Guide to buying an Espresso Machines for home without capsules 2022
Thanks to the ingenuity of many great coffee machine manufacturers, you can become your barista and prepare the perfect cup of authentic espresso in your kitchen.
At a glance: Our Top 5 Espresso Machines Picks
- DeLonghi EC Our best choice
- Give 15 bar espresso machines
- Espresso Barista Mr Coffee
- Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machines
- Gaggia Classic Pro
If you often want to test your level of preparation, take a look at our list of the best espresso machines for your kitchen. We are sure you will find one that is right for you, and very soon, you will be making delicious coffee drinks yourself and saving yourself a few (or a few dozen) trips to the local speciality coffee shop.
Our Top Picks: The Best Espresso Machines for Your Kitchen
What is the best affordable semiautomatic coffee maker? Meet the DeLonghi EC155! This espresso machine is not only affordable, but it is also one of the most highly recommended espresso machines for its overall performance.
It features a stainless steel kettle durably wrapped in a sleek design, making it the perfect addition to any kitchen. Thanks to its patented dual-function portafilter, you can prepare coffee capsules and ground coffee.
The machine is also equipped with independent thermostats that allow you to control both the water and steam pressure for a great cup of authentic espresso every time.
Give 15 bar espresso machine.
Like the DeLonghi machine before it, this 15 bar machine from Gevi is quite affordable and is part of a price range that even the budding barista on a budget can handle. The semiautomatic machine is easy to operate, with a clear display and labelled buttons – perfect for a beginner!
Fifteen bars of infusion pressure extracts a beautiful single shot covered in the ever-important layer of cream. Take the Foamer Stick into a stainless steel foamer jug with a coffee machine (sold separately) filled with milk. You can enjoy delicious espresso-based drinks, such as lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos, from the comfort of your own home in no time.
Espresso Barista Mr Coffee
If you are looking for an easy way to make espresso shots, look no further than the Mr Espresso Machine. This machine effectively answers the question, What is the best espresso machine for beginners? It has a one-touch control panel that allows you to easily prepare any beverage you want; It even includes an automatic milk frother to help you create the creamiest cappuccinos and lattes right in your kitchen.
In addition, the drip tray is adjustable for cups and mugs of different sizes, and cleaning is very easy since practically all tanks are easy to remove and clean. If it’s something simple you’re looking for, Café Barista should be on your favourites list.
Calphalon Temp iQ espresso machine
If Calphalon isn’t on your radar yet, let us introduce you to the brand through the Temp iQ espresso machine. The kitchenware and appliance company machine feature a sleek design that fits almost any setting and colour scheme.
It even includes a stainless steel milk carafe, handle, and cleaning plug – everything you need to make espresso shots at home!
The 58-millimetre portafilter is the size of a cafeteria, accommodating more grounds than you might expect, and ensures that near-boiling water is dispersed evenly, ensuring rich and robust flavours. Instead of pressing buttons, use the simple interface on the dial to select steam, hot water, and single or double shots.
The cup warming tray gently prepares espresso cups to receive coffee, and the heating technology of the thermoblock ensures that every drop of the espresso is hot as it flows into the warmed cup.
Gaggia Classic Pro
The Gaggia Classic Pro is a stylish update to the classic machine. The straightforward, easy-to-use interface remains the same, but the improved steam wand lets you produce velvety, frothy milk if you’re willing to practice constantly honing your barista skills.
The espresso shots themselves are as impressive as ever and speak to the original version, which was a favourite with beginning baristas for over a decade. We do not doubt that the professional version will serve the coffee community just as well (and probably better).
Chances are, if you are looking for maximum convenience in the lower price bracket, you are looking for capsule machines. If you have already browsed our website, you will know that we are not the biggest supporters of capsule coffee machines, but we also know that not everyone is as convinced of the subject as we are. That is why we recommend the Nespresso Inissia.
The machine can hold nine to eleven capsules, which are very easy to load and eject (and they are also recyclable). The most prominent feature of the machine is its capsule brewing system, but know that purchasing this machine means you agree only to use Nespresso espresso capsules. This limitation, however, can be a boon for those who crave simplicity.
The machine is energy-efficient, fast, and makes a pretty good cup, but it doesn’t have a steam wand or built-in frother, so if you want to make speciality drinks, you’ll have to invest in a separate milk frother. And know that you’re not mitigating the big kid espresso machines learning curve much by getting started with this machine.
The Breville Bambino Plus
Breville’s Bambino Takes up very little counter space but produces cafeteria-level results. Digital temperature control and pre-infusion process ensure flavours are extracted properly.
The push-button automatic milk steaming wand makes a complicated part of the process super easy. In addition to the ease of use and small size, the 3-second warm-up time is hard to beat.
