Is a home espresso machine worth it?
Totally! A home espresso is the best thing you can gift yourself and your loved ones. And mark the bold best in the first line. 🙂
A home espresso makes a great and wise purchase – because it dramatically reduces the cost of your favorite drink and saves you the time and effort from fetching a barista brew every time you crave for one.
You can buy some of the best home espresso machines in less than 500 dollars, in fact in even less than 200 and even 150 dollars. A good machine should serve you half a decade the least if properly maintained!
A study published in coffeebrewster.com claims that an average US coffee drinker consumes 2000 dollars worth of espresso in a year. This is – when he just pitches in for a single cup a day! So according to the stats – even if you buy an espresso machine worth 300 dollars (you will get a wonderful brewer in these many dollars) and spend 300 dollars more on the beans and the milk – you still save much more than a grand.
And this entirely – if the espresso machine lasts just for 12 months!
What is the best espresso maker for home use?
Before buying an espresso maker – you need to look out for some important features and functions.
Evaluate how much time it takes to brew one cup, how many servings you get and importantly its size. Also check how many watts it consumes.
Make sure it fits in – or else you will end up spending more dollars in making space for the machine – than the espresso machine itself.
A compact, easy to set up machine is always a best choice.
Check out for reviews – about its operation consistency and taste. You will also find decibel rating somewhere listed. Do not forget to check the details.
Ideal taste of an espresso – should not be bitter or acidic – and the crema should be smooth and free of air bubbles. If the machine delivers this – then it is the right choice.
The price ranges between a 100 and 1000 dollars. A hundred bucks can get you a decent machine but the parts and the material can be mediocre. A 1000 dollar steel espresso machine should ideally last for a minimum of 7 years.
However go with a semi premium 300 to 400 dollar machine. You get the warranty and a perfect blend of aroma and taste. These semi premium ones are fair enough to challenge the Starbucks Coffee.
So here is a brain teaser. What espresso machine does Starbucks use? We will share this piece of information at the end of the article. Keep Reading.
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What is the best affordable espresso machine?
Below we have reviewed 4 of the best espresso machines available. These are evaluated according to the material, serving size, taste of the coffee and price. We have included one for every budget in the list below.
1 – Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine
Rancilio is a premium North American brand – specializing in espresso makers and coffee machines. Before we review the famous Silvia – we just want you to know – Rancilio costs and do not come cheap.
- Rancilio Silvia is a white beauty. The machine is known to make some of the best espressos with thick crema and equally fantastic Lattes.
- The machine is superbly and compactly built. It measures 11.4 into 13.4 Inches and has a linear built. We believe it to fit most of the IKEA and other readymade furniture.
- Protected by an iron frame and stainless steel side panels – the machine is pretty solid and durable. The group head is also made up of commercial grade steel which enables equal temperatures and enhances the best extraction from the grounds.
- Rancilio machines have their custom designed porta-filter handles which holds the ground beans prior to and during the brewing process.
- Rancilio’s Silvia has a lot of firsts. It comes with a Steam wand which facilitates proper motion of the beans and the water and a steaming knob which controls the pressure – much like the knob in a pressure cooker.
- You can steam your own ground beans and can even use coffee pods and capsules. The espresso maker comes with an adaptor kit wherein the pods and capsules can fit.
For good performance and durability – Silvia (and all the other espresso machines reviewed below) needs regular maintenance. Here are some tips which will come handy –
- Regularly clean or at least rinse the group head,
- De-scale weekly and do a deep de-scaling cycle monthly (especially if you have hard water),
- Back-flush regularly,
- Rinse and deep clean the grinder.
These practices will flush off all the built-up coffee oils and in return you can expect a consistently delicious espresso every time and a long living Silvia.
The machine costs more than 750 dollars. But believe us – every penny is worth – against the aroma, the taste, the consistency and the durability. 5 years is the minimum you can expect this machine to host espressos.
- Ergonomic porta filter handle same as the proven design of Rancilio commercial machines
- Commercial grade group head for superb heat stability and extraction quality
- Articulating steam wand offers complete range of motion and professional steaming knob precisely...
- Classic linear design fits most decors
- Optional pod and capsule adaptor kit available
2 – Brim 19 Bar Espresso Machine
Brim is again a very famous brand – making super luxury espresso machines. Their machines are known for simple operations in comparison to other Italian coffee makers.
- The 19 Bar high pressure Italian pump extracts finest oils from the beans resulting in Fast Heating Cappuccinos, Americanos, Lattes and Espressos.
- There is a 1250 watt thermal coil system to heat the coffee. Generally coffee makers don’t use these heavy watts. The coil gives you a consistently warm coffee all the time.
- Some of the exclusive features include a heated die cast top plate to keep cups warm and a 360 degree swivel action dry steam micro-foam wand for smooth and silky crema.
- The make and the design are perfect. The handle slide’s into the front panel very smoothly, the steamer is just ideal and the milk frother works just like it is suppose to.
