

You may think espresso started as an Italian achievement, but a French guy invented the first machine in 1822. Admittedly though, it wasn't much longer before the Italians took it over and made the espresso machine a real work of art.

The Italian with the first patent for an automatic espresso machine went on to found the Illy Caffe company in 1933. On its website the company defines authentic espresso as a, "pure sensorial pleasure." It doesn't get much better than that, people.

Now let's tackle two other common misconceptions about espresso: the definition and the pronunciation.

Espresso is defined as: 1. a method of coffee preparation whereby water is forced through coffee grounds with great pressure. 2. a cup of coffee prepared by forcing water through coffee grounds with great pressure.

So you see, the term "espresso" does not refer to the texture of the grind; nor is it a type of roast. Now that you have this bit of information under your cap, you can begin to build a little coffee snobbery of your own.

As for pronunciation: that's another thing that many rookies get wrong, especially those with no experience with romance languages (we are not judging here). Definitively, there is no "X" in espresso; not real nor implied. I promise I will explain the origin of the word a little later. Till then, don't fall into the trap.

Drop the "X." Pronouncing it right won't make you sound smart, but pronouncing it wrong might make you sound a little stupid. Just sayin'.

A Little Espresso History For You

As legend has it, Ethiopian goats were the first to discover the delightful properties of coffee beans when they ate the raw beans right off the stem. The goats nibbled happily away at the beans, probably right around 2 o'clock every afternoon, until finally an astute goat herder noticed the goats' perky behavior, gave the beans a taste, found them quite stimulating, and rushed them off to the nearest monastery.

The monks thought the goat herder was a fool, and told him as much by throwing the beans in the fire. Sigh. Well, soon the enticing aroma of fresh roasted coffee was too much to ignore. The monks henceforth reversed their snubbing of coffee beans, scooped them out of the fire and threw them into some hot water. Then they drank the dark brew. Ta-da! The first cup of coffee! That was back in the year 850CE.

From there, coffee has continued to enjoy a storied and well-documented history. But we will confine our discourse to espresso, which came about many years into coffee's journey through the millennia.

Skip now to the year 1906. Milan held a World's Fair they called, "L'Esposizione Internazionale del Sempione." At the Piazza d'Armi, Luigi Bezzera and Desidero Pavoni unveiled the first working coffee machine to brew a single cup. They served "cafeé espresso" to the visitors on a wide countertop; the baristas dressed in black jackets and bow ties.

For the first time in the entire history of coffee, finally, in 1906, people could enjoy coffee made expressly for them: espresso. (I told you I would get back to this). And, while rumor has it the first espresso tasted pretty bad - watery and bitter, they say - the Italians stuck with it, perfecting it, marketing it, teaching people how to enjoy it.

Espresso didn't become the lovely bevvie it is today until after WWII, when a cafe owner named Achille Gaggia invented the lever-driven machine. Not to get too technical or anything, but the result was a consistent one-ounce shot of espresso with crema on top.

A whiz at marketing, Gaggia managed to convince the public that this was not coffee scum produced by his invention, as they originally suspected; it was, rather, coffee cream. Now it's the standard. Baristas believe that the richness of your crema indicates the freshness of your beans.

Everybody's Doing It: The Four M's of Espresso

Here we are now; ready to be a home barista?

Let's take a moment to review the four M's of espresso. These are all Italian words that you will understand easily.

And if you memorize them, you can whip out these expert terms while you're pulling the perfect shot for your guests.

First comes, miscela, or mixture. This refers to the blend of beans. You want to use the high quality sh*t here; no store brand foolery allowed.

Second: Macinazione, or the grind. A fresh grind is uber-important. A true coffee aficionado wouldn't dream of using grounds that are more than 30 seconds old. The grind texture should be somewhere between fine and powder.

Third: Macchina, or machine. Here's where we came in, what with you shopping for an espresso machine and all. Hope we've helped.

And fourth: Mano, literally hand, or your barista skills. You've got the miscela di destra (the right beans), the macianzione perfetto (the perfect grind), an awesome nuova macchina (new machine). Now it's time to show us your mano di talento (talented hand).

Nowadays, you can even get group or private barista lessons, just to show off, to enjoy an artful cup of coffee at home, or because you want a new or second career. Don't knock it. Did you see Mike Jones handling that foam?

Addio ora.

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Last updated on September 02, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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