10 Best Espresso Machines for Barista-Quality Coffee at Home

WriterRachel Martin

14 February 2024

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10 Best Espresso Machines for Barista-Quality Coffee at Home

If you love coffee, you'll love the best espresso machines. These machines allow you to make barista-quality coffee at home, giving you that smooth, bold, but not bitter taste that makes the world seem like a better place.

Why Choose an Espresso Machine?

The best espresso machines may not be as quick or convenient as Nespresso machines, but they offer a level of control and customization that is unmatched. Once you've mastered the art of using an espresso machine, you'll be able to create spectacular coffee that suits your taste perfectly. In fact, we believe that once you've experienced the coffee from an excellent espresso maker, you won't want to go back to any other kind of coffee machine.

Finding the Right Espresso Machine

With so many options available, finding the right espresso machine can be overwhelming. That's why we've done the research for you. In this comprehensive guide, we've considered all kinds of espresso makers at all price points, from high-end machines to more affordable options. We've reviewed models from top manufacturers like De’Longhi, Gaggia, Breville, and even some lesser-known brands.

Our Top Picks

To help you make an informed decision, here are some of our top picks:

1. Breville the Barista Express Impress

The Breville the Barista Express Impress is our number one choice for an espresso machine. It features an integrated burr grinder with 35 grind settings, allowing you to experiment with different flavors and strengths. The steam wand is easy to use and creates perfectly textured micro-foam for milky lattes. While it may take up some space on your countertop, its beautiful design and the quality of coffee it produces make it worth it.

2. De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685

If you're on a budget, the De'Longhi Dedica Style EC685 is a great option. It's more affordable than most espresso machines we've tested and offers the flexibility to use ESE pods or ground coffee. It creates an intense espresso with a stable crema and is simple to use. However, it may not be suitable for making multiple coffees with milk in quick succession.

3. Seattle Coffee Gear Diletta Bello

For those looking for a premium espresso machine, the Seattle Coffee Gear Diletta Bello is a top choice. It offers smooth, deliciously-brewed coffee every time and has a beautiful minimalist design. While it may have a steep learning curve and take up some space, the quality of coffee it produces is exceptional.

4. Smeg ECF01 Espresso Maker

If style is important to you, the Smeg ECF01 Espresso Maker is perfect. Its retro-style design is available in various colors to suit your home decor. It produces a rich, intense shot of espresso with a thick, stable crema. However, it may not be suitable for complete beginners and has a smaller water tank capacity.

5. Gaggia Classic

The Gaggia Classic is a reliable choice for those who want full manual control over their brew. It offers complete control over water dispensing and produces rich and intense coffee with a stable crema. However, it may be on the more expensive side compared to other options.

6. De'Longhi Dinamica Plus

If you're short on time but still want high-quality coffee, the De'Longhi Dinamica Plus is worth considering. It automatically handles every step of the process, from grinding the beans to frothing the milk. It allows for personalization and offers user profiles, so you can create your perfect coffee every time.

7. Breville Bambino

For those with limited space, the Breville Bambino is a compact espresso machine that doesn't compromise on features. It offers both automatic and manual brewing options and comes with a built-in steam wand and milk jug. However, it may have some dripping issues after pouring espresso.

8. De'Longhi La Specialista Arte EC9155MB

If you love espresso with an integrated grinder, the De'Longhi La Specialista Arte EC9155MB is a great choice. It allows you to customize the grind's coarseness and produces rich and intense coffee. However, it may have some dripping issues and is not compatible with pods.

9. Nespresso Vertuo Next

For a hassle-free espresso experience, the Nespresso Vertuo Next is a single-serve coffee machine that delivers smooth coffee with a thick crema. It's easy to use, thanks to the barcode system that determines the water volume and brewing process. However, it lacks a steam wand for texturizing milk.

10. Wacaco Picopresso

If you're always on the go, the Wacaco Picopresso is a portable espresso machine that allows you to make smooth espressos anywhere. It's compact and uses hand-pump power, making it perfect for travel. However, it has a small water tank capacity and doesn't have a milk texturizing option.

How to Choose the Best Espresso Machine

When choosing an espresso machine, there are several factors to consider. First, decide if you want manual control over water dispensing or if you prefer a machine that does the work for you. Next, consider whether you want to use ground coffee, single-serve pods, or a combination of both. Think about the capacity of the machine and whether it can accommodate your needs, especially if you often make coffee for multiple people. If you enjoy milk-based drinks, look for a machine with a built-in steam wand or factor in the cost of a separate milk frother. Finally, consider the size of the machine and whether it will fit in your kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I make an espresso?
  • How is an espresso machine different from a coffee machine?

We hope this comprehensive guide has helped you in your search for the best espresso machine. With the right machine, you can enjoy barista-quality coffee in the comfort of your own home.

About the author
Rachel Martin
Rachel Martin
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Rachel Martin is an acclaimed Coffee Makers News Writer, celebrated for her in-depth reviews and barista-level expertise. With an innate passion for coffee culture and a knack for technical detail, Rachel's articles serve as a beacon for coffee enthusiasts navigating the world of home brewing.

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