Sure, you can get coffee at your local coffee shop. But what if you do need one? What if you want that sweet shot of espresso in the morning, in the comfort of your own home? In that case, you do need an espresso machine. And not just any machine, you need the best espresso machine that you can find on the market. If you’re looking for the best single-serve coffee makers instead, you can check those out here.
Below you will see what criteria you need the machine to meet. If you want a good cup of coffee, you will look for something that does these things as good as possible. And, we’ll also give you a few options in terms of espresso machines, so you don’t have to look elsewhere. Read on!
The ones below are far from the only ones on the market, but they are the absolute best at what they do. Even though some are better than the others on the list, you can’t go wrong with either one. Let’s dive in.
Our 11 Best Espresso Machines
|ESPRESSO MACHINE||QUALITY||PRICE||OUR RATING|
|Nespresso Inissia [ Amazon Link ]||A+||$$|
|Breville Barista Express BES870XL [ Amazon Link ]||A||$$$|
|Gaggia Classic [ Amazon Link ]||B+||$$|
|Breville Oracle [ Amazon Link ]||A-||$$$|
|Delonghi EC702 [ Amazon Link ]||B||$$|
|Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker [ Amazon Link ]||B||$|
|Breville Infuser [ Amazon Link ]||A||$$|
|Nespresso Pixie [ Amazon Link ]||B-||$|
|Delonghi Dedica [ Amazon Link ]||B||$$|
|Keurig Rivo [ Amazon Link ]||B||$$|
|Gaggia Brera [ Amazon Link ]||B||$$$|
1. Nespresso Inissia – the Economy Option, but Don’t Byoc
We’ll kick things off with a Nespresso Inissia review. Even though far from the cheapest ones, this is a budget option. But boy, is it good. This may very well be the best espresso machine under 200, but it punches way above its weight. You can also get it with the Aeroccino 3 frother as a bundle. This lets you also make cappuccinos and lattes, something that just a regular machine won’t let you do.
The Inissia Design is Good but Not Great
The Inissia coffee machine comes with a shape that doesn’t really stand out. It looks … regular? There’s nothing that screams out, but you will appreciate the footprint, or lack thereof. At only 12cm in width, this is one of the best inexpensive espresso machines if you don’t have a lot of space. This doesn’t prevent it from having a 700ml water tank, though. The tank’s lid won’t let any spills between the tap and the machine. This is important, as removing coffee stains from a carpeted floor isn’t easy.
You will also find that there is a bin inside it, for the Nespresso pods. This means that you can make a few drinks before you’ll need to empty it. However, it also means that you can’t use your own coffee. You need to go with Nespresso pods. This may be the only downside to the Nespresso Inissia machine. Nespresso does give you a pretty decent range of options, though, so this isn’t that much of a problem.
As far as ease of use goes, the machine is relatively easy. The instruction booklet might confuse you at first, but you’ll get the hang of it easily. With only two buttons, you’ll have a coffee 25 seconds after you turn it on. All you need to do is insert a capsule, choose whether you want a long or short coffee, and wait. Once it’s done, it will stop automatically.
A Great Machine, but the Limited Coffee Options May Not Be for Everyone
Purists might be steered away by the fact that you can’t use your own coffee with the Nespresso Inissia espresso maker. However, the options that Nespresso gives you are more than plenty, and the coffee is actually really good. It has a 19-bar pressure, and you can make a great cup of coffee. Include the Aeroccino 3, and there are plenty of options for a personalized cup of coffee. You should also know that the Inissia cleaning process is pretty easy as well, which is something you’ll definitely come to appreciate. All in all, this is absolutely among the best affordable espresso machine options on the market today. You won’t regret getting it!
| Affordable price|
Pods make it simple to use
Amazing tasting coffee
|Coffee options are somewhat limited, a potential issue for purists|
2. The Breville Barista Express Bes870xl – the Best Espresso Machine Under $1000
Next on our list is an offering by Breville. It is much more expensive than the Inissia, but it has quite a few more features as well. In our Breville Barista Express review we’ll focus on its features, and why it is potentially the best espresso machine under 1000, even though it costs much less. The thing is, there are machines that cost upwards of $1000, and they have much less features. It’s not all about features, as many espresso aficionados will tell you, but the Barista Express espresso maker gives you much more value.
