Ever thought of owning a home espresso machine? Having a home espresso machine saves you the visits to a coffee shop. An espresso machine is a big investment and therefore, you need to have the right information before making a purchase.
With the best home espresso machine, you can make different coffee drinks like mocha, cappuccino, and latte. According to Nick Brown, there has been a 5% increase, in Americans turning to coffee and espresso-based beverages.
If you’re looking for a buying guide for an espresso coffee machine for home use, this review is for you.
You’ll also learn about the factors to consider before buying a home espresso machine. Find out the features, pros, and cons of each.
Let’s get started with the home espresso machine reviews for 2020.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Home Espresso Machine
There’s a wide variety of espresso machines available in the market today. You can easily miss some of the most important details, especially if you’re just getting started.
To make your research process easy and worthwhile, we’ve compiled a list of factors to keep in mind when buying a home espresso machine.
How much are you willing to spend on a home espresso machine? These machines will always vary in their prices. The more features a machine has, the higher the price. A good home espresso machine does not compromise on quality, features, and price.
If you look at the prices in an eCommerce store like Amazon, you’ll note that the prices will vary. This depends on the brand, features, ease-of-use, and the durability of the machine.
For Instance, if you’re a coffee lover with a high taste of quality, you will need to buy a machine with the best features.
However, if you’re on a tight budget and you do not mind the quality of the espresso, you can go for the less expensive machines.
Convenience and value are a huge part of buying considerations. If you’re looking for a machine that automates the espresso-making process, you can go for an automatic machine.
On the other hand, if you want to improve your barista skills and be in control of the brewing process, you can opt for a manual machine.
A home espresso machine is very convenient. You can make an espresso drink much faster and at any time.
Durability is how long a machine can last for, without having malfunctions. If you want to know if a machine is durable, check the material that it is made of. You can also check the company’s page to see if there are any guidelines on how to handle the machine.
For instance, how many times can you use the machine in a day, how many cups can it make in each brewing session and how much pressure can it hold?
Depending on the specifications listed, you can conclude on the durability of the machine. You can also check the review section, to see what other people have to say about the machine.
4. Maintenance and cleaning
Before you add a home espresso machine to a shopping cart, make sure you go over the maintenance and cleaning section. Never ignore this information.
You do not want to miss any details on how to clean an espresso machine. It’s not the kind of product that you want to keep asking for maintenance or repurchase.
Remember, an espresso machine has different parts. You need to understand how to clean each part and how often. Find out if the machine has a specific cleaning soap and whether the parts are dish washable.
Lastly, find out if the machine has a warranty. How long does it last and does the company offer maintenance in case of a fault?
5. Storage space
Storage is a very crucial factor to consider. Where do you plan to place the machine? Home espresso machines come in different sizes. The storage space is dependent on the size of the machine.
If you plan to have a bigger machine, then you need to have a bigger space for it. This means that you need to have figured out where to place it, before making a purchase.
If you have limited space in your home, you will have to buy a machine that is smaller in size. You do not want to buy a machine then fail to use it because of space.
Be careful of how/where you store it. Remember you had to swipe your credit card to buy this machine and it’s probable that you’re not planning on getting another one sooner.
6. Milk frothing
There are different features to look out for when buying a home espresso machine. Frothing is one of the features. I should start by explaining what frothing is, for the espresso beginners.
A milk frother is a feature in an espresso machine, which foams milk, to give it a creamier feel. It is mostly used for making latte and cappuccino drinks. You can come up with different arts for your latte. The most common latte art is a flower.
However, not all machines will have a frother. If you buy a lower-budget machine, it may not have this feature. To find out if a machine has a frother, check the features section.
7. Additional machine features
Home espresso machines come with different features. To brew a barista-level espresso there are extra features that you need to check. Does the machine have a grinder if you want to grind your coffee beans? How do you choose the best coffee grinders for your machine?
For your cappuccino and latte art, does the machine come with a milk frother? How long does it take for a machine to heat up and prepare an espresso drink? Can you roast coffee beans at home and use them for brewing?
These are some of the additional features that you need to check before buying a machine.
Also, does the machine come with a user manual for further assistance? A user manual is very important for basic troubleshooting.
Type of Machine
Home espresso machines are of different types. The most popular ones are the semi-automatic machines. You can control the brewing process or automate the process.
But, these are not the only machines available in the market. There are other different types like manual, capsule, and automatic machines. The notable difference in these machines is in the ease-of-use.
