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Best Espresso Machines 2018

As of November 2017, there are 700+ various espresso machines (from simple to semi-automatic/fully automatic) available in the market. With this wide range of espresso machines available in the market, it becomes difficult to choose the right espresso machine for you – as every espresso machine has some or the other advanced and innovative features you’ve never heard of!

If you’re looking for a new coffee maker, or if you want to up your game with something like an espresso machine, we’ve hunted down the top 10 best espresso machines. Our roundup has something for just about everyone, from single-serve systems and smart coffee makers to machines that let you create café-quality espresso and cappuccino right at home or at the big cafe.

Best Home Espresso Machines – Semi-Automatic

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines are best when you need extra control over espresso brewing. You have to make some effort, but it’s worth the taste. We’ve chosen the best semi-automatic machines for the coffee addict.

1. Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Breville BES920XLIt’s an expensive espresso machine that combines great taste and control features. If you don’t have a huge budget restriction, you should go for Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine. Being a product from Breville, you do not have to worry about quality or after-sale support.

This espresso machine has been built for commercial purposes, despite its compact design and dimensions. Moreover, inside, it boasts double boilers — giving a dedicated performance for both espresso shots and milk frothing. As a result, we had the perfect-extracted espresso cup.

We loved some great optimization features in Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine. For instance, its Over-Pressure Valve is ideal for keeping the right extraction pressure while the PID Temperature Control takes care of the best heat level for your coffee.

Apart from these, the modern coffee maker has a fully-fledged, LCD-Display control panel. It lets you control cup sizes, temperature etc. For those who are well-versed with espresso making, the control panel is simply superb. There is also a Manual mode, in case if you are interested.

Last but not least, Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine has a top-fill water-reservoir of 84oz. We think that’s suitable for big homes as well as offices out there. Other features include Pre-Infusion, Auto-Off, in-built Descaling function and 2-Year Limited Warranty. Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is recommended for big homes as well as offices alike. It requires some effort, but rest is automated, giving you several cups of espresso shots and milk froth at the same time.

2. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Rancilio SilviaIf you are planning to save some money, we recommend going for this espresso machine, which is used by a big number of people. Although not for commercial use, the hardware and features are well-suited for the home and office needs. It should serve the situations when you need more cups.

One of the unique features in Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is the 58mm Portafilter, which is patented by Rancilio. As a result, we were having a perfect extraction, every single time we brewed. The extraction filter works well with the single-boiler system inside, judging by the taste of espresso drinks we prepared.

When compared to the top pick, this machine has a lower capacity of 12oz. Nevertheless, it was easy for us to change the water-reservoir and re-fill it when required. It also comes with a removable drip tray. In light of all these, we’d say the design of Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is uniquely awesome.

Controlling the machine and espresso-making process is an easy task, thanks to its articulating steam wand and steaming knob. You just need to know the basics, and the well-placed-and-programmed switches would help you get the job done. In our case, we needed little explanation to get started.

You are not getting the best milk frother, but it’s good for the total budget. Moreover, it’s a single-boiler and has its limitations when it comes to performance. Even then, considering that you’re paying sub-$700, this Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is a perfect combo of speed, taste, and power. We suggest going for Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine if you are okay with a small water reservoir. It’s not suitable for big offices with higher espresso consumption. On the other hand, it would do the job for individual espresso drinks and small homes.

3. Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

Gaggia 14101An even affordable espresso machine in town, Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine is suitable for home purposes. That having said, this semi-automatic espresso machine comes with a huge water-reservoir of 72-oz capacity.

When compared to other machines in our review, this one was pretty compact. It does not take up notable space from the countertop, thus saving the space for other stuff too. Using the machine was an effort-free task, thanks to the presence of its drip-free design and commercial-grade portafilter.

One thing most customers of Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine love is the durability of construction. The steam wand and control section are sturdily built and gives a premium feel in the long run. At the same time, it should be noted that it has not many control options on front.

The package consists of single-shot and double-shot filters, along with the ground coffee scoop. Right after you have purchased, you can start making the right espresso. In addition, the taste of the produced espresso is worth what you have to pay. At the least, you are getting an affordable machine at the end of the day. Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine showcases standard performance, flexibility but has an extra-large water-reservoir. So, we think the machine is optimal for beginner espresso lovers who consume several cups a day.

