The 10 Best Espresso Machines of 2020 – Comparison and Guide

If you are unable to start the day without your caffeine fix, or round off your lunch (or dinner) with a coffee, welcome to the caffeine club!

We are talking about having a good coffee, the one that awakens your neurons, but also your sense of taste. No instant preparations, but the delicious experience of an espresso, that is, fast but delicious.

Although if the coffee maker you have leaves a lot to be desired, many times you end up going to a coffee shop where you know that they prepare it properly. Fortunately, more and more good espresso machines can be found on the market that help you prepare your favorite drink with considerable savings of time and money , and make the coffee to your liking!

The idea is to choose a coffee machine that makes it perfect for you,  that you use without being lazy and that you can clean in less time than it takes to empty the cup. You can choose between the typical express similar to those in coffee shops and the most modern capsule ones . Both prepare the coffee in the same way, under pressure, and the main difference is that with classic espresso machines you can choose which coffee you want to use, even choose between ground or bean to better preserve the flavor, while with capsule coffee machines you have a limited variety depending on the brand.

With this guide you will be able to choose your espresso machine in less time than it will take to explode the bubbles in its packaging.

The 4 best espresso machines without capsules

1.  DeLonghi Magnifica

The pressure coffee maker for demanding baristas on short notice.

Among the pressure coffee makers, the automatic ones are the most comfortable … and also the most expensive , because they give you everything practically done, so that you only have to worry about savoring your coffee.

This is what the DeLonghi Magnificent does to perfection: by pressing a single button and turning a dial , you can make a shorter or longer coffee, adjust the intensity of the aroma and even the temperature of the water.

It has an integrated grinder that grinds the coffee bean just at the time of making your drink , so that it does not lose its aroma. It has 13 programs for you to adjust the grind to your liking, although if you prefer you can use already ground coffee , for example when you fancy a decaf.

To savor a delicious coffee with milk or a cappuccino, you have the vaporizer tube (Cappuccino System) with which to froth your drink as much as you want.

Do you want more advantages?

  • It incorporates an automatic cleaning system , which makes the machine rinse every time it is turned on and off.
  • In addition, it will notify you when it is necessary to do a manual descaling (the period will depend on how you use the coffee maker).

Continuing with the cleaning, two important details: the water tank is removable, and so is the drip tray .

In short, the DeLonghi Magnificent is up there with any reputable coffee shop . Your friends will want to go to your house for coffee!

  • You can adjust the automatic grinder to get the desired grind.
  • The double hopper for grain and ground (great for decaffeinated).
  • It accepts glasses and cups of different sizes.
  • The cost for coffee is much cheaper than for capsules (and of better quality)
  • The price. This type of coffee maker is not cheap.
  • It is quite large and you will need space to place and use it.

2.  Krups Roma

An espresso machine to control every last detail.

The Krups Roma EA8108 espresso machine  is super- automatic, it does absolutely everything : it grinds the coffee just before it is needed, prepares the drink, collects the grounds in a tank, automatically cleans and descales itself …

It also allows you to customize the size of your drink (from 20 to 220 ml) or the dose of coffee (from 6 to 9 grams per cup), for a more or less intense result.

It has a removable tank of 1.8 liters. It also has a vaporizer tube, which in addition to foaming the milk, dispenses hot water for your infusions . Without forgetting other interesting features:

  • The height of the dispenser is adjustable, so you can use any cup you want without problems .
  • It has an upper tank for coffee beans that avoids having to refill in each preparation; in addition, it is transparent and closed, to maintain the aroma of the grains without losing sight of when it must be replenished.
  • The grinder is made of steel wheels and offers 3 levels of grinding (fine, medium or coarse) so that you can adjust it to your liking.

When it comes to cleaning, everything is easy: in addition to the automatic cleaning and descaling system , it is delivered with a maintenance kit that includes cleaning tablets and a descaling envelope.

The Krups Roma EA8108 is a great option to fully customize your espresso coffee with minimal effort.

  • Smaller than other similar coffee machines.
  • It allows you to customize the drink in intensity, size and thickness of the grind.
  • Includes self-cleaning and maintenance kit
  • It only admits coffee beans.
  • The instruction manual is a bit poor.

