The dizzying selection of espresso and latte makers on the market can make your head spin but we’ve created this guide to help cut through all the noise and help you choose the best espresso maker for your budget and level of coffee making expertise.

Newbies and Snobs alike - we got you!  We know you want to spend your time honing your espresso mastery skills so forget doing all that tedious product research and check out our picks below

The Different Kinds of Espresso Makers

When deciding on your ideal Espresso Maker, it’s important to understand the different types of Espresso Machines available. The two main types of espresso makers are Steam Driven Espresso Makers and Pump Driven Espresso Makers

Steam Driven Espresso Maker

Steam Driven Espresso Machines were historically the first espresso machines ever created. Although modern machines tend to be pump driven, steam driven machines can still make a strong cup of coffee. Coffee snobs will quickly let you know that steam driven machines do not make an authentic cup of espresso, as pressure is not used at push water through the coffee grounds.

PROS

  • check
    Inexpensive

CONS

  • Can’t make multiple cups of coffee fast
  • Can’t produce crema
  • Doesn’t make “real” espresso


Pump Driven Espresso Maker

Pump Driven Espresso Makers are pricier but coffee aficionados are usually willing to pay the price for an authentic cup of homemade espresso. Pump Driven Machines come in various levels of automation: semi-automatic, automatic, and super-automatic

PROS

  • check
    Can usually make a delicious crema
  • check
    Makes multiple cups faster
  • check
    Restaurant quality espresso
  • check
    Convenience

CONS

  • Pricier

Pump Driven Espresso Makers can be further classified into these two main categories:

Super-Automatic:  A super automatic machine is perfect for the novice, it’ll effortlessly make you an espresso with just the press of a button! If you’re busy and value convenience the most, this is the machine for you.

Semi-Automatic:  A semi-automatic espresso maker is the preferred machine for the coffee aficionado, it definitely takes experimenting and finesse to really masteryour machine. If you are perfectionist looking to craft your very own perfectly honed cup of joe, this is for you.

Steam Driven Espresso Maker

Steam Driven Espresso Machines were historically the first espresso machines ever created. Although modern machines tend to be pump driven, steam driven machines can still make a strong cup of coffee. Coffee snobs will quickly let you know that steam driven machines do not make an authentic cup of espresso, as pressure is not used at push water through the coffee grounds.

PROS

  • check
    Inexpensive

CONS

  • Can’t make multiple cups of coffee fast
  • Can’t produce crema
  • Doesn’t make “real” espresso


The Best Espresso Makers

BEST ALL AROUND ESPRESSO MAKER

Pump, Semi-Automatic

Pods = no, Grinder = yes, Frother = yes, Pressure: 15

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express is all around favorite as it offers a good set of customization options but can still be used by an advanced novice. It’s a beautiful machine, perfect for the office as it can produce espresso for a crowd: 8 cups of espresso at a time. It’s meant for a spacious kitchen with ample counter space.

The BES870XL Barista Express has a great frothing arm, which means that you can make any coffee featuring frothed milk - such as lattes or cappuccinos. The integrated grinder is solid - allowing for very fine grinding of the coffee beans and you can really fine-tune and adjust the features. Also featured is a built-in tamper and a purge feature to save you from burning your coffee. Overall this fine espresso maker is the closest to a professional model for your home and it’s definitely a piece of kitchen hardware that you want to showcase proudly to your guests.

BEST BUDGET ESPRESSO MAKER

Pump, Semi-Automatic.

Pods = yes, Grinder = no, Frother = yes, Pressure: 15

Espresso makers were once considered only a luxury item, but these days many brands offer quite affordable versions for your home.  We found the De’Longhi EC155 to be the best budget espresso maker and it’s also Amazon’s #1 best seller of Semi-Automatic Espresso Makers.

