Shopping for an espresso machine? It’s definitely not a decision you should take lightly. After all, your morning cup of coffee is essential, and it’s not like you’re just buying your average drip coffee pot. You need something that will deliver coffee shop-quality espresso without a lot of work on your end.
Luckily, 1st in Coffee offers up a range of fantastic espresso machines for your perusing pleasure. We’ve picked out our nine favorites, perfect for everyone from baristas to beginners. See if you like them, too.
For a traditional espresso machine without an exorbitant price tag, you’ll want to consider the Capresso Ultima Pro. With a retail price hovering around $200, the device is uncomplicated, with simple, easy-to-read buttons for crafting a single cup of espresso, a double shot or just heating water. You can brew espresso servings in two sizes and program the machine to deliver your preferred size automatically.
The machine comes with a steam wand for frothing your milk, coffee measuring spoon and coffee filter.
A little more affordable, at $180, the Nespresso VertuoPlus by De’Longhi is even easier to use. It doesn’t have as many functions and features, but if you don’t imagine yourself frothing up fresh milk every day, you may be totally fine with that.
Like a Keurig, this Nespresso machine uses espresso pods coded so that the machine tailors the brewing to fit that particular pod’s brew style. The machine size is excellent for small kitchens without a ton of counter space.
Choose from five drink types, including espresso and double espresso.
One cool eco-friendly feature? Nespresso will recycle your used pods if you ship them back to the company.
The Delonghi Dedica Espresso Machine ticks a few necessary boxes. It’s small so that it won’t take up a ton of counter space in your kitchen. It’s a great espresso machine for beginners with little to no espresso experience. You can control everything via a series of three illuminated buttons. The machine makes one or two shots automatically. It comes with a stainless steam wand.
For beginners who don’t want to go the pod route, this option is a good pick. However, it does come with a higher price tag than the previously mentioned models, at $350.
If you’re looking for something stylish and eye-catching, look no further than the La Pavoni Professional. At more than $1,100, it’s only ideal for those authentic espresso lovers and coffee fanatics — or even those looking to install an espresso machine in a group space or an office — but you get so much for the price.
Created by the same brand that introduced commercial espresso machines in the early 1900s, this is a manual espresso machine, so it does take a bit of practice to understand how the device operates. Won’t you feel oh-so-cool once you really nail making the perfect cup of espresso using this beautiful machine, though?
Iced coffee fans, rejoice! The Delonghi Dynamic is the only fully automatic espresso machine that also includes an iced coffee feature. Create all your favorite espresso coffee drinks and even traditional drip coffee and brew up smooth coffee to pour over ice. This is a great option that, though a little expensive at $900, really can cater to a range of coffee drinkers with varying tastes.
The espresso and coffee machine features 13 settings in total, a sleek control panel, its own built-in grinder, a swathe of customization and programmable options, a built-in steam wand and more.
6. Jura E8
At $2,199, the Jura E8 chrome automatic espresso machine gives you high-quality espresso-based drinks with very little work on your part. In fact, all it takes is the touch of one button. The One-Touch Cappuccino function will create not only cappuccinos on demand but also lattes, macchiatos and flat whites. And, yes, you can also make just single shots of espresso, as well as plain, black coffee like what you’d get in a standard coffee maker.
There are 16 different settings and options, a built-in and automatic milk frother, a built-in grinder and a hot water boiler for things like tea. The brand claims that its machine runs half as quietly as some other options on the market while also grinding beans twice as fast. The built-in water filter even removes any undesirable minerals from your tap water for better-tasting espresso.
Possibly the most remarkable feature, though? The machine can be controlled entirely with an app.
At the complete other end of the price spectrum, the Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine is only $150, making it an excellent fit for budget shoppers. While it doesn’t have all the fancy bells and whistles that some of the other machines on this list boast, you really can’t beat it for the price. Plus, it works with both espresso pods and espresso grounds, so you can pick whichever option you happen to be in the mood for on any given morning.
The small size plus smaller water reservoir are great fits for smaller kitchens with no extra storage; the machine is easy to understand and operate, thanks to the illuminated control knob; a stainless steel cup warming platform keeps things toasty. The machine comes with a coffee scoop and tamper.
Another incredibly eye-catching espresso machine and a bit flashy, this Elektra Micro Casa Semi-Automatic is simply gorgeous. At $2,200, it’s a splurge that some find well worth the cost due to the machine’s high level of craftsmanship and durability. Even though it’s a semi-automatic espresso machine, this option feels as if you were enjoying a shot of espresso at your favorite Italian cafe versus standing in your kitchen in your pajamas.
The espresso machine is built and shipped from Italy, and the company backs up its claims of high quality with a two-year warranty.
Back on the more affordable side of things, at $545, the Francis Francis X1 comes in an array of striking colors, not the least of which is this bright red hue that nicely compliments the machine’s retro, round design. Producing thick, rich espresso, it’s an easy machine to use, taking very little time to set up. The most work you’ll need to do is adding your Illy Iper capsules to the device, no need for coffee grounds or any pesky tamping.
