Best Espresso Machines

Article Contents

Espresso dates to 1884, when Angelo Moriondo is believed to have patented the first espresso machine. It was later improved in 1901 by Luigi Bezzera, and then by Desiderio Pavoni, who founded the firm La Pavoni and began the first mass production of espresso machines.

Espresso has become more and more popular in recent years all over the world, due in part to the rise of many popular coffee chains that sell tasty espresso. Espresso is produced by the forcing of hot water under high pressure through specially ground, dark roasted coffee. True espresso is very highly concentrated and almost has a sort of a syrup-like consistency to it. It is a real delight to coffee lovers, when properly made. Fortunately, espresso makers are becoming very common and the prices are dropping. You can get a really quality cup of espresso without breaking the budget (but at the same time, you get what you pay for!).

Our best lists for espresso machines include a wide variety of excellent products depending upon your budget. They include best stovetop espresso maker, best manual espresso machine, best semi-automatic espresso machine and best automatic espresso machine. We took great care in judging the quality of the various espresso machines, keeping in mind that to judge the quality of the espresso based upon the general price range of that particular line of products.

Best Espresso Machine Overall:

Espresso machines come in a variety of styles, manual, semi automatic, and super automatic. For the overall best machines we looked for the elite super automatic machines which provide coffee house quality espresso in the comfort of your own home. The machines on this list exceed their rivals and have all received great reviews from consumers. In fact all of the machines on this list were also chosen because they are crafted of steel and chrome. This makes them look sophisticated sitting on any counter top, despite the decor. In addition these machines were chosen because they boast non-corrosive internal parts, and are designed to be quite durable.

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

This machine boasts a sleek innovative design decked out in a stainless steel exterior. The durable interior/exterior ensures that this unit will withstand heavy duty use without fear of wearing it out. Read Full Review

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Cappuccino Machine

The Gaggia heats up fast compared to similar machines. Plus this unit is designed so that it is easy to make two cups of espresso at once. Read Full Review

See it at:
    Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Cappuccino Machine

    DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

    This unit has a unique feature called a decalcification indicator making it very easy to clean. It also has a removable coffee bin and drip tray. Read Full Review

    See it at:
      DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

      Gaggia 12101 New Baby Manual Espresso Machine

      Imagine making delicious custom beverages for all your friends and then sitting down with your favorite blend yourself. Great coffee drinks without the coffee shop crowd in your own home. Read Full Review

      See it at:
        Gaggia 12101 New Baby Manual Espresso Machine

        Breville Barista Express BES860XL Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

        The Breville Barista Express is like having a coffee shop in your own kitchen. It literally has everything you need except the coffee beans and water. It looks beautiful sitting on the kitchen counter dressed elegantly in a stainless steel finish. Read Full Review

        See it at:
          Breville Barista Express BES860XL Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

          Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine:

          Super automatic espresso machines (aka fully automatic espresso machines) are push-button wonders capable of handling everything from grinding the beans to frothing the milk with just the touch of a button.  Plainly put, they are engineered to deliver a satisfying cup of espresso coffee without a hassle.

          We’ve chosen these picks as the best super-automatic espresso machines because each will produce a minimum 15 bars of pressure for the ultimate espresso extraction. Each will also have built-in burr grinders with adjustable grind coarseness. While some models may have blade grinders that do a credible job of grinding beans, burr grinders run cooler and do a better job of maximizing flavor in the grounds.

          Additionally all of these picks have been designed so they’re easy to maintain and clean. While there are self-cleaning models on this list, even these will eventually need to be manually cleaned after repeated use. Lastly, these machines will be covered by a minimum one year manufacturer’s warranty to protect your new investment.

          Jura 13423 Impressa S9 One Touch Automatic Coffee and Espresso Center

          The Jura Impressa S9 One Touch Automatic Espresso Center has eight different coffee product pre-sets and temperature controls for both the hot water and brewing. It features an auto coffee bean monitor so you won't run out of beans, and you can leave your cup in place for perfectly frothed espresso or move it over to the frothing wand to get really creative with a drink. Read Full Review

          See it at:
            Jura 13423 Impressa S9 One Touch Automatic Coffee and Espresso Center

            Java Fully Automatic Coffee and Espresso Machine

            The Java Espresso Fully Automatic Coffee and Espresso Machine comes with nearly a two liter water tank as well as an adjustable water level for your cup. It comes with a low water warning so you'll never run out of water and it’s available in many different colors to suit a variety of kitchen environments Read Full Review

