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When selecting the best coffee and espresso maker, you’re going to be looking for models that combine well-constructed design with multiple brewing functions and customizable settings. It should also provide top-notch flavor for whatever kind of coffee you’re brewing, whether it’s a cup of standard drip coffee or espresso.
If you’re shopping for an all-in-one coffee machine, you likely realize that even the best coffee maker isn’t always enough. If you want a little versatility or to bring the coffee shop experience home, a good coffee bar system can give you the best of both worlds. You’ll still be able to brew a regular pot of coffee every morning while simultaneously making shots of espresso for cappuccinos or lattes.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about choosing the best coffee and espresso machine combo for you.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a large water tank capacity and a retro-themed design. It includes a set of 12 capsules and its one-button brewing functionality makes it pretty easy to use.
Released in 2014, the Breville BNV220BKM1BUC1 is a sleek-looking coffee and espresso machine that can make up to five cups. Owners can choose to have it prepare barista grade brewed single serve coffee or espresso cups. The machine can be used to brew four different coffee sizes: espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, and standard coffee. It has a 1.18-liter water tank that is removable and comes with a relatively fast heat-up time of just 15 seconds. Still, some previous users have complained that the coffee does not come out as hot as they would have wanted it to.
Upon purchase, this coffee maker comes with a set of up to 12 capsules, and thanks to its smart brewing technology, the machine automatically adapts its brewing parameters to each capsule to deliver the best results. The espresso machine has a retro-modern design, and since it also has one-touch brewing functionality, it is not very difficult to use.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It can get the coffee ready quickly and has a relatively large water tank capacity. It also has a one-touch brewing system that makes it easy to use.
The Vertuo Plus coffee-making machine from Nespresso is an ideal pick for anyone who appreciates being able to start brewing their coffee after only 15 seconds of heat up time. It also has an automatic shut-off feature where it shuts down after about 9 minutes of inactivity and a water reservoir that can hold up to 1.18 liters of water. Inside it, there’s also a 17 count used capsule container, but unfortunately, it will only run with official Nespresso Vertuso pods, and this might make things difficult especially if there’s none to be found.
Announced in 2014, this coffee maker weighs about 10 pounds and can make coffees in two different sizes. Owners can opt for a 5oz or a 7.77oz cup or a single or a double shot espresso. Its one-touch brewing system makes it very easy to operate, and since its water tank can be rotated in place, it makes for a slightly easier time when filling.
Award: BEST FOR HIGH-PRESSURE BREWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a 20 bar pressure pump for enhanced taste and a steam wand for frothing. It will only take about 30 seconds to get pre-heated and has an impressive 12 cup capacity.
This Bonsenkitchen Espresso Machine is a relatively powerful high-performance coffee maker with a 1.25-liter water tank and a 20 bar high-pressure pump for exceptional extraction and barista-quality drinks. The coffee maker has an impressive 10-12 cup capacity and a swiveling milk wand for frothing. It boasts two separate temperature control systems, where its water and steam temperature can be controlled separately. Its stainless steel body gives it a premium feel, but it cannot be programmed for advanced or scheduled brewing.
Since this coffee machine has a thermal block heating system that gets it ready for use in as little as 30 seconds, it won’t take a lot of time to prepare a quick cup of coffee. Its drip tray and bubbler can also be removed for quick cleaning, and it also comes with a display that indicates the current operation status with buttons that allow users to choose between one or two shots of espresso.
Award: BEST FOR SIMULTANEOUS BREWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: It can be programmed for advanced brewing and has a dual heating system to brew coffee and espresso simultaneously. It can be used with ground coffee or espresso and comes with a descaling solution for easy cleaning.
This all-in-one De’Longhi coffee maker and espresso machine is an ideal option for anyone who wants to brew commercial-grade coffee from the comfort of their home. The coffee maker has a dual heating system which means owners will be able to brew both coffee and espresso simultaneously, and with a decent 15 bar pressure pump, the coffee produced is brewed with a rich flavor. Using it is also pretty easy since it comes with an intuitive digital screen with different touch buttons, and it is also programmable to allow for scheduled brewing. However, despite its vast array of features, it does not have a built-in grinder.
The coffee maker also comes with a spill-proof carafe and includes a bold setting where users will be able to increase the strength of their brew if they so wish. It can be used with either ground coffee or pods, and it also comes with a descaling solution for easy cleaning. The coffee machine also comes with a plate warmer to ensure the brewed coffee stays warm and an anti chlorine filter that eliminates the taste of chlorine when making drip coffee.
Award: BEST FOR CUP CAPACITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a 1.5-liter resevoir that’ll allow owners to brew up to 12 cups of coffee at a go. It also has a metallic heating plate that keeps coffee warm and comes with a frother.
This 15 bar high-pressure coffee machine from Gevi is capable of barista-quality brewing and has a manual steam wand that can quickly turn milk into a silky smooth micro-foam. It has two separate thermostats to adjust the temperature of the water and the milk foam, and since it features a 1.5-liter water tank, it can be used to brew up to 12 cups before it needs to be refilled with water. It’s got a two-in-one portafilter that makes two cups of espresso at once and a heated metallic plate that keeps the cups warm. Still, some have complained that it gets very loud.
This coffee machine has an easy-to-remove cup holder that allows it to accommodate both small and large size cups and ‘Max’ markings on both its funnel and water tank to limit the amount of water or ground coffee used. The coffee machine also has a relatively fast brewing time of up to 25 seconds and a selector knob that guarantees simple operation.
