In many homes worldwide, coffee is not just a simple beverage but an indispensable ritual. It doesn’t matter if you are a coffee lover or an occasional drinker: having the right espresso machine is essential to get exactly the cappuccino or espresso you want to start the day or to accompany any other moment.
How to choose the best espresso machine?
Below we have created a list of criteria on which you can base your decision. When choosing an espresso machine, you should consider, for example, the size and type of machine and its functions and price.
If you want to enjoy a good coffee, or perhaps a cappuccino, in the tranquillity of your home but do not know which espresso machine to choose, fear not! You are on the right page.
Size and structure of an espresso machine
It is important to find a coffee maker whose size and style adapt to the place that will house it. One of the important criteria to evaluate is, without a doubt, the space in our kitchen or office where we want to place the coffee maker.
Some models can be uncomfortable due to their height or width. Do not forget that you need a space that allows you freedom of movement to hook the filter holder or introduce a jug or cup under the Panarello (the piece from which the steam comes out to prepare the cappuccino).
The weight should not be underestimated either: to clean the countertop, you will have to move the coffee maker, and the operation can be more difficult if you choose a very heavy or bulky model like the Delonghi La Specialista or Sage Barista Pro.
Finally, take into account the space separating the filter holder from the base: normally, these machines are designed to hold one or two cups of espresso, so if you are thinking of placing larger cups, do not forget to take into account the height offered by the model you are interested in.
The price of the espresso machine
The prices of coffee machines can vary considerably and confuse you as to which product best suits your needs. This section will help you understand why some models cost more than others. Certainly, you must first consider the type of machine you are choosing.
In general, we can say that the same principle applies to coffee machines as to any other small household appliance:
- The lower price ranges correspond to good products but with more basic functions.
- With the medium and high price ranges, the possibilities increase, with extra functions and accessories, such as digital display, automatic disconnection, adjustable coffee grinding, automatic rinsing and descaling cycle, and stand-by function and energy saving.
It is therefore advisable to identify the ideal model according not only to the budget you want to respect but above all to the frequency and type of use you will have to make of your coffee maker.
Espresso machines with a steam wand
If you are a cappuccino lover, you cannot fail to check that your coffee maker is equipped with a steam wand; that is to say, that piece immersed in milk emits the steam necessary to create a smooth and full-bodied cream for your cappuccinos.
This gadget is also called “panarello” and is present in many models on the market, but not all, so make sure the machine you choose suits your needs. Remember that when using a coffee maker with a steam wand, you have to consider the size of the space available depending on the cup or milk jug you want to use for your cappuccino.
Note: Mid-range and high-end models are usually equipped with specific cleaning solutions to eliminate milk residues in the machine.
Maintenance of the espresso machine
The cleaning process is very important and should be conducted frequently to get the best performance from these small appliances. Depending on the type of machine chosen, the process can vary in simplicity and speed.
Therefore, before buying an espresso coffee machine, consider the time you have available to dedicate to it since it needs continuous maintenance that, in some particularly advanced models, can become more demanding or take longer. Therefore, consider the comfort of use according to your needs.
In general, we can say that traditional espresso coffee makers require more demanding cleaning because coffee residues can adhere to the filter. In contrast, capsule coffee makers do not need it, thanks to the use of convenient single-serve coffee pods already prepared and sealed.
For cleaning, always check the ease of the water tank, grounds holder, steam nozzle, and compartments containing the coffee to be ground.
The best brands of espresso machines of 2022
As in other guides on the best coffee makers, we have to choose the most representative brands on the market that manufacture the best espresso coffee makers.
Delonghi espresso machines
If there is one firm of worldwide prestige in espresso coffee and known to all, it is Delonghi. It is a brand that has recently focused on its super-automatic Delonghi coffee machines. Still, in the espresso machine sector, it has some of the best-selling models on the Internet.
When you buy a Delonghi espresso machine, you will probably find some discontinued and very old models. Bear in mind that this manufacturer is constantly renewing its catalogue but has a lot of stock (Delonghi espresso machines remain on sale for many years).
Gaggia espresso machines
Gaggia is synonymous with prestige and tradition in the world of espresso machines, being a brand that preserves the essence of Italian espresso coffee like no other. Of course, this is transmitted in an excellent line of espresso machines.
In the Gaggia brand, we find leading machines and references in the sector, such as the Classic Pro or the Carezza Deluxe, but we also have a more economical line such as the Gran Manual.
Sage espresso machines
Sage Appliances is a manufacturer of smart appliances made with high-quality materials, where stainless steel is the brand’s hallmark. Of course, its range of espresso machines is among the best on the market.
The entire range of Sage Appliances espresso machines has a formula based on 4 key elements (the ideal dose, precise temperature control, the optimal dose, and sufficient steam power) with which to replicate the performance of professional coffee makers at home without making any concessions in terms of quality and flavour.
Swan espresso machines
If the design is important to you, but you don’t want to lose any of the flavours when preparing an espresso, the Swan espresso machines are for you.
These coffee makers are as simple as they are beautiful with their retro style. You will find different colours mixed with wood or metal ornaments, which take us back to a time when enjoying a good coffee was a ritual.