3.  Cecotec Power Expresso

The espresso machine with the highest pressure and the best price.

The Cecotec Power Expresso is clearly aimed at the sector of coffee growers who are looking for a good espresso machine without making a large outlay.

Its best value is a great value for money (it does not reach € 100), and several details that differentiate it from its competitors: an upper tray to preheat the cups (like those in coffee shops), hot water to make infusions , vaporizer tube , removable 1.5 liter tank …

Obviously, it is not a small coffee maker – all those extras need a space – but it more than fulfills its mission of achieving a perfect espresso with all the cream that characterizes it.

It is very easy to use because its control panel has been simplified to the maximum : with three buttons you have everything under control, apart from the thread for the vaporizer tube. It allows to make two cups of coffee simultaneously.

Another detail: although it is used with ground coffee (it does not include an internal grinder, as you may have deduced from its price), it is also compatible with single-dose , thus multiplying its functionality.

The Cecotec Power Expresso is a great option to start as a barista without risking your monthly budget.

  • Good value for money.
  • Very easy to use and clean.
  • You can prepare two cups at a time.
  • It is quite bulky.
  • It has no automatic stop.

4.  Solac CE4480

Simple, functional and efficient: a classic espresso machine.
Solac is a Spanish brand founded in the early twentieth century and launched its first domestic coffee maker in 1935, so they know something about it. This Solac CE4480 is made of stainless steel, it is resistant and easy to clean.


The removable tank contains 1.2 liters and has a cup warming tray , to warm the container before preparing the coffee. The tray is made of stainless steel, like the frothing tube to froth the milk , much more hygienic than other models with a plastic seal.

The portafilter must be filled with ground coffee manually, and allows you to make one or two cups at the same time.

Its operation is very simple through three buttons : on / off, coffee extraction and ignition of the vaporizer, which is regulated with a thread, like those in coffee shops. It turns itself off after a period of inactivity (how much can be programmed).

The space between the spout and the tray is quite wide, which allows you to use cups or glasses larger than a single coffee.

With all these features, the Solac CE4480 is an economical option for a more than acceptable result.

  • Good price.
  • Compact and resistant.
  • Automatic shutdown after a period of inactivity.
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • The vaporizer tube is a bit stiff.
  • It could be quieter.

Top 3 Nespresso Capsule Coffee Makers

1.  Krups Nespresso Essenza Mini

A Nespresso capsule coffee machine for small and stylish kitchens.

In this Krups Nespresso Essenza there are many functions, despite its small size.

Even so, it has the usual strength in Nespresso and allows you to enjoy an excellent coffee with all its crema.  As is customary for the brand, you have the option to customize it to your liking, making it more intense or longer.

From the moment you turn it on, you only have to wait 25 seconds to make the coffee . And the energy saving mode is activated after 3 minutes. To top it off, it turns itself off after 9 minutes of inactivity. You don’t have to worry about anything!

If you decide on this coffee machine, you can start enjoying it immediately, because it includes a box with several capsules for you to try the different flavors of Nespresso . It also has a voucher of € 20 for you to buy more capsules, but conditional on a larger purchase.

It is also not mandatory that you use the original Nespresso coffee: there are numerous white brands that manufacture compatible.

It has a container for used capsules with a capacity for 9 units and a 0.6 liter tank (about five coffees). If you drink your coffee with milk in a large cup, keep in mind that the drip tray is removable but not hinged . That is, you have to remove it to fit the cup.

It is perhaps the most uncomfortable failure of this Krups Nespresso, which is otherwise an excellent coffee maker for kitchens with little space.

  • Good value for money.
  • Ultra compact size.
  • Heats up in just 25 seconds.
  • Allows you to adjust the intensity and amount of coffee.
  • If you are using a large mug, the drip tray must be removed.
  • The water tank admits only 0.6L (approx. 5 coffees).

2.  Nespresso Pixie

A Nespresso of urban design for demanding coffee growers.

The Pixie coffee machine is a Nespresso original. Small but powerful, the Pixie has a great design – we expected no less from the brand – and excellent functionality.