The one major downside to this particular machine? It’s a little on the heavy side, which some users may not prefer.
Why Buy an Espresso Machine?
If you’re still not sold on buying an espresso machine, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your favorite morning beverage. Making espresso uses less water than regular coffee, takes less time overall and produces a more potent drink. Add a shot of espresso to hot water for an Americano or foamed milk to create the best coffee shop and espresso drinks at home. No waiting in line required.
Plus, thanks to today’s tech, there’s no learning curve if you buy the correct espresso machine. With options like automatic pod machines, making espresso is as easy as using your Keurig.
Related: Our 13 Favorite K-Cup Coffees To Try
How to Pick the Best Espresso Machine for You
There are a lot of different espresso machines out there. How do you know which type is best for your needs?
First, take a look at the various types of espresso machines out there.
Manual espresso machines are considered the more traditional option. They require the most work on your end and come with a pretty big learning curve.
Semi-automatic machines still require you to prep the grounds and tamp them down, but they don’t need you to manually add in the water via a lever as a manual espresso machine does.
Automatic machines are one of the more convenient options to use. Just press a few buttons to choose how much coffee you want, and let the machine take it from there.
Super-automatic machines take things a step further by measuring out your grounds for you and — in some cases — even grinding fresh beans.
Lastly, capsule machines are the easiest of all, as you simply pop in a coffee pod, press a few buttons and let the machine do the rest. There’s no grinding, tamping or measuring on your part.
There are also portable espresso makers, but these are only ideal for camping or traveling nomads — the quality isn’t high enough for you to consider buying one for regular home use.
You’ll want to take a look at how much time you’re willing to invest in making your espresso every morning, as well as the time needed to learn your way around your espresso machine, as that will inform which option you should choose.
Additionally, consider the price tag. Espresso machines can range in price, from the more affordable capsule machines to the costly manual espresso machines. If you’re a true espresso aficionado who wants to take the time to learn the art of making espresso and espresso-based drinks by hand, that price may be worth it to you. If not, you may want to stick with something a little more low-key.
Just note, the more affordable an espresso machine, the greater its inability to regulate water temperature and pressure, two factors that alter the brewing process and how your resulting espresso shot tastes and how much crema you get in each shot. If you have a picky palate and know that you’ll be able to tell if your espresso doesn’t taste just right, you may want to splurge on a more expensive option.
And don’t forget that you’ll need other items to go along with your espresso machine as well, all of which cost extra cash. A dedicated coffee grinder is vital for achieving the extra-fine grind size that espresso requires. In some cases, an espresso grinder can be as expensive as the actual espresso machine itself (true espresso lovers recommend against buying pre-ground espresso). Depending on what your espresso machine comes with, you may need a milk frother or steaming pitcher.
Along these lines, look at the various features your espresso machine comes with, whether it’s manual, pod, semi-automatic, etc. Does it come with a built-in grinder or a place to store your coffee beans? If not, you’ll need to buy that grinder separately.
How large are the water tank and drip tray?
Does it come with a steam wand? If so, does the steam wand run off a second boiler, or does it run off a single boiler — the same boiler as the one that heats your espresso water? If it’s the latter heating system, that means it’ll take longer for you to froth your drinks and steam milk; if the former, that’s going to suggest a higher price tag.
Did You Know That You Can Buy Refurbished Home Espresso Machines?
If you have your eye on one of the more high-end espresso machine options, you might consider looking into a refurbished espresso machine. 1st in coffee offers refurbished Jura espresso machines that are factory refurbished and tested to ensure quality and condition. You’re not going to find just any old espresso machine that’s scratched up and in need of repairs. Instead, you’ll get a good-as-new, sleek machine for a more affordable price.
1st in coffee currently offers a range of Jura espresso machines for as much as 50% off the original price.
Your espresso-making adventure is only a few clicks and a few steps to the kitchen away. Whether you want an espresso machine that’s as traditional as they come or you want something easy-to-use, you can find this and everything in-between both among our favorite nine espresso machines and on the 1st in Coffee website.
You might also be interested in: How to Clean a Dirty Coffee Maker (Safe & Natural)
Our 9 Favorite Espresso Makers From 1st in Coffee:
- Capresso Ultima Pro
- Nespresso VertuoPlus by De’Longhi
- Delonghi Dedica Espresso Machine
- La Pavoni Professional
- Delonghi Dynamic
- Jura E8
- Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine
- Elektra Micro Casa Semi-Automatic
- Francis Francis X1
Holly Riddleview post
Holly Riddle is a travel, food and lifestyle writer, and a full-time freelance content creator after several years on editorial staffs for a multitude of publications ranging in topic and audience demographic. She currently acts as the editor at large for Global Traveler magazine and is a regular contributor at Trazee Travel, WhereverFamily, TravelMag, CruiseHive and more. Ghostwritten work for travel clients has appeared on Forbes, Bloomberg, Inc. and other top publications. She also manages blogs for tour providers, hotels and tourism boards.view post