Award: BEST FOR EASE OF USE
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is a very easy-to-use espresso device with a premium design and decent cup capacity. Its handle is very ergonomic and also heat resistant.
This Stovetop Espresso Maker from Godmorn is a relatively modern take on an otherwise traditional method of making coffee. It is ideal for Italian coffee lovers and has a generous 450ml capacity, translating to about 9 cups. Its ergonomic handle is heat resistant for ease of use, and it also has a safety valve that maintains the pressure at an appropriate level. Unfortunately, it can only make one type of coffee, an espresso.
The stovetop has an easy pour spout designed to avoid spilling and a detachable silicone ring that makes it easy to hand clean. The stovetop looks quite premium thanks to its polished mirror surface and food-grade stainless steel and can be used with fire and induction cookers, alcohol furnaces, or a gas stove.
A coffee and espresso maker is a machine that can brew coffee or make a shot of espresso from either grounds or pods. In addition to coffee and espresso, many also include functionality like frothing or steaming milk, customizable drink settings, and integrated grinders.
While coffee and espresso makers can brew coffee like a standard coffee maker, they can also brew espresso shots. This makes them more versatile than traditional coffee machines. Most standard machines have relatively simple settings and make a basic cup of coffee. Conversely, many of the best coffee espresso machines have multiple brew functions to make different beverages, like cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, flat whites, and red eyes.
They also frequently sport features that you won’t find on a standard coffee maker, including steam wands, milk frothers, and burr coffee grinders. Those with milk frothers may include several frothing settings, so you can also steam milk for lattes or cappuccinos. If this seems a little more complex than you’d like, you may also want to look into the best cappuccino maker.
On the one hand, espresso maker combos use a minimum of nine bars of pressure to create a thick, creamy cup of espresso that’s stronger than drip coffee. After this water is pushed through the grounds, it also passes through either a single or double-walled portafilter. The brew time is short, but the method creates a strong espresso that you can enjoy straight or as part of another beverage.
On the other hand, combination coffee and espresso makers also allow you to make cups of coffee using traditional drip methods. These two tasks can sometimes be done simultaneously, giving you a versatile machine that suits everyone’s preferences.
You’ll find that there are varying levels of automation included in coffee and espresso makers. Manual varieties require pressing water through the puck of coffee grounds using your arm. However, automatic and semi-automatic types heat the water and create pressure using pistons, pumps, steam, or air to push the water through the grounds.
Sometimes, a plain cup of your morning brew just isn’t enough. A combination coffee and espresso maker still allows you to make your usual cup of coffee but with an extra coffee-house kick. You can also use the espresso machine to mix up your favorite cappuccino or latte. It’s also not a bad idea to invest in one of these machines if you find yourself spending more than your budget allows at the coffee shop every morning.
Most coffee and espresso makers are high-quality machines, and you can count on them to last several years. A less expensive machine may only last 2-3 years, while a more expensive, the high-quality machine may last up to 10 years.
However, regular cleaning and maintenance are required on a kitchen appliance like this to ensure it functions properly. A coffee and espresso maker that has a lot of extra features and components will need more work to keep it clean, while a simple machine will be easier to maintain.
You also need to consider how often you’ll use it. While an espresso maker may only get used a couple of times a week, many people use a coffee pot every day, so with a combination coffee espresso maker like this one, some components and features may get used more than others. This means they may wear out more quickly.
Before choosing the best coffee for an espresso machine, there are some key factors to consider when it comes to the brewer you’ll be using it with. You’ll want to think about a few important things like water temperature and pressure control, level of automation, and ground or pod compatibility, among others.
All machines should offer the appropriate amount of pressure at just the right temperature, but only some of them allow you to control it yourself. Espresso tastes best when the water is 195-204 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s colder than that, you can’t achieve proper extraction, meaning your drink will be watery and weak. Any warmer, and you may end up with a bitter brew.
When it comes to pressure, things get a bit more complicated. The minimum amount of pressure you want for espresso is nine bars. Anything less and, once again, you’ll not be able to achieve the correct extraction percentage. On the other hand, anything more than 15 bars of pressure won’t make your espresso any better.
Be wary of machines that advertise 20 bars of pressure. You’re likely paying for more than what you need because they’re just not necessary.
There are coffee and espresso makers that are compatible with grounds or pods. Most of the time, you’ll have to choose between one or the other most of the time, but some machines can handle both.
Keep in mind that freshly ground beans will have more flavor, and you can adjust the amount of coffee you use to get a stronger or weaker brew. Grounds tend to be more affordable than pods over time and are available in a larger range of blends and flavors. However, having a coffee grinder or a machine with a built-in grinder will give you the best flavor. Machines that can handle grounds are capable of making multiple servings at once.
However, espresso pods are more convenient and easier to pop in the machine when you’re in a hurry. They also make cleanup easier, and you don’t have to pack the filter by hand. These machines generally only handle making one cup at a time.
People who lack espresso-making skills will enjoy semi-automatic or automatic espresso makers because they make the process easy. More experienced baristas may enjoy a machine that incorporates more manual methods because they allow for more customization. However, those with a lot of experience may still enjoy automatic machines, but pricing is a factor when considering machines with more features.
If you don’t have much experience making espresso, you may want to choose a machine that’s smaller and less expensive. It may not be the highest quality, but it will allow you to learn and purchase a better appliance when you’re ready. An automatic machine with an automatic milk frother will make it much easier for you to achieve just the right milk temperature without much work.
However, if you have experience with espresso machines already, you can get a more complicated machine that will suit your needs. You may want to pursue expensive coffee and espresso combination units that allow you to create your own steamed milk.