Best Home Espresso Machines [Top 9 Highly Rated Options]

Coffee is like a box of chocolates…for some reason people love completely different experiences! Seriously though, with the wide range of at home espresso machines on the market, there’s never been a better time to find the right fit for you. Keep reading this review to find out which is the best home espresso machine to buy.

Home Espresso Machine Reviews : My 10 seconds Buyer Guide

Semi Automatic Espresso Machines

Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso MachineDelonghi Dedica

Available from: Amazon

Best for: A student with good taste

Worst for: Keeping that student dorm clean


Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso MachineGaggia Classic Pro

Available from: Amazon

Best for: Newbies who want to learn

Worst for: Coffee with one touch of a button


Breville the Barista Pro BES878 Automatic Espresso Machine Integrated Conical Burr GrinderBreville Barista Pro (Recommended)

Available fromAmazon

Best for: The aspiring Barista

Worst for: One touch button lovers


Breville BES990BSSUSC Fully Automatic Espresso MachineBreville Oracle Touch

Available from: Amazon

Best for: Those of us who want a good flat white

Worst for: The at home aspiring Barista


Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino MakerMr. Coffee Barista

Available from: Amazon

Best for: A first coffee machine for a cappuccino drinking student

Worst for: An Espresso


Super Automatic Espresso Machines

DELONGHI ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso MachineDelonghi Magnifica ESAM3300

Available from: Amazon

Best for: Those who work from home alone

Worst for: A busy office where the machine is next to a meeting room!


Gaggia Anima Prestige

Gaggia Anima Prestige Automatic Coffee MachineAvailable from: Amazon

Best for: A small office where you want delicious cappuccinos

Worst for: Latte Art Lovers



Gaggia Babila Espresso MachineGaggia Babila (Recommended)

Available from: Amazon

Best for: A high end desire for options

Worst for: A large busy office


Pod Espresso Machines

Nespresso Lattissima Pro Original Espresso MachineNespresso Lattissma Pro

Available from: Amazon

Best for: Easy fast coffee

Worst for: The eco conscious


Top 9 Best Rated Home Espresso Machines

Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machines

Best for Dorm students with taste: Delonghi Dedica

Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine

Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine

Check It Out

5 Second Summary:

This is a semi-automatic espresso machine with no built in grinder, with a 33oz water tank.

The Delonghi Dedica is a good looking machine, and if you’re looking for a compact espresso machine that looks impressive on your counter then the stainless steel cladding will give you that high end look without the weight.

Even though this machine is narrow and light, it packs a punch with a cup warmer and a good steam wand built in. Once you have your coffee ground you need to scoop it into your portafilter and tamp it down before making your beverage. The tamper, which is also your coffee scoop is made of plastic. This is great for space and weight saving but you won’t be generating a lot of tamping power with this. This shouldn’t hold you back though as the pressurised portafilter baskets that come with the Dedica removes a lot of the guess work from creating a good espresso.

Pressurised baskets take the guess work out of coffee and can deliver a pretty good crema without much effort. Non-pressurised baskets require a lot more trial and error with grind size and tamping pressure, which is really only for those who have the time, energy and inclination. To be fair, if you really started to love this machine, you could order a separate non-pressurised basket and play around with it to decide if this is something you would be interested in.

This really is a great entry level machine, if you love a good espresso but don’t have time to take notes and play around with grind settings, and tamp techniques.  The size and weight makes it perfect if you are a student with a small dorm room who might have to move home for the summer break, or move into a different room every year. For the size, weight, and ease of use, this no-frills compact espresso machine is a good choice. The only major downfall is that you may find yourself regularly cleaning up watery coffee grounds from the portafilter due to the lack of a solenoid valve.


Best for a Newbie who wants to learn: Gaggia Classic Pro

Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso MachineCheck It Out

5 Second Summary:

This is a semi-automatic espresso machine with no built in grinder, with a 47oz water tank.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is a good looking espresso machine that is probably, in my opinion at least, one step above the Delonghi Dedica. There are small differences between these two machines that really add up for.

For example, the Gaggia Classic Pro has a 3 way solenoid valve that helps keep your coffee from getting burnt by any stored water in the chamber, and can stop you from getting a “soupy puck” meaning that when you take your portafilter out, you aren’t dealing with a sloppy watery mess of used coffee grounds. The impact of this may not be something that has you running for the hills right away. But over time, this could lead to grounds getting stuck in your machine and ruining every coffee that you make.

