Best Espresso Machines


The greatest home espresso machines allow you to enjoy a latte or cappuccino in the privacy of your kitchen. Traditional espresso machines can be intimidating, but a home espresso machine can help you pull a solid shot with a good “crema” (the espresso’s creamy, light-colored surface).

A portafilter is a hopper that holds the grounds and is used to prepare espresso. Some espresso makers grind the beans for you, pack the grounds, and make your cup at the touch of a button (which means to compress the grounds into a puck so the hot, pressurized water can extract a lot of flavors as it passes through quickly).

The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab has been testing kitchen appliances and coffee makers for over a century. We considered popular brands, best-selling machines, and features like milk frothers and built-in coffee bean grinders to discover the finest home espresso machine.

De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder, Dual Heating System, Advanced Latte System & Hot Water Spout for Americano Coffee or Tea, Stainless Steel, EC9335M
  • Sensor grinding technology: Exclusive segsing technology delivers precise, consistent grinding and the optimal dose for espresso, every time. Plus, the bean sensor ensures you’ll never run out of beans while grindin
  • The smart tamping station: Simply pull the lever to tamp the ground coffee with the right pressure for perfect results. There’s no need to remove the portafilter, so you get to enjoy a mess-free experience, for Espresso Made Right(TM)
  • Active temperature control with dual heating system: The best temperature stability for optimal coffee extraction and milk texturing. One thermoblock for extracting coffee and an independent heating system for steaming milk or frothing

It’s as easy to use and customize this espresso machine as it is to make a cup of espresso that looks as good as it tastes. To make a single espresso, double espresso, Americano, or regular coffee, select from one of six grind sizes (fine for a dark espresso, coarse for a stronger cup). Hot water can also be dispensed for tea.

Tamping is built into La Specialista’s tamping mechanism, and the pressure gauge allows you to check that you’re preparing the right cup. There’s also a steam wand that may be used for frothy or flat milk, depending on the drink you’re making. The delicate, silky crema it made was a big hit with us. You can purchase a knock box for discarded grinds, which we found to be quite helpful when making espresso over and over again.

  • 6 grind sizes and 5 brew options
  • Easy to use and adjust
  • Adjustable steam wand and tamping mechanism
  • A lot of work to fine-tune settings


Nespresso Vertuo Plus Coffee and Espresso Maker by De'Longhi, Titan
  • VERSATILE AUTOMATIC COFFEE MAKER: VertuoPlus Deluxe makes both coffee and espresso in a variety of sizes: 5oz and 7.77 o coffees, and single and double espresso. Includes a free set of Nespresso Vertuo capsules (capsule assortment may vary from picture)
  • SMART COFFEE MAKER: Brew the perfect single serve Coffee or Espresso drink time after time, thanks to Nespresso's Centrifusion technology using barcodes to deliver the best in cup results including the perfect crema for large Coffee cup sizes
  • SINGLE SERVE COFFEE MACHINE: Have the ability to create barista grade brewed single serve Coffee or Espresso cups at the touch of a single button; Designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules only

The VertuoPlus’s ease of use is the first thing we like. As soon as you press the lever to open the lid, it’s ready to go and the brewing process can begin immediately. You won’t have to worry about unintentionally using the wrong pod: Barcode-detection technology is employed by this capsule machine to ensure that each cup is brewed to perfection. From espresso to cup to alto, there are a variety of beverage options to choose from (perfect for your travel mugs).

In our tests, every cup of coffee was hot and rounded, with a rich crema. We particularly appreciate the flexibility of the water tank’s location, which can be adjusted to fit any counter area. Nespresso recycles spent pods if you return them to the firm, and the brand’s newest Vertuo machine is manufactured from recycled plastic that is 54 percent of its total weight. It’s hard to match the pricing, as well.

  • Preset brews offer consistency
  • Nespresso will recycle returned pods
  • Affordable
  • Can be expensive if not on sale
  • Pods are expensive


Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, BES870XL
  • Get up to 24 bags of coffee beans with the purchase of this machine from September 19, 2022 to October 3, 2022. Visit to redeem. T&C apply.
  • The Breville Barista Express delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Barista Series that offers all in one espresso machines with integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
  • Dose Control Grinding: Integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean

It’s the automatic espresso machine for you if you’re picky about your java. The Barista Pro has 30 different grind sizes and five different temperatures to choose from. The steam wand is simple, allowing you to froth your milk to your heart’s content.