One of the main things about the Breville coffee machine is the fact that it grinds the beans right before brewing. This gives you a really fresh coffee, something you won’t find with other coffee makers. It also means that if you want to get coffee beans instead of ground coffee, you’ll be saving a few hundred dollars on a grinder. The next big thing we’ll discuss in our Breville BES870XL review is the consistency. This is actually something that professional baristas want to achieve, and it’s not that easy. You need the exact same amount of coffee to grind, the exact same amount of water, and this is tricky. But by achieving it, you’ll have a great coffee. Every. Single. Time. And the Barista Express espresso machine will do that for you.
The next big thing is the heat exchange boiler system. In a traditional system, you need to turn a switch to change between extracting and steaming. This causes the temperature in the boiler to drop after the steaming. However, the Barista Express uses a coil system, and the water is heated to the optimal temperature. Therefore, this problem is eliminated.
Not the Cheapest, but Quite Worth the Money
With the built in coffee grinder, and all the grinder settings on offer, you can make your coffee just as you like it. And when you decide on the Breville best settings, the coffee is amazing. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll enjoy every single cup of coffee that comes out of it.
The only potential downside to it is the fact that even though it’s a strong contender for the best semi automatic espresso machine, it does have a learning curve. That only applies if you’re new to the process, though. If you already have the know-how, you’ll get used to it in no time.
All in all, this truly is one of the best coffee machine with grinder options nowadays. It isn’t too expensive, even though it’s far from cheap. But with all the features, and the quality of coffee, it is absolutely worth it.
| Integrated grinder with multiple adjustments|
Coffee is consistently good
Customization is pretty great
| Price isn’t exactly in the “affordable” range, although justified|
There’s a fairly steep learning curve
3. Gaggia Classic – an Awesome Gaggia at an Awesome Price
Continuing the list with our Gaggia Classic review, you will find that this coffee machine actually makes use of a design that’s been around for ages. It does tweak it slightly, but it absolutely keeps all the benefits. And if we’re talking age, it makes its competitors look like toddlers. The Gaggia Classic espresso machine comes with a very simple design, and could be considered the best espresso machine under 300. Sure, it does lack some flexibility, especially compared to other machines, but if you’re after a quality, simple machine that produces amazing espresso, you can’t go wrong with this Gaggia coffee machine. You’ll even find a Gaggia Classic vs Rancilio Silvia comparison here and there, but the Silvia is much more expensive, and doesn’t offer too much over the Classic.
Its design is mostly metal, which makes it seem like it’s much more expensive than it actually is. This is more of an industrial design, and some don’t consider it to be too stylish. There are seams on the top, and the metal edges aren’t all that smooth. However, that design is pretty enduring, and the focus of the product is to be the best espresso machine, not the best looking one, so a bit of forgiveness is in order.
One thing that is suitable for anyone who wants pure espresso, but bad for anyone who wants something else, is the height of the coffee arm. It is only made to accommodate a small espresso cup. There isn’t room for a larger mug. However, users have found that you can remove the drip tray, and rest your mug on the bare metal frame instead. That drip tray could’ve been improved from the Gaggia Classic old model, but it does its job, even though it doesn’t look really impressive.
Great Value, Better Coffee, Easily Cleanable and Durable
The most important aspect with the Gaggia Classic coffee is the taste and quality of the espresso itself. And it hands down beats anything in its price range. It also punches a bit above its weight, both with the quality, and the endurance. When you consider the design of the Gaggia Classic didn’t change much, you’ll realize that there wasn’t much to change – it just works.