The Gaggia Classic Pro has a chrome plated brass portafilter, where the Dedica has an aluminium one. Brass beats most other metals for heat transfer. And given that the temperature of your machine impacts the extraction and thus the taste of your coffee, this is a small difference that will have a pretty big impact on flavour.

This machine also has a commercial steam wand and has the capacity to make two coffees at the same time. Selling points if you plan to use this machine for more than a lonely espresso, which is what I would use it for! The steam wand has a 2 hole steam tip. I’m not a latte art kinda person but I’ve been assured by friends that this steam wand will get your milk to a point where you could make latte art.

The Gaggia Classic Pro does come with a pressurised double basket, but it also comes with a single and a double “commercial basket” (what they call a non-pressurised basket). This means that out of the box, you can create good coffee. And over time if you wanted to, you could develop your skills using the commercial baskets. This machine comes with a plastic tamper, which is the first thing I would change about it. For such a good machine, to have a plastic tamper feels counter-intuitive. And I’m not quite sure why Gaggia went that route. This is a solid machine whether you are new to the at-home coffee game, or looking to develop your skills.


Best for the aspiring Barista: Breville Barista Pro [Recommended]

Breville the Barista Pro BES878 Automatic Espresso Machine Integrated Conical Burr Grinder Check It Out


5 second summary:

This is an semi-automatic espresso machine with grinder built in , with a 67oz water tank and 30 grind settings

This a very good at home coffee machine that exists in a completely different universe to many others.

Breville are well known for making some of the best grinders on the market and the Breville Barista Pro is no different. It has an integrated conical burr grinder with 30 grind settings that allows you to develop and dial in your personalised preferences and adjust them, depending on the coffee beans you are grinding.

Although this has a single boiler, there is a “Thermo-Jet Heating system”, meaning it goes from off to ready to go in 3 seconds. As I’ve mentioned previously, the temperature of your coffee machine impacts the extraction, and flavour of your coffee. So although your machine is ready to go in 3 seconds, I would caution going all gung-ho and pouring your first shot right away. I prefer to run a “blind” shot. This is running the machine but with no coffee grounds in the portafilter. I also use the water that comes out of this blind run to warm up my coffee cup.

As with many at home coffee machines, you get pressurised baskets that can deliver a good coffee right out of the box. The Breville Barista Pro, though, gives you the option of double or single pressurised and non-pressurised baskets. The 30 grind settings and the non-pressurised baskets are really going to allow for a range of variability not usually accessible to the at home barista!

The Breville Barista Pro also has an LCD screen that is quite intuitive and easy to use. I sometimes tend towards more manual machines as I find it easier to “feel as I go”. But the pressure gauge on the LCD screen was sufficient for me. And I didn’t miss the analogue pressure gauge that I’ve used on previous machines. The LCD screen also times your shot which will let you know whether you’ve got the right grind or tamp. For example, if you find your single espresso shot pouring faster than 20 seconds, you know you need to go back and play with your grind size or your tamp!

Small things really sell this machine to me, beyond the baskets, and the thermo-jet. I enjoy the attention to detail such as the magnetic tamper that has a nice hand feel, is well weighted and slots back into the machine once you’ve used it. If this was all to the machine, I’d turn my back on it. But this is a true multi-tasker and would be hard for any other at home coffee machine to beat.


Best for lazy coffee drinkers but with high standards: Breville Oracle Touch

Breville BES990BSSUSC Fully Automatic Espresso MachineCheck It Out

5 second summary

This is a fully automatic espresso machine with a built in grinder, an 84oz water tank and 45 grind settings

The Breville Oracle touch is, as you would assume by the name, a touch screen. You can programme a wide variety of beverages into the system that are then available at the touch of a button. The user interface is great, and doesn’t take a lot of getting used to, even for a luddite like me! This machine is polished stainless steel and looks stunning.

One of the many “not necessary but nice” features of the Oracle touch is the “roller wheel”. I cant think of a better name for it! You can click the roller wheel up and move your machine around with relative ease. For a heavy machine, this is a really nice feature. The water filter can be filled from the top so you don’t need to worry too much about moving that machine around every day.