In addition to the possibility of  choosing the intensity of the coffee , the welcome capsule pack and its very rapid heating from the moment you turn it on, incorporates an automatic shut-off system after 9 minutes of inactivity.

If you run out of water, red lights come on to warn you before the engine suffers. It is not necessary to remove the tank to refill it, so it is very convenient. Plus:

  • The tank holds 0.7 liters of water and can store up to 10 used capsules.
  • The drip tray folds up so you can use taller cups in your milk preparations.

Come on, everything you need to enjoy a delicious espresso without having to pay attention to small details.

And also, aesthetically it is very beautiful , in any of its colors. Due to its design and its value for money, the Pixie is one of the most popular models of Nesspreso .

  • Empty tank indicator light.
  • Folding tray to use larger cups.
  • It heats up very quickly and turns itself off after 9 minutes of inactivity.
  • Modern design.
  • It is a bit louder than other Nespresso machines.

3.  Wacaco Minipresso NS

A capsule coffee maker to take your coffee anywhere.

Whether you travel a lot, or if your office does not have a good coffee maker and you miss it, the Wacaco Minipresso NS has come to save you. Now you can take your capsule coffee with you and prepare it anywhere.

Indeed, we are facing a travel coffee maker . Many hotels provide a water heater, but a good coffee addict is not going to settle for a soluble , far from it. So you pour hot water into the tank, press on the mechanism several times, and you have your espresso ready!

Logically, being manual, the pressure is not the same as an electric coffee maker , but it is enough to save the trip, and have a good coffee in places where you did not think it was possible.

It weighs 350 grams, so you will not notice it in your backpack or suitcase and it takes up very little .

The Wacaco Minipresso includes a cleaning brush and a cup for pouring coffee. In addition, you can buy a larger water tank separately , filter baskets to prepare your coffee without the need for capsules and an EVA travel bag.

  • You can take it on a trip.
  • Light and compact.
  • It does not need electricity.
  • You need to get hot water.
  • The pressure is lower than in a normal Nespresso machine.

The 3 best capsule coffee machines from other brands

1.  Bosch Tassimo Vivy2

A small Tassimo capsule coffee maker that meets high expectations.

This is one of the smallest espresso machines you can find on the market , but its value for money is one of the largest.

Like all Tassimos, the Bosch Vivy2 allows you to prepare several drinks in addition to coffee, making it ideal for small homes or workplaces , where it will be used by many different people.

Don’t worry, it is impossible for the flavors of the different drinks to mix, because it has an automatic cleaning and descaling system that is activated after each use.

Thanks to the T-Disc capsules with barcode, it is automatic and stops by itself when the coffee (or the chocolate or the tea) is just at its temperature, quantity and intensity point, to facilitate the preparation of your drink. However, the mechanism does not respond well to white label capsules : something to keep in mind.

It takes very little to heat up, you can prepare your coffee in seconds, even the first cup of the day. In addition, its small size does not limit its capacity either , as it has a 0.7 liter water tank.

The holder for the Bosch Tassimo Vivy2 container is height adjustable, so you can use your favorite cup without having to juggle to avoid spilling your coffee when you remove it from the base.

  • Its small size makes it suitable for almost any space.
  • It is one of the cheapest coffee machines on the market.
  • It is automatic, it stops by itself when the coffee is ready.
  • It allows to prepare a multitude of drinks, in addition to coffee: chocolate, infusions …
  • White label capsules give compatibility problems.
  • The water tank is small for offices or work centers.

2.  DeLonghi Dolce Gusto Piccolo

A Dolce Gusto capsule coffee maker with which you can vary your drink.

Dolce Gusto belongs to Nestlé and all of their coffee makers work in a similar way , so this De Longhi Piccolo is no different.

The most significant difference between models is that it is manual (you have to stop the machine) or automatic (it stops by itself when the coffee is ready). Obviously, the most basic and economical models are limited to the manual option.

The rest of the differences between the coffee machines is, above all, aesthetic. And it is that, in terms of design, the Dolce Gusto are very very attractive, with smooth and rounded lines and bold colors.

