The 8 Best Espresso Machines of 2022

We love the Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine for its even extraction, precision grinding, and useful accessories.

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Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
Courtesy of Amazon

CYBER WEEK DEAL: Our pick for Best Value, the De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine, is marked down at Amazon.

Making a decent cup of coffee is a rudimentary culinary skill, but the same can't be said for espresso. Unless you've worked as a barista, most people need a little practice with espresso machines, and that's OK. Once you get the hang of them, you'll feel like a pro and likely save a lot of time and money making your own specialty coffee at home.

There are many different espresso machines to choose from, including models that require pods and machines with all the bells and whistles, from frothers to grinders. To help you find the right espresso machine for your needs, we consulted with Mark Patterson, the President and Founder of the sustainable and direct trade Civilized Coffee brand in addition to our extensive research. He had some surprising input, such as that more expensive machines might not always be the better choice. Keep reading to learn about the best espresso machines, including our winner: the Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machines
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma.

Pros: It has an integrated precision conical burr grinder, frother, tamper, and more to help you create a customized espresso beverage.

Cons: It's not self-explanatory, so you must read the instructions.

The Breville Barista Express is our top choice for an espresso machine because it offers automatic and manual operation and features customizable settings. It has an integrated frother, grinder, and tamper and comes with a stainless steel milk frothing jug and filter baskets, so it'll just be a matter of learning how to perfect your skills.

Patterson notes that barista-quality beverages begin with well-made espresso, telling us that what matters most is learning to perfect the espresso shot(s) first. He says, "once you have learned to consistently "pull" the perfect shot, then you can create great coffee shop drinks," and a machine like this Breville one has all the fine-tuning needed to get you there.

The machine's grinder is a conical burr with integrated precision. That means that the built-in grinder produces the right amount of fresh grounds of your desired consistency for each shot of espresso. In addition to letting you choose your own grind setting, this machine alters its water pressure as you use it, which results in evenly extracted espresso that tastes smooth and balanced. Plus, the grinder can hold up to half a pound of espresso at a time.

Price at time of publish: $747

  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches
  • Wattage: 1600 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: 67 ounces
  • Frother: Yes

Best Value: De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machines
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Target and Best Buy.

Pros: It's compact, easy to use, and provides optimal pressure for one or two shots.

Cons: You have to manually shut off the machine so the espresso shot doesn't overflow.

If you're looking for a budget option that gets the job done right, the De'Longhi Manual Espresso Machine is the one for you. It costs a little over $100, yet it has a built-in frother, filters for single and double shots, and a tamper. All you need to get is a grinder (unless you plan on buying your beans pre-grounded) and a frothing pitcher to use with the wand.

If you're worried about the low cost, know that even professionals think inexpensive machines are good options. "Do not automatically think the more expensive, the better," Patterson says. This machine allows you to make any drink that expensive models do and is likely easier to get the hang of. The only tricky part is that when you're making an espresso shot, you need to manually shut off the machine, or else it will keep running.

Price at time of publish: $103

  • Dimensions: 8.07 x 13.5 x 11.22 inches
  • Wattage: 1100 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: 33.8 ounces
  • Frother: Yes

Best Single-Serve: Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machines
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This fuss-free machine operates with just a press of a button and looks sleek on countertops.

Cons: It requires specific pods and doesn't have a frother.

Nespresso is basically the Keurig of espresso machines, producing delicious drinks by simply inserting a pod and pressing a button. It takes all the guesswork out of brewing your own espresso and is consistently the same quality every time.

To use the Nespresso, fill the 40-ounce capacity water tank. Then, it takes just 15 seconds to heat up and either extracts a single or double espresso shot, depending on what capsule you choose. Plus, you can use this machine to make regular coffee with Nespresso's coffee pods. It detects the capsule and knows exactly how long to run and how much pressure to use to nail the perfect espresso shot or cup of coffee. Unlike a regular coffee maker, even a full-size cup will come out with crema on top, which lends an elegant, smooth, and tasty addition to a standard cup of coffee.

A batch of Nespresso Vertuo pods is included with your purchase, so you can learn which Nespresso capsules you prefer and how you like to drink them. This machine can fit just about anywhere, including at an office cubicle desk, making it accessible in both cost and size for nearly anyone.

