Best Espresso Machine: Elevating Your Coffee Experience

Nothing beats the perfect cup of espresso, but there is a certain satisfaction that comes from doing it yourself. If you are a coffee enthusiast, then it is time to make luxurious home-brewed espresso, cappuccino or even a caffe latte, and we have found the best machines to help you become your own barista.

Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine, LatteGo Milk Frother, 5 Coffee Varieties, Intuitive Touch Display, 100% Ceramic Grinder, AquaClean Filter, My Coffee Choice, Black (EP3241/54)

Best Fully Automatic

This fully-automatic machine from Philips will make great tasting coffee and is built to last. The filter can make up to 5000 cups before needing to be replaced, and the ceramic grinder is durable.


  • Heats up quickly and is ready for brewing
  • Ideal temperature and great tasting espresso
  • Ceramic grinder gives great control over grind size
  • All features are easily accessible from the front


  • A bit loud
  • 15-minute automatic shut-off time cannot be changed


This fully-automatic coffee machine from Philips combines all the features you want in a home machine with a stylish design that is built to last. We think this is simply an excellent machine that will make delicious espressos for a long time.

One nice thing about buying a Philips is that they have so many product lines, and they can use this to their advantage. Here, they incorporate their successful AquaClean filter system that is readily available and can purify about 5,000 cups of coffee before needing to be replaced.

We also like the durable ceramic grinder that is designed to grind more than 20,000 cups worth of beans. With 12-step grinder levels, you will be able to dial in that perfect cup of espresso in no time.

The machine is easy to use, and is ready to make 4 delicious coffees automatically with the push of a button. The classic milk frother is easy to use and has only two parts making it easy to care for and clean.

Philips takes extra care to make sure that the water temperature is always between 90–98° C to give you delicious coffee that never tastes burnt. Other little details include an aroma seal on the bean hopper to keep your beans fresh, and an intuitive display that allows you to start brewing coffee almost immediately.

One complaint is that it has an automatic shut-off that cannot be adjusted, so if you leave the machine for 15 minutes, you will have to start it again. This was a minor nuisance, but it does not take away from the excellent performance of this device.

Overall, we think that the Philips 3200 Series is an excellent fully-automatic coffee machine that will deliver delicious coffee drinks for years to come.

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL

Best Manual Machine

The Barista Express by Breville is a great machine for getting a manual barista experience at home. It gives you manual control over pressure, water temperature and volume so you can dial it in.


  • Easy to use once you get to know the controls
  • Allows full customization of all stages of espresso making
  • Milk steamer foams well
  • Beautiful design
  • Consistent shots every time


  • Water container could be larger
  • Takes time and effort to dial in the perfect shot


If you are a serious coffee drinker, then you might want to take a look at the Breville BES870XL Barista Express that gives you full manual control over your espresso shot. This beautiful machine gives you powerful pressure and perfect water temperature to dial in the perfect shot, but it may take some time to get it just right.

The heart of this machine is the thermocoil heating system which combines the heating performance of aluminum with the durability of steel to give you a fast heat up time and the perfect water temperature with a PID control.

To get your coffee started right, it includes a built-in conical grinder that is fully adjustable allowing you to customize grind settings for the perfect dose. In addition, you can also program the volume settings for your shots, and dial in the flavour. Breville includes a low-pressure pre-infusion to give you even extractions every time.

Not only can you get a rich, aromatic espresso shot every time, but it comes with a steam want that allows you to get a delicious microfoam for lattes and other milk-based coffee drinks.

Another nice feature is that it comes with a cleaning kit, and with care and maintenance, this beautiful machine will be making you perfect espressos for years.

Some users have said that the water reservoir could be larger, but for most people, we think 2 litres is plenty. Another issue is that to get the espresso just right, you will have to take some time to work with all the settings, but that is why you want a manual machine in the first place.

We think that this Breville manual espresso machine is a great choice for any home coffee aficionado who wants to dial in their own perfect shot of espresso.

Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso/Cappuccino System, Silver

Best Semi-Automatic

For delicious coffee drinks with the push of a button, the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 is a terrific semi-automatic espresso machine. It features 15 BAR of pressure and simple controls for ease of use.


  • Easy to use with push button controls
  • Two drip trays for different-sized cups
  • Detachable milk reservoir can be refrigerated
  • Large water reservoir
  • Cup warmer on top


  • Hard to find a cup to fit for making lattes and cappuccinos
  • Plastic tamper and scoop tool is not ideal


The Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 is a machine that gives you the best of both worlds. It is semi-automatic which means that you will get the experience of adding your own espresso and fitting the portafilter, but the controls are all automatic saving you time and effort.

With both a single-shot and double-shot portafilter, this Mr. Coffee machine is ready to start making your perfect lattes in just minutes. The one-touch control panel means that you just select the drink you want, and then it does the rest. In just minutes, you will have delicious, hot espresso with a fine crema on top.

Both the water and milk reservoir are removable and easy to care for. One nice feature is that you can fill the milk reservoir, and then refrigerate it between uses, so you don’t have to clean it each time and you will not waste milk.

