The Best Beginner Espresso Machines
Imagine waking up to sunlight streaming in from your window, the sound of birds singing their morning song, the smell of bacon and eggs for breakfast wafting from the kitchen. It’s a perfect morning, and the perfect start to a day, except there’s just one thing missing: Your perfect cup of coffee.
Now, how about this? Instead of having to make the run to the nearest coffee shop for it, you can just simply head to your kitchen because voila! You can make your perfect cup of coffee on your espresso machine! And before you wave off that idea, think of this: It’s super easy to make and will give you that rich-tasting, mouth-watering brew any time you need, just like you’ve always wanted it – you even get to choose your own coffee beans, and with a burr coffee griner you can even grind the beans daily to get the best coffee possible to get your day started.
Before we get started on the best espresso machine for a beginner, let’s take a look at some of the drinks you can make with it:
- Espresso Shot (or Double Shot) – the basic liquid that comes out of your espresso machine. It’s like a darker, stronger version of black coffee.
- Macchiato – This is espresso with some steamed milk on the top and extra foam so the flavor isn’t too strong.
- Cappuccino – This is like macchiato but with more milk, and one of the more popular drinks to make if you have an espresso maker.
- Latte: This is a cappuccino that has a lot more milk but only a thin layer of foam.
- Mocha: This is a cappuccino with chocolate.
You can, of course, always improvise and experiment with different ingredients to make all the beverages you want to your heart’s content. There’s nothing to worry about, as an espresso machine is simple and easy to use. It just starts with that first cup of espresso.
Our Top Picks: The Best Espresso Machines for Beginners
DeLonghi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
- Very easy to use
- Makes great espresso
- Nice and compact design
If this is your first time to try out an espresso machine, no worries! This DeLonghi Espresso Machine has you brewing like a pro with no difficulty at all. It comes with a 15-bar pressure that assures quality results every time you brew. There are also adjustable controls that allow you to make modifications so you can customize according to your taste preferences.
If you like one espresso shot, but someone in your household likes two, that’s no problem either, as the three-in-one holder has a holder for one espresso shot, a holder for two espresso shots, and another holder for an easy-serve espresso pod.
If you need more coffee to get you through the day, or any other larger-sized beverage, that’s no problem either, as the bottom tray of the unit is easy to adjust so you can fit your larger cups. The maximum cup height this DeLonghi Espresso Machine can accommodate is 3.5-5 inches.
There is a water tank that is on the side, making it simple and easy to remove, refill, and reattach. A water level that is easily visible on the outside helps you also determine if you need to refill already.
When you’re making your cup of cappuccino or cup of latte, you can use the manual frother that will mix steam and milk to create the rich, creamy froth just the way you want it.
What We Love: Hosting a coffee session? Got a number of guests staying overnight? No worries! The Rapid Cappuccino System installed in this espresso machine maintains the optimal temperature so you can brew cup after cup with no waiting time in between and no difficulty at all!
It’s got a sleek and compact design, and with its stainless steel material makes for a beautiful kitchen countertop piece without ever taking too much space!
Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand
- Has a steam wand for milk frothing
- Makes one or two shots at a time
- Cup-warming tray on top
The Calphalon Espresso Machine uses precision-heating technology to evenly heat your beverage for a great-tasting espresso! Equipped with thermoblock heating and PID temperature, this espresso machine evenly heats during espresso extraction and combines it with pre-infusion to get the best flavor from the espresso grounds. Even better, it adds this beautiful layer of crema the way coffee shops make it!
There is a dial interface that lets you select steam, hot water, and pre-programmed single and double espresso shots. A 58mm cafe-sized portafilter allows the Calphalon Espresso Machine to hold more coffee grounds and ensures that the water dispensed is even so that the extraction has a robust flavor. A removable 2-liter water reservoir with a hinged lid also makes it easy to fill up.
Its size works perfectly for small spaces and is said to be a great espresso maker for novices to the espresso world.
What We Love: The Calphalon Espresso Machine comes with a cup-warming tray for espresso-ready cups. With its steam wand, it also froths milk for creating cappuccinos, lattes, and other beverages.
When set according to your preferences, the auto-shot control also dispenses the correct amount of water, for either one or two shots of espresso.
Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine
- Built-in coffee grinder
- Premium look and feel
- Semi-automatic functionality
With a tagline that says they are “everything you need for barista quality coffee”, you sure can’t go wrong with the Breville Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine!
The Breville Express Machine creates a rich flavor of coffee using the right dose of 19-22 grams of freshly ground coffee beans. Equipped with a digital temperature control (PID), this espresso machine delivers water at precisely the right temperature, therefore precisely extracting the espresso, so you have your cup of coffee with its incredible aroma and intense flavors. Low-pressure pre-infusion soaks the grinds and allows water to pass evenly through the coffee during the high-pressure extraction process. The result is a rich, sweet, and delicious-tasting cup of coffee whenever you want it.
If you love the silky, velvety taste of micro-foam milk, you’ll love what the Breville Express Machine can do for you. A steam wand allows you to hand-texture and micro-foam milk so that it enhances flavor and enables you to create your own latte art, just like your favorite coffee shop!
What We Love: The Breville Express Machine is semi-automatic, meaning, at some point, you have control over what you want. The grind size dial is there for you to determine what size of grind you want your beans to be, no matter what type of bean you’re grinding. At the same time, it is a hands-free tool, as the innovative grinding cradle will allow you to grind directly into the espresso port filter.
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine
- Nice and compact
- No need to take up space on your kitchen countertop
- Perfect for camping
If you want to have a coffee on the go without always having to stop at a cafe, whether it’s for your daily office routine, or when you’re going hiking, camping, or traveling, you might want to look into a portable Espresso Machine like this one by STARESSO. It’s a great alternative to other travel coffee makers.
It’s compact, lightweight, and portable, and can give you the rich espresso taste with a thick layer of cream, just like the kind you get from a coffee shop. It takes only a little space because it is small and compact. It weighs 0.97 pounds and is up to 8 inches, but it can hold up to 80 ml water and a maximum of 0.53 ounces of coffee.
It’s your perfect companion on-the-go and is compatible with Nespresso pods and ground coffee. You simply have to follow the instructions, poke a few holes at the bottom of the pods, and make your espresso by hand.
The STARESSO Espresso Coffee Maker is easy and straightforward to use. It has a newly patented pumping system that allows you to make manual espresso with little effort and no electricity.
What We Love: Not only is it compact and portable, but it is also very easy to clean. All components are detachable, so all you need to do is take them apart, wash them, and they are all clean once again.
It can be pretty nerve-wracking when you’re trying out or even considering getting an espresso machine for the first time. Just keep in mind that they don’t have to be as complicated as the ones you see in the coffee shops, as there are machines that are much simpler than that and perfect for your use at home. And if there’s a tiny part of you that’s still hesitating, think back on your perfect day that starts with a perfect breakfast. Remember: you sure can’t go wrong when you start a day with a perfect cup of coffee!