If you just want to step up your coffee game, you may be ready to take the next step and invest in your own coffee machine.
If so, you may find this buyer’s guide very useful, prior to deciding which is the best home espresso machine of 2018 you’d like to buy.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the Best Home Espresso Machine to buy in 2018?
- 2 Home Espresso Machine Reviews
- 2.1 1. DeLonghi EC155: Inexpensive but Loaded with Features
- 2.2 2. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista: One-Touch Control Panel Coffee Machine
- 2.3 3. Nespresso Inissia: Compact & Fast Preheating Espresso Machine
- 2.4 4. Breville Barista Express: An Espresso that Stands Out
- 2.5 5. Gaggia Classic: A High-Quality Head Turner
- 2.6 6. Rancilio Silvia: Quality Controls & Easy to Use
- 2.7 7. Gaggia Brera: Convenient, Customizable & Easy to Use
- 2.8 8. DeLonghi Magnifica: Reliable & Powerful Espresso Machine
- 3 Home Espresso Machine Buyer’s Guide
- 3.1 Before Buying: Questions you need to Ask
- 3.2 Types of Espresso Machine
- 3.3 Factors to Consider when Buying a new Home Espresso Machine
- 4 Conclusions
- 5 Related Guides
What is the Best Home Espresso Machine to buy in 2018?
|DeLonghi EC155||15 bar||3.8||$||Check Price|
|Mr Coffee Cafe Barista||15 bar||4.2||$$||Check Price|
|Nespresso Inissia||19 bar||4.5||$$||Check Price|
|Breville Barista Express||15 bar||4.5||$$$$||Check Price|
|Gaggia 14101 Classic|
|15 bar||3.9||$$$||Check Price|
|Rancilio Silvia||15 bar||4.2||$$$$||Check Price|
|Gaggia Brera||15 bar||4.2||$$$||Check Price|
|DeLonghi Magnifica||15 bar||4.2||$$$$||Check Price|
Home Espresso Machine Reviews
1. DeLonghi EC155: Inexpensive but Loaded with Features
The DeLonghi EC155 is a 15-bar pump espresso machine that is quite inexpensive but loaded with features.
The stainless steel boiler and two thermostats keep the steam and the water at the right temperature all of the time. There’s also a self-primer, a 35 oz. water tank, a removable drip tray, and it’s easy to use.
Generally, it can make 1 to 2 cups with the built-in tamper and an additional tamper of at least 50 millimeters.
Its most notable features are:
- Self-Primer: it prevents the need for pre-brewing preparation.
- Dual Thermostats: you can set, change and monitor the temperature easily, so you can brew both a warm cappuccino and hot espresso at the same time.
- Rotating or Swiveling Jet Frother: because the frother wand can be swiveled around, you’ll get an even amount of froth that is also thick and rich.
- Dual Filter Holders: This filter holder gives you the freedom to use ground espresso or espresso pods.
- The water tank holds 35 ounces, which means you can make 8 to 10 shots with your tamped grounds or pods.
DeLonghi EC155 Pros & Cons
2. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista: One-Touch Control Panel Coffee Machine
The Cafe Barista is a solid model that should satisfy you perfectly. The features are convenient and it operates swiftly. You may need to give it regular maintenance to keep its performance on the higher end. The ECMP1000 is a solid choice if you’re a beginning or intermediate-level brewer.
This Mr. Coffee can be operated with the single or double touch of a button, corresponding with single or double servings of cappuccinos, espressos, and lattes.
With the milk container integrated into the body, you can brew lattes and cappuccinos with generous amounts of froth.
In the brewing process, you can choose between either the milk froth mode or the manual espresso mode. The milk reservoir can be detached, so the cleaning process slightly more convenient. The drip tray can be removed as well. The milk reservoir and drip tray are both dishwasher safe.
The maximum capacity for the removable water reservoir is 55 ounces. Be advised that the height of the sliding cup platform is made to accommodate smaller cups, so your larger cups may not be quite as easily accommodated.
The product can be purchased in one of three different color variations: stainless steel, white, and red.
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Pros & Cons
3. Nespresso Inissia: Compact & Fast Preheating Espresso Machine
The Nespresso Inissia lets you can brew a rich, flavorful cup of espresso. This Nespresso appliance is capable of brewing and serving this beverage in mere minutes, and it even takes less time than a standard coffee brewer to heat up and be ready
This appliance is best suited for someone who lives in a small apartment or in a home with a small kitchen. It also is ideal for people who are espresso novices and are still learning the fine art involved with pulling cups of espresso.