The controls allow you to make single and double servings of espressos, cappuccinos, or lattes. One thing you will have to figure out is how to fit the perfect-sized cup on the machine, especially with larger specialty drinks.

It does come with 2 drip trays for shorter and taller cups, which is nice. The top of the machine acts as a cup warmer, but don’t expect it to get your cups piping hot. Clean-up and maintenance are fairly simple as well.

The scoop and tamper is a plastic combination tool that will work, but it would be better if it were weighted. You might want to invest in your own tamper for better results.

For a barista-like experience at home at the push of a button, the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 is a great machine that will give you delicious drinks quickly and easily.

De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine, Latte & Cappuccino Maker, 15 Bar Pump Pressure + Manual Milk Frother Steam Wand, Black / Stainless, EC260BK

Budget pick

The Stilosa by De’Longhi is a value-priced option for making good espresso in the convenience of your own home. It features a milk frothing wand to make lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites as well.


  • Compact modern design for any kitchen
  • 15 BAR pump to give you good extraction
  • Includes a milk frother
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Value priced


  • Takes time to get espresso right
  • Water temperature is not perfect
  • It is hard to see the water level marker


The DeĻonghi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine is a great option if you want to make decent espresso at home on a budget. While this machine will not give you all the options to make professional level coffee, it can still produce decent flavour and it is easy to use.

The first thing you notice about this machine is that it is compact and the controls are simple. It will fit on just about any countertop, and it only has a few controls to worry about. It comes with a 15 BAR pump which is designed to be the right pressure for a good extraction.

Even though it is small, it does come with a milk frother, so you will be able to make all your favourite drinks including lattes, cappuccinos and, of course, flat whites right in your own home. Because most of the controls are automatic, you will be able to start making great tasting coffee right away.

Another nice feature is that it is easy to disassemble and clean, so you can do all the maintenance needed in just minutes to keep the machine running perfectly. One thing to remember is that in order to get the best tasting coffee, you will want to use espresso grinds, and it may take some time to find the perfect blend for your liking.

For the money, the Stilosa is a nice little machine that will give you good espresso along with many other delicious coffee drinks right in your own home.

Keurig K-Mini Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, Made From At Least 20% Recycled Plastic, Matte Black

Best Capsule Machine

When you just want a capsule cup of coffee quickly, you can’t beat the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve. This compact machine is designed to be easy to use with simple controls and maintenance.


  • Modern compact design fits anywhere
  • Easy to use with any K-Mini pods
  • Water reservoir is perfect size for making fresh coffee
  • Simple controls
  • Removable drip tray for taller mugs


  • Instructions are a bit unclear
  • It is fairly tall with lid open, so may not fit under cupboards


Making a decent cup of coffee couldn’t be easier with the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve. This is the perfect solution for a quick and simple cup of coffee.

This compact machine is slim and will fit nicely just about anywhere in your kitchen. The design is sleek and modern, but unfortunately all plastic.

It comes with a 12 ounce water reservoir, which is just the right size for a single cup of coffee. You should add the amount of water you need for each cup, and then you never have to worry about the water getting old or stale.

From start to finish, it will make coffee in less than 2 minutes, which is great when you are on the go. It includes a nice cord holder which makes it easy to stow away.

Another nice feature is the removable drip tray which allows you to add taller to-go mugs for convenience. The drip tray itself is large and easy to remove for cleaning. The rest of the machine doesn’t take much maintenance, just the occasional wiping out of the cup holder between uses to keep it nice and clean.

It will turn off automatically after 90 seconds, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on. One problem is that with the lid open, it is fairly tall, over 30 centimeters, so it might not fit nicely on all countertops if you have lower cupboards. It would also be nice if the water reservoir were removable for easy filling.

Overall, this machine does exactly what you expect it to do: with the push of a single button, you get a good cup of coffee quickly and conveniently. If that is what you are looking for, then take a look at the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve.

Espresso machine buying guide ​​

When you crave a good cup of espresso nothing else will do. So why not find a machine to make espresso at home at your convenience? The trouble is that there are so many out there that you need to find one that will make good-tasting espresso. We take the guesswork out of the process by giving you an easy-to-follow buying guide.

How is espresso made?

Before you buy a machine it is good to know how an espresso machine works. Espresso is made by pushing hot water at high pressure through compacted ground coffee. Generally, experts have a formula for making espresso and this includes 1 part grounds to 2 parts water for between 25–35 seconds. If you are using a manual espresso machine, then these are important details, but most automatic makers will take care of this for you.

The compaction of the grounds makes a big difference in the quality of the brew. If it is too loose, you will get weak coffee, and if it is too tight, then it can take longer to brew and come out too strong. This takes some practice to get right, and remember, you are making espresso for yourself, so you can experiment for your own preference.

Common problems with espresso machines are that they may run too hot or have too much pressure. The more control you have over these settings, the better you will be able to set the machine to make espresso to your liking.
espresso maker

What is the best type of espresso machine?

There are a few different types of home espresso machines, so take a look and see which one best fits your needs.

