The 5 Best Espresso Coffee Machines for All Budgets
Most of us enjoy a caffeinated start to our day. Coffee is central to the working day, and getting a good cup of java can make all the difference. But, preparing a well-brewed coffee can be time-consuming.
Espresso coffee machines give you the brew you crave, but with minimal effort. If you’re ready to dive into convenient, high-quality coffee, you’ll want one of the best espresso machines available today.
Nespresso is the most well-known and popular pod coffee brand. It doesn’t hurt that their ads are infamous for featuring George Clooney either. The De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee Machine is a Nespresso-compatible pod coffee machine and supports the newer, larger VertuoLine pods.
The VertuoPlus supports five cup sizes and will brew the coffee specifically for each portion size. This ensures you don’t get overly strong espressos or large watery coffees. This machine uses Nespresso’s Centrifusion technology which spins the pod at 7,000 rotations per minute while blending the coffee with water to get a smooth brew.
Each VertuoLine capsule has a barcode designating the coffee blend. The machine reads this and automatically adjusts the brewing parameters for every type of coffee. Once you’ve filled up the 40oz water tank, pressing a single button starts your coffee brewing. This edition of the VertuoPlus comes with an Aeroccino, Nespresso’s milk frother.
If you don’t need the smarts of the VertuoLine coffee or are already invested in the classic OriginalLine coffee pods, the De’Longhi Lattissima Plus Nespresso Coffee Machine may be the best coffee machine available today. The device is capable of producing barista-grade coffees with nothing more than the tap of a button.
The Lattissima Plus uses the OriginalLine capsules and combines a traditional Nespresso coffee machine with an automatic hot milk system. The milk frother is essentially an integrated Aeroccino. Other than inserting the milk tray, you don’t have to do anything to get frothed, warm milk with your coffee; the machine takes care of it all.
The water tank is only 30oz, which is on the small side for a Nespresso coffee machine. This is because the machine was designed to include a coffee machine and milk system without taking up too much space on your countertop. It has four pre-determined cup sizes for you to choose from. To customize for your favorite cup, just hold down the button while brewing. The machine will remember the last used settings for each cup size.
One of the benefits of an espresso machine is that you can get high-quality coffee but at a fraction of the per cup cost of your local coffee shop. However, some of that benefit may not be realized if you opt for a top-of-the-range machine. If you’re after a more affordable Nespresso coffee machine, you’ll want to consider the Breville Essenza Mini.
This machine is one of the few sub-$100 Nespresso coffee machines out there. That doesn’t mean the quality of your coffee is compromised, though. The Essenza Mini uses the same OriginalLine capsules and features the Nespresso-standard 19-bar pump. Additionally, it only takes 25 seconds to heat up, meaning that you can have a coffee ready to drink in around a minute.
To reach a low price point, there are a few compromises. The machine is tiny. On the plus side, it means the Essenza Mini is a great space-saving espresso machine. However, the water tank is only 20oz and will need regular refills. The capsule collection container has space for around five pods, which is roughly half most other machines. However, these are small complaints for such an affordable Nespresso machine.
Nespresso capsules aren’t to everyone’s tastes. You may rather have the freedom to choose your own coffee, but keep the convenience of an espresso machine. In which case, you’ll want the Mr. Coffee Dual-Shot Coffee Machine. It operates in a similar way to the Nespresso machines but uses ground coffee in place of pods.
There is a removable 40oz water tank on the back of the machine, while a thermal block quickly heats the water to the right temperature. The Mr. Coffee Dual-Shot Coffee Machine uses a 15-bar pump to push the heated water through and create your brewed coffee.
The dual-shot system means you can make two coffees at once—a clear advantage over the single capsule machines. While there isn’t an automatic milk frother, there is a frothing arm on the machine. Your coffees will come out black, but use the frothing arm, and you’ll be able to make a cappuccino or latte in no time.
To get the freshest coffee, you’ll need a bean-to-cup coffee machine. One of the best is the Jura ENA Micro 1. The slim, compact design is minimalist and appears to lack the features of a traditional coffee machine. This Jura coffee machine is elegantly designed and would suit any surface in your home or office.
The ENA Micro 1 eschews features for simplicity. It is a complex machine on the inside, turning roasted coffee beans into a perfectly brewed cup. But on the outside, there is just a single nozzle and three cup size buttons on the top. There are also two strength options too. Each time you make a coffee, the ENA Micro 1 will only grind the required amount of coffee, reducing waste and giving you freshest brew possible.
One of the significant criticisms leveled at Nespresso coffees is the waste they produce. Although the capsules are recyclable, in practice, many end up in landfills. Jura is a more environmentally-friendly espresso machine. You choose the beans and pour them into the seven-ounce container. The machine takes care of the rest.
The Best Espresso Machine for You
There’s little doubt that Nespresso is one of the most popular espresso coffee machine brands. Their pods offer convenience, but they don’t trade on quality either. That said, they aren’t right for everyone. If you want a more environmentally-friendly and customizable brew, there are options for you too.
Whether you’re after an espresso coffee machine or want to learn how to brew your own perfect cup, you’ll want to check out these sites for coffee lovers .