Nowadays it is impossible to imagine the kitchen without the espresso machine. You know espresso is good when the crema – the foam on top – is golden and the taste is bitter but not sour and rich but not too sweet.
Espresso is made by “squeezing” a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.
There are three main types: a capsule machine, an espresso machine, or a bean-to-cup machine, although there are also
The first type is the most user-friendly – you poke a pre-packaged capsule into the machine, press the button to pierce it, and prompt to let hot water through to make the espresso.
Pump espresso machines use a thermostatically controlled boiler to heat the water to the optimal temperature for coffee (between 85 ° C and 92 ° C) before passing it through the ground coffee at the correct pressure in the bar.
Then there is the bean-to-cup option, which is usually a fully automatic or semi-automatic pump espresso machine with a built-in grinder. If you choose one of these varieties, make sure you get one with a good grinder – this, as any barista will tell you, is the most important part of the espresso machine.
Consider whether you want a milk frother. Make sure the machine will fit in your kitchen, between all the other appliances – some are much larger than others. Check how often you need to refill the tank. Always pay attention to how easy it is to keep clean, including whether the parts are dishwasher friendly.
Espresso machine on test: the winners
Jura S8 bean-to-cup coffee maker
- 4.3″ large, high-resolution touchscreen color display
- Self-explanatory operation – even via app if desired
- Power 1450 watts
We could impress you with the science of this coffee maker – with its precision grinder and pulse extraction process that produces an intense espresso flavor – but the bottom line is that this Swiss-made machine makes barista coffee with golden crema (as well as 14 other varieties).
It’s easy to use, thanks to the color touchscreen display with graphics and animations. The app lets you program individual preferences for the whole family, order more coffee when stock is low, and work through maintenance programs .
Sage The Barista Touch
- Claro-Swiss water filter for velvety smooth espresso enjoyment
- Intuitive touchscreen: You can easily adjust the coffee strength, milk consistency or temperature to your taste and easily save under your name.
- Stainless steel grinder with sealed 250g bean hopper and integrated cone grinder
- 2L removable water tank with handle
- Milk frothing jug with temperature indicator
Despite the high price, this is not the most expensive coffee maker from Sage. But it is our favorite because it is compact, but makes espresso espresso so rich and tasty that you think you are in Italy.
You can personalize to your heart’s content with power and temperature, and you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to get it going because the heating system means it’s ready in seconds.
Designed to do everything a coffee shop machine would do, it even has an adjustable grinder, and the steam wand is a treat (and cleans itself), while the color touch screen makes it easy and fun to use.
How to choose the best espresso machine
- Very slim design – only 15 cm wide
- Thermoblock heating system: always the perfect temperature
- Fast heating (40 seconds). Removable water tank (1.0L)
- Professional portafilter holder with inserts for 1 or 2 cups, as well as for E.S.E. pads – the sieve is removable for
- Professional milk frothing nozzle for the preparation of creamy milk foam, hot milk or hot water for tea
If you have a small kitchen, but you love traditional coffee, this is a great little machine that makes velvety, smooth espressos (and cappuccinos using the milk frother) go down a treat.
You can use coffee grounds or ESE pods (a coffee version of tea bags), and there’s a quick 30-second heat-up time for those in a hurry.
You can make two cups at a time, and there’s a handy cup warmer. Available in black, silver or red, it looks good but is warned that clean up can be a bit messy.
Smeg ECF01 Coffee Maker
This vintage-looking machine – available in a brand-new color this year – will rank high on any countertop, though be warned that it’s bigger than it looks.
It’s intuitive to use and the espresso, made from pods or ground coffee, is so hard to fault that even the most discerning coffee connoisseur will have to give it a thumbs up.
The milk boiler turns it into a delicious cappuccino in no time. Although the machine gets a little dirty afterwards, the drip tray is easy to empty and the milk frother only needs a quick wipe.
Krups Nespresso Expert
- The networked Nespresso machine.
- 4 types of coffee: ristretto, espresso, lungo, américano; hot water function.
- Setting the temperature for the coffee and hot water: lukewarm, warm, very warm.
- A networked machine offers more functions, such as saving recipes.
- Intelligent and autonomous: After each coffee, the capsule used is automatically ejected.
If you’re looking for a tech-savvy Nespresso capsule machine that’s easy to use and makes rich, thick espresso just the way you like it, look no further.
For a capsule machine, this is on the pricey side (and the milk frother costs extra), but there’s enough play to achieve your perfect cup – including cup size and temperature setting – and you can use the app to brew your coffee whenever you like as well as alerts about when cleaning or descaling is needed.
In addition to espresso, there’s ristretto, lungo, and Americano.
It is, however, quite large.
Price Hit: Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Plus
- Smallest and quietest machine from Lavazza / Compact design (H – W – D: 21 x 12.4 x 33 cm) Weight 2.6 Kg. (Cable length 0.80 m.)
- Including 9’er capsule tasting set (variations from the Lavazza range)
- 10 BAR operating power through the latest thermoblock technology in >35 sec ready for use
- Flow & Stop LED button with automatic capsule ejection and automatic shutdown (9 min.)
- Transparent water tank (0.6L), removable cup storage grid and collection container for up to 6 capsules (ABS plastic)
The espresso produced by this stylish capsule machine with an Italian look will take you straight to coffee heaven – not bad forunder €100..
It’s also quiet, so you won’t have to wake your partner, even if you live in a studio apartment. You can get it right out of the box without having to follow the instructions. Unlike many espresso machines, the individual parts are easy to clean.
It’s small, so it’s another great option for compact kitchens, and although the water tank is also small, it’s a breeze to remove and refill.