The Piccolo model is one of the simplest and most popular of the brand, also one of the cheapest. This implies, as we have said, that it is of the manual models and you need to be aware when you prepare the coffee. It has a 0.6 l tank.

In addition to coffee alone, you can also make it with milk, or chocolate, cold drinks and infusions, so it adapts to the tastes of many users.

In this case, you can find compatible capsules (from private label manufacturers) with this De Longhi Dolce Gusto Piccolo, a little cheaper than the originals.

  • Small size.
  • It allows you to prepare more drinks in addition to coffee, even cold drinks.
  • Heats up very quickly from the start.
  • It is manual, you must be aware of stopping it when the coffee is ready.
  • It has no deposit for used capsules, you have to remove them manually.

3.  Philips Senseo Original XL

A great machine with Senseo capsules for eco-conscious coffee growers.

Philips is the manufacturer of the Senseo coffee machines, which are used with Marcilla coffee. This tandem gives rise to the fundamental difference of the Senseo with respect to other espresso machines, and that is that they do not use disposable capsules.

Instead of using plastic or aluminum, Senseo capsules are actually biodegradable pods .

This, in turn, has two positive impacts : one, that less waste is generated per coffee (you don’t have to pick up a plastic or aluminum capsule); and second, pods are cheaper than capsules , so coffee is more profitable in the long run.

Currently there are many private label manufacturers that offer them, so you have a choice, beyond the original Marcilla.

The Philips Senseo Original XL has a 1.2 l tank, larger than usual in espresso machines, so you can make more preparations without having to refill it. In addition, it allows you to make one or two cups of coffee simultaneously , although if you make two cups remember to include two pods or there will be a watered down drink.

This model (and its little sister , with a 0.7 l tank) is very popular in Europe. There are users who have been using it for years on a daily basis, which guarantees its resistance and longevity .

Due to its durability and cost per coffee, we can conclude that the quality-price ratio of the Philips Senseo Original is one of the best on the market.

  • The pods are cheap and ecological.
  • Large tank.
  • It allows to make two coffees at the same time.
  • Capsules are not available in all supermarkets.
  • If you want an intense coffee you must use two pods.

Our recommendations

The best espresso machine: De Longhi Magnifica

The Italian manufacturer relies on all its experience to develop one of the best pressure coffee machines on the market, the DeLonghi Magnifica super-automatic.

A medium-high range coffee maker that includes features that more than justify its price:

  • The double hopper that allows you to use coffee beans and ground coffee : so you can enjoy all the strength of an espresso coffee even if you drink decaffeinated, this option is not available in many coffee machines, and we love it!
  • The built-in automatic grinder : freshly ground coffee every morning, in the right amount for your cup, in which you can adjust the grind to be just the way you like it.
  • The customization options for your coffee: in addition to the thickness of the grind, with the 13 programs that the grinder incorporates, you can choose a long, medium or short coffee, mild or strong aroma, more or less high temperature … Because, despite Being automatic, it allows you to manually adjust every detail of your drink.

In short, an extraordinary option to get your coffee at home without going crazy with all the options of a manual espresso machine. Of course, prepare the wallet, because if you want functionality, you have to pay for it.

The best cheap espresso machine: Cecotec Power Expresso

The goal is to enjoy a “cafeteria-like” coffee but without leaving your wallet in the process, right?

Therefore, choosing the best cheap espresso machine has been very simple: without a doubt, the Cecotec Power Expresso.

And you ask yourself, why “without a doubt”? Because everything it brings, at the price it has , is a great opportunity:

  • It is used with ground coffee that must be loaded manually, which allows you to also make a decaffeinated espresso , to control the daily dose of caffeine.
  • You can make a single coffee or two at the same time , if you want to enjoy it in company.
  • Thanks to the vaporizer tube, you can prepare infusions or froth the milk to enjoy a wonderful cappuccino or coffee latte.

A great choice at the best price to start enjoying your experience as a barista . Of course, make room for it on your countertop, because all these options need a little space.

Best Nespresso Capsule Maker: Nespresso Pixie

Go ahead, we also like the Krups coffee maker a lot, and it is a good value for money.

