Are you searching for a way to get barista-quality espresso drinks without the costly coffee shop trips?
The answer is purchasing a high-end espresso machine for your own home. While it initially may seem like a steep expenditure, over time, you can really save money that would otherwise be spent on expensive boutique beverages from shops.
If you’re interested in finding out which espresso machine you should get, this guide is for you. We’ve written this guide to show you the best professional espresso machines for homes.
This is what we’ll cover:
- Different espresso machines options (and what they mean for you)
- How to choose the perfect espresso machine for your home
- Our picks for the best professional espresso machines for homes
DIFFERENT ESPRESSO MACHINE OPTIONS
AUTOMATIC, SEMIAUTOMATIC, OR SUPERAUTOMATIC
The basic type of your espresso machine is going to shape how easy or difficult it is for you to use and how much control it gives you over each shot.
You’ll get the most control on semiautomatic machines. By pushing a button or pulling a lever, you start and stop brewing the espresso at whichever time you choose.
Because the length of the brew cycle is so vital to the flavor of the espresso, it can take some learning before you’re making great-tasting shots every time on this type of machine.
Yet this amount of control and learning curve are some of the reasons why experienced baristas love these machines. Anyone who can make a great shot of espresso on a semiautomatic machine can rightfully be proud.
Automatic machines are friendlier for beginners. On this type of machine, users push a button to start brewing, then let the machine end the cycle itself at the ideal time.
This design helps promote consistency, as even beginners will be able to make shots like the pros. Flexibility to experiment is more restricted on automatic machines generally, though, unless you purchase a model that also comes with a manual dosing option.
You can picture automatic machines as a sort of bridge between semiautomatic and superautomatic machines. Superautomatic machines up the automation to a new level – they not only handle brewing espresso, but frothing the milk and grinding the beans, as well.
You’ll get an unprecedented level of uniformity on one of these machines, regardless of the proficiency of its user. There’s less room for human error here, and it truly shows in the end result.
Choose a superautomatic machine if you’re a beginner who wants the best drinks possible, and your budget allows for it. But if the idea of the drink-making process being completely automated doesn’t appeal to you, this type is not a good match for you.
HEAT EXCHANGE, DUAL, AND SINGLE BOILER SYSTEMS
After machine type, the boiler design will have the next biggest impact on both the cost and function of your espresso machine. A little research on your part can go a long way.
One common design you’ll see in home espresso machines are single boiler systems. These implement a single boiler that handles both steaming and brewing.
It’s an affordable and energy-efficient design, but it’s not without its flaws. The biggest one is that it cannot steam and brew at the same time, which means it will take you longer to make a cappuccino or a latte.
Heat exchange (also called HX) boilers overcome this flaw in single-boiler systems through use of a small pipe in the boiler that delivers brewing water to the group while steaming water is kept outside the pipe.
This design has all the energy-efficiency and rapid heat-up time of a single-boiler system while allowing you to steam and brew simultaneously. Their only real drawback is apparent when you compare them with dual boiler designs, which are typically stronger.
Dual boiler systems use two boilers to accommodate steaming and brewing. This extra boiler usually leads to more powerful steam generation, contributing to faster milk foaming.
With this power, however, comes a normally higher price and a slightly increased warm-up time.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT MACHINE FOR YOUR HOME
Just because an espresso machine could be used in a business or is considered a “commercial-grade” espresso machine doesn’t mean that it will automatically be a good fit for your home.
Aside from its ability to fit into a coffee shop or other business, there are many other traits that will result in a particular machine being better or worse for you.
So how do you choose the perfect machine for your home?
Start by asking yourself questions like this:
- Does your espresso machine need to be a certain size?
- Does your home have a specific décor scheme your machine needs to fit into?
- How easy to use would you like your espresso machine to be?
- Do you have a range of costs your espresso machine should fall within?
Most homes just don’t have as much space as businesses do. Those looking to add an espresso machine to their own kitchen will need to account for their available space more strictly than a business owner would need to.
Before you buy any espresso machine, examine different spots you have available for one and measure these spots. Then compare the dimensions of your open spaces with the dimensions of your espresso machine.
