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Best Home Espresso Machines

Best Home Espresso Machines

 

Although great espresso starts with great espresso beans, a good quality, reliable home espresso machine is what truly makes the beans shine, ensuring that every bit of flavour, nuance and aroma gets from your beans to your favourite beverage. The best home espresso machines should not just produce a consistently great shot of espresso - they also need to create perfectly textured foam for milk beverages such as cappuccinos and lattes. 

We’ve put together our top picks for the best home espresso machines available on the market today, all of which are affordable, reliable, and make an excellent espresso! With many coming in at under $1000, these espresso machines will not only jump-start your espresso experience, they’ll save you money - most “pay for themselves” in under one year for the average consumer with the money saved from ordering espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos at cafes and espresso bars!


Best Home Espresso Machines of 2016

Gaggia Brera
Gaggia Classic
Rancilio Silvia M
Saeco GranBaristo Avanti

Runners Up:


Saeco Moltio Focus
Breville Barista Express
Breville Oracle


Best Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1000: Gaggia Brera

 

Designed for the utmost in functionality and convenience in an increasingly fast-paced world, the Gaggia Brera pairs some of the latest in automatic espresso machine technology with a sleek, compact design, bringing quality espresso beverages to even the most space-conscious modern kitchens. With an integrated ceramic burr grinder, the Gaggia Brera automatically grinds your espresso beans as needed - ensuring the utmost in freshness and quality. Gaggia’s Adapting System automatically adjusts grind time based on the bean type used to measure out the perfect dosage per beverage.
 

With a manual panarello-style steam wand, the Gaggia Brera makes cafe-quality foam quickly and easily, while Gaggia’s rapid steam technology ensures a quick transition between brewing and steaming, streamlining the process of multiple beverage making.

While the features available on the Brera are quite standard relative to comparable units, it’s durability and design set it apart. Coming in either a Black or Silver version, the Brera features a stainless steel front panel - a detail that elevates the aesthetic of the entire unit and sets it apart from other machines in its price point. Though it’s compact design means the Brera comes in at noticeably smaller than its competitors, it does do without sacrificing features or usability.  


Technical Specs:


  • Dimensions: 25.4 x 31.5 x 44.5 cm
  • (10 x 12.4 x 17.5 inches)
  • Weight: 8.2 kg (18 lbs)
  • Power Cord: 94 cm (37 inches)
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Wattage: 1400 W
  • Grinder Bean Capacity: 250g
  • Drip Tray Capacity: 828 mL (28 fl. oz.)
  • Used Grounds Capacity: 8 servings
  • Water Tank Capacity: 1.2L (40.3 fl. oz.)
  • Bypass doser for ground coffee
  • Single thermoblock boiler
  • 15 bar pump
  • 1 Year Warranty
 

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Best Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1000 (Runner Up): Saeco Moltio Focus

 

Designed for the ability to perfectly tailor an espresso experience, the Saeco Moltio Focus sets itself apart from other home use automatic espresso machines with it’s unique interchangeable bean-hopper system - a feature not found on any other unit at this price point and currently only available on the Moltio Focus, the OTC (one touch cappuccino) Moltio Carafe, and Saeco’s new cutting edge Granbaristo Avanti.

With the new, patented interchangeable bean hopper system, the Moltio Focus allows you to quickly and easily switch between bean types by completely removing the bean hopper from the machine and exchanging it with the replacement hopper.

Have a wildly different taste in coffee than your partner/ spouse/ family/ housemates? Prefer medium-bodied aromatic beans for your shot of espresso, but rather use rich, intense beans for your cappuccinos and lattes? With the Moltio Focus, changing between the two is as easy as sliding one hopper out and clicking the other gently into place.

Much like the Gaggia Brera that took top honours in our best home use espresso machine under $1000 category above, the Saeco Moltio Focus features a manual stainless steel panarello-style frother, rapid steam technology and an adjustable ceramic burr grinder. While the Moltio Focus’ larger water tank and bean hopper capacity mean that you’ll need to refill the unit less often than you would the Brera, it comes with the tradeoff of not being nearly as compact.

