Espresso originated more than a century ago in Italy. Since then, such iconic brands as De’Longhi and Gaggia have preserved these Italian traditions and are continuing to make high-quality and authentic coffee makers.
We’ve taken a look at more than 30 products to select the best 8 Italian espresso machines. When choosing products for our selection, there were a lot of things to consider. First, we’ve included coffee makers of all types (manual, semi-automatic, automatic), so you may choose the one that suits you the best. We’ve also tried to represent coffee makers that can accommodate various amounts of water since every family has different needs. Finally, some of the products also include built-in grinders, so you don’t have to buy a separate appliance.
Espresso Machine Laekerrt 20 Bar Espresso Maker CMEP02 with Milk Frother Steam Wand, Professional Expresso Machine for Cappuccino and Latte (Green) Gift for Coffee Lovers, Mom, Friend, FamilyView on Amazon
Neretva 20 Bar Espresso Coffee Machine with Steam Wand for Latte Espresso and Cappuccino, Compact Espresso Maker For Home Barista, 1350W Premium Italian High Pressure - BeigeView on Amazon
Mixpresso Espresso Machine for Nespresso Compatible Capsule, Single Serve Coffee Maker Programmable Buttons for Espresso Pods, Premium Italian 19 Bar High Pressure Pump 27oz 1400W (Black)View on Amazon
Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar Fast Heating Cappuccino Coffee Maker with Milk Frother Steam Wand - BeigeView on Amazon
Sincreative Espresso Machine & Coffee Maker - 20Bar Semi Automatic Espresso Machine With Grinder & Steam Wand – All in One Espresso Maker & Latte Machine for Home - Brushed Stainless Steel Die CastingView on Amazon
Café Bellissimo Semi Automatic Espresso Machine + Milk Frother | WiFi Connected, Smart Kitchen Essentials | Built-In Bean Grinder, 15-Bar Pump & 95-Ounce Water Reservoir | Steel SilverView on Amazon
De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine, Latte & Cappuccino Maker, 15 Bar Pump Pressure + Manual Milk Frother Steam Wand, Black / Stainless, EC260BKView on Amazon
Gevi 15 Bar Espresso Machine, Espresso and Cappuccino Machine for Home, with Manual Milk Frother Steam Wand, 50 oz removable water tank, Silver / Stainless, 1050WView on Amazon
Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
With espresso becoming an integral part of more and more kitchens, it’s no wonder that people want a machine that will give them restaurant quality results right at home. As such, there is a fair bit of variety available when it comes to espresso machines and here we will help you understand what to look for when buying one for your home or office.
Italian espresso machine – does the country matter?
Since espresso is synonymous with Italy and the Italians did come up with the original Moka cup, it is no surprise that espresso aficionados would give preference to espresso machines made in Italy. With historical affiliations such as Luigi Bezerra, Desiderio Pavoni, and Alfonso Bialetti, the pioneers in this industry’s technology, espresso drinkers associate a stronger espresso and superior flavor with Italian products.
Italian espresso making tips
To make the perfect cup of espresso, you need high-quality coffee, a good coffee grinder and the correct espresso machine. Pair these up with the following to get the best espresso every time:
- Pre-warm your espresso equipment including cups, portafilter and machine before use.
- Grind the coffee fresh for the best taste.
- Soften the water you will use to make the espresso.
- Tamp coffee grind evenly into portafilter, brushing off any loose grounds.
- Press the correct setting for a single or double shot.
To get an idea on how to brew espresso perfectly on a stovetop, take a look at this video:
The price range of your espresso machine will primarily be dictated by the number of operations and features it offers. You can well start off with machines under $100 but don’t expect these to compete with higher-end, super automatic versions that do everything for you.
If you start off with the most basic stovetop model, prices start around the $25 mark. Moving onto more advanced machines that deliver single-cup, pod style espresso will cost anything between $40 and $150. But perhaps the most popular machines come for a price tag ranging between $150 and $300. For machines that deliver professional café quality espresso, you can easily expect to shell out anything between $450 and $1200.
The best Italian espresso machine can be found by the following features
The trick to making perfect espresso is forcing a small amount of hot, but not boiling, water under at least 9 bars of pressure through finely ground coffee to get the most authentic flavor. As such, pressure, among other things seems to be the defining metric to creating real espresso. Here, we will consider what other features need to accompany pressure to give the best espresso you can make at home.