The Oracle touch gives you slightly less control over the options for your coffee than the Barista Pro. It has an integrated tamper, meaning that you have no control over your tamp. You also have less control over the milk frothing / foaming wand. You programme in the type of froth you would like and leave press a button. I am not looking to make latte art at home, so I appreciate the “press the button and go” aspect of this. This is a real selling point for me as I do like a flat white, but I don’t like using steam wands.

Although the Oracle Touch allows you to play with the settings, it doesn’t give you the same feedback that the Barista Pro does. When you make your coffee you may not be sure what variable is affecting the quality. Changing the dose on the Oracle is a much more involved and semi-permanent decision. You would have to remove the integrated tamp fan, unscrew the tamp height adjustment piece, loosen a screw and then extend the height, and put it all back together again. I haven’t done this myself, and probably wouldn’t go through this effort, unless I really wasn’t enjoying the coffee I was getting.

Best for a first cappuccino machine: Mr Coffee Barista

Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino MakerCheck It Out

5 Second Summary:

This is a semi-automatic espresso machine with a built in grinder and a 54oz water tank

As a starter coffee machine for a student, this is far from the worst you can get. I have to say, this is not what you would expect if you were looking for an espresso machine. In my opinion, this is not an espresso machine, it is a “cappuccino machine”. This is not inherently a bad thing. I think if they removed the word “Barista” from the name, it would be more representative of its real function. So in my mind, I call it the Mr. Coffee Cappuccino maker.

The Mr Coffee Barista has three pre-programmed options; Latte, Cappuccino and Espresso. But really, I think there are only two real options. I say this for one good reason, the espresso it makes is weak. We are not talking about a deep dark espresso, with the texture of warm honey and with a crema on top. We are talking about a watery black short coffee. You can adjust the automatic settings which can bring you closer to an espresso. But that is an espresso that that will work well for your latte or cappuccino rather than one to enjoy on its own. This machine also has a plastic tamper, but I don’t think investing in a new tamper is going to make the kind of difference one would want for an espresso machine.

The Mr Coffee Barista has an integrated milk frother, which makes pretty ok frothy milk. This is not going to make you micro-foam. But you wouldn’t expect it to, that really isn’t its job. Its job is to deliver somewhat frothy milk for a latte or cappuccino. If you want a fast and easy at home frothy milky coffee, the Mr Coffee Barista will do that for you at the touch of a button. And the coffee is not bad, it’s equal if not better than, what you will get in your university cafeteria and will fuel all night study sessions.

I want to recommend this for students who doesn’t want to keep their first machine forever. But a word of warning, this wouldn’t be a good machine for a large student house where the chores might not get done! This machine needs to be kept clean, especially because of the milk. You will need to run a cleaning cycle a few times to really get the milk out.


Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines

Best for those who work from home alone: Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300

DELONGHI ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso MachineCheck It Out

5 second summary:

This is a super automatic espresso machine with a built in grinder, with a 60oz water tank and 13 grind settings

The Delonghi Magnifica is known for being reliable and different iterations of it have been around for a while. Chances are that you already know someone who owns one. The Magnifica has the physical knobs and buttons that I like, with no LCD or touch screen to be found. This is my personal preference as I would like to be able to resolve most issues by tapping on or blowing into my machine.

The Magnifica has a lot of variability for a super-automatic, you can adjust for more or less grams of coffee and the volume of your shot. It has a single and double dose option and you can also bypass the grinder for using a pre-ground coffee. It has a cup warmer on top which is nice, if not necessary.

The steam arm is solid and will create a good foam with some practice. It does take some time so a busy workplace might not be where you want to be practicing creating your micro-foam and pouring your latte art. This might be a better machine to keep at home or in a very small office where you are the boss.

It has one downside, it is very loud. If you use oily beans, this is going to mess up your machine, so I wouldn’t trust this machine in a space with people you are not 100% sure you can rely on to put the right beans in. Honestly, as with all super-automatics, you want to maintain and clean it on a regular basis. If you have an office setting with more then four or five people, I wouldn’t chose any super-automatic. This is not the sleekest of coffee machines, the plastic casing isn’t going to impress many but it is fairly durable and delivers a reliable coffee.