Breville Barista Express
The Barista Express is another fan favourite of the renowned Breville brand. This mid-range semiautomatic machine is one of our all-time favourite picks.
On the outside, you’ll find the stylish and distinctive stainless steel design of most Breville appliances (though you can also order it in black or red). Inside is a 1600W Thermo coil heating system, a 15 bar pump, and a stainless steel conical grinder.
If we add a good programming capacity to this, we will see that the Barista Express is the perfect combination of ease of use, flexibility and comfort. You will have a good espresso in two to four minutes. What could be better?
Rancilio Silvia espresso machines
With its iron frame and stainless steel sides, this industrial-looking machine from Rancilio seems to be reminiscent of the coffee makers of yesteryear. But at the same time, it adds many modern features, including an ergonomic portafilter handle and a commercial-grade group head for great thermal stability and extraction quality.
And if you’re a coffee pod expert, you can purchase a pre-measured pod kit and pod adapter separately. Overall, the sleek machine and its built-in steam wand are a perfect match for someone willing to make a serious investment to improve their coffee brew.
Breville BES880XL Barista Touch
While some love the practical approach that semiautomatic machines offer, others are not overly enthusiastic about using these espresso machines. So if you have a bigger budget and want to let the machine do all the work, go for the Barista Touch.
The Barista Touch has a built-in strawberry grinder and customizable settings, including an LED touch screen where you can customize your Grind Size.
The coffeemaker offers the ability to brew a coffee with the strength, texture and temperature that you desire. You can save up to eight of your unique combinations of choice, and it comes with five pre-programmed options to get you started.
And what super-automatic machine is complete without a good steam wand? The Barista Touch wand has options to adjust the ideal temperature and texture of the milk to achieve the ideal microfoam that baristas use for latte art.
DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300
Magnifica is the right thing to do with this DeLonghi product offering! This super-automatic machine has coffee bean capacity thanks to an 8.8-ounce coffee bean hopper and a built-in grinder. Use the 180-degree rotating steam wand and patented foaming ability to create rich, creamy bubbles in the milk of your choice.
In terms of programmability, the push-button and rotary control panel is easy to use and includes customizable menu settings. These specifications give you almost as much flexibility as a semiautomatic espresso machines.
Gaggia’s Brera competes in the market with the mid-range models from Breville and DeLonghi. Although it’s not exactly a beginner machine, the learning curve isn’t too terrible. Use the coffee maker a couple of times, and you will have it all figured out.
This super-automatic machine has an LED display and buttons for direct customization, and the ceramic grinder and patented adaptation system work together to give you a great grind. The machine has a Panarello steam wand that is perfect for creating rich, bubbly goodness, but more importantly, it brews a great shot of espresso.
Flair Signature coffee maker
Although semiautomatic and super-automatic machines are perfect for many, some home baristas prefer to use a manual machine if you’re in that field or looking for a way to make cups of espresso while on the go. The 100% human Flair coffee maker might be just what you need.
Each of the Flair manual coffee makers can brew between six and nine bars, and the pressure kit comes equipped with a stainless steel manipulator and a bottomless filter holder. The infusion head is disassembled for easy cleaning: just rinse it with cold water.
Flair Signature Manual Coffee Makers are made from cast aluminium and stainless steel, so you know they’re durable enough to last for years and can withstand being carried around in a suitcase on your travels.
Making the Machine: What Makes a Good Espresso Machines?
First, the construction materials of low-budget coffee makers tend to be less durable. They are usually made with more plastic components than the metallic ones used in higher-end options. This means that the life of your machine will be considerably shorter, as these parts will deteriorate and break more quickly.
Pro Tip: Even if your machine is primarily plastic, make sure it has a stainless steel kettle. These machines will still be affordable, but they will likely last longer and make better espresso.
Because the parts are less durable, a cheap espresso machines typically won’t get as hot or pressure as high as its higher-priced competition. Therefore, the espresso may be weaker and the flavours less defined than you would like. However, the potency should be sufficient for most mixed drinks, even if it is not the best to drink in black.
Bells and whistles
When choosing a machine, look at the tools it is equipped with. Do you have a built-in grinder? And a steam wand?
The rods on lower-end machines tend to be less ergonomic and more breakable. They might not even be included – you’re unlikely to find one with a ton of bells and whistles, which brings us to the next point.
Low-end machines tend to be pretty basic for programmable or adjustable options. You may be able to adjust the cup size or the intensity of the brew, but chances are, there isn’t much more to it than that. Capsule machines, like those from Nespresso or Keurig, also fall into the category of zero to no flexibility, as they seriously limit your options for the type of coffee you use.
While this is likely a relief to an amateur home barista, it can become frustrating as you gain more experience or have a lot of it already.
