Espresso is the base for many of our favorite coffee beverages—the cappuccino, americano, iced latte and blended frappe all require a good, well roasted blend. Frothed milk, created with a small handle putting out steam, is a handy addition for making latte art, and adding foamy goodness to cappuccinos. But with your own a machine, go for even more creative drinks, like an affogato, which is coffee drenched ice cream. While we will always love our local coffee spot, there’s convenience and financial gain when sometimes we opt to make drinks at home.
Espresso machines can be expensive, so if something on the cheaper, yet still well made side is what you are looking for, the Capresso Steam Pro comes in around a cool $60. Also being relatively compact, it won’t swallow a portion of the counter, and can be tucked away in a cabinet when not in use. The frother on this machine beats ones on more pricey variations—it gets the job done in a few seconds.
Hamilton Beach brings another affordable option to the market, and if you are not looking for an insanely rich and foamy brew reminiscent of what could be found in a French cafe, it’s a good pick. Another perk to the machine is the ability to use either pods or ground espresso.
Breville the Barista Express says it all in the title. Slow extraction ensures every bit of your finely ground beans is pulled into the cup. Color choices include a classic silver or sleek, eye catching red, so it will be a nice addition to the look of the kitchen. Customers even accredit the machine for kicking their Starbucks habit. This one will set you back about $700, which is still relatively modest in terms of espresso machines.
The Calphalon Temp IQ has a sprinkle of bells and whistles to satisfy that upgrading urge. Overall it delivers solid espresso to be used in coffee based drinks. The cup warmer is handy, and will help keep creamy espresso warm a little longer after brewing. Shot amounts can be pre-programmed to get the exact amount needed.
Some would argue espresso making is actually an art, and we’d have to agree. Those who appreciate the time, perfect amount of pressure and patience that goes into a real, thick brew, will appreciate the Flair Espresso Maker to the fullest extend. Yes, everything is done by hand, from pouring in the boiling water, to pressing the lever yourself, watching the pressure gauge to stay at the optimal spot for the best extraction.
This Nespresso model is simplistic and compact, so it’s perfect for small spaces. Pods are used in this machine, which is ideal for those who love the Keurig concept. Nespresso has developed a diverse assortment of blends to enjoy. The machine rates highly, with customers noting the richness of each cup, and that delicious layer of foamy coffee, which basically makes milk seem like it’s not needed.
Invented in the 1930s in Italy, this simplistic style espresso maker only needs a stove to create incredible, bold brews. If you’re not into the complicated features of other machines, you’re on the same page as most Italians to this day, who still opt for the simple design. Smaller pots are available, as is a bigger 12 cup for parties and brunches.
If you spend $3 on a coffee from any cafe every workday, you’d spend around $780 a year. So that might make it easier to discover this top of the line selection is $2,800. This baby does it all, while looking darn good doing it. Dump the beans in the fixed top grinder, which freshly disperses below, ready to be brewed. Select your chosen drink on the touch screen, then the cup size. Voila—the perfect espresso, or cappuccino, just waiting for creamy milk to be micro steamed and drizzled on top.
Ninja kills it when it comes to creating espresso and coffee machines. We like this one because it features six size options, and the brews it puts out are versatile enough to create iced, frozen, or creative hot drinks. The milk frother folds away, so you are not trying to work around it when it isn’t needed.
Capresso’s Cafe Pro is made of solid stainless steel, is fairly high end, but very easy to operate. Brew two espressos simultaneously, or one cappuccino. Clicking a button will convert the system to the milk frother, which works well with even plant based milk. Filters are easy to clean, the milk frother has an easy to soak removable head, and the bottom tray slides out for rinsing. Oh yeah—the coffee tastes great.