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The 10 best espresso coffee makers of 2020

The espresso or espresso machine is used to make Italian espresso coffee.

History

The first espresso machine was built and patented by Angelo Moriondo of Turin, Italy, who showed an operating copy at the General Exhibition in Turin in 1884. He obtained the patent number 33/256 dated 16 May 1884 (according to the “Bollettino delle privative industriali del Regno d’Italia”, 2nd edition, volume 15, 1884, pp. 635-655). Moriondo Angelo registered a certificate of industrial designation for a new invention called “New steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous production of coffee drinks, method ‘A. Moriondo’, Plate CXL”.1

In 1901, Luigi Bezzera of Milan patented subsequent improvements to the machine. Bezzera was not an engineer, but a mechanic. The first improvement was registered on 19 December 1901 under the name “Innovations in machinery for preparing and serving coffee immediately” (Patent No. 153/94, 61707, granted on 5 June 1902). In 1905 Desiderio Pavoni acquired the patent and founded the company “La Pavoni” to commercially produce the machine (one a day) in a small workshop in Via Parini in Milan.

There are different types of coffee machines on the market (drip, Italian, espresso and single-dose). The espresso machines are electric and unlike the traditional drip coffee machines or the Italian ones, they pass hot water, regularly at 90° degrees, at 8-10 atmospheres pressure for 20 to 30 seconds through very fine ground coffee, extracting its taste and essence. Thanks to its fast way of processing the drink, a delicious espresso coffee is obtained.

Characteristics of the espresso machine

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The espresso machine was born at the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to the engineer Luigi Bezzera, in Italy, from where it expanded to all of Europe.

When it comes to coffee machines, the issue of branding is far from being a matter of design. Many buyers make their decisions based on the brand of the machine.

Which brand of coffee maker is good? Which brand of espresso machine to buy? Which are the best brands of Italian espresso machines? And which are the brands of the best coffee makers? These and many other questions are just examples of what many buyers consider before deciding where to invest their budget.

In order to know which brand of coffee maker to buy, it is necessary to have a global perspective of the market, and that is very difficult if you only know the ones you see on the shelves of the hypermarket or the ones that appear in the advertisements (marketing is a very expensive weapon that only a few privileged firms can afford to use).

If you need to know which brand of coffee maker is best for your interests, you can always consult this list, get to know each manufacturer a little better, and then decide on the specific model you’re going to take home.

To begin with, here you have direct access to all the best brands of coffee makers we have analysed on our website to date. They are ordered alphabetically, so you can find them quickly.

As you can see, we have everything: from the classic Spanish brands of coffee machines to the most advanced German brands of coffee machines, including old brands of coffee machines and even brands that are almost unknown in our country but that we consider to be worth getting to know.

By clicking on each one of them you will be able to access the complete file of the brand: a brief description of the company, what are the characteristics of its machines, its philosophy, what kind of public they are aimed at, and of course a complete list of all its models with prices and updated offers.

What else do you need?

What Brand Of Coffee Machine Do You Recommend For Each Type Of Coffee?

We know that everyone likes coffee in one way, and that many brands specialize and focus their production on a specific segment of coffee machines. For example, the best brands of drip coffee makers are not necessarily the same as the brands of automatic coffee makers, or the plunger coffee makers.

On the contrary, there are many manufacturers, including some of the major players in the market, who divide their production into several segments and are able to offer warranty coffee machines in many different types. There may be, for example, brands of coffee machines that are good at producing mochas and espresso machines (two types of coffee machine that have nothing to do with each other). Similarly, there are absolutely top brands in some segments, but they go totally unnoticed in others.

For this reason, we cannot be sure which brand of espresso machine is better or whether French brands of coffee machines are more recommendable than American ones, just to mention a few examples. The best brand of coffee machine depends on the specific type of machine you want to buy!

Brands of coffee machines for bars

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Professional coffee maker brands have nothing to do with domestic espresso brands.

In fact, there are very few brands of industrial coffee machines that also sell models for use at home. The reason is very simple: although to the inexperienced user it may seem that they are similar appliances (because they all serve to make coffee), technologically they have few similarities.

