Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. Here, the best espresso machines on Amazon, according to the people (note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity).
Affordable Espresso Machine
4.0 stars, 98 reviews
“We owned a different brand previously, but it was a bit difficult to use. The Hamilton Beach is so much simpler. The instructions are simple and easy to understand. I really like that the water reservoir is removable, and I like how the filter locks into place. It’s easy to tell if you have it in correctly. The machine can be used with espresso grounds or espresso pods. You can also take a dark or bold ground coffee that is finely ground and use that. If you have never used one of these, my best tip is to use a small coffee cup. Once you prefect how you make it, try to always use the same set of cups. It makes it so much easier when it comes to replicating the same cup of espresso.”
4.2 stars, 1,371 reviews
“What I REALLY like about it is that it’s pretty much an all-in-one system without the thousand-dollar-plus all-in-one cost. I push one button and all the magic happens, and it’s quite entertaining to watch the espresso cascade through the milk and create separate layers. I also like that I can take the milk and store it in my fridge. I’ve done some temperature tests, and only noticed a five-degree increase after making a double latte, before I put it back in the fridge. This is nice, as you would think that to be so close to all that heat, it would be a much bigger temperature fluctuation.”
Professional-Grade Espresso Machine
4.6 stars, 104 reviews
“I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this espresso machine. (1) It checks your water hardness during setup — very helpful. (2) The temperature gauge is handy. (3) The portafilter and tamper are virtually the same as the single boiler. (4) I love the water chamber; it’s filled from the front instead of the annoyingly awkward back chamber that you had to remove and then try to carefully reposition with the single boiler. There is a light on the water chamber, which you can see in the front so that you know your water level at a glance. (5) The steamer wand. This is the game changer for me. No more annoying, clanking warm-up sound like the single boiler. Once the entire machine is at 200 degrees, the steamer works automatically, with no build up of pressure needed.”
Capsule Espresso Machine
4.6 stars, 569 reviews
“Have been using this machine about once a day for several months. I find it amazing. Am very happy with the resulting espresso. Usually use Roma or ristretto capsules. Smooth, rich, delicious. Makes great lattes when you use the frother unit (sold separately). It makes afternoons at our house very enjoyable … no need to run out to the nearest coffeehouse when you can do better at home! A great asset for entertaining, especially around Christmas! Bonus: It looks nice and takes up very little counter space!”
Compact Espresso Machine
4.3 stars, 148 reviews
“We really love this machine because we love great coffee, but we don’t make frothy milk drinks. This machine produces very, very good coffee from scratch at the push of a button, automatically grinding the beans pumping through hot water, and dumping out the “puck” of coffee grounds into the internal bin. It’s a nice compact size, and fits easily on a counter under the cabinets.”
Espresso Machine With Integrated Grinder
4.1 stars, 767 reviews
“My absolute love of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 is hard to describe. It has been a faithful, crema-steeped friend and morning ritual for at least eight years, and the current unit I bought as a replacement last week (another ESAM3300) is a testament to why I give this well-built Italian stallion and “super automatic” espresso dream machine a SOLID five-star rating. With very few adjustments and some good Italian or locally roasted whole beans, the Magnifica consistently puts out shot after shot of delicious espresso that will FAR exceed anything you could get at most coffee shops. I always use many of the yummy Lavazza beans, including the Super Crema, Gold Selection, and others that work really well with this machine. The Illy beans are also a nice pairing for this superb machine. The key is, you want nonoily and fairly dry beans (as other reviewers have said here already).”
Customizable-Brew-Strength Espresso Machine
4.1 stars, 203 reviews
“There are fancy features you can use. Coffee potency: This machine permits users to have 7 to 10 grams of coffee grounds by selecting one-two-three coffee beans on the display. There truly is a difference. Coffee potency is also affected by the length of pull — so if you choose 10 grams of coffee grounds combined with a short pull, then the machine will make strong espresso by using the maximum coffee grounds and the minimum amount of water passed through the beans.”
Combination Coffee Maker/Espresso Machine
4.5 stars, 730 reviews
“Firstly, my wife and I are huge coffee lovers. We spend a few hundred a month on Starbucks and Peet’s (sadly). We’ve used Keurigs, the Vue, and other home-pod systems. We were looking for a coffee maker that (1) makes a good espresso or latte, (2) makes good coffee, (3) doesn’t require massive clean up, and (4) doesn’t cost $1200. This one beats all I’ve tried, and meets all the criteria. I’d held off the Nespresso because you have to order the pods, and it didn’t make regular cups of coffee. Both issues solved. Firstly, local boutiques sell the pods, and you can order them through the Nespresso app and Amazon with a two-day delivery. The Vertuoline makes regular coffee. Sweet! The Vertuoline is completely reengineered. It takes a bar-coded pod (which the machine reads) and spins the pod at high speed, while injecting over 19 bars of pressure. The result is a very creamy (crema) coffee or espresso, before you even add creamer or milk. Works exactly as they advertise.”
Ristretto and Latte Machine
4.5 stars, 198 reviews
“I purchased the machine for myself as a birthday present, and I’ve had it for about six weeks. We have a Pavoni espresso machine, which my husband loves for his espressos, but I think it’s a pain for making lattes: grinding the beans, tamping down the pod, “pulling” the lever (which will be really hard if you tamp it too densely), steaming the milk, and then cleaning the steaming wand, not to mention what a pain it is to refill the water chamber (turn off, wait till pressure is gone, then you can refill). Why am I listing all of these steps? Because that’s what you don’t have to worry about with the Lattissima! Here are my steps now: Turn on the machine, get the milk container out of the fridge and plug it into the front, put an espresso capsule in the top, stick a mug under the spout, and push the Latte button. Done. You do need to clean the frother, which is just putting another cup under the spout, turn the milk to “clean” and let it clean, then you can remove the milk container and stick it in the fridge. I clean the milk container once a week, soaking all the pieces in a bowl of hot, soapy water for a few hours.”
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