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. While we’ve written about coffee machines, coffee grinders, even gifts for coffee lovers, here, we’ve gone deep on the best espresso machines on Amazon, according to the people. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best espresso machine under $100
“Went out of the country and was staying in a five-star hotel where they had this little miracle machine in the room with some of the coffee capsules. It was so fantastic to be able to make the most incredible, luxurious espresso I’ve ever had in my life (and I’ve had a lot of bad espresso). It takes very little time and is super easy to use. It’s small, sleek, and makes seriously incredibly fantastic espresso and lungo (which is a larger version of espresso). Absolutely recommend if you love coffee and want a special treat at home.”
Best stove-top espresso maker
“Fun little pot that is faster than our drip pot and makes way better coffee. Also better than our last, recently deceased espresso machine! Really. I thought this would be a temporary fix, but this should last forever! I bought a new gasket after maybe two months and they are cheap. Ours is the three-cup, which really makes one small mug in American-speak. Takes five minutes start to finish on our gas stove-top. Use espresso beans and grind at home for best results.”
Best compact espresso machine
“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.”
Best professional-grade espresso machine
“This is simply an amazing machine. I have had NO trouble with it whatsoever. The quality of the espresso is better than what I get out of the coffee shops, using their beans. It took me a long time to tune in the perfect cup of espresso/latte/cappuccino, and there are variables, but I love this machine. I have poured over 2,500 shots through it. Not a single problem with the machine. Many mistakes by the operator, but I will take my espresso out of this machine before any store bought cup-o-Joe.”
Best espresso machine with integrated grinder
“I LOVE my Breville. I am a career barista. I have had this machine for almost a year now and waited to write a review until now so I wasn’t blinded by the initial excitement of purchasing a home espresso machine. I love to buy more expensive coffee from third-wave roasters, and this machine is so easy to dial in, I come away with professional shots almost every time. While this may be due to my experience in the shop, I will say that my husband is not a barista and picked up dialing in pretty fast using the Breville guides [that were] included. I’d highly recommend it for baristas on a budget.”
Best super-automatic espresso machine
“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 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.”
Best capsule espresso machine
“I am a coffee snob, and a couple years ago, I bought a Nespresso Aeroccino machine for making froth and a stovetop Moka pot for making espresso; the system has worked fine, but the espresso can take awhile to make and there’s definitely a learning curve to it. [How] does this machine do [in comparison]? Absolutely stellar. Brewing is super quick and the espresso always comes out with a beautiful crema on top.While it’s a good chunk of change, I honestly believe it’s worth it. This is a high-quality machine that will hopefully last a very, very long time. Love love love!”
Best capsule espresso maker with milk frother
“Amazing! Absolutely love this Nespresso coffee machine! It makes single or double shots, and you can froth your milk on the side at the same time. Total time to make your morning cappuccino is about 1 minute. My husband and I are so happy with this purchase. We threw out our Keurig and replaced it with this beauty, and we’re so glad we did!”
“As a former Starbucks Barista and self-diagnosed coffee addict this machine is a dream come true. Unlike other low budge coffee makers – which water down the milk in a poor effort to heat and froth during the steaming process – this machine does a great job both heating and frothing the milk. I definitely wasn’t going to buy one of those $1000+ machines either. This machine is fun, easy to use and intuitive. The lattes and cappuccinos it makes are comparable to Starbucks using any kpod you desire.This was definitely worth the money!!!”
Best capsule latte machine
“This is my fifth Nespresso machine and I am in love with it. Compared to a manual machine very few non-pros have the skill to make a better coffee than this machine. The machine itself is very elegant and the light that illuminates the coffee is quite beautiful. It’s automated, and the digital display prompts you when to move to rinse mode for milk based drinks: just flip a knob to the rinse position. I find the Crema on this model to be superior as well as the froth of the milk. I was so happy with this machine that I immediately ordered a second machine for my office.”
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