The brands of coffee machines for the hotel and catering industry have to worry that their machines will withstand dozens and dozens of services every day, include several groups of coffee, and the pressure pumps they use are different from those used by home coffee machines.

When we start looking for brands of bar coffee machines, the first references we find are usually some of these.

It is also easy to come across mentions of the main Italian industrial coffee brands, which as you can imagine are the most reputable in the sector (but it is not always easy to get them outside the transalpine borders).

This is a website specialized in domestic coffee machines, so we won’t dwell on them too much, but if you are thinking of setting up a business or need a coffee machine for a more specific purpose, then we advise you to start looking at the brands on this list. They are just one example, there are many more. You can also take a look at our guide to semi-professional coffee makers or search for second-hand professional coffee makers.

In any case, if you are looking for a coffee maker for business purposes, you should first contact a coffee maker supplier (there are several in Spain that specialise in the hotel and catering sector) and they will advise you on the brands and models they have in their catalogue, as well as on prices and delivery conditions.

To savor a delicious latte or cappuccino, you can use the vaporizer tube (Cappuccino System) to froth your drink as much as you like.

Want more benefits?

It incorporates an automatic cleaning system, which makes the machine rinse every time it is turned on and off.
In addition, it will warn you when it is necessary to do a manual descaling (the time limit will depend on the use you give to the coffee maker).

Continuing with the cleaning, two important details: the water tank is removable, and so is the drip tray.

1. In short, the DeLonghi Magnifica is on a par with any renowned coffee shop – your friends will want to come to your house for coffee!

Pros
You can adjust the automatic grinder to obtain the desired grind.
The double hopper for grain and grinding (great for decaffeinated products).
Admits cups and glasses of different sizes.
The cost per coffee is much cheaper than for capsules (and of better quality)

Cons
The price. This type of coffee maker is not cheap.
It’s pretty big and you’ll need room to put it in and use it.

2. Krups Roma
An espresso machine to control every last detail.

The Krups Roma EA8108 espresso machine is super automatic, it does absolutely everything: it grinds the coffee just before you need it, prepares the drink, collects the grounds in a tank, cleans it and decalcifies it automatically…
It also allows you to customize the size of your drink (from 20 to 220 ml) or the dose of coffee (from 6 to 9 gr per cup), for a more or less intense result.

It has a removable tank of 1.8 liters. It also has a vaporizer tube, which in addition to foaming milk dispenses hot water for your infusions. Not to mention other interesting features:

The height of the dispenser is adjustable, so you can use any cup you want without any problem.
It has a superior deposit for the coffee beans that avoids you to have to refill in each elaboration; in addition, it is transparent and closed, to maintain the aroma of the beans without losing sight of when it must be replaced.

The grinder has steel wheels and offers 3 levels of grinding (fine, medium or coarse) so you can adjust it to your taste.
When it comes to cleaning, everything is easy: in addition to the automatic cleaning and decalcification system, it comes with a maintenance kit that includes cleaning tablets and a decalcifying sachet.

The Krups Roma EA8108 is a great option to customize your espresso with the minimum effort.

Pros
Smaller than other similar coffee makers.
Allows to customize the drink in intensity, size and thickness of the grinding.
Includes self-cleaning and maintenance kit.

Cons
Only coffee beans are allowed.
The instruction manual is a bit poor.

3. Cecotec Power Espresso
The espresso machine with the most pressure and the best price.

The Cecotec Power Espresso is clearly aimed at the sector of coffee drinkers who are looking for a good espresso machine without making a large investment.

Its best value is a great quality-price ratio (less than 100 ?), and several details that differentiate it from its competitors: a top tray to preheat cups (like those in coffee shops), hot water to make infusions, a steamer tube, a removable tank of 1.5 liters …

Of course, it’s not a small machine – all those extras need a space – but it more than fulfills its mission of achieving a perfect espresso with all the cream that characterizes it.

It’s very easy to use because its control panel has been simplified to the maximum: with three buttons you can control everything, apart from the thread for the steamer tube. It allows you to make two cups of coffee simultaneously.