Let’s have a look at some of the types of machines available in the market:
1. Manual espresso machine
As the name suggests, a manual machine means that you’re in control of the espresso-making process. In simple terms, you’re the barista. This machine comes with a lever that allows you to take control of the entire process.
A manual home espresso machine produces high-quality espresso and it’s durable. It gives you room to test your creativity and improve your barista skills. Since you’re the one in control, you can try different latte arts.
2. A fully automatic espresso machine
A fully automatic machine means little to no work for you. This machine comes with an electronic pump that controls the amount of water in the brewing process. For this reason, the machine acts as your barista.
This machine can be used at home and in a café. While using this machine, you’re free to carry out other tasks as it automates the whole process. Some of the benefits of using this machine are that it requires no skills, less control and it’s affordable.
On the other hand, this machine may not be as durable as a manual machine. Some of its parts are fragile and prone to breaking. Also, less control means you have limited flavors to try out.
3. Semi-automatic espresso machine
This is the most popular type of home espresso machine. Semi-automatic means it’s both manual and automatic. Unlike the manual espresso machine which has a manual pump, a semi-automatic machine has an electric pump.
Additionally, it has regulated water pressure and temperature. This type of machine is also referred to as a professional machine. It is easy to use, has a higher level of control and it’s affordable.
However, it may be challenging to use for people who do not have prior brewing skills.
4. Super-automatic espresso machine
With a press of a button, you have your favorite cup of espresso in a few minutes. This machine takes the work out of your hands with the press of a button. A super-automatic machine is not as messy as their counterparts.
It comes with an inbuilt coffee grinder. It’s very fast and has programmable settings. The all-in-one machine has in-built features that control the entire process.
One of the obvious cons of this kind of machine is cost. This machine is not as budget-friendly if you’re working on a budget. It also gives you little room for exploration. Testing your creativity with this machine is not as easy.
5. Prosumer espresso machine
Prosumer means that it’s both professional and home suitable. By professional, it means that it’s suitable for use in a cafe. A major disadvantage with this machine is that it’s slow. It’s not as fast as fully and super-automatic, in terms of espresso delivery.
Best Home Espresso Machines
To brew high quality coffee, you’ve got to have the best espresso machines. To save you from too much research, here’s a compilation of the top home espresso machines.
1. Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
Breville BES870XL is a professional home espresso machine with a built-in grinder. This all-in-one machine has a conical burr grinder that grinds coffee beans before extraction.
Since the Breville Barista express is semi-automatic, you can choose how to brew your machine. You can choose the manual or automatic feature.
It’s worth noting that you can customize your settings when using the machine. For instance, you can set the amount of espresso to drip in your cup and once it reaches a specific level, it automatically stops.
The Barista Express also has digital temperature control, that delivers water at the right temperature for full espresso extraction.
- Dose control grinding: Breville BES870XL comes with an integrated grinder that grinds coffee beans when in demand. After successful grinding, the ground coffee is transferred to the portafilter for extraction.
- Grind-size dial: with the Breville barista express machine, you’re free to choose the size of your coffee grind. For instance, you can choose a fine grind.
- Microfoam milk texturing: a manual feature that allows you to microfoam milk to enhance the espresso flavor and create latte arts.
2. SOWTECH 3.5 Bar 4 Cup Home Espresso Machine with Steamer
This budget-friendly, easy to use, home espresso machine comes with a detachable filter, milk frother, and a carafe. The Sowtech espresso machine uses steam pressure to create foam for your espresso. The single knob on the machine makes it easy to use.
As for the design, the machine is light and saves on space. You can use it in your kitchen and single apartments. Since the machine is also light, you can use it anywhere as it’s convenient for travel.
- Milk frother: The Sowtech espresso maker has a frothing arm to steam and froths your milk to top off your lattes and cappuccinos.
- The easy-pour glass carafe helps you measure the amount of water to add to the water tank. You can also use it to serve espresso drinks.
3. Gevi Home Espresso Machine 15 Bar Fast Heating Coffee Machine
This low-noise, manual, home espresso machine has an Italian pump which ensures maximum extraction and quality tasting espresso. With this machine, you can prepare different espresso drinks. These are latte, mocha, espresso, and cappuccino.
The Gevi machine, from the Barsetto brand, comes with a water tank, spoon, cup tray cover, 3-in-1 portafilter, filter accessories, and a cup tray.