Another big thing to mention is the Classic cleaning process. All you need to do to clean the reservoir is to pull it out – you don’t have to move the machine. This is something that many home users ask for – a machine that’s simple to clean. And the Classic absolutely delivers.
To sum things up, if you’re after a coffee machine that makes stunning espresso, but not much more, you won’t go wrong. The industrial look will also appeal to many. The price is great for what you get, and it does win the “Best espresso machine under 300” contest, easily.
| Great value|
Industrial metal design which is easy to clean
| Only accommodates a small espresso cup without modifications|
Not many functionalities offered
4. Breville Oracle – Not a Full Review, but All You Need to Know About This Breville Espresso Maker
You will find out a few things in our Breville Oracle coffee machine review. It’s not the best cheap espresso machine. It’s not the best portable espresso maker either. But if you’re willing to shell out for it, it is absolutely the best espresso machine you can get at that price range. The Breville Oracle espresso machine is like your personal assistant in terms of coffee. If you tell it what you want, it will remember it, and make it for you, over and over again. And the Oracle espresso is among the best cups of coffee you’ve ever tried.
The Oracle comes with quite a few bells and whistles. It also comes with a price tag to match, but for many it’ll be more than worth it. The ideal buyer for it is a person who lives in a house where not everybody likes the same coffee. This also makes it a competitor for the title of best office coffee maker. It is actually a hybrid between a semi-automatic, which requires know-how, and a super-automatic machine, which takes all the control away. You can program it a lot, or you can leave it to do its thing – it’s up to you. It’s best when you set it up like you want it, and then leave it do repeat that over and over again. For novice users, this might result in Oracle problems with usage. But, these have nothing to do with the machine itself.
The Oracle is One of the Best Priced Coffee Machines
As mentioned above, if you prefer the easy way out, it’s a set it and forget it machine. However, you sometimes might want to play around. All that automation can be overridden, and you can re-gain control. Leave the first cup in the morning to the Oracle, and then do the other ones yourself. Easy as that.
With a built in grinder and tamper, both adjustable, you won’t need anything extra. The dual stainless steel boilers, as well as the Oracle portafilter and burr grinder all scream quality. The cup of espresso you’ll get from this machine is absolutely café quality. That dual boiler system means that you can both brew, and steam, if you want a latte, for example.
Regardless if you want an espresso, or any other kind of coffee, the conclusion of this Breville espresso machine review is that it is a stunning machine. It has everything a great coffee maker should have. It works like a super-automatic, but you get the quality coffee and control of a semi-automatic. When you put all things together, you’re getting your own personal barista. It’s a great machine for anyone who is willing to pay for it.
| Extensive customization options|
Remembers choice of coffee and can repeat it
Built-in grinder and tamper
| Price is higher than what most consumers would spend on a home coffee machine|
Not exactly the most beginner-friendly machine
5. Delonghi EC702 – the Single Best Espresso Machine Under $200
Delonghi is a household name in the coffee machine market. They have a lot of options, from budget ones, to some truly premium offerings for aficionados. As you’ll see in our Delonghi EC702 review, this particular option may very well be the best home espresso machine under 200. It has all the essentials, it’s built to last, and it makes a fairly good cup of coffee.
The Delonghi EC702 espresso machine is a very versatile coffee maker. There is a 15-bar pump inside of its stainless steel construction. Even the boiler is made of stainless steel, so everything is built for durability. That pump pressure is more than enough. You will get a strong, authentic shot of espresso, and the crema is fairly thick as well. The filter is what gives it a lot of versatility. You can use it for both coffee pods, or ground coffee. It’s compatible with either an E.S.E. coffee pod, or your favorite ground coffee, whichever it is that you love.
