We get it. You want to learn how to make a great cup of espresso and you’re not sure where to start.
Lucky for you, we’ve gone ahead and done the research so all you have to do is read along!
In this post, we’ll go over 10 of the best espresso machines for beginners who are looking for their first machine that will produce an easy-drinking shot every time.
We’ve also included some helpful tips on grinding coffee beans and steaming milk at home that will help elevate your morning routine from “ehh” to “ahh!”
Let’s jump in!
The best espresso machine for beginners
- Breville Barista Express
- Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
- Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
- De’Longhi EC155 Espresso Maker
- Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker
- Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker
- Nespresso Essenza Mini by Breville
- Mr. Coffee ECM50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker
- Nespresso VertuoPlus by De’Longhi
- De’Longhi EC220CD Espresso Maker
Breville Barista Express is one the most versatile machine on this list. With a few controls and buttons, you can make espresso very easily.
It has a built-in conical burr that you know you can depend on for any grinding needs. With the hands-free operation, you can grind and put it directly to your portafilter for brewing. You also have a digital temperature control (PID) to ensure the ideal temperature is achieved and maintained during the brewing process.
You can adjust the grind setting, select between single and double espresso drinks and so much more. With the built-in steam wand, you can achieve and make micro-foam to give you drinks a great finish.
Also Read: Breville Barista Express Review
- Easy to operate with simple controls
- Reliable pressure gauge
- Need high maintenance
- Not that durable
A commercial espresso machine is very expensive. However, an entry-level semi-automatic Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine tries to be an alternative. With this coffee maker, you have more options to make good espresso.
It comes with 59mm portafilter with a commercial basket that allows you to achieve the right crema for your espresso. You don’t need a real barista for a perfect espresso, you just need this espresso machine. Featuring a dual heating system, your machine is steam-ready in 20 seconds and brew-ready in five minutes.
Since it has a heavy-duty construction, you can use its commercial-grade performance to start up a café. With reliable buttons for steaming, brewing and hot water, surely you don’t need to be a barista to operate this machine. The Pannarello wand solves the problem if you also offer milk-based coffee like latte or macchiato.
Also Read: Gaggia Classic PRO Review
- Easy to change settings and simple to operate
- Sturdy and handles heavy brewing
- Learning and becoming familiar with this device may take time
- Hard to remove the water tank, requires removal of other parts
- Got some issues with the pump and the steam wand
Busy people shouldn’t be allowed to suffer long lines in cafes just to have a cup of their favorite espresso. Breville Bambino Plus makes you a great-tasting espresso in less than a minute. It has the fastest heating system that reaches an ideal water temperature in as fast as 3 seconds.
Like some filter coffee makers, the first step of its brewing process is the low-pressure pre-infusion system. The machine starts at low pressure, then gradually increase the pressure to extract the natural flavor of every coffee bean. You allowed the coffee grounds to bloom and getting consistency in every cup of coffee.
It has an automatic steam wand that makes great micro-foam and amazing latte art. You can adjust the milk temperature and texture, too. You’ll not only get a delicious coffee, but you’ll also enjoy it with great latte art and nice texturing of the milk.
Also Read: Breville Bambino Plus Review
- Fast heating up system in just 3 seconds
- Compact design, very easy to be stored
- Removable drip tray for easy cleaning and disposal of spills and excess liquid
- Smaller removable drip tray
- Might be lacking in some ways
Coffee makers with self-priming function is very efficient, like the De’Longhi EC155 Espresso Maker. With this functionality, brewing will be easy and fast as you don’t wait for the system to warm itself up. You can use either ground coffee or pods using the portafilter.
It utilizes the 15-bar pressure system and the stainless steel boiler to ensure optimal extraction of your coffee. To give you more control over some brewing parameters, this machine comes with two separate thermostats — for water and steam — so you can control them separately.
With the swivel jet frother, you can achieve great finishing touches of your coffee. With the ease of a 35oz removable water tank with light indicator, you can make a large volume of coffee servings.
- Self-priming makes it brew-ready whenever you need it
- Makes delicious espresso and latte
- Can’t accommodate taller cups/mugs
- Has vibrations while brewing
- Smaller tank than other models
Breville Barista Touch makes you a coffee in the simplest and fastest way possible. Just grind, brew and milk. And, this can be done easily because all these processes can be done on the coffee maker itself.
It has the innovative ThermoJet heating system that heats up the machine in as fast as 3 seconds. You can play around with the coffee strength setting, temperature, and milk texture, and check which among the combination gives you utmost satisfaction. For more convenience, you are given the chance to save up to 8 personalized profiles that can be accessed with a single touch.
