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Espresso Machines

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Last updated: January 3, 2024
A selfie with my Breville Barista Pro

Over the last couple of years, I’ve researched and tested over 50 espresso machines to find out what the best and most cost-effective home espresso setup is for you.

Below you can find all my espresso machine reviews and roundups, as well as some articles on brewing espresso at home:

Best Espresso Machine by Type

I’ve rounded up the best espresso machines based on their level of automation, specific features, and suitability for specific needs.

  • Best Espresso Machine for Beginners: This is the ultimate guide to buying your first espresso machine. I give my recommendations based on your budget, whether you want a machine with or without an integrated grinder, and how much tinkering you’re willing to do to get the perfect shot.
  • Best Manual Espresso Machine: Manual espresso machines require you to use a lever or piston to create your brewing pressure. They’re stylish and are generally cheaper than more automated machines. I give my verdict on the four best espresso machines based on their price, ease of use, and the drinks they allow you to make.
  • Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine: Super-automatic espresso machines can make an espresso or milk drink with one button press. I’ve based my five super-automatic machine recommendations on their price, user interface, and the number of drinks they allow you to make.
  • Best Espresso Machine with a Grinder: I give my verdict on the best espresso machines with a built-in grinder based on cost, how much work they are to use, and the quality of espresso you can get from them. I also discuss whether it’s better to get a machine with a grinder or a separate machine and grinder.
  • Best Cappuccino Maker: I go through the best espresso machines for cappuccino. I pay particular attention to how well each of these machines steam milk, and how easily they allow you to make the drink.
  • Best Home Latte Machine: I run through the best espresso machines with automated milk steaming so you can make a coffee shop-quality latte at home.
  • Best Italian Espresso Machine: I run through the best espresso machines designed in Italy by Italian manufacturers. While not all the machines here are built in Italy, I point out when this is (or isn’t) the case for each featured machine.

Best Espresso Machine by Budget

I give my verdict on the best espresso machines at different price points. Please note that prices vary depending on individual retailers and the time of the year. I have tried to be conservative with my recommendations, so for example, if your budget is $1,000, then all the machines I recommend should comfortably be under $1,000.

  • Best Espresso Machine Under 1,000: $1,000 is enough to get you a solid espresso setup. I run through the best espresso machines and best machine and grinder combos for under $1,000.
  • Best Espresso Machine Under $500: $350 – $500 is the minimum I’d suggest spending if you’re serious about making good espresso at home. I run through the best espresso machines, and best espresso machine and grinder combos, for under $500.
  • Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1,000: $1,000 can get you any Philips super-automatic espresso machine, as well as the majority of Delonghi’s super automatics. I give my recommendations on the best super-automatic espresso machines based on the type of drinks that you want to make.

Breville

Breville (called Sage in the UK) makes some of the best beginner-friendly espresso machines because of their assisted temperature and shot volume control. They also offer phone and live chat support to all their customers, which I love.

  • Best Breville Espresso Machine: I run through Breville’s entire back catalog and tell you what I think their best machines are based on your budget and the types of drinks you want to make.
  • Breville Barista Pro Review: The Breville Barista Pro has a built-in grinder and digital display screen for easy programming and dialing in. It’s the best espresso machine with a built-in grinder for the money, in my opinion.
  • Breville Infuser Review: The Breville Infuser is one of Breville’s earliest machines. It’s a little bit overpriced considering that it uses Brevile’s older technology.
  • Breville Bambino vs Bambino Plus: These are Breville’s two most compact, affordable machines. The Bambino Plus has an automated steam wand, whereas the Bambino has a manual steam wand. I discuss these different steam wands, and who they’re best suited for, in detail here.
  • Breville Barista Pro vs Barista Express: Both these machines have built-in grinders. I think that the Barista Pro’s digital display screen, increased grinder settings and superior heating system makes it a better value purchase than the Barista Express.
  • Breville Barista Express vs Touch: The Barista Touch’s touch-screen menu, automated steam wand, and extra grinder settings make it a far easier machine to use than the Barista Express. While the Touch is twice the price of the Express, I think that it has enough useful extra features to justify this jump in price.
  • Breville Barista Touch vs Oracle Touch: While the Oracle Touch’s automatic tamping removes one of the trickiest parts of espresso making, I can’t help but feel like it doesn’t do enough to justify its huge leap in price compared to the Barista Touch.
  • Breville vs Delonghi: I compare Breville and Delonghi’s espresso machines at each price point from affordable to each manufacturer’s highest-end model.
  • Breville Bambino Review: The Breville Bambino is the best espresso machine that you can pair with a decent grinder for under $500.
  • Breville Bambino Plus Review: The Breville Bambino Plus’s automatic steam wand makes it one of the best espresso machines for beginners, especially if steaming milk manually intimidates.
  • Breville vs Jura: See why I think you should get a Breville machine instead of a Jura in every situation except for if you’re buying a machine for an office.

Delonghi 

In general, I think that Delonghi makes excellent super-automatic espresso machines but that their portafilter machines aren’t that great. They do make some of the best sub $200 espresso machines on the market, however.

