Our Top Picks for Espresso Machines (Updated Sept 28th, 2023)
If you’re short on time, you can skip straight to our best espresso machine options. Each machine listed has been meticulously tested, and we’ve also relied on genuine customer feedback to ensure we recommend only the best.
Best Espresso Machine for Americanos 2023: Top Picks and Expert Guide
As coffee lovers, we know the importance of a perfect Americano. Whether you're a skilled barista or a coffee enthusiast at home, having the right espresso machine can make all the difference when it comes to crafting this classic beverage. With many options available in 2023, we're here to help you find the perfect machine for your needs and preferences.
To ensure you're getting the most out of your espresso machine, we've done the research, considered various factors, and explored some of the best machines designed for crafting that perfect Americano. With our list of reliable choices, you'll be making barista-quality Americanos from the comfort of your own kitchen in no time.
- Choosing the best espresso machine for Americanos requires understanding the basics and features of these machines.
- Our top picks include a range of machines, such as the Victoria Arduino Prima and the Lelit Bianca Dual Boiler PID Espresso Machine PL162T.
- Maintenance and sustainability should be a part of your decision-making process to ensure long-lasting satisfaction with your espresso machine.
The Victoria Arduino E1 Prima is a single group espresso machine that would fit perfectly in any coffee business or home. Designed with versatility and high-quality espresso in mind, this model allows baristas, roasters, and coffee enthusiasts to prepare and enjoy an exceptional Americano experience.
The E1 Prima comes with several impressive features. These include:
- Rear & Interior Lights
- Tank or Direct Connection (both options included)
- Auto Purge
- Cool Touch Steam Wand
- Boiler Insulation
- Stainless Steel Portafilter
We appreciate its compact dimensions, measuring 16.9"W x 20"D x 14.9"H, making it suitable for various spaces. Additionally, the group height of 3.75" allows for easy espresso extraction.
The E1 Prima operates on 110 volts, with a power of 2800 watts and a 15-amp draw. With a standard NEMA 5-15 receptacle, you can plug it into most outlets. The machine is available in matte white, matte black, and shiny silver colors to match your décor.
The option to switch between direct plumb-in or pour over water connections provides convenience and ease of use. However, please note that the installation of a water softener is mandatory to maintain the warranty. Also, the addition of a water filter is highly recommended to maintain optimal performance.
Many users, including coffee shops and home brewers, appreciate the reliable and user-friendly nature of the Victoria Arduino E1 Prima. Pulling hundreds of shots with ease, users find the machine to be both technically complicated and easy to use.
In conclusion, the Victoria Arduino E1 Prima is a fantastic espresso machine for creating the perfect Americana. Its performance, features, and durability make it an excellent investment for coffee enthusiasts and professionals alike.
The PL162T Bianca from Lelit is a luxury dual boiler espresso machine that has been designed specifically for commercial use but is also perfect for the home barista. After studying with a renowned espresso academy in Italy and gaining insights from many professional baristas, this machine has been built to provide excellent flow control through the brew pressure paddle.
Some key features of this espresso machine include:
- An Italian-designed dual boiler system
- A PID temperature control for precise heating
- Built-in shot timer for consistently perfect espresso shots
- Manual brew pressure via flow control paddle
- External and movable reservoir, which can be repositioned for your convenience
The Lelit Bianca not only includes a PID-controlled dual boiler system but also features a wooden paddle on top of the legendary E61 group head. This paddle allows the user to manually adjust the brew pressure while the espresso shot is extracting, giving ultimate control over the brewing process.
The external reservoir of the machine can be repositioned on either side, making it adaptable to your specific needs and countertop layout. If you prefer, the Bianca can also be directly plumbed, and the drip tray is drainable as well.
The stainless steel body and beautiful wooden accents on the handles, feet, and lever make this machine aesthetically pleasing and durable. The design of the machine incorporates thoughtful details such as no-burn stainless steel steam and hot water arms.
Included with the Lelit Bianca, you will find a bottomless walnut portafilter, a double-spouted walnut portafilter, a Lelit stainless steel and aluminum tamper, a Lelit in-tank water softener, various sized baskets, and additional accessories to keep your machine running smoothly.
In summary, the Lelit Bianca Dual Boiler PID Espresso Machine PL162T offers a range of innovative features for both beginners and experienced baristas. Its combination of manual brew pressure control, PID temperature control, and a sleek design make it a versatile option for those seeking the best espresso experience.
The Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Volumetric Espresso Machine is a high-performance model designed for businesses that require efficient and consistent espresso production. This espresso machine has received numerous positive reviews, praising its features and the overall experience it provides to both the barista and the customer.
