Best Espresso Machines for 2021 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Simon Calvin
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I love coffee, both the science behind it and the brew. I love the taste and the smell. I love the way it works its way through the layers of complexity as you pass around cups with friends and family (and especially just with yourself, when no one’s looking!). I love the joy of finding that one perfect coffee bean in the market and perfecting your skills to find just the right roast, then making it just right. I love that there is more science and art in making a great cup than in most things out there.

I also love espresso, and all of the plus-ing that you can do to a coffee bean to make it even more complex and interesting. We all know what espresso is, so this guide is not about that. This guide is about the machines that will brew you a great espresso.

NameCategoryProduct
Breville the Barista Express Espresso MachineBest OverallBreville the Barista Express Espresso Machine
Wacaco Minipresso GRBudget PickWacaco Minipresso GR
Rancilio Silvia Espresso MachineUpgrade PickRancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

1. Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine

Our rating: 9 / 10

Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine

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2. Breville BES840XL/A the Infuser Espresso Machine

Our rating: 9 / 10

Breville BES840XL/A the Infuser Espresso Machine

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Pros:

  • A high-quality machine
  • Effective and sturdy
  • Produces rich foam
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent design

Cons:

  • With large cups, over-extraction occurs when using pre-ground coffee
  • There have been some warranty issues

We reviewed this espresso machine in December of 2018 and were quite impressed with just about everything about it. It has a number of features that make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone who likes an excellent, professional grade espresso. Here are some of the features we found to stand out in this machine.

What we liked about the Breville the Infuser machine is that it has a large cup capacity. This will help if you are having guests over or if you don’t want to keep making multiple shots for one cup. The machine has a 15-bar pump for a fast brew with a sense of quality.

With the nice design of this machine, you will have a variety of options available for a display stand, including the standard drip tray.

3. Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

Our rating: 9 / 10

Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

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Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Amazing espresso
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Water dispenser on side
  • Cleaning dial is easily accessible
  • Reservoir is easy to fill

4. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

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Pros:

  • Inexpensive and durable
  • Very consistent engine
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Japanese brass boiler
  • Popular espresso machine on the market
  • Easy control
  • Continuous power
  • Complete with milk frother

Cons:

  • 100% plastic machine
  • Can only brew one cup at a time
  • Short steam wands
  • Heavy plastic
  • Difficult to clean

If you’re looking for a single shot or double espresso machine, this is a great choice. It brews good espresso in about 25 seconds.

This machine has been used by people of all levels of experience, but is a simple unit for the beginner looking for a good espresso machine. However, it can be a little difficult to clean and maintain with its plastic components. The espresso it produces isn’t bad and is not bitter, though it’s difficult to achieve espresso crema. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to get espresso at home.

5. Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine

Our rating: 8 / 10

Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine

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Pros:

  • Latte and cappuccino functions
  • Automatic steam
  • High-quality build
  • Superior pressure

Cons:

  • Heating plate made of plastic
  • No portafilter holder for maintenance
  • No brew screen
  • No adjustable steam/temperature controls

Made to the highest quality standards, Gaggia RI9380/46 is the epitome of the Classic Pro model. It is a true workhorse that will make coffee like a professional.

Its boiler is made of stainless steel of exceptional quality to ensure consistent heating temperature. This allows you to make a proper espresso.

The portafilter that comes with Gaggia RI9380/46 is sheer perfection. The coffee is evenly distributed throughout the entire brew-time. You can use it for a long time without ruining quality.

6. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

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Pros:

  • A real barista making coffee at home in your own kitchen
  • Easily heats up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Makes fresh cappuccinos, hot lattes, iced coffee, espresso, and ristretto
  • LCD display screen
  • Easy to clean with removable water tank and drip tray
  • Large water reservoir
  • Built-in milk frother: froths milk for cappuccinos and lattes.
  • Sleek lightweight design available in seven colors
  • Low noise
  • Comes with a cleaning tool

This is a great machine for making the same coffee drinks you get at certain coffee shops. Plus, you can get the same quality of drinks in your own home.

The Cafe Barista provides quick and easy cappuccino, espresso, hot lattes, iced coffee, and other specialty coffee.

It does everything from grinding the beans to dispensing the shot to steaming the milk.