  • Best Delonghi Espresso Machines: I run through Delonghi’s back catalog and give my recommendations based on your budget and the types of drinks that you want to make.
  • Delonghi ECP3420 Review: Although the Delonghi ECP3420 is far from perfect, it’s the best espresso machine you can get for under $200. I’d recommend it if you’re not sure if you’ll brew espresso daily and don’t want to commit to a large purchase.
  • Delonghi Dedica EC680M Review: The Delonghi Dedica is the most popular home espresso machine in the world and its…fine. I think it’s a bit overpriced and that you get better value with the Breville Bambino.
  • Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 Review: The Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 is a reliable workhorse of a super-automatic espresso machine. The price for this can vary a lot online, but if you can find it for under $600 I think you’ve got a bargain on your hands.
  • Delonghi Dinamica Review: This is Delonghi’s most affordable super-automatic espresso machine with automatic milk frothing. It’s a great option if you want lattes and cappuccinos at the touch of a button.
  • Delonghi Dinamica Plus Review: The Delonghi Dinamica Plus has a touch screen and can steam milk to multiple textures making it one of the best super automatics on the market.
  • Delonghi Dinamica vs Dinamica Plus: The main difference between the Delonghi Dinamica and Dinamica Plus is that the latter has a touch screen whereas the former is button-operated. Is it worth paying an extra ~$300 for a touch screen?
  • Delonghi Magnifica Evo vs Philips 3200: The Delonghi Magnifica Evo and Philips 3200 LatteGo are two of the most affordable super automatic espresso machines on the market. I’ll explain why I think the Delonghi Magnifica Evo is a vastly superior machine to the Philips 3200 LatteGo.
  • Delonghi Magnifica Evo Review: The Delonghi Magnifica Evo is Delonghi’s most affordable super-automatic espresso machine. Find out why I think it’s one of the best-value super automatics on the market right now.
  • Delonghi Dinamica Plus vs Gaggia Cadorna Prestige: These are two super-automatic espresso machines with automatic milk frothers. The Delonghi Dinamica Plus brews better-tasting espresso and makes better milk drinks than the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige. The Dinamica Plus is typically more expensive than the Cadorna Prestige, however.

Jura

Jura manufactures high-end super-automatic espresso machines. They use a patented “Pulse Extraction Process” which means that they make better-tasting espresso than other super automatics (such as those made by Philips or Delonghi).

  • Best Jura Coffee Machines: I give my recommendations for Jura espresso machines based on your budget and the types of drinks that you want to make.
  • Jura E8 Review: The Jura E8 has all of Jura’s most important functionalities while eschewing peripheral features that inflate other models’ price tags without improving them all that much. This makes it one of the best-value Jura machines.
  • Jura S8 Review: The Jura S8 is Jura’s only espresso machines with a dial that adjusts your milk texture. This makes if the best Jura machine if you want to make a lot of milk drinks.
  • Jura E8 vs S8: I compare these two machines to see whether its worth paying $300 for the Jura S8 instead of the Jura E8.
  • Jura E6 vs E8: These two machines differ in their number of menu items and their price. Here I’ll go through the two machines’ menu items so you can see if it’s worth paying a premium for the E8 compared to the E6.
  • Jura Z10 Review: The Jura Z10 is Jura’s most extravagant home espresso machine. I investigate whether the machine justifies its enormous price tag.
  • Jura ENA 8 Review: The Jura ENA 8 is meant to be a compact alternative to the Jura E8. It’s barely smaller than the E8 and also cuts out a lot of the E8’s best features, despite only offering a small reduction in price. Avoid.
  • Jura vs Delonghi: I look at whether you should get a Jura or Delonghi super-automatic espresso machine depending on your budget and what you want from the machine.
  • Jura vs Miele: Jura and Miele both make premium super-automatic espresso machines. I recommend you get a Jura machine over a Miele machine because Jura machines make better-tasting espresso than Miele.
  • Jura ENA 4 Review: The Jura ENA 4 is Jura’s most affordable espresso machine and is perfect if you’ll just drink plain espresso.
  • Jura E6 Review: The Jura E6 is Jura’s most affordable espresso machine with milk steaming and Jura’s best value espresso machine overall.
  • Jura E4 Review: The Jura E4 can only brew and cannot steam milk. Although it’s very expensive given its lack of functionalities, it might still be a good option if you’ll drink both espresso and drip-style coffee as it makes these drinks as well as Juras twice its price.
  • Jura E8 vs ENA 8: The Jura ENA 8 is marketed as a more compact version of the Jura E8. In my comparison of these two machines, I explain why I think the Jura ENA 8 offers far better value for money than the Jura E8.
  • Jura S8 vs Z10: The Jura S8 and Jura Z10 are two of Jura’s more expensive espresso machines, mainly due to their touch screen. See why I recommend the Jura Z10 if you’re going to make iced drinks and the Jura S8 if you’re not.
  • Jura E8 vs Z10: The Jura E8 is typically around $1,200 more expensive than the Jura Z10. I only recommend paying this premium for the Jura Z10 if you want to make iced lattes at home. 
  • Jura vs Gaggia: I compare Jura and Gaggia’s range of super-automatic espresso machines. See why I think you should go for a Gaggia machine if you’ll mainly drink milk drinks and a Jura if you’ll mainly drink black drinks.
  • Jura Z10 vs Gaggia Accademia: The Jura Z10 and the Gaggia Accademia are the two manufacturers’ most premium super-automatic espresso machines. See why I recommend the Gaggia Accademia over the Jura Z10 for the majority of people.