The automatic milk froth helps you achieve the perfect frothing, foaming, and milk-texturing of your favorite latte.
- Color touch screen display for easier access to settings
- Has 8 customizable profiles you can save
- Automatic steam wand is perfect to add a wisp of milk
- Brewing temperature is slightly lower compared to ideal temp
- Milk froth is inconsistent
Experience an all-in-one coffee maker with Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker. It’s one of the most convenient machines given the fact that you can pull espresso, cappuccino and latte. It has an automatic frother, so you don’t have any problem making a great cup of cappuccino and latte anytime you want it.
Related: Best Combination Coffee Makers
It has a 15-bar pressure system that helps you achieve a rich and tasty espresso. With a single-touch control panel you can easily select single or double shot serving.
You can make coffee in a straightforward manner. To make a single or double shot serving, you need to use its corresponding filter basket. Simply add coffee grounds and refill the milk reservoir. Press a button and start brewing your coffee.
- Hassle-free cleaning with programmable setting
- Easy-refillable milk and water tank
- Surface may be hot when using
- Unreliable milk frother may stop working sometimes
For the smallest and sleekest Nespresso that is perfect for your kitchen, get the Nespresso Essenza Mini Original. From its small chambers, comes the most powerful espresso maker that achieves ideal brewing temperature in 25 seconds. Its modern design makes it a head-turner and a charming add-on to your kitchen.
Related: Best Nespresso Machines for Latte
With its 19-bar pressure system, you can create a barista-style espresso. You can choose to either have espresso or lungo, with its dedicated button. This machine maximizes the use of Nespresso Original coffee capsules with 16 capsules included in the set.
- Slim design, space saver
- Easy and straightforward operation
- Can double as hot water dispenser
- Can only make espresso
- Smaller tank needs constant refilling
- Needs a constant monitor for descaling
Get a bolder cup of coffee with Mr. Coffee ECM50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker. The thermal block heating system gives quick heat up of this machine and maintains the ideal brewing temperature. In addition, it has 15-bar pressure pump, so you’ll get an espresso with thick crema.
On the other hand, if you want a cup of latte, the milk frother can do its magic right away. So, you can have a great and delicious espresso-based beverages. For single and double shot option, use its corresponding portafilter basket.
It has 40oz water tank, which can be removed for easy refill and cleaning. You also have a removable and washable drip tray for spills to be easily disposed of.
- Easy to use machine
- Brews high-quality and delicious coffee drinks
- Drip tray collects excessive liquid for easy disposal
- Coffee gets weaker over time
- Has a steeping learning curve, requires patience
Having the ultimate coffee experience at home without breaking the bank is made possible with Nespresso VertouPlus by De’Longhi. It comes with the best technology to give you a very great single-serve coffee or espresso.
Also Check: Nespresso VertuoPlus Review
A single-touch operation gives you the ease to choose from 5 different brew sizes from espresso (1.35oz) to alto (14oz). The large water reservoir of 60oz allows you to prepare more single-serve coffee without the hassle of refilling often. You can even brew and serve two cups at a time with the touch of a button.
The Centrifusion technology, patented by Nespresso, is the heart of a wonderful and enjoyable cup of coffee. Just insert the coffee capsule and shut the lid. It will spin the capsule for 7,000 rotations per minute. Then, it blends with the hot water to give you a great and delicious cup of coffee.
- Movable water tank easily fits smaller and narrower counters
- Centrifusion technology allows you to get the perfect crema for your coffee
- Quick heat up, only around 20-25 seconds
- Compatible with Nespresso capsules only
- Water tank is made of cheap plastic
- Cup platform can’t accommodate bigger coffee cups
A very affordable and easy to use De’Longhi EC220CD 15-Bar Pump Driven Espresso Maker can deliver a good coffee in seconds. It features self-priming that makes it easy for you to have a cup of coffee whenever you want it.
It has a built-in coffee tamper to ease your tamping problems. It also has a swivel jet frother to make you a good latte, cappuccino or any frothy beverages. Has 35oz removable water tank that is very quick to refill.
- Auto shut-off function is great
- Self-priming keeps the coffee maker ready whenever you need it
- Reliable rotary switch
- Jet frother might not be that effective in getting micro milk foam
- Awkward design, steam wand on the left
What to look for when buying an espresso machine for beginners?
First thing first: what are you going to use the espresso machine for?
