Looking For The Best Espresso Machine For Home Use?
Here’s a look at our favorites, including our top pick – the Bialetti Moka Express.
#1 Best Espresso Machine For Home Use
Tired of paying $5 for your latte every morning at the coffee shop? With the right espresso machine, you can start making barista-quality espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos in your own home for a fraction of the cost. With a little practice and a few good recipes, you’ll quickly find that your coffee concoctions taste better than those pricey coffeehouse blends, too.
What to look for
Espresso machines can be notoriously expensive and complicated, but you don’t need to splurge on a $1,000 machine to get professional-quality coffee in your home. As long as you know what features to look for, there are plenty of options that offer great quality at a great value. To help you in your search, here are a few tips on what to look for in an espresso machine for home use:
- Pods vs fresh grounds – using freshly ground coffee beans will always produce better flavor and aromas, but they take longer to grind and brew. If you need your coffee fix in a hurry, you may want to look at an espresso machine that takes coffee pods for speed and convenience. If you’ve got time to brew your espresso fresh, going with a fresh-brew espresso machine is probably the better choice.
- Pressure – an espresso machine brews espresso with steam, so it’s important to pay attention to how much steam pressure (known as bars) your coffee machine can produce. The standard is about 15 bars of pressure. Anything above that has the potential to release even greater flavor and aromas, while anything less than that may be satisfactory at best.
- Manual vs automatic – as the name implies, manual espresso machines will take a little longer to steam your coffee than an automatic espresso maker. If your coffee time is typically rushed, go with the automatic espresso maker to save time. If you have time to brew a little slower, you can definitely save some money by using a manual espresso maker.
- Milk frother – a milk frother isn’t necessary, but having one makes it a lot easier to turn your espresso shots into delicious lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.
In Italy, where espresso is king, you’ll find Bialetti coffee makers in 9 out of 10 households. Why? Because with 80 years of experience and over 200 coffee makers manufactured, Bialetti has had plenty of opportunity to perfect the craft of making rich, authentic espresso. That, and their coffee makers offer a fantastic value, allowing you to make quality espresso with a machine that’s less than $50.
The Moka Express is a manual espresso maker that works on any stovetop. All you have to do is fill the pot with water, add your ground coffee to the cone, turn on the heat, and wait about five minutes for the pot to produce up to 6 demitasse cups (2 ounces per serving, 12 ounces total). Cleaning the coffee maker is as easy as cooking with it thanks to the removable parts, and it’s made to last with high quality polished aluminum.
- Produces 12 ounces of espresso (6 demitasse cups)
- Constructed with high-quality polished aluminum
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Designed and made in Italy
- Includes a 2-year warranty
With the Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappucino Maker, you’ll be able to craft barista-quality espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes in your own home.
The machine features a 15-bar pump that packs enough pressure to extract bold, rich espresso flavors, and the hassle-free milk frother removes all of the guesswork from properly frothing enough milk for your cappuccino or latte. It’s incredibly simple to use with one-touch controls that let you choose between single or double shots, and the removable milk reservoir can be stored in the refrigerator between uses.
- Semi-automatic 3-in-1 espresso, cappuccino, and latte maker
- One-touch control panel
- 15-bar pump system
- Automatic milk frother
- Removable water and milk reservoirs
- Kit includes recipe book
De’Longhi is another reputable brand in the coffee industry, and the EC155 is no exception to the company’s strong product line. The De’Longhi EC155 uses a patented dual function espresso filter than can handle coffee grounds and espresso coffee pods, so it caters to both types of espresso preparation to suit your needs.
It uses a self-priming operation to eliminate annoying start-up preparation, and it features a Rapid Cappuccino System that lets you make multiple cups without having to wait between each cup.
There are two separate thermostats to measure and control water and steam pressure separately, and the durable, high-quality stainless-steel boiler packs 15 bars of pressure for maximum taste and aroma. The machine also includes a swivel jet manual frother to create rich, creamy, and evenly textured lattes and cappuccinos. When you’re done, the 35-ounce water container is removable for easy refilling and cleaning.
- Prepares espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos
- Separate thermostats for water and steam
- Stainless-steel boiler with 15 bar pump pressure
- Manual milk frother
- Three-in-one filter holder for single shot, double shot, and espresso pods
- Removable 35-ounce water tank
If you’re set on using coffee pods for quick and easy espresso-making, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the Nespresso Inissia. While many coffee pods deliver stale coffee and stifled aromas, the Nespresso capsule system delivers exceptional taste and unique aromas.
Nespresso capsules are hermetically sealed in recyclable aluminum capsules to guarantee top quality, and while many coffee machines can take Nespresso capsules, they’re best prepared with a Nespresso coffee maker. There are a ton of flavor profiles to choose from (referred to as Grand Crus by Nespresso), and with this machine you’ll get a starter kit with 14 different Grand Crus to get you started.
The Inissia is Nespresso’s original and most popular espresso maker. It’s colorful, compact, lightweight, and designed to impose a minimum footprint in your kitchen. But don’t let the featherweight size throw you off—the Inissia delivers 19 bars of pressure, which is significantly more than your average automatic espresso machine.
The Inissia powers up and heats the water to an optimal temperature in just 25 seconds, and when you’re done the machine has an auto-off feature for smart energy savings. You can brew two cup sizes, standard espresso and lungo, though the folding drip tray lets you brew multiple servings in a larger cup when necessary. The 0.7-liter water tank holds enough for 9 servings
- Single-serve coffee and espresso pods
- Patented extraction system with 19 bars of pressure
- Ultra-fast 25-second startup
- Two cup sizes – espresso and lungo
- Folding drip tray accommodates larger cups
- 7-liter water tank
- One-touch operation
- Includes welcome kit with 14 unique aroma profiles
The BELLA Personal Espresso Maker is designed to deliver instant espresso with freshly ground coffee beans by maintaining a constant 5 bars of pressure. Just add your grounds to the permanent filter basket and hit the button, and you’ll have a piping-hot cup of espresso in seconds. There’s a built-in steam wand for manual milk frothing, so you can easily make cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos at the same time.
When it’s time to clean up, the removable filter basket, drip tray, wand, and glass decanter are all a piece of cake to detach and clean separately. This kit comes with an espresso scoop for convenience, and the easy-pour glass decanter includes volume markings to take the guesswork out of how much water to use.
- Maintains a constant 5-bars of pressure
- Brew 1 – 4 cups of espresso at a time
- Built-in steam wand for frothing
- Easy-pour glass decanter
- Detachable permanent filter basket
- Removable drip tray and wand
If you’re looking for the best value, the Bialetti Moka Express is a fantastic option. If you’d prefer an automatic espresso machine that uses freshly ground coffee, I’d lean towards the Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker or the De’Longhi EC155. If your coffee sessions are usually rushed, take a good look at the Nespresso Inissia as it can deliver exceptional quality espresso in a fraction of the time.