Ask any coffee lover and they’ll tell you there’s no better way to start the day than by drinking a warm cup of joe. But the true aficionados know that if you really need to get going, then espresso and the jolt that accompanies it is the way to go.
The popular Italian method of coffee making, in which pressurized water is shot through finely ground beans to produce a more condensed style of coffee, has been around since the 1880s, but for much of that time, you had to go to a café to get a cup of high-quality espresso. This has changed in recent years, though, thanks to the widespread availability of relatively compact, electric-powered machines that allow you to take on the role of your most-trusted barista.
Because of that, there’s never been a better time to brew your own espresso. Here are four machines that are sure to make your next trip to your neighborhood coffee shop feel a little less urgent.
1. Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
As well as a style of coffee on its own, espresso is also a base for lattes, cappuccinos and Americanos. Philips’s 3200 Series machine can make each, along with a standard cup of coffee, at the touch of a button thanks to its easy-to-use and -clean LatteGo milk system. The appliance maker also knows there’s more to a good cup of coffee than just its taste. That’s why its espresso maker features the brand’s Aroma Extra system, which makes sure that each cup tastes and smells just right. Also included: a built-in, 12-step ceramic grinder.
Pros: Users can choose from five different styles of coffee.
Cons: Aesthetic lacks any sense of Italian flair.
2. De’Longhi ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso Machine
As impressive as gleaming high-tech coffee machines may be, sometimes you just want to quickly make an espresso. De’Longhi’s model includes all manner of cutting-edge features, but the brand has also kept things simple with a straightforward rotary and push-button control panel. A couple clicks and turns and your espresso is on the way. Helping speed up that process is the machine’s “Direct-to-Brew” grinder, which means you’ll be enjoying your caffeine fix within moments of pouring beans in. It’s even easy to clean, taking half the time to tidy up than many of its competitors.
Pros: A cutting-edge yet straightforward espresso maker.
Cons: You’ll have to stick to medium roast beans for best grinder performance.
3. Jura E8 Automatic Coffee Machine
There are at-home coffee makers and then there is the Jura E8. The company’s smart coffee maker is about as advanced as they come, with an array of features that will take your coffee brewing abilities to the next level. Its six-level Aroma G3 grinder and innovative Pulse Extraction Process technology produce a cup of espresso that will make any coffee lover smile. And if you want something more, its Fine Foam technology means that it’s just as capable of producing specialty coffees like cappuccinos and latte macchiatos as your favorite neighborhood café.
Pros: Turns your kitchen into a full-featured coffee shop.
Cons: Requires plenty of counter space.
4. Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine
While it’s unlikely that the machine in your favorite coffee shop will fit on your countertop, you can still find one that looks like the real deal. Breville’s is compact enough for your kitchen but has the style and flair of the machine you’ve watched your favorite barista use. But Barista Express doesn’t just look the part—it can also make a fine cup able to turn your whole beans into a shot of espresso in under a minute.
Pros: A gorgeous addition to your kitchen arsenal.
Cons: Lacks the features of other espresso makers.