It's three thirty on a Sunday afternoon and I'm drinking part of a Venti Caramel Brulee Latte from Starbucks, free with my gold member perks.
You see, I come from a family of coffee drinkers. At my dad's house, there is a pot going all day long and I am not joking. My brother-in-law will drink a cup and then go to bed and sleep like it's nothing. My two-year-old niece drinks it black.
Later this month I am purchasing my own espresso machine and I want to make sure I get the best bang for my buck, so here's a list of machines worth purchasing.
Great Espresso Machine Options Under $1000
1. Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
I had to start with the one I am purchasing. I chose this one after a lot of research. It is a beautiful machine both inside and out. It was awarded the number one spot by Coffee Maker Picks and for good reason. It has a good coffee grinder already built-in for one thing. Grinders can cost upwards of one hundred and fifty dollars for a good one. So purchasing a cheaper machine and a grinder evens it out price wise but the Breville gives you more space on your counters for, let's say, blenders to make frappuccinos.
They also are good to help a person go from a beginner barista with the two wall tampers and teach themselves how to become a manual/advance barista by going down to a single wall tamper. You can also have espresso brewing while you are getting your milk steamed. This helps create the great latte art I talk about in the next paragraph.
A big part of my reasoning for purchasing the Breville, though, is the high rating that customers on Amazon have given it. There are about one thousand, four hundred reviews and this machine has 4.3 stars. That is pretty good. Even the gentleman who gave it a one star was able to make some fabulous latte art. I consider that one for the win and is exactly why this sweetheart will be on my countertop before you can say two thousand and eighteen.
2. Mr. Coffee Premium Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
This machine is for the person who wants a good espresso but doesn't want to have to work with the machine much, if at all. It's similar to the automatic coffee machine that you have at home except it makes espressos. Similar to the Breville, the nineteen hundred Amazon customers who have reviewed it have given it a 4.1-star rating.
The reviewer named the Rancher's Wife has a great review on there that is definitely worth reading over as she goes in depth on how to work the machine.
3. Capresso EC Pro Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
Consider me superficial but the look of this is not as beautiful as the Breville. I do like that it has the ability to produce two shots at one time and there was a reviewer on Amazon that talked about the wand being comparable to the machine she worked with during her time as a barista. She used it daily and was still happy with it a year later.
In addition, there was another reviewer who was able to make latte art and that means that they are able to get a consistent enough shot to be able to create the art.
4. DeLonghi Compact Automatic Cappuccino, Latte, and Espresso Machine
This machine I would compare to the Breville because they both have a wand, a nice design, and a grinder built-in. However, the reviewers of this product gave it 3.5 stars and it costs the most on the list thus far. DeLonghi is well known in the espresso world as they have commercial machines as well.
Another neat feature of this machine that I do like is the fact that you can use tap water because it already has a water filtration system in it. My school started a coffee shop a few months ago and one of the first things I purchased was a water filtration system. I think good quality water and milk is equally as important as the coffee beans. Everything must be good quality in order to get good quality espresso drinks!
5. Nespresso Expert Espresso Machine
This one is for the person who likes the capsules and using their cellphones to do everything (by the way- that is totally okay in my opinion). This espresso machine is beautifully designed and is ready to be used at the touch of a button- be that on your phone or on the machine.
Simply put the pod in the night before and set your settings to wake up to the smell of coffee brewed at your choice of temperatures. Very efficient for those that are busy.
6. Kitchen Aid Pro Line Espresso Maker
This beauty makes you feel like you're working in a fifties diner style coffee shop. I really like the look of it and you can change out the colors to red, a light pink, and many other colors. Kitchen Aid is known for quality in the kitchen and it sounds like they came through again with this one, after working out the kinks in their first two versions of their espresso machine.
It also has two broilers- one for the espresso machine and one for the milk frother- though one Amazon reviewer noted that the milk frother took some getting used to. The benefit of having a double broiler is that you can pour a shot of espresso while whipping up your milk so that way neither of them get cold and alter the state of the espresso.