One of the key features of the Appia Life is its high productivity and consistency. With the capability to prepare up to 250 cappuccinos daily on the 2-group version, this espresso machine is perfect for high-volume coffee shops. The SIS system and Easycream technology ensure consistent results and quick, automatic production of dense, velvety milk cream.
Energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness are also standout aspects of the Appia Life. The machine is equipped with DRYTEX THERMICAL technology insulation, reducing energy consumption by 13% compared to its predecessor, the Appia II. Additionally, the Appia Life has 20% less environmental impact due to its new thermal system, optimized mechanical components, and use of sustainable materials.
Barista comfort is another important factor that the Appia Life addresses. The ergonomic design of the machine not only makes it user-friendly but also enhances service speed, assisting baristas in their daily work routines. Furthermore, it has been designed to be more efficient in terms of maintenance, streamlining the process and ensuring the machine operates at peak performance.
Finally, the Appia Life can be customized to meet the specific needs of your business. The XT version offers an even more advanced experience with innovative details aimed at improving the final result. The machine is available in 1, 2, or 3-group configurations, and additional options such as Easy Cream steaming, cool touch steam wand, and hot water economizer can be added to enhance its functionality and performance.
In conclusion, the Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Volumetric Espresso Machine is a reliable and efficient choice for businesses requiring high-quality, consistent espresso production. With its advanced features, ergonomic design, and customization options, the Appia Life is a great investment for any coffee shop, cafe, or restaurant.
The Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Compact Espresso Machine is a high-performance, energy-efficient espresso machine designed for commercial use. With its innovative features and stylish design, it has quickly become a favorite among baristas and coffee shop owners.
As an espresso machine with a compact design, it can easily fit into various settings while maintaining high-quality results. The Appia Life is able to prepare up to 250 cappuccinos daily, with its success relying on two technologies - the SIS system for consistent results and the Easycream technology for quick and automatic creation of dense and velvety milk cream.
One of the major advantages of the Appia Life is its energy-saving capabilities. Thanks to its thermal insulation system and DRYTEX THERMICAL technology, this model consumes 13% less energy compared to the Appia II. Furthermore, it has 20% less environmental impact, making it a more eco-friendly choice for coffee shops.
In terms of comfort and usability, the Appia Life excels with its ergonomic design, enhancing service speed, and making daily tasks easier for baristas. Additionally, this model is designed to be low-maintenance, reducing the time and effort needed for upkeep.
Specifications of the Appia Life Compact Espresso Machine include a stainless steel body with ABS, a 7.5-liter boiler with insulation, volumetric controls, and raised group options. Optional features such as the Easy Cream steam, cool-touch steam wand, and economizer can further enhance your coffee-making experience.
In summary, the Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Compact Espresso Machine provides an energy-efficient, high-performance espresso-making experience for coffee shops and other businesses that require a reliable and consistent brewing system.
The Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Wave Volumetric Espresso Machine is designed for medium to large cafes, specialty coffee shops, barista competition locations, and medium to large restaurants. This latest generation of Nuova Simonelli Aurelia machines brings user-friendliness, versatility, and top-quality espresso to the table. The key features of this espresso machine include:
LCD Display: A high-resolution LCD screen offers users clear access to machine functions and allows programming of dosages, pre-infusion, boiler pressure, and energy settings.
Soft Infusion System: This innovative system ensures consistent, rich espresso shots with perfect crema while compensating for any potential tamping errors.
Volumetric Dosing Buttons: Programmed for accurate and uniform dosing, these buttons make pulling consistent shots easy and efficient.
Manual Dosing Controls: These controls allow baristas to customize espresso servings according to individual customer requests.
Raised Group Heads: This feature accommodates various cup sizes for direct brewing, reducing the need to transfer espresso between vessels and speeding up service.
Reverse Mirror: This practical addition helps baristas monitor the espresso brewing process from different angles, ensuring optimal quality.
Cool Touch Wands: With these safe and easy-to-clean steam wands, baristas can efficiently prepare milk-based beverages without burns or residue buildup.
Push-Pull Steam: The ergonomic design of the steam valves reduces wrist strain and facilitates smooth operation.
Surface LEDs: The built-in lighting illuminates the work area and helps baristas maintain a high level of craftsmanship and quality in their drinks.
Bar Pump Gauge: This useful feature allows baristas to monitor the pump pressure during extraction, helping them refine their technique for the best results.
Automated Cleanings: With this feature, the machine takes care of cleaning group heads, streamlining the end-of-day process.