Best for a small office with good taste: Gaggia Anima Prestige

Gaggia Anima Prestige Automatic Coffee MachineCheck It Out

5 Second Summary

This is a super automatic espresso machine with a built in grinder, with 60z water tank and 5 grind settings

The Anima Prestige delivers pretty great coffee with very few downsides. It offers a fully programmable set up, where you can customize your coffee according to grind size, grind amount, and water temperature. Once you have your preferences dialled in, you just need to press a button to get the coffee that you love, this includes your milk frothing preference. Word of warning if you are sharing this machine. Its quite easy to reset these which is a pro and a con at the same time!

I love espresso, one of the main barriers for me in my love of anything beyond espresso with at home machines is the bother of frothing milk. I rarely have the energy, before coffee, to want to froth milk. With the Anima Prestige, the one-touch frothing elevates this machine in my eyes. Where many other machines with an automatic milk frother fall down is that they focus on the milk froth and not on the quality of the coffee. Not so with the Anima Prestige where the espresso is immensely drinkable.

The stainless steel outer shell transforms this coffee machine into an accessory that you will want other people to see. It is narrow, giving an appearance of modern sleekness. If you are thinking of a coffee machine for a small office, you could do a lot worse than this. Maintenance is led by the machine. After you make a milky coffee, the machine itself will ask you if you want to run a cleaning cycle, which you can do at the push of a button. The dregs bin will hold fifteen “pucks” of coffee, meaning it won’t need to be emptied every couple of cups. For an office setting, this is ideal. All anyone has to do is make sure there’s water and beans in the machine, and occasionally press a button and empty the dregs bin!

This is one machine that might turn me into at home cappuccino drinker. You can remove the milk frother and instead use make hot water for an Americano, or tea, if you are that way inclined.There is one drawback that gets me. The grinder setting is not on the outside, it is set on the inside and you need to manually adjust it by attaching another piece. If this piece goes missing does that mean you are stuck with the same grind forever?


Best for a high end taste balanced with a busy home life: Gaggia Babila [Highly Recommended]

Gaggia Babila Espresso MachineCheck It Out

5 second summary:

This is an automatic espresso machine with a built in grinder, with 50.7oz water tank, and 15 grind settings

The Gaggia Babila is, in my personal opinion, less sleek in appearance than its Anima Prestige sister. But the Babila makes up in substance, what it lacks in style. The Babila has a built in milk frother but this can be removed if you want to use a manual wand to froth milk. If you love latte art but also love a fast frothy milky coffee like a cappuccino or a latte, you couldn’t dream up a better machine. The automatic milk frother is easy to use, and easy to clean and the wand is the type of high end steam wand you would expect from a Gaggia.

The Babila has an LCD screen user interface that provides eight pre-programmed options that you can adjust and re-programme. To give you a glimpse of what you get out of the box, you can make a ristretto, an espresso, an espresso macchiato and more.

I love the programmability of the variables in the Babila but I know that sometimes my loved ones don’t want to look at grind settings, and here is where the Babila becomes accessible. You can programme for “taste”. This taste option simplifies the choices you have to make. You can chose from 3; delicate, balanced, and full bodied. With all of the Babilas high end offerings, is it strange that this is its selling point for me? Rarely is a coffee machine used by one person, and getting buy-in on a coffee machine that you love, from someone who doesn’t want to fiddle around with all the settings, is worth its weight in gold.

For those who do want the variety of options, it’s handy to note that as far as grinders go, this is a relatively quiet one. And the Babila has more grind settings that then Anima Prestige – 15 instead of 5 – allowing you more control over your grind size. You also have a flow control dial to fine tune extractions. You can adjust the pre-infusion levels, the water temperature and, if you are worried about this, the height of the spout. You can also save the options you like, so you don’t have to play around every time.

For me, the Babila is almost fool proof. It reminds you when to do routine cleaning. And out of the box, it provides you what you need to test the hardness of your water. And your machine adjusts the descaling cycle based on that information. This is my favourite out of the bunch.


Capsule Espresso Makers

Best for easy fast predictable coffee: Nespresso Lattissma Pro

Nespresso Lattissima Pro Original Espresso MachineCheck It Out

5 Second Summary:

This is a fully automatic capsule espresso machine with 43.96oz water tank

This machine is a hybrid and I don’t know how to feel about that. I am not a pod person, meaning that I don’t usually gravitate towards pod/ capsule machines such as a Nespresso. The snob in me wants to push this away and hide it. But, and I am shocked to say, this might be one of the more reliable machines on this list. The coffee it makes is good, and it is the same, every time.

