written by: Aunindita•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 5/19/2011
Espresso Machines range from $45 upwards. And the old adage that you get what you pay for definitely applies. To compare espresso machines you need to look at the entire price range and features of machines. Let's jump into that.
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It’s time to compare espresso machines. Looking at the espresso machines on the market enables us to make a choice of what is the best for our homes. The majority of machines appear to have their origins in Italy, which is not really surprising as it is the home of the Espresso, the Cappuccino, and the Latte.
It need be no surprise that some of the best espresso coffee makers have their origins in Italy. Over many years they have perfected the art of both Espresso and Cappuccino coffees. The Espressione Caffe Novecento is one such machine, which is little known but is an excellent machine. Made by two Italians dedicated to producing great coffee, this machine has excellent features and costs $319.99 on Amazon. The internal housing is made of chrome steel and it has a brass filter which is chrome coated. Different from most other makes this model has a pressure gauge on top showing the 15-bar pressure pump, which is the source of the good frothing that comes to create the espresso. The machine requires 1000 watts of energy and comes with a warranty of one year. The one-liter water tank is removable, making for easier cleaning, and it is easy to work the entire machine as the handles act as your controls. The machine can serve 4-9 cups of coffee and is compatible with ground coffee due to the portafilter. It fits easily onto the countertop and is stylish at the same time. On the negative side, the dip tray is of poor metal quality and the same goes for the plastic-made levers. The steam wand is also quite short. The steam produced by the machine is also not impressive. But it is a good machine for the money you pay.
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Rancilio RAN-SILVIA Silvia Version 3 in Stainless Steel
No surprise when it comes to the task to compare espresso machines that the Rancilio RAN-SILVIA Silvia has to be among the top models. The price is at the top end of the bracket, at $649, but the Rancilio Silvia is a favorite among many for its espresso taste. It features a stainless-steel finish giving the modern kitchen a clean look. The interior has a brass boiler, which means it will not rust. There are two simple controls for warming the water and frothing the milk. The one-hole tip present helps in better milk frothing. The portafilter is of commercial quality and thus is a great benefit. It also comes with filter baskets. It also has a dip tray and cup heater. The quality of the steam produced by the machine is amazing. The biggest drawback of the make is its lack of automation. Additionally, the tamping tool is quite small to use to perfection. The size of the boiler is a little small and machine uses 1100 watts of energy. According to reviews, if you have a fine grinder and practice a bit on the machine, you will never look for another machine due to the amazing results.
That morning cup of espresso shouldn’t be a hassle to make. You require your coffee in a short time, and the Gaggia can do this. The construction of the machine is of commercial grade with stainless steel parts. To its credit it has easy-to-use controls and will use both ground and pod coffee. The steam and cream produced by the Gaggia Espresso machine is of superb quality. It comes with a 17-bar pump. It has a removable water boiler with high voltage, which makes it easy to clean on those corners. The portafilter is also of good quality and helps in maintaining the temperature. The one drawback on this machine is the boiler, which is made of aluminum. It is also difficult to judge how much water it is holding. The frothing wand also doesn't rotate fully. The size of the boiler is small and can serve only two cups of coffee at a time. The Gaggia machine is priced at $399.95 on Amazon. This is a good machine for beginners.
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DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker
Price-wise, at $75.00, the basic De Longhi Espresso Machine is good for the money. While it is unfair to really compare this espresso machine with its higher-priced brothers it is a good value for its price. You get a great taste of espresso. It has a 15-bar pump with two thermostats--one for water temperature in the stainless steel boiler and the other for steam maker. It works well both with coffee pods and ground beans, as it has a self-priming feature. The milk frothing wand also does a good work and thus the production of cream is of high quality. The water tank of the machine is removable and is designed to serve 4-8 cups of cofee. It fails to accommodate the larger mugs needed for things like lattes. There is also a considerable distance between the nozzle and the cup tray. But to sum it up, it is quite a good buy at $75.50, available on Amazon.
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Kalorik EXP-20737 Aqua Line Espresso Machine
The bottom end of the price scale is the Kalorik Espresso machine at $49.97 on Amazon. Although it is priced low you still get a good flavor from the machine, even if you do need to experiment to get the right milk-frothing technique. The machine uses 1200 watts of energy and comes with a one-year limited warranty. This basic machine is quite stylish to look at and has a 15-bar pump of high quality. It has a steam nozzle for the milk frothing process and two stainless steel filters. The removable water tank and a cup warmer are great features presented by the company. On the downside, it doesn't have an inbuilt grinder. The boiler is also quite small and can serve only 4 cups of coffee. For those who like extra hot espresso stay away from the machine, as many users complained about it. But if you are looking for a cheap machine, you cannot expect all the features. Can you?
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When you compare espresso machines, the range on the market is so wide, ranging widely in price and features, that you are bound to find something to your liking.