Best Commercial Espresso Machines – Super Automatic

Super Automatic Espresso Machines are the best combination of easiness and performance. While they are complete machines inside, you don’t need the external effort. It’s just a matter of a few buttons that you’d have the perfect cup of espresso.

1. Jura Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine

Jura Giga 5There are people who don’t hesitate to spend a lot, for the having the best coffee machine. If you’re one of them, you should check out Jura Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine. It’s a really expensive super-automatic espresso machine that you can use for other special coffees as well.

With this single machine, you can have up to 17 specialty coffees. You just have to make the selection from the TFT-Display control panel and the coffee would be ready in seconds. It was all easy with the Rotary switch and the impressive display section.

Coming to the performance aspect, Jura Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine steals the show. It comes with 2 professional ceramic disc grinders, which make no sound at all. Because you are inserting coffee beans — instead of ground coffee —, there is an extra feel of freshness you would spot in the espresso.

Looking at the product, we can’t say anything but, Sexy. It’s such an awesome design that suits almost every kitchen. With the royal look and the coffee bean containers at the top, this machine is up to expectations. It is amazing to find that they have included two heating systems and grinders inside this machine.

What’s more, Jura Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine comes with an integrated descaling and cleaning system — and it gets the job done in a single button-press. You also have an Energy Savings switch and options for adjusting water-hardness. It’s for those who can spend anything for the best coffee. Despite being expensive, this multipurpose espresso machine provides the best-in-class performance and features alike. Although it has a water-reservoir capacity of 87oz, we think it is too advanced for an office machine.

2. DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

DeLonghi ESAM3300 MagnificaThis would be the ideal choice if you are looking for an affordable piece of super-automatic espresso maker. It’s so reasonably priced that you can get a tasty cup of espresso with a sub-$600 budget. When compared to others, the machine offers advanced features and patented systems.

There are many features that make this product stand apart from the others. For instance, you can set up a few customized espresso drinks according to your preferences. Then, all of them are just a button away. In addition, the brewing system is so rapid that we did not have to wait for the next cup.

It comes with an intuitive control panel that consists of rotary know and the push button, and you can have single or double espresso shots. It does not let you change the espresso level, but you get it in 5. Because the package comes with a manual cappuccino frother, making the drinks you like is an easy thing.

When compared to the major Super Automatic espresso machines in town, this one is compact. Plus, it has removable water-storage and coffee-bean-storage options. So, when it comes to descaling or cleaning, we had no issues with the machine.

Other notable features of DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine are the inbuilt cup tray and cup warmer, adjustable cup sizes, integrated Burr Grinder that gives best ground coffee and a feature named Instant Reheat. Because it has a capacity of 80oz, DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine is suitable for huge-consumption groups as well. Also, we found the features to be quite premium.

3. Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker

NespressoNespresso machines are noted for their simplicity and consistent taste! And, Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker is the perfect affordable machine you can have from the current market. Despite the lower price tag, it was able to provide the best coffee, consistently.

One thing you would probably love about this coffee machine is its instant functioning. You can have your favorite espresso coffee/lungo ready in a few seconds, thanks to the powerful hardware inside. It also has a water-reservoir capacity of 24oz, which is good for a few cups.

In case if you did not know, Nespresso machines use Nespresso capsules instead of ground coffee. Do not worry; you can have a variety of Nespresso capsules, from the wide-enough collection. The machine will be able to hold up to 10 used capsules as well.

Advanced programming and LED lights are some other notable features of Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker. You can pre-program the desired size of your cup, without really affecting the brewing time. In practice, the thermos-heating element is very effective too.

Who Is it for: if you are looking for an ultra-compact yet fully-automatic espresso machine, you have a good time with Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker. It’s quick, tasty and maintains the programmable features in an accessible manner for all.

Espresso Machines — Introduction

best-espresso-machines-introduction (1)

Because you are here, we hope you know very well about Espresso — which is a popular drink among coffee addicts out there. Most people love espressos for the intense flavor and the unparalleled taste, giving them enough energy and resources for every single day. There was a time when we had manual espresso machines to make these drinks. That is, you had to insert all the ingredients and press some levels to apply the right amount of pressure to the ground coffee. It was then we got the perfect cup of espresso, without losing any bit of flavor or taste in the course of brewing.

