There are hundreds of espresso makers on the market, all offering different features and levels of automation. Whatever your budget or espresso-brewing skill level, there’s an espresso machine out there for you, and we’re here to help you find it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your options, we’ve done the research and testing for you.
To help you find your perfect model, we’ve put together a guide to 2019’s ten best espresso machines. For our in-depth reviews, we compared performance, features, appearance, durability, and warranty across the models. Whether you’re shopping for the perfect home espresso maker or you need one with commercial capacity, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our top 10 best home espresso machines in 2019 and a quick guide to the available features.
- Cuisinart EM-100
While it lacks its own coffee grinder, the $166 Cuisinart EM-100 has plenty going for it. This espresso machine has a compact design but is powerful enough to brew from fine coffee grounds. It also pulled flavorful espresso shots, second only to the Breville Barista Express in terms of quality, taste, and strength. The machine features a long stainless steel frother for steaming milk and a built-in cup warmer too. A solid espresso machine at about a third the price of the Breville.
- Mr. Coffee ECMP50
By far the best inexpensive espresso machine I tried and despite its modest $99 price, the Mr. Coffee ECMP50 surprised me by belting out satisfying espresso shots. They were nice and strong, with good crema and balanced coffee flavor. I still prefer shots brewed by the Breville Barista Express and Cuisinart EM-100, which tasted more intense. Frothing and steaming milk to the proper temperature on this machine was difficult compared to those products due to its short frother arm. Mr. Coffee doesn’t bundle a milk pitcher either, so you’ll have to supply one yourself. That said, if $100 is your price limit, this budget espresso machine should fit the bill.
- Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso-Maker
If you’re a fan of Nespresso, you may be interested in the reasonably priced Nespresso Essenza Mini, which is the result of a collaboration with Breville. This single-serve pod brewer is very easy to use, with a simple two-button interface and a streamlined, glossy black or white body.
This five-pound espresso maker operates using only Nespresso Original pods, which are more expensive but make the machine easy to operate and clean. The package includes a welcome set of capsules, and you can order more for delivery from Nespresso. The company also offers a dedicated recycling program for your used pods. If you want to avoid purchasing single-use pods altogether, try one of these Nespresso-compatible refillable pods.
The Essenza Mini heats up in a speedy 25 seconds and brews either 1.35 or five-ounce cups, though you can reprogram its buttons for different sizes. It has energy-saving features, including an eco mode after three minutes and auto-shutoff after nine minutes. You’ll have to refill the tiny 20-ounce water tank often, though it’s difficult to access in the back of this compact espresso maker. In testing, we found that the small drip tray fills up quickly, and the used capsule holder has to be emptied after five to six capsules.