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Recommended Espresso Machines

Recommended Espresso Machines

The best quality and value for money espresso machines, with links to for more details...

Recommended Espresso Machines under $150

A good espresso machine for under $150? These two models offer exceptional value for money, but are only recommended for occasional use. If you can, go for a more expensive model - budget machines will neither perform as well - or last as long - as a machine fitted with quality components.

DeLonghi EC140B Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

The DeLonghi EC140B is about the least expensive pump-driven espresso and cappuccino maker available that can produce the equivalent of a Starbucks cappuccino. It retails at $140, but can be bought online for around $100.

Briel ES15BF Lido Pump Espresso Machine

A compact pump-driven machine that offers excellent value for the price. Accepts either loose coffee grounds or E.S.E. espresso pods. It retails at $180, but you'll find it sold online for around $130.

Recommended Espresso Machines $150 to $300

Recommending the best value espresso machine in this category is not difficult - the Gaggia Carezza shares many of the components used in Gaggia's top of the range model, but is sold for less than half the price.

Gaggia 35004 Carezza Espresso Machine

The Carezza retails at $300, but it can be picked up at for as little as $200. It uses the same pump and boiler as Gaggia's flagship home model, the Gaggia Classic, and produces equally good espresso. The chromium-plated brass group and filter holder ensures temperature stability. Highly recommended!

Recommended Espresso Machines over $300

These machines use quality components and are built to last.

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

A heavy-duty version of the Carezza with a stainless-steel housing and three-way solenoid valve (allows the next shot to be prepared instantly). The Classic is probably on a par with the Rancilio Silvia, though it has a smaller aluminium boiler. Sturdy enough to stand up to years of daily use, but at around $500, it's pricey compared to a Carezza.

FrancisFrancis! X3 Espresso Machine

Stylish and sturdy Italian-made machine that produces superb espresso. It is fitted with a quality brass boiler and is compact enough to fit in the smallest kitchen. A few inconveniences - the steam wand is rather short and the pump is noisy. It costs around $500.

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

The machine that all home models are measured against, with very high construction quality for the price. The Silvia is fitted with a brass boiler, chromed brass brewing head, chrome-plated brass portafilter and 3-way solenoid valve. On the downside, it requires a certain amount of skill to operate and steaming is slow. It costs around $550.

La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola Espresso Machine

This machine is capable of producing fabulous espresso and froths milk to perfection. Like all manual espresso machines, it takes time to master - short of near-perfect technique it will produce inferior espresso to an equivalent quality semi-automatic machine. It costs around $650 ($580 online).

Jura-Capresso 13185 Impressa F7 Espresso Machine

The Impressa F7 grinds, tamps, brews and cleans in under 60 seconds - perfect for first thing in the morning. It produces very good espresso, but like all fully-automatic models, the convenience comes at a price - the F7 costs around $1,600 ($1,300 online).