A Guide to Selecting the Best Espresso Machine for the Home-Barista

When one compares the cost of making the perfect espresso at home against the price in a coffee shop, it is easy to see that there really is no comparison. The coffee shop espresso is going to cost around $5, whereas the home-barista can make the same cup for only pennies. It will not take many cups to offset the cost of the machine.

To get an espresso with coffee shop taste, you will want the best quality machine for the money. It is impossible to try every available model. This is where customer espresso machine reviews will help you find exactly what you want without paying more than necessary.

What to Look For

There are features that determine which machine is best for each user. There are many different features to consider, some of which you may not have thought about. Some of the things to consider are the features that follow.

Type of Machine

An important feature is the type of machine. There are machines that are completely automatic and some that are entirely manual. There are models available ranging somewhere between the two. Some even include a grinder to grind the beans.

Though the automatic is easier, and delivers consistent results, some baristas prefer the manual model so they can put their own personal touch on the result. However, that sometimes means an espresso made with a manual machine may not turn out so well. If you follow a coder’s guide to coffee you will see that making a good espresso using ground coffee can be difficult, and even baristas can take months to refine a good cup of espresso.


Most individuals have to consider the price when buying a machine. You get what you pay for, as they say. Even within a feature range, however, the price can vary. A customer review can help you determine if a lower priced machine will meet your expectations or if you want to pay out a little more and get exactly what you want. Prices vary between $100 to over $1000.

Performance, Cleanup, Storage and Assembly

There is a technique and skill needed for operating an espresso machine. Some, however, are easier to use than are others. This includes operation, whether you have to decide when and how much water to allow through, for example.

Ease of use also includes the difficulty of disassembling for clean up and storage and subsequently reassembly. In addition, storage should be easy and should not require an inordinate amount of space. Easy and quick reassembly facilitates daily use. The more complex the machine, the more difficult are the cleanup chores.

Machines vary in their performance. Some make only one cup at a time, some multiple cups. Some machines even allow making different types of drinks at the same time.


Features to consider include the extras that now every machine has. You will need to choose which ones you desire. These include built-in grinders, size of water tank, and priming. For frothing help, measured cups and decanters are important, as are cool-to-the touch parts, and detachable drip trays. New features appear from time to time, so look for what you want.

Quality of Craftsmanship

Quality materials are important for best performance and life of the machine. Plastic parts are prone to cracking and breaking, partly because of constant heat. Metal is a better choice.