Best Espresso Machines 2023
The best espresso machines offer futuristic levels of service, allowing you to whip up café-quality lattes and cappuccinos right at home. But before you set out on your shopping expedition, it’s important to figure out your specific needs. After all, there’s a wide range of espresso machines on the market. Some require minimal user interaction, making your morning coffee experience a total breeze; others ask that you get somewhat more involved in the process, much like our favorite coffee makers. Our top pick overall is the Breville Bambino Plus for its ease of use, mid-range price tag, and superior results, but there are several other excellent options ahead.
As tempting as it may be to get a professional-grade machine, the sheer size and cost of those units makes home use all but impossible. Luckily, many consumer-facing brands know that and have created models that fit perfectly in the modern home kitchen, with just one downside: You need to learn how to use them before you can really take advantage of all they have to offer. But with the help of user-friendly technology and a little bit of practice, you’ll be pulling perfect shots of espresso in no time. (You can also add to the fun with a coffee subscription—we’ve got tons of great recommendations in that arena, too.) Ahead, find the best espresso machines for making quality coffee at home, from fancy machines with all the bells and whistles to one-touch models that rely on pods.
- Best Espresso Machine Overall: Breville Bambino Plus
- Best Budget Espresso Machine: De’Longhi Manual Espresso Machine
- Best Professional-Quality Espresso Machine: La Marzocco Linea Mini Espresso Machine
- Best Small Espresso Machine: De’Longhi Dedica Deluxe Espresso Maker
- Best Espresso Machine With Grinder: Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine
- Best Latte Machine: Jura S8 Fully Automatic Espresso & Coffee Machine
- Best Fully-Automated Espresso Machine: Breville Barista Touch
- Best Nespresso Machine: Nespresso Vertuo Chrome by Breville
- Best Stovetop Espresso Maker: Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
Dimensions: 7.75 x 12.5 x 12.25 inches | Pressure: 9 bar | Warmup time: 3 seconds
Whether you’re an espresso-pulling pro or you’re a bit lackluster in the “barista skills” department, Breville’s got you covered: Their Bambino Plus model can help you get the job done with that much more ease. Equipped with 9-bar extraction pressure (the same as commercial machines in coffee shops), this espresso machine is simple, straightforward and offers reliably robust results, even for newbies. When you start the machine, it pre-infuses ground espresso with low water pressure to soak and expand the grinds before kicking into high gear. This translates to more even extraction, balanced flavor and a picture-perfect layer of crema.
As your skills and confidence improve, the machine grows with you. The adjustable steam wand offers an automatic microfoam setting for beginners and a manual setting for those ready to go to the next level. The setup includes two filter baskets, a tamper, a frothing jug, a trimming tool and cleaning supplies.
- Commercial-grade pressure
- Soaks grinds before brewing
- Adjustable steam wand
- No temperature adjustment
- There is a learning curve
De’Longhi Manual Espresso Machine
Dimensions: 9.62 x 7.25 x 11.87 inches | Pressure: 15 bar | Heating time: N/A
When it comes to espresso machines, you generally get what you pay for. But there are a few lower priced models that still pull worthy shots. De’Longhi’s manual machine is one of them. It comes equipped with 15-par pressure and features two thermostats—one for water and for one steam pressure—so whether you’re making a double espresso shot or an extra foamy cappuccino, everything will stay at the right temperature. The three-in-one portafilter includes a holder for one or two espresso shots, and another for pre-portioned espresso pods.
The fixed manual milk frother steams milk well too, so you can make lattes and cappuccinos without the need for a separate device.
- Three-in-one portafilter
- Built-in milk steamer
- Small water reservoir
- No automatic shut-off
La Marzocco Linea Mini Espresso Machine
Dimensions: 14 x 21 x 15 inches | Pressure: 9 bar | Warmup time: 15 minutes
Those able to splurge on their espresso machine will be rewarded with perks like sleek design, temperature adjustment capabilities and a powerful frother with a commercial-grade steam valve that produces the ideal steamed milk for latte art. Even with a 3.5-liter water reservoir—enough to last through many brew cycles—the Linea Mini has a smaller footprint than other commercial machines, but it brings that same level of professional quality to your home kitchen.