However, our recommendation is the Nespresso Pixie for several reasons:

  • Because the coffee is great . If the raw material is of quality, you will get a coffee with cream and an aroma that will put you in a good mood in the morning.
  • Because you can use large cups . It is perhaps one of the points that least convince us about the Krups Essenza, and that the Pixie solves easily. The non-drip base folds up so you can put your latte mug in, and don’t have to stain an extra glass.
  • Because the tank is large and comfortable . 0.7 liters that you can fill without having to remove the tank to put it under the tap.
  • Because it is very pretty . The metallic touch, available in various colors, shines in any kitchen. The Nespresso Pixie has a great and functional design, it does not occupy too much … and if it does it is to attract attention in a positive way.

It is hard for us to get something out of this coffee machine, which perfectly meets what is expected of a Nespresso machine.

Okay, it ‘s a bit noisy , something you should take into account especially if you are one of those who get up early and want a coffee when the rest of the house has not gotten up. Anyway, it is a common trait of this type of appliances: you will not find any completely silent.

The best non-Nespresso capsule coffee maker: Dolce Gusto Piccolo

Although the king of the market is undoubtedly Nespresso, there are other brands that fulfill their mission just as well, and this is the case of De Longhi Dolce Gusto Piccolo.

Because it has a series of characteristics that make it a more than successful choice:

  • An excellent value for money , because without exceeding € 100 (not counting the offers you can find) it performs its function with a note.
  • It has a multi-drink option, which allows you to prepare other drinks , in addition to coffee: in the market you will find chocolate capsules, coffee with milk, herbal teas… So you can use it with the whole family (or everyone in the office). And this includes cold drinks!
  • It is compact, much smaller than other models of the same family , but that does not take away an iota of power. You have practically the same functions as in other Dolce Gusto, but in less space.

If you have to look for a problem, it would be that it is manual; that is, it does not stop when you finish making coffee, but you have to turn it off . This function does have other higher-end Dolce Gusto, but of course, you have to pay for it. You decide if it compensates you.

Guide to buy your espresso machine

Espresso lovers have endless options to prepare their favorite drink.

This, actually, is done by a lot of very different coffee machines : you can use an Italian, French, American, Napoletana, express, automatic, semi-automatic, plunger, self-cleaning, milk warmer, single-dose, with lime detector, or coffee makers that also make infusions.

Tranquility! Choosing is easier than it seems, you just have to decide what your priority is when making coffee.

Features to consider when choosing your coffee maker

  • Pubs. Are bars important? Yes and no. The bar is the measure of pressure with which the water passes through the coffee. The right pressure for perfect espresso is 9 bars . This is what you will find in most coffee shops, or at least the ones that get rich and creamy coffee. If so, why are there coffeemakers that have up to 20 bars? Because in a domestic coffee maker there are many “leak points” through which pressure can escape. In hospitality, professional machines are used, which maintain the pressure regardless of other factors, such as the water flow. In a homemade pump, the pump is vibratory, and the flow of water does influence: the more flow, the less pressure it is capable of sending. Hence manyapply higher pressure, to make sure you get those 9 bars that the perfect coffee needs. That is not to say that it is the only factor you have to look at in a coffee maker, not even the most important. A 20 bar coffee maker can achieve the same effect as another with much less, if the latter is adjusted properly. Also check the quality of the coffee or water, the thickness of the grind or the pressing in the filter (if you don’t use capsules). Based on trial and error you will find the perfect recipe for your tastes.
  • Milk frother . If latte coffee is your thing, you will surely love that little foam that is created at the top of the cup. To get it you need a steamer, because that foam is nothing more than steam bubbles that make the milk “fluff”. Most traditional espresso cafes have a steamer on one side: a tube from which steam comes out – be careful not to burn yourself – that you put into a milk jug. Serve it with a touch of the wrist and you will achieve that pleasant texture. Other coffee makers, like the Nespresso, include a separate gadget for the same purpose. It is an electric jug that does not use steam, but heats and churns the milk at the same time, until it bubbles. The result is practically the same as the traditional vaporizer.
  • Grinder. If you use capsules, this section does not interest you much, because you will have to settle for the coffee as it is prepared as standard (unless you prepare your own refillable capsules). If not, there are coffee makers that have a refillable grinder. Ideally, you can regulate the intensity of the grind. Normally, finer is better, but personal tastes come into play here. Better that you go trying what convinces you the most.
  • Automatic coffee maker vs. manual . As always, convenience comes at a price. If you prepare your coffee manually, controlling each step of the way and monitoring the intensity and “length” of the coffee, it will come out completely to your liking. However, there are those who are satisfied with the quality of the standard, and prefer to forget about the subject and hit a simple button. Even so, more and more automatic espresso machines include certain customization programs, for example, in the amount of water for a long or short coffee, or in the power of the grinder.
  • Variety of capsules. If capsule coffee is your thing, you basically have two types: Nespresso and all the others. Nespresso focuses on coffee, and they have a wide variety of options on the market, either for the origin of the coffee or for the complete blend, flavorings, etc. If you want a coffee with milk, for example, you should add it after using the coffee maker. If you like other hot beverages a lot, such as coffee with milk, chocolate or herbal teas, you may need to evaluate other brands of capsules that offer more preparations in this line.

