Nothing hits the spot after a big meal or long day quite like a freshly brewed, homemade espresso or cappuccino. Likewise, if you want a good perk me up, a strong espresso will do much better at helping you shake off the cobwebs when compared with a regular cup of coffee.
However, to get good espresso you either need to go out or find the best home espresso machine that you can buy. In this article, we are going to help you do the latter. If you are in a rush, we recommend getting the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Home Espresso Machine 2020
Espresso Machine Reviews:
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
For the first entry on this best home espresso machine list, we are reviewing the Breville BES870XL. This is probably one of the most advanced, if not the most advanced, espresso machines on the market today. If you are looking to get as close to a high-end restaurant experience as possible, then this is a certainly a good option if you are willing to pay the price.
For starters, this machine comes with a very high-quality, Italian 15-bar pump. If you are new to the world of espresso machines and don’t know why that is important, it is okay because we will explain later on in our buying guide why it is important.
However, all you need to know right now is that the number of bars impacts the flavor and strength of your espresso and that many experts consider 15 bars to be the ideal number. So, if you appreciate a really good cup of espresso, then this is a good option.
Complimenting the high-quality 15-bar pump is a very advanced 1600w thermo coil heating system. So, not only does the machine produce a quality cup of espresso, but it does so very quickly thanks to the powerful heating system.
In terms of water capacity, the Breville comes with a 2L water tank that can be removed quite easily whenever you want to clean it or store the machine away.
Speaking of cleaning the machine, the Breville does this aspect a lot better than most other espresso machines. Even the best home espresso machine will need to be cleaned from time to time, you can’t escape that fact, however, you can make it easier as the Breville does.
Firstly, the Breville will actually let you know (via a little light on the front) when it needs to be cleaned. When it comes time to clean it, pulling apart the Breville is very easy. Finally, cleaning becomes even easier because the fine folks at Breville have helpfully included a special cleaning kit along with the espresso machine.
A big aspect of any espresso machine is being able to have a lot of control to make espresso the way that you like it. In order to have control, you need to have a lot of buttons and customization options to play around with.
The Breville has both of those in spades. There are plenty of buttons on the front of the machine for you to play around with, and you can either choose to use presets or to customize your espresso experience completely.
Finally, it should also be mentioned that this espresso machine comes with a bean grinder. Now, not everyone likes grinding their own beans, but it is nice to have the option.
Lots of customization options.
Extremely strong 1600w heating coil.
15-bar Italian pump.
Strong and durable stainless-steel construction.
2L water tank.
Easy to clean thanks to included cleaning kit.
Comes with a bean grinder.
Takes up a lot of counter space, even when compared to other machines.
Nespresso Lattissima Pro Espresso Machine by De’Longhi
Whereas the previous entry on our best home espresso machine list excelled at making straight up espresso, the Nespresso Lattissima Pro Espresso Machine specializes at making all sorts of espresso drinks (in addition regular espresso of course).
It is also an extremely easy machine to use, so don’t be intimidated by all the options and by the size of the machine.
The first thing we want to elaborate on is how great this machine is for making not only espresso but also drinks that use espresso. You might notice that in addition to the water tank, there is a tank for milk.
The machine can be programmed quite easily to dispense that milk into the cup at various stages and in varying amounts. So, if you want a straight up espresso, you just won’t use the milk. If you want a regular cappuccino, then you just program the machine to spray the milk once onto the top of the drink.
However, you can also program the machine to spray the milk in layers. So, you can end up with a layered espresso drink. Want two layers of very light foam? Then you can do that. Want three layers of very thick foam? Then you can do that. This ability to mix and match to create different espresso drinks is one of the main appeals of the Nespresso Lattissima.
This machine is also incredibly easy to use for a variety of reasons, which is good because the machine can look very intimidating, given the size and number of options. For starters, you don’t need to actually fill it with espresso yourself, instead, you can use Nespresso capsules, which are much easier to use and taste roughly the same.
Secondly, the entire machine is very easy to program using the digital control panel located on the top of the machine. Finally, the machine is very self-contained, which means that many of the components don’t touch interact with each other. This aids in cleanup because less of the machine gets dirty. A good example of this is the milk tank, which prevents milk from getting anywhere inside of the machine.
In terms of power, the Nespresso Lattissima has a 19-bar handle. Now, that is pretty powerful and produces a pretty robust cup of espresso. It might be too strong for some people, but if you are interested in buying a dedicated, expensive espresso machine, then you probably have become accustomed to stronger coffee.
Very intuitive control scheme.
Can make layered espresso drinks.
Easy to clean.
Can use Nespresso capsules.
1300w heating coil brews relatively fast.
19-bar pump produces very strong espresso.
Espresso might be too strong for some.
Jura 13626 Ena Micro 1 Automatic Coffee Machine
Let’s say that you are a true espresso addict, or just an addict for everything coffee, you probably want an even better machine than the previous two entries on our best home espresso machine list. Well, if that is the case, then you are going to want to look at the Jura 13626 Ena Micro 1 Automatic Coffee Machine.
Simply put, this machine is the best option for coffee and espresso fanatics. It is extremely expensive, which makes it a bad option for those on budgets or who aren’t completely obsessed with coffee. But if you are willing to pay, it is easily the best coffee machine on the market in terms of pure quality.
Contained within the black box of the Ena is both a grinder and a brewer. It is what is commonly called an “automatic espresso machine.” What that means is that you can dump your beans into the machine, press your desired settings, and then the machine will grind and brew the coffee or espresso for you. And when we say settings, we mean it.
