2021 ratings & reviews for the best espresso machine for mom – best features to look for, types of espresso machines, and the pros and cons of each pick.
Let’s get real honest for a sec here, shall we? Drip coffee kind of sucks.
There, I said it.
Coffee-snob front and center, and drip coffee just isn’t the same as a good ol’ espresso.
But when you don’t want to run out to your nearest coffee shop (and don’t you dare mention starbucks to me please LOL!!), you’re kind of stuck with it as the best option. Maybe find a few tasty creamers you enjoy.
Because let’s be honest here… right after having a baby, in the midst of toddler and newborn chaos, or when grandma is on her way and you want to pull your hair out?
You definitely ain’t running out for better coffee.
CUE ESPRESSO MACHINES – AKA A GODSEND. I’ve been spending hours, weeks, and months researching which one I was going to get. (Ya know, after I got the lightbulb moment to order one in the first place!)
In this post, I’ll be sharing all my findings with you. As a former barista, I can promise this post is in-depth, helpful, and focuses on the most important thing – getting a good cup of coffee in the morning.
Quick disclaimer though – I’m only one person so I DID NOT try all of these on this list. I’ve done hefty amount of research and understand HOW to choose one. That is what I’m sharing with you today. I’ve scoured the internet, read hundreds of reviews, and so much more.
Alright, now let’s get on with it, shall we?
PS: This post probably contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I may be rewarded monetarily or otherwise upon purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you. My full disclosure policy can be found here.
Quick Reference – Best Espresso Machine for Mom
If you don’t care about the reviews and research and just want to know what I picked, here’s the full list for you:
- Breville BES870BSXL The Barista Express Coffee Machine
- Capresso 125.05 Cafe Pro Espresso Maker
- Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- BREVILLE BES810BSSUSC BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine
- Saeco HD8857/47 Philips Exprellia EVO Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
- Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
- Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine with Iron Frame and Stainless Steel Side Panels
- De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- DeLonghi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
- DELONGHI ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
Types of Espresso Machines
Before you get started in finding the best espresso machine for your home, you’ll need to understand what type of espresso machine you want. You can read ratings and reviews for the best espresso machine all day, but if you don’t understand what type you want… you may very well order something you wind up returning.
And we don’t want that, now do we? NAHHHH. Thankfully for you, I’m outlining each of them in detail to help with choosing the best espresso machine for your needs! (Because lawdy these things ain’t cheap, so let’s get it right the first time!)
A manual espresso machine is exactly what it sounds like – completely manual. You control the entire process to get the exact result you want. It will pay off, however, as you will end up with a delicious result. It can be tricky, however, so only opt for these machines if you have barista experience or the patience to learn and mess up a lot before learning to get it right!
A semi-automatic espresso machine is the most popular choice as it includes an automated pump, automated temperature controls, and a manual switch to the pump that performs the coffee extraction. It’s not the easiest option to use of all the automatic models, but provides a very tasty result.
If you’re not as interested in spending too much time in perfecting the shot of espresso, this is a great option for you. (I mean, you just want your coffee before you sell your family to the monkeys, right? LOL) Press a single button and the machine will grind, dose, tamp, brew, and produce your drink within a single minute.
The only thing they’re really missing is a nice little butler to bring your coffee to you while you veg out on the couch avoiding the mountain of legos spread out across the floor.
These are personally my favorite for those opting for an automatic machine. They are essentially an all-in-one with different special features available such as built-in grinders and programmable settings. They do, however, take the control out of it and do all the work for you. But this can be preferable for some.
If you want the quality of a semi-automatic while being easier to use, this is the one for you. The only difference between a semi-automatic espresso machine and a fully automatic one, is that fully automatic espresso machines offer a one-touch brewing process. These are the easiest option to use, but allow for less control over your espresso shot. Additionally, they are more prone to breaking over time.
Features of the Best Espresso Machine
Once you’ve decided on the type of espresso machine you’re looking for, you’ll want to know what features you need as well. The best espresso machine is one that perfectly fits your exact needs.
While I could talk a bunch of coffee mumbo jumbo, I know that technical stuff isn’t important to most moms out there. The thing that is? Getting a delicious cup of coffee in the morning. That’s what I’ll be focusing on here.
