If you wait in long drive-thru lines for your morning cup of latte, it’s likely you share a popular daydream.
The daydream in which you wake up unrushed in the morning and pull your very own shot of bean juice using your very own espresso machine. (Maybe while wearing your old bunny slippers. No? Just me? Ok. Moving on!)
Enter your new friend, the home latte machine, perched cheerfully on your countertop. Ready to greet each new day with you. And forever ready to brew you up a cup of mindfulness.
Together you concoct artisan lattes or extra foamy cappuccinos. Maybe you use your espresso machine in conjunction with the old standby. Your automatic drip. Whipping out cafe au laits (brewed coffee plus steamed milk) or red eyes (a shot of espresso dropped in a cup of brewed coffee, also called a shot in the dark!) at the drop of a hat (or push of a button depending on the machine you choose!).
Let’s take a closer look at the best espresso machines available today for any budget.
Go forth and FROTH — cheers!
Whether you’re looking for your first ever espresso machine, a thoughtful gift for a friend, or just something to make your mornings run a little smoother — Mr. Coffee has you covered.
Check out their Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. It’s advertised as a great starter machine, for good reason! The one-touch control panel lets you auto-select espresso, latte, or cappuccino.
You can even froth milk automatically, taking the guesswork out of your specialty coffees. There’s a manual option as well if you prefer a more hands-on approach to your morning caffeine ritual.
This machine boasts a 15 bar pump system for rich espresso shots loaded with that good crema. Removable reservoirs for both water and milk make for convenient prep and easy cleanup.
It’s priced reasonably and comes with a year-long warranty (just be sure you follow the instruction manual!). Included with your purchase: scoop for measuring grounds, tamper, filters for single and double espresso shots.
Skip the lines and use your favorite coffee beans at home. This semi-automatic espresso machine will save you so much time and money. It’s a worthy investment, that’s why we had to pick it for the best choice on our review list.
With the Breville Barista Express, you’ll wake up every single day feeling like royalty. That’s why this home latte machine is our premium pick.
It has everything you need for that perfectly-crafted latte you like to start each morning with. From freshly-ground espresso to the micro-foam texture on the milk of your choice.
The bean hopper can hold up to a half-pound of your favorite espresso beans. The grind size dial gives you full control. It’s a burr grinder so you know you’re always getting the most consistent grind too. Conveniently grind directly into your portafilter for innovative hands-free operation.
With the Barista Express, you’re less than one minute from great-tasting espresso at all times. You’ll get authentic cafe results every time. Think — rich, full flavor, well-balanced, with good body, and a silky mouthfeel to boot.
Where gourmet coffee meets convenience. With accurate temperature control and easy single-switch knob control, the SowTech is a lean mean espresso machine.
The compact design of this home latte machine makes for quick storage when necessary. And if you aren’t hurting for countertop space, the sleek stainless steel of the machine makes it aesthetic to keep out in view. Plus, it’s a cinch to wipe down and keep clean.
Besides being on the smaller end of espresso machines, SowTech is lightweight too. Meaning if you can’t imagine starting your days without it — travel with it! Pop it in a box with a bag of ground beans and hit the road. Even if you’re just taking it to your office for the day, it’ll be worth it when you sip that velvety espresso at your desk.
With 3.5 bar pressure, you’ll be brewing like a pro. You can make 1-4 cups in the glass carafe. Top off your creamy espresso with silky-smooth frothed milk courtesy of your frothing wand.
Also, included? A manual, a filter, a funnel, and a spoon (with tamper).
Channel your inner barista without breaking the bank with our best value pick.
If we were still doing categories, we’d probably call this one “most versatile.” Get the best of both worlds by opting for this dual brewer from Keurig.
With the K-Cafe coffee maker, you can have your latte and follow it up with a brewed coffee to take on the go. An awesome feature of most single-brewers like the Keurig K-Cafe? The drip trays move to accommodate your travel mug.
Speaking of being on the go, if you run out the door without switching your coffee maker off — no worries! This brewer has an auto-off feature. It turns off after two hours of not being in use.
There’s a strong brew option for those of us who prefer a bit more kick. And you can choose from four sizes: 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces.
Use the frother to take your coffee to the next level. You can steam any fresh milk, dairy-free or regular. The milk frother is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup afterward.
Note: Reusable my k-cup is sold separately.
For cafe-quality results from your very own countertop, bring home the Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker. Hamilton Beach has a long-standing reputation for providing high-quality products for more affordable prices.