This will help you guarantee your purchase fits right at home where you need it to.
Your home is your castle, and you decorate it accordingly.
You can take this into consideration when you look at espresso machines. Many of them are designed to fit particular looks, and chances are, you’ll find one that blends right in to your home.
It’s possible, though, that you want an espresso machine that stands out. If that’s the case, don’t worry – there are plenty of espresso machines built to be dazzling centerpieces.
EASE OF USE
One pivotal factor for you to examine is your machine’s ease of use.
Determine your skill level in espresso machine operation, as well as that of anyone else who might be using your machine. Are you or your family espresso beginners, or are you comfortable in espresso-making?
If your situation reflects the former, you’ll want a machine that’s as user-friendly as possible. Look to automatic or even superautomatic machines specifically created to be accessible to even novices.
On the other hand, if you’re comfortable using an espresso machine or are willing to put in the time learning to master the craft, a semiautomatic machine will help you hone your skills. They’re also an excellent choice if you just don’t like the idea of your machine having more control over your espresso’s development.
You’re most likely looking for the best deal you can get, and that’s not an issue.
Ultimately, the espresso machine you choose should be one that doesn’t cost you more than you can comfortably afford. Because of this, it’s a wise idea to draw up a range of costs that are within your budget.
However, there’s a line to walk here between being economically conscious and blinded by price. Don’t focus on the price tag only – make sure you also factor in the features of each machine, deciding which features are absolutely necessary, which are just desirable, and which ones you don’t need at all.
When you’ve balanced cost with your list of must-have features, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in an espresso machine.
BEST PROFESSIONAL ESPRESSO MACHINES FOR HOMES
Powerful enough to survive in small offices and restaurants, the Rocket Dual Boiler R58 is easily strong enough to supply entire households with espresso.
For one thing, its incredibly vigorous dual boiler system has no problem making shot after shot of espresso while generating legendary steam power. As icing on top of the cake, the R58 is covered in a 304-grade stainless steel case that makes it all but ooze professionalism.
- Majesty Coffee Price: $3,000
- Machine Type: Semiautomatic
- Boiler: Dual boiler
- Dimensions: 16.25 inches high, 12.25 inches wide, 17.50 inches long
- Plumbing: Pour-over with direct-connect convertibility
- E-61 Commercial Group: An E-61 commercial group brings you not one, but two steps closer to professional-level drinks. You’ll get pre-infusion, which boosts the taste of your espresso by guaranteeing an even extraction, and increased thermal stability from the water circulating nonstop between the brew head and the boiler.
- 304 Stainless Steel Case: The polished and refined-looking case is strong, protecting your machine.
- Rotary Pump: Worried about waking up your household in the morning? The rotary pump in the R58 operates extremely quietly, so sleeping family members won’t be disrupted.
- No-Burn Hot Water and Steam Wands: Many espresso machines may not be as safe at home because of the high temperature their hot water and steam wands reach. That’s no issue for the R58, with water and steam wands that are safe to touch even during your most intense use.
Does your home follow up-to-date and cutting-edge decorating schemes? Then you’ll love the classy look of the Nuova Simonelli Musica.
Fortunately, this machine is more than just a pretty face. With the ability to be purchased in either direct-connect or pour-over configurations, this Nuova Simonelli model is unbelievably adaptable for a wide range of home environments.
Plus, the price range between its many configurations is so wide, it can fit into a ton of different budgets.
- Majesty Coffee Price: $2,245-$3,240 (Depending on plumbing and optional LED edges)
- Machine Type: Automatic + manual dosing option
- Boiler: Heat exchange
- Dimensions: 17 inches high, 16 inches wide, 13 inches long
- Plumbing: Pour-over or direct-connect
- Soft Infusion System: This is a feature you don’t see, but it makes a huge difference in taste. It gently soaks your espresso before extraction, evening the grounds out so each particle can be reached during brewing.
- Optional Surface LEDs: If you opt for the Lux configuration, the Musica will come with LED lights built into its edges, so you can enjoy your morning espresso without having to turn on harsh kitchen lights to see.