How do you make a good espresso?

Espresso cupTo make an espresso, a limited amount of boiling water is forced through the compressed, fine-ground coffee to create a rich coffee with a tasty golden brown crown almost instantly.

The most purist experts consider that preparing an espresso is a ritual that combines art and technique . And like every ritual it has its own rules:

  • Minimum amount of coffee per cup: between 7 and 8 grams
  • Water temperature : varies from 88 to 92ºC
  • Minimum water pressure (when it passes through the grinding): ideally 9 bar.
  • Preparation time: between 20 and 30 seconds

This all seems too complicated for a simple coffee, right?

For that we have a lot of machines that will automatically adjust all these variables , so that you only have to worry about enjoying your coffee.

Any coffee maker you choose should heat the water, generate the right pressure and set the ideal amount of grind for you . However, not all do it in the same time, use the same electricity, cost the same or are cleaned the same. Of course, the same result is not obtained either.

So think carefully about how you like your coffee and what budget you have and choose the best espresso machine for you.

What types of coffee makers are on the market?

Although only the pressure coffee machines that we have analyzed in this article are considered as “express”, since they prepare coffee very quickly, there are other types of coffee machines that were used long before.

1. Italian or mocha coffee maker

Italian coffee makerThis is the coffee maker that we all have or have had at home, the one we have ever had .

It is a coffee maker in two bodies. A lower one where the water is introduced and a funnel-shaped ladle is placed with the ground coffee and an upper body to which the water rises when it boils, infusing the grind.

The pressure is very low (approximately 1.5 bar), so it takes a long time to filter all the water through the ground coffee, but its best virtue is its simplicity of use and how little it occupies.

And of course, their price: you can find them from € 7 , although depending on the manufacturing material or the manufacturer, they can exceed € 100.

The taste of the coffee depends on the amount of grinding and the pressing in the pot. As always, that the raw material is of quality is essential to achieve a good final result.

In addition, there are sizes for all tastes, from one cup to 12, although the most common are 6 cups.

Of course, reheated coffee is no longer the same , so choose the size you really need. It is preferable that you prepare a second coffee pot if you have been wanting more.

2. French or plunger coffee maker

Also quite popular and inexpensive , although the brewing process is a little longer than in an Italian coffee maker. But not much else, don’t worry.

It is a cylindrical container, usually made of glass, into which the ground coffee is poured and, over it, the almost boiling water. This “almost” is important : if you add the boiling water, you can “burn” the grind and the result will be a bitter coffee.

The lid (which has a metal filter) is placed on top, and after letting it infuse for 3 or 4 minutes, the plunger is lowered slowly, pushing the ground coffee to the bottom. The grind should not be too fine, to prevent it from passing through the filter.

As it is an infusion brewing , if you want a coffee with body, choose an intense variety that avoids being an espresso that is too smooth.

And in terms of price and maintenance, the most economical and simple. For € 10 you can have your coffee maker and to clean it, you can put it in the dishwasher without problem . We also recommend that, from time to time, you disassemble the filter to clean it thoroughly.