The 15-bar Italian pump will deliver perfect extraction and that lush crema we all desire. The steam wand swivels, making it easy to froth your milk of choice for those lattes and cappuccinos.
Every step in your coffee-making ritual matters. Maybe you’re already used to prewarming your favorite mug with piping hot water. That’s why we love the cup warmer feature on this machine. Keeping your cup toasty warm before you fill it will help it retain that delightful heat longer.
The included accessories are a tamper (plus measuring scoop!), single & double filters for espresso, and a removable drip tray. The portafilter is easy to slide and lock into place when you’re ready to pull shots.
If you’re already comfortable casually playing the role of a home barista, this machine will take you to the next level. The Delonghi Dedica has a manual frother. Giving you full control over your foam. You can have it your way — every time!
With 15-bar pressure, your single or double shots will be excellently extracted every time. The three-in-one filter holder even works with espresso pods if those are your preference.
You can conveniently remove the drip tray to fit taller cups. Brew shots directly into a travel mug and top with your expertly-frothed foam before running out the door!
The sleek design is delightfully narrow. Meaning it will fit attractively on any countertop and easily into a cupboard should you need to store it.
You’ll be brewing like a pro from your favorite coffeehouse, without having to change out of your house slippers. The dream!
Cleaning tip: To avoid clogging your nozzle with milk, clean it after every use. Besides wiping it down, hit the steam button before turning the knob to clear it.
You know what you like. A quick espresso, the occasional latte or cappuccino. Minimal fuss, thank you very much.
So we think the Brentwood Espresso Cappuccino Maker is the one destined for your life (and countertop!). It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and budget-friendly to boot.
The powerful steamer adds richly-frothed milk to your espresso drinks. For guests or an afternoon treat. You could even pick up some decaf espresso for after-dinner coffee beverages with dessert (can we tag in?).
The glass decanter lets you keep an eye on the process and the cool-touch handle means no incidents of burnt fingers. Measuring scoop also included with your purchase.
For those of us who enjoy gourmet espresso drinks, but are less thrilled about the process, comes the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine! Technology meets design in this easy-to-use coffee maker.
Now you can pop in a ready-to-go capsule and get your choice of black coffee or a specialty beverage. Options include espresso, caramel latte macchiato, cafe au lait, americano, cappuccino, vanilla latte, plus more!
You’ll feel extra pampered in the mornings with coffeehouse quality drinks at your fingertips. You can select the Genio 2 for a toggle joystick control, best for if you’re brewing less than 10 cups per day. Or price up to the Esperta 2 for a scroll wheel control and up to 12 cups per day.
Any fans of Vanilla Ice out there? Stop, extract, and get to sippin’. AICOK’s back with a new edition.
Okay, that was a stretch. But, with 15-bars of high-pressure pump action, every espresso shot you pull with this baby will be divinely extracted. Rich-tasting with silky crema.
The stainless steel body plus ergonomic handle will look striking in your kitchen. The 43-ounce volume water reservoir is easy to fill and clean. As is the removable drip tray.
The swiveling steam wand will meet you where you’re at and set that milk to frothing! Just remember to set the dial to steam before you do the deed.
This espresso machine is affordable, efficient, and fast. It’ll have you whippin’ out lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and americanos faster than any drive-thru line.
Tiny, but mighty. That’s the Yabano Espresso Machine for you.
If you’re looking for something small and compact — this is the coffee maker you seek. It’ll fit any countertop, good for smaller kitchens or even your office space.
It’s very easy to use, so it’s also a great option for beginners! It’s affordable, you could even purchase it as a nice gift for someone who loves coffee. It’ll save them that daily trip to the drive-thru and give them the chance to connect more with the espresso-brewing ritual.
Even though it’s pint-sized, this little machine heats up quickly and can produce up to four cups of espresso at a time. The built-in steam wand is powerful enough to create the rich, creamy foam of your dreams.
And the portafilter, nozzle, and drip tray? All removable for easy clean-up.
Note: Don’t use finely ground coffee, opt for a medium grind espresso.
If you love hot and cold coffee equally, this coffee maker is about to send you into a tailspin of excitement. The Chefman Froth Brew machine can do hot or cold frothed milk.
Your seasonal lattes and cappuccinos are about to get way more special!
It’s K-cup compatible for ultimate convenience. Or use your favorite coffee grounds with the reusable filter.
Mix things up, top brewed coffee or iced coffee with cold foam this summer! Top hot cocoa with hot frothy oat milk in the winter!
