Wake Up With The Best Espresso Machine For Home Use

By Alex Williams | Indoor Living

Nov 10
home espresso machine in kitchen

If you’re looking for a way to wake yourself up in the morning, you might want to consider getting an espresso machine. Espressos are small and have a lot of caffeine in them allowing you to be able to get a boost of energy to get you going at the start of the day or to keep you going when you get tired in the middle of the day.

Click Here for Our #1 Single-Serve Espresso Machine Pick at Amazon

There is a huge market for coffee and because of this you will find that there are a ton of different espresso machines available in the marketplace. Depending on your java needs, you may not need a super complicated machine and a single-serve option might be preferable. Below we share some of our favorite espresso makers on the market right now, as well as share some tips on what to look for when shopping.

Best Espresso Machines for the Money (2017-2018)

the models below represent our editor favorites for cheap espresso machines under $200 - $500 (keep in mind that prices change all the time and the price at Amazon is always the correct price)
PHOTOMODELEDITOR NOTESEDITOR RATING
Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In FrotherNinja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In FrotherBest Single Serve Espresso Machine (4.5 / 5)
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso MachineBreville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso MachineBest Coffee-Shop Quality Home Espresso Machine (4.5 / 5)
MiniPresso GR Espresso MakerMiniPresso GR Espresso MakerBest Portable Espresso Machine for Camping (4.5 / 5)
Nespresso Inissia Espresso MakerNespresso Inissia Espresso MakerBest Nespresso Machine for Espresso (4.5 / 5)
Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000-RB Cafe Barista Espresso Maker MachineMr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000-RB Cafe Barista Espresso Maker MachineBest Cheap Espresso Machine for Beginners (4.3 / 5)
Gaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino FrothingGaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker. Pannarello Wand for Latte and Cappuccino FrothingBest Gaggia Home Espresso Machine (4.3 / 5)

What To Consider Before Buying

To help you pick out a quality espresso machine, we decided to create an espresso machine buying guide for you to use, that covers the various things that you should look for. Here are the most important aspects to look at for an espresso machine:

How Much Counter Space Do You Have?

One of the things that you might forget to think about when you’re thinking about purchasing an espresso machine, is the size of the machine. The size of the espresso machine is extremely important, especially if you don’t have a lot of room in your kitchen. Some espresso machines take up a whole lot more room than others and it is extremely important to make sure that you have enough room in your kitchen. Remember, you need to be able to store both the espresso as well as the machine so you need to make sure that you have adequate cupboard and counter room available. If you are unsure, it never hurts to take measurements before making a purchase.

Type of Espresso Machines

Espresso machines come in all different types, shapes and sizes and it can be quite hard to narrow down which type you want to purchase without knowing all about the different types available. Generally, there are around five different types of espresso machines available on the market. We will do a breakdown of each of the machines below, so that you can get a grasp of the different types and decide which type is the best for you.

Semi-auto:

If you are looking to get an espresso machine for a low-priced tag, you might want to consider looking for a semi-auto design. The nice thing about these types of machines that they are very simple to operate, but they do require more manual tasks than that of some of the other types of machines available. In these machines, there is a water reservoir and you simply turn on the power until the machine is warmed up. Once the machine is warmed up or when it is warming up, you can measure out your espresso into the filter basket, tamp it down, and place it into the filter. At this point in time, you simply press the start button until your espresso is brewed and then you can turn off the machine. This easy process makes it a piece of cake to deliver a quality coffee and many semi-auto machines accept both ground espresso beans as well as single pods for convenience sake.

Automatic espresso:

If you are willing to spend more money to get a sophisticated machine, you might want to consider getting one of these designs. With this design, you literally look to make sure that there is enough water and beans in the machine. At this point, you can simply press the brew button after putting a cup underneath the brew head. The machine will grind up the coffee for you, fill up the filter with the grounds, tamp it for you and it will dump the used grounds into a waste bucket. This is one of the most convenient espresso machines on the market as it takes no skill to operate. The only problem with this design is that it can be quite expensive and even low end automatic espresso machines are almost always over $300.

Manual machine:

If you are looking to be able to brew your own espresso and are looking to invest more time into creating a cup of espresso, you might want to consider one of these designs. The nice thing about this design is it allows you to be able to customize your own cup of espresso and you can change the taste of the cup of coffee depending on what you do. To operate a manual machine, you first need to make sure that there is enough water inside. Once the machine is warmed up, you can remove the filter and scoop out and tamp your ground espresso before placing it into the filter. At this point, you can grab the handle on the unit and slowly press it down to cause hot water to travel through your ground coffee. Changing things like tamp pressure, fineness of the coffee grind, the beans used and even the rate at which you use the brewing lever can change the taste of your coffee. These machines are quite expensive and it is hard, if not impossible to find this type of machine for under $500. However, this type of machine allows you to be able to perfect your espresso shot and create some amazing personalized cups of coffee.