Price at time of publish: $159

  • Dimensions: 5.59 x 16.88 x 12.79 inches
  • Wattage: 1350 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: 40 ounces
  • Frother: No

Related: The Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers, According to Our Tests

Best Professional: Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machines
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Pros: This top-of-the-line model has a touchscreen where you can select the drink you want to make.

Cons: It's pricier than most models.

If you're wanting all the bells and whistles, look no further than the Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine. It features a touchscreen that offers automatic milk texturing and customizable settings so you can craft lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites, and more just the way you like. There's no heat-up time, so your drink will be ready in a flash, and it has a conical burr grinder and bean hopper inside, like our best overall pick from Breville.

When you select the exact beverage you want from the touchscreen menu, the machine grinds the precise amount of espresso you need. The touchscreen even has tutorials that walk you through every step and provide images for visual learners. Side-by-side portafilters can brew two shots simultaneously, and the milk frother customizes the texture of the milk for the drink you've selected. That means the days of scalding and burning milk as you attempt to froth it perfectly won't ever be part of your learning curve for making espresso drinks.

This machine is more expensive than our favorite Breville model because it does a lot of the work for you. That's perfect for anyone who wants coffee shop drinks at home without having to invest many hours in the trial and error of learning a new skill.

Price at time of publish: $1,100

  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 12 x 16 inches
  • Wattage: 1680 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: 68 ounces
  • Frother: Yes

Best with Grinder: Calphalon Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machines
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot.

Pros: This machine has 30 adjustable grind settings and a 95-ounce water reservoir.

Cons: The placement of the steaming wand can make it difficult to froth milk.

This Calphalon espresso machine offers a great variety of features, including its conical burr mill grinder that has 30 different grind settings. That means you'll be able to customize your brew to precisely the best setting for the beans you're using. A machine with a grinder included is Patterson's preference. "I highly recommend whole beans versus ground — coffee quality & flavor decline quickly once ground," he says, and he clarifies that not just any grinder will do. "You need a grinder that can grind finely enough for espresso," he tells us, which is just what the grinder on the Calphalon machine was designed for.

You can pull espresso manually or choose the single- or double-shot option. We appreciate the PID temperature control that works to ensure even heating throughout the process, which will result in a balanced shot. A cup warming tray is an unusual feature and is a game changer for anyone who hates how quickly their drink cools down.

Price at time of publish: $630

  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 13.6 x 16 inches
  • Wattage: 1450 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: 94.7 ounces
  • Frother: Yes

Best with Automatic Frother: Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

Best Espresso Machines
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: It has an easy-to-use touchscreen, an automatic frother, and an adjustable cup tray.

Cons: The milk tank can be tricky to clean.

This automatic machine has a digital interface that lets you choose the drink you want to brew but includes many more standard espresso features compared to a Nespresso, such as the usage of freshly ground coffee rather than pods.

You can select whether you want it to brew a single- or a double-shot, and then choose the quantity of frothed milk to go with it. It can automatically froth any type of milk, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer non-dairy milk, as you won't have to worry about scorching them.

This machine has the unique feature of a removable milk reservoir, enabling you to fill it up once and then store the extra in the fridge until you want your next espresso beverage. It also features a 19-bar pump to ensure even heating throughout the extraction process. We like that it's less complicated than some models because you learn to make your own espresso, but then it does the frothing for you.

Price at time of publish: $300

  • Dimensions: 13 x 10.6 x 14.3 inches
  • Wattage: 1250 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: Not listed
  • Frother: Yes

Related: The Best Coffee Mugs Our Editors Love

Best Stovetop: Moka Express Iconic Stovetop Espresso Maker

Best Espresso Machines
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table.

Pros: It's portable, simple to use, and easy to clean.

Cons: It requires a lot of grounds, which can add up quickly.

Stovetop espresso makers haven't changed much since they were invented in the 1930s, and that's likely because there's no reason to change something that works so well. The Moka Express stovetop maker is a tried-and-true stovetop option for many people because it's incredibly simple to use and produces outstanding results. Plus, it's the only espresso maker you can pack in your luggage and not give a second thought to, as there are no parts to plug in, and it's very compact.

What we appreciate the most about the Moka is that it feels customizable even though it's so straightforward. The more you use it, the more you can gauge how high to turn the burner and when to turn it off. And unless you do something really egregious, like walk away and leave it brewing for 10 minutes, you'll create a lovely batch of espresso. There's also a stainless steel version, in case you don't want an aluminum one.

