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The Best Home Espresso Machines

When it comes to making cafe quality espresso drinks at home, what machines are best suited for the job?

Making the best espresso at home

Wondering if you should invest in an espresso machine? What are the differences between a semi-automatic, and super-automatic espresso machine? Can you actually recreate the café experience of your local morning haunt at home? We’re going to give you a brief overview on how the espresso machine works, then help you choose which espresso machine is right for you.

Table of Contents

Espresso machines are objectively expensive, but why?

Espresso machines are no joke. They are complex pieces of machinery that have so many moving parts, attempting to explain all of them in full detail would only highlight the fact that we didn’t go to school for engineering. Here are a few of the reasons why espresso machines are synonymous with a high price tag.

Pressure Systems

To brew espresso, hot water is forced through finely ground coffee at high pressure. In espresso machines, the consistent pressure is generated by a pump or piston system. High-quality pumps and pistons are expensive to manufacture.

Boilers

Espresso machines typically have a boiler or two for heating water to proper temperatures. These boilers need to withstand high temperatures and pressure. They’re made from materials such as stainless steel or copper, which are expensive to manufacture. 

Temperature Control

Brewing espresso requires precise temperature control. High-end machines maintain these temperatures with temperature control systems. These systems require advanced electronics and sensors, which are, you guessed it, expensive to manufacture.

When should I consider investing in an espresso machine?

Do you drink espresso often? Do you enjoy espresso based drinks such as latte’s, flat whites, and cappuccinos? Do you like to experiment with new flavors and recipes? Do you value sustainability, convenience, and control? 

If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, it’s time for you to buy an espresso machine.

Speaking of convenience and control…

There are more types of espresso machines, but for home brewing needs, we’re going to focus on semi-automatic and super-automatic espresso machines. Choosing the right one for you comes down to how much convenience and control you want in your brewing experience. 

Super-Automatic Machines

These espresso machines offer you the most convenience when making your brew. With the push of a button, even a beginner can generate a beautiful cup of espresso. These beasts will do everything for you; they’ll grind your coffee beans, tamp your grounds, maintain your pressure and temperature, and froth your milk. Although these machines err on the side of convenience, you can adjust elements such as grind size, brew time, and dose (volume) to your liking. They even have a programmable feature, which allows you to save your preferences. This is a great option for beginners and people on the go.

Semi-Automatic Machines

These types of espresso makers closely resemble the machines you see at your local coffee shop, making it the closest you can get to a café experience at home. Pushing a button pumps water through your espresso puck; everything else has to be done by hand. You’re in charge of the grind, tamp, dose, and extraction time. This level of control allows you to personalize your espresso experience. Semi-automatic machines are a good choice for those who want to learn more about the art and science of brewing espresso and those who want to experiment with different techniques.

Espresso Machines under $1,000

Breville Barista Express $699.95

Why we like it: It’s the all-in-solution every beginner needs. Built in grinder? Check. Consistent espresso quality? Check.

Rancillio Silva* $865

Why we like it: Simplicity and reliability are two qualities we will never tire of. Dare we call this a classic pick for home baristas who value durability and high quality espresso shots?

*pictured to the left on desktop and below on mobile devices

Espresso Machines between $1,000 and $5,000

Breville Dual Boiler $1599.95

Why we like it: We like to multitask. Praised for its precise temperature control, the dual boiler system allows you to brew your coffee and steam milk at the same time. 

Ascano Duo $1725

Why we like it: Looks aren’t everything…but when you can back it up with PID temperature control and commercial grade components, they kind of are. 

La Marzocco Micra* $3900

Why we like it: This scaled down version of one of our favorite commercial-grade machines made us believe that big things can come in small packages. Its quality build, temperature stability, and steam power make it the perfect choice for home baristas who want a professional-grade machine.

*pictured below on mobile and to the right on desktop

Espresso Machines over $5,000

La Marzocco GS3 $7,500

Why we like it: A luxury experience for the serious espresso enthusiast. The La Marzocco GS3 is a high-end and for professional use, but use-friendly enough for the home barista willing to work for it. 

Slayer Single Group* $11,580

Why we like it: It will not stop until you get enough. This espresso machine will steam and pull shots continuously without any dips in pressure, temperature, and quality. And it’s small enough to fit in your home kitchen.

*pictured on the left on desktop and below on mobile

In conclusion

As per usual, don’t forget to use a proper grinder and fresh, quality coffee beans to make your espresso. Check out Goodboybob’s current selection - there is always an assortment of fun single-origin coffees you can use to take your home espresso game to a whole new level.