The Chefman includes a 20-ounce mug you can brew directly into too. Or use it as a standalone frother and brew your coffee into your own preferred mug.
Note: Do not froth in any other mugs, only the included one!
This coffee maker even has a self-cleaning feature you can use to remove mineral deposits. Keep your coffee tasting fresh by staying on top of machine maintenance.
This sleek stainless steel espresso machine will fit right in wherever you want it. Kitchen, office, bedroom (hey, we aren’t here to judge!).
The 2-in-1 coffee maker from Gevi makes rich-tasting espresso and includes a professional steaming wand. Make all your favorite coffeehouse drinks yourself by investing in this 15-bar machine.
Whether you’ve played barista before, this coffee maker is easy to use. It comes with a measuring scoop for your espresso shots and a 3-in-1 portafilter. You can brew up to two cups of coffee at the same time.
The double temperature control system brews your espresso at around 203 degrees Fahrenheit. While the powerful frother reaches 212 degrees.
The price is reasonable for an espresso machine and it includes a 2-year warranty. The drip tray is removable to accommodate a larger cup, which we always appreciate!
Tips: Allow your machine to preheat before using it. Then allow some time after frothing your milk for the unit to cool before you brew your espresso.
To make the process of investing in a home latte machine a little clearer, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions below. These answers will hopefully help you feel confident when you go to do the actual buying of your espresso maker.
If you aren’t feeling ready for an entire machine yet, a good way to get your feet wet in the world of espresso is to try out an Aeropress or a Moka pot. However, if you feel ready to level up to true espresso and a steam wand and coffeehouse beverages…
Once you’ve got your budget, you’re ready to shop. To get started, choose and purchase a home latte machine.
When you have it on your kitchen countertop — familiarize yourself with your machine. Read the user manual, watch product videos, and check out how-tos. And, of course, read the rest of these FAQs! Don’t forget to register your product too. For full warranty power!
If you really want your espresso to be next level, get a grinder! Having your own grinder will allow you to find that perfect grind setting for your machine (every time). When you buy pre-ground coffee, it can vary in consistency, which will affect your espresso shots.
Buy medium-dark roast whole bean blends for best results. A bag of beans marked as “espresso” is always a safe choice, naturally!
Once you’ve learned to craft the perfect at-home latte, savor it! You’ve created a beautiful morning (or afternoon or evening…) ritual for yourself. You should be proud.
Don’t forget to clean your machine to keep it running optimally and your espresso tasting just right!
Here we’ll go over three different methods of cleaning your new home latte machine.
Note: You can do this once per week if your machine sees heavy-use
*Unless otherwise noted in your descaling instructions that came with your home latte machine.
Quick tips for how to make a better latte without leaving your house.
They may seem a bit like magic. Don’t get us wrong — they absolutely are! But how they work is able to be explained in simple terms.
Let’s start with your espresso machine’s water reservoir. You fill it to the max capacity with fresh, cold water, and then what happens to it?
It goes through a pump naturally. Before pushing through your expertly-tamped espresso in your portafilter. Pulling you that perfect crema shot … oh! We got carried away there!
Back to business.
The pump in your espresso machine is likely electric. It might be a vibe pump or it may be a rotary vein pump. (Here’s a video if you want to see them up close.) Either way, its job is to take in the water from the reservoir and pressurize it before directing it where you need it (in your espresso or your milk!).
But before that clean, filtered water in your pump hits your favorite grounds, it needs to be heated, right? So it goes through a boiler. Your home espresso machine likely has a small, electric boiler inside it.
Depending on the coffee maker you buy, you may have control over your temperatures or it may be automatic.
Now your pressured, heated water is ready to steam up some silky milk or pull some smooth shots. Power up that steam wand if you’re looking for a latte or cappuccino. Most home machines are single boiler, meaning you can’t do espresso and milk at the same time.
We recommend you start with frothing your milk, allow the machine to cool, then pull your shots.
The group head is the next (and final!) stop for that clear, cold water you started with! Water enters it from the boiler, fills the filter chamber, passes through a nozzle, and down into the brewing channel. Once you lift the brew lever, hot pressurized water will be sealed off from other parts of the machine and be forced to flow through the dispersion block and into your coffee grounds nestled in their portafilter.
Pretty cool to know more about the inner workings, right?
Better Coffee Depends on Good Grinding
How to Be Mindful with a Cup of Coffee
Keep Your Coffee Warm by Priming Your Mug with Hot Water
Overview: Rotary vs. Vibratory Pumps
Homemade Coffee Syrups Recipes