Additionally, the machine includes four filter baskets, two for pre-ground coffee and two for whole coffee beans. To achieve the perfect espresso, we suggest fiddling with the settings, starting with the defaults.

  • 30 grind sizes, 5 temperature options, and 4 filter baskets
  • Automatic machine
  • Steam wand for frothing milk
  • Inconsistent
  • Dated look


Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine (Royal Champagne)
  • Proprietary Thermojet Heating System: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds, ready to make your best coffee without the wait
  • Adjustable Milk Temp and Texture: It chooses from 3 heat settings and 3 milk texture settings to make your ideal tasting microfoam milk
  • Hands-Free Automatic Steam Wand: Thermojet powered steam wand creates silky microfoam milk, made for your hands-free ready for latte art. Powerful steam pressure at 266-degree F

Those looking for a traditional espresso-making experience can’t go wrong with the Breville Bambino Plus automatic espresso machine. Coffee beans pre-ground and ready to be brewed are included in two dual-wall filter baskets that can be used with the attached steamer.

If you’re looking for something a little more frothy, you can opt for one of the following: steaming, frothy or very frothy. We found that this machine produced espresso that was full-bodied but not overpowering in flavor. We really liked how quickly this machine heated up and how quiet it was.

  • Perfect for traditionalists
  • Hands-on operation
  • Steam wand attached for frothing milk
  • No built-in grinder
  • No automated steam wand isn’t ideal for microfoam or latte art


Keurig K-Cafe Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker, Latte Maker and Cappuccino Maker, Comes with Dishwasher Safe Milk Frother, Coffee Shot Capability, Compatible With all Keurig K-Cup Pods, Dark Charcoal
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted
  • COFFEE, LATTES & CAPPUCCINOS: Use any K-Cup pod to brew coffee, or make delicious lattes and cappuccinos.
  • SIMPLE BUTTON CONTROLS: Just insert any K-Cup pod and use the button controls to brew delicious coffee, or make hot or iced lattes and cappuccinos.

Look no farther than the Keurig K-Cafe, if you’re searching for an upgrade, a particular present, or the ability to froth milk with a capsule machine. In addition to the four standard sizes, there is also a “strong” option, which allows you to enjoy your favorite K-cup in the strength you like. Espresso Roast K-cups and the “shot” size option will get you on your way to a great cup of espresso.

However, despite the lack of crema, the Espresso Roast K-cup has an ingenious built-in coffee frother that makes it easy to froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes; there’s also a “cold” option for those times when you just want to sip your frothy milk beverage over some ice. Consistent warmup time, brewing time, coffee temperature, and volume were all observed in our tests with this equipment.

  • Super simple operation
  • 4 brewing sizes, plus latte and cappuccino options
  • Built-in frother
  • Mediocre taste


Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine by Breville, Piano Black
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted
  • PERFORMANCE: Create a barista-style coffee or espresso drinks every time, thanks to our one-touch operation and extraction system which delivers up to 19 bars of pressure,Mount Type: Free Standing
  • EFFICIENT COFFEE MACHINE: In just one touch, the water reaches the ideal serving temperature in 25 seconds and an energy saving mode automatically switches off the machine after 9 minutes.

It’s hard to find a better combination of portability and power than this capsule espresso machine: It produces rich, full-bodied espresso with a creamy crema at 19 bars of pressure. Espresso or Lungo (which translates to “long” in Italian and creates a slower, larger espresso), with the option to use or remove the drip base for a larger cup, are available.

There was no problem with us reusing the water bottle because we wanted the best-tasting brews possible. It’s also possible to get it with a built-in milk frother, which uses the same original pods as the espresso machine we tested, or to buy it separately with a milk frother.

  • Small profile for little kitchens
  • Full-bodied, creamy espresso
  • 19 bars of pressure


De'Longhi ECAM37095TI Dinamica Plus Fully Automatic Espresso Machine, Titanium
  • 3.5” TFT full-touch, colorful display provides intuitive and simple experience of one-touch specialty recipes
  • De’Longhi Coffee Link App lets you create and save up to 3 personalized espresso recipes in your profile, so every cup of coffee is always customized to your unique taste
  • 16 one-touch or customized coffee drinks: latte, espresso, cappuccino, flat white, iced coffee, regular coffee and more.