The Inissia is lightweight and compact, ensuring that it offers the smallest possible footprint in your home. It also comes with handles that are ergonomically designed so that you can use it comfortably each time you want to make your own cup of espresso.
The Inissia doesn’t have a dedicated power button, so, in order to start it up, you’ll have to press either the espresso or lungo buttons.
Nespresso Inissia Pros & Cons
4. Breville Barista Express: An Espresso that Stands Out
The Breville Barista Express has a sleek industrial design and it’s lightweight, with its compact size. Because it heats up fast and is ready to use in minutes, it makes a convenient and modern addition to your kitchen appliance collection.
It is perfect for people who like to create foam on their espressos or who prefer a more authentic flavor that what may be available from machines that use espresso pods.
The Breville Express is made entirely out of easy-to-clean stainless steel and weighs a kitchen-friendly 23 pounds. It measures 13.2 by 12.5 by 15.8 inches, making it perfect for placing on your kitchen counters.
The Barista Express has an impressive 15 bar Italian pump and a powerful 1600W heating coil system. Its purge function also adjusts automatically to the water temperature so that you draw the perfect espresso each time. The bean grinder itself is cylindrical and made out of stainless steel for easy use and cleanup. The sealed bean hopper can accommodate a half pound of ground beans while the removable water tank can hold up to 67 fluid ounces.
You do not have to be an experienced espresso aficionado to use this machine safely and effectively each time. It has a hands-free grinding filter that dispenses the espresso bean grindings directly into the filter.
This machine is designed for easy and safe use and can the perfect addition to any espresso fan’s home. It also comes with a one-year warranty to guarantee your satisfaction with its performance and design.
Breville Barista Express Pros & Cons
5. Gaggia Classic: A High-Quality Head Turner
The Gaggia Classic is a great choice for all espresso-lovers. It has a 17 ½ bar pump and a high-voltage boiler that can quickly bring water to the temperature for a good shot.
Other good features are the following:
- Single shot, double shot, and pod portafilter basket included: so you can make the perfect cup or go for something fast.
- Panarello wand included and interchangeable
- Stainless steel and brass components maintain a stable temperature: Keeping your water temperature stable throughout the entire pull is important for optimal flavor extraction.
- Three-way solenoid valve enables a quick second pull: the Gaggia Classic allows you to immediately release pressure and prepare your next shot.
- Hot water dispenser included
- 72-ounce water reservoir: A single shot of espresso is one ounce, so you can pull a lot of shots before refilling. Plus, the reservoir removes easily for cleaning.
- Tamper and measuring scoop included
- Warming tray holds up to five demitasse cups: This is great for warming up cold, empty cups before pulling a shot into them.
- Chrome blow-off tube: This clever little feature allows you to quickly drain water so you can disassemble the machine with less mess.
Gaggia Classic Pros & Cons
6. Rancilio Silvia: Quality Controls & Easy to Use
The Rancilio Silvia is a popular espresso machine that features impressive aesthetics, quality built and delivers good results.
The machine bears some resemblance to a tank, but most of its users love its design. Based on numerous consumer reviews, the product offers a good visual appeal. With regards to its durability, this machine is mainly built both semi-commercial and commercial grade materials. Most of the parts used in the machine are either made of cast iron or stainless steel.
The machine is semi-automatic and features quality elements that help it to offer maximum heat stability and distribute water evenly.
As compared to other entry-level espresso machines, the Rancilio Silvia has a bigger boiler, with a capacity of 12 ounces. Being a high performer, the machine takes about 20 minutes to warm up. Turning the power button on, situated at the center of the machine, activates the heating element. To the left-hand side of the machine is the ‘brew switch’ that is used to operate the pump. You can use the middle button, on the left panel, to dispense water while brewing your espresso.
Rancilio Silvia Pros & Cons
7. Gaggia Brera: Convenient, Customizable & Easy to Use
The Gaggia Brera is like having a little piece of Italy right on your countertop.
While it is highly-customizable, it’s not confusing to use. The interface display is large and color-coded symbols make it even easier to program to your specific taste.
Caring for the machine itself is incredibly easy. The Mavea Water Filter uses four stages of filtration, so scale build-up won’t be a problem.