Another detail: although it is used with ground coffee (it does not include an internal grinder, as you will have deduced from its price), it is also compatible with single doses, which multiplies its functionality.

The Cecotec Power Expresso is a great option to start as a barista without risking your monthly budget.

Pros
Good value for money.
Very easy to use and clean.
You can prepare two cups at once.

Cons
It’s pretty bulky.
No automatic shutdown.

4. Solac CE4480
Simple, functional and efficient: a classic espresso machine.

Solac is a Spanish brand founded in the early 20th century and launched its first domestic coffee maker in 1935, so they know something about it. This Solac CE4480 is made of stainless steel, is resistant and easy to clean.

The removable tank holds 1.2 liters and has a cup warming tray, to warm the container before preparing the coffee. The tray is made of stainless steel, as is the milk frothing tube, which is much more hygienic than other models with a plastic seal.

The filter holder must be filled with ground coffee manually, and allows one or two cups to be made at the same time.

It is very easy to operate by means of three buttons: on/off, coffee extraction and the steamer, which is regulated with a screw, like those in a coffee shop. It turns itself off after a period of inactivity (you can program how much).

The space between the dispenser and the tray is quite wide, allowing the use of larger cups or glasses than a single coffee.

With all these features, the Solac CE4480 is an economical option for a more than acceptable result.

Pros
Good price.
Compact and resistant.
Automatic shutdown after a period of inactivity.
Easy cleaning and maintenance.

Cons
The vaporizer tube is a little stiff.
It could be quieter.

The 3 best Nespresso capsule coffee makers

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1. Krups Nespresso Essenza Mini
A Nespresso capsule coffee maker for small, stylish kitchens.

Despite its small size, this Krups Nespresso Essenza has plenty of features.

It still has the usual Nespresso power and allows you to enjoy an excellent coffee with all its cream. As usual with the brand, you have the option of customizing it to your taste, making it more intense or longer.

From the moment you turn it on, you only have to wait 25 seconds to make the coffee. And the energy saving mode is activated after 3 minutes. And to top it off, it turns itself off after 9 minutes of inactivity. You don’t have to worry about a thing!

If you choose this coffee maker, you can start enjoying it right away, because it comes with a box with several capsules for you to try the different flavours of Nespresso. It also has a voucher of 20 euros for you to buy more capsules, but conditioned to a larger purchase.

It is also not compulsory to use the original Nespresso coffee: there are many white brands that manufacture compatible.

It has a container of used capsules with a capacity of 9 units and a 0.6 litre tank (about five coffees). If you drink your coffee with milk in a large cup, please note that the drip tray is removable but not collapsible. This means that you have to remove it to get the cup in.

This is perhaps the most awkward feature of the Nespresso Krups, which is otherwise an excellent coffee machine for kitchens with limited space.

Pros
Good value for money.
Ultra compact size.
Heats up in only 25 seconds.
Allows you to adjust the intensity and quantity of coffee.

Against
If you use a large cup, the drip tray must be removed.
The water tank can only hold 0.6L (approx. 5 coffees).

2. Nespresso Pixie
A Nespresso of urban design for demanding coffee drinkers.

The Pixie coffee maker is an original Nespresso. Small but powerful, the Pixie has a great design – we expected nothing less from the brand – and excellent functionality.
In addition to the possibility of choosing the intensity of the coffee, the welcome pack of capsules and its very quick heating from the moment you turn it on, it incorporates an automatic shut-off system after 9 minutes of inactivity.

If you run out of water, red lights come on to warn you before the engine suffers. There is no need to take out the tank to fill it, so it is very comfortable. And, in addition:

The tank holds 0.7 litres of water and can store up to 10 used capsules.

The drip tray folds up so you can use higher cups for your milk preparations.
Come on, everything you need to enjoy a delicious espresso without having to worry about small details.

And besides, it’s aesthetically very nice, in any of its colors. Because of its design and its value for money, the Pixie is one of Nesspreso’s most popular models.