Grinder and espresso maker in one, this machine grinds your beans and produces outstanding espresso with a thin yet creamy crema. Rather than being disappointed, our experts found the milk hopper and frothing capabilities to be quite impressive.

Filling, attaching, removing, and cleaning the milk hopper are all simple tasks. Drinks with milk are indicated by the machine’s frother setting and given time to choose from three possibilities before frothing begins. It also serves as a nudge to remind you to perform the milk container cleanup. It boasts a snappy touchscreen that is easy to use.

  • Grinds, stamps, and brews
  • The milk hopper is very easy to use
  • Flavorful espresso
  • Expensive
  • Large appliance
  • Requires experimentation to create your perfect coffee recipe


Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ LatteGo, Black, EP3241/54
  • Enjoy 5 coffees
  • Intuitive touch display
  • 12-step grinder adjustment

It is simple to select and brew drinks with the automatic LatteGo espresso machine from Phillips, which boasts a large, intuitive touchscreen control panel that makes it straightforward to use. There are five different drinks that can be made with whole beans: espresso, cappuccino, and latte macchiato, along with black coffee and Americano.

The frothing milk is straightforward and hands-free thanks to the removable, dishwasher-safe milk hopper, which replaces the traditional wand design. Our testers noted that the cocktails were delicious yet light in body.

  • Easy-to-use touchscreen control panel
  • Dishwasher safe milk hopper
  • Less-bold coffee, for those who like lighter-bodied drinks


Gaggia Carezza De Luxe Espresso Machine, Silver
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of espresso extracted will vary depending on the grind size and amount and reprogramming may be needed when the size and amount are adjusted
  • FROTHING FOR MILK BEVERAGES: Pannarello wand frothing for cappuccinos & lattes. Wand doubles as a hot water dispenser for Americanos & tea
  • Brewing features: pressurized porta filter brews both ground Coffee and ESE pods. Pre-infusion function pre-wets grounds before brewing for rich, even extraction

Designed in Italy, the Gaggia Carezza Deluxe is an excellent choice for upmarket kitchens (at a reasonable price for an automatic espresso machine).

It’s possible to create wonderful coffee out of this machine if you come to know its eccentricities, such as the grinds, tamping, and timing that produce a cup that you like. Some reviews complain that the front-loading water reservoir with a viewing window necessitates regular refills.

  • Attractive design
  • Front-loading water reservoir
  • Pre-brew function
  • Operational quirks
  • Look and function of controls are not always in harmony

The espresso machine, which produces highly concentrated coffee by pushing hot water through finely-ground beans, was invented in Italy around 1900. Originally intended to speed up cafe operations, smaller versions have become popular home appliances. Various technologies have been used to miniaturize the components needed to manufacture this sort of extracted coffee so it can be enjoyed at home.

The brew group (or brew head) is where coffee is actually brewed. Hot water from the boiler (or other heating components) passes through the group and into the portafilter, which contains the filter basket filled with tamped and finely ground roasted coffee.

Group heads acquire coffee fines and oils over time and must be cleaned periodically, either disassembled or using a backflush plate/blank portafilter insert (provided with most machines) with URNEX Cafiza detergent.

Before adding coffee to the group, this handle-mounted cuplike container with a spout grinds the coffee. With small pinholes, the espresso shot pours into the dispensing spout through the circular holder for the filter basket. Some commercial equipment uses 58mm portafilters, while others use 54mm or other manufacturer-specific sizes.

The tamper compresses the espresso grinds in the portafilter basket. Tamping permits grounds to be packed evenly and firmly enough to generate adequate resistance for a superb espresso shot. A barista’s preferred tamper can be calibrated (to restrict compressive force used to the coffee grinds) or uncalibrated (for users who like to operate by feel).

With any machine that uses a 58mm portafilter (or other popular sizes like Breville’s 54mm), you’ll want to upgrade your tamper (such as the Espro or Decent, both calibrated). A leveling tool and a nude/bottomless portafilter for larger baskets are also recommended. Consider using a VST or comparable professional laser-cut basket if you want more coffee in your shot than an 18-gram or 22-gram basket provides.

The pump moves water through the espresso machine’s circulatory system, heating components, and exchange system, and into the group head. These devices have a vibratory pump, which uses a piston connected to a magnet inside a metal coil. All machines on this list use vibratory pumps; more expensive systems (prosumer and professional models costing $2,500 and above) use rotary pumps that are quieter, bigger, and more reliable.