3. American or drip coffee maker

Drip coffee makerThe typical coffee pot from American movies, surely you’ve seen it a thousand times, that glass jug with which they fill up the coffee shop customers’ cups over and over again .

The truth is that we should not include it as an espresso machine, because in reality there is no pressure itself , but we explain it to you because it is very practical and easy to use.

The machine has a water tank that when heated passes through the filter that contains the grind (usually made of paper), falling drop by drop into a jug and thus infusing the coffee. If the grind is very coarse, the water does not completely soak it and the final coffee will have a watery taste.

The carafe is placed on a resistance that keeps the coffee hot continuously, which means that it is not particularly rich after being reheated several times .

In fact, the coffee from these coffee makers is despised by even the most demanding baristas , but they have one great advantage: they are very practical. You do not have to be aware of them and can even be programmed so that the coffee is ready just when we need it. Who doesn’t like waking up to the smell of fresh coffee?

There are really cheap models, and you can have your coffee maker from € 15 . Of course, remember not to be too picky about taste.

4. Capsule coffee maker

Capsule coffee makerAlthough they have existed since the 80s, the revolution of single-serving capsule espresso machines jumped in the early years of the 21st century, at the hands of Nespresso (and George Clooney, of course, What else? ).

They are very, very easy to use , because you just have to put the capsule you want, press the button and your coffee is ready in seconds. It is the favorite option for offices and work centers , because they occupy little and their cleaning and maintenance have zero complications and also allows them to adapt to all tastes, because there are many capsules of different flavors and intensities on the market.

And this is where the trick to orienting yourself with these express machines is: you have to look at the capsules.

5. Espresso machine (without capsules)

Espresso coffee makerWe start with the big words: these coffee makers are the ones that look like those in bars and cafes , but in their domestic option.

What they do is heat the water so that it reaches a high pressure and make it pass through the ladle with the filter where the coffee is. This ladle is usually in a portafilter with a characteristic arm, which is rotated to fit and tighten in the coffee maker. The result is a creamy, intense and full-bodied coffee , up to the demands of the most coffee growers.

In addition, many models incorporate a vaporizer tube to heat the milk and to be able to add a good layer of foam on your espresso, if you wish.

They are becoming more and more popular, which is why there are numerous models to choose from . Let’s go to the mess:

  • Automatic espresso machines: the easiest to use because they do it practically everything by themselves. Even pour the coffee into the filter, because they include an automatic grinder that grinds the right amount of coffee you need for each brew. This implies, of course, that you must use coffee beans, this can be a problem for those who want to control the entire coffee process in detail, because you will not be able to modify the amount of coffee or the pressure, except in models with exorbitant prices. To take into account when choosing one of these machines is the quality of the grinder. The better the grinder, the more expensive the coffee machine will be. The high-end models allow you to regulate the quality and level of grinding and dose the amount of coffee per cup (between 7 and 8 grams). The biggest handicap when choosing one of these coffee machines is its cost: even the simplest models usually do not go below € 100 and the most pro can exceed € 1000. But yes: the espresso that you are going to drink is really good (if you use a good quality coffee beans) and doing so will cost the least effort.
  • Manual espresso machines: they allow you to control the entire preparation , because you choose the coffee, the quantity, press it as much as you want and decide the exact amount of water or milk that you add. In other words, you have to take care of everything yourself, which can be an advantage, if you are an exquisite coffee grower, or a disadvantage if you don’t have much time to dedicate to it, but if you are a demanding barista, it is your option, without a doubt. . The one that allows you to be as sybarite as you want with your coffee. In addition, they are cheaper than the automatic ones , which is another point in their favor. There are manual models that can also work with coffee beans and even with single-dose capsules. Aesthetically they are very attractive and are usually made of stainless steel and / or aluminum, which makes them very resistant and durable. Don’t forget to look at the capacity of the water tank (to calculate how many coffees you can make without refilling it). Then you can look at the “accessories” : whether or not it includes the vaporizer tube for the milk, automatic shut-off, water filter … If you can froth the milk, you are still encouraged to make one of these small works of art:

Obviously, the more functions the manual coffee maker incorporates, the more expensive it will be , but you can find quality machines for less than € 100, an unthinkable price for an automatic.