Pros
Empty tank indicator light.
Folding tray for using larger cups.
Heats up very quickly and turns itself off after 9 minutes of inactivity.
Modern design.

Cons
It’s a little louder than other Nespresso’s.

3. Wacaco Minipresso NS
A capsule coffee maker to take your coffee anywhere.

Whether you travel a lot or your office doesn’t have a good coffee maker and you miss it, the Wacaco Minipresso NS has come to save you. Now you can take your capsule coffee with you and make it anywhere.

Indeed, this is a coffee maker on the go. Many hotels provide a water heater, but a good coffee addict won’t settle for a soluble one, far from it. So you pour hot water into the tank, press the mechanism several times and your espresso is ready!

Of course, being manual, the pressure isn’t the same as an electric coffee maker, but it’s enough to save the trip, and get a good coffee in places you didn’t think possible.

It weighs 350 grams, so you won’t notice it in your backpack or suitcase and it takes up very little space.

The Wacaco Minipresso includes a cleaning brush and a cup for pouring the coffee. You can also buy separately a larger water tank, some filter baskets to prepare your coffee without capsules and an EVA travel bag.

Pros
You can take her on a trip.
Light and compact.
No need for electricity.

Contras
You need to get some hot water.
The pressure is lower than in a normal Nespresso machine.

The 3 best capsule coffee makers from other brands

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1. Bosch Tassimo Vivy2
A small Tassimo capsule coffee maker that meets great expectations.

This is one of the smallest espresso machines you can find on the market, but its value for money is one of the biggest.

Like all Tassimo, the Bosch Vivy2 allows you to prepare various drinks in addition to coffee, making it ideal for small homes or workplaces, where it will be used by many different people.

Don’t worry, it is impossible to mix the flavors of the different drinks, because it has an automatic cleaning and decalcification system that is activated after each use.

Thanks to the T-Disc capsules with bar code, it is automatic and stops by itself when the coffee (or the chocolate or the tea) is just at the right temperature, quantity and intensity, to make the preparation of your drink easier. However, the mechanism does not respond well to white label capsules: something to be aware of.

It takes very little time to heat up, and you can brew your coffee in seconds, even the first cup of the day. Moreover, its small size does not limit its capacity either, as it has a 0.7 litre water tank.

The container holder of the Bosch Tassimo Vivy2 is height-adjustable, so you can use your favorite cup without having to juggle to prevent your coffee from falling out when you take it out of the base.

Pros
Its small size makes it suitable for almost any space.
It is one of the most economical coffee machines on the market.
It’s automatic, it stops by itself when the coffee is ready.
It allows you to prepare a multitude of drinks, in addition to coffee: chocolate, infusions…

Cons
White label capsules give compatibility problems.
The water tank is too small for offices or workplaces.

2. DeLonghi Dolce Gusto Piccolo
A Dolce Gusto capsule coffee maker with which you can vary your drink.

Dolce Gusto belongs to Nestlé and all their coffee machines work in a similar way, so this De Longhi Piccolo is not out of tune.
The most significant difference between models is that it is manual (you have to stop the machine yourself) or automatic (it stops itself when the coffee is ready). Obviously, the most basic and economical models are limited to the manual option.

The other differences between the coffee machines are, above all, aesthetic. In terms of design, the Dolce Gusto is very very attractive, with smooth, rounded lines and bold colours.

The Piccolo model is one of the simplest and best known of the brand, also one of the most economical. This means, as we have said, that it is one of the manual models and you need to keep an eye on it when you prepare the coffee. It has a 0.6 litre tank.

In addition to black coffee, you can also make it with milk, or chocolate, cold drinks and infusions, so it adapts to the tastes of many users.

In this case, you can find capsules compatible (from private label manufacturers) with this De Longhi Dolce Gusto Piccolo ,a little cheaper than the original ones.

Pros
Reduced size.
Allows to prepare more drinks besides coffee, even cold drinks.
Heats up very quickly from the moment it is switched on.

Cons
It’s manual, you have to be careful to stop it when the coffee is ready.
There is no deposit for the used capsules, you have to remove them manually.