Capsule design:

If you’re looking for something that is low-priced and extremely convenient, you might want to consider getting one of these espresso machines. If you are looking for something for an office environment or something that allows you to be able to get a quick espresso shot at home, you should consider getting one of these designs. These designs often come with the ability to be able to froth your milk to create cappuccinos and latte drinks. The machine generally works by turning on the power and waiting until the machine is warmed up. At that point you can place your cup underneath the brewing head and insert a capsule into the machine and press the brew button. The machine hardly requires any skill to use and is more than capable of being able to create a pretty good espresso shot. You can find these designs for under $200, but there are plenty of options available for over $200 if you want extra features.

Steam power:

If you are looking to create a ton of espressos on a regular basis, you may want to consider getting a steam power design. These designs are generally found in stores and they are extremely difficult to master using. Steam designs are often a cheap type of espresso machine to purchase, however, a true coffee enthusiast might still want to consider one of these designs. The nice thing about this type of design is that you can create a large amount of espresso in a short period of time. The problem with this design is that it can be difficult to make sure that the espresso is a good temperature to drink and it is extremely easy to develop a drink that tastes burnt.

Can It Brew Coffee?

One thing that might help you be able to decide on what type of espresso machine you want to purchase, is the coffee type that your espresso machine is capable of brewing. Different espresso machines may not be able to create certain drinks and it is important to know the different drinks that are available so that you can make sure that your espresso machine can create the drinks that you desire to have. Here is a list of the standard drinks that you might want your espresso machine to be able to make and what your espresso machine needs to be able to make this brew:

  • Espresso shot: All espresso machines are capable of being able to create an espresso shot, however, not all machines can create a double shot. This might be something that you might want to look for, especially if you are looking for a large kick from your machine.
  • Macchiato: To be able to make this espresso shot, your machine needs to be able to create steamed milk and add it onto the top of your cup. The steamed milk adds a layer of foam to the top of the cup which helps dilute the strong flavour of the espresso.
  • Cappuccino: To be able to make this, your espresso machine needs to be able to create steamed milk. Generally, there will be a separate compartment you can pour milk into where the milk will be steamed and you can simply press a button or pull a nozzle to add the steamed milk to your drink. A cappuccino is much like a macchiato, except there is more milk in a cappuccino.
  • Latte: Very similar to a cappuccino, your machine needs to be able to create steamed milk and a it needs to be able to create a decent amount of steamed milk. A latte has more milk than a cappuccino and a thin layer of foam on the top of the cup.
  • Mocha: If you can make a cappuccino with your machine, you can make a mocha. This is essentially the same as a cappuccino except there is chocolate added into the coffee. Therefore, your machine needs to be able to create a lot of steamed milk to be able to create this brew.

Care and Cleaning

One of the things that you should consider before you go out and buy an espresso machine is how easy the unit is to clean. If you happen to buy a manual machine, you’re going to have to do the most cleaning. Even though a manual machine may cost the most money, due to being able to create a personalized brew, there are certainly more areas of the machine to clean after you’re done brewing. This is something that you should keep in mind and it is important to look at all of the nooks and crannies of your potential coffee maker to see how easy it will be to clean and how guess how long it will take you.

Warranty

Espresso machines are almost always built to be able to last for an extremely long period of time. Especially if you buy a high-end model for a high price tag, you should expect that your machine lasts you for a long period of time. One of the best ways to make sure that your machine is going to last you for a long time is to look to see how long the warranty is on the unit. The longer the warranty is, the longer you can be sure that you are covered in the event something goes wrong. It is important to make sure that the company you are dealing with has a good customer service team to make sure that you can take advantage of the warranty if you need to. It is always a good idea to look to see if there are additional warranties available on the unit, especially if you’re buying something that is high-end. You can often purchase additional years of warranty for a price and this additional warranty can be worth paying for, for some peace of mind down the road.

Need Something High-Tech?

One thing that might influence your decision and help you to be able to choose what espresso machine you want to purchase is the technology built into the design. Some espresso machines are capable of being programmed. A programmable espresso machine allows you to be able to create a specific cup of coffee at a certain time or it allows you to be able to program certain settings so that you can make the perfect brew every time. Different technologies are built into different espresso machines and it is a good idea to look at the technology to see if it suits your household’s needs.

To Conclude:

We hope that this article has helped you to be able to learn about the various types of espresso machines that are available. Coffee is such a specialized market and there are all sorts of machines available to purchase. It is extremely important to consider the different drinks that you like and to think about what kind of a budget you have before going out shopping. Always make sure that you have the proper room to be able to store a device in your kitchen before purchasing and make sure that you are buying from a reputable brand. We wish you the best of luck in finding a new espresso machine and we hope that you enjoy all of your upcoming delicious espresso experiences.