The De’Longhi EC155 is a compact machine which still manages to feature a sizeable water reservoir. This affordable machine is also perfect for a beginning espresso maker who can opt to use ground coffee or pods in a pinch, both are compatible. The water tank is removable and the cleanup for it is easy. Finally the De’Longhi EC155 heats up quickly and creates is capable of producing crema. This espresso maker is a great fit someone who wants a budget machine and places a high value on convenience




BEST BEGINNER ESPRESSO MAKER

The affordable Nespresso Inissia comes in a rainbow array of colors and looks great on your counter. It’s also super compact so you don’t have to worry about limited tabletop space. The Nespresso Inissia only takes Nespresso capsules which is why this makes for a great beginning espresso maker. All you have to do is turn on the machine, pop in a pod, select your drink size and Voila! You’ll have a hot delicious drink ready to go in practically an instant.

What else makes the Nespresso Inissia a great beginner espresso maker? It makes a good crema effortlessly and the taste of the espresso is extremely consistent. It’s also a great budget machine, it’s the least expensive Nespresso machine. The water tank can be easily viewed so that you know when it needs to be refilled and the fact that it can take multiple pods before it needs to be emptied means quick cleanup. Delicious high quality espresso with the push of the button, what more could you ask for? Spend $40 to upgrade the bundle pack and you’ll get the  standalone Aeroccino3 milk frother so that you can make lattes and cappuccinos!

The Breville Espresso Makers are such a high quality product that it is the only brand to show up three times in our reviews. The Breville BES840XL Infuser stands out from other machines, because it uses low pressure to infuse the coffee grinds. This infusion method results in a richly flavored espresso and the crema it produces is comparable to a much more expensive Espresso Maker  This machine also comes with a solid tamper and a quality milk frothing pitcher, meaning that you can make cappuccinos and lattes! Also the steam wand is capable of making latte art, unlike the other machines reviewed.

We also valued the removable water pitcher, which isn’t available on every espresso maker. The dedicated water dispenser means that you can also make a quick cup of tea. The built in PID monitors the temperature resulting in a very consistent cup of coffee.  Overall, the intuitive design allows this machine to be used by beginner and intermediate espresso aficionados alike.

Pods = no, Grinder = no, Frother = no, Pressure: n/a

We won’t weigh in on whether or not a stovetop espresso maker makes a “real” espresso, what’s important here is that the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker makes a great cup of coffee. Coming in just under $40, it is also by far the most affordable espresso maker on this list. This style of espresso maker is beloved by native Italians and it’s easy to clean, just remember to hand-wash - don’t put it in the dishwasher!

The Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker makes a strong cup of coffee and it definitely needs monitoring, you want to make sure not to overheat the unit. It’s not a quick coffee solution, but you can easily prepare your morning cup of joe while making your breakfast. The smell from this espresso maker is quite satisfying. The Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker is a great machine if you are looking for a full bodied and rich cup of coffee and have a limited budget

Super automatic machines tend to be extremely pricey - you definitely pay a pretty penny for the convenience - but the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica is one of the few super automatic machines that comes in at an affordable price point. For this espresso maker, all you have to do is push a couple buttons, and the machine will automatically grind the beans, extract the flavor and pour it all to your desired size selection for you.

With the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica, you can enjoy the deliciousness of your own ground beans without purchasing a separate grinder. The machine includes an conical burr grinder which allows you to adjust for your desired consistency of beans.  Another great feature is this espresso maker is the patented Cappuccino System. The double boiler, steaming wand and frother allows you to make a cappuccino right after you’ve made an espresso. Want effortless high quality espresso and more? This is the machine for you!

PUMP SUPER AUTOMATIC

Pods = no, Grinder = yes, Frother = yes, Pressure: 15

The Jura IMPRESSA Z9 is by far the most expensive machine on this list, coming in just under a whopping four thousand dollars. What do you get for this price? Speed is definitely a feature of this espresso maker, you can make a premium espresso in less than 60 seconds. A intuitive dial control allows you to easily select whether you want your hot milk as is or prefer it frothed or steamed. This is also one of the quietest machines on the market.