Krups espresso machines
Krups is a well-known brand for a particular type of machine: Krups super-automatic coffee makers. However, they also have a few very interesting espresso machines: The Virtuoso and the Opio.
If you buy a Krups espresso machine, we could consider them mid-range. The finishes and materials are quality, in many cases in stainless steel, and generally, they are well-regarded machines in the industry.
The best espresso machines of 2022: Our Top 5 favourites
Well, this is the most popular and competitive sector of the entire coffee industry, and so it is not easy to answer the question: Which is the best espresso machine?
Even so, according to our criteria, we have dared to elaborate on our particular Top 5 of the best espresso machines of all those we have analyzed on the web. There are many more good espresso machines, but if we have to keep 5 of them, it would be this one:
This machine has been among the best-selling espresso machines on the Internet for several years. The reasons for this success are its stainless steel body, super-compact design, compatibility with ESE single-dose machines, and, of course, the prestige of having one of the most prominent firms on the market behind it. A set of virtues that are difficult to match.
- 15 BAR PRESSURE to create your perfect espresso with a rich aroma and a nut coloured cream on top
- MILK FROTHER: Froth or steam milk with the Adjustable Cappuccino System to create frothy cappuccinos, macchiatos or caffè lattes
- CUSTOMISE ESPRESSO: Thanks to the professional barista technology, you can control every step of the Coffee-making process, from tamping your ground Coffee to setting the temperature and length
- HOME COMFORT: At only 15 cm wide, it’s our slimmest design yet, offering a small footprint and big features
- EASY TO CLEAN: Manual descaling system will keep your machine running smoothly so you can always enjoy your favorite beverages
Delonghi La Specialista
Everything we have said about the Delonghi Dedica applies to the Specialista, but we must also add that all the processes are automatic in this coffee maker.
A coffee maker with a built-in grinder grinds for us, applies the correct dose to the filter holder, compacts it, and prepares the coffee. A dream come true with this espresso machine.
- SENSOR GRINDING TECHNOLOGY The advanced grinder is equipped with two sensors to deliver a consistent coffee dose. With grind settings to manage different types of coffee beans
- SMART TAMPING STATION Craftsmanship becomes smart technology: just activate the lever to tamp the dose with the right pressure, without mistakes or messes. Everything happens inside the machine
- ACTIVE TEMPERATURE CONTROL The high-performance Thermoblock ensures ideal temperature for coffee brewing. The temperature profiles bring out the full flavour of your beans
- DYNAMIC PRE-INFUSION Dynamic function with varying pre-infusion time depending on the density of the coffee dose to ensure the entire surface is evenly and gently soaked for the best extraction
- MY LATTE ART A dedicated heating system for milk preparation ensures great steam performance. For the barista experience, you can manually texture milk using the My LatteArt steam wand
Gaggia Classic Pro
Users with a more demanding profile will know the predecessor of this machine, the most emblematic of an already consolidated firm, such as Gaggia. The Gaggia Classic is a very old model that has been on the market for many years (the latest generation dates back to 2019).
The Classic Pro is a step forward from the Classic. This model never goes out of fashion and fully satisfies baristas looking for more precision than usual in their espressos.
- Rugged Stainless Steel housing
- Commercial three-way solenoid valve
- Commercial steam wand
- Easy-to-use rocker switch controls.Included components: Espresso Machine, Water Reservoir,Reservoir Lid, Drip Tray, Drip Tray Cover, Decompression Duct Tube, Portafilter, Pressurized Double Shot...
- International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.
Sage Barista Pro
With this coffee maker, you can brew your coffee barista-style, thanks to its new intuitive interface that provides all the information you need to create and enjoy the most delicious coffee at home.
With a heating time of 3 seconds, thanks to the ThermoJet® heating system, and precise espresso extraction, it will take you from bean to cup faster than ever, making it the ideal companion for an urgent morning caffeine boost.
Thanks to its powerful integrated conical grinder, which provides you with the right amount of coffee (between 18 and 19 grams for a double espresso), you can achieve an authentic “art latte” with an irresistible taste.
- Receive a bonus coffee experience including coffee masterclass plus speciality beans up to the value of £350 with selected Sage espresso machines, redeemable on the Beanz UK website after purchase....
- The Sage Barista Pro delivers third wave speciality 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...
- DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: With a single touch, the integrated precision conical burr grinder with dose control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavour
- OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavours are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
- FASTER HEAT UP TIME: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds with the instantaneous transition from espresso to steam
Few espresso machines offer the possibility of making automatic cappuccinos at the touch of a button; one of these is the BrevilleOne-Touch. There is not much to choose from in this select type of machine, and this is possibly the best of all.
- One-Touch Technology: One-button controls for easy selection of your favourite coffee drinks
- Your Coffee, Your Way: Single and double shot espresso filters put you in control; compatible with ESE pods
- Barista-Quality Coffee at Home: 19-Bar Italian pump delivers the perfect pressure to extract robust coffee flavours
- Make Multiple Drinks: Large 600 ml milk reservoir is removable for fridge storage when not in use; adjustable milk frother is ideal for a variety of different café style drinks
- For Large and Small Cups: Height adjustable cup tray accommodates different sized mugs and cups for espresso, latte and cappuccinos