If you will be using it frequently at home, then it makes sense to invest in something high-end and expensive.
If, on the contrary, you intend to use it for professional purposes or as a means of making a living, it is better to opt for a mid-price model.
Espresso machines are classified into groups according to the number of capsules that they can accommodate (filter baskets).
Single and dual-boilers machines are best for beginners, hands down!
Single boiler espresso machine: all you need when it comes to home use; these models have a copper boiler with a heat exchanger and a heating element.
As the name suggests, you only need to purchase one single cartridge of Espresso to enjoy a fine cup of espresso at home.
The water is heated by the boiler while the capsule is inserted in the filter basket; therefore, it does not require any extra space on your countertop or table.
Furthermore, there is no need to use the steam wand or the hot water dispenser, making this kind of machine very user-friendly and easy to handle.
Dual boiler espresso machine: a more professional model that requires two capsules (one for brewing and another one for steaming) is considered better than it’s single boiler counterpart.
As opposed to what its name suggests, this kind of machine has a boiler with dual pump to offer you an optimal coffee-making experience.
With this espresso machine at home, you will not only be able to make yourself an excellent cup of coffee, but also prepare cappuccino and latte macchiato!
The steam wand is used for steaming the milk that you can then use to make cappuccino and latte macchiato.
The functionalities of this espresso machine are just the same as those of a single-boiler, but it does offer more professional features that will satisfy even the most demanding coffee lovers!
Capsule machines: for users who want to prepare their espresso with almost no effort, a capsule machine is the best choice.
Even though these models are not as common as they were a couple of years ago due to the fact that single and dual-boiler espresso machines have taken their place, they are still very popular among newbies.
With this model you don’t need to buy any capsules or cartridges; instead, you directly fill the water reservoir with fresh water and choose your favorite flavor.
These models work very well for office or professional uses in that they require very little maintenance and are also space-efficient due to their small size.
As you can see, there are various kinds of espresso machines available on the market today, ranging from high-end professional models to low-cost disposable ones.
The type of machine that you buy is entirely up to your personal taste and needs, but keep in mind that if you intend to use it regularly at home, it will be better for you to purchase a model with more advanced features.
- 10 Best Commercial Espresso Machines
- 10 Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
- 10 Best Super Automatic Espresso Machines
- 10 Best Manual Espresso Machines
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an espresso machine?
An espresso machine utilizes high pressure to push hot water through tightly-packed ground coffee. This sets it apart from a coffee maker, which only uses hot water and gravity.
High-end espresso machines can boil water, grind beans, and froth milk – functions that all great cups of joes need.
How much is a good espresso machine?
If you’re new to the coffee-making game, you can opt to get a $100 espresso machine.
This will get you familiar with the functions and basic principles of the task.
As you get better at making espresso, you can get a more durable espresso machine for around $1000 or more.
What espresso machine should I buy?
The best espresso machine for you is the one that best suits your skill level and willingness to learn, and if fits your needs and budget. For many, that will be a semi automatic machine (also called pump-driven or dual boiler machines).
What makes a good espresso machine?
A good espresso machine should be worth the price. It should be able to make you that great cup of coffee without intimidating you with its bells and whistles.
Espresso machines can look intimidating, so a good one should manage to look and function well for beginners and experts alike.
Should I buy an espresso machine?
An espresso machine is a luxury and a long-term investment. If you have no time to spare in a day to make yourself an espresso, buying a machine may not be the best option.
However, if you love good coffee and have the drive to become a coffee connoisseur of sorts, it’s a worthwhile purchase.
Where are Breville espresso machines made?
Breville espresso machines are manufactured in Sydney, Australia.
Besides espresso machines, they also develop a line of toasters, juicers, blenders, coffee makers, and other kitchen appliances.
Their products are thoughtfully created with innovation in mind, making them popular worldwide.
What does a 15 bar espresso machine mean?
A good espresso is made by applying the right amount of pressure. A way to measure this pressure is through bars – wherein one bar is equivalent to one unit of atmospheric pressure.
A 7 to 15 bar pressure on an espresso machine is typical and results in great-tasting espresso. Meanwhile, high-quality espresso machines can apply 15 bars of pressure – as it gets more out of the coffee.
After in-depth comparison, Breville Barista Express wins as the best espresso machine for beginners. It’s also close match between Breville Bambino Plus, and Gaggia Classic Pro , where the latter is more expensive than the former.
But, as serious coffee addicts like us, we invest more in flexibility, functionality, and performance. And, we believe that the Breville Barista Express is worth it, given our sets of preferences.