Definitely one for the person who wants control over the different functions of the machine. Don't forget though that you will have to purchase a grinder as well.
7. De'Longhi 15″ Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
Coming in as the cheapest espresso machine on this list, I might be sold to purchase this one instead. One of the reviewers on Amazon made latte art using this machine and stated that he is not a barista. I'm very impressed!
This machine takes ground coffee and coffee pods as well as adding a frother. In addition, it is the newest product in their line.
Despite the fact that a professional grinder would be needed, between the two you are looking at less than three hundred dollars. Not bad!
8. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine
According to Latte Art Guide, this espresso machine has a cult-like following. This surprised me a bit because only three hundred people have done a review on them via Amazon.
I will say, though, that the long lasting theory they gave is completely accurate. Several amazon reviewers noted that they had one for over ten years. If you take that and divide it by the price, you're looing at only sixty-eight dollars per year. Heck, that's two months worth of coffee trips for me. I'm not joking.
Though it looks tiny, you have the double broiler option here that brings us some great espresso and beautiful latte art.
9. Gourmia One Touch Automatic Espresso Machine
This machine is fully automatic and has a fairly high rating. One of the reviewers gave it a five star because it works with nespresso pods but you can add as much milk as you want, while with traditional nespresso machines the milk is added in for you.
I, personally, would not pick this machine simply because other than the amount of milk you have no customization of your espresso.
10. Saeco Intelia Deluxe
This machine was highly recommended by almost all of the customers over at Amazon. One of the reviewers noted that this is their fourth one in thirty years and that out of the four, three are still going strong (he gave them away when he decided to upgrade).
His only complaint with the product was the fact that it is a single broiler, though he notes that the switch over time does not take long. Another thing to think about is keeping a cup under the machine so that when it cleans it doesn't overfill the reservoir on the bottom, spilling over to your table or counter area.
Sadly, there were no pictures which are by far my favorite thing to look at when looking at the reviews.
Great Espresso Machine Options Over $1000
11. La Pavoni 16 Cup Professional Espresso Machine
You ever hear the word ‘you get what you pay for'? Well, it sounds like that is the case with this machine. There were several Amazon reviews that said they had owned their La Pavoni for thirty years plus. One reviewer even noted that he has fixed the machine himself, which means it produces a nice espresso and is easy enough to fix yourself once you understand how to do it!
I think it is neat that the amount of pressure is determined by how far down you pull the lever. The same person that fixes their own machine knows exactly how much they need to pull it to get what they like- not a true espresso by most people's standards but one that is a bit oilier. Plus the brass on the machine means it heats up very quickly. Really neat stuff and a very nice looking machine!
12. Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine
The Breville Oracle Touch is another machine that can be as automatic or manual as you want. The milk frother can do the work for you or you can help it. You can work to get it exactly how you want it and then pre-set it and let it go.
Some of the best ways to find out if these are the machines for you is not just to try it out for yourself but to listen to what others are saying. One of the reviewers note that his wife loves it because she can touch a button and have an espresso while he likes it because he can still customize it if he wants to.
Another one notes that she has had several machines, the barsita express lasted several years and she was looking forward to upgrading to this machine for both her and her co-workers.
Being as this is a newer machine to the line up I don't know how long it will last but it looks as though it is a winner already.
13. LaPavoni Commercial Espresso Machine
This machine is called the “Ferrari of Espresso machines” and for good reason. If you are considering opening a small coffee shop or adding an espresso machine to a current restaurant, this would be a good one to start with.
The machine also has brass in it in order to heat up quickly and efficiently. There are four programmable options and a hydrolic radiator system.
What does this add up to? It adds up to a machine that lasts a long time and will give you consistent quality time after time.
If you are an espresso drinker, having a quality machine brought into your home is a good thing to do because it saves you the time of driving to a coffee shop and the expense of buying a five dollar espresso drink. I hope that reading over the different options has helped you decide which machine will best work for you.