- Double temperature control: this feature is very important as you can control water temperature and the taste of milk foam.
- Safe protection system: as a safety measure, this machine goes off after 45 minutes of usage. To prevent the machine from dry burning, the automatic pressure relief protects the machine from overheating and water leakage.
- 15-Bar pressure pump: the pump maintains the coffee flavours thereby brewing high-quality and tasty espresso.
- Professional milk frothing wand: the hot steam wand, froths the milk for your latte and cappuccino. To achieve a dense, rich, and creamy froth, the steaming wand mixes steam and milk.
4. De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic espresso & coffee machine
With the previous knowledge of a super-automatic machine, I’m sure you already have an idea of how this machine works. The machine acts as your barista. By using a set of programmable settings, you can have your cup of latte, cappuccino, or espresso fast and at any time.
Like the Breville express machine, the De’longhi Magnifica machine comes with a built-in grinder. The machine does not limit you to using coffee beans only. You can also use pre-ground coffee. To choose the type of coffee to use, adjust the setting before using the machine.
- Professional burr grinder: for maximum freshness, the grinder has 13 adjustable settings to grind fresh beans when needed. The grinder does not have a limitation on the type of beans to use.
- Easy-to-use control panel: for programmable menu settings, use the rotary and push buttons from the control panel.
- Manual frother: for textured drinks, the frother mixes milk and steam to create rich, creamy froth for your cappuccinos and lattes.
- Settings customization: for your preferred cappuccino and espresso, the machine uses your customized preferences to deliver a quality drink.
- 15 bar pump pressure: this feature ensures full flavor extraction to produce a high-quality espresso.
5. GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker
Also referred to as a Moka pot, this classic Italian espresso machine for home is ideal for someone who prefers taking strong shots of espresso.
As compared to other home espresso machines, this stovetop espresso maker extracts more caffeine and flavors.
The Milano stovetop espresso maker is suitable for use on gas and electric stovetops. As a recommendation, this espresso machine should not be used with induction stoves.
As a safety measure, this home espresso machine brews in low pressure.
- Burn guard handle: the Milano has a rubber finishing on the handle to protect the barista’s hands/fingers from burning.
- Certified safety valve Made in Italy’: this is an additional security measure to guarantee the buyer that the machine is authentic and of high-quality.
6. Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker Café Barista
Mr. Coffee espresso and cappuccino maker is a semi-automatic machine that saves you trips to your coffee shop. To brew your espresso, fill the water and milk reservoirs before pressing the buttons on the control panel.
The machine allows you to pick single or double shots of espresso and cappuccino. This feature makes it easy to use.
- One-touch control panel: the control panel has a set of buttons that helps you with the brewing process. You can choose either espresso, latte, or cappuccino.
- You can also choose to have a single or double shot by pressing on the buttons.
- Automatic milk frother: Mr. Coffee, café barista froths and steams milk automatically. With the press of a button, you can have your latte and cappuccino without manual control.
- Removable water reservoir: you can clean or add water to the water reservoir.
- The 15-bar pump creates strong pressure which helps in brewing high-quality espresso flavors.
7. Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
The Breville BES920XL dual boiler espresso machine offers manual or automatic single and double shots settings. This machine has commercial features and performance but it’s also suitable for domestic use.
As the name suggests, the machine comes with a dual boiler. Espresso boiler for espresso and a steam boiler that produces instant steam on demand.
- PID Temperature: the digital temperature control in the espresso boiler controls the precise water temperature. This feature is programmable, to achieve the desired espresso temperature.
- LCD display: it allows for easy programming and has a clock that controls and displays the timing for the espresso extraction.
- Flexible shot control: this feature helps in choosing between single or double shots. Also, you can use a manual setting to control how much espresso drips in your cup.
- Microfoam milk texturing: to achieve a café level espresso or latte, the steam boiler has a steam wand that delivers the microfoam. This microfoam enhances the flavor of the espresso and is used to create latte art.
8. Nespresso CitiZ Original Espresso Machine by De’Longhi
The Nespresso Citiz by De’Longhi comes with a welcome set that has a wide range of espresso capsules with unique flavors.
To help you prepare a cup of espresso like a barista, this machine comes with programmable espresso and lungo buttons. This semi-automatic machine fits in the kitchen without taking up too much space.
- High-pressure pump: the 19-bar high-performance pump extracts delicate and premium aromas from the coffee capsules.