This Delonghi is Also a Cappuccino Maker
You will also find a frother on the side of the machine. Most competitors of the Delonghi EC702 have a nozzle or steaming wand at the front. This isn’t all that convenient, and often gets in the way. With it being on the side here, you can brew your coffee and not worry about it getting in the way. The foam produced is pretty nice, so you can make a pretty good cappuccino as well. There are also two separate thermostats. This lets you easily control the espresso brewing, and the steaming functions. Want to brew a shot, as well as steam at the same time? You’ve got it. There’s also a cup warming tray, which is something you don’t see very often at this price range. When compared versus the Delonghi EC155 or the ECP3630, this one absolutely steams them.
The 15-bar-pump of the stainless Delonghi EC702 espresso maker is one of a kind. The pump is nice and strong, but long you let it run, as well as other variables give this coffee brewer that unique human touch that you don’t really find in many other automatic machines.
All in All, the EC702 Will Brew a Fine Cup of Coffee and Its Parts Will Last
As with many others, the main goal of the EC702 espresso maker is to brew an awesome tasking cup of coffee. Except this one does so better than you may expect, or be used to. The coffee is strong, and rich in flavor. And the crema is thick and rich, just as it should be. The EC702 proves that you don’t have to spend thousands if you want a good cup of coffee at home. It should be mentioned, though, that the first couple of coffees won’t taste that good. You’ll need to get through a few rounds of brewing if you want to get to the true taste, which is miles ahead. The cleaning process is very easy as well, with minimal effort required to keep it completely clean and usable. All in all? One of the best budget espresso machine options available.
| A versatile machine which lets you use both E.S.E. pods and ground coffee|
A versatile machine which lets you use both E.S.E. pods and ground coffee
Coffee tastes great, and the built-in cup warmer makes it even betterr
| You’ll need to go through a few rounds of brewing to get to the real taste|
Doesn’t really offer a lot over cheaper competitors
6. The Popular Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker
The coffee maker market is more than saturated at this point. However, there are still a few products that have been around for a while, with no suitable replacement. As you’ll see in our Mr Coffee espresso maker review, this machine is one of them. It is a fierce competitor for the title of best espresso machine under 100, and it works great for home usage. Its size makes it great for a variety of kitchens, as it is close in size to compact drip brewers. A big part of the construction is the water tank. There’s a 1.54L capacity, which is more than enough for any home user. It can also be detached for refilling purposes.
How to Use the Mr Coffee Espresso Machine
As the Mr Coffee espresso maker instructions will show, it’s dead simple to use and operate. You have two buttons for brewing espresso or steaming milk. There are two lights on the sides, as well as a power indicator light, and ready indicator light. On the right side there’s a control knob which lets you choose between brewing, off and steam. There isn’t a steam dial for precise control, which is unfortunate. As the budget suggests, the espresso maker target market are people who just want a cup of coffee, without much fuss. It is simple, compact, and just works. There aren’t too many functionalities, and there aren’t many things it does, aside from brewing and steaming. However, the things it does, it does well, just like any Mr Coffee espresso maker reviews will tell you.
How Does the Coffee Taste, and is the Mr Coffee Espresso Maker Worth It?
The coffee is, well, what you’d expect from an espresso maker within this budget. It won’t win any awards, and it won’t get near the rich taste you’d get from something like the Nespresso Inissia, or the Breville Oracle. However, at this price range, you really can’t complain. If you aren’t especially picky, you can still get it and use it as your home coffee brewer. It will do the job just fine, as long as your expectations are in line.
| Very Affordable|
Compact design which doesn’t take up much space
Extremely straightforward to use
| Weak pump and unstable temperatures result in inconsistent coffee|
Easily clogged if grounds are too fine
7. Breville Infuser, One of the Best Espresso Machines Under $500
The Infuser is somewhat in the middle of the Breville espresso machine range. It isn’t the cheapest one, but it’s very far from the most expensive one. Does performance match this model’s price? It won’t be the best commercial espresso machine with this size and speed, but if you need something for home, it’s amazing. As you’ll see in our Breville Infuser review, the machine is ideal for a person who loves espresso, and is willing to invest a bit more. If you know that paying a bit extra gets you a much better coffee, and lasts longer, you should give it a shot (pun intended). And, if you aren’t a barista, but new to the world of making espresso, you don’t want to spend too much. Then, it’s just perfect.