Brands to consider
DeLonghi has a long tradition of manufacturing the best-designed, high-performing espresso machines. The brand name precedes its products and is trusted by millions for creating perfect espresso drinks every time.
Gaggia is another Italian contender in the espresso machine industry. Established in 1938, the company has been manufacturing some of the most popular machines for making espresso.
Rancilio uses the motto “Coffeeing the World”, and rightly so. The company has been producing top-notch products that are used in leading hotel and restaurant chains, airports, schools, company canteens and hospitals across the globe.
La Pavoni needs no introduction in the world of Italian espresso machines as they were the first ones to bring this ingenious invention to the market. Since then La Pavoni has never looked back, keeping tradition and technology up with the times and delivering true masterpieces for creating perfect espresso.
Typically, espresso machines can be divided into the following types:
The moka pot is the most basic type using steam to create pressure. While it is the most cost-effective and space-efficient way to brew espresso, there are concerns with the pressure not being high enough for a good extraction.
Manual lever espresso machines bring old world aesthetics and performance with them. These are best suited for espresso connoisseurs who have mastered the skill of espresso making and who enjoy having complete control over concocting their espresso.
Semi-automatic is perhaps the most common and affordable type of machine found. The semi-automatic espresso machine features an electric brewing pump that needs to be turned on and off manually. These models offer the most brewing flexibility, are fairly compact in size and will yield good quality espresso with a thick crema. The Rancilio Silvia, Gaggia Carezza and the La Pavoni models fall in this category.
Super automatic are espresso makers that do all the work for you using built-in coffee grinders, filling and tamping mechanisms and brewing a pre-determined volume of espresso. These smart models will also get rid of used coffee grounds via an internal waste container. All it takes is the press of a button. Both the DeLonghi Magnifica and the Gaggia Babila are excellent choices for automatic models.
Capsule espresso machines are excellent choices for locations like offices, restaurants, coffee shops, diners, and other food service locations. They offer convenience using pre-filled coffee capsules inserted into the machine. You press a button and get thick, authentic espresso.
Espresso machines will primarily offer a single or double shot. Some may even offer a triple shot. Compact versions carry a 5-liter boiler or 6.5-liter boiler. Larger group head models for commercial settings can go up to having 11-liter boilers and larger work surfaces designed to accommodate both tall and low cups.
Beans container capacity
The portafilter is where the machine holds the coffee ground prior to and during the brewing process. Under typical situations, a single basket can hold up to 11 grams of coffee, a double basket increases that number to 17 grams while a triple basket can hold up to 21 grams of coffee grounds.
Water reservoir volume
The reservoir is the component from where the machine pulls water to fill its boilers. The reservoir makes the machine more portable and eliminates the need for plumbing in the device. Reservoirs work well for small volumes while professional machines need a steady piped source. Based on the machine’s model, reservoirs can hold any volume from 35 ounces to 2 liters.
Big brands in the espresso machine industry will all offer some kind of warranty to back their product. Given the amount you will pay for a high-end machine, it makes sense to look for at least a year’s warranty.
Not every espresso machine comes with accessories included, although there are a few that you cannot do without when making espresso. For instance, you will need to have a grinder, a milk frother and a tamper to press down the coffee grounds. To consider a grinder, if your machine doesn’t have one, look for a burr grinder for an even ground. If you need a frothing pitcher, choose one based on how much milk you need to froth. Ideally, the pitcher should not be filled more than 1/3 of its capacity to allow the foam to double in volume. Espresso tampers can also be purchased separately to help you pack the grounds nicely.
Most home and office espresso machines feature plastic bodies that yield aesthetic to complement the décor. Bigger, commercial machines, however, will have steel bodies to withstand the demand of commercial food sites such as restaurants, cafes or diners where there is a constant influx of espresso orders. Machines that are placed in professional kitchens will gather grease from the air and with a stainless-steel body, it’s easier to scrub this film off.
Do Italian espresso machines serve longer than others?
The performance of an espresso machine is basically linked to how well and how often it’s used and not always tied to its brand name. That said, some of the biggest names in the industry all hail from Italy with years of technology to back them up. So it may not be unfair to say that Italian espresso machines do have some impressive testimonials to back their longevity and performance.
Are there commercial Italian espresso machines?
Yes, there are. Most brands coming out of Italy, manufacture both smaller home and office espresso machines as well as their larger, commercial counterparts. Brand names like DeLonghi, Gaggia and Rancilio all manufacture commercial machines as well.