Editor’s Picks: Today’s Best Espresso Machines

Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder

So you’ve researched and purchased a top of the line coffee maker. But now you want a latte…and you actually want it to be good. The world of high-end espresso machines can be overwhelming to the uninitiated. And, as with anything, a high price tag doesn’t always translate to high value. To help you in your quest for the perfect espresso drink, we’ve put together a list of some of the best espresso machines on the market.

Rancilio Silvia Version 3 ($630). This sturdy stainless steel beauty is one of the most popular sellers today. Made with all commercial or semi-commercial grade parts, the built-to-last machine is sure to keep you caffeinated for a very long time. New users will appreciate the simplicity of its functions, while experienced users will dig its 15 bar, heavy-duty pump, which extracts full flavor from the beans. A commercial grade, chrome-plated steam wand serves equally well for churning out quick foam or hot tea alike. One downside of the Silvia is that you’ll need to invest in a high end grinder to get the most out of your beans–which may mean shelling out an additional $250 or more.

Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder ($570). The cheaper of the Brevilles that we’ll review here, the Barista Express with an integrated burr grinder will take you from fresh ground beans to the perfect shot in about a minute. It’s a great machine for beginners to grow into, as it comes with two dual-wall, pressurized filters that regulate pressure and help optimize extraction without too much mental effort on your part. For more experienced espresso makers, it includes two single-wall, non-pressurized filters that give more room to experiment with different grind sizes, grind amounts, and tamping pressure.

Breville BES900XL Dual Boiler Semi Automatic Espresso Machine ($1,082). The priciest we’ll review here, this espresso machine really does have it all. Dual stainless steel boilers provide simultaneous milk texturing and espresso extraction, ensuring that your espresso arrives in its cup with the optimum flavor. Plus this guy is totally programmable, including an auto start time so your shot is ready when you get out of bed in the morning. The only hitch is you’ll need to buy a good grinder if you don’t already have one—adding another $250 plus to the price tag.

Nespresso CitiZ Automatic Espresso Maker and Milk Frother ($298). This sleek machine turns out a fine espresso, while only taking up about a foot of precious counter space. You’ll have to use Nespresso capsules, which, depending on your slant can be a good thing or a bad thing. But they come in many flavors, and the pod formulas are calibrated the same way every time, making it a definite win for consistency lovers.

No matter which espresso machine you choose, we hope you enjoy your new status as a domestic rockstar barista. It’s a whole new world!

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