            See it at:
              Java Fully Automatic Coffee and Espresso Machine

              Pasquini Q10 Super Automatic Espresso Machine

              The Pasquini Q10 Super Automatic Espresso Machine has two hoppers, twin boilers, smart boiler technology that always keeps the water at the perfect temperature, and both an automatic and a manual frothing wand. This self-cleaning unit featuring eight different pre-sets for drinks like espressos, latte and cappuccinos. Read Full Review

              Pasquini Q10 Super Automatic Espresso Machine

              Gaggia Accademia Stainless Steel Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

              The Gaggia Accademia Espresso Machine features an adjustable spout which will fit nearly any sized cup or mug, seven pre-sets for different type of coffee products, and two boilers. It comes with a 1.5 liter water tank and a cup warmer to pre-warm your cup before use. Read Full Review

              See it at:
                Gaggia Accademia Stainless Steel Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

                DeLonghi Magnifica S Black Smart Automatic Cappuccino Machine

                The De'Longhi ECAM23260SB Magnifica Compact Smart Espresso & Cappuccino Maker has many of the features of full sized machines in a more compact body. It comes with a cup warmer, a double shot selection, thermo block precision for temperature control, and a water filtration system. Read Full Review

                See it at:
                  DeLonghi Magnifica S Black Smart Automatic Cappuccino Machine

                  Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines:

                  Semi-Automatic espresso makers utilize an electric pump which creates the production of pressure. Unlike fully automatic espresso makers a semi automatic machines requires minimal work before being able to brew exceptional espresso. It's not hard however, in fact all that a user must do is grind some fresh coffee beans and add them to the filter. Then attach the portafilter and simply push the button. Of course in order to achieve that coffee house flavor, you must first own the best espresso machine. All of the units on this list were chosen because they are the most powerful and offer the latest innovative features in order to produce great espresso.

                  Capresso EC50 SS Pump Driven Espresso & Cappuccino Machine

                  Cuddle up on a cold winter evening and enjoy the rich coffee taste you deserve. The cup warmer and the drip tray are both removable to make room for tall cups and for ease of cleaning. Read Full Review

                  See it at:
                    Capresso EC50 SS Pump Driven Espresso & Cappuccino Machine

                    Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000-CS30 Cafe Barista Espresso Maker

                    Impress your friends by making each of them their own drink of choice, all perfectly done, and all with the same machine. This machine is built to last and looks elegant sitting on the counter top. Read Full Review

                    See it at:
                      Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000-CS30 Cafe Barista Espresso Maker

                      Espressione Caf Minuetto Professional Thermoblock Espresso Machine

                      Talk about convenient this unit has it all. Including the top of the machine is space-saving cup warmer that stores your coffee cup and heats it to the perfect temperature for strong espresso aroma and long lasting. So, make your favorite coffee beverages in the comfort of your own home without sacrificing coffee-house taste. Read Full Review

                      See it at:
                        Espressione Caf Minuetto Professional Thermoblock Espresso Machine

                        Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Cappuccino Machine

                        When your drink is done, the solenoid valve releases all water pressure to make clean up easy! Make your home the place to be for exquisite tasting coffee. Read Full Review

                        See it at:
                          Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Cappuccino Machine

                          Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Maker

                          Make cafe Americano or hot tea in addition to Espresso by using the instant hot water feature. A unique feature, a concealed storage tray will help keep your kitchen tidy, and keep all accessories conveniently gathered within reach. Take your time and enjoy the craftsmanship of your deliciously brewed espresso. Read Full Review

                          See it at:
                            Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Maker

                            Best Stovetop Espresso Maker:

                            Stove top espresso makers were first invented in 1905. Acting almost like reverse percolator coffee maker, these appliances have a grounds basket that sits at water level in a lower container. The top of the unit screws onto the bottom, and when the espresso maker is put on a heat, steam is generated which percolates through the grounds, condenses into the top pot, and gives you espresso. The end result is pure black espresso so if you want frothed milk to complete the brew you'll have to use a separate frothing device.

                            One thing to note is espresso cups aren’t the size of regular coffee cups. Many are referred to as espresso shots or demitasse, which means petite. In general, a 4 cup espresso maker is equal to 1 cup, or 8 ounces, of regular coffee. However, we’ve noted any variations in the reviews below where applicable.

                            One of the main reasons we chose these best espresso makers is because of their all metal construction which makes them far resistant to damage versus ceramic types. This construction also makes them suitable for use on a variety of stoves including gas, electric, and even camping stoves. Each of these picks also will have a non-metallic handle so you won't risk burning yourself when picking up the pot. Granted, some lovely designs incorporate a metallic handle, but if you forget to use a hot pad when lifting them the stove it won't be a pleasant experience. Lastly, each of these picks will come covered by a manufacturer’s one year limited warranty unless otherwise specified.