The classic Swiss engineering of the machine means that you only need to clean the machine every few months because of the automatic rinsing cycle, which is prompted after every use. The machine is programmable so after you have dialed all your preferences in, all you need to do is push a button and you’ll get your desired drink.  The most futuristic function of this smart machine is that there are six pre-programmed drinks available on the front screen. The Jura IMPRESSA Z9 is definitely for the tech geek and ultimate espresso aficionado.


PUMP, Full Automatic

Pods = no, Grinder = yes, Frother = no, Pressure: 15

The KRUPS EA8250 Espresseria makes a hot cup of coffee, which is worth mentioning as sometimes users complain about the coffee from espresso makers as not hot enough. This espresso maker delivers consistency in the taste and flavor of its espressos. Fully automated machines usually need a lot of space but the KRUPS is compact while still retaining a good sized water tank.

The KRUPS EA8250 Espresseria is very programmable compared to machines in $600 price range. It’s a trusted brand with it’s machine made in France. Perfect for the espresso lover who wants some customization but places a high value on ease of use. This espresso maker is perfect for a small family or small office

Pods = yes, Grinder = no, Frother = yes, Pressure: 15

The Philips Saeco Poemia is a stylish little compact machine. This espresso maker is compatible with both pods and coffee grinds, making it a good fit for beginners who might want to graduate to a slightly more customized cup.  Made in the USA, the customer service is on point. The machine creates easy foam for those capps and lattes, a great feature for a machine at this under $200 price point.

The Philips Saeco Poemia provides great value for its price, offering features mostly seen on more expensive models: such as a patented portafiller specially devised for the production of crema, a cup warmer and the milk frothing wand. This pick is perfect for beginners who value both convenience and a quality cup of coffee


Steam Machine

Pods = no, Grinder = no, Frother = yes, Pressure: 3

The Mr. Coffee ECM160 is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Steam Espresso Machines and it’s easy to see why: it’s the most affordable machine on this list. It’s impressive that such a well priced espresso maker has a dynamic milk frother as an attached feature.

Great for a beginner user on a budget who values a machine that is also able to produce lattes and cappuccinos. Also great for a small crowd, the Mr. Coffee ECM160 can pour four shots at once. A true espresso aficionado will probably want to explore a pump driven machine but for it’s price, the resulting coffee is very tasty.

Pump, Semi-automatic

Pods = no, Grinder = no, Frother = no, Pressure: 15

The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is made with durable, top of the line materials inside and out, you are truly getting your money’s worth with this machine. This espresso maker gives you close to a professional level machine for the home user. The Rancilio brand aims to spread the Italian espresso culture around the world and aims at, as they put it, “coffeeing the world”. The Rancilio Silvia is truly a good mascot for the brand and its ethos.

The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine has been consistently rated as a top espresso maker ever since its release in 1998. The machine is regarded with such fondness by users that they have dubbed the machine “Miss Silvia”. Coffee geeks love this piece of hardware as it does take quite a bit of love and experimentation to get the perfect cup. This is the machine for you if you are truly in love with the art of making an espresso.Pump, Semi-automatic


Pump, Semi-automatic machine

Pods = yes, Grinder = no, Frother = yes, Pressure: 17 1/2

Gaggia 14101 Classic lends itself well to an espresso maker with a bit of coffee making knowledge. It is also pod-compatible for a more novice user. It’s a beautifully designed, budget machine coming from a high end brand. This espresso maker also has all the high tech trimmings that you need.

The Italian brand Gaggia originally produced solely commercial grade machines, but it quickly expanded into home market not too much later. You can pull consistent shots from this machine and the design is easy and intuitive to figure out for a more intermediate user. For a beautiful machine from one of the most famous names in espresso, the Gaggia Classic gets you a great semi-automatic machine on a budget

Pump, Semi-automatic

Pods = no, Grinder = no, Frother = no, Pressure: 15

The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is made with durable, top of the line materials inside and out, you are truly getting your money’s worth with this machine. This espresso maker gives you close to a professional level machine for the home user. The Rancilio brand aims to spread the Italian espresso culture around the world and aims at, as they put it, “coffeeing the world”. The Rancilio Silvia is truly a good mascot for the brand and its ethos.