- Commercial-grade steamer
- Double boiler temperature control
- Large water reservoir
- Reservoir is hard to clean
Best Small Espresso Machine
A Narrow Machine That Packs A Lot Into A Small Package
De’Longhi Dedica Deluxe Espresso Maker
Dimensions: 5.9 x 13 x 12 inches | Pressure: 15 bar | Warmup time: 40 seconds
Most home espresso machines require some serious countertop space (a sacrifice that’s well worth it if you ask me). But if you don’t have any extra kitchen real estate to spare, or you just can’t bear the thought of a fairly large appliance on your counter, the De’Longhi Dedica Deluxe Espresso Maker is the answer to your cappuccino prayers. It packs a single boiler, adjustable manual milk frother and double drip tray into a 6-inch wide body. And even though it’s narrow, it doesn’t skimp on features.
It has a Thermoblock Heating System that brings water up to temperature in less than 40 seconds and advanced technology that helps maintain water temperature in between brews so you don’t have to wait if you’re making more than one drink. It also has a cup warmer, automatic flow stop function and removable 35-ounce water tank.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Heats up in 40 seconds and stays hot
- Tamper isn’t the best
- Can be noisy
Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine
Dimensions: 14.5 x 12.5 x 15.75 inches | Pressure: 15 bar | Warmup time: N/A
Calphalon may be best known for its nonstick cookware, but the premium cookware brand knows how to make a serious espresso machine, too. The Temp IQ combines an espresso machine, grinder and steam wand into one sleek-looking countertop appliance. It has an integrated conical burr mill grinder that has 30 adjustable grind settings, plus advanced heating technology and temperature control that ensures a perfectly extracted brew.
Unlike other at-home models, this espresso machine also has an enlarged portafilter that rivals the same robust flavor extraction that you’d get at your favorite local coffeehouse and a cup warming tray that ensures your shot stays at the perfect temperature once it hits your mug. The setup includes a stainless steel milk jug, tamper, cleaning disc and cleaning pin.
- Built-in grinder
- 30 grind settings
- Large portafilter for flavor extraction
- Steam wand could be stronger
- Grinder doesn’t deposit in center of portafilter
Jura S8 Fully Automatic Espresso & Coffee Machine
Dimensions: 17.25 x 11 x 14 inches | Pressure: 15 bar | Warmup time: N/A
The Jura S8 is not your average home espresso machine. This fully-automatic machine has an integrated burr coffee grinder and utilizes a specialized Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.) that optimizes extraction time and ensures a perfect pull every time. It has a large touchscreen that lets you toggle between automatic brewing of 15 espresso-based drinks, from lattes to flat whites, and a professional quality foam frother that effortlessly creates fine-textured microfoam—no barista training required.
If you’re not exactly sure what you should be doing, there are user-friendly demos and animations that guide you through the brewing process so you can fully take advantage of the 10 coffee strength and three temperature levels.
- Fully automatic
- Large espresso drink menu
- Professional quality frother
- Beans don’t always gravitate toward center of grinder
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine
Dimensions: 13.25 x 12.5 x 15.75 inches | Pressure: 9 bar | Warmup time: 3 seconds
A more advanced model from Breville, the Barista Touch Espresso Machine is probably the closest you’ll get to having a live-in barista. This fully-automatic machine has a 9-bar extraction pressure system, automatically doses out grinds based on your preferences and has a razor tool that trims down espresso to the ideal level for precision dosing and consistent extraction.
A digital touch screen lets you select your drink of choice from five options (espresso, Americano, latte, flat white or cappuccino), or adjust shot volume, milk texture and milk temperature to create and save up to eight personalized drinks. Plus, the automatic milk texturing allows you to make silky latte milk or perfectly aerated cappuccino foam completely hands-free.
- Heats up in seconds
- Automatic milk texturing
- Digital touch screen
- Learning curve
Nespresso Vertuo Chrome by Breville
Dimensions: 8.3 x 11.9 x 11.9 inches | Pressure: 19 bars | Warmup time: 0.5 seconds
If you want the rich taste of espresso without fumbling around with loose grinds or portafilters, the Nespresso Vertuo is an excellent one-touch option that literally makes it as easy as pressing a button. The machine utilizes pods that are pre-dosed and recyclable.