Unfortunately, The Gaggia Brera is not suited for beginners.
Those with a sensitive palate will be disappointed by the fact it only comes with the Panarello wand. Steamed milk is slightly different than frothed milk.
- Mavea Water Filter
- Pre-Infusion Feature: Slows the brewing process, but provides extra aroma and flavor extraction
- Optidose Function: Controls the strength of your espresso
- Gaggia Adapting System: Automatically monitors and adjusts the grind time based on type of bean
- Low Energy Consumption: The machine turns on standby mode after one hour of idle time.
- 250-gram airtight, UV-proof coffee bean container: Your coffee stays fresher, longer, when protected from UV light.
- Automated Alert System: Notifies you when the water tank needs to be de-scaled.
- Rapid Steam Technology: Quickly and easily alternate between brewing and making steam
- Telescopic Coffee Dispenser: Adjusts to the height of your cup
Gaggia Brera Pros & Cons
8. DeLonghi Magnifica: Reliable & Powerful Espresso Machine
The Magnifica is one of those machines that is so easy to use, you’ll wonder why you spent so much time and money waiting in line for your coffee at your local coffee shop. It grinds, tamps, extracts and ensures you get the perfect espresso every time.
This machine uses a conical burr grinder that gives you perfectly ground espresso and doesn’t “slice and dice” your grounds into a pulp like other built-in grinders.
Best of all, everything on this machine is automated.
- Novel Cappuccino System: this machine uses steam in an intelligent way to create a rich, foamy froth
- Simple Operation: The push-button system makes it incredibly easy to use this coffee maker.
- Water Spout: you can use the hot water spout to make the perfect Americano, tea or hot chocolate.
- Automatic Shut-Off: it automatically shuts down after three hours of inactivity.
- Dual Thermoblock: Dual thermoblock enables you to get the perfect temperature for steaming milk and making espresso
- Auto Adjust: The machine auto adjusts to grind the right amount of coffee for one or two shots of espresso.
- Adjustable Coffee Spout: Made for more than your typical shot glass, you can place large cups directly under the brew head with the adjustable coffee spout.
- Optimal Pump Pressure: Achieve optimal pressure using the 15-bar pump
DeLonghi Magnifica Pros & Cons
Home Espresso Machine Buyer’s Guide
This buyer’s guide is designed to introduce some of the best home espresso machines on the market.
However, since there are so many machines to choose from, it may be challenging to select the best one that’s most suitable for you. Some have more features than others and extra gadgets that make the buying process even more confusing. Therefore, this guide is also designed to help you make the best, most informed choice possible.
This buyer’s guide allows you to compare apples to apples – so you only focus on those areas that you’re interested in. It also includes a comparison chart that allows you to review your top picks at a glance. You can review and compare the machines by price, speed, style, or other features.
Upon reading this guide, you should feel more informed about what you want and don’t want in an espresso machine.
Some people are loyal to their favorite coffee maker brand. If that’s you, you’ll be able to also review the machines based on your favorite brand. So whether you prefer top brands such as Mr. Coffee, Gaggia Brera, Breville, DeLonghi or other top brands, you’ll be able to review of those as well.
Before Buying: Questions you need to Ask
When it comes to kitchen appliances, most people use them for several years before ever having to replace them. So we know how important it is to do your research now so that you can make the right choice later. Prior to purchasing a home espresso machine, we know that you may have some questions, which is very common before making a purchase; especially questions about purchases that relate to decisions that you’ll likely have to live with for several years. For example, you may have questions such as:
These are some of the common questions that people have before they purchase a home espresso machine. We will address each one of them individually.
Type of Coffee Drinks: Will you be making espressos only, cappuccinos or both? Well, that’s only a question that you can answer. But whatever your preference is, you’ll want to seek out a machine that is capable of accommodating that particular preference.
Performance and Durability: You will need to seek out a home espresso machine that can perform the way you need it to. If you will be drinking espressos multiple times a day, or if you need to make more than one drink at one time, it’s important to have a machine that’s suitable enough to accommodate you based on how often you plan to make your espresso drinks.
Price Ranges for the different types of Espresso Machines: There are four main types of home espresso machines to choose from (they will be explained in greater detail below). The prices range from roughly $99 to $3,000 based on the model and other factors, such as speed, weight, size, additional gadgets, self or other cleaning capabilities and its overall functionality.
