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The best espresso machines, cappuccino machines and best coffee machines for the finest espresso, cappuccino or coffee.

espresso makers - cappuccino makers - coffee makers

The best espresso machines for...

... the finest and best tasting espresso coffee!

What is the best espresso machines to buy? Of course this depends on the use of the espresso machine (where), the intensity of use (how often/much) and features you would like on your espresso coffee maker machine. We focus on making espresso coffee at home without losing any quality. Even at home you deserve the best espresso! Therefore you will need a good espresso machine or espresso coffee maker.

Full automatic espresso machines:
A Full automatic espresso machine has a built-in grinder and with one button, the espresso machine make a fine espresso. The full automatic espresso machine grinds the right amount of coffee, and ensures proper water flow at the right pressure and temperature for a perfect espresso. It should do at least! 

With most full automatic espresso machines it also possible to make a cappuccino or coffee latte. Although easy to use, we do not prefer full automatic espresso makers. However, there are certainly good and affordable full automatic espresso machines for a nice espresso or cappuccino. More about full automatic coffee makers

The semi-automatic and manually espresso machine:
A semi-automatic espresso machine has no grinder build in. So you need a separate grinder or use ready made espresso servings. In general the semi-automatic espresso machine will automatically dose the right quantity of water at the right temperature and create the right pressure. We prefer a seperate grinder and/or occasionally use servings of high quality.

Manual operated espresso machines:
With a manual operated espresso machine you will do dosing of coffee and water yourself. With some manual operated espresso makers you are able to adapt pressure and temperature as well.

General principles and differences between espresso machines:

Espresso machine with thermo block or boiler/cylinder?

A boiler heats a greater amount of water. Some espressomachines take the water from the boiler for the coffee, other machines (the better ones) use the boiler to heat the water for the coffee/espresso, called thermocouple. Some espresso machines use a direct (electric) thermo block through which the water will flow on its way to the grounded coffee. If you are a less frequent user an electric thermo block is advised (only used for the coffee!). A water heater/boiler is usually only important when the peak reduction in the espresso water is such that the thermo block could not handle it. For larger quantities a boiler system is advised. If you drink a lot of cappuccino or occasionally need boiling water (for tea!) you will need a two-boiler espresso machine. Contrary to the water of the coffee (that should not come out of the boiler) the steam and or water for tea should come out of the boiler, to guarantee no fleece on the tea.

In any case, choose a heater / thermal block at least stainless steel (stainless steel) and better thermal block with brass and copper pipes by definition! Copper is more noble, oxidizes less, led heat better and creates less calcium deposits. This results in less mantenance and better operation and a better espresso. Don't forget to decalsify periodically. Let it do by professionals.

The barista will use an espresso machine with two boilers and temperature control to create the best espresso.

Espresso machine with steam pipe?

With a steam pipe you can steam the milk for cappuccino or macchiato. Not only for milk but also for other purposes a steampipe is handy. For example to warm up the cups.

Espresso machine with tea water supply?

Would you like your espresso machine also create quickly a cup of tea, then the nozzle (steam pipe) is not enough and you will need a separate water pipe for hot (boiling) water supply directly out of the boiler. Be aware that you will need at least a 2,5 liter boiler to ensure enough hot water.

Espresso machine with memory

An espresso machine with memory makes it a little easier. The machine stops automatically at the preset amount of water (typically 30cc). This can be useful, but after some practice and getting used to, you know exactly what the right amount of water is.

Espresso machine with adjustable temperature?

Although this is more for professionals, we can recommend it. It's called PID controller it can be useful if you can set the temperature. Subject to the coffee used the ideal temperature is somewhere between 91 - 97 degrees celsius. The majority of espresso machines are adjusted around 90 degrees C. We prefer in general around 93-96 degrees. Note that you must avoid burning the coffee, the elements around the coffee can sometimes be warmer, which can cause the temperature gets too high. With a PID controller you get a more consistent espresso quality.

ESE espresso servings or not?

Many espresso machines now offer a connector to work with ESE pods, so you can choose. In general, the construction of a perfect espresso machine also depends on what kind of coffee (ESA or own portions) to use. The difference between a good espresso and a perfect espresso listening quite closely. The best espressomachines have in general an E61 group head not suited for ESE servings. With loose coffee you can experiment, an ESE serving is as it is.
La Piccola is fully dedicated to ESE coffee servings and make a good espresso.
ESE pods are more expensive (at around € 0.25 - € 0.35). Self espresso coffee comes to about € 0.15 per cup, depending on how exclusive your coffee is but that goes for ESE pods also. An ESE pod gives a little less clutter / cleaning.

Speed ​​and preparation time
We do not mean the speed of making an espresso, but the preparation time before you can make an espresso. Big espresso machines with large boilers etc, can quickly make relatively large amount of espressos but it also takes some time before these espresso machines are ready to use. These espresso machines are in general always on / ready. An espresso machine with only 2 thermo blocks is faster to time to come to operation is subject to the preheating of the elements to reach a constant temperature.

espresso machine with pre infusion feature?

With a pre infusion the ground coffee will get a 'few drops of water' before the the water for the espresso will come. With pre infusion you will get a slightly better coffee: it creates uniform extraction of the ground coffee in the portafilter handle, resulting in maximum aroma.

Espresso machine with fixed water-connection?

A fixed water-connection is easier in use. However if the water tank it is big enough using a water tank is no problem for home use.


Especially the bigger espresso machines with 2 big boilers are consuming quiet a lot of electricity for holding the water on temperature, heating the cups and heating the components. Smaller espresso machines with only electric thermo blocks use less electricity.

Choice for an expresso machine

First determine what you need in functionality, how often you make an espresso, and how your coffee maker will use the most. After a first selection you can focus on a smaller range of espresso machines. And yes money certainly plays a role. For far below the € 1,000, - you can't buy a good espresso machine, surely not an automatic one.

We focus more on the 'traditional' machine, we don't like too much plastic or electronics. Espresso machines should contain a lot of metal! 

automatic espresso machines