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Best espresso machines: 8 best buys for perfect espresso shots and lattes at home

When choosing among the best espresso machine, consider whether you want fully manual, super-automatic, or semi-automatic. Here are our picks

Included in this guide:

best espresso machine breville
(Image credit: Breville)

The best espresso machines can help you start the day right, provide a much-need pick-me-up in the afternoon, top off a delicious meal, or provide a jolt of energy when burning the midnight oil.

We've considered and tested the best coffee makers to decide on the best machines that should claim a spot on your kitchen counter.

According to Gary Chau, co-founder and creative director at Caffe Luxxe, a chain of high-end coffee shops in Los Angeles, the best espresso maker will depend on what you are looking for.  

'A manual machine will provide you with greater control for the craft that typically translates into better taste and texture with your espresso,' he explains. On the other end of the spectrum is the ‘super-automatic’ espresso machine. 'It has the ability to grind your coffee, brew your espresso, and also steam your milk – all at the push of a button.'

Chau considers a semi-automatic machine to potentially be the best of both worlds. 'It mimics the traditional handcraft methods, combined with technology, to automate some of the espresso-making steps,' he says. Regardless of which type of espresso machine you choose, he recommends using fresh whole beans and only grinding what you need, since freshness determines boldness and strength of flavor. 

Need more options? Be sure to pair your new espresso machine with the best coffee grinder for fresh coffee, the best drip coffee makers for dependable flavor, and the best milk frother to whip up delicious lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos at home. 

Best espresso machines of 2021

Breville Barista Pro

(Image credit: Breville)

1. Breville The Barista Pro

The best espresso maker, overall

Specifications
Type: Semi-Automatic
Dimensions: 12" x 12.25" x 14.5" inches
Weight: 27.6 lb.
Descaling Notification: Yes
Interface: Dial and button
Reasons to buy
+Control grinding+Adjustable brew temperature+Steam wand swivels 360 degree+Storage tray for accessories
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Take up a lot of space

The Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine has everything you need to make perfect espresso at home. It offers the right balance between manual and fully or super automated espresso makers. 

Key features 

The built-in conical burr grinder has 15 settings so you can always get the right consistency – and the grinder also has a dose control function. The hands-free direct grinding into the portafilter is achieved by the auto stop feature. The espresso machine has a single wall and dual wall filter baskets.

Using the ThermoJet heating system, an accurate extraction temperature can be achieved in just 3 seconds. In addition, the temperature control ensures the water is at the right temperature.

Why you'll love it

The 15-bar Italian pressure pump provides the right amount of pressure, and the manual steam wand lets you create art and the right amount of texture. You can use the program button to personalize your espresso shot volume, and also use the advanced temperature functions. There’s even an indicator to let you know when the drip tray is full, and a storage tray for accessories located behind the drip tray. 

Cleaning accessories include the cleaning tool/brush, cleaning tablets, a cleaning cycle disc and an Allen key. 

Delonghi dinamica espresso maker

(Image credit: DeLonghi)

2. De’Longhi Dinamica Plus

Best super automatic espresso maker

Specifications
Type: Super-Automatic
Dimensions: 16.9" x 9.3" x 13.7" inches
Weight: 23.30 lb.
Descaling Notification: Yes
Interface: Touchscreen
Reasons to buy
+Grinder has 13 settings+16 one-touch or customized settings+Coffee Link App+Saves settings as top presets+Froth adjustment and clean dial
Reasons to avoid
-Really expensive-Crowded tray area

If you prefer the convenience of letting your espresso machine do all the work, the De’Longhi Dinamica Plus Fully Automated Espresso Machine is for you. 

Key features 

The display shows 16 one-touch or customized drinks, including not only espresso, but also latte, cappuccino, regular coffee, and iced coffee. The control panel also lets you select the beverage quantity, and even create profiles to save your specific selections. Other types of helpful info on the control panel include the descale required alarm, as well as alarms for cleaning your milk container and replacing the filter. Plus, there’s a built-in conical burr grinder, and it has 13 settings to help you select the right one for your needs. 

Why you'll love it

The automatic milk frother has a LatteCrema System that textures the milk to your preferences and also has individual settings for almond, soy, and oat milk. You can even download the De’Longhi Coffee Link App to set and view 3 personalized recipes in your profile, and view tips to help make the best espresso. Accessories include a milk container, total hardness test indicator paper, water softener filter, pre-ground coffee measure, descaler, and cleaning brush.

Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ LatteGoH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Philips)

Best super automatic espresso maker

Specifications
Type: Super-Automatic
Dimensions: 9.6" x 14.60" x 17.04" inches
Weight: 21.06 lb.
Descaling Notification: Yes
Interface: Touch
Reasons to buy
+Multiple settings to adjust cup sizes, temperature, strength+Brews 5 different beverages +Frother system avoid tubes and goes straight into mug+Control grinding+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky-Noisy

Most espresso makers use a tube-based milk system. However, the Philips 3200 Series Espresso Machine with LatteGo is different. Instead of tubes, it has a two-part frother system that clicks together and combines the milk, steam, and air at a high speed, and then adds a layer of dense, smooth milk froth to your drink. 

Key features

The espresso maker also has touch controls that allow you to select an espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte, or hot water. You can also set and adjust the coffee strength settings, and also set and adjust the amount of coffee to make the best cup of espresso every time. In addition, My Coffee Choice will remember your settings. The built-in ceramic grounder also lets you customize the grindings with 12 adjustment settings.

Why you'll love it

Descaling is a problem with any coffee-based device, but the Philips 3200 Series Express Machine with LatteGo has an AquaClean water filter that keeps you from having to descale the machine for up to 5000 cups. Our e-commerce editor-in-chief, Lindsey Davis, has been using the Philips 3200 for nearly a year, and still hasn't had to descale. 

best coffee maker All-in-One Coffee & Espresso Maker

(Image credit: DeLonghi)

4. De'Longhi All in One Combination Coffee Maker

Best two-in-one espresso maker

Specifications
Type: Manual
Dimensions: 17.5" x 14" x 12.25" in.
Weight: 6.21 pounds
Descaling Notification: Yes
Interface: Touch
Reasons to buy
+Variety of coffee and espresso options+Run both drip coffee and espresso maker at the same time+Superb value+24-hour programmable timer
Reasons to avoid
-Wider than a standard coffee machine

If you’re in favor of minimizing the number of kitchen appliances on your counters, the DeLonghi All in One Combination Coffee Maker is your ideal machine, dual functioning as a 10-cup coffee maker and an espresso machine, all controlled via a touchscreen interface.  

Key features

One side of this espresso coffee machine makes authentic 15-bar espresso, cappuccino, and lattes with a built-in advanced milk frothing steam want, while the other side brews drip up to 10 cups of drip coffee. The manually designed espresso machine requires you to dose with portafilter and tamper for single and double shots of espresso, and it also works with ESE pods. 

Why you'll love it

The drip coffee size features a Bold brew setting, a front-loading design for water tank (with filter) and coffee ground, and a spillproof glass carafe. Even better, the Dual Heating System Allows you to brew coffee and espresso simultaneously, so there's never any downtime.

Breville BES990BSS Oracle Touch Fully Automatic EspressoH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Breville)

5. Breville BES990BSS The Oracle Touch

Best coffee maker for big budgets

Specifications
Type: Semi-automatic
Dimensions: 14.8in x 15.5in x 17.8in/ 37.3cm x 39.2cm x 45.4 cm
Weight: 37.2 lb.
Descaling Notification: Yes
Interface: Touchscreen
Reasons to buy
+Stylish design+Twin boilers+Color screen+Professional components
Reasons to avoid
-Huge-Expensive

After the best of the best, the Oracle Touch is perhaps the grandest of espresso machines, offering advanced automation and professional results at home.

Key features

The Oracle uses a touchscreen interface to select your desired beverage (choose from espresso, long black, latte, flat white, or cappuccino options), and the machine will guide you through the steps. Well, you'll simply have to place the portafilter under the grinder and it grinds and measures the perfect 22-gram dose and tamps for you. Transfer the portafilter to the middle and watch sweet espresso be extracted into your espresso mug. Also, when it comes to microform and milk, the steam wand only looks imposing. You'll simply fill the jug, place it under the wand and it selects the perfect temperature and consistency for the drink you want. Amazing!

Why you'll love it

It features dual stainless-steel boilers, meaning you can grind and brew a lungo while also steaming milk, a feature usually only available on commercial machines. The boiler is also extremely hi-tech and can control the espresso water temperature to within +/- 2°F. 

