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The best prosumer espresso machine is one of the top coffee makers you can buy. These consumer machines integrate many professional features, making them a valuable appliance for the home. Another great thing about them is that they offer more brew consistency, making for a better shot of espresso.
They also often include multiple boilers and group heads for simultaneous tasks. Most of the top prosumer espresso machines have frothing arms and ergonomic designs that are intuitive and easy to use. You’ll also enjoy a sleek and stylish appearance that upgrades the look of any kitchen.
However, a prosumer espresso machine can be very expensive and require quite a learning curve, so it’s not the best solution for everyone. Beginners may struggle with some very bad shots while learning and may not have the experience needed to operate an advanced machine.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about prosumer espresso machines.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This device has an integrated precision conical grinder and also accommodates ground coffee, offering users flexibility. It has digital temperature control to ensure optimal extraction, while a manual wand enables hand-texturing milk, creating latte art.
The Breville Barista Express BES870BSXL espresso machine has advanced features, enabling users to make barista-grade coffee at home. It has an all-in-one design with an integrated conical Burr grinder for converting coffee beans into espresso fast. It supports dose control grinding, injecting just the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for convenience. With a low-pressure pre-infusion system, this machine gradually increases the pressure to extract flavors for a great cup of coffee. However, this model requires significant counter space.
A manual steam wand allows users to hand-texture beverages, generating exquisite latte art, while a grind size dial offers coffee enthusiasts control over the coffee texture. The espresso maker has sophisticated aesthetics with a stainless steel finish, providing a charming appearance and supporting simple cleaning. This model has a pressure gauge, allowing users to control the pressure. It also features controls for the filter size, enabling users to make single and double-shot espressos easily. A Clean Me button starts the cleaning cycle.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This system comes with a high-quality grinder with a beam sensor for convenience. It has independent heaters for steaming and frothing and is suited for making foam art.
Specially equipped for delivering outstanding specialty espresso, the De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M coffee maker will appeal to coffee enthusiasts. This machine has sensing technology for precise, consistent grinding. This model comes with a grinder to convert coffee beans into top-grade espresso. It is equipped with a bean sensor to alert users when it’s running low. A smart tamping station pumps the ground coffee for better coffee extraction. However, this device’s water tank is located at the rear, necessitating moving the machine to fill it up.
This coffee machine has a dual heating system with independent systems for steaming milk and frothing. An active temperature control system offers temperature stability that will optimize extractions. Featuring a micro-foam frothing system, the espresso maker is suitable for making delicate latte art and froth for a cappuccino. The machine has intuitive controls that let users choose between flat or foam brewing at the touch of a button. It has a separate hot water spout for Americanos and it can be used to deliver hot water for making tea without a coffee taste.
Award: BEST AUTOMATED SYSTEM
WHY WE LIKE IT: This machine has a user-friendly 3.5-inch touch control panel that allows customizing everything from the brewing volume and dose to the brewing temperature. This model has dual thermo blocks and supports fully automated brewing.
With an outstanding programmable design, the Saeco Xelsis SM7684/04 coffee maker is the device of choice for users who require high-quality espresso without spending too much time brewing. This device features a remarkable programmable design that lets users automate the brewing process. It has intuitive touch controls for the espresso volume, dose, temperature, and texture, allowing hassle-free operation. However, this machine lacks a warming system, so it can’t keep the espresso warm.
This espresso machine features a Hygiesteam system and comes with a refrigerator-ready milk carafe that supports hassle-free storage. Automated purge and cleaning cycles clean up the machine after use. The machine has double thermo blocks that allow brewing two carafes or single serve cups at the same time. This coffee system has a scratch-resistant water tank and premium drip tray for durability. A high-quality titanium finish brings a touch of contemporary flair to any home.
Award: BEST CONTROLS
WHY WE LIKE IT: A touchscreen control enables users to choose from five different aromatic coffee presets for fast operation. This device also offers three different coffee strength settings and comes with a grinder for coffee beans.
The Philips 3200 Series EP3241/54 coffee maker is a fully automatic espresso machine that offers simple operation. It makes a variety of beverages, including espresso, cappuccino, and latte macchiato. A LatteGo system tops beverages with a smooth froth, giving the coffee a barista-quality appearance. Featuring an optimized design with no interior tubes, this machine cleans up in seconds. It has a detailed touchscreen interface that enables changing settings easily. However, this system is too small for some travel mugs.