As to the question how these machines work, they use the high amount of pressure and water. You will have to insert the necessary amount of ground coffee, and the machine will do the rest. Water is pressurized and is forced to the ground coffee. When the high-pressure hot water collides with the coffee ground, the essential oils & flavor are extracted. Depending on the machine you purchase, you can find different ways of mixing. Some espresso machines use electric pumps while others stick onto steam. In our recommendations list, we have covered electric pump-based machines only. We believe they are the performance-friendly now.

We hope now you have a clear idea about the working of espresso machines. We will now share some guides to choose the right type.

Semi-Automatic Vs Super Automatic espresso machines

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

As you can guess from the names, Semi-Automatic Espresso machines are not completely manual. It means there are some things to be done by the user. For instance, you will have to select the temperature level or do some actions. Of course, there are certain benefits and disadvantages.

Talking about advantages, the best semi-automatic espresso machine gives you better control over your coffee. You have the option to adjust the amount of ground coffee, water, and temperature. Also, depending on the requirements, you can use optional hardware too. For instance, you can have the best results from a Milk Frother or something. In addition, semi-automatic machines are pretty much affordable than the other type. However, apart from all these, semi-automatic espresso machines are noted for the usability. Even when it comes to a beginner in the world of espresso shots, they would be fine with these machines.

Super Automatic Espresso Machines

This is the type of espresso machine that is suitable for newbie espresso makers. These are simple to use for obvious reasons. First of all, these machines don’t give much control to the user, because almost everything is automated.

If we take the case of advantages, usability is the major reason to be pointed out. You don’t have to know about anything if you want to use these machines. All you have to do is to insert the favorite ground coffee or full beans. The machine will select the optimal amount of ground coffee, water, and temperature and mix them all together. As a result, you will have the perfect cup of espresso coffee in a few seconds. However, it is possible to have a few more sub-choices in the categories. For instance, we can take the case of Nespresso machines — which are a type of compact, automated espresso machines. Here, you are supposed to make use of Nespresso capsules instead of ground coffee.

These are the basic differences that exist between semi-automated and super-automated espresso machines.

How to choose the right espresso machine?

You should make the right choices when you are getting an espresso machine. And, you can use the following factors to make the selection easier.

Capacity

When you are a heavy coffee consumer, you should take a look at the water-storage capacity of the machine. It is because you may not always have time to refill water before every espresso shot. Keeping that in mind, it is necessary to choose the right amount of storage options. We recommend going for something more than 50oz if you are getting the machine for multiple users.

Design

You are going to place the espresso machine on your countertop — or in your bedroom if you are using that so often. So, you should have a look at the overall design and portability of the machine. It’s only then you’ll have a best espresso-making experience ahead. By design, we mean not only the size of the machine but also the style and finish.

Type

As said earlier, you can have different types of espresso machines from the market. The first selection must be between semi-automatic and super-automatic. To do that, you should consider the flexibility you need while making espresso and the time you can dedicate to it. Next, you should choose the machine depending on the input method. As said, some machines need you to use coffee pods and capsules while others depend on ground coffee. According to the availability of the desired flavor, you can make the selection. In addition, it is recommended to check the heating method and performance before checking out the product.

Programming

Programming can be an additional feature for many people, especially for advanced baristas. However, if you like to have a customized espresso drink or to schedule the drink-making every day, you should confirm these features. For instance, you should see if the espresso machine has an inbuilt timer for turning on and turning off. Also, we recommend additional options such as integrated descaling options and temperature control. It needs to be noted that advanced controls are mostly seen in semi-automatic or manual espresso machines only.

Apart from all these, you can consider additional features too. For example, we always love an in-built coffee grinder, which gives us a fresh espresso. Also, it’s good to have cup warmers and removable parts.

Wrapping up

Hope you loved our collection of the best espresso machines in the market. If you are not interested in the customized espresso-making process, we think the super-automatic machine is fine. But, you must be ready to pay more for that. On the other hand, if you can take some effort to get the perfect espresso, there are some coolest espresso machines on the market. Choose the right one for your status as a barista and move forward in your coffee-making experience — day by day.

My name is Francisco Ashford and I am a food blogger based out of Sacramento, California. After struggling for years with an eating disorder, I have finally learnt the art to live a life of health and wellness. My vision behind running this coffee blog is to inspire and educate readers about "Coffee".
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102 comments on “Best Espresso Machines 2018

  1. Ryan Amidon says:

    Thanks for this curated list of espresso machined. I got one question for you, Breville BES870XL VS BES920XL, which model is the best for home use and why?