And don’t forget
- Get the most out of your machine by buying fresh, whole beans and grinding them yourself instead of using pre-ground coffee. This can make the difference between a great cup of espresso and a mediocre one.
- Take the time to read the user manuals, even if the machine seems very simple. They can help you reduce user errors to extend the life of your machine, and improve the quality of your setup.
- Also, don’t rule out a kitchen espresso machines or other alternative brewing methods. They may suit your taste and lifestyle better than a traditional espresso machines.
Care and maintenance of the espresso machines
If you want to continue enjoying perfectly tasting coffee with your new machine, you can’t just speak kindly between brews. You will need to clean it regularly.
The essential oils contained in the coffee beans provide flavour and create the rich, beautiful crema that tops your espresso. But oil residues gradually emulsify, sticking to your machine’s water screen and brass surfaces. Oils also deposit a film on the filter holder and filter basket. Over time, this film will block the filter holes in the basket and leave deposits on the nozzle of the filter holder.
In short, residual oils will end up leaving an unpleasant, rancid taste in your coffee. Keeping the machine well clean will also extend its life.
What coffee beans to use for a perfect espresso?
The first thing to remember is that espresso is not made with a specific variety of coffee beans. That is an urban myth. Espresso can be made with almost any type of coffee bean.
Also, espresso is not a specific type of roast. More misconceptions… You can use beans labelled Espresso Roast to make percolator, French press, and drip coffee too.
The most common types of coffee beans that are used to make espresso are Arabica and Robusta. Of the two, Robusta has a stronger flavour and a higher caffeine content. Arabica is usually more expensive and has a milder and sweeter taste, with hints of fruit and chocolate.
Therefore, the type of coffee beans you use to create your espresso brew is purely a matter of personal taste.
Not all espresso machines are the same.
All espresso machines have similar characteristics, and figuring out which ones are important to you can challenge the home barista. Considering what coffee equipment can cost, you must know what you are buying.
As always, we have your back. In this guide, we have included a review of all the typical features that you will find in a home espresso machine. Check the following before making your choice:
Pump or steam drive
Your first decision is whether to choose steam or pump espresso machine.
Steam engines are usually the most affordable option. However, you may want to know that the first Italian espresso machines were steam, and their coffee was not popular. It was not until espresso made with pump machines that this drink took over the world.
Unfortunately, many modern steam-powered coffee machines still have inconsistent pressing capabilities, leading to poor quality shots.
Pump espresso machines have consistent performance. They are better at maintaining temperature stability, giving you much more control over your preparation.
Take control and shoot.
When buying a home espresso machine, the next thing to consider is the type of coffee extraction function you want your machine to have. Here are a few options:
In semiautomatic coffee machines, the infusion is stopped and started by pulling levers or pressing buttons. This gives you full control over the grind setting, and it’s time to fire.
Semiautomatic machines let you decide on the balance and flavour of your shot, making them a popular choice with dedicated home baristas.
Automatic machines allow you to start the shot, but the machine decides to stop it after a certain period. Sometimes the shot preparation time is adjustable; other times, no. However, you still have control over the grind setting.
Super-automatic machines do it all for you; all you have to do is press a button or two, and they will grind the coffee, steam the milk and prepare the infusion. The only decision you have to make is the type of grain you use.
The pre-brew function lets you introduce a small amount of water into the coffee to start the brewing process, allowing the espresso grounds to degas before applying full pressure. This process provides a more balanced brew and is something we would prioritize.
The cheapest machines have only one temperature gauge. Although a machine like this can produce big shots, a display that tells you how long to shoot and gives you the machine’s internal pressure makes it much easier to produce great coffee.
For a few euros more, we recommend choosing a machine with an electronic display. After all, you never have too much information, right?
Secondary water pipe
Many pump machines have a secondary water outlet called a tea water dispenser. Although this outlet is designed to fill cups of tea, it is also very useful for heating the cup of coffee before preparing an infusion.
A tea water dispenser is a good accessory in a home brewing environment rather than an essential.
Steam wands can be an unmistakable sign when evaluating the quality of an espresso machines. Poor quality steamers tend to have a black plastic end and are marketed as beginner steamers. You want the steamed milk to be smooth, creamy and have the perfect temperature. Cheap sticks make too bubbly and stupidly hot milk – avoid them!
Look for a steam wand that can be manually controlled, contains two to four steam holes, and rotates to provide the best angles for steaming.
A water tank or plumbing
If you have an area on your kitchen counter that allows you to access the pipes, you can choose an espresso machines connected directly to the waterline. With this setup, you never have to worry about your machine running out of water, as the machine draws the water directly from the line.
For those who do not have the convenience of direct access to the waterline, a machine with a water reservoir or tank is your only other option. These machines are usually cheaper and are ultimately more portable espresso machines.
