You can enjoy coffee at home that’s as good as your favourite cafe simply by buying the right machine.

We’ve compiled a list of the best espresso machines on the market, including details on why we chose each one. Espresso machines come in a huge range of price points, so we’ve included something to fit everyone’s budget.

Our top pick

Our favourite espresso machine in 2024 is the Barista Express by Breville (Amazon link), which is manufactured under the brand name Sage in the UK. Within this one machine, you can grind, dose and tamp your coffee beans to make delicious espresso as well as steam your milk.

You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to replicate your favourite coffee drink from your local cafe. The hefty, all stainless steel Barista Express does all of the hard work for you.

Making great espresso all starts with grinding and dosing your coffee beans. The grinder hopper is large enough to hold an entire packet of coffee beans (225g/8oz).

The integrated conical burr grinder doses the exact amount of coffee you need directly into the portafilter. The adjustment wheel located on the side of the machine makes changing the grind size so simple.

The machine has its own tamper stored neatly by way of a magnet so you don’t go losing it. Once you’ve tamped your coffee, you just need to lock the portafilter in place to begin making your espresso. The huge 2 litre (68fl oz) water tank means you don’t have to keep refilling it every five minutes.

If you prefer to use pre-ground coffee, the machine has a dedicated portafilter basket specially designed for use with pre-ground coffee. If you think that you’ll never need the grinding facility for whole coffee beans, check out the cheaper version of this machine without the grinder.

The machine has two presets depending on whether you want a single or double espresso. The water temperature is controlled with a state of the art system that ensures that the temperature remains consistent to within one degree, ensuring a perfectly extracted shot of espresso.

Once you’ve made your espresso, it’s time to steam some milk. The Barista Express features a powerful steam wand that can steam milk just as good as any commercial machine. Place your pitcher of milk under the wand and create your favourite drink. Whether you prefer a frothy cappuccino, or you want to make some cool latte art, this machine does the job.

Beneath where you place your cup is the large drip tray that catches any little drips or unwanted spills. To remove it, simply slide it out and pour any contents down the sink.

Neatly tucked at the back of the drip tray is a box that houses all of the machine’s different sized portafilter baskets. These little additions are why we like this machine so much. Everything is so well thought out, making for a nice, compact and aesthetically pleasing espresso machine.

Breville has really upped the ante with their line of espresso machines. They’re creating espresso machines that are getting the attention and respect of the likes of former World Barista Champion, James Hoffmann.

The allure of making espresso at home can quickly vanish with most cheaper machines as the effort involved becomes a real chore because they are such hard work. Things are made worse when your cheap machine doesn’t live up to the coffee you enjoy from your local cafe.

The Breville (Sage) Barista Express features absolutely everything you need in one compact machine. Automated dosing for your ground coffee and water, an integrated tamper that’s been custom-designed, digitally controlled water temperature, and a powerful steam wand that can produce milk that makes creating latte art a breeze.

Check out the current price today (you’ll be automatically directed to your country’s Amazon):

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Best entry-level pick

The best budget espresso machine in 2024 is without doubt the De’Longhi Dedica (Amazon link). The Dedica has all the necessary features needed to produce great espresso at a very affordable price.

What we like so much is its small footprint and sturdy stainless steel construction. The Dedica is just 15cm (6 inches) wide, which means that you won’t have to sacrifice space in your kitchen or student dorm.

Although the machine has a small footprint, it doesn’t lack in power in any way whatsoever. It features a 15-bar pump that’s capable of producing true espresso as well as a 1.1L (37fl oz) removable water tank that’s neatly stored at the rear of the machine with a clearly visible water level indicator.

Unlike cheap machines, the water is dispensed evenly over the ground coffee, so there’s no worry of uneven extraction or channelling which causes undrinkable espresso.

The small size means that it only takes 30 seconds to heat up ready for making your espresso. The wait between switching between brewing your espresso and steaming milk is just a few seconds due to the Dedica’s powerful internals.

The steam wand is also very powerful for such a small machine. You can heat your milk quickly, creating frothy cappuccinos or delicious micro-foam for making latte art.

The machine’s simplicity means that there are just three buttons at the top. One for single espresso, another for double espresso and the third for steaming milk.

The De’Longhi Dedica comes with several portafilter baskets, depending on your drink preference. There are separate baskets for single espresso and double espresso. If you prefer to use pods, there is a dedicated basket that has been designed to be compatible with ESE pods.

The standard portfilter baskets that come with the machine are pressurized models. These have the advantage of being very forgiving when it comes to varying grind sizes, which is something that is essential for those buying pre-ground coffee.

Whilst pressurized filters have their place, what we really like is a non-pressurized basket. They’re the type used on commercial machines because the design makes superior espresso.

Fortunately, the Dedica is compatible with non-pressurized baskets, and the change takes under one minute to do so. If you are going to grind your own coffee beans, make sure to buy the De’Longhi Dedica compatible non-pressurized portafilter basket (Amazon link) as you’ll immediately notice the difference in the quality of your espresso.

Another great feature of this machine is that it has an automatic shut-off that gives you peace of mind should you forget to switch it off when you’re running out the door to work in the morning.

The machine also has a removable drip tray that catches any unwanted spills whilst making your favourite coffee drink.

Whilst there are definitely cheaper espresso machines available on the market, none come close to the quality of the De’Longhi Dedica. Other machines are made from cheap plastics that have a worrying amount of flex, are incredibly noisy, spurt water a high pressure in random places causing channelling and bitter coffee, and they all lack the capability for easily heating milk.

This is a really beautiful little espresso machine that will really add to your kitchen without the problem of having to make space for it. It has all the features any coffee-lover could want with its pressurized, non-pressurized and pod capability. Throw in its powerful milk-steaming capability and you’re good to go for making coffee that rivals your favourite cafe.

Check out the current price today (you’ll be automatically directed to your country’s Amazon):

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