Unless you’re a long-time award-winning barista, you probably aren’t going to want to mess with complicated processes. While manual machines or the less “automatic” ones will give you some control, they can also be very hard to use. Keep in mind how much learning you want to put into your machine.
You might want to opt for machines that are far less complicated and provide more ease of use to them. I mean, what good is an espresso machine you can’t figure out and actually use, right?
While a $100 machine is very appetizing for its price, it may not hold up in the long term. They generally are not very durable as they will break quickly. Certain types of machines are known for breaking over time as well.
One of the most important things to look at is not only how long they last for other users, but what materials are they made out of. Cheap plastic likely won’t hold up like stainless steel will.
With the high price tag on the best espresso machines, you won’t want to sacrifice durability. You want something build to last.
Quality of Espresso
The single most important thing to look for is the quality of espresso shots it will pull. The general consumer, however might have a hard time telling what quality of espresso it will pull.
It’s also important to consider the types of drinks you’ll be using your machine for. If you enjoy a shot of espresso or a cappuccino, you definitely want the quality to be there. If you make more flavored drinks like a peppermint mocha or pumpkin spice latte, you may sacrifice a little in this area as your espresso will be amongst other flavors.
So what determines the quality anyway? What features do you look for?
First off is to consider the broilers – you’ll want a good number of boilers that are made of quality. You’ll also want to stay away from machines that use steam to create pressure. And you’ll want a lot of pressure to be applied with your machine. Lastly, you’ll want to look for a machine that uses high temperatures and is stable in maintaining those temperatures when pulling a shot.
I tried to stay away from technical terms to simply this post, but the quality of shot you’re pulling is very important! The better the machine, the better the taste. And we know there’s nothing better than a superb cup of coffee right in the morning.
Some machines can take up an incredible amount of space (certainly more than a standard coffee maker!) so it’s important to consider the amount of counter space you have available and how large you’d like your machine to be.
While this may not be a factor for everyone, it’s important to consider if you have limited space available.
While the cost shouldn’t be the single deciding factor, it is one you have to think about. Unless you’re lucky enough to pull as much money as you need from your butt when you need it… you’ll need to set a budget.
What is your budget for the best espresso machine? Under $100? Under $500? Or maybe you have an even larger budget? No matter what it is, you’ll want to keep it in mind as machines can range from under $100 all the way up to the multiple thousands.
With a wide range of prices, you’ll want to know exactly what you can afford to spend.
I’ve listed out some of the most important features to consider when purchasing your new espresso machine, but there are other “special” features you might want as well.
Some of those include:
- Built-in grinder (or you can purchase it separately)
- Double broiler (so you can pull a shot and froth milk at the same time)
- Frothing wand
- Programmable settings
- Cup warmer
- Pulls double shots
Best Espresso Machine Ratings & Reviews
Below you will find the best espresso machine ratings and reviews to help with buying your new espresso machine. I have sifted through the best ratings and reviews into an easy to read summary below.
The Breville BES870BSXL is easily the best espresso machine available. Even former baristas will be more than satisfied with this machine! With much control over the process, you will get a delicious tasting shot of espresso every time.
This machine features a tamp, grinder, and frothing wand along with the ability to pull a shot. The front of the machine includes a temperature gauge and multiple programming options.
You’ll also find this espresso machine easy to use, ability to hold up over time, and a fair price for all that is included. With the rich taste in your espresso, you may find yourself visiting your local coffee shop much less frequently.
You will not be disappointed with the quality of this machine!
Those looking for the best espresso machine under $300 will be pleased with the Capresso Cafe Pro. It is a great value espresso machine and does its job for the low price that it is offered.
It features easy to manage functionality, pulls double shots of espresso, and you can froth your milk. You will, however, need a grinder alongside this purchase (or to purchase preground coffee). It is made of high-quality materials and will last you for quite some time.
I find this is a great option for those on a budget who are new to the world of espresso machines.
Not only is the Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker a great option for those looking for the best espresso machine under $200, but it is also a fantastic option for those who are just getting into espresso machines. This is an especially great option if you have no prior barista experience and a bit intimidated by the whole thing.
There is a lot of automatic control with this machine and it even froths your milk for you! Perfect for those who might be turned off by the thought of learning to steam and froth their own milk. Everything is done by the push of a bottom and includes most of the equipment you need to get started.
If you consider yourself a newbie with a very low budget and you want as much of the process done for you, this is a great option to consider.