    1. Francisco Ashford says:

      The Breville BES870XL is a fine buy for home use. The BES920XL is a fantastic machine for people looking for high quality coffee but it is designed for manual operation. Experienced baristas love this machine because of its amazing customization options. However, it may not be a good buy for people who simply want a cup of delicious cup the first thing in the morning.

      The BES870XL does this job for you perfectly. This semi-automatic machine provides you ease of use as well as great customization options. The strength of the brew is great and it turns out rich and delicious each time. The feature rich machine comes with a 15-bar pump, that you see in most commercial grade machines. Still, it provides great extraction and gives you your morning cup of coffee in less than a minute. It has a conical burr grinder and auto purge function. Plus, you get cleaning alerts from the machine, making it a perfect buy for home use.

  2. Adam Garcia says:

    I am looking to buy an espresso machine for home use, and would love to get some help.
What I am looking for:

    – as much automation as possible when it comes to cleaning and maintenance
    
- espresso shots could be automated as well
- but I do like a lot of foam and like my milk extra hot, so I am looking for more of a manual steam wand for frothing. Also, the milk frothing container can’t be plastic. Stainless steel is best.



    Can you tell me which espresso machine I should go with?

    1. Francisco Ashford says:

      The Breville BES870XL takes the cake when it comes to a feature rich machine that lets you make a variety of coffee drinks at home. It is a semi-automatic machine that provides you a rich brew every time. The milk frothing wand is also very high quality, giving you creamy foam for every drink. The design and elegance of this machine is a class apart. It extracts coffee very well and will provide you a drink within 2 minutes, almost as well as a fully automatic machine. Maintenance is also easy as the machine comes with automatic cleaning alerts.

      The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is also a perfect fit for the kind of machine you are looking for. This machine comes with commercial grade features like a 58mm porta filters, large boilers and supreme coffee extraction. It provides steam management functions and always provides you a super-hot and rich brew on use. The stainless-steel milk frothing wand is great for people who like their foam or milk well-textured and creamy.

      The iron frame of the machine has stainless steel and brass parts which makes it slightly heavier from its counterparts but extremely durable as well. You get a pod and capsule adaptor kit as well (to be bought separately) which will give you a quick and flavorful cup of coffee at the touch of a button.

      A good option for automated coffee brewing is Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo Deluxe. This is a machine that boasts of an amazing look, a fabulous centrifusion technology and delicious and rich coffee each time. Just load the capsule of your choice and the machine will make a great brew for you in less than 2 minutes. It comes with a milk wand for making delicious coffee variants. You can get a rich espresso shot or a creamy latte within minutes with this machine. The milk is always hot and the forth is always creamy and well-textured. The milk wand can be bought from the market separately.

  3. Robert Attaway says:

    Thank you for the awesome roundup of espresso machines. I just have one question, how to backflush espresso machine?

    1. Francisco Ashford says:

      You should ideally backflush a coffee machine every week or after every 200 cups. To backflush a machine, first clean the drip tray and fill the machine with fresh filtered water. Now, find the blind filter in the machine, add some cleaning agent of your choice and insert it into the porta filter. Now insert the portafilter into its original position. Check how to activate the cleaning mode of your machine. The instructions will vary depending on the manufacturer.

      The machine will then automatically start forcing hot water into the filter. This will release the cleaning agent into the machine. The machine will continue doing so until the cleaner completely dissolves. The water will then be drained through a 3-way over pressure valve.

  4. William Archibald says:

    Awesome roundup man. Just one question before I purchase my first espresso machine – can espresso machines make regular coffee?

    1. Francisco Ashford says:

      Yes and No. There are some coffee machines that can be used for making both regular coffee and espresso. However, if you have bought an espresso machine and want to make some regular coffee, just brew and espresso, add hot water and milk/cream to get a great coffee. If you haven’t bought a machine yet and enjoy Americanos, Lattes and other coffee blends apart from an espresso, go for a machine that comes with separate hot water tubes and milk wands.

  5. Charles Lea says:

    Hello, do you know a place for 2nd hand espresso machine sale?

    1. Francisco Ashford says:

      You can get a 2nd hand espresso machine on Amazon. The machines are usually in a good condition and get shipped easily as well.

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