- Programmable Hot Water Nozzle: Espresso isn’t the only thing the Musica is good for. You can program the amount of water you need for tea in advance, so the machine will dispense the correct amount of water you need every time down the line.
- Articulating Steam Wand: Easily move the steam wand so you can froth from the perfect angle for any milk pitcher.
- Reverse Mirror: Looks sleek, plus allows you to keep an eye on your developing espresso from all angles.
The Quick Mill Monza Deluxe Evo is so user-friendly, that it has been used by over 200 McDonald’s restaurants in Italy.
This is a powerful and petite superautomatic machine that makes creating the perfect drink as simple as pushing a button. You won’t need to worry about damage to this machine, either, due to its heavy-duty stainless steel construction.
- Majesty Coffee Price: $2,695
- Machine Type: Superautomatic
- Boiler: Heat exchange
- Dimensions: 17.50 inches high, 17.50 inches wide, 14.75 inches long
- Plumbing: Direct-connect or pour-over
- Stainless Steel Construction: Makes the Monza Deluxe Evo look chic and protects its components from damage.
- Bean Door Sliding Trap Door: By sliding a trap door beneath the bean hopper, you can easily remove the hopper to switch out your beans without spilling them everywhere.
- Cup Warming Tray: The cup warming tray right on top of the Monza Deluxe Evo can hold an assortment of cups, saving you cupboard space.
- Autofrother: Don’t know how to froth milk? Simply place the autofrother in your milk container and press the froth button, then let the machine take care of it for you.
You’re getting a lot of barista-level features when you choose the La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi 2.
The Vivaldi 2 lets you tweak pre-infusion, a hidden step that ups the flavor of your espresso, to last from 1-8 seconds. It also gives its users total control over the temperature in the group, allowing you to make changes in tiny one-degree increments.
This is the machine for you if you want to have a buffet of options to personalize your espresso with.
- Majesty Coffee Price: $2,575
- Machine Type: Automatic
- Boiler: Dual boiler
- Dimensions: 15 inches tall, 16.5 inches wide, 16.5 inches long
- Plumbing: Direct-connect
- Programmable Passive Pre-Infusion: Pre-infusion prevents errors in tamping from harming the taste of your drink, and with the Vivaldi 2, you’ll have total control to make this stage last anywhere from 1 to 8 seconds, making even the same kind of coffee taste different at your leisure.
- Group Temperature Adjustment: Any experienced barista will tell you that temperature is crucial to espresso. By being able to play with the temperature, you can coax new flavors from your coffee beans.
- Fault Diagnosis Alarms: The diagnostic system in the Vivaldi 2 will notify you if there’s any system failure, so you’re not unpleasantly surprised by an issue further down the road.
- Programmable Offset Differential: Allows you to make tweaks that correct the difference between temperature sensed by the temperature probe and the temperature of the water coming from the group head. The end result is a greater level of precision.
What the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 does best is combine affordability and utility into one attractive whole.
It has slanted stainless steel panels that are clean and elegant. Plus, it comes in red or black color options so it can complement a variety of color schemes.
On the inside, you’ll find it has a powerful copper heat exchange boiler that’s energy-efficient and naturally antimicrobial. It allows you to whip through a drink in little time by steaming and brewing simultaneously for as long as you need it to.
- Majesty Coffee Price: $1,295-$1,620 (Depending on plumbing)
- Machine Type: Semiautomatic + programmable timed dosing
- Boiler: Heat exchange
- Dimensions: 16 inches tall, 16 inches wide, 12 inches long
- Plumbing: Pour-over or direct-connect
- Programmable Timed Dosing Buttons: Part of what makes this machine so incredibly versatile is its timed dosing buttons, which give you the ease of use normally reserved for automatic machines. You can program the times for single and double shots into these buttons.
- Copper Boiler: The copper boiler is both adept at heating up quickly and sanitary due to its natural antimicrobial properties.
- Cup Warmer: Save on storage space by storing your cups on the cup warmer right on top of the Oscar 2.
- Extended Articulating Steam Arm: Makes it even easier for you to aerate the milk for plentiful foam by being able to reach farther into milk pitchers and be repositioned.