Picking The Best Espresso Machine For Your Needs

In this article we are figuring Out Which one Is The Best Espresso Machine For Your Needs

Nowadays, there is a wide variety of different models and brands of espresso machines. Like coffee, there are many choices to make – and they range from the somewhat simple to the moderately complex, to the entirely exotic. Let’s review your options, needs and budget, in order to determine what’s the best choice.

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Picking The Best Espresso Machine

If you’re interested in buying an espresso machine, it’s very important that you learn more about them, and determine what type suits you best.

Types Of Espresso Machines

There are basically two different types of espresso machines mechanics. These are steam-driven, and pump-driven.

Steam-Driven Espresso Machines

The first espresso machines worked through steam-pressure, and this type of machine is still in use nowadays. In steam-driven machines, we use either steam or stream pressure in order to force the water through coffee grounds, producing the espresso.espresso-maker

Many steam-driven machines are capable of producing a certain measure of foam “crema”, but they aren’t capable of controlling the temperature precisely enough in order to make a real espresso. Instead, they make very strong coffee. Steam-driven machines cost significantly less than pump-driven ones.

Our recommendation is: If you’re an espresso lover and seeks to make great shots at the comfort of your home, it’s best to pick a pump-driven machine, since a steam-driven one is likely to disappoint you.

Tip: While they don’t make real espressos, those on a tight budget may “test the waters” by utilizing a steam-driven espresso machine. There are many low-cost, entry level models which will allow you to get a decent imitation of espresso without having to spend too much.

The Best Steam-Driven Machine

For just below $50, you can get an inexpensive alternative to the true espresso by purchasing the Mr.Coffee ECM160. It’s a 4-Cup Steam-Driven Model which is great for novices seeking to learn more about espressos.

Pump-Driven Espresso Machines

Instead of steam, pump-driven models utilize an electric pump in order to force the water through coffee grounds. This is the type of machine which makes a real espresso, and they fall into two different categories: super-automatic espresso machines, and semi-automatic espresso machines.

While it may seem straightforward to conclude the “super” version is better than the “semi” one, this is hardly the case – it’s a common mistake that new buyers tend to make. Instead, each of them has their own pros and cons – the “semi” version allows you to have finer control over your espresso, while the “super” tends to be more time-efficient and convenient.

Semi-Automatic Vs Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Models

For an espresso connoisseur, a semi-automatic machine is the best choice. Those who want to make sure they can get the best taste and quality out of their machine – and don’t mind the extra time and effort involved – should go for a semi-automatic model. Since there’s less automation in the process, it allows you to have finer control over many variables which inevitably affect the taste of your espresso. Basically, a semi-automatic machine is best for those who are interested in customizing their espresso mixes as much as possible.

If you’re not too interested in personalizing the taste of your espresso, and simply want a cup which tastes great from time to time, go for a super-automatic machine. By purchasing one, you’re giving up part of the control over the final results, since it automates the majority of the process for you – but you’ll get an excellent shot of espresso without the need for basically any extra work. This makes it a nice choice for those who are often in a hurry, or opt for convenience over control and customization.

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

As the name suggests, this sort of machine automates only specific parts of the process. Some steps must be manually performed by the user, allowing them to personalize the final product, without the need to do the most tedious steps one has to do when making the espressos on a stovetop. Let’s take a look at the features which are present in semi-automatic espresso machines:

-They automate the pressure as well as the water temperature, making sure you get a perfect espresso every single time.

-They allow you to adjust the water and steam flow according to your own preferences and tastes.

-They allow you to operate the pumps as well – they must be turned on and off manually, allowing you to have greater control over the duration of the process.

-They do not have a built-in grinder, so you have to place the ground coffee in the portafilter, and tamp the grounds, too. (If you’d like, you may purchase already ground coffee, but we recommend you purchase a grinder to grind fresh coffee beans, in order to get the best taste possible. Take a look at our coffee grinder purchasing guide)

Overall, this type of machine allows you to fine-tune many aspects of the espresso making process, allowing you to get the exact temperature, taste and body which you appreciate in a espresso shot.

Tip: If you’re a hands-on espresso connoisseur which does not mind taking extra steps in order to guarantee you’ll get an amazing espresso shot, don’t think twice and get a semi-automatic machine.

In order to make things easier for you, we’ve selected the best espresso machines available on the market. We have carefully weighed and prioritized a variety of criteria when testing, and put together targeted reviews meant specifically to help you look through the vast amounts of information available online, cutting through confusion and getting you the best possible deal on a home espresso maker which fits your needs.

Recommended Semi-Automatic Brands And Models

Best Value:

The Rancilio Silvia espresso machine is an excellent choice for those looking for the best value. An absolute bang for your buck, this is the very best single-boiler semi-automatic machine for under a thousand dollars on the market.

Best Machine:

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine is the best semi-automatic espresso maker on the market, hands down. This dual-boiler semi-automatic easily outperforms Starbucks and other reputed brands, and is now on sale!


Best Budget Machine:

The Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine is pretty good, and not at all overpriced – you can get one for under $400. It is the best choice in this price range, and an excellent option for small families who are looking to get some nice shots.

These machines are all about efficiency and convenience – with no need for you to fine-tune any aspect of your espresso-making process, and actually needing to participate in few of them. Since practically all of the brewing steps are completely automated, all you have to do is basically put the coffee beans in the hopper, and turn it on. Check out these features which make super-automatic makers very easy to work with:

-It has a built-in coffee grinder which not only grinds, but also tamps and extracts your espresso shot automatically.

-It allows you to connect the machine directly to a water line, so you don’t even have to add the water manually.

-It gives you a restaurant quality espresso at the press of a button, in a matter of minutes

-Many higher-end models allow you to froth as well as dispense milk automatically – giving you other options such as lattes instead of only espressos

These great features make super-automatic espresso machines an excellent choice for individuals who are interested in getting great-tasting espressos with no need for any fuss and muss.

Tip: If you’re often “on the go” or busy, and are more concerned about convenience, going for a super-automatic espresso maker is your best bet.

Recommended Super-Automatic Machines

Best Value:

The DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine is an excellent super-auto choice, one among the very few super-automatics which come with a double boiler and go for under a thousand dollars.


Best Machine:

The Jura Impressa Z9 One Touch is the best machine on the market. Of course, it costs significantly more than most espresso machine consumers can pay for – around $3,500. Either way, it’s an incredible machine which anyone interested in espressos should check out – especially if they can afford it.


Best Budget Machine:

The Nespresso Pixie is a great choice for individuals on a tight budget who are looking for a nice super-auto.