Types of Espresso Machine
There are basically four types of home espresso machines on the market. Some are easy enough for beginners to use, while others require some prior skills to use the more savvy machines. They consist of the manual machines, the semi-auto machines, the full machines, and the super automatic machines. Each of them is provided in greater detail below.
Manual Espresso Machines: The manual machines are very antiquated and difficult to operate compared to some of the most advanced models. It doesn’t maintain ongoing water pressure itself, so the water must be pushed through the machine manually by the user. By doing so, however, it changes the quality of the drink each time it is prepared. Thus, it’s difficult to get the drink to taste the same way twice.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines: The semi-auto espresso machines were placed into the marketplace as one of the first to be made with an electric pump. It was created by Achilles Gaggia’s who’s patent was implemented in 1938. Because of this type of machine, users can have a hands-free experience with respect to the use of the water pressure. As a result of this, the semi auto espresso machine has become one of the most popular machines in the marketplace. Also because of its boiler temperature control device and its ability to allow users to turn the pump on or off as needed.
Full Espresso Machines: The full machines are known to be exceptionally similar to semi-auto espresso machines. The difference is that they also include an electronic nanny, which has been designed to regulate how much water passes through the espresso.
Super Automatic Espresso Machines: The super automatic espresso machine is said to be the top of the line in terms of home espresso machines. They have been made with all of the bells and whistles that you can imagine. One of its features includes a built-in grinding apparatus (as well as other useful gadgets).
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
The home based semi-automatic espresso machine is the most commonly used traditional espresso machine used in the home by consumers.
However, you need to have skills to make great espressos with this machine, as it is not necessarily for the novice. Some of its key features include a portafilter, an activation / deactivation switch for the pump to start or stop the extraction process, and it includes a boiler.
Some of the pros and cons of the semi-automatic espresso machine consist of the following as outlined below.
The Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Since the super automatic machine is considered the top of the line in home espresso machines, you probably want to know more about it, right?
Well below is more information that you may find useful, along with the pros and the cons of this highly regarded machine. One of the great things about the super automatic espresso machine is that it does pretty much everything you need a home espresso machine to do. Not only does it make espressos, but it also makes other coffee beverages as well, such as lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and more.
Some of the pros and cons of using the super automatic espresso machine are indicated below.
Factors to Consider when Buying a new Home Espresso Machine
With so many choices to choose from, there are still plenty of things to think about before making the final decision about purchasing your new home espresso machine. You may still have some concerns that have not been addressed in the previous sections that could further assist you now. Therefore, the following areas have been put together for you to make note of concerning the X Factors associated with various home espresso machines. Some may be worth considering when making your final purchasing decisions for your new home espresso machine.
There are other factors that you could also consider when deciding on the best home espresso machine to purchase as well.
Such as those with ease of use, ease of cleaning, the cost and price considerations, the weight and durability, service warranties, whether or not a grinder is included and whether or not it comes with milk / steam frothers.
Other areas to note are certain key features that you may be looking for in an espresso machine specifically, along with its overall performance and its general maintenance. Each of these areas is described in more detail below.
1. Ease of Use
If ease of use is of concern to you, then you may want to shy away from the semi-automatic espresso machines. Those models require that you have the skills to make really great espressos.
Machines that are easy to use normally have some of the following features:
- any extraction systems that provides a very powerful pressure system.
- they allow you to make espressos to your preference, with the option of using easy to serve espresso pods.
- they contain a cappuccino frother that has a special chamber designed to mix the steam and milk together, which results in a rich and creamy froth.
- they have user-friendly designs and features that practically does everything or you.
- they have user-friendly control panels and are loaded with features that make it so easy to use, that both amateurs and connoisseurs could equally make great espresso drinks.
- reducing the time associated with the grinding and extraction process down to seconds.
- filters that make it easy to experiment with various grind amounts, sizes, and tamping pressure.
- pumps and other features that make it easy to regulate the water temperature.
2. Ease of Cleaning
Coffee Machines that have removable water tanks and an indicator light that alert users to when it’s time to clean the machines cleaned should be sought after for those looking for machines with ease of cleaning. Those with a convenient removable drip tray make it easier to clean the machines as well.
Machines that have a programmed cleaning cycle and all of the cleaning accessories you’ll need, also make the overall cleaning process easier. Those that include a water filter and other items designed for cleaning espresso machines, such as descaling powder, cleaning tablets, and liquid cleaners required to clean the steamer makes cleaning the machines easier as well. Finally, those machines with a hideaway storage compartment designed to store its cleaning tools add more convenience as well.