The Infuser BES840XL espresso machine, as many Breville Infuser reviews are quick to point out, is a semi-automatic machine. It makes use of a thermo coil boil system, with one boiler for both steaming and extracting. It takes around 30 seconds to heat up. If you want to change it to milk steaming mode, that’s another 15 seconds. This is why, as mentioned, it won’t work very well in commercial settings. You need speed there. However, those seconds won’t change a lot at home, so you’re good for that.
The main advantage is where the Infuser espresso machine got it’s name – the pre-infusion system. This will slightly soak the coffee before extraction. The final result? A shot that’s more even, and much richer in flavor. This feature is often found in very high-end machines. Therefore, seeing it here is a welcome addition.
Reviewing the Infuser Was Fun and Challenging
Even though it’s a relatively small machine, the Infuser packs a punch. If you have a good grinder, it won’t disappoint you. There’s the choice between a pre-programmed single, or double shot espresso, and stopping when you think it’s right. The consistency is guaranteed, so you don’t have to worry about one shot tasting much different than the other one. This isn’t an issue with the Breville espresso maker. The option to steam milk works well, but is slow. Due to the single boiler design, the machine needs about 10 seconds for steam to come out. And, it takes 50 more seconds to reach drinking temperatures. If you’re making your coffee in the morning, this isn’t a problem. If you have a party, it might take you a bit longer than you would think.
You will often find a Breville Infuser vs Gaggia Classic debate. Seeing as they’re both close in terms of pricing, you could consider both. The Infuser is a great machine, only hampered by its speed. The Gaggia is an old model which could use a refresh in design, but works decently well. It loses to the Infuser in versatility, which is something that many home users will require for their coffee maker. If you’re one of them, the Breville Infuser is the better option.
| A semi-automatic machine that makes great espresso|
The pre-infusion system results in a much richer flavor
Consistent coffee every time
| A bit slow to use and brew coffee with|
You’ll need a grinder – there isn’t one in the machine
8. Nespresso Pixie – One of the Best Home Use Nespresso Machines
The Nespresso Pixie espresso makers are the more expensive version of the Inissia. The Pixie isn’t the best beginner espresso machine – that title goes to the Inissia. However, it does a few things, and does them very well. When you first see it, the Pixie does stand out. This is mostly due to the ABS side panels. There is a palette of options with both colors and patterns, so you can customize it as you wish.
The thing that might disappoint you is that like the Inissia, the Nespresso Pixie machine only accepts Nespresso pods. This is an instant turn-off for purists, as most of them want to use their own coffee. However, the Pixie isn’t meant for purists. It isn’t meant for someone who likely has a grinder that costs twice as much as the coffee maker. That kind of person has a coffee maker, and it costs much more than the Pixie.
Who is the Nespresso Pixie Machine for?
The Pixie is made for the regular Joe. It’s made for a person that gets up in the morning and wants to be able to make coffee easily. They don’t want to grind coffee, or tamp it, or bother with pressure and froth. They just want a shot of espresso, plain and simple. And this is where the Pixie excels. As mentioned, it works with pods, and Nespresso has a variety of them. The Pixie espresso maker will make espressos and lungos as much as you want it to, and it won’t require you to even think about them. Just pop the capsule inside, and choose whether you want a regular, or a lungo. Inserting the capsule is as simple as lifting the bar – that will reveal a recess where you place the capsule, and you close it back again.