7. De'Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super Automatic Espresso & Coffee Machine

Our rating: 8 / 10

De'Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super Automatic Espresso & Coffee Machine

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Pros:

  • Two-hour automatic shut-off feature
  • Two-minutes automatic pre-infusion
  • Auto shot-crema system
  • Automatic milk beverage system frother
  • Can make four short cups of espresso at once
  • Super automatic for easy and quick operation
  • 3-part capsule insertion for easy operation
  • Heats up quickly; ready in a matter of minutes
  • Can be used easily by almost anyone
  • Makes excellent coffee

The quality of the De'Longhi Magnifica Super Automatic Espresso and Coffee Machine is unparalleled, making it well worth its high price. The secret to its quality is the Thermoblock heating system that it uses to heat up quickly and brew coffee quickly as well. The system uses very little water as well to preserve bean flavor.

The two-hour automatic shut-off feature means that coffee lovers can wake up to the wonderful aroma of fresh-brewed coffee every day. The machine can be used by almost anybody with simple push buttons and a programmable interface.

8. DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker

Our rating: 8 / 10

DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker

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The DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker is engineered for high performance. It requires only half as much pressure to get the same delicious results as a traditional espresso machine. It pulls out every ounce of flavor that is in your coffee bean thanks to its powerful pump.

This stainless steel espresso maker has a professional quality burr grinder that grinds for you automatically. There is also an energy saving function. You can choose from extra-fine to coarse grind options and your dial allows for easy change from one setting to the next.

This is a very heavy machine, but it is also well-constructed. It has a powerful 2-speed motor and a self-priming system for effortless and quick operation. You can also adjust the height of your cup for the right fit.

9. De'Longhi EC155 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker,Black

Our rating: 8 / 10

De'Longhi EC155 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker,Black

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The black De'Longhi 15-bar pump espresso maker is a popular choice because it produces a high-quality shot of espresso makes a great job of steaming and frothing milk.

The machine can operate, program, and turn off automatically, and comes with a functional white backlit LCD.

Other features include an ergonomic steam knob for faster frothing, a dual-function filter holder for espresso and tamper, and removable drip tray.

10. Breville Inissia Espresso Machine

Our rating: 7 / 10

Breville Inissia Espresso Machine

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Pros:

  • Lightweight with a smaller footprint than many other espresso machines and heat sink made of brushed stainless steel.
  • Coffee bean hopper, filter holder and tamper are all made of steel.
  • Will grind and brew at the same time.
  • Slightly noisier than some of the higher-end machines.

Bask in modern Italian design with this handsome, professional espresso maker. Enjoy the best results from your favorite coffee beans with this high-quality machine.

Breville designed this espresso machine with a state-of-the-art integrated conical burr grinder. Grinding your beans before brewing gives you the ultimate control over the coffee grind. Grinding brings out more of the flavors in the beans, which means a richer, more flavorful cup of coffee. Make it your morning ritual to grind your coffee beans just before brewing to enjoy the freshest coffee possible.

You can brew delicious cappuccinos or lattes with the machine's milk frother. Make tasty, creamy lattes by adding your favorite milk or frothing it up to the size you want.

11. Wacaco Minipresso GR

Our rating: 7 / 10

Wacaco Minipresso GR

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Pros:

  • Works with all types of coffee grinds – from coarse to fine
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Easily portable
  • Small, compact size
  • One year manufacturer warranty
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Manual
  • No electricity needed
  • Affordable
  • Perfect for camping and other outdoor activities

Cons:

  • The beginning might take a while and the grind might have to be adjusted with the first few shots
  • The coffee might be extremely hot, so the cup should be cooled first or it can hurt the hands

Outdoor, Indoor, Anywhere.

12. Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing

Our rating: 7 / 10

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing

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Pros:

  • Maintains high-quality espresso
  • Great at frothing milk for cappuccinos
  • Auto clean function makes it easy to maintain
  • 1600-watt conical burr grinder for consistent grinding
  • Three group heads for positive temperature control
  • 10-ounce cup capacity
  • Dual boiler ensures espresso stays hot
  • Heating wand for frothing milk or increasing temperatures
  • Great at steaming milk for lattes
  • Huge water pitcher for making multiple beverages

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Powerful grinder can produce inconsistent grounds
  • Doesn’t work with all accessories

Automatic Cleaning System.

Some espresso machines put their coffee first and the design second. The Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine takes a different approach. Its finishes are immaculate, and it’s one of the most attractive home espresso makers we’ve seen.