3. Cost and Price Considerations
Upon reading through this price guide, you’ve probably noticed that each espresso machine is different in terms of size, weight, style, and features, all of which dictates the price that it will likely have. Usually, the heavier machines have more features, boiler configurations and other mechanics that justifies its price. To that end, those machines that offer more in terms of performance and durability are usually the stainless steel machines. They are obviously more expensive than espresso machines that are made out of plastic.
Buyers can expect the higher end machines to cost well over $1,000 – some even as high as $3000. The lower-end machines can be purchased for less than $100. Therefore, buyers have a wide range of options based on their budget.
Some of the espresso machines weigh as little as 7.7lbs, while others weigh as much as 45lbs. Obviously, those machines that weigh more tend to have more features, are more durable, have greater performance and are more expensive. The heavier machines tend to be the stainless steel espresso machines.
Those espresso machines with more features, are larger in size and are heavier than others, usually have greater performance and are more durable. If you plan to use your espresso machine frequently, purchasing one with high-performance and durability is of great importance if you want it to last for a substantial period of time.
Most all espresso machines should come with a one or two year warranty. The warranties are usually optional and it allows users to have damaged parts replaced, or regular service maintenance performed on their machine based on the type of warranty obtained. The life expectancy of most kitchen appliances is roughly five to seven years on average. Obtaining a warranty will allow you to keep the machine well-maintained throughout the life of the machine.
Not all espresso machines are made with a grinder built into its design. If having a grinder is of importance to you, then you should make sure to seek out machines with a built-in coffee grinder. Otherwise, you will have to purchase a grinder separately and maybe even do the grinding yourself.
8. Milk Frother
Not all espresso machines come with a milk steamer / frother. So if having a frother is important to you, be sure to seek out those machines that contain a frother in advance of your purchase.
9. Key Features
Since most home espresso machines vary with respect to its features, it’s important to look out for machines that include features such as removable drip trays, containers that have measuring marks, handles that are cool to the touch, water tank storages, whether or not the machine is capable of self-priming, frothing capabilities and the overall design, size and weight of the machine. As far as features go, in general, is good to know what type of features you’d prefer your espresso machine to have prior to making the purchase.
10. Overall Performance and General Maintenance
There are a variety of different home espresso machines on the market, with different ones that perform differently than others. Some of the machines are capable of making multiple servings of espresso drinks, while others are limited to brewing only one cup at a time. In fact, some of the machines have features that allow you to make several types of drinks at a time. A machine’s power and size correlate with the power supply that is required to run the machine.
With respect to maintenance, the more complex the machine is, the more cleaning is required. Machines that include various accessories, such as thermostats, pumps, or boiler setups, typically dictate how much cleaning and maintenance will be required throughout the life of the machine. Those machines containing plastic outer coatings tend to crack after the machine has been used repeatedly. This usually lends itself to expensive repairs and sometimes even the replacement of the entire machine itself.
It’s important to think about how often you will be using your machine so that you can purchase one to accommodate the level of performance you need.
It may be more of a challenge to decide on which is the best home espresso machine for you. It could be because of your limited experience with espresso machines and your limited overall knowledge base of the area.
This guide was designed to assist you to find some easy answers and quick solutions to some common issues and concerns about purchasing a home espresso machine.
You may also want to brush up on some common terms that are associated with home espresso machines. If so, it could cut down on some of the research time in the long run as you will be familiar with what’s what as you begin comparing various home espresso machines.
Some of you may have some coffee shop or restaurant experience where you’ve become knowledgeable about commercial espresso machines, but are not necessarily familiar with home espresso machines; if so, this guide could be useful to you.
For those of you who have some form of knowledge about home espresso machines, but only want to compare the different types of machines, or perhaps the pricing, then this guide is also for you.
There are so many products available on the market and so much to choose from, thus having a buyer’s guide beforehand will save you some time and frustration as it helps you weed out any unlikely prospects and zero in on what you really need.
Whether a novice or an experienced home espresso user, hopefully, this guide has helped you come just one step closer to selecting the best home espresso machine that you need for the way you live your life.
Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a college student or an entrepreneur that works from home, by referring to our user guide, we’re sure that you’ll find a home espresso machine that’s just right for you.
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