The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine has been consistently rated as a top espresso maker ever since its release in 1998. The machine is regarded with such fondness by users that they have dubbed the machine “Miss Silvia”. Coffee geeks love this piece of hardware as it does take quite a bit of love and experimentation to get the perfect cup. This is the machine for you if you are truly in love with the art of making an espresso.Pump, Semi-automatic


Pump

Pods = no, Grinder = no, Frother = yes, Pressure: 15

The Mr Coffee ECMP50 is a dual espresso/cappuccino maker, a great budget machine that still makes coffee that is packed with flavor. You can quickly make espressos for a crowd by using its double shot filter. Made for the entry-level coffee maker, the indicators on the machine interface are easy to understand and the machine is easily cleaned.

The Mr Coffee ECMP50 truly gets you your bang for the buck! It consistently pulls solid coffee drinks and does so quickly. It’s perfect for the on-the-go professional that wants no fuss or muss with their morning caffeine fix.

Pump, Semi Automatic

Pods = no, Grinder = no, Frother = no, Pressure: 15

Breville is the only brand with three espresso makers to make it on the list! This is the second most expensive machine on the list, coming in over $1000 bucks. One of the fancier features on this machine is the electronic PID which monitors the temperature precisely

The Breville BES920XL is for the prosumer espresso fan, you definitely should have some prior espresso making knowledge before tinkering with this beast. This is a truly customizable machine and you can make the espresso of your dreams. Double boilers make for a higher cost machine but the Breville is able to bring you this feature at a reasonable price. Program your machine so that you can wake up to your personalized espresso. Are you a passionate and wealthy coffee snob? That’s machines for you

Pump, Super Automatic

Pods = yes, Grinder = no, Frother = no, Pressure: 15

The Nespresso Pixie has a sleeker look with it’s chrome finish than the Insissia we reviewed. Its promises to be a quick and quiet machine that produces an excellent crema. It’s also the #1 best seller for Amazon’s in Super-Automatic Espresso machines.  The base of the machine has a cup warmer

Espresso Maker basics - we simplified all the complex terms and laid it out for you. Here are a few features to look out for when shopping for your espresso maker. You don’t have to be smarter than a 5th grader to get this stuff!

Pods

Pods are for the espresso newbie or for the convenience junkie. The quality of espresso made from a pod machine isn’t as high as coffee made from ground beans but the tradeoff is that you can have coffee with just the push of a button. Bonus points if the espresso maker offers the option of both PODS and coffee grinds, this way you get the best of both worlds.

Grinder

Burr grinders are the standard for grinders that are found attached to certain espresso machine models. Some espresso makers don’t come with a grinder, so you’ll have to invest in a separate grinder. A grinder is absolutely necessarily if you are trying to make a high quality espresso.

Frother

Most machines come with a steam wand but they can be unwieldy and cumbersome. It may take a bit of expertise to master this instrument. An attached automatic milk frother allows you to easily make not only espressos, but the milk topped coffees such as cappuccinos and lattes with the touch of a button

Pressure

The espresso BAR pressure is the amount of pressure used when pushing hot water through a puck of the coffee bean grounds to make the espresso. 9 BAR is the standard minimum pressure needed to make authentic espresso. It’s arguable if a higher pressure equals a better espresso, but machines that offer a high amount of pressure are also capable of keeping the pressure at the optional 8-10 bars.

Expert Tips: How to Make a Better Espresso

  • Clean your espresso maker on a regular basis, this will help it last longer. Cleaning requirements vary widely from machine to machine, make sure to read your manual
  • Only use distilled water in your machine, never use tap water.
  • If your machine accepts ground beans start with the freshest quality bean
  • The cup should be heated and the espresso should be piping hot!
  • How to achieve the perfect crema

All about Coffee Beans

If you are looking to take your espresso game to the next level you need a machine that accepts ground coffee beans. But how do you choose the right bean? Here’s what you need to know about coffee beans

Where are they from?