Featuring three different temperature settings, this coffee system enables precise customization for excellent extraction. It has presets for five different forms of aromatic coffee, allowing one-touch operation. This espresso machine also allows adjusting the coffee strength, featuring three different settings. It comes with an AquaClean water filter and a change filter alert system to help reduce the frequency of descaling. This model comes with a 12-step ceramic coffee grinder, turning coffee beans into espresso in minutes.
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Award: BEST FOR ONE-CUP COFFEE
WHY WE LIKE IT: An automated system that produces one-cup coffee volumes is ideal for preparing beverages for breakfast and work. This model comes with an integrated grinder and features an intuitive control panel for convenience.
Designed and built by one of Europe’s largest coffee chains, this Tchibo coffee maker is effective and user-friendly. It has a fully automatic brewing system that is ideal for users who want to prepare a single cup at a go. This coffee system is powered by a 1350W heating element that delivers adequate heat to boil water fast. With an integrated grinder, this coffee machine offers all-around espresso-making, producing coffee from beans to serving. However, this model has limited customization options.
An intuitive LED touchscreen panel with various presets offers simple operation. This device has a small footprint that will suit people with small kitchen counter spaces and it boasts Aroma Protect tech that locks in coffee flavors during the brewing process. We love the customizable Burr grinding system on this model that has a knob for adjusting the grinding size even when the grinder is already running. This espresso machine has a frothing system and is compatible with almost all kinds of whole beans.
Award: BEST FOR LATTE ART
WHY WE LIKE IT: This device has a manual wand that gives precise control over the steaming and frothing process, allowing users to make latte art. It has top-grade manual switches for intuitive operation. The cafe-quality portafilter, solenoid valve, and brew group offer durability.
Equipped with a commercial-grade steam wand, the Gaggia Classic Pro RI9380/46 coffee maker is ideal for users who want to control the frothing process. This machine has a heavy-duty construction with premium parts that last. A brushed stainless steel finish offers visual appeal and it supports hassle-free cleaning. The device has a small footprint that saves counter space in the kitchen. However, this machine doesn’t have some advanced features such as a pressure gauge.
With rocker switch controls, this device offers intuitive operation and reliability. A commercial three-way solenoid valve that controls water flow in the machine, while a commercial-grade 58mm chrome-plated brass portafilter and brew group offer reliable performance. This model boasts a 2.1-liter water tank that supports making several coffee batches before the need for refilling. Pressurized filter baskets support good extraction. This coffee machine comes with a high-quality barista-grade steam wand that offers control during steaming and frothing, allowing users to make latte art.
A prosumer espresso machine is an espresso machine that is marketed to consumers but contains some of the same features as a commercial machine that you might find at the corner coffee shop. They combine style and performance into something that you can use at home to make a delicious cup of espresso. On that note, if you need coffee quickly you’ll need the fastest coffee maker available.
Prosumer espresso machines set themselves apart in several ways. They typically have dual boilers or heat exchange boilers that allow them to produce back-to-back shots for quick double shots. They also allow for brewing and steaming at the same time. This simultaneous functionality saves time and helps make the best cappuccinos and lattes. Steaming milk at the same time as brewing a shot allows you to deliver the milk froth to the espresso immediately and at the ideal temperature.
Because consistency is so important in espresso making, these machines also have built-in pressure gauges that help you monitor your steam and brew pressure. They’re functional, but they also make the machine look more professional. Some machines even add a temperature stability function that retains heat before extraction.
Prosumer espresso machines make use of a pre-infusion chamber that infuses the grounds with hot water to increase extraction. At the same time, PID controllers allow you to set the perfect temperature and control it more accurately. This is especially useful in specialty drinks or at high altitudes. Sometimes, PID controllers also work as shot timers. For people who prefer to have more control over their coffee may also want to check out the best pour-over coffee grinder.
These machines also contain rotary pumps rather than vibratory pumps. They’re much quieter and build up pressure more quickly. In conjunction with a direct connection to your building’s waterline, the machine can bypass the water tank and maintain a more consistent water source.
Alternatively, a standard espresso machine may or may not have these upgraded features. More affordable consumer machines frequently have vibratory pumps, single boilers, and only one group head. You can get consumer machines with higher quality components, but they aren’t built to be as durable or long-lasting as prosumer machines.
For more great machines, you’ll want to check out our Nespresso Lattissima Pro review. Alternatively, you might like our comparison article on BUNN NHS vs GR coffee makers.
A prosumer espresso machine works much like a commercial espresso machine. It connects directly to your home’s water supply but may also have a water reservoir that you can use if you don’t have a direct hookup. Connecting directly to your home’s water line gives you a consistent water source, making for a better espresso shot. They also contain built-in filters, so the water is clean and pure.