- Nespresso capsule system: different coffee flavors are packed in sealed aluminum capsules to produce high-quality coffee drinks. These capsules are recyclable
- Energy-saving feature: the Nespresso Citiz espresso machine automatically turns off 9 minutes of inactivity. However, you can adjust the settings to 30 minutes.
- Design: you do not have to worry about the storage of the machine. You can place it in your kitchen as it does not take up too much space.
9. Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Steam Espresso System with Milk Frother
Want to test your barista skills? With Mr. Coffee espresso machine, you can brew 4 shots of authentic, deep, and high-quality espresso.
The machine is easy-to-use and has a powerful frother which whips lattes and cappuccinos to light, frothy perfection.
The home espresso machine features a frothing arm that makes creamy froth for your cappuccinos and lattes.
Other features of Mr. Coffee steam espresso machine include:
- A glass decanter that you can use to measure coffee elements and for serving purposes.
- A removable drip catcher. It holds the messy coffee drips and it is easy to clean.
10. The NEO, by Flair Espresso machine
The Neo espresso maker by Flair is a manual home espresso machine made of aluminum and stainless steel. The main feature of this machine is the flow-control portafilter. It does not limit you to using a specific grinder for your coffee.
It restricts the flow of your brew to ensure a consistent extraction and crema in every espresso cup. The red portafilter is easy to use. You do not need to have any experience when using this machine.
Follow the instructions in the manual and enjoy your cup of espresso with family or friends.
Best Home Espresso Machine Brands
When choosing an espresso machine for your home, do you take time to check the brand history? Are you keen to find out if you’re buying from the best brand?
Let’s have a look at some of the brands that have manufactured some of the top rated home espresso machines.
Breville is an award-winning Australian company that manufactures kitchen products. They have a range of automatic and manual espresso machines.
According to the company, the automatic machines allow you to select your café favorite with the touch of the screen. As for the manual machines, you are the one in control of the espresso-making process.
De’longhi is an Italian company that manufactures innovative products for the kitchen, home cleaning, and comfort. The coffee machines have led to the popularity of the brand.
The company combines technology, design, and customization options to create a unique experience for you. For this reason, you can choose from manual to super-automatic espresso machines.
Nespresso has a system range choice for every taste. The company combines quality, design, and technology to deliver a barista-level experience using the Vertuo and professional machines.
Nespresso has three types of machines to cater to your espresso needs. The machines are designed for home, café, hotels, and restaurant use. To brew your espresso, make sure you select a machine that best meets your needs and budget.
The very existence of the Flair Espresso machine came from an inventor and espresso lover. Flair Espresso machines are affordable, portable, and easy to use. You can brew your coffee anywhere and anytime with these machines.
The manual machines are suitable for beginners and experts. To brew your cup of espresso, check the buying guide and the features of each machine before making a purchase.
Home Espresso Machines Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best home espresso machine?
There are so many espresso machines available in the market today. To conclude that a specific machine is the best for home use, there are several factors to consider.
Some of these factors are like the features, durability, type of machine, and does it meet your requirements.
Do I need a PID and Flow control for a single Boiler Home espresso machine?
It is optional to have these two features in your home espresso machine. The flow control helps in testing different coffee flavors and aroma.
A PID controller allows baristas to regulate the temperature of the brewing espresso. For a single boiler, the PID can also be used to check whether the machine is ready for brewing.
How do I clean a home espresso machine?
Cleaning an espresso machine should be fast and easy. Before you buy an espresso machine, make sure you find out how it is to be cleaned.
As for most of the machines, the removable parts like water and milk reservoirs are not machine washable.
Is Having a Home Espresso Machine Worth It?
For a coffee lover who loves enjoying a quality cup of coffee, it is worth investing in a home espresso machine. It saves you money which you would have spent in a cafe. Also, you are free to brew your coffee as often as you wish.
From the above machine reviews, you can tell that each machine is different. If you’re looking for quality, you will have to buy an espresso machine with more features and a higher budget.
For instance, a super-automatic machine is a better choice because of the customized setting. It is fast, stores your previous settings, and makes your espresso drink fast.
On the other hand, a manual and automatic machine gives you some level of control, thereby increasing your barista skills.
And there you have it for this review. Before you swipe your credit card for a machine, make sure that it meets your requirements.
Which of the listed home espresso machines have you tried before, or which one will you be adding to your shopping cart?