With a dual boiler system that maintains water at 195-205 degrees and a 1555-watt heating element, the Brera adds spiciness to your coffee while preventing it from being bitter. It has a built-in auto-clean function that makes it convenient.

13. De'Longhi ECP3630 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

Our rating: 7 / 10

De'Longhi ECP3630 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

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Pros:

  • Good price
  • It has a frother which is a big plus
  • The steam nozzle is powerful and can be adjusted
  • Makes great espresso
  • It has a removable drip tray
  • The milk frother can be detached
  • It can brew two cups of espresso at the same time
  • There’s an auto shut-off feature

Cons:

  • It’s relatively heavy
  • The boiler is not stainless steel

Espresso & Cappuccino – Compare Prices, Reviews…

14. La Pavoni PB-16 Professional Copper/Brass Lever Espresso Machine; 38 oz boiler capacity; Capable of making 16

Our rating: 6 / 10

La Pavoni PB-16 Professional Copper/Brass Lever Espresso Machine; 38 oz boiler capacity; Capable of making 16

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Pros:

  • High quality, sturdy machine that is very durable and will last a lifetime if cared for correctly
  • Makes a perfect espresso every time
  • Smaller size machine makes it the perfect pick for people that have a smaller kitchen or want a secondary espresso machine at their office

The La Pavoni is a coffee maker that you will be using for a very long time. With a smaller size and accommodating only two cups at a time, this espresso maker is perfect for use in the office or for a secondary espresso machine in the home. The convenience of being able to produce espresso on demand at the office or at home makes the La Pavoni one of the best and an easy choice for home or office use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which machine makes the best espresso?

Espresso machines have evolved considerably over the last 70 years. A coffee shop can now make you an espresso that not only tastes great, but is also aesthetically pleasing. Designers have learned from consumer feedback that this is what is important for espresso machines to be the best nowadays.

As for the quality of the espresso, it is no surprise that the best espresso machines are the ones that are completely automated. Finding the right espresso machine might be challenging at first but the tips below should help in narrowing down the choices.

What is the best espresso machine for beginners?

So you want to learn how to make espresso at home but you aren’t sure where to start? Fortunately, learning how to make espresso at home is not difficult, it’s simply a matter of understanding the necessary hardware and then knowing a few simple tips and tricks.

The best espresso machine for a beginner is technically a Moka pot. It is an extremely simple design that requires no electricity, which will make you feel like you’re in a home-brewing class. This is very attractive to a beginning espresso maker as they will have full control over everything. The only downside is that your resulting espresso will have low pressure (less than 9 bar), which is why it’s not considered by most to be a true shot of espresso.

Which automatic espresso machine is the best?

It depends on many factors such as: your budget, your taste in espresso, and your favorite way to brew. Many people think that if you’re willing to spend extra money on a machine, then you must be serious about espresso. However, that’s definitely not true. There are cheaper options that will provide rich and delicious espresso.

But if you’re considering spending extra money on something that is going to be used often, then the investment could be well worth it. Manually operating espresso machines require a lot more skill and attention. Your dash of work can easily ruin your espresso, which you could learn to make automatically. So if you’re looking for a way to take a short cut, then buying a machine that automatically brews for you is a great option.

How many bars is good for espresso machine?

A lot of this is related to the type of machine you choose. For example, dual boilers are necessarily better than single boilers, and pump driven machines are going to be different than steam driven. In short, you need to understand what you’re buying.

Single boiler machines are going to use less energy than dual boiler ones. They’re also less expensive. However, these machines are not as versatile as a dual boiler machine. They don’t have the pressure nor power to pull the shots you want. Plus, they don’t have the steam power to froth your milk.

Conclusion

An espresso maker is a versatile piece of kitchen equipment that can be used to make more than just espresso. An espresso maker is able to froth milk, brew traditional coffee, and also make delicious hot chocolate. When looking for the best espresso maker, you want to consider a few different things. First, you want to think about the types of drinks you want to be able to make. Different machines can make different types of drinks, and some machines can make a wider selection than others.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Breville the Barista Express Espresso MachineBest OverallBreville the Barista Express Espresso Machine
Wacaco Minipresso GRBudget PickWacaco Minipresso GR
Rancilio Silvia Espresso MachineUpgrade PickRancilio Silvia Espresso Machine