Espresso, that deep yet creamy taste sensation that we have come to know and love. Now you can love it first thing in the morning or serve it to your guests in the evening with your very own espresso machine. But, what to choose? There are so many choices and some of them have a pretty steep learning curve.
Whether you want a machine that does all the work for you or one that let’s you show off your espresso crafting skills, you’ll find what you need from among the many manufacturers that have entered the espresso machine field. I’ve reviewed some of the top rated machines to help you decide, what is the best espresso machine for you?
De’Longhi Pump Espresso and Cappuccino MakerYou can channel your inner barista with the De’Longhi Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. This multi-function machine allows you to use either pre-packed pods or your own ground coffee. A built-in jet frother adds lattes and cappuccinos to the lineup of drinks you can prepare. Two separate controls allow you to prepare your water and steam separately to pull a precision espresso every time.
This cup deck is short, and the De’Longhi’s frother sit low to the counter, so you won’t be able to make tall drinks with this machine. But, you will be able to make two customized cups of Espresso at a time. The bar pump pressure for this machine is 15, compared to 19 bars offered by other makers. The De’Longhi has a large 35-ounce water reservoir so you will be able to prepare 8-10 servings before needing a refill.
The De’Longhi is a solid choice for caffeine lovers who are ready to try out their beverage crafting skills, two custom cups at a time.
Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Steam Espresso MachineMr. Coffee, oh how long have you been in my life? One of the most well-known names in morning caffeine fixology, Mr. Coffee has entered a new era with the Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine. If you caught that little tip in the name, Mr. Coffee isn’t messing around when it comes to getting your caffeine delivered.
This model delivers four shots at a time into a long-handled an easy-pour carafe. The Mr. Coffee machine also comes with a frothing arm so you can choose between an espresso, latte or cappuccino for your coffee buzz.
The Mr. Coffee espresso machine uses steam heat rather than a pressure pump to create your brew, so this might not be the best option for true espresso aficionados. This steam heat delivery provides quieter operation than a pump system, though, and quiet is always a plus when you are waiting for that first cup of java in the morning. The filter based system also means you can brew what you like, no pods required.
Breville 15-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso MachineBreville isn’t playing any games when it comes to espresso making. The Breville offers a 15 bar Italian pump, and primes your tamped coffee with three bursts of hot water before the extraction begins.
Three different temperatures settings, espresso, hot water, and steam, provide for optimal beverage preparation. An auto-purge function prevents steam burnt brews.
The Breville uses extra water for the purge process, but with a 74.4-ounce reservoir capacity, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. The dual wall portafilter provides just the right pressure for perfect crema. You can only use one temperature setting on the Breville at a time so steam your milk first and keep it on the machine top warmer.
The Breville has a bit of a learning curve, but takes temperature control and pressure seriously to craft a serious cup of espresso.
Gaggia Classic Espresso MachineWith a 72-ounce water reservoir and 17 ½ bar pump, the Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine is a power caffeine generator. The Gaggia also features a hot water dispenser and frothing wand for additional beverage options.
The Italian-designed Gaggia Classic espresso machine serves up heavy-duty construction and advanced technology. Designed to allow quick release and replacement of the portafilter between pulls, there’s no delay with this machine.
This machine comes with two stainless steel filter baskets so you can make either a single or double shot espresso. The Gaggia works with coffee pods and prepares two cups at a time through a dual spout dispenser.
With added beverage options and quick turnaround between pulls, Gaggia lets you serve your guests quickly and with style.
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker
My initial reaction to anything made by Nespresso is, “This thing is gorgeous, who cares if it works!” But, don’t worry, that is just my initial reaction. I do care, and the Nespresso machines do work. But still, the Nespresso machines are so pretty. And drinking espresso is a sensual experience after all. The look, smell and taste of the espresso all contribute to our enjoyment of the beverage, so why shouldn’t the look of your espresso maker be a part of that experience as well?It’s not just about looks; the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker joins a long line of Nespresso machines that are designed with both form and function at the fore. The Pixie, true to its name, will fit nearly anywhere. This little caffeine crafting gadget is only 4.3 inches wide but still packs all the espresso capabilities you need with a 19 bar high-pressure pump.
Compact and convenient, the Pixie offers one-touch activation to make either an Espresso or Lungo and also permits programmed custom options. A folding tray allows for different cup sizes, and a warning light alerts you when your 24-ounce water reservoir is running low.
If you forget to turn off your machine as you are rushing out of the house, the Pixie will take care of you- turning itself off after 9 minutes of non-use. Best of all, this little baby preheats in 25 seconds!
Fast, good-looking and simple to use; this one is a keeper.
What’s Best Espresso Machine for You?
I don’t do a lot of home entertainment so for my espresso fix, the Nespresso Pixie stands out as the best espresso machine. It offers speed and convenience, and I probably need a machine that turns itself off. If you need convenience with a larger serving size, the Mr. Coffee might be a better choice for you.
Among the three remaining contenders, you choice should be based on which features you want the most. I like the Breville’s self-purge feature. Without a purge, you are still going to have high steam temperatures between pulls that can burn your espresso. You might as well opt for a machine that doesn’t let you forget this step. I also think choosing a machine that gives you more height options is a good call, as you never know what your next favorite drink will be.
Before making a final decision, check out the question and answer section for each machine. There’s a good chance that someone else has been looking for the features you want and may have already asked the questions you need answered. When customizing your beverage options, you want to find just the right fit.