The magnet in a vibratory pump moves the piston back and forth, propelling water through the machine at around sixty oscillations per second. A vibratory pump (about $40) has a three- to five-year lifespan depending on usage. The vibe pump, along with valves and O-rings, is one of the most commonly replaced parts in an espresso machine.

If you plan to use your espresso machine frequently (every day), you should take in the cost and difficulties of servicing it. A longer warranty may be more important to you if you aren’t confident in completing this basic repair yourself. For less expensive equipment, replacing a pump or other significant component may be so costly (up to half the replacement cost) that you may prefer to just replace the unit.

It is made of solid metal with incorporated electrical elements that heat water to brewing temperature (195°F) as it travels through a tiny tube. They work like a tankless water heater and are the heart of any budget espresso machine. They can be made of brass or aluminum and come in a variety of construction quality and performance. It works by heating water as it travels through a metal tube with a coil heating element inside.

The main advantage of a thermoblock or thermocoil over a boiler in an espresso machine is speed. Some thermoblock-based devices are ready to shoot in seconds, while classic boiler systems require 15 minutes or more to reach the appropriate temperatures.

This allows for smaller, more energy-efficient, and less-priced espresso machines. Machines with thermoblocks or thermocoils cost around $100 to $1,200 depending on performance and other features. Except for the Dual Boiler and their high-end Oracle machines, most Brevilles use thermocoils.

The boiler is an insulated metal pot made of copper, stainless steel, brass, or aluminum that heats water to brew espresso (195-205°F) or steam milk (250°F or more). Single boiler, heat exchanger, and steam valve espresso machines start at roughly $500, while specialized steam and coffee boilers start at around $1,700, with the sky being the limit ($5,000+).

A single-boiler system (without a heat exchanger) requires 10 minutes to go from shot to steam temperature. So pull all your shots, then steam all your milk, then wait for the boiler to drop down to brew temperature. Otherwise, you’ll get scorched, sour shots.

A heat exchanger keeps the boiler at the higher milk-steamer temperature, while cool reservoir water is heated indirectly by a coiled tube flowing through or encircling the steam boiler on its way to the group head for brewing. If the machine has been idle for more than a few minutes, execute an initial “group head flush” to remove the 2 to 4 ounces of overly hot water.

To steam milk, a dual-boiler machine keeps one boiler at coffee-brewing temperature and the other at milk-steaming temperature, so your machine is always ready to steam. If you really want to, a twin boiler lets you pull shots and steam (or vice versa).

Regular descaling of espresso machines with boilers is required to remove minerals from the internal walls of the boiler. Descaling solution (or dissolved tablets) is pumped through the water reservoir and boiler.

The wand is a five-centimeter or longer metal pipe capped with a nozzle with one or more apertures for steam dispersal. Many designs exist, some for latte art, others for convenience, and still others for longevity.

The steam valve conducts steam to froth milk for drinks like latte and cappuccino.

This device measures and displays pressure, allowing you to fine-tune your shot. These are usually present on $1,000+ models.

One bar (approximately equal to atmospheric pressure) is regarded best for extracting the espresso coffee. A reading of four to six bar shows a coarse grind, while a value of 12 to 16 bar suggests a fine grind, indicating the necessity to alter your grind to compensate or fine-tune your tamping technique.

The PID (proportional-integral-derivative) is the brain of a high-end espresso machine. It regulates and stabilizes boiler or thermoblock temperature more precisely than previous, less expensive electromechanical thermostatic controls (also known as pressure stats). A PID-enabled machine can deliver more consistent shots, reduce shot-to-shot temperature recovery time, and prepare more drinks faster.

For each espresso maker, we assessed its simplicity of use, brew time, and uniformity as well as its taste and volume. When we tested more than 20 espresso machines recently, we brewed over 60 cups of espresso. Multiple straight espressos are brewed and their time and temperature are observed.

We also take into account the drink’s flavor and smoothness while rating it. We used skim and oat milk in the machine’s milk frother tests if it had one. We brewed cappuccinos and lattes in order to assess the milk ratios and foaming quality between the various settings.

Simple to set up, simple to use, quick to heat up, and moderately quick were the machines that we liked the best. To provide a rich, flavorful espresso with silky crema and no discernible huge or little air bubbles, the finest machines used steaming water rather than hot water.

5/5 - (10 votes)

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