Best Espresso Machines


- Great quality espresso, lattes and cappuccinos


- Can be on the pricey side

Full Review

While an industrial quality espresso machine will certainly produce a superior shot, home espresso enthusiasts can get a great espresso maker in the mid-hundreds.

Several consumer review sites are in agreement on a few espresso makers that truly stand out among the rest for quality and affordability.

When seriously considering purchasing an epresso machine, make sure to do your homework and read a lot of reviews.

Here are the top 3 high-quality home espresso machines under a grand:

Gaggia Classic

The Gaggia Classic runs in the $500 range.

It can make espresso both from freshly ground coffee or ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods.

While the machine is considered highly sturdy with its stainless steel casing and 72 ounce water tank, some reviewers found the plastic frother on the older models frustratingly difficult to get clean.

Other complaints included the darkened reservoir, making it difficult to guage water levels and the aluminum boiler which was reported to corrode more easily than the industry standard brass.

These annoyances aside, reviewers unanimously declared that espresso this machine makes a top-notch shot with a spectacular crema.

Rancilio Silvia

The Rancilio Silvia espresso machine has something of a cult following among java lovers.

This espresso makers is renowned for its longevity. Users report owning their machine for 10+ years in many cases.

This speaks to the hardy construction: a stainless steel encasement, brass top and boiler for reduced heat dissipation and a limber frother that moves in several directions. The portafilter is also notoriously comfy.

The Rancilio Silvia is a bit snooty, only accepting freshly ground coffee for its shots. However, many users opt to buy a coffee pod adapter kit out of time considerations.

Reviewers are adamant on the quality of the Rancilio Silvia's espresso shot, some arguing it easily competes with the big boys: industrial and commercial espresso makers.

The Silvia is also considered a fantastic investment on account of the ubiquity of replacement parts and its ability to fetch excellent sale prices.

This is perhaps the most popular machine among home espresso lovers.

Price hovers around the $600 range.

Breville Barista Express

The Breville Barista Express espresso maker is on the fancy side.

It allows users the option of brewing a shot automatically or by hand.

Automatic shots are possible thanks to the built in grinder and coffee bean storage compartment.

Like the other top performers, the Breville Barista Express is house in stainless steel.

A handful of users have reported jamming tendencies but the overall concensus is that it produces a fantastic quality shot both manually and with the press of a button.

Other coffee snoots complain of grind inconsistency due to the built-in grinder but again, the option to grind and tamp your own coffee beans is certainly available.

The price for this espresso maker hovers around the $600 neighborhood.

Of note, Breville makes several other top tier espresso machines, warranting a peek at reviews and features on Amazon or other well-trusted online retailers.

Nespresso CitiZ Automatic Espresso Maker and Milk Frother

This little beauty gets 66 5-star reviews out of a total of 75 on!

The Nespresso espresso maker uses pods only, which to die hard espresso fans might seem like anathema. However, the pods are filled with high-quality ground espresso coffee beans, nothing more.

Reveiwers agree that this machine froths milk as milk was meant to be frothed and delivers quality shots with a crema on par with commercial espresso makers.

At 14 pounds, the Nespresso clocks cappuccinos and shots at 2 minutes or less.

The abundant positive reviews speak for themselves on this machine and, as usual, you get what you pay for.

Expect to spend in the $350 range plus monthly pods.

Users mention that Nespresso's pods ship very quickly.

The Nespresso Citiz is a great bang for the buck for a tasty shot of espresso.

Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine

The Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine is one of the more affordable high-end home espresso makers, clocking in at around $300.

This, of course, is an Italian machine, and many users have stated that the construction is quite solid and on a par with pricier espresso makers.

Shots with great crema come out in less than 30 seconds and the Saeco has a pod adaptor if the user prefers ESE pods.

A few reviewers have found the frothing wand to be on the cumbersome side.

Reviewers also report that this machine is easy to clean and, frother aside, generally hassle-free.

For consistently great espresso without dropping half a G on an espresso maker, the Saeco is the espresso maker of choice for many.

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

The DeLonghi ESAM3300 Espresso Maker is a serious machine. As well it should be for $1000 retail.

Roughly twice the weight (29lbs) of its less frilly cousins, the DeLonghi is nonetheless a quality espresso maker.

The great majority of the reviews on Amazon are 5 star.

A few of the cons users have reported include the fact that you can't automatically set the DeLonghi to brew at a given time, it's loud and the parts are of a mediocre quality.

At the same time, the coffee this bad boy produces garners many a 5-star review: rich crema, great roast, easy to use.

One key feature several reviewers highlighted is the fact that the parts are removable and easy to clean. This, say long-time espresso machine owners, is something other espresso machines frustratingly miss out on.

Grinder is included (it better be for this price!), and the frother is superb.

The DeLonghi is a fantastic super automatic espresso maker in the higher end price range.

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffe300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

DeLongh3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

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