Filter holder size
Speciality coffees served in coffee shops typically use a standard double espresso shot. A standard-size double shot of espresso requires 16-22 grams of coffee beans to produce 30-40 grams of espresso. If you want this for your home brewing experience, you will need to ensure that the espresso machines you choose has a group head (or brew head) large enough to fit portafilters of that capacity.
Note that most low-end machines have much smaller filter holders. Note that a larger portafilter allows you to take larger shots, giving you more caffeine content, more flavour and allowing you to split the shots between two drinks if you like.
The characteristics mentioned above are the main ones to consider when buying a home espresso machines. After all, an espresso machines is a valuable tool, but the quality of the ground beans you use will determine whether or not your final brew tastes great. Always buy fresh, high-quality roasted beans to ensure your new machine delivers the results you are looking for.
Refine by brand
- Mr. Coffee
- La Marzocco
Single or double boiler?
The best espresso is said to be made by forcing 195-degree Fahrenheit water through the fine beans with about 10 bars of pressure.
Single boiler machines use a single boiler to heat both the water for the espresso and the steam wand. Although they require more downtime between the two processes, they are much cheaper than their dual-boiler relatives.
The best brands of espresso machines
If you take a look at the aisles of any cookware store or do a quick Google search, you will find dozens of different brands of espresso machines. The choice is mind-boggling, not to mention confusing.
We have put together a list of some of the most trusted brands for you. These manufacturers have a solid reputation as manufacturers of high-quality, value-for-money cookware, including espresso machines and other coffee-making equipment.
DeLonghi, The El Knight Company, has been around since 1902. This family business manufactures kitchen equipment and small electrical items, including a wide range of high-quality coffee machines.
Nespresso is a well-known manufacturer of espresso machines. Most people have seen your television commercials featuring George Clooney gently brewing the perfect espresso with one of his machines.
Australian-born brand Breville has been around since 1957 when it began its activity as an importer of household appliances. The company supplies all kinds of products, from sandwich makers and grills to espresso machines. If you’re looking for a decent quality, an affordable home coffee maker that’s built to last, Breville is a great choice.
The British company Gaggia specializes in manufacturing high-quality coffee bean machines, mainly for home use. Although you have to pay a hefty sum for one of their coffee makers, the investment pays off with a lifetime of high-quality coffees, time after time.
Rancilio was founded in 1927 in Italy. Since then, they have been making commercial espresso machines, although they also offer a machine aimed at the home barista. Rancilio’s expertise is reflected in its high-end products’ superior design and performance.
No complete guide would be without an FAQ section. Here we answer the questions that every self-respecting home barista needs to know.
What is the best affordable espresso machines?
The DeLonghi EC155 is not only affordable, but it is also one of the most highly recommended espresso machines for its overall performance. Features a sleek stainless steel kettle that makes it durable and stylish in any kitchen
What is the best espresso machines for beginners?
The Espresso Barista from Mr Coffee is an excellent espresso machines for beginners. It has an easy-to-use, one-touch control panel and an automatic frother to help you avoid spoiling your favourite coffee—espresso drinks.
Can you make espresso without a machine?
Don’t worry, financially troubled coffee lover. Yes, you can make espresso without the help of a machine (although a manual espresso machines is quite affordable). All you have to do is get a French press, a Moka pot or an Aeropress and follow the instructions in this article.
Why are espresso machines so expensive?
The simple answer to this question is: You get what you pay for. Decent quality espresso machines and coffee grinders are precision-made, industrial-grade high-tech parts. Espresso machines are designed and built to perform tight tolerance operations, using high-pressure hot water/steam and precision ground coffee beans.
What espresso machine does Starbucks use?
Most Starbucks stores now use the Mastrena High-Performance Espresso Machines, an automatic bean espresso machines. Bean-to-cup machines eliminate the need for a separate coffee grinder, as the process is built into the machine. The Master only grinds enough beans for each cup of coffee, ensuring the beans’ freshness and their flavour are preserved. With this type of machine, you can also enjoy the sound of the grinder in operation, something that is not achieved with machines that use prepackaged and already ground coffee.
What does it mean to tamp an espresso?
Once you have loaded the coffee into the portafilter handle, you will need to tamp it down. Tamping means compacting the coffee beans evenly. Over-squeezing restricts water flow through the grounds, resulting in a bitter-tasting coffee. If not squeezed enough, the water runs through the grounds, and the flavour is lost. Finding the ideal pressure takes practice, but it also depends on personal taste.
What do you think of our list?
We think one of these espresso makers will do the trick if you’re ready to get some more out of the coffee intake that you haven’t experienced before, at least at home.
Why go to a coffee shop whenever you want more than just basic coffee? You can bring the cafeteria to your kitchen with one of these practical machines. If you do, we guarantee that you will never look back.
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