This Breville Duo Temp Pro is a great option for those looking for a delicious shot to be pulled every time. It’s very consistent and you will love the taste of your espresso in the morning!
It’s an easy to use machine that also froths milk and the cleanup is an absolute breeze. The small size allows it to sit on even the smallest of counter space, too.
All in all, this is likely one of the best espresso machines that is easy to use and provides great tasting espresso with relative ease.
The Saeco HD8857 model is a commercial-grade machine, while still being automatic. With the ability to pull shots of espresso and froth your milk at the same time, you’ll be loving this for years to come! (Oh and did I mention being durable enough to last YEARS?!)
The taste of your espresso is topnotch and can easily compare to the taste of your best local coffee shop. The taste is truly described as AMAZING and better than you’ve imagined.
Overall, this machine is easy to use, fast to get drinks made, and provides a quality espresso drink. You will love this machine for years to come.
The Breville BES500BSS is the perfect machine for small spaces all while being easy to use and absolutely amazing! This little machine takes up very little counter space and heats up very quickly. It’s simple to use and the shots it pulls are absolutely the best.
You’ll no longer be willing to drink drip coffee in the morning or stand in long lines for a cup of espresso. You will most certainly be opting for homemade coffee drinks much more often.
As a former barista, I love this little machine! Many of the features of the Rancilio Silvia make it commercial-grade but without the high price tag. The functionality of this machine is AWESOME and it pulls wonderful shots of espresso.
This machine features activation buttons for everything you need, and it even supplies hot water when needed and pulls double shots. It’s easy to use and clean up is a breeze as well with removable parts. It does, however, require constant maintenance. But if you get wonderful coffee in an easy to use machine, is that really much of an inconvenience?
All in all, I know you’ll be quite happy with this little machine and can easily consider it one of the best espresso machine options.
I’ll be honest and say I almost took the De’Longhi EC155 off my list due to the materials before reading the reviews. I’m very glad I didn’t as this is likely the best espresso machine under $100. I am very impressed with the value it provides!
It makes incredible espresso but it is important to note that is a manual machine. You have total control, but don’t expect to have the ability to push buttons. It does include a tamper, warmer, and frother.
So long as you have some good quality grounds, it really does its job well. It will last you for many years too, which I am impressed by given its price point.
If you’re on a budget, want total control, and care a lot about quality – I highly recommend giving this model a try.
Much like most options on this list, you will need to play with your machine a bit to learn to use it. Once you get the hang of it, this is a wonderful option for making espresso!
It’s a bit on the loud side, but pulls some great shots of espresso and cleanup is relatively easy with little mess involved to begin with. The frothing wand works great with all milk types and the espresso creates beautiful crema.
The only real downside to the Delonghi ECP3420 machine is that the warming plate can get incredibly hot, so be careful if you decide to use it. This can also be a great selling point, too.
This espresso machine is a great option for those on a budget wanting a good tasting cup of espresso.
At this point, I can understand if you find it hard to choose the best espresso machine. This Delonghi ESAM3300 model has a lot of incredible features making me wonder why this wasn’t near the top of my list.
It includes a grinder, frothing wand, and some great settings! The grinder can be adjusted and you can pull a shot while you froth milk at the same time. You can easily reheat, set the settings as you see fit, and everything will shut off automatically for safety.
As with any machine, you’ll need to play around with it to get it just like and stay on top of maintenance. Getting quality beans is also especially important with this machine.
Bottom line, this is definitely an option to consider with the overall usefulness of this machine.
I can easily say that either the Breville BES870BSXL The Barista Express Coffee Machine or the DELONGHI ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine will be your best bet if you’re looking for the best quality espresso machine. With all the added features, they are a dream to get that perfect cup first thing in the morning while the youngins are driving you crazy.
It’s important to note that espresso machines will take a while to learn, so don’t give up quickly! If something seems off, you can generally find the answer in the reviews as many will provide tips to improve the experience.
Lastly, make sure to get a quality grinder using top-grade beans that aren’t overly oily. Tamps are somewhat pointless as the back of a spoon will work just fine. Grinding your beans is the most important as the size will determine the overall taste (once you’ve mastered using your machine of course).
Espresso machines are more complicated than a coffee pot, but the benefits of that delicious coffee is very much so worth it in the end.
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