Price at time of publish: $40

  • Dimensions: 5.51 x 3.94 x 6.69 inches
  • Wattage: N/A
  • Water Tank Capacity: N/A
  • Frother: No

Best Combo: De'Longhi All-in-One Combination Coffee Maker and Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machines
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Crate & Barrel and Best Buy.

Pros: This machine can simultaneously brew espresso and coffee, which is great for coffee-drinking families.

Cons: The instructions can be difficult to understand.

You'll never have to choose between coffee and espresso again thanks to this De'Longhi combo machine. It brews a full 10-cup pot of coffee just as easily as it crafts the perfect cappuccino, and it can do both at once. The coffee pot has a digital timer, so you can set it up ahead of time to wake up to a fresh pot.

With a digital touchscreen and a portafilter that can accommodate pods and freshly ground beans, this machine offers a great variety of features. It includes standard coffee maker features, like a carafe that stays warm, and less common espresso machine features, such as the cappuccino setting for foam, yielding a denser result than many can achieve when frothing milk themselves. The steamer wand has settings for various types of frothed milk, so you can quickly make a latte or flat white. In addition to choosing your milk frothing setting, you can decide between bold or mild espresso for the right amount of flavor you prefer. It takes up scarcely more space than a coffee pot but with numerous additional functions.

Price at time of publish: $290

  • Dimensions: 11.02 x 14.52 x 12.79 inches
  • Wattage: 1500 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: 47 ounces
  • Frother: Yes

Our Favorite

The Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine is our overall top pick because it offers even extraction, precision grinding, and comes with a variety of accessories. If you're looking to brew espresso drinks as close as possible to those made in a coffee shop, mastering this machine will serve you well.

Factors to Consider

Size

Espresso machines range in size from highly portable single-serve options to large machines that take up much of your counter. The right size for you is the one that works in your home without infringing on your other kitchen needs. Patterson tells us to "take your kitchen counter space into consideration — how much room do you have or do you have a cabinet big enough to store it?" If you're looking at a large model but don't have the counter space, consider placing it in a cabinet instead.

Ease of Use

These machines vary greatly in terms of how much skill and time are required to use them. If you want to have an authentic coffee shop experience, plan on buying a machine that takes more time to learn, as those will be closer to the ones found in professional coffee shops. And if you want to focus on ease of use instead, go for a machine that requires just the push of a button to pull consistently decent espresso shots.

Extra Features

From customizable foam to one-touch brewing, espresso machines offer a wide variety of features. Focus on the ones you know you will use rather than just those that sound cool to have. That way, you'll be able to make the drinks you otherwise enjoy out in the world. Also, note that many extra features aren't necessarily "authentic" in coffee culture, but if they make your drink more enjoyable, that shouldn't matter.

Cost

Espresso machines usually cost anywhere between $100 and $1,500. Choose a price point that feels comfortable for you, and then focus on the features you can get for that price. You may need to choose between extras, so focus on what's most important to you when you get a coffee drink at a shop.

Pro Panel Q+A

How do you use an espresso machine?

For regular espresso machines that aren't fully automatic like a Nespresso, you first turn on the machine to heat the water. Next, grind and measure your beans and place them in the portafilter. Clean any excess grinds from the portafilter, and use a tamper to press down straight on the grounds. Lastly, place the portafilter into the machine to pull your shot, which should take about 20 to 30 seconds to reach two ounces of espresso.

How do you clean an espresso machine?

You'll want to take apart all the removable parts from the machine. Rinse the portafilter and basket with hot water and pat dry, and use a nylon brush to scrub any buildup on the group gasket. Then, wipe everything else down with a damp cloth.

What coffee beans do you use for an espresso machine?

Any beans can be used, but some are better than others. "Traditionally throughout Italy (the home of Espresso), Robusta has been the bean of choice," Patterson says. "They are typically lower quality, but they produce the better crema. In the US, Arabica beans are commonly used to create great Espresso and are my go-to." He stresses the importance of using beans that have been freshly roasted, as that will heavily impact the flavor.

Our Expertise

Contributor Ariane Resnick, a special diet chef, certified nutritionist, and bestselling author, loves espresso drinks. Accordingly, she adores modern machines that do the tricky work for you and especially enjoys automatic frothers that can create a dense cappuccino foam. For this article, she used her research and expertise as well as consulted with Mark Patterson, the President and Founder of Civilized Coffee, to determine the best espresso machines on the market.

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