Types of capsules for espresso coffee

Because not all capsules are suitable for all machines . This, if you are not a staunch advocate of a specific brand, can be a major limitation to unleash your love of caffeine.

Basically there are 4 big manufacturers in the sector : Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Tassimo and Marcilla Senseo. They are so powerful that there are household appliance manufacturers that sell espresso machines compatible with any of these 4 capsules (DeLonghi, Krups, Philips…). Don’t discount any of these other brands, as they tend to be great value for money.

But let’s go with the 4 main actors:

1. Nespresso

It is, without a doubt, the best known and also the one with the largest variety of coffee capsules.

It belongs to the Nestlé group and is the one with the best brand image.

All Nespresso machines work with the same capsules, regardless of the manufacturer. The water tanks, depending on the model, contain between 0.7 and 1.2 l.

Due to their design and their great investment in advertising, they have a reputation for expensive, but this is not entirely true , since there are options for all budgets.

The original capsules are quite expensive and you can only get them in official stores (online or physical). However, in most supermarkets there are already compatible capsules at a more affordable price.

Compared to other types of capsules, Nespresso has clearly positioned itself in the coffee market . There are no more combinations. If you want coffee with milk, infusions or chocolate, go to the next point.

2. Dolce Gusto

Curiously, it also belongs to Nestlé, but it is focused on another sector and offers other benefits. One of the most attractive is that it is not limited to coffee capsules, but also chocolates, teas, cold drinks, coffees with milk … This characteristic makes it especially attractive for work centers, because there is a wide range of drinks to satisfy all pleasures.

In addition, its cheaper options are even more accessible than the lower range of Nespresso and you can buy a basic model for less than € 50.

Within the Dolce Gusto there are manual models (which you have to stop when you have the amount of drink you want) and automatic models (which stop on their own, previously pre-selecting the amount and intensity of coffee you want). Actually, the quality of the final coffee is very similar , so the choice of a manual or automatic model is more for economic reasons (manual ones are cheaper) or purely aesthetic.

Its biggest drawback derives from its great versatility: it can prepare many different drinks, so you will have to buy several packages until you find yours. Oh, and there is no deposit for used capsules ! They must be removed by hand after each use.

3. Tassimo

It is a brand of the appliance manufacturer Bosch , which is already a guarantee in itself.

They have an important differentiating point, betting on technology: their capsules (called T-Disc) carry a barcode that is read by the coffee machine to prepare each drink with the right amount . This way, you don’t have to keep an eye on the machine at all, which makes it very comfortable to use. Although if you want to give “your touch” to coffee, you also have the option of manually adjusting the amount of coffee.

The best thing about Tassimo coffee makers is that they are really cheap . For less than € 30 you can have your coffee maker at home. It is also the one that offers the greatest variety of drinks (coffees, chocolates, infusions …), which gives it another positive point.

In return, the drawback: they do not have a deposit for used capsules and there are no compatible white brands.

4. Marcilla Senseo

It is a brand of the manufacturer Philips. Its main difference with respect to the previous ones is that it uses Marcilla coffee pods (a kind of paper bags) instead of capsules. The second big difference is that they cost about half that of other espresso machines, and pods are also cheaper than capsules.

They are not the machines that offer you the best quality coffee, but their preparations have the best value for money.

In terms of design, all coffee makers are somewhat larger than those of other manufacturers, which gives them more stability than other models.

Last tips

The ultimate function of a coffee maker is to say good morning to us every morning or finish off a meal. But the number of models on the market can make the choice a bit difficult.

To make sure you get your coffee machine right, think carefully about how you like your coffee , how much time you normally take to make it, and the budget you want to allocate for this appliance. There are those who just want their dose of caffeine, and there are those who really enjoy the ritual and the taste of excellent coffee.

The espresso machine that is perfect for your office can be a junk in your kitchen, and vice versa. So determine what you need at all times, prepare your favorite coffee and give our best to Juan Valdés.

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