                            Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker

                            The Mateojo Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker comes with a total satisfaction guarantee or your money back. It's one of the lower priced espresso makers on the list yet it’s capable of making up to 10 ounces of espresso at one time. Read Full Review

                            See it at:
                              Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker

                              9 Cup Brew-fresh Stainless Steel Expresso Coffee Maker

                              The DINY Home and Style Stainless Steel Italian Style Expresso Coffee Maker will work on an induction cooktop. It holds 14 ounces of usable water to make espresso, and you'll get about seven espresso shots out of a full pot. The more contemporary round design may be more desirable for the look of more modern kitchens versus the a more traditional Italian design. Read Full Review

                              See it at:
                                9 Cup Brew-fresh Stainless Steel Expresso Coffee Maker

                                Delonghi Alicia Electric Moka EMK6 Espresso Machine

                                The Delonghi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Espresso Coffee Maker comes with it own plug-in electrified base so that you can make espresso where there is an outlet. It automatically stops when the brewing is done, and it features a keep warm function for 30 minutes. Read Full Review

                                See it at:
                                  Delonghi Alicia Electric Moka EMK6 Espresso Machine

                                  Bialetti 06813 Kitty Espresso Coffee Maker

                                  The Bialetti Kitty Stainless Steel Espresso Maker is a true 10 shot espresso machine. The mirrored stainless steel design is as supremely elegant as it is functional while the PVC-covered handle offers excellent protection against the heat. Read Full Review

                                  See it at:
                                    Bialetti 06813 Kitty Espresso Coffee Maker

                                    Gialetti Stovetop Italian Coffee Maker

                                    The Gialetti Stovetop Espresso Pot is a classic looking espresso maker and still makes a great cup of espresso even though it's the lowest priced unit here. Read Full Review

                                    See it at:
                                      Gialetti Stovetop Italian Coffee Maker

                                      Best Manual Espresso Machines:

                                      Manual espresso machines (or lever espresso machines as they’re also known) were originally created in 1947. Before this, steam was used as the pressure source but after World War 2 and the advancement of pump technology, a manual lever pump was incorporated into an espresso machine and thus the lever machine was born.

                                      Manual machines generally don’t use electricity, instead relying on the strength of the user to supply everything from frothed milk or cream, heated water, and the pressure applied to the pump handle to force pressurized water through the coffee grounds. However, modern manual espresso machines are still considered in the product class, even if they have an included boiler to supply the hot water. With these picks you'll still have to froth milk on the side, either manually with a frother or with the steam supplied from the boiler, but they will all make a good crema with the manually supplied pressure.

                                      We’ve chosen the following best manual espresso machines as they’re able to be rinsed clean thanks to their simple pump design with no complicated mechanical arts, allow you to pump water through the body and nozzle before rinsing thoroughly. Each pick will have a proven, durable design manufactured with quality materials that ensure a long service life, particularly the handles which transfer hand power directly into pump pressure. These machines also allow the correct manual pressure to craft exceptional espresso (generally about 10 bars) without the need for any electrical components.

                                      All of these units will come with a minimum one year manufacturer’s limited warranty, but if you’re worried about reliability over the life of the unit, take look at picks offering longer warranties.

                                      UniTerra Nomad Espresso Machine

                                      The UniTerra Nomad Espresso Machine is the easiest, simplest and most innovative espresso machine that you'll find. It uses a lever thumb pump that allows you to pressurize the system to 10 bars, as verified on the manual pressure gauge. Although you need to supply your own hot water, the water tank holds enough water for several shots, and an aeration valve assures you of a rich crema with each demitasse cup that you make. Read Full Review

                                      See it at:
                                        UniTerra Nomad Espresso Machine

                                        ROK Manual Espresso Maker

                                        The all-metal ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker offers twin handles which make pressurizing the unit a breeze, but you may need to experiment a few times before getting the perfect shot of espresso. It comes with a manual frother, a metal storage container, and as long as you have separately heated water, you can make espresso anywhere you want. Read Full Review

                                        See it at:
                                          ROK Manual Espresso Maker

                                          La Pavoni Romantica PC-16 Espresso/Cappucino Machine

                                          The La Pavoni PDH Professional 16-Cup Espresso Machine is many times more expensive than the lowest priced unit here, but you won't be disappointed with this gold plated wonder. The integrated boiler means hot water is there every time you lift the lever, and the boiler holds enough water for 16 two-once shots of espresso. It also features built-up steam pressure capable of frothing milk or cream. Read Full Review

