KitchenAid Pro-Line Series ($600)
High pressure creates espresso with a perfect caramel crema, and the steam nozzle foams milk in seconds. The machine also heats quickly, so it’s easy to brew multiple cups.
Gaggia Classic ($450)
Although this powerful, industrial-caliber Italian machine delivers perfectly extracted espresso, it takes longer to heat up than others we tested. The compact size doesn’t clutter a countertop (www.williams-sonoma.com).
Starbucks Sirena ($600)
Codesigned with BMW Group, this machine is dummy-proof—you need only press a single button to pull an espresso. The convenient water reservoir has a handle that makes it a cinch to remove and fill (www.starbucksstore.com).
Ascaso Steel UNO Special Edition ($700)
This powerful machine pulls a very extracted shot of espresso with a nice crema, and it's easy to operate. The heavy-duty brass boiler heats up quickly and retains heat well (www.latienda.com).