What to Look for in an Espresso Machine

Espresso MakerNeed more than a simple coffeemaker and have decided you need to know what to look for in an espresso machine? To help you along the way I will outline some of the key features that you will want to look for in an espresso maker.

First though, I want to make it clear that cost does not necessarily equate with quality. Spending over $1000 on an espresso maker will not guarantee you’re getting the best for your money. In many cases you’ll be able to find a reasonably priced machine that will offer all the features you need in order to create an awesome cup of espresso.

A strength control feature is a must in my opinion. This will allow you to control how much water and or grounds are used in each pull, helping you to produce espresso to your own specific liking.

While there seems to be some debate as to the why and when of pre-infusion, it’s a nice feature to have.  Basically your grounds are introduced to water before the actual pull process begins.  This period of pre-moisturizing is said to intensify the aroma and produce a better shot.  …see the Breville Infuser BES840XLor the Miele CM5200.

Another feature to look for is an espresso maker that comes with the ability to create froth. A frother will allow you to create additional beverages such as cappuccinos, Americanos, or macchiatos.  As far as I’m concerned this is a must-have.  …see the Breville Infuser BES840XL or the Miele CM5200.

If you’re looking into your first espresso machine and don’t already own a grinder, and integrated grinder is a great idea. Having the grinder built in is a space saver and depending on the brands are looking at could save you money as well. Or it could just be about the convenience, whatever’s important to you.  … see the Miele CM5200 Coffee System and the Breville BES870XL Barista Express.

I think a hot water dispenser is a nice idea. If you’re looking for tea, hot chocolate, cocoa, or some other hot beverage where you need hot water, this is a nice idea. …see the Breville Infuser BES840XL

Consider too, how hands-on you want to be when making your espresso. The options available to you are semiautomatic, fully automatic, or manual espresso makers.

These are just a few of the things you might want to consider before making your purchase of an espresso machine.  You can take a look at our feature comparison chart or find links to all our reviews on the sidebar or from our main buying guide page.