Best Small Espresso Machines: Find Your Perfect Cup of Espresso at Home

WriterRachel Martin

21 February 2024

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Best Small Espresso Machines: Find Your Perfect Cup of Espresso at Home

When it comes to making a delicious cup of espresso, having the right machine can make all the difference. But for those who don't have the space or budget for a full-sized espresso machine, a small espresso machine is the perfect solution. In this comprehensive review, we'll explore the best small espresso machines on the market and help you find the perfect one for your needs.

Understanding the Different Types of Espresso Machines

Before we dive into the top picks, it's important to understand the different types of espresso machines available. According to Heather Calatrello, owner and head roaster at ShedLight Coffee, espresso machines can be categorized into three basic modalities: manual, semi-automatic, and fully automatic. For those who prefer a hands-off brewing experience, fully automatic machines are the way to go. However, for most home coffee brewers, a semi-automatic machine will offer the right balance of ease of use and affordability.

The Best Small Espresso Machines

1. Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

The Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine is our top pick for the best small espresso machine. With its compact design and user-friendly features, it's perfect for beginners. The machine allows you to select automatic one- or two-shot volumes at the touch of a button, and the automatic milk frother works exceptionally well. The only downside is that there are no variable grind control settings, so you'll need to use a separate grinder for more precise control.

2. De'Longhi Stilosa Espresso Machine

If you're on a budget, the De'Longhi Stilosa Espresso Machine is a great value option. Despite its affordable price, it still delivers excellent espresso. The machine is manual and allows you to pull either a single or double shot of espresso. It also features a built-in milk frother and a dual-level cup holder. While there is a bit of a learning curve, the no-frills design of this machine makes it easy to use.

3. SMEG Medium Fully-Automatic Coffee Machine

For those looking to splurge, the SMEG Medium Fully-Automatic Coffee Machine is a stylish and high-performing option. It has a fully automated brewing process and a compact footprint. The machine takes care of everything from grinding beans to tamping espresso to steaming milk. While the milk wand could be longer, the overall ease of use and performance make it worth the investment.

4. Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe by Breville

If you prefer the convenience of pod-based espresso, the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe by Breville is the best choice. This machine is easy to use and offers consistent quality. It can brew espresso and coffee in four sizes and has a generous water tank. While it only works with Nespresso Vertuo pods, there is a wide variety available, and the machine offers built-in pod storage.

5. AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press

For those who are always on the go, the AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press is the perfect portable option. This lightweight and compact kit allows you to brew coffee or espresso wherever you are. It's easy to use and comes with everything you need, except for the coffee. The only downside is that you may need to experiment with the coffee-to-water ratios to find your preferred taste.

Conclusion

Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just enjoy a good cup of espresso, a small espresso machine can bring the cafe experience into your home without taking up too much space. The Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine is our top recommendation for its ease of use and compact design. However, if you're on a budget, the De'Longhi Stilosa Espresso Machine offers great value. For those looking to splurge, the SMEG Medium Fully-Automatic Coffee Machine is a stylish and high-performing option. If you prefer the convenience of pod-based espresso, the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe by Breville is the best choice. And for those always on the go, the AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press is the perfect portable option. Choose the one that suits your needs and start enjoying delicious espresso at home.

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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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