More Than Expected From a Home Nespresso Machine
The coffee is what you would expect from a Nespresso espresso maker. There’s a variety of options in terms of pods, and the pump has that 19-bar pressure, which is more than enough for a good coffee. However, that’s where it ends. As mentioned, you can’t use your own coffee, and you can’t froth milk. For that, you’ll need the Pixie with Aerocinno, but you can get that as a bundle and save a bit. The Aerocinno opens a wide range of possibilities, and you’ll be able to make lattes and cappuccinos with it as well. It’s absolutely worth taking a look at.
To wrap things up, the Nespresso Pixie coffee machine is made to satisfy a market that considers it to be the winner of the Nespresso Inissia vs Pixie debate. It has a higher price, and a better build quality. It still isn’t for purists, but for the person who just wants a good coffee in the morning, without thinking about it too much, it more than does the job.
| Small and compact|
Simple to use with the Nespresso pods
Customizable looks with the side panels
| No milk frothing option (available with the Aerocinno add-on)|
More expensive than the Inissia, but doesn’t offer much more than the Inissia does
9. Delonghi Dedica
Any honest review of this brand will mention that Delonghi are a household name in the coffee maker industry. We already spoke about their EC702 which was more than just a decent espresso machine. We next took a look at the Dedica, and let me tell you, it doesn’t necessarily take a barista to brew a world-class cup of coffee.
The Dedica’s Stylish Look Will Make You Fall in Love With It
The Dedica espresso maker is a simple and compact machine. It blends in any kitchen décor, especially with the three available colors to choose from. As you’ll see in many Delonghi Dedica reviews, it is ideal for the home user, but not that much for a commercial scenario. The model we’ll be focusing on is the Dedica EC680, which is the most popular model of the Dedica series.
The Dedica coffee machine makes a splendid cup, and does so rather quickly. It incorporates the Thermoblock Technology, which needs 40 seconds to heat up water to the ideal temperature. You won’t need to wait around for your morning espresso, nor for that afternoon cappuccino. And, if you’re one of those people who think that a cold glass ruins a good coffee (who isn’t?), there’s a cup warmer as well. It doesn’t have too much of a capacity, but it’s sufficient for home use.
The pump has 15 bars of pressure, which is the standard when it comes to decent coffee machines and should be just about right. You’ll find a very clever frothing system, which lets you prepare drinks such as a cappuccino, or a latte, with ease. If you only need espresso, this won’t do much for you. However, it’s never bad to have options, is it?
The slim, attractive design is only 6” wide, and you can fit the Dedica coffee maker just about anywhere. The Delonghi descaling procedure is as simple as with any other machine, so you won’t have issues with that.
How is the Coffee, and is It Worth It?
Our Delonghi Dedica EC680 review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the key factor – how’s the coffee? In one word, it’s great. It has a rich flavor, and the crema is thick. It absolutely works for anyone who needs a simple coffee machine for home. The coffee is also fast in terms of brewing, and you won’t drink it from a cold cup, which is another good bonus. All in all, you get the full experience of making your own espresso without spending thousands. The Dedica espresso machine is great for home users, and if you are one, you won’t regret buying it!
| Very stylish look and three colors to choose from|
Included cup warmer and frothing system
Makes great coffee, and makes it fast
| The cup warmer doesn’t have much of a capacity|
Not any good for anything more than home usage scenarios
10. Keurig Rivo – the Best of Keurig Machines
If you’re looking for the best single serve espresso machine, you’re at the right place. Our Keurig Rivo review will show you why it’s one you should absolutely consider. In this price range, it is a fierce competitor for the best home espresso machine under 200. It has everything you need, and more, and it works wonderfully. Keurig has come a long way from their beginnings, and they have a palette of options. Their K-cup system is what the Rivo pods are compatible with, and there’s a decent choice of coffees. There are also Lavazza Rivo pods, making the choice even bigger. It’s worth mentioning that it’s actually a cappuccino and latte system, so it does more than just make an espresso. There’s a pretty popular Rivo vs Nespresso debate, but do read on and see which one suits your needs better.
