What Espresso Machine Should I Buy?

When looking to buy an espresso machine there are three questions you should ask yourself:

  1. What is my coffee making ability?
  2. What type of machine do I want?
  3. What is my budget?

These simple questions will greatly narrow down what espresso machine you should buy.

How good is my coffee making ability?

People of various coffee making ability buy an espresso machine. But don’t be put off by the more professional equipment if you’re just starting out. The great thing about investing in a machine (other than the delicious coffee) is that it becomes a new hobby. Learning how to perfect a great cup is a fun experience, and even if you’re just a novice barista your skills will improve as time goes on.

But not all of us has the time to perfect the perfect cup, that’s why matching the right machine with your ability and coffee making goals is ideal. If you don’t want to spend time fidgeting with a machine I recommend investing in an super-automatic espresso machine. However if you want more control to experiment with temperatures, techniques and coffee flavours, I recommend getting a quality semi-automatic espresso machine.

What type of machine do I want?

The three most popular types of espresso machines are super-automatic, semi-automatic and dual boiler semi-automatic. Generally, the difference between these three classes is the level of physical control the user has over the espresso extracting experience. I go in depth regarding the differences in my espresso machine buying guide. I recommend giving it a read to touch up on your coffee machine jargon.

What is my budget?

Espresso machines can be expensive. But not all are. You can find carefully crafted machines for reasonable prices, however the general the rule of thumb is the more expensive the machine, the better coffee you will get out of it. This is because professional machines use quality components, better materials and sophisticated designs. Due to this prices vary greatly from cheap $100 machines to professional $5000 mammoths.

I find that the machines that strike a good balance between price and coffee making ability reside within the $400-$600 region. If you want a better quality build and features without breaking the bank you’ll be looking at figures between $600-$1000.

Below I’ve listed some of internet’s favourites semi-automatic and super-automatic espresso machines as a good starting point on what espresso machine you should buy.

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