The rotary pump ramps up pressure quickly so that it will be ideal for extraction, which is critical for good espresso. Plus, you can pair it up with the leading coffee for your espresso machine. It can achieve a minimum of 9 bars of pressure, often creating up to 15 bars of pressure. Each dedicated boiler heats the water to an ideal 200 degrees for brewing and 212 for steaming.
A PID controller will help you control the temperature more accurately and may even double as a shot timer so you’ll know exactly when to pull the shot. These controllers manage the heat to prevent inconsistencies, leading to a poor taste in your espresso.
Because consistency in pressure, temperature, and water source are so important for making the best tasting espresso, a prosumer machine will maintain this consistency much better than a standard consumer espresso machine.
These machines contain saturated group heads that are exposed directly to the boiler most of the time. They’re expensive, but they’re stable and last for a long time. You’ll also find that a prosumer machine will have an articulated steam wand to accompany a dedicated boiler for steaming milk. This offers the perfect froth for cappuccinos and lattes.
An ergonomic and stylish design makes these machines easy to use and gives them a more professional look with a smaller footprint than a commercial machine. You will often find durable stainless steel accompanied by digital displays that make them even more user-friendly and efficient.
If you don’t currently have an espresso machine at home, a prosumer espresso machine can offer incredible functionality and ease of use, with a slight learning curve. If you already have an espresso machine at home, you may want to consider upgrading to a prosumer machine that will allow you to use your skills and experience to make even better espresso.
A prosumer espresso machine can last up to 20 years. Because these machines are built more like commercial machines, but they see less heavy use at home, they will last a very long time. However, they need to be cleaned and maintained properly, which requires a lot of work and can be expensive. It’s important to remember that the machine is an investment, and if you treat it as such, it will last a very long time.
There are several important factors to consider when looking for a prosumer espresso machine. It’s a major purchase, so think about the automation you need, the types of components you want, and the additional features that may be useful to you.
There are several different types of automation when it comes to prosumer espresso machines. There are semi-automatic espresso machines, automatic espresso machines, and super-automatic espresso machines.
A semi-automatic espresso machine will generate the pressure you need to pull a shot, but you have to do everything from measuring and tamping to timing the pull. You have to consider grind size, tamping pressure, dosing weight, and everything else. Some have a pre-infusion step, and some don’t, so that’s another thing that may be left in your hands.
An automatic espresso machine helps you a little bit more. You don’t have to control the shot timing anymore, so the pressure will automatically stop once it determines that enough water has flowed through the puck full of compacted grounds. However, you still have to determine grind size, dosing weight, and tamping pressure on your own.
A super-automatic espresso machine can do everything for you, from grinding the beans to dispensing the shot. They can even create the froth internally and mix it before dispensing your favorite cappuccino or latte.
Most prosumer espresso machines contain rotary pumps, and that’s certainly the best option. They are more expensive to repair or replace, but they’re more durable and last longer than vibratory pumps. They also help maintain more consistent pressure, which is critical for a good shot of espresso.
However, some feature vibratory pumps because prosumer espresso machines fall somewhere in the middle of a consumer and a professional machine. They can save you money upfront because they’re smaller and less expensive. However, they’re louder and won’t last as long.
Direct plumbing is a valuable configuration because you never have to worry about interrupting your shot to refill the water reservoir. However, they require a bit more work upfront to install, and if you don’t have access to a direct water line, this may not be an option.
Most prosumer espresso machines have either a dual boiler or a heat exchanger design that allows you to pull a shot and steam milk simultaneously. A dual boiler system has a dedicated boiler for each task. A heat exchange boiler pulls brew water from a pipe running through the boiler and draws hot water and steam directly from the boiler.
Heat exchange systems are more affordable and occupy a smaller footprint because there’s only one boiler. However, there’s less consistency and less precise temperature control. This may not matter at home, but it matters at high volume.
Dual boiler machines are larger and more expensive, but they offer precise temperature control and consistency.
You also want to consider the many boiler materials. Aluminum is lightweight and less expensive, but it has a high thermal conductivity. Copper is costly and has the highest thermal conductivity, and its natural antimicrobial qualities also make it one of the safest materials.
A brass alloy is less expensive than copper and resistant to corrosion, but it doesn’t have the same thermal conductivity. Stainless steel is a popular option because of its affordability and durability, but it simply doesn’t have the thermal conductivity it needs to heat up quickly.