If you are looking for an espresso machine for home use, there are numerous options.
The most popular machines for home use are the semi-automatic espresso machines.
These espresso machines take care of the water temperature for both making the espresso and steaming the milk. They also automate the pressure of the water applied to the puck of ground coffee in the portafilter.
But they don’t control the timing. You have to turn a switch or press a button to stop the machine when your espresso is ready.
There are numerous companies that sell this kind of machine, and each model offers a different range of features and options, at different price points.
If you want to see a typical, mid-range semi-automatic espresso machine, check out our video of the Breville Duo-Temp Pro.
If you have more to spend, and more counter space, there are some marvelous espresso machines to choose from.
These are fully automatic, beautifully made and they look great too.
Check out the Saeco 4045 Vienna Plus and the Jura-Capresso Impressa C9.
The beverage created by a true espresso machine is not the same as the brew created by a coffee maker. The water pressure applied when making a true espresso has a unique and quite different effect on the ground coffee.
As a result, whether you are looking for a manual or automatic, if you want to be able to create a shot of espresso, you need to buy a genuine espresso machine.
This means you are not going to buy one of those single-serve coffee makers that come with capsules or discs for making cappuccinos and lattes.
For example, the Tassimo brewers use discs to make regular coffee, cappuccino and latte, along with some other beverages. But these are not espresso machines. They can’t make you a real shot of espresso. And their espresso-based beverages are not the real thing either.
This isn’t to say that a cappuccino made by a Tassimo brewer isn’t any good. It tastes OK. But it really isn’t the same as the real thing.
The closest we have come to finding handmade quality in a single serve espresso machine is with the Nespresso Inissia, which we use a lot.
This is the espresso machine we use at home. It's a semi-automatic machine and suits us perfectly. Watch our video demo here...
More information on espresso and espresso machines.
What is espresso? Find out here...
Making espresso-based drinks like cappuccino, latte etc.
Our video demo of the Breville Duo-Temp Pro.
Our review of the Maestri House milk frother.
Nespresso automatic espresso machines.
The Nespresso Inissia espresso machine.
Nespresso Limited Edition capsules.
Cafe Liegeois Nespresso-compatible capsules.
Rosso Caffe Nespresso-compatible capsules.
Gourmesso Nespresso-compatible capsules.
Making stovetop espresso with a Bialetti.
About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…
Sign up for occasional newsletters about the best coffees and brewing equipment. Plus special updates from the Coffee Detective Coffee Store…