Our top picks at a glance
- Flair Classic Manual Press Espresso Maker
- ROK EspressoGC
- La Pavoni PA-1200 Coffee Press
- La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola Manual Espresso Machine
- La Pavoni PC-16 Professional Espresso Machine
- European Gift La Pavoni Lever Espresso Machine
- Microcasa a Leva Espresso
- La Pavoni PPG-16 Professional Lever Espresso Machine
- La Pavoni Model PB-16 Manual Espresso Machine
If you’re looking for the best manual espresso machine, you’ve come to the right place.
There are different types of espresso machines in the market. For a busy man, there are automatic espresso machines that make good espresso. But, why is it that some coffee addicts still prefer manual over automatic ones?
This question is partly answered in the introduction. You have the degree of freedom to choose your coffee beans, your grinding strength and every parameter that affects the taste of your coffee.
Manual machines also allow you to develop the barista skills and not just depending on a push of a button.
So, before jumping into picking whatever you think is a great espresso machine, allow us to introduce to you our best manual espresso makers.
We’ve made a in-depth research to help you narrow down your options from the stream of products — known and unknown — in the world of espresso.
The best manual espresso machine: top 10 picks for 2021
Quality espresso shots, sleek design, and fully manual. Impressive durability and elegant design with a removable brewing head.
If you enjoy making coffee at home, then, you may try brewing espresso with Flair Classica Manual Press. As the name suggests, it has a very simple lever press that helps you extract the greatness of every coffee bean. It’s completely manual, so, you don’t need to worry about any electronics or electricity when using.
It comes with a 60ml water capacity with 6BAR to 10BAR of the press pressure. A single shot of around 45ml takes only about 30 to 45 seconds. This needs around 13-18 grams of freshly roasted and ground coffee.
It has a stainless steel and aluminum combined to give you a durable and reliable manual espresso machine. It has a detachable brewing head that makes it easier and faster to clean. Hence, every single espresso shot from this machine is pure, flavorful and a total work of art.
- Highly recommend espresso maker
- Impressive material quality and durability
- With the detachable brewing head, it’s very easy to clean and maintain
- A lot of small parts that need readjustments
- A lot of strength required to create one perfect espresso shot
With constant improvement from more than two decades in the espresso industry, ROK takes pride to introduce the new ROK EspressoGC, and it takes the number one spot on our best manual espresso machines list. It’s simple, lightweight and upgraded version of its previous manual coffee makers. Its compact design allows you to bring it anywhere and store it in kitchen cabinets when not in use.
Pressure chamber is made of BPA-free glass, which makes it super insulated even when brewing hot espresso. Improved shower screen for clean extraction and it’s designed to accommodate manual process effectively. Its single shot stainless steel portafilter gives you the freedom to use your favorite ground beans for your espresso.
- Makes good quality of coffee
- Simple setup, very easy to operate
- No use of electricity, energy-saving
- Small water tank just for two cups
- It takes time to perfect your espresso shot
Elegant 18/8 stainless-steel with a gloss finish. It comes with stainless-steel filter baskets and designed with a16-bar pump system.
Need a grinder and a press to make your espresso? La Pavoni PA-1200 Napolitana is a good recommendation to you. Since it’s semi-automatic, it gives you the freedom to control the process of brewing your coffee –but, aided with more controls and settings.
Appearance-wise might not be the kind of design you want for several hundreds of dollars. Yet, it’s not the look that you paid, it’s the functionality. You got a bulkier, heavy-duty machine made of stainless steel and gloss finish.
It features a pump with 16BARS of pressure for a guaranteed creamy espresso. You can adjust the burr grinder to low RPM to avoid burnt beans. With the simple controls and setting, you’ll be able to turn this simple coffee brewing into a hobby and eventually a skill you can add in your portfolio.
- Great for making espresso and cappuccino
- Has reliable burr grinder which you can fully control the RPM
- Heats up pretty quickly
- Grinder is quite noisy
- May overheat, no auto-off function
- Some find the steam wand shorter
Perfect for specialty coffee drinks, this manual espresso machine is made with durable all-steel construction and can make about eight cups of espresso, 2 ounces each.
Perhaps your coffee habit is not all espresso, but you want some specialty drinks and might need a milk frother. Well, if you or your family has varied coffee demands, La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola is for you. Imagine, all the features you need of a coffee maker is rolled into one in this espresso machine.
It’s packed with everything you need to make a coffee, including an automatic milk froth and reliable internal thermostats. This is still lever operated, in which you can have a cup or two of espresso each time you pull the lever. Has a 20oz removable water tank, which can make around 8 cups of espresso for 2oz each serving.
Everything in this machine is stainless steel, with stunning, yet simplistic design. It’s fairly easy to operate and is a good add on to any kitchen and table counters.
- Well-constructed and beautiful design
- Makes fantastic coffee drinks, especially espresso
- Do more than you expect it to be
- Needs to shut down after each use to avoid overheating
- Steeper learning curve for beginners
If you are either a cappuccino, an espresso lover, or a coffee connoisseur, La Pavoni has another espresso machine for you. If you like how foamy and creamy your cappuccino is at your local café shop, you can recreate it with this machine.
There’s this 38oz boiler that lets you produce around 16 (2oz) espresso shots. It has a very powerful steaming system and dual frothing system for your cappuccinos. Of course, with its high-quality build and finish, you’ll be able to make the most out of it for a long time.
The advantage of using this machine is, you decide how strong and fast you’ll pump since it’s piston-operated. However, you can’t craft your style with this espresso maker in just one sitting. It takes more time, but it will always be fun.