First of all, the Rivo is capable of 15 bars of pressure. That’s a lot, and more than sufficient for a cup of good espresso. The flavor will be rich, and you’ll get that crema that lets you know you have a good cup of coffee in front of you. It is also fast, and you’ll be delighted to know that your espresso will be done in less than a minute. And, even better, it’s designed so you can froth milk at the same time as well.
The three modes let you choose between a latte, cappuccino and a cold froth, and there are two size options as well. If you’ve complained about the size options in the past, you can no longer do that, sorry. The Keurig coffee maker is very easy to use, and it has only five buttons. Making your first morning coffee won’t be an issue at all.
Plenty of options even though it does require pods
Regardless of whether you go for Keurig Rivo pods, or the Lavazza pods, there are plenty of options. The coffee you get mostly depends on the pod, because the machine is more than well made for any of them. It has a good pressure, and the espresso is rich – just as it should be. As far as cappuccinos and lattes go, the frother will let you make them with ease, and they’ll taste great. The Rivo is also very easy to clean. For the best frothing experience, you might want to clean the pitcher between each use. Even though this sounds like a hassle, it’s actually very easy. All in all, if you’re a person who doesn’t want to limit themselves to espresso, the Rivo coffee maker is a great option for you.
| Makes incredibly good coffee|
Simple to use thanks to the K-Cup pods system
Extremely easy to clean
| The pods system limits you to Keurig’s own pods, and the Lavazza ones|
The frothing pitcher needs to be cleaned after each use
11. Gaggia Brera – Another Winner by Gaggia, and the Best Mid-range Espresso Machine
We’ll wrap up our list with a Gaggia Brera review, one of the best mid-range options in the coffee brewer world. It’s also one of the best super automatic espresso machine options, so you can’t go wrong with it. Some say it’s no match for the best manual espresso machine options on the market – but it doesn’t try to go there. Instead, it aims for the middle of the super automatic machines market, and it fits right in.
The first thing to know is that the Brera espresso machine will flush the system whenever you turn it on. This might catch you by surprise. Therefore, it’s good to have a waste mug under the spout. This is a good thing, because you’ll be sure that you’re drinking pure espresso, with no leftovers inside the system whatsoever.
The stainless steel front panel lends it a very attractive and sleek look. It looks great in professional environments too, which is something many Gaggia Brera reviews will confirm. The sides and main control knob are plastic, though, which somewhat lets down the quality feel. However, they aren’t a big problem, and they do their job very well. The control panel is simple and intuitive, and you’ll be able to manage making your coffee with ease. There is also a standby mode. It will automatically activate after an hour. If you happen to forget it on, you won’t need to pay a lot in energy bills afterwards, which is handy.
One of the best things about it is the ceramic burr grinder you’ll find on the top. It comes with a lot of options for coarseness. The fact that its ceramic means that it generates much less heat. This will prevent the flavor from evaporating, and keep the aroma.
How’s the Coffee?
The Brera super automatic espresso machine takes both ground coffee, and beans, making it a bean-to-cup machine. You get a coarseness adjusting knob, and the espresso’s strength can also be adjusted. There’s a button on the front for that. And last but not least, you can choose between espresso and long coffee. All of this means that there is a huge number of personalization options. Your coffee will be just like you love it, every time. There’s also the option for a double shot, just in case a single cup of espresso isn’t enough for you. The coffee tastes amazing – just like you’d expect from a machine of this caliber. The flavor is rich, the crema is thick, what else could you ask for?
The Brera cleaning process is also a piece of cake. As mentioned, when you switch it on, it will clean itself automatically. As far as the Gaggia descaling goes, it will let you know when it needs to go through the process. That’s also easy. The only problem with cleaning and maintenance might be the outside – marks are made easily, and you’ll need to clean it often.
To sum things up, the Gaggia Brera espresso machine is a great coffee maker. If you’re on the lookout for a bean-to-cup machine within that price range, it’s hard to go wrong with this one!
| A great super automatic option with an included ceramic burr grinder|
Flushes the system whenever you turn it on, so absolutely no contamination issues
Sleek and attractive look
| A bit more expensive than other competitive offerings|
Easy to scuff on the outside
Choosing the Best Espresso Machine – What Should You Look for?