There are countless countries of origin for coffee beans. Where coffee beans are from varies widely in flavor and strength and the easiest way to familiarize yourself with the flavors is simply to purchase and sample the different beans. Brazilian, African and Central American beans tend to be popular for espresso making.

Roast

Make sure to choose a freshly roasted bean for optimal flavor. The darker roasts are typically roasted longest and are often used for brewing espresso, avoid lightly roasted beans - they’ll tend to be bitter. The darker beans should be oily and will create a stronger and sweeter cup of espresso.

The Texture of the Grounds

If you have an attached coffee grinder, you’ll be purchasing coffee beans. You’ll be able to experiment with the texture of the grinds that you most prefer. You should definitely use the freshest beans as always and use the grinds immediately for optimal flavor. For machines without a grinder you will go ahead and purchase pre-ground beans. In general, a finer grind equals a better cup of espresso, compare to the texture of table salt

IDEAS FOR VIDEOS SINCE PURCHASING AN ESPRESSO MACHINE WONT BE IN THE BUDGET

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe using Espresso

Espresso Bean Ice Cream

The Top 20 Yummy Recipes Incorporating Espresso

should build out the page to look like this: http://tinyurl.com/h4kdlv9

Espresso Brownies: http://bakingdom.com/2012/08/espresso-mousse-brownies.html

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookes: http://livforcake.com/2015/08/dark-chocolate-espresso-cookies.html

Where to Buy an Espresso Maker?

With the myriad of stores offering espresso makers online it can be hard to decide where to best purchase your very own espresso make . We are partial towards Amazon. They offer some of the fastest shipping services available and they even ship on Sundays. Most of the Espresso Makers on this list are available via Amazon Prime, which means that if you are an Amazon Prime member, you will receive free two-day shipping. Click here to see Amazon’s Espresso Maker Page.

The Different Type of Coffee Drinks

This should include pictures of each drink. Love these coffee charts by the way https://www.pinterest.com/explore/coffee-chart/

Many of the espresso makers on this list also come with accessories that allow you to make other kinds of coffees. Here are the coffees that you can make it you have espresso:

Cappuchino

The cappuccino is commonly served in a cup and it’s nice to serve it with a sprinkling of chocolate on top. Here’s how you make it

  • Pour a shot of espresso
  • Add an equal amount of steamed milk
  • Top it off with an equal amount of milk foam
  • Dust lightly with chocolate powder

Latte

A close cousin to the cappuccino and is aptly named because its filled with lots of milk. It’s a great cold weather treat!

  • Pour a shot of espresso
  • Add steamed milk to fill almost to the top of the cup
  • Top it off with a thin layer of milk foam

Mocha

The Mocha is perfect for the chocolate lover who is looking for a sweeter drink. It’s basically a hot chocolate with espresso in it.

  • Pour a shot of espresso
  • Add a spoonful of chocolate powder and mix well
  • Fill with steamed milk
  • Top with milk foam

Affogato

What’s more delicious than this combination of ice cream and espresso! Perfect for an after dinner dessert.

  • Start with a scoop of ice cream
  • Pour over a shot of espresso
  • Top with whipped cream

Ristretto

A ristretto is simply a very concentrated shot of espresso. Just make your shot of espresso with half the amount of water you would normally use

  • Tip: use a finer coffee grind than you use for your regular espesso

Macchiato

The macchiato is considered more difficult to perfect than the latte or cappuccino, it’s topped with just a dab of hot milk - any more than that turns it almost into a cappuccino

  • Pour a shot of espresso
  • Top with a dab of hot milk, right into the center

Americano

An Americano is basically just a watered down espresso. It got itself name because Italian baristas developed the coffee for the American palate, when American soldiers were stationed in Italy

  • Pour a shot of espresso
  • Add twice the amount of water

Flat White

The Flat White is very similar to a latte and it’s especially popular in Australia. It’s served in a smaller portion than the latte or cappuchino

  • Pour a shot of espresso
  • Fill cup with steamed milk



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