The machine makes high quality espresso but it costs more than double in comparison to Breville and the Yabano (check the reviews below). However this one is a branded product – fully made up of stainless steel. In comparison to Silvia this is 4 if the prior one is 5.
- HOME ESPRESSO: Stable high pressure Italian pump with gauge indicator & low pressure pre-infusion...
- MICROFOAM WAND: Featuring a powerful thermal coil system and commercial style 360 degree swivel...
- ACCESSORIES: Includes portafiller holder, 1 and/or 2 cup filters (pressurized & non-pressurized),...
- THE ART OF COFFEE: Grinding to perfection. Measuring with precision. Mastering the brewing process....
- BREW LIKE AN ARTISAN: Inspired by coffee traditions since 1961, Brim's line of coffee & espresso...
3 – Yabano 15Bar High Pressure Espresso Machine
15Bar is not a company or a brand. So then what is 15Bar (or 19 bar in the Brim)? Espresso machines have a pump pressure limit. This is highlighted in Bar numbers which usually fall between 7 to 15 – the highest being the best.
So the one reviewed here is a very high pressure system – at a very modest price. It took us three days to find a perfect high quality low cost espresso to review it for our readers.
This espresso machine makes marvellous espressos consistently. And the best part is the frother. It is Joey Good!
- The machine is very compact, has all removable parts and looks really sleek – which makes it pretty easy to store and clean.
- Meanwhile it can store 37oz of water. It has a huge water tank and can make 2 cups of servings at a time.
- There is a steam wand included in the package. It allows thick and rich foam if you enjoy cappuccinos and lattes.
- Yabano has a built in pressure gauge. They have even put a pressure display clock in the front. Perfect pressure means consistent brew.
- The machine also has a Portafilter! We just can’t get – how can they accommodate all these with such modest pricings.
The coffee brewer espresso maker costs less than 200 dollars. And it brews great barista and wonderful espressos. You can break even in just a month. Rest of the days – all the espresso the machine makes is ROI.
Yabano puts up a great show against the more expensive machines. In less than one third of Silvia – it can be a brewer in any household in US.
However if you are buying this – it is recommended you grind your own beans. The regular ground coffee seems too watery and has no crema either.
- HIGH PRESSURE ESPRESSO MACHINE - Yabano espresso machine with 15 bar pressure, easy to use, you can...
- PRESSURE GAUGES - Built in pressure gauges, you can know the accurate pressure and help you in...
- BUILTED IN STEAM WAND - Espresso maker comes with steam wand, you can enjoy cappuccino and latte...
- LARGE WATER TANK - 37oz large and transparent water tank with detachable design, makes it easy to...
- WHAT YOU GET: Espresso Machine x 1, Portafilter x 1, Stainless Steel Filter x 1, Manual. (Glass cup...
4 – Breville Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine
Breville machines are all awesome. They are compact, stylish and perform very well.
The Nespresso Vertuo model – in red and black seems like one of the Keurig Espresso Makers – only less expensive.
- It measures 5.5 inches and comes with a removable water tank making it more compact. To reduce the carbon print – Breville has made Vertuo Next from 54% recycled materials.
- The most fascinating part is its one touch operation. At a click – the machine does it all. You just have to collect the coffee. The capsule automatically gets ejected and stored back again to be recycled. And the machine by itself will power off.
- This is a capsule based espresso maker. The capsules are wonderful. They keep the grounds fresh and the aroma intact. As the capsules are reusable – a cup of coffee does not cost much.
- The machine brews 6 coffee sizes – 5 oz, 8 oz, 14oz, single and double Espressos and a pour-over style 18 oz caraffe coffee.
- You get the capsules in the starter set. The capsules are bar coded – which automatically signals the machine what size cup it should brew.
Breville ensures some of the best espressos with silky crema on the top of the coffee. However honestly there are some consumers who reported they found foamy bubbles that pop on the top. We believe this can be because of the capsule based coffee grounds.
And if you properly insert the capsules we believe this foamy bubbles problem should go away.
However the machine costs so less that the above problem does not justify to cancel your order. It is the most economic espresso maker in the market – which has a powerful brand backing.
- IMPOSSIBLY GOOD QUALITY: Exclusively compatible with Nespresso Vertuo capsules, featuring over 30...
- A RANGE OF OPTIONS: Vertuo Next makes both coffee and espresso in a variety of sizes: 5, 8, and 18oz...
- SLEEK SUSTAINABLE: Only 5.5 inches wide and made of 54% recycled materials, with energy-saving...
- EXPERTLY BREWED EVERY TIME: Revolutionary one-touch brewing system uses barcode-scanning technology...
- QUALITY ROOTED IN SUSTAINABILITY: Not only does the hermetically sealed aluminum capsule protect the...
What espresso machine does Starbucks use?
We posted this question above in the article and promised to answer you in the end.
So – Mastrena – is the official Espresso Maker for Starbucks. Mastrena Brand Machines are developed by Thermoplan AG a Swiss manufacturer exclusively for Starbucks. You can’t get a Mastrena in the open market.
The espresso makers are super accurate and super fast. This is how Starbucks delivers you the same taste always globally!