3. Philips Senseo Original XL
A great Senseo capsule machine for eco-conscious coffee makers.

Philips is the manufacturer of Senseo coffee machines, which are used with Marcilla coffee. This tandem gives rise to the fundamental difference of the Senseo machines from other espresso machines, and that is that they do not use disposable capsules.
Instead of using plastic or aluminum, Senseo capsules are actually biodegradable single-dose.

This, in turn, has two positive impacts: one, that less waste is generated per coffee (you don’t have to pick up a plastic or aluminum capsule); and second, the single pods are cheaper than the capsules, so in the long run the coffee is more profitable.

There are already many private label manufacturers offering them, so you have a choice, beyond the original Marcilla ones.

The Philips Senseo Original XL has a 1.2 litre reservoir, larger than usual for espresso machines, so you can make more brews without having to refill. It also allows you to make one or two cups of coffee simultaneously, although if you make two cups remember to include two single servings or you’ll be left with a watery drink.

This model (and its little sister, with a 0.7 litre reservoir) is very popular in Europe. Some users have been using it every day for years, which guarantees its resistance and longevity.

From its durability and cost per coffee, we can conclude that the value for money of the Philips Senseo Original is one of the tightest on the market.

Pros
Single doses are cheap and environmentally friendly.
Big tank.
Allows two coffees to be made at the same time.

Contras
The capsules are not available in all supermarkets.
If you want an intense coffee you must use two single-dose.
Our recommendations
The best espresso machine: De Longhi Magnifica

The Italian manufacturer is using all its experience to develop one of the best pressure coffee machines on the market, the super automatic DeLonghi Magnifica.
A medium-high range coffee machine that includes features that more than justify its price:

The double hopper that allows you to use coffee beans and ground coffee: so you can enjoy all the power of an espresso even if you drink decaffeinated coffee. This option is not available in many coffee machines, and we love it!
The integrated automatic grinder: freshly ground coffee every morning, in the right amount for your cup, where you can adjust the grinding to your taste.
The options for customizing your coffee: in addition to the thickness of the grind, with the 13 programs that the grinder incorporates, you can choose a long, medium or short coffee, a mild or strong aroma, a higher or lower temperature… Because, despite being automatic, it allows you to manually adjust every detail of your drink.
In short, an extraordinary option to get your coffee at home without going crazy with all the options of a manual espresso machine. But prepare your wallet, because if you want functionality, you have to pay for it.

The best cheap espresso machine: Cecotec Power Expresso

The goal is to enjoy a “cafeteria-like” coffee but without leaving your wallet behind, right?
Therefore, the choice of the best cheap espresso machine was very simple: without a doubt, the Cecotec Power Espresso.

And you might ask yourself, why “without a doubt”? Because all it brings, at the price it has, is a great opportunity:

It’s used with ground coffee that has to be manually loaded, which allows you to make a decaffeinated espresso as well, to control the daily dose of caffeine.
You can make a single coffee or two at the same time, if you feel like enjoying it in company.
Thanks to the spray tube, you can prepare infusions or froth milk to enjoy a wonderful cappuccino or latte.
A great choice at the best price to start enjoying your barista experience. But make room for it on your counter, because all these options need a little space.

The best Nespresso capsule coffee maker: Nespresso Pixie

Go ahead and say that we like the Krups coffee maker too, and it’s good value for money.
However, we recommend the Nespresso Pixie for several reasons:

Because the coffee comes out great. If the raw material is of good quality, you’ll get a coffee with cream and an aroma that will put you in a good mood in the morning.
Because you can use large cups. This is perhaps one of the points that we are least convinced of with Krups Essenza, and which the Pixie easily solves. The non-drip base folds over so you can put your coffee mug in, and you don’t have to stain an extra cup.
Because the reservoir is large and comfortable. 0.7 liters that you can fill without having to take the reservoir out to put it under the tap.
Because it’s very nice. The metallic touch, available in various colours, looks great in any kitchen. The Nespresso Pixie has a great and functional design, it doesn’t take up too much space… and if it does, it’s to attract attention in a positive way.
We find it difficult to get any but from this coffee maker, which perfectly fulfils what is expected from a Nespresso machine.

