You love coffee chains. You love the coffee you have there. And now you are looking for an espresso machine to prepare the same coffee at home. You started to research and see that there are varied types and prices. Starting from 70 dollars to 5000 dollars. They are all espresso machines and most of them worth the price with the functions they have.
But if you are going to use them at home, you really don’t need a professional espresso machine. But according to your budget, kitchen availability and favorite beverage, you may find the best match that fits your needs. Of course from a price-performance perspective.
DeLonghi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
This espresso maker is one of the cheapest solutions to make espresso at home. Additionally, it’s steam wand prepares milk for a cappuccino but not for a cafe latte. Latte needs microfoam and this machine cannot go at that level.
51 mm portafilter is compatible with ESE pods. Because of the cheaper price, most of the pieces and surfaces made of plastics. This can be good if you are not sure that you will continue to use the machine, or plan to use it for a short time. You may also choose this for a low price. But actually, when you buy an espresso maker you will use it for years. Therefore my suggestion is to enlarge your budget for a better segment and product.
Delonghi EC680/685 DEDICA
Delonghi EC680 and 685 are very similar entry-level espresso machines. The difference between them is the steam wand. There is a switch added on to EC685’s steam wand, which allows you to choose a milk frothing style for cappuccino or hot milk. Since hot milk option produces near microfoam froth can be used for a cafe latte and latter art. Both machines are 51mm pressurized portafilter. Thin and compact design helps you to place easily in your kitchen.
Although they have 5+ years of age they are still looking good and modern. If you are looking for a low priced good start this machine definitely a good option. Customer reviews are very positive and you can easily find spare parts on services or online marketplaces.
Both machines come with a plastic tamper, I can strongly recommend buying a 51mm tamper besides this machine to feel the barista sense and better tampering.
Breville BES840XL/A the Infuser Espresso Machine
This machine has 54mm (2.125 inches) portafilter which is quite acceptable for a home type espresso machine. There are no such sexy features but the ones that it has are more than standard home type machines. The powerful feature of this machine is, it has a PID feature that stabilizes the temperature of the water at 93 Celcius. This heat level is accepted by most of the specialty coffee members as the best common temperature for the best espresso extraction.
Another good thing, Breville BES840 has a pressure gauge. This lets to start your extraction on time on the right pressure. Also, it is nice to see and customize your taste while seeing the pressure level.
Steam wand has professional output. It creates enough level of micro foam for making latte and latte art.
Whole-body is covered by stainless steel inox. And the buttons look very nice. The steam wand is so similar to professional types and prepares microfoam, which is needed by latte art. The device comes with a tamper and there is a magnet stick place for it on the machine.
If you have a grinder, this machine will meet your needs. I can recommend this product for the ones loves espresso and want to improve their barista skills at home.
Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL
Very smilar to Breville BES 840 but it has a build in grinder which help you to grind your espresso at 1 to 12 levels. Grinder is not as professional as Breville stand alone grinders, and does not have inner 10 levels and outer 60 levels, but it provide quite enough levels of grinding for espresso although it has 12 levels. All other functionalities are same with BES840.
If you don’t have an extra place for standalone grinder then this might be an option for you.
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine
One of the best espresso machine in the market, sure that it has a high price but worth every penny. Rancilio Silvia provides professional espresso machine experience at home. One of the most differentiated point is portafilter radius. Home type espresso machines usually uses 51mm and 54m portafilter, but professional espresso machines uses 58mm portafilters, just like Rancilio Silvia.
When you look for the specifications below you can see that there are two missing issues. the first one is; this machine has a single boiler I am expecting dual boiler from this segment but dont forget this is a home type machine, so you are not going to prepare drinks back to back. Therefore single boiler quite enough for home. The second thing is bottomless portafilter. Package not coming with a botomless portafilter you need to buy it extra and the cost is around 60 usd.
Rancilio Silvia Specifications are:
- Made in Milan Italy
- Single 300ml brass boiler, 1100 watts
- Chrome-plated brass portafilter
- Filter basket size: 58.6mm
- Ideal Tamper size: 58.55mm
- The iron supporting frame (black), stainless steel body
- 2.5L water tank
- Dimensions: 290 x 235 x 340
- Weight: 14kg
- PID kit option available
- Easy to use the ball-jointed steam arm with 1 hole steam tip
- The extensive user community for advice and support
to be continued…