- Compact and durable design, small footprint for easy storage
- Internal thermostat is very efficient to monitor brewing temperature
- Fully customize your espresso with adjustable speed and strength of the pump
- Requires great involvement since it’s manually operated
- Becomes extra hot that you can’t refill water or anything unless you let it cool first
Large 32-ounce boiler capacity and can make 16 cups of 2-ounce espresso. It can make 1-2 cups at a time and designed with dedicated controls and spouts for cappuccino.
Another great pick on this espresso machines list is the European Gift La Pavoni. It has a 38oz boiler capacity that makes 16 cups of your favorite espresso, one or two cups at a time. Boiler is made of chrome and the whole machine has chrome plating — elegant and perfect for any kitchen motif.
The good thing about this is that it has an internal reset switch in case of overheating. Its internal thermostat has pressure control and it has dedicated spouts and controls for making cappuccino.
So, whether you’re in the mood of espresso or cappuccino, surely this espresso machine comes in handy. A little expensive though, but if you are willing, this will be a worthy investment.
- Perfect espresso and cappuccino maker
- Great boiler capacity, at least can make up to 16 cups in one refill
- Has complicated setup, not easy for neophytes
- Quite expensive compared to other machines in this list
Its stunning and lustrous design will remind you of the Italians’ good old days when they invented the espresso we enjoy today. Microcasa a Leva is not new to the market, but a revision of older models known for the delicate flavor of their espresso. It still leverages the well-tuned machine technology that extracts the richness and natural taste of each coffee bean.
Clever and careful pulling up and down the lever will help you achieve a great-tasting coffee. The heating system brings the boiler to an ideal temperature in around 12 minutes. The machine will fully warm in 30 minutes — a little longer, but assures you of a quality espresso afterward.
- Very quiet while brewing, unlike those pump machines
- Brewing temperature can be set depending on the coffee and preferences
- High-quality materials and has a stable base
- Produce lesser coffee volume compared to other espresso machines
- The lever cannot tolerate more forceful pulls
- Prone to overheating
La Pavoni PPG-16 is another high-end product from La Pavoni. This is expensive than your ideal coffee makers. However, if you are a serious espresso enthusiast, having to spend a few more dollars for a very reliable device is a necessity.
Rosewood finish of the controls and the brass finish of the body make it stun and look gorgeous. It’s brewing capacity is very large at 16 espresso shots in one cycle, with 38oz broiler. And, since it can accommodate more servings, the internal thermostat is designed to quickly heat up and maintain the ideal temperature for the best taste of your coffee.
The thermostat is equipped with pressure gauge to control and monitor the pressure. Finally, it comes with “Cappuccino Automatic” function that allows you to make a good cappuccino. In addition, it brews warm and frothed milk for a perfect café-like experience.
- No question with its beauty — it’s absolutely stunning that fits into your kitchen counters
- Top notch espresso machine that creates espresso you’ve never been tasted before
- No need to wait minutes for brewing, steam is available in just a few seconds
- Needs extra careful, especially in opening the portafilter
- Metal is durable, yet, it gets hotter than plastic
Espresso machines that are made of stainless steel are elegant and reliable. Just like the Quickmill Andreja Premium. It has a water recirculation unit, steam water, and hot water outlets with die-cast for a touch of beauty and durability.
It has a heater with 0.75L capacity that has pressure control using the monometer in front of the machine. In case you haven’t checked the water level before using, and it goes empty, don’t worry because there is an auto stop for that. These and a lot more are the features of this wonderful espresso machine.
- Excellent, both in appearance and function
- Easy to use and makes great espresso
- Not that efficient in making froth, though milk volume is increased
- Pump is kinda noisy
- Slow to warm up, may take up to 20 minutes
Whether you want an espresso or cappuccino on your busy day at home or at work, La Pavoni Model PB-16 is the one you’re looking for. Most of La Pavoni’s espresso machines come with “Cappuccino Automatic” feature, as you may have observed from most of this list. However, this one has the style, quality, and reliability all blended to give you a great machine.
You can quickly pull 16 great-tasting espresso shots with its 38oz broiler. It has an internal thermostat with mounted pressure gauge, so, you can easily check and adjust pressure. With this, you have all the freedom to vary the speed and pressure to achieve his favorite punch of his espresso.
Lastly, this La Pavoni espresso machine is made of chrome with copper or brass finish. It has wood handle for easy grip and comfort. It’s a good fit for whatever kitchen design and theme you have.
- Make a wonderful frothy latte
- Stunning and durable espresso machine
- Heats up faster
- Easily gets hot, because it’s mostly made of metal
- May take several weeks or month before you’ll totally get the gist
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MANUAL ESPRESSO MACHINE (GUIDE)
You must really love espresso machines to make you read this far. But your time will not be wasted because we are giving you tips on how to choose the best espresso machine that’ll surely brew you the best espresso you’ll ever have.
Setup instructions — Espresso machines are among the most complicated coffee makers as they tend to have more parts for more control of your espresso. So, don’t complain when you get all messy the very first time you operate the machine. However, it’s good to get a good and comprehensive manual along with the machine. It’ll surely save your day.
Budget vs. Coffee Quality — Manual espresso machines come at various types and prices. It’s very important to compare whether you are ready to gamble for a great coffee or you are just satisfied with a good coffee with a much cheaper machine.
Related: Best Espresso Machines under $100
Now that you know the beauty of manual espresso machines, maybe it’s time to consider buying one. However, before everything else, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.
If you’ll ask us, our best pick is the ROK EspressoGC as the best on this manual espresso machines roundup review. Though it may take time to completely get the hang of this machine, it’s a fantastic espresso maker that makes great drinks. It’s beautifully and durably designed for all home kitchens.
Above all, it’s not that expensive compared to other La Pavoni models or other manual espresso machines of the same functionality.
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