 
Technical Specs:

 

  • Exchangeable Bean Container
  • Grind Clean Function: Cleans out grinder when changing hoppers
  • 5-step adjustable ceramic burr grinder
  • 15 bar water pressure
  • Stainless Steel Panarello milk frother
  • Bean Hopper Capacity: 290 grams
  • Water Tank: 1.9L
  • Power: 1850 W
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Frequency: 50 Hz
  • Weight: 8.5kg
  • Dimensions (lx dx h): 25.6 cm x 470 cm x 350 cm
  • Maximum cup height: 142 mm

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Best Manual Espresso Machine Under $750: Gaggia Classic
 

Its roots tracing back to when Achille Gaggia first filed his patent for a steam-free espresso machine in 1938, the Gaggia Classic manual espresso machine in born from the technological evolution of Italy’s espresso tradition over the last 75 years.

The modern Gaggia Classic was launched in 1991, and after 25 years on the market still remains the best manual espresso machine for home use in its price point. 

 

With a compact design and stainless steel housing, the Classic fits easily into compact kitchens and living spaces and comes with the option of using pressurized filter baskets to guarantee gorgeous crema on every shot of espresso - a feature that’s great for those coffee lovers without barista skills or experience with a manual espresso machine.

 

 

Technical Specs:

  • Dimensions: 23 cm x 38 cm x 34 cm
  • Weight: 8kg (20 lbs)
  • 58 mm portafilter
  • Stainless Steel housing
  • Brass grouphead
     
  • 100 mL (3.5 oz) aluminum boiler
  • Plastic Panarello frothing wand
  • Water tank: 2.1L

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Best Manual Espresso Machine Under $750 (Runner Up): Breville Barista Express

 

Though it might not have the same rich history as the Gaggia Classic, Breville’s Barista Express is a close runner-up for the best manual espresso machine under $750. While the Gaggia Classic boasts features inspired by commercial machines and similar to the more expensive Rancilio Silvia, the Barista Express instead focuses on optimizing convenience and ease of use, allowing users of all skill and experience levels to create truly excellent espresso beverages quickly and easily.

 

 

Featuring an integrated burr grinder, the Barista Express makes it possible to grind your beans directly into the portafilter mere moments before pulling your shot of espresso - minimizing the time between grinding and extracting to ensure the utmost in freshness and flavour.

In addition to the on-board grinder, Breville’s Barista Express is set apart from other units at its price point by its electronic PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) temperature control - a feature that stabilizes and controls brew water at a consistent temperature, typically only found on much, much higher-end models.
 



Technical Specs:
  • Dimensions: 12.5"x16"x13.25" (31cm x 40.6cm x 33.7cm)
  • Integrated burr grinder
  • 1600W integrated stainless steel thermocoil
  • Electronic PID temperature control
  • 54mm portafilter
  • Concealed onboard storage for included accessories
  • Water tank: Removable 67 fl.oz (2L) water tank with replaceable water filter
  • Bean Hopper: Sealed 8oz (250g) bean hopper

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Best Manual Espresso Machine Under $1000: Rancilio Silvia M
 

 
One of the best selling espresso machines on the market today, the Rancilio Silvia has been long-held as the golden standard for home use manual espresso machines - and for good reason! At its core, the Rancilio Silvia takes commercial-caliber features and elements and implements them into a unit sized and designed for home use - bringing professional, cafe quality espresso drinks right into the comfort of your own kitchen. Featuring a strong iron frame and stainless steel housing, the Rancilio Silvia is just as strong and durable as it is stylish and sophisticated.

With the recent release of the new, upgraded Rancilio Silvia M model, Rancilio has improved the Silvia’s 350mL (12 oz.) boiler using a lead-free marine brass. The Silvia M also features a 58mm commercial quality portafilter with a stylishly embossed ergonomic handle, a stainless steel commercial-style steam wand, and straight-forward rocker switch control interface. Though an excellent choice for espresso newcomers and enthusiasts alike, be sure to pair the Rancilio Silvia M with a high-quality grinder to get the most out of its capabilities - we recommend the Rancilio Rocky grinders.
 

Technical Specs:

 

  • 15 bar pump
  • Dimensions: 23 x 34.4 x 27.2 cm
  • Weight: 13.6 kg (30 lbs)
  • Wattage: 993W
  • Voltage: 110V
  • Cup Height: 8.25cm (3.25 inches)
  • Water tank capacity: 2L (74 fluid ounces)
  • Portafilter: 58mm Commercial Style
  • Stainless Steel Housing
  • Lead-free Brass Boiler
  • Stainless Steel Steam Wand
  • 3-way Solenoid Valve

    Made in Italy

 

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Most Innovative Home Espresso Machine: Saeco GranBaristo Avanti

Easily my favourite category on this list, checking out the latest innovations and technological progress for home use espresso makers is a chance to to take a look at some of the coolest and most exciting features available on the market. 

