The 10 Best Espresso Machines

Updated April 05, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Espresso Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Stopping by your favorite coffee shop every day for your morning fix gets costly, not to mention time consuming. Skip the lines and the expense with one of these espresso makers. We've included both premium and budget models so that every one can find the best machine for their needs. Now you can enjoy a latte or cappuccino in minutes, in the comfort of your own home. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best espresso machine on Amazon.

10. EspressoWorks AEW1000

The EspressoWorks AEW1000 is an all-in-one set that comes with a separate bean grinder, a stainless steel frothing cup, two espresso cups, and more, yet surprisingly doesn't have a high price tag. It features a 15-bar pump for true Italian-style beverages.
  • can pull a single or double shot
  • premium stainless steel filter
  • large and clunky on the counter
Brand EspressoWorks
Model AEW1000
Weight 15 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium

The Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium has an adjustable tray height that can hold all of your cups, from your large mugs to your smallest shot glasses. Its control panel allows you to choose from a variety of coffee-based drinks at the touch of a button.
  • accepts most types of coffee grounds
  • removable milk reservoir
  • tough to insert the filter
Brand Mr. Coffee
Model BVMC-ECMP1000-RB
Weight 12.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

8. Gaggia 14101 Classic

The Gaggia 14101 Classic brings commercial-grade design to your home kitchen, with a generously sized 72-ounce removable water reservoir and an elegant brushed stainless steel exterior. It comes with a tamper, a portafilter, and a measuring scoop.
  • wand can dispense hot water
  • backed by a one year warranty
  • housing is too thin
Brand Gaggia
Model 14101
Weight 21.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Breville Duo Temp Pro

The Breville Duo Temp Pro has a clean, two-button interface with just a single dial to switch between brewing and steaming milk. If you have never used an espresso maker before, it is a good choice, as there is almost no learning curve.
  • large 61-ounce reservoir
  • italian-made pump
  • slowly increases extraction pressure
Brand Breville
Model BES810BSS
Weight 20.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Wacaco Company MiniPresso GR

The Wacaco Company MiniPresso GR proves that not every espresso machine needs to be expensive and fancy. This little hand-operated model is great to take camping, as it doesn't require any electricity, though you will need to heat up the water yourself somehow.
  • built-in coffee scoop
  • made from lightweight plastic
  • exceedingly simple to operate
Brand Wacaco Company
Model MPGR100
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Nespresso Essenza Mini

The Nespresso Essenza Mini comes in black, green, or red, so you can use your machine to add a splash of color to your kitchen if you want. It heats up in just 30 seconds and automatically powers itself down after nine minutes to ensure you don't waste energy.
  • comes with the aeroccino frother
  • capable of 19 bars of pressure
  • includes a starter set of pods
Brand DeLonghi America, Inc
Model EN85BAE
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. DeLonghi Magnifica

The DeLonghi Magnifica can make two espressos at once, or one extra strong cappuccino. The brewing unit can be extracted for easy cleaning when needed, and buyers get access to a dedicated call center in case they ever need help troubleshooting any issues.
  • 13 grind settings
  • easy-to-adjust coffee strength dial
  • can brew multiple cups in a row
Brand DeLonghi
Model ESAM3300
Weight 27 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Saeco Intelia Deluxe

The Saeco Intelia Deluxe lets you make espressos to match those of the best baristas. It allows you to adjust the shot time and dose size to customize your coffee, and an automatic frother makes your life easy on those lazy mornings.
  • beautiful stainless steel face
  • made in italy to ensure quality
  • grinds the beans for you
Brand Saeco
Model pending
Weight 22.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio

The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio has a slim design that is ideal for people who don't have a lot of counter space in their kitchen. It is easy to adjust the brew size, from 2-ounce espressos to full 12-ounce cups of coffee, and the LED bars clearly indicate your setting.
  • integrated pod bin
  • cool futuristic look
  • makes hot and cold beverages
Brand DeLonghi
Model EDG466S
Weight 10.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Breville BES870XL

The Breville BES870XL uses 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 and automatically adjusts the water temperature for optimal extraction.
  • makes coffeehouse quality drinks
  • easy to clean inside and out
  • cup warmer on the top
Brand Breville
Model BES870XL
Weight 30.4 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 April 05, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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