It has a built in detachable milk carafe, allowing for that lazy but lovely foam that I seek, and then, it has a space for a Nespresso pod instead of  coffee grounds. I see this in some way as a step up from those who already use capsule machines but want to make a move towards a cappuccino option without much more effort.

In the coffee community, the Nespresso machines and their likes are frowned upon for delivering mediocre espressos that are watery. There’s always a risk that the pre-ground coffee inside is going stale. But if we set aside this snobbery for a moment, we can see that if you want a good cappuccino that is easy to make, you cannot do better than this machine. There is little to no mess and it is the easiest machine to use out of the lot.

All of the moveable parts of the milk carafe are dishwasher safe, and the only other clean up is taking the capsules out of the machine and putting them in the bin. I suggest running a blind shot first. This will heat up your machine and will improve the flavour of your coffee. If you keep the machine clean, I see it lasting a long time.

So where are the downsides? I don’t like capsules. In this day and age where we are facing climate change in the eye, I don’t think recyclable and biodegradable capsules are as environmentally friendly as just, well, not using capsules. The coffee you make will be fine, you won’t be jumping for joy that you have unlocked a secret level of mastery that nobody else has, but you will be able to churn out cappuccinos like a boss.

Which is my Favourite Espresso Machine?

The Gaggia Babila is my favourite out of a very competitive field. I was transformed from an espresso snob into a cappuccino drinker. I will dabble in the milky coffee variety outside my home but I think this is the machine for me if I want to take that dabbling into my own home. I find it hard to not love this machine. The quality of coffee it provides at the touch of a button places it head and shoulders above all others.

Gaggia Babila Espresso MachineCheck It Out


Espresso Maker Price Ranges


Do you have a budget? No worry. The prices of espresso machine cover a wide range, going from under $50 to over thousands of dollars. The differences in prices also mean differences in the quality of espresso produced, types of espresso drinks that the machine can make, and the types of features in the machine.  Here are the different categories of price ranges for every budget.


Best Espresso Maker Under 200

For those on tight budget but want better features for the machine.

But is okay with inconsistency in quality of espresso from cup to cup.


Best Espresso Maker Under 500 

For those who want better consistency in the quality of espresso.

Additional features include pre-infusion process, in-built grinder.


Best Espresso Maker Under 1000 

For those who want advanced features to make a great espresso shot.

Some advanced features include PID temperature regulator, dual boilers, preheated brew head etc.



Best Espresso Machine Brands


Some people have certain preferences when it comes to a particular type of product. They could have a higher trust for a certain brand than others due to a history of good experiences using products from the brand. It could also be a result of reading or hearing wonderful things from friends or online forums.

In the world of espresso machines, there are also some brands which stand out from the rest. And here are some of the most well-known brand names in espresso machine industry.

Well, now is the time to choose the best espresso machine reviews by brand.


This Italian company is founded by Italian Achille Gaggia in late 1930. He can be considered the founder of modern espresso machines with his introduction of a piston mechanism in the espresso maker. This mechanism enables the delivery of the optimum pressure for espresso extraction.


Gaggia Espresso Machine Reviews


Mr Coffee

This American company has been making coffee machines since 1970. It started off making coffee machines before moving into espresso makers. Its espresso machines are occupying the lower price spectrum of espresso makers.  One of this machine Mr Coffee Cafe Barista has been a best seller on Amazon.


Mr Coffee Cafe Barista Review



Based in Italy, Delonghi is an brand with a long history dating back to 1902. It started off making heaters and air conditioners. Eventually, it expanded into many household electrical appliances categories, including a range of espresso machines. Known for the design for its products, we also see this strength in their espresso makers which are elegant and also easy to use.


Delonghi Super Automatic Espresso Machine Reviews



This is a Swiss company well known for its patented coffee capsule system. It offers more than 20 different coffee tastes for its capsules. Occupying the low to mid price market, all its espresso machines are pod-based machines, making them very convenient expresso makers to use.  Here is a side by side comparison of the best Nespresso Machine reviews.




Founded in 1932, this Australian company started with sandwich toaster and eventually moved into many small kitchen appliances categories, including espresso makers. Known for its design, it makes some of the best mid-range machines with affordable pricing.