There are many Nespresso models out there, but this particular model has a large capacity water tank that allows you to brew multiple espresso drinks (or coffees) without refilling and it comes with an Aeroccino3 milk frother so you can add microfoam—or cold foam—to your cup if you’d like.
- One-touch operation
- Pre-dosed pods
- No espresso customization option
- Have to press capsule down hard
Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker, 9 Cup
Dimensions: 4.5 x 9.5 inches | Pressure: 1.5 bars | Warmup time: Varies
A stovetop espresso maker is a good option for when you want to be able to brew quality espresso at home, but aren’t quite ready to invest in a machine. The Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker is iconic and incredibly easy to use. Simply put it over heat on your stovetop, insert your grounds and water, wait for it to brew and enjoy the results. The whole process takes just a few minutes. The Bialetti features an angular shape that, frankly, will look cool sitting out on your stovetop. The top and handle also won’t overheat, so you can grab and pour your espresso directly from the pot. Choose from 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-cup sizes.
- No outlet required
- Chic look
- Takes time to brew
- Have to watch it closely to avoid burning coffee
What To Consider When Buying An Espresso Machine
When it comes to purchasing one of the best espresso machines on the market, there’s a lot you’re going to want to take into consideration. After all, this isn’t a small purchase—it’s bound to require a big chunk of cash, not to mention a large portion of countertop space. It’s best to come prepared to the shopping experience with as much know-how as possible. Ahead, find our full buying guide, including details on each of the details you’ll want to explore as you look at various models.
Space is an incredibly important consideration here, says Matt Woodburn-Simmonds, co-founder of Home Coffee Expert. “It will sit on your countertop, so look at how much real estate you can afford to give up to a coffee machine whilst still being able to cook and fit your other appliances,” he advises. One thing to consider, per Woodburn-Simmonds: “Lots of machines with built-in grinders load beans from the top, so make sure you have enough space above the machine if it’s going underneath cabinets.”
You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to be able to pull a really great shot of espresso, but you will find more features in more expensive machines, says coffee consultant Ben Kaminsky, of the GGet Coffee Club. “You have to go by you want to drink first,” he says. “If you just want espresso, you can get a manual machine. If you want to be drinking lattes, you need to get something that steams milk. And, if you want to do that well, then the price starts creeping up.” Still, Kaminsky points out that you can “get something that’s tiny and inexpensive—it just won’t necessarily steam milk.”
In general, “you’re going to want something that can hit 9 bar of pressure,” says Brian W. Jones, author of Brew: Better Coffee at Home. He continues, “if you want to make milk drinks, like lattes and cappuccinos, I would also highly recommend a dual-boiler machine. This will allow you to pull an espresso shot and steam milk at the same time with each having their own dedicated boiler.”
It’s crucial to factor in your morning routine, Woodburn-Simmonds says. “If you’re constantly in a hurry to get out the door, then a machine taking five minutes to warm up will feel like a lifetime,” he points out. “If you generally have a bit of time, then you’d probably never notice.”
What Machine Makes The Best Espresso?
The best espresso machine is one that meets your needs. If you want something fast and easy, you may want to invest in a Nespresso machine that simplifies the whole process. But if you prefer to take your time pouring the perfect shot or creating a latte, something like the Breville Barista Touch may be more your speed. Overall, we like the Breville Bambino Plus. It’s a quality machine that meets most home brewing needs.
What Kind Of Espresso Machine Does Starbucks Use?
Starbucks uses a fancy machine called a Mastrena, which was created just for the brand by Thermoplan AG. The Mastrena does a lot in one machine—it has built-in grinders and a computerized menu. The Mastrena was designed to make the coffee-making process as fast and easy and possible. There are some used Mastrenas on sale on eBay, but it’s hard to know if you’re getting the same quality as you’d get at Starbucks.
How Do You Clean An Espresso Machine?
Cleaning your espresso machine (read this for a step-by-step guide) is important to keep it operating in peak condition and to also ensure that your drinks taste the way they should. Espresso machines can build up scale from water, which can impact the longevity of your machine. To clean your machine, you’ll want to scrub the screens on your machine with a brush and microfiber towel. You’ll also want to do something called backflushing, which is essentially when you run water and sometimes a cleaner back into your machine to clean it. Every month or so, you’ll also want to descale your espresso machine to help remove that scale that’s built up in it.