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The Best Espresso Machines for Your Home Office

No matter your budget, these espresso makers can get you back on your grind in no time.

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There’s nothing better than waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee waiting for you in the morning. That is especially true of espresso, an Italian-derived coffee making technique that combines nearly boiling water with finely ground coffee beans for a fuller, more concentrated flavor. But while you may be racking up credit card debt from your daily Starbucks runs, those of us still working from home can save money by investing in the best espresso machines for our own personal needs. 

In addition to finding yourself reinvigorated by its rich, efficient supply of caffeine, espresso is known for improving long-term memory as well as concentration. It’s also a great source of antioxidants, and at least without the sugary additives, is only 3 calories per 1-ounce serving. Contrary to popular belief, a single shot of espresso actually contains less caffeine than traditional drip coffee, according to the USDA

With the best home espresso machine, you can start making the miracle drink at home daily, even incorporating it into mixed concoctions such as Americanos and lattes. Before long, you’ll become your own barista, your tips the money you save by staying home.

Best Home Espresso Machine Overall: De’Longhi Dinamica ECAM35020 ($1,199)
Best Espresso Machine Under $1,000: Breville BES870XL Barista Express ($600)
Best Espresso Machine Under $500: Breville the Bambino ($300)
Best Espresso Machine Under $200: Cuisinart EM-100NP1 ($200)
Best Budget Espresso Machine: Sowtech CM6810-1 ($55)

Best Home Espresso Machine Overall: De’Longhi Dinamica ECAM35020 ($1,199)

Designed for year-round enjoyment, the De’Longhi Dinamica is a luxury hardtrop convertible in a world full of cheap sedans. Not only can it heat up in less than 40 seconds, but it’s also capable of making iced coffee without dilution. Its built-in burr grinder helps to deliver a “bean to cup” brewing system, meaning you don’t have to worry about purchasing a separate grinder or getting the grounds just right on your own. All you have to do is place the beans in the machine, press a few buttons, and enjoy. Maintenance is easy too. Just take out the removable brew unit, throw the drip tray in the dishwasher, and voilà! Good as new.

Best Espresso Machine Under $1,000: Breville BES870XL Barista Express ($600)

The Breville Barista Express, on the other hand, is an all-in-one, semi-automatic machine for those espresso drinkers who prefer a greater level of control over their brews. Admittedly, it is intimidating given the sheer number of buttons and nozzles laid out across its hardware interface. It even has a pressure gauge so that you can monitor pre-infusion pressure levels as they gradually go up. A manual steam wand lets you take charge of your milk texturing, enabling and encouraging the creation of latte art.

Best Espresso Machine Under $500: Breville the Bambino ($400)

For a faster brew, Breville’s the Bambino can reach optimal extraction temperatures in 3 seconds or less, although it is a bit more of a manual process. Equipped with a 19-gram capacity 54mm portafilter, you will have to grind and then tamp down your own beans to taste, which will assuredly necessitate some trial and error. Fortunately, a bespoke tamper is included in the box. Featuring nine bars of pressure, Breville promises “barista-quality performance” for under $500 with its Bambino espresso machine.

Best Espresso Machine Under $200: Cuisinart EM-100NP1

Sure it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of its pricier counterparts, but what the Cuisinart EM-100NP1 lacks in versatility, it makes up for in overall brew quality. Leveraging 15 bars of pressure, it is compatible with both ground espresso and pods, though we advise against the latter. (More on that in a moment.) Its 53-ounce reservoir is plenty enough for one to two cups of coffee per session. And while you’ll be responsible for grinding your own beans, a built-in steam nozzle and included frothing cup can get you from bean to latte in no time.

Best Budget Espresso Machine: Sowtech CM6810-1 ($55)

On the cheaper side of the fence, Sowtech’s CM6810-1 is best described as a starter machine. This semi-automatic espresso maker takes elements of higher-end, name brand options and condenses them into a compact package that won’t take up a lot of countertop space. It may not be the most powerful device out there, with only 3.5 bars of pressure, but it can make one to four cups of espresso at a time. All told, the CM6810-1 has all the makings of a great espresso maker—a portafilter, basket, carafe, and frothing arm—with none of the financial risk.

What to Look for in an Espresso Machine

While we’ve done our best to provide informed, well-researched recommendations of the best espresso machines on the market, determining the right choice for you is ultimately up to your personal preferences. There are many different types of espresso machines to select from, each of which come with their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Some are easier to use while others are built for those with highly specific tastes, looking to brew the perfect espresso for their palates. Some are multifunctional, others are single-purpose. 

Among the categories you’ll find online are manual, semi-automatic, automatic, super-automatic, and capsule espresso machines. We intentionally excluded capsule machines from this list due to their lack of personalized, full-bodied flavor, not to mention their harmful environmental impact. For the purposes of this list, we’re instead focused on conventional espresso machines that employ portafilters and baskets to dispense a powerful Coffea-based product, complete with a balanced crema consistency to get you through the workday.