                                          See it at:
                                            La Pavoni Romantica PC-16 Espresso/Cappucino Machine

                                            MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker

                                            The MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker is a one-handed espresso making wonder which generates eight bars of pressure. It can be packed full of grounds and taken to any hot water source to craft exceptional espresso and a rich crema head. Read Full Review

                                            See it at:
                                              MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker

                                              Pontevecchio Lever Espresso Machine

                                              The Ponte Vecchio Export Lever Espresso Machine has a 32 once water tank boiler to make 16 demitasse single shots or eight double shots. Available in a variety of colors, you'll be able to filter the water through the puck at between 10 and 20 bars of pressure. Read Full Review

                                              See it at:
                                                Pontevecchio Lever Espresso Machine

                                                Best Budget Espresso Machine:

                                                Espresso is a smaller amount (typically referred to as a "shot") of very concentrated robust coffee. It’s made using a very fine grind which gives the ground coffee beans the most area exposed to the water. Doing this extracts all of the taste, and the caffeine, from the coffee bean. There are three parts to every cup of espresso. The heart is the pure espresso coffee at the bottom, the body is cream or milk in the center of the cup, and the “crema” is the frothed milk or cream top layer.

                                                All of our following picks will be semi-automatic which means you’re going to be actively involved in the espresso making progress. If you want to just push a button and go, this category isn’t for you. Every type of espresso machine will use pump-driven, pressurized heated water as opposed to internally heated steam rated as "bars", with a higher bar number indicating greater pressure and technically (but not always) a better brew. Each of these picks will also come with a permanent filter so you'll never have to buy paper filters again, and none of these budget machines will cost more than 100 dollars. Although that may sound high, espresso machines are actually quite complex to make and in this category, you'll get what you pay for.

                                                Every espresso machine will need the grounds tamped firmly or the pressurized water will blow them around. To that end, every machine comes with a tamper but some of these picks aren’t quite adequate for the job. In that case, it would be in your best interest to get an aftermarket tamper which we’ll note for you in the description. All of these models will have a limited one year manufacturer’s warranty to protect your new investment unless otherwise stated in the description.

                                                VonShef 15 Bar Pump Espresso Coffee Maker Machine

                                                The VonShef 15 Bar Pump Espresso Coffee Maker Machine comes with dual serving nozzles for one larger cup or two smaller cups at a time. The detachable 1.5 liter water reservoir is easy to fill, 15 bars worth of pressure extract maximum espresso flavor, and it is versatile enough to make hot chocolate, mochas, and other coffee delights. Read Full Review

                                                See it at:
                                                  VonShef 15 Bar Pump Espresso Coffee Maker Machine

                                                  BELLA 13683 Espresso Maker

                                                  The BELLA 13683 Espresso Maker comes with a small glass carafe to hold four separate cups of espresso. This is the most hands-on espresso making unit, it features a 2.4 liter non-detachable water reservoir, and it comes with a two year warranty. Read Full Review

                                                  See it at:
                                                    BELLA 13683 Espresso Maker

                                                    Delonghi EC155 Pump-Driven Espresso Machine

                                                    The De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker has an easy to use, front-mounted selector to switch between espresso and frothing functions. You can make two cups at a time and the warming tray keeps your beverages hot and ready. The left side mounted frothing wand may take some getting used to, and you'd be better served by getting an aftermarket tamper for the grounds. Read Full Review

                                                    See it at:
                                                      Delonghi EC155 Pump-Driven Espresso Machine

                                                      Mixpresso Nespresso Compatible Espresso Machine Model Sam

                                                      The Mixpresso Nespresso Compatible Espresso Machine Model Sam uses Mixpresso or Nespresso pod capsules. This machine only makes the heart of an espresso shot, so you'll have to add milk or cream from the side. It is the absolute easiest machine to use; just drop in a pod and you’re good to go. Read Full Review

                                                      See it at:
                                                        Mixpresso Nespresso Compatible Espresso Machine Model Sam

                                                        Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappucino Machine

                                                        The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker has two shot capability and comes with a removable 40 ounce water tank for easy filling. Soft touch buttons on the machine front let you quickly access the function(s) you want although you may need a better tamper than the one supplied with this unit. Read Full Review

                                                        See it at:
                                                          Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappucino Machine
                                                          Leave a Question or Comment