If you want to brew your own espresso, you’re basically controlling the entire process, from start to finish, yourself. With your own machine, you can make the right coffee for you, as you like it. Depending on the machine you choose, you’ll be able to control many parts of the process. Things such as brew temperature, water pressure, capacity, are all at your disposal.
But, how does the process work? There’s either a steam-driven machine, or a pump-driven one. Both create pressure which forces water into the container with the coffee, and produces espresso. You will find that for a home user, both options are great. Some might consider that pump-driven choices are better, but they’re also often more expensive. The best espresso maker for you, might not be the best for everybody. It’s an individual thing.
What Makes an Excellent Espresso Machine?
As far as what you need to look for, there are a few basic things. The first one to look out for are obviously, the capabilities. Check the pressure, this is the deciding factor in terms of quality. However, see if the machine you’re looking at has some extra things. For example, some let you make froth as well, which is a key ingredient in things such as macchiatos, Americanos and cappuccinos. If you want to make these as well, you’ll need it. Next, take a look at the capacity. If you’ll only be making a cup or two at a time, something small may do the trick. But if you plan on making multiple coffees at once, you will need a machine that makes 8 to 10 coffees at a time. If you don’t want half of the coffees to be cold, that is.
Next, we’ll talk about maintenance. If you want a good coffee, consistently, you’ll need to keep it clean. Therefore, a machine that is easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble, will always have an advantage. Cleaning it after use will be much easier, and you’ll have a better coffee every day. And, last but not least, the looks. Espresso makers come in many looks and styles, but not all could fit any kind of kitchen décor. Make sure the one you get suits your environment.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Espresso Machines – a Few Tips and Tricks
Even though a coffee maker is a relatively simple machine to use (well most of them are), it does require maintenance. You’ll notice that we tried to mention ease of cleaning with the machines above, and there’s a reason for that. It’s important to keep it clean, because it severely affects the flavor of the coffee itself. There are a few tips and tricks here.
First of all, make sure you clean the outside regularly. If you want to avoid dust and germs interfering with your machine, do this often. Before use is essential, but you might want to do it after using it as well. Next, and even more important, clean the inside. This is similar to cleaning your stainless steal coffee pot and is done by running water through. For example, the Gaggia Brera will do this automatically, but with others, you’ll need to do this yourself. This is easy, and you can even include 1/10th vinegar if you want to be thorough. However, if you do opt for vinegar, flush it with water at least three times afterwards. You don’t want your espresso to taste like vinegar, do you?
If the coffee maker has a frothing wand and grinder, make sure you clean both of them. Do this after each use for optimal results. Any other parts that can be disassembled, do that, and clean them as well. For some, this can be done in a dishwasher, but some will require manual work. This doesn’t have to happen every day, but do it at least once a month. And last but not least, make sure you stick to your manufacturer’s instructions on how to use and maintain the machine. They do know best, so following their suggestions isn’t a bad choice.
Wrapping things up
At the end of the day, there is actually a number of reasons why you would want a coffee machine in your home. You’ll save money in the long run, by not needing to go to a coffee shop every day. You’ll also be able to use coffee you like, and prepare it in ways you like it. You’ll get your morning espresso every day before leaving your house, and you won’t have to stop at a coffee shop before work.
Regardless of whether you’re a coffee aficionado, or someone who just needs a good cup of coffee in the morning, the list above has quite a few options for both. There are machines that only make espresso, and there are bean-to-cup coffee makers that can make just about anything. It is completely up to you as to which of them you need. And once you’ve decided on which kind you need, you have a few options to choose from. Note that the coffee makers are all great. Some are better than others, but their prices vary as well. Choose your budget, choose your needs, and pick accordingly!