  • Manual machines: These require finely ground beans that are scooped into a portafilter and tamped down. Any lattes or milk drinks will need to be made manually. Many of these machines may include some kind of steamer, but it is not always the case.
  • Semi-automatic machines: These operate with a button or dial that automates the water flow instead of a lever, and the size of the brew is controllable. These may also come with more options for making steamed milk drinks. Generally these will be more expensive but offer more options than manual machines.
  • Fully-automatic machines: These automated and programmable coffee sizes, can often do it all from grinding the beans to producing a perfect cup with just the push of a button. Advanced machines include various controls and the ability to make milk drinks without any additional equipment. They usually include display panels that show you which drinks you can choose from. They are expensive, but once you have one you will be addicted to all the options.
  • Capsule machines: These will make espresso using prefab capsules. You will not get the highest quality brew, but in a pinch you can make yourself a decent cup at home on a budget.

What about the grinder?

In order to get decent espresso at home, then you need a machine with a built-in grinder or a separate grinder. For a really fine espresso grind, you should look for a burr grinder instead of a standard blade grinder. These are more expensive, but they will give you the fine ground required for true espresso. A good grinder can make even a lower-quality machine produce decent results.

Portafilter baskets

Espresso machines made for home use often include pressurized portafilter baskets. These are designed for coarser grinds to increase the pressure and give good crema even if the coffee is not true espresso. These are great for most coffee drinkers but will not give you a high-quality espresso brew.

The unpressurized basket is usually found on higher-end machines and requires properly ground espresso. These are harder to use and take some time to get a decent cup of espresso, but ultimately you will get a better extraction and better tasting brew.
cappuccino machine

Features to look for:

Depending on your budget, espresso machines come with a wide range of features and options. See which ones are must-haves vs. features you can live without.


PID stands for Proportional-Integral-Derivative, and all that means is that the coffee maker has a way of making sure that the water is at the perfect brew temperature. These are usually found on higher-end machines, and will give you a consistent taste cup after cup.

Pressure gauge

Most low-cost machines will not have a pressure gauge, but if you are a true espresso fan, then you want to know exactly when the espresso is ready to brew and a gauge will tell you when it reaches 9 bars, which is the perfect pressure. Without a pressure gauge you will have to let the machine automatically do its thing and have little control over the pressure.

Commercial grade portafilter

The portafilter is especially important to getting the perfect cup of espresso. Most low-cost machines come with a pressurized basket which will never give the same quality cup as an unpressurized basket. Fortunately, you can buy aftermarket accessories and baskets to improve the flavour of your espresso. We like machines that have portafilters that offer both options.

Steaming wand or milk frother

Many of the cheaper models have a so-called “Panarello” wand, which is actually pretty good for making cappuccinos. Some machines such as the Nespresso come with a standalone milk frother. These can create nice foamy milk, but forget about latte art. With cost as no option, you can get some pretty impressive steamers built into your next espresso machine.

Water reservoir

One often overlooked part of the machine is the water reservoir. You should look for one that is easy to see and access. The reservoir should be large enough so you don’t have to continually refill it. In addition, take a look at the spill tray to see if it has a float and how easy it is to remove and clean.
cappuccino machine

Single or Double Boiler?

With one boiler you have to wait for the unit to heat before you can steam milk for your macchiato. If you’re going to be making a lot of milk drinks for larger groups of people a single boiler is not a good idea. A double boiler will be more expensive, but if you are a home barista then it is worth it.

Built-in grinder

Fully automatic espresso machines come with a grinder built in. Often the grinder will not be of the highest quality. We suggest saving your money and buying a high-quality grinder that will work with any espresso machine.

Espresso machine cleaning

Espresso makers can be particularly sensitive to maintenance neglect. Each subsystem calls for specific steps to keep them dirt and grime free. The portafilter, the main brewing chamber, should be hand-washed with soap and hot water daily. And to make the task easier, run a water-only brewing cycle before and after each espresso shot you pull (brew). You’ll likely have to clean the water shower screen weekly too.

For a deep clean of the whole system, especially if you are using hard water, you will need to descale the machine now and then to get rid of deposits. Generally this involves running a mixture of vinegar and water through the machine and then cycling plain water until it is clear.

Don’t forget to clean the steam wand regularly as needed, and read your instruction manual for any maintenance you may overlook.

More drinks you can make with an espresso machine

If your espresso machine can also steam milk then the list of drinks you can make is vast. Just to name a few, there are traditional Italian drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. The Americano sounds fancy, but it is just espresso diluted with hot water. We really like mocha which is a chocolate coffee drink. The key to any of these drinks is finding a recipe you enjoy. Start by experimenting with recipes that may come with your machine or that you find online, and feel free to modify them to your taste.

Kristaps Celapiters

Kristaps' journey began as a curious consumer seeking genuine, reliable advice. Frustrated by vague recommendations, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Armed with a discerning eye and a dedication to thorough research, he embarked on a mission to provide fellow consumers with reviews they can truly rely on.
Back to top button