Best Breville Espresso Machine Reviews


This is another Swiss company with an emphasis on high end automatic speciality coffee machines. Their coffee machines are very intuitive, easy to use and deliver a perfect coffee. The machines have very high production precision and has a high quality that can last for years.

Best Jura Espresso Machine Reviews


Differences between the 5 Different Types of Espresso Makers


There are so many espresso makers in the market. Nevertheless, they can classified into 5 main groups. It will be helpful to know these 5 different types to help you to narrow down to the right type of machine for your needs.


Steam Espresso Maker

As the name suggests, this class of espresso makers make use of steam to push the water through the coffee grinds for pulling an espresso shot. And because steam is used, the pressure produced is not high enough for optimal espresso extraction. The optimum level is 9 bars ( More information is provided in the section below on the factors affecting espresso extraction ). With steam, you only get 2 bars.

The positive point for the steam espresso makers are its inexpensive price. However, if you want authentic espresso with a rich crema layer on top, look at the subsequent 3 sections which cover 3 types of pump-driven espresso machines.

This steam espresso maker is more suitable for those who just need a cheap espresso machine to produce coffee for a quick caffeine boost in the early morning before work or school. Whether the espresso is authentic or not is not really a concern.


Semi-automatic Espresso Machine

The semi automatic espresso machines are pump-driven. Meaning it is able to deliver the optimum amount of pressure to pull an authentic espresso shot. From the term semi-automatic, you can guess that you have to do some manual work when preparing espresso.

For this machine, you have to do the following:

  1. grind your coffee beans ( if you choose not to use pre-packaged ground coffee )
  2. pour the coffee grinds into the portafilter ( the attachment to hold the ground coffee )
  3. tamp the coffee grinds evenly and firmly
  4. clean off excess coffee grinds off the rims of the portafilter
  5. attach the portafilter to the brew head on the espresso machine

Once you are done and start the machine, the machine will start extracting the espresso. However, whether the espresso extraction will stop automatically depends on the model you have. If it doesn’t, you get to control when to stop the espresso extraction by switching off with a button.

The semi-automatic espresso makers are made for espresso enthusiasts who like to get hands-on with making espresso.


Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

The fully automatic espresso machines are also pump-driven. Unlike the semi-automatic espresso makers, you do not have to do any manual tasks. These machines use coffee pods. Hence, they are also called pod-based espresso machines. With a touch of a button, you can get a cup of espresso from pod in minutes.

Depending on the model, you can also get machines which makes you cappuccino, latte and even coffee automatically.

This class of espresso makers are ideal for espresso lovers who does not want any hassle in preparing the drink.


Super Automatic Espresso Machine

The super automatic espresso machines are also pump-driven.  Just like the fully automatic espresso machines, superautomatic espresso makers provide automation in espresso extraction. Unlike the fully automatics, you also get an in-built grinder which allows you to produce espresso from bean to cup automatically.

If you like cappuccino and latte, you can also find superautomatics which makes you cappuccino and latte automatically.

This class of espresso makers are ideal for espresso lovers who like to choose their coffee beans but wants to prepare their coffee drink automatically.


Manual Espresso Machines

As the name suggest, this type of espresso makers involved a lot of manual work. Instead of a pump, the manual espresso machines use a piston to produce the optimum pressure for espresso extraction. Hence, you are required to pull a lever down to make espresso. The pulling of the lever will activate the piston to push hot water through the coffee grinds.

With manual espresso makers, you can control every aspects of espresso making. These aspects include:

  1. duration of the pre-infusion process ( the stage of wetting the coffee grinds with water at low pressure )
  2. quantity of water to send through the coffee grinds
  3. optimal time to stop the espresso extraction

This class of espresso makers are really for the pros who like to experiment with every single parameter to make the perfect espresso.


Factors Affecting Espresso Extraction


Making a good espresso involves many factors. Basically, all these factors can be classified into 4 main groups.

  • Ingredients
  • Conditions
  • Equipment
  • Process


Espresso is made from water and coffee beans. Thus, the quality and freshness of both ingredients can make or ruin an espresso. The general rule is to use fresh and high quality coffee beans and brew them as soon as they are grinded as well as use fresh clean water. With good ingredients, you have won half the battle to making good espresso.