This machine not only lets you pick the obvious things like size and strength, but you can even pick how strong of an aroma that you want. It is truly remarkable in that regard.
In terms of power, the Jura comes equipped with a 1450w heating element that heats up very quickly and a 15-bar pump. So, the espresso that it produces is strong, but not overwhelming.
One of the unique things about the Jura is that it actually aims to take up as little counter space as possible, hence the box design of the espresso machine. While this does take up less space, it does have a negative effect, namely the fact that it makes the machine a bit more difficult to take apart and to clean.
Both grinds and brews espresso.
Plenty of options.
Easy to pick what kind of espresso that you want.
Takes up minimal counter space.
Difficult to clean.
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine
For the next espresso machine on our best home espresso machine, we are looking at a simpler, but still very high-quality machine. So, if the previous Jura espresso machine was a bit too much for your tastes, then you might be interested in the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine. It is an automatic espresso machine that does a lot of the same things as the Jura, while not being quite as expensive.
The Gaggia does what you would expect of an automatic espresso machine. It grinds the beans and brews your espresso. It does all of that, and more, with just the press of a few buttons. On that front, you shouldn’t have any problems with this machine. It grinds beans incredibly well and every batch of espresso it produces is smooth, strong, and tasty.
The controls on the Gaggia are easy to use, which is very nice because sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what the controls on an espresso machine mean. The controls and LED display on this machine are very intuitive, so that shouldn’t end up being an issue.
If you don’t end up wanting to grind your own coffee beans, we should also mention that this does support pre-ground coffee as well.
Very intuitive controls and LED display.
Heats up relatively quickly.
More affordable than many other automatic espresso machines.
Takes up a lot of space.
Small water capacity that needs to be changed frequently.
De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
We figured that we should end the best home espresso machine list with a truly affordable option because it is quite possible to enjoy good espresso, without having to take a second mortgage out on your home. That is where the De’Longhi EC155 comes into play.
The main draw of this espresso machine is its low cost. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that this machine costs a fraction of what most other espresso machines cost.
Despite the low cost, the machine still delivers a very good cup of espresso. As the name of the products says, this has a 15-bar pump, which as we have mentioned before is a very good power level.
Although the controls may not be as in-depth as some of the controls found on other home espresso machines, they are still pretty easy to use. The dial on the front allows you to quickly switch from brewing espresso to pumping out steam.
Dial controls are fairly easy to use.
Still very powerful, despite low cost.
Small water capacity.
Not a lot of space to rest a cup.
Best Home Espresso Machine Buying Guide
A lot goes into determining what the best home espresso machine is. If you have never bought an espresso machine before or if you aren’t familiar with how espresso is made, then a lot of the terms in this article may be a bit confusing to you.
That is why we are also including this buying guide alongside the actual espresso machine reviews. We aim to make the process of buying an espresso machine a lot easier for newcomers.
One thing that you probably noticed pop-up a lot while reading our best home espresso machine article was references to things like pumps and heating coils. If you have never used an espresso machine before then this can be confusing. But, once you figure out what each does, it becomes a lot easier to understand.
Let’s start with pumps. The power of a pump is measured in bars. For example, the first espresso machine that we reviewed, the Breville, has a 15-bar pump. The pump funnels the water through the coffee beans, which creates the espresso. The “bars” refers to how powerful the pump is.
Finding the right balance can be difficult. If the pump isn’t powerful enough, then your espresso will basically be nothing more than coffee.
If the pump is too powerful, then your espresso will be too bitter. A 15-bar pump, as we said in the review, is often said to be the sweet spot when it comes to power. With a 15-bar pump, you get strong espresso, but not so strong that it is undrinkable.
The heating coil on the espresso machine is also very important as it determines how quickly your machine is able to heat up water and how well it is able to maintain high temperatures. The more powerful a heating coil, the better.
Know The Different Types Of Espresso Machines
There are several different kinds of espresso machines out there, and each kind differs a bit in price and functionality.
At the very bottom are manual espresso machines. These are the cheapest, but they are also very difficult to use and require some physical strength to be used properly.
Unless you desire the most authentic espresso experience possible, then you can skip these ones. We didn’t even include any manual espresso machines on our best home espresso machine list, precisely because they aren’t all that good.
Next up are semi-automatic espresso machines. These are actually very good, and they don’t cost as much as you would expect. Semi-automatic espresso machines, as the name indicates, do a lot of the work for you, but they still require some human intervention.
With semi-automatic machines, you have to grind the espresso beans yourself using a separate machine and you have to manually turn (and on some models hold in place) switches to brew the espresso and create the foam.
Finally, we have fully-automatic espresso machines. These machines are typically sold as being “all-in-one,” which means that they include a grinder. This enables you to take raw coffee beans, put them in the machine, and by the end of the cycle, you will have freshly brewed espresso. These machines also do pretty much all of the work for you.
You can just dump in your beans, press a few buttons, and the machine will do the rest. Some models are a bit less sophisticated than this, but they will still end up doing the lion’s share of the work. These also happen to be the most expensive espresso machines.
You might associate the increased price with better quality espresso, but opinion is actually pretty mixed among espresso fans. Some say that the coffee produced by semi-automatic machines tastes better. But this all comes down to personal opinion, so we won’t point you in any one direction.
When it comes to espresso machines, we understand that some people have very strong opinions.
We respect that, which is why we want to hear what your opinions on our best home espresso machine list. Let us know what you are thinking by leaving a comment.