There's no universally-fit-all coffee machine. This is why we've compiled our favorite picks for your home, ranging from a super-automatic that grinds and packs your beans, to a semiautomatic that gives you the best control over your espresso.
The Breville Oracle Touch achieves the perfect balance between automation and needing to be able to master the art of espresso-making. It's our top pick for a machine that makes coffee.
1. Rocket Appartamento
Rocket Appartamento is a top option for those who want to make espresso at home, without making significant sacrifices in terms of quality. This prosumer espresso machine is designed with limited counter space in mind and is built to last with a high-end build quality and a very small footprint. It is equipped with an 1.8-liter copper heat exchange boiler as well as a commercial E61 group heads so that you can steam milk and brew espresso at the same time.
The machine looks fantastic and has a round insert on the side panel with the steam engraved and hot water spouts. This is a modernization of Rocket's traditional design, which is already impressive for a compact appliance. It also has the black pressure gauge, which shows when the boiler is ready to use.
One disadvantage of this tiny machine is that the drip tray and water reservoir are smaller than most other machines. You will need to be careful when emptying and re-filling the machine. This is particularly true in the event that you frequently use it. This is a normal trade-off for having smaller footprint, however it is not a problem that is unique to this model.
This machine is capable of handling the demands of your coffee. We recommend buying a good grinder, such as the Baratza Sette Giante to improve consistency and filtercoffeemachine taste. You can also pair this machine with a Rocket portafilter to enhance the process of tamping.
As a prosumer espresso machine, the Rocket Appartamento is capable of making great drinks, and it's easy to create the latte art. It's important to note that this machine isn't designed for novices. There is a little learning curve for people who are upgrading from appliances-grade espresso machines. The heat exchanger can be difficult to operate and you'll have to learn how to perform cooling flushes.
Both the Lelit Bianca as well as the Rocket Appartamento have the option to connect to an water source, allowing you to be in a position to drink cold and purified water. The latter, however, has a 2.25-liter water tank that is more difficult to refill than some of its competitors.
2. Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie
As you might expect from the Lavazza machine this one has been designed with quality in mind. The machine is able to reach the temperature of brewing quickly, meaning you can make your first cup in less than 35 seconds. The water tank is fast and easy to refill and the lid can be removed completely to make a wide opening. You can also fill it up with tap water if that's what you prefer.
This is the smallest machine of the Lavazza A Modo Mio range however, it still is a powerful machine. It's priced at less than PS100 at the full price which is less than the Nespresso Essenza or similar machines from SMEG or Desea. This makes the Jolie a great option for those without the budget or space for a traditional espresso maker, but who would like to experience the pleasure of authentic Italian espresso.
The Jolie is easy to use and takes up little counter space. Pressing one button will activate the machine. Pressing it again will start dispensing the pod you've selected. The button has a backlight so you can see the amount you've consumed. You can also stop the process in case you wish to drink the pod in smaller amounts.
There's no steam wand included on this model, however you can add a milk frother (available separately) to add some creamy froth, if you'd like. The machine is quite quiet, too and can be utilized in a small space or in a flatshare kitchen without causing any disturbance to anyone else.
They're not inexpensive, but there's an array of blends to choose from that will satisfy everyone from the mildest to the most demanding espresso drinkers. You can find them in many supermarkets, as well as regular grounds coffee and coffee beans. You can also buy Lavazza A Modo Mio Compatible pods online.
The Jolie and milk is a sleek capsule machine that comes with an integrated milk warmer. It comes with a 75cm power plug and power cable, a warranty card and a quick reference, and a tester pack of nine Lavazza pods. Six are roasted (two Qualita Rossa and Filtercoffeemachine two Lungo Dolce) and two are decaffeinated. The machine is small enough to be able to be stowed on a flat surface or slipped under the cabinet.
3. Breville BES870XL
At first glance at first, the Breville Barista Express looks like an espresso machine that's beyond the budget of many average consumers. If you're willing put in the work to master its use, this is an excellent espresso maker for your home that is more efficient than some of the more expensive models on the market. It's an excellent value for the money and is particularly useful for those who are new to the field and don't have an espresso machine, which can cost up to $100.
This model is priced below the top-of-the-line Breville Oracle (the most expensive at $2199) however it is an excellent option for baristas who are on a tight budget. It has a lot of options to customize and features, including an integrated burr mill to make it more affordable. It's also a single boiler, which means it can only do brewing or steaming at one time.
Despite being a relatively newcomer to the espresso machine market, Breville has quickly made a name for themselves with their high-quality appliances. This machine is no exception and it comes with enough control to let aspiring baristas improve their abilities without spending a lot more than is necessary.
The unit has its quirks. The hopper is located on the side, not at the top of the model. It's not a huge deal, but can be a hassle if you need to give several shots at once. It's also not very easy to know the amount of water left in the tank because of its rear position.
But if you're prepared to learn how to master the Breville Barista Express, it's an ideal, all-purpose machine for anyone who loves espresso at home. The only drawback to the Breville Barista Express is its price, which may be a stumbling block for some buyers. If you're looking for a low-cost alternative, we recommend the Gaggia Classic and the La Pavoni Impresso. Both machines are similar in capability and provide a bit more control than the Barista Express. However, they are a fraction of the price.
4. OXO Brew 9 Cup
A high-tech smart coffee maker with a simple user interface that produces excellent coffee. The sleek stainless steel design and backlit LED screen provides your kitchen with a stylish appearance. It has one dial to set the number of cups you would like it to make and includes a 2-4 cup setting as well as a 5-9 cup setting. The brewing process is similar to pour-over brewing, which coffee lovers believe makes the most delicious coffee. The water is heated to the right temperature, filtercoffeemachine then poured evenly over the coffee grounds with a shower head. The brewed coffee then collects in the thermal, double-walled carafe, which can last up to 60 minutes. The pause and pour feature allows you to remove the carafe while brewing to fill your own cup. The machine pauses the brewing process, and displays the red light on its LED interface, until you return the carafe. Then, it resumes the brewing process.
The OXO Brew 9-Cup coffee maker is a SCAA-certified coffee maker, that means it is in compliance with the strict standards of SCAA's technical standards. Its brew cycles are about the same as the Bodum Bistro and the Technivorm Moccamaster 741 but it allows for more control over temperature and brewing time.
In our testing in our testing, the OXO Brew 9-Cup made a pot of excellent drip coffee with a full-carafe in just 7 minutes and 41 seconds. This is a bit longer than the 6 minutes or less that the Bonavita Connoisseur and the Moccamaster require, but still within the range experts in the field suggest for a decent cup of drip.
It also requires that you grind your own beans prior to brewing. You can select a manual grinder or an automated model such as the Baratza Encore. It has various grind settings, as well as an hopper for beans that are whole.
The only drawback to this product is that it's not dishwasher safe. This could pose a problem for some customers. The stainless steel is still easy to clean by hand, however. The OXO 9-Cup is a top contender for the top drip coffee maker because of its sleek design and easy-to use interface.