Power Saving Options: The Aurelia Wave Volumetric boasts a smaller environmental footprint compared to other espresso machine models.
Water Level Indicator: This convenient tool lets baristas check boiler water levels at any time.
The Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Wave Volumetric Espresso Machine is an excellent choice for any establishment looking to serve high-quality espresso beverages. Its range of innovative features caters to both novice and experienced baristas, ensuring consistently top-notch results.
As we have explored the best espresso machines for Americanos in 2023, we have found the Breville Barista Express to be our top pick. This machine offers a separate hot water dispenser that heats up quickly and is easy to access. The espresso quality and extraction process are intuitive and second to none, especially for the price.
Throughout our research, we have considered factors such as ease of use, durability, and value for money. We have also taken into account user reviews and expert recommendations, such as those found in Tom's Guide and Forbes Vetted articles.
To summarize, the top qualities we believe are crucial for the best espresso machine for Americanos are:
- Separate hot water dispenser
- Intuitive extraction process
- High-quality espresso
- Value for money
- Ease of use
In the end, our goal has been to provide a clear, confident, and knowledgeable recommendation for the best espresso machine for Americanos in 2023. We hope this information helps you make an informed decision and enjoy your perfect cup of Americano at home.
The Basics of Americano Coffee
When it comes to a delicious and satisfying coffee drink, few can beat the classic Americano. It combines the bold flavor of espresso with the smoothness of water to create a well-rounded taste experience. Let's explore what makes an Americano special, while touching on its components like grind, extraction process, and aroma.
The foundation of an Americano is a shot (or two) of espresso. Espresso is a concentrated coffee created by forcing hot water through a bed of finely-ground coffee beans. This process extracts the coffee's unique flavors, leaving a rich and robust liquid with a signature layer of crema on top. Simply put, crema is the result of oils released during extraction, giving espresso its distinctive taste and appearance.
To create an Americano, hot water is added to the espresso shot. This dilutes the concentrated espresso, giving it a milder, yet still full-bodied flavor. The Americano's strength can be adjusted depending on personal preference by varying the proportions of water and espresso.
Grind size is essential in making a good Americano, as it influences the extraction process. The ideal grind for espresso is fine, similar to powdered sugar. This allows for optimal extraction, ensuring that all the coffee's flavors, aromas, and body are expressed in the brew.
It's important to pay attention to the extraction process, as it can greatly affect the taste of your Americano. We look for a consistent and controlled flow of water through the coffee during extraction, seeking a balance of flavor, aroma, and body in the final product.
A well-prepared Americano showcases the rich and bold flavors of espresso, while boasting a satisfying aroma and a pleasant mouthfeel. By understanding the foundation of espresso, mastering the grind size, and perfecting the extraction process, we can enjoy exceptional Americano coffee at home or at our favorite local coffee shops in 2023.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Espresso Machine for Americanos
When selecting an espresso machine for Americanos at home, there are several important factors to consider. Listening to our suggestions will ensure optimal results and a satisfying café experience at the comfort of your own home.
First and foremost, decide on your budget. Espresso machines differ significantly in price and can range anywhere from under $100 to well over $1,000. Keep in mind that quality and durability generally improve as the price increases.
Another essential factor is the amount of counter space you have available. Some espresso machines are compact and slim, while others can be quite large and heavy. Measure your available space and make sure you have enough room for the chosen machine.
Next, consider the type of espresso machine that best fits your needs. There are four primary categories: manual, semi-automatic, fully automatic, and super-automatic. Each type has different levels of control, automation, and complexity:
Manual machines provide you with full control over the brewing process, including pressure and temperature. However, they require more experience and skill to operate.
Semi-automatic machines offer a balance between control and ease of use. You can control the flow and timing of the shot, but the pressure and temperature are usually automated.
Fully automatic machines further simplify the brewing process, with just a push of a button required to make espresso. These machines still give control over grind settings and tamping.
Super-automatic machines do everything, from grinding the beans to brewing the espresso. They're the most effortless option but typically come with a higher price tag.
Make sure the machine you select has adequate pressure for proper extraction – a minimum of nine bars is recommended. Temperature control is another factor that can impact the quality of your Americano. Look for a machine that allows for precise temperature adjustments and maintains consistent heat throughout the brewing process.
A pressure gauge can be a helpful feature to track the pressure in real-time, particularly for manual or semi-automatic machines. Moreover, some espresso machines have built-in water filtration systems that help prevent scale buildup and improve water quality. It may be worth considering this if you plan on using tap water.