De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine

(Image credit: De'Longhi)

6. De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine

Best espresso maker for a high-end machine on a budget

Specifications
Type: Manual
Dimensions: 13.5" x 8.07" x 11.22" in.
Weight: 9.48 lb.
Descaling Notification: No
Interface: Dial
Reasons to buy
+Excellent price+15-bar pump+Space saver+Different size cups
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks customization features-No grinder

De’Longhi is well known for its high-quality and equally high-priced espresso makers. However, the De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine, Latte, and Cappuccino Maker is an excellent choice if you’re on a budget. 

Key features

The stainless-steel boiler is designed to be durable and function consistently for years to come. In addition, the machine has a 15-bar pump, a separate tamper, measuring spoon, and filter for single and double espressos. The manual milk frother lets you texture your milk to your liking. In addition, the 2-level cup holder can accommodate cups of different sizes.

Why you'll love it

It’s also great if you prefer a manual experience, and don’t care for a lot of bells and whistles. In addition, it’s a space-saving model.

Nespresso Lattissima One

(Image credit: Nespresso)

7. Nespresso Lattissima One

Best espresso maker if you like to you capsules

Specifications
Type: Nespresso Original Capsules
Dimensions: 6.05" x 12.75" x 10.07" inches
Weight: 9.3 lb.
Descaling Notification: No
Interface: Touch
Reasons to buy
+Easy to operate+Compact+19-bar pump+Storage for used capsules
Reasons to avoid
-Capsules can be expensive over time-Lack of additional features

The Nespresso Latissima One Original Espresso Machine is a compact, stylish espresso maker that’s easy to operate. 

Key features

This espresso maker uses capsules so the process is quite simple. Lift the lever and insert the capsule, then close the lever and put a cup under the outlet. Next, you press Expresso, Lungo (double shot), or milk, and the machine will start. There’s also a convenient internal storage container that houses used capsules.

Why you'll love it

The 19-bar pump (the highest performing on the list), is about as close to a barista-style level of pressure as you can get at home. Also, the milk frother automatically fills your cup based on the amount of milk you add.  

Calphalon espresso machine

(Image credit: Calphalon)

8. Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine

Best espresso maker for temperature control

Specifications
Type: Semi-Automatic
Dimensions: 15.6" x 14.5" x 17.3" in
Weight: 22 lb.
Descaling Notification:
Interface: Dial
Reasons to buy
+Temp iQ system+15-bar Italian pump+Cup warming tray+Stainless steel
Reasons to avoid
-Model with grinder costs almost twice as much-No customized settings

The Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine is designed to deliver the precise temperature. 

Key features

The Temp iQ system ensures an even level of heat during the espresso extraction process. The larger portafilter provides more room to ensure the water is evenly distributed, which contributes to a maximum level of flavor. The 15-Bar Italian pump is the perfect balance between too much and too little pressure, ensuring that it won’t be bitter.

The dial control is used to select 1 or 2 shots, steam, or hot water. The Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine also includes a stainless-steel milk pitcher, tamper, filters, and 3 cleaning items: disc, pin, and brush.

Why you'll love it

The steam wand produces creamy froth and microfoam milk. There’s even a cup warming tray on top to gently warm your espresso cup. You can also choose the precise amount of water for one shot or two shots of espresso.


How Can I Gauge Bar Pump Pressure?

If you’re getting an espresso machine with a bar pump, don’t go any lower than 9 bars or it won’t create enough pressure in the pump – and you’ll know it when you taste your espresso. Many experts prefer 15 bars, and the majority of our selections have 15-bar pumps.  

How easy is it to clean an espresso machine?

Espresso machines do require some upkeep to keep clean. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions as the directions may vary. However, as a general rule, you’ll need to dismantle and clean the filter with warm water on a regular basis. Also, you need to remove and clean the steam nozzles and milk reservoir, or run water through them after each use or you’ll experience a buildup of milk residue. Some espresso makers have a clean feature, and activating it will clean the frothing section automatically. You also need to descale or delime the internal parts when the descale notification glows on the control panel. 

Terri Williams
Terri Williams

Terri Williams is a journalist with real estate, home improvement, and product review bylines at Architectural Digest, Real Simple, Realtor.com, Bob Vila, Yahoo, MSN, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle, and Apartment Therapy. She also covers business topics, with bylines at USA Today, The Economist, US New & World Report, Verizon, and several other brands that you’ve probably heard of. Follow her adventures on Twitter.