It’s OK that it’s a bit noisy, something you have to take into account especially if you’re one of those who gets up early and wants a coffee when the rest of the house isn’t. However, it’s a common feature of this type of appliance: you won’t find one that is totally silent.

The best non-Nespresso capsule coffee maker: Dolce Gusto Piccolo

Although the king of the market is undoubtedly Nespresso, there are other brands that do their job just as well, and this is the case with De Longhi Dolce Gusto Piccolo.
Because it has a number of characteristics that make it a more than appropriate choice:

An excellent value for money, because without exceeding 100 Euros (not counting the offers you can find) it performs its function with note.
It has a multidrink option, which allows you to prepare other drinks, besides coffee: you can find chocolate capsules, coffee with milk, infusions… So you can use it for the whole family (or everyone in the office). And this includes cold drinks!
It’s compact, much smaller than other models in the same family, but that doesn’t take away from its power. You have practically the same functions as in other Dolce Gusto models, but in less space.
If you have to look for a problem with it, it’s manual; that is to say, it doesn’t stop when you finish making the coffee, but you have to turn it off. This function is available in other high-end Dolce Gusto, but you have to pay for it. You decide if it makes up for it.

Features to consider when choosing your coffee maker

Bars. Are bars important? Yes… and no. The bar is the measure of pressure with which water passes through the coffee. The right pressure for a perfect espresso is 9 bars. This is what you’ll find in most coffee shops, or at least those that get rich, creamy coffee. If so, why are there coffee makers that have up to 20 bars? Because in a home coffee maker there are many “leak points” through which pressure can escape. Professional machines are used in the hotel and catering industry, which maintain pressure regardless of other factors, such as water flow. In a home machine the pump is vibrating, and the flow of water does have an influence: the more flow, the less pressure it is able to send. That’s why many apply a higher pressure, to make sure they get the 9 bars that the perfect coffee needs. That doesn’t mean it’s the only factor you have to look at in a coffee maker, or even the most important one. A 20 bar machine can achieve the same effect as another with much less, if the latter is properly adjusted. Also check the quality of the coffee or water, the thickness of the grinding or the pressing in the filter (if you don’t use capsules). By trial and error you will find the perfect recipe for your taste.

Milk vaporizer. If latte is your thing, you sure love that little foam that’s created at the top of the cup. To get it, you need a vaporizer, because that foam is nothing more than steam bubbles that make the milk “fluffy”. Most traditional espressos have a vaporizer on one side: a tube from which steam comes out – be careful not to burn yourself – that you put into a milk jug. Other espresso machines, such as the Nespresso, include a separate gadget for the same purpose. This is an electric carafe that does not use steam, but heats and whips the milk at the same time, until you get bubbles. The result is practically the same as the traditional steamer.
Grinder. If you use capsules, this section is not very interesting, because you will have to make do with the coffee as it is prepared as standard (unless you prepare your own refillable capsules). Otherwise, there are coffee makers that have a refillable grinder. Ideally, you should be able to regulate the intensity of the grinding. Normally, thinner is better, but personal taste comes into play here. You should try out what works best for you.

Automatic vs. manual coffee maker. As always, convenience comes at a price. If you prepare your coffee manually, controlling every step of the way and watching the intensity and “length” of the coffee, it will come out completely to your liking. However, some people are satisfied with the quality of the standard, preferring to forget about it and hit a simple button. Even so, more and more automatic espresso machines include certain personalisation settings, for example in the amount of water for a long or short coffee, or in the power of the grinder.
Variety of capsules. If you’re into capsule coffee, you basically have two types: Nespresso and all the others. The Nespresso ones focus on coffee, and have a great variety of options in the market, either by the origin of the coffee or by the complete blend, flavoring, etc. If you want a coffee with milk, for example, you should add it after using the coffee maker. If you like other hot drinks, such as coffee with milk, chocolate or infusions, you may have to consider other brands of capsules that offer more preparations in this line.