Always keep in mind that performance and experience are strongly linked. Choose a machine that suits your skill level, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned barista. By considering these factors, you'll be one step closer to finding the perfect espresso machine for making delicious Americanos at home.
Types of Espresso Machines
When it comes to brewing the perfect Americano, it's essential to choose the right espresso machine. There are several types of espresso machines available, and understanding their differences and features will help you make the best decision. Here, we will briefly discuss the main types of espresso machines: automatic, semi-automatic, manual, lever, and capsule machines.
Automatic Espresso Machines – These machines make the brewing process effortless by automating the entire process. You simply select your desired drink, and the machine will grind, tamp, and extract the espresso while also controlling the water and steam pressure. This type of espresso maker is ideal for those who prioritize convenience and ease of use.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines – Semi-automatic machines offer a balance between ease of use and control over the brewing process. They still automate certain aspects, such as controlling the water pump and maintaining stable pressure, but require users to grind, tamp, and engage the machine to start and stop the extraction. This type of coffee maker allows for more customization since you can adjust settings such as grind size and extraction time.
Manual Espresso Machines – Manual, or lever, machines give users the most control over their espresso, but they also involve a steeper learning curve. Lever machines use a manual lever to exert pressure on the water and force it through the coffee grounds. This allows for exceptional control over the extraction process, but also requires skill and practice to consistently produce high-quality espresso.
Capsule Espresso Machines – Capsule machines are a convenient and low-maintenance option as they use pre-packaged espresso pods (capsules) to turn out a consistent cup of espresso every time. However, some disadvantages of capsule machines include limited coffee choices and additional waste generated from single-use pods.
In conclusion, the ideal espresso machine for making Americanos depends on individual preferences and priorities. Consider your desired level of control, convenience, and skill required before selecting the best espresso maker to suit your needs.
Features to Look for in an Espresso Machine
When searching for the best espresso machine for Americanos in 2023, there are several key features we recommend considering to ensure you get the perfect, rich-tasting cup every time.
Firstly, pay attention to the water tank capacity. A larger tank will allow us to make multiple Americanos without constantly refilling. We also want to consider models with a built-in water filter to provide the best-tasting water for our espresso.
The control panel is another important aspect. We should look for an easy-to-use interface that offers sufficient customization options. Features like adjustable temperature, pre-infusion, and programmable brew times give us greater control over the brewing process.
A high-quality burr grinder is essential for consistent, finely ground espresso beans. Some espresso machines have a built-in grinder, which saves counter space and ensures compatibility with the machine. Models with adjustable grind settings are particularly helpful since various bean types require different levels of coarseness.
Filter baskets also play a significant role in extracting espresso. We want machines with high-quality, interchangeable baskets to accommodate different coffee preferences, like single or double shots.
For Americanos, a hot water dispenser is necessary, so we can add hot water to our espresso to achieve the desired strength and taste. This feature also comes in handy for making tea or hot chocolate.
An efficient steam wand is crucial for frothing milk, should we choose to create other beverages, like lattes or cappuccinos. A well-designed wand will produce creamy, velvety froth consistently.
Finally, consider the level of automation the machine offers. Some espresso machines provide manual control over the process, while others automate most of the functions, including the addition of hot water for Americanos. Our choice will depend on our preferred balance between convenience and customizability.
By keeping these features in mind, we can find the ideal espresso machine for creating perfect Americanos in 2023.
Maintenance and Care
When it comes to maintaining your espresso machine for Americanos, it is important to consider cleaning, ease of use, maintenance, storage, and the initial set up. We will cover these aspects to ensure your machine remains in top condition:
Cleaning: Regular cleaning is crucial for the longevity of your espresso machine. Make sure to wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth after use, and don't forget to clean the drip tray, as well as the portafilter and basket, using warm soapy water. Additionally, descale your machine every few months to prevent mineral buildup.
Ease of Use: Look for a machine with intuitive controls and user-friendly interfaces. This will not only help you consistently make great Americanos but also simplify the maintenance process. Easy access to various removable components will further facilitate cleaning and maintenance.
Maintenance: Regularly check your machine for any signs of wear or damage, such as leaks or unusual noises. Replace worn or damaged parts as needed and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for routine maintenance tasks. This may include changing the water filter, lubricating the brew group, and checking for any loose screws.
Storage: Proper storage is essential to keep your machine clean and in good condition. Keep your espresso machine away from direct sunlight and high temperatures, as these can cause damage over time. Also, ensure that the area where you are storing your machine is dry and well-ventilated to prevent the risk of mold growth or moisture damage.