Taking the top spot for best innovation for home use espresso machines is easily Saeco’s GranBaristo Avanti - the first “smart” domestic espresso machine in the North American market.

Using Bluetooth technology, the Saeco GranBaristo Avanti connects directly to smart devices and tablets, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for the unit’s interface and user interactivity. Saeco has launched an app specifically for the Avanti that now allows users to create, customize and save their own user profiles, including favourite beverages and personal preferences.

 

The app offers a list of 18 (yes, eighteen!) different beverage options that the Avanti can prepare at the touch of a button: espresso, cappuccino, cafe creme, espresso macchiato, latte macchiato, coffee, ristretto, americano, cafe au lait, hot water and frothed milk make up some of the fully customizable options.  

Revolutionizing espresso machine interactivity and customization possibilities, the Saeco Avanti app allows users to customize their beverage exactly how they like it using a series of sliding bars for the available options - perfect for entertaining or preparing after-dinner coffee for a group of guests.

 

In this example, above, we can see that the user has saved their customized beverage of choice (espresso macchiato) to their profile using the name “Nick’s Lunch Boost”. The customizable options for the beverage? Temperature (set to “normal”), Strength (set to “regular”), Amount/Volume (set to 35mL) and Milk Volume (set to 70mL). The beauty of having this set is that not only can this beverage can be customized and saved via the app, Nick can access it on his smart device or tablet from the comfort of his desk (or couch, or office, etc.) and select it to brew remotely.

The other great function of the Avanti? The button right next to “Brew” is “Add to Queue” - meaning that a group of people can select and customize their beverages exactly to their liking, then add them to a queue to brew in sequence.

 

Technical Specs: 


  • Bean Container: 270 gr
  • Milk Carafe: 500 mL
  • Waste Container: up to 20 servings
  • Water Tank: 1.7L
  • Cord Length: 0.8m
  • Maximum Cup Height: 16.5 cm

    Made in Italy
  • Pump Pressure: 15 bar
  • Frequency: 50 Hz
  • Power: 1900 W
  • Voltage: 110 V
  • Dimensions (L x D x H): 205mm x 460mm x 360 mm
  • Weight: 13kg

Compatible Android Devices: Tablets with Android 4.4 or higher, recommended minimum screen size is 7"

Compatible Apple Devices: iPad3 and newer/Mini Retina/Air, with iOS 7 or higher and Bluetooth LE version 4.0

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Most Innovative Home Espresso Machine (Runner Up): Breville Oracle

 

A close runner up for the title of Most Innovative Home Espresso Machine is the Oracle by Breville. While it lacks the “smart” Bluetooth technology of the Saeco Avanti, it does boast a ground breaking innovation of its own: the first “automatic” manual espresso machine. A premise that’s initially almost paradoxical, the Breville Oracle automates many of the processes of a manual espresso machine - namely, the grinding, dosing, tamping and milk frothing, the same “finicky” steps that deter many from owning and using a manual machine.
 

While many manual espresso machines (such as the Gaggia Classic and Rancillio above) require the user to have a separate grinder, the Oracle features an onboard integrated grinder, much like their Barista Express. The key difference? While the Barista Express, and manual espresso machines in general, require you go through the process of grinding, dosing and tamping before even thinking about extraction, the Oracle does it automatically for you, taking out the guesswork, practice, and barista-skill know-how required to get a great tasting espresso out of many manual machines on the market.

The Oracle also features an innovative “One Touch” Americano feature - one that is typically only found on higher-end super automatic espresso machines. On the Oracle, you simply select the “Americano” beverage option from the interface, and the unit will brew your espresso followed by dispensing the perfect amount of hot water from a designated hot-water spout located directly behind the portafilter.
 

 

 


Technical Specs:


  • Water Tank: Removable 2.5L water tank (84 oz.) with integrated filter
  • Dual Stainless Steel Boilers
  • Hopper Capacity: 250 gram removable bean hopper
  • Grinder: Integrated stainless steel connical burr grinder
  • Display: 3 backlit LCD displays


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  • Programmable Temperature: Shot temperature programmable between 190 and 205 degrees (F.). Displays in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
  • BPA Free: All parts that come into contact with either water or espresso are BPA free .
  • Voltage: 110-120V
  • Wattage: 1800W
  • Dimensions: 15 x 18 x 16.25"
  • Weight: 35 lbs
     

 

  

 

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