There are 7 conditions to pay attention for a good espresso shot. These 7 conditions will affect the extraction of the flavours and aromas from the coffee grinds. The 7 factors are the coffee grind size, tamping pressure, amount of coffee grinds, water brew temperature, water pressure, extraction time and yield.


Having a high quality espresso maker will help with achieving the above mentioned optimum conditions. Depending on the features of the espresso machine, some or all of these 7 factors can be taken care of automatically.

You can delegate the control of all 7 factors to the machine with a superautomatic espresso maker. You can also choose to retain control of some of the factors such as tamping with a semi-automatic espresso maker.

However, to ensure you have the optimum brew temperature and pressure consistently throughout the extraction process, it is advisable to invest in a high end semi-automatic or super automatic with features such as PID temperature regulator.


Regular cleaning and maintenance are important to brewing good espresso shots.

The coffee sprouts, filter baskets and rims of portafilter should be clean of any coffee residues. Coffee residues will affect the taste of your espresso. Coffee residues or coffee grinds on the rims of the portafilter can result in poor grip to the brew head. This will result in lower brew pressure due to leakage of pressure.

Regular descaling is a must as it will remove any lime scale build-up  ( a result of continuous heating of water ) in the water circuit. This lime buildup will narrow the water passage in the pipes. This slows down heating and results in a water brew temperature lower than the optimum brew temperature.

Precision in the measurements of various conditions is also important to ensure that they are at their optimum to achieve a good espresso shot.


How to choose the Best Espresso Machine for Home Use?


There are many espresso makers in the market. So, how do we choose the best espresso machine for home use?

No doubt, we have to examine the features carefully. However, the more important questions will be to know what you want exactly first.

Here are some important questions to ask.

What is your budget?

The most important question is your budget. If you have a high budget, you can go for high end models with advanced features such an integrated grinder, PID or dual boilers.

However, if you have a limited budget, then you may have to go for low end models.

What kind of quality do you want for your espresso drink?

Not all brand and models are created equal. Hence, the espresso quality also differs. If you are very particular and demands the best quality taste, a high quality espresso maker is necessary. This will also mean that you have to have a bigger budget.

What type of coffee drink do you want?

If you like milk-based drinks such as cappuccinos and latte, you would want the espresso maker to come with a steam wand or milk frothing capability. Fortunately, most espresso makers come with a steam wand or milk frothing ability. Here’s a list of the best latte machine for home use.

How many cups of espresso do you need to make with this machine?

Are you using the espresso maker for business such as cafe? or maybe office pantry? Or are you using it for your home? Different purposes will mean different usage levels.

Not all espresso makers can handle high usages. If you require high usage, you probably need a high quality, high duty espresso maker. This also means you need to increase your budget.

If you need to make many drinks at a fast rate, you may require a commercial espresso machine which can be really expensive.

Are you looking to practise your barista skills?

If your sole purpose is to practise your espresso-making skills, it will be better to get a high quality semi-automatic or even manual espresso maker.

If you want convenience, a fully automated or super automatic espresso machine may be more suitable.


After you have answered these questions, you will know the type of espresso machine you want and the features you need to look at.

Some of these features include:

Pressure Gauge

If you are getting an semi-automatic espresso maker, you may be interested in a pressure gauge. Having a pressure gauge gives you a means to monitor the water pressure throughout the espresso extraction process. Thus you have a better picture on the adjustments to make to get a better espresso. If you are looking to sharpen your espresso-making skills, you will love this feature.

Water Source

If you are making many cups of espresso daily, you may want to look for one with a large removable water tank. With a large tank, you can make less trips to refill the tank. If you are using it for office pantry, you may even considering finding one which allows you to connect it to a water source.


If you are getting a higher end machine, you may find some which comes with dual boilers. The difference between a single and dual boiler lies in the time-savings. With a dual boiler, you can brew espresso and steam milk simultaneously. However, you have to do these two tasks separately with a single boiler. And because the temperatures for these two tasks are different, there is a waiting time for the boiler to bring the temperature to steam temperature.


With such high temperatures involved for making espresso, there is a risk of getting scalded. Hence,  an indicator light to reflect its on and off status will be a good feature to have on the espresso machine.

Ease of Use

Do you want to avoid the dealing with coffee powder? Do you want freshly grinded coffee beans? If yes, a super automatic espresso maker with integrated grinder will be a natural choice.
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