Set Up: Ensure you set up your machine correctly right from the start by following the manufacturer's instructions. This will not only help you prepare perfect Americanos but also contribute to maintaining the machine's performance and longevity.
By following these guidelines, you can keep your espresso machine in optimal condition, ensuring many years of delicious Americanos.
Sustainability and Environmental Concerns
When it comes to coffee brewing, especially with espresso machines, we must consider the sustainability and environmental impacts of our choices. Espresso machines can lead to increased energy consumption. Therefore, selecting energy-efficient models is an essential step towards reducing our carbon footprint.
One way to ensure the sustainability of our coffee consumption is by using ethically sourced coffee beans. -Certified organic beans are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers, ensuring a lower impact on the environment.
Fair Trade-certified beans ensure that farmers receive fair wages and employ environmentally friendly practices.
Rainforest Alliance-certified beans focus on preserving biodiversity and supporting sustainable agricultural methods.
As we discuss sustainability, it's also important to consider the amount of waste generated by espresso machines. Many machines use single-use pods, which contribute significantly to landfills if not recycled properly. Opting for a machine with a built-in grinder or using reusable pods can help reduce this waste and make our coffee consumption more environmentally friendly.
Lastly, proper maintenance and cleaning of espresso machines play a crucial role in sustainability. Regular descaling and cleaning ensure better functionality and longevity of the machine, reducing the need for frequent replacements.
In summary, when selecting an espresso machine for Americanos in 2023, it's essential to prioritize energy efficiency, ethically sourced beans, waste reduction, and proper machine maintenance to ensure sustainability and minimize environmental impact.
Making the Perfect Americano
To make the perfect Americano, it's essential to start with high-quality beans. The beans should be fresh, and the roast level should be to your taste–generally, medium or dark roasts work well. The grind should be consistent, and we recommend using a burr grinder to achieve this.
When preparing the espresso shot, extraction plays a huge role in the final flavor. It's important to achieve a balance between under and over-extraction. Ideally, a well-extracted shot should take around 25-30 seconds to pour, maintaining a steady stream. This process will result in a rich crema on top of the shot—the golden layer of espresso containing concentrated flavor.
Temperature control is essential for the perfect Americano—the water should be heated to around 195-205°F. A commercial espresso machine with a separate hot water dispenser is ideal for maintaining the correct temperature, as this will not affect the temperature of the espresso shot.
For a balanced Americano, we recommend using a double shot of espresso (approximately 2 ounces) and adding 4-6 ounces of hot water to maintain the strength and taste. Gently pour the water into the espresso while preserving the crema. The result should be a flavorful, aromatic cup of Americano perfect for any home barista.
While making a perfect Americano relies on individual taste and preferences, some key elements contribute to a consistently enjoyable cup:
- High-quality beans with the right roast for your taste
- Consistent grind with a burr grinder
- Precise extraction process
- Correct water temperature
- The right balance of espresso and water
By following these guidelines and practice, you can achieve the perfect Americano shot with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best bean-to-cup Americano machines in 2023?
Bean-to-cup machines make Americanos by grinding fresh coffee beans and brewing espresso in one seamless process. Some of the top contenders for 2023 include:
- Solis Barista Perfetta Plus: A great choice under $1,000, this machine combines performance and affordability.
- De'Longhi ECAM22110SB: This compact machine offers customizable brewing options to suit every taste.
Which espresso machines with grinders are ideal for making Americanos?
Espresso machines with integrated grinders allow for consistent grinding and brewing, perfect for Americanos. These recommended models for 2023 come equipped with grinders:
- Breville Barista Express: Known for its precise grinding and ease of use, this machine is a popular choice.
- Gaggia Brera Superautomatic Espresso Machine: This machine features an adaptable ceramic grinder, ensuring optimal coffee extraction.
What are the best beginner-friendly espresso machines for Americanos?
If you're new to making Americanos, it's essential to find a user-friendly and reliable espresso machine. Our top picks for 2023 include:
- Solis Barista Perfetta Plus: With intuitive controls, this espresso machine is suitable for beginners.
- De'Longhi Dedica EC685: This slim machine offers easy navigation and fast heating for a quick Americano experience.
Which manual espresso machines excel in making Americanos in 2023?
For those who prefer hands-on brewing, manual espresso machines can offer exceptional control and quality for Americanos. Noteworthy manual options for 2023 are:
- Flair Signature Espresso Maker: With its stylish design and precise pressure control, this manual machine delivers top-notch espresso shots.
- ROK EspressoGC: Lightweight and with high-quality materials, this manual espresso machine allows for customized shot pulling.