Gaggia

Gaggia made the first espresso machines and has a range of semi-automatic and super-automatic models.

  • Best Gaggia Espresso Machine: I give my recommendations on Gaggia machines based on your budget, the drinks you want to make, and how much tinkering you’re willing to do when brewing espresso.
  • Gaggia Classic Pro vs Breville Barista Express: The Gaggia Classic Pro is harder to use but has a higher quality ceiling than the Barista Express. It’s better for an espresso hobbyist. The Breville Barista Express is better for casual users.
  • Gaggia Classic Pro vs Rancilio Silvia: These are two similar machines. Both are ideal for people already “into” espresso and for potential modders. I think that the Gaggia Classic Pro offers slightly better value for money than the Rancilio Silvia, but both are great in their own right.
  • Gaggia Classic Pro Review: The Gaggia Classic Pro has a bit of a learning curve, but once you master it you can get the best-tasting espresso from a machine under $500.
  • Gaggia Classic Pro vs Breville Bambino Plus: Go for the Breville Bambino if you mainly want to make milk drinks or you want a machine that can make a decent espresso straight out of the box. The Gaggia Classic Pro can produce better-tasting espresso than the Bambino Plus, but only after some modifications.
  • Gaggia Magenta Prestige Review: The Gaggia Magenta Prestige is Gaggia’s most affordable super-automatic espresso machine. I don’t recommend this machine because it produces watery espresso and is riddled with technical problems.
  • Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Review: The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is Gaggia’s mid-priced super automatic with an automatic milk frother. I don’t think it’s worth the money as it produces weak, watery espresso.
  • Gaggia Anima Prestige Review: The Gaggia Anima Prestige is Gaggia’s most affordable super automatic with a milk frother. I do not recommend this machine as (like all other Gaggia super automatics) its espresso is weak and watery.
  • Gaggia Brera Review: The Gaggia Brera is Gaggia’s most affordable super-automatic espresso machine. It uses a panarello steam wand to froth your milk. I don’t recommend the Brera because (like all Gaggia super automatics) it does not brew good-tasting espresso.

Philips

Philips (also known as Saeco) makes relatively affordable super-automatic espresso machines. Although they lack the build quality of Jura and Delonghi super automatics they can be a good option if you want a super automatic without breaking the bank.

  • Philips 5400 LatteGo Review: The 5400 is Philips’ most functionality-rich machine. It has 12 menu options, a full-color LCD display screen, and four user profiles.
  • Philips 5400 vs Delonghi Dinamica Plus: The Delonghi Dinamica is typically pricier than the Philips 5400 despite there seeming to be little between them functionality-wise. I recommend the Dinamica Plus over the Philips 5400 as it makes better-tasting espresso and offers a wider variety of milk drinks.
  • Philips 4300 LatteGo Review: The Philips 4300 is Philips’s most affordable espresso machine with a display screen control panel. I’d recommend it if you want an easy-to-use super-automatic machine for milk-based drinks.
  • Philips 3200 LatteGo Review: The Philips 3200 LatteGo is the most popular Philips espresso machine. It has Philips’ best drink, the latte macchiato, on its menu, but has a more basic user interface than the 4300 or 5400 models.
  • Philips 5400 LatteGo Review: The 5400 is Philips’ most functionality-rich machine. It has 12 menu options, a full-color LCD display screen, and four user profiles making it ideal for a large household or office.
  • Philips 4300 vs 5400: I compare Philips’s two most premium LatteGo espresso machines and explain why I don’t think the 5400 justifies its extra cost compared to the 4300.

Other Manufacturers

  • Calphalon Espresso Machine Review: Although they’re better known for their pots and pans, Calphalon makes espresso machines with a similar design to Breville. Here I review the Calphalon Temp IQ which has a built-in grinder.
  • Spinn Coffee Maker Review: The Spinn coffee maker is a phone-operated super-automatic espresso machine. I wouldn’t recommend it as it doesn’t make good espresso (even by super-automatic standards).
  • Rancilio Silvia Review: The Rancilio Silvia is an extremely durable and high-performing espresso machine that’s great for modding. It does have a steeper learning curve than similarly priced models from Breville and Delonghi, however.

Tips on Making Espresso at Home

I share advice that I wish I knew when I started my espresso-at-home journey. 

  • Pressurized vs Non Pressurized Portafilter Baskets: I explain the differences between pressurized and non-pressurized portafilter baskets (also called “double-walled” and “single-walled baskets”) and talk about how different basket types should be used in different situations.

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