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Our Recommended Best Espresso Machine Is The Sage BES875UK!
- The Sage Barista Express delivers third wave speciality coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Barista Series that offers all in one espresso machines with integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
- DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: Integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean
- OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavours are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
- PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
- MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: The powerful steam wand performance allows you to hand texture microfoam milk that enhances flavour and enables the creation of latte art
If your a coffee addict like most of us, investing in an espresso machine could be a great choice, not only do these machines save you money in the long run by reducing your Starbucks, they also save you time by avoiding long queues and give you a real tasting coffee as good as the professionals.
However, upfront an espresso machine can be a big investment so its important you choose the right one with all the features you need, whether manual or automatic you need to make sure its right for you.
That’s why we have rounded up the best espresso machines on the UK market currently and compared them to help find the right espresso machine for your coffee fix in the morning.
Our Top Espresso Machine (2020 Updated) –
The Sage BES875UK Barista Express (Editor’s Choice)
Sage is well-known in the coffee machine industry and produces reliable machines all over the UK. This espresso machine, in particular, boasts a 240 V 1850 W stainless steel system, paired with an automatically integrated grinder for perfecting your coffee dose and style.
Feature-wise, the Sage espresso machine comes with 18 integrated grind settings and has an adjustable dosage so as you can control the style of your espresso, this is handled automatically via the machine with its 15 bar pressure.
The device also features digital temperature control for your water. It has a high powered steam wand enabling you to create that latte style milk foam in your coffee.
This Sage machine can be used with ground coffee, or beans depending on your preference and includes a milk jug, separate hot water wand and a two-year warranty to increase confidence in your purchase.
A reliable, high powered coffee machine which takes away the hard work of making a cafe-style cup of coffee from within your home. This machine is excellent value for money and helps control your preferred dosage for consistent results every morning.
Downfalls of this Sage espresso machine has to be its body which has been reported to stain quite quickly. It’s also on the expensive side when compared to other espresso machines on our list.
- Reliable Sage brand with an automatic system.
- Allows you to control dosage and grinding to your taste.
- Stainless steel exterior makes it modern looking.
- Comes with a milk frother accessory.
- Temperature control and two-year warranty.
- Very expensive.
- The body can stain despite being stainless steel.
Our Budget Favourite – De’Longhi ECP31.21 Espresso Machine
The sleek and affordable espresso machine by De’Longhi boasts a black finishing for a modern look and has 1100 watts of power.
This pump style espresso machine can grind your fresh coffee beans with its single and double filters or can be used with ESE pods.
Features of this machine are its steam arm to help froth milk for your lattes and a one-litre water tank.
The hot water delivery system of this machine allows you to use it not only for espressos but also for teas and americanos.
A very affordable and modern machine from De’Longhi, perfect for people who are looking for a simple espresso machine on a budget, with all the features necessary such as grinding and steaming.
Downfalls of this machine have to be its lack of adjustability for grinding, the device is also manual. It has been reported to be faulty sometimes. This machine can also be hard to clean.
- Sleek design with grinding ability and pod compatibility.
- Milk frother and hot water delivery system.
- One litre water tank.
- Lack of adjustability.
- Manual and hard to clean.
- Machine can be faulty from the supplier.
De’Longhi Magnifica Coffee Machine
This De’Longhi coffee machine is very highly rated and extremely affordable. It features a 1450 power wattage and an integrated grinder with seven adjustable levels to make your best cup of coffee.
The machine’s model not only can save you money by avoiding coffee shops but is also easy to use due to its one-touch technology, allowing you to make cappuccinos or espressos easily whenever you want. This machine also boasts a milk frother for a fancier coffee.
Other notable features of the De’Longhi Magnificia model are its automatic cleaning system with descaling, cleaning and rinsing programs. Warranty is also included with this espresso machine.
Overall, the De’Longhi Magnifcia espresso machine is one of the best on our list in terms of its price and rating, this model is straightforward to use and has all the features you need to make a barista-style cup of coffee.
However, downfalls of this espresso and coffee machine have to be its build quality which is mainly plastic due to its lower price, and this machine is also reported to be quite noisy.
- Very affordable and highly rated.
- Adjustable grinder settings and milk frother.
- One touch system for ease of use.
- Has cleaning programmes.
- Plastic build due to the low price.
Swan SK22110BLN Espresso Coffee Machine
The Swan retro pump coffee machine is one of the most affordable models on our list, this machine has an 1100 W power output and includes 15 bars of pressure with a self-priming system for your perfect morning coffee.
This machine is compatible with all ESE coffee pods. It has a milk frother with steam control to help you create a latte within the comfort of your home. Its 1.2-litre water tank can make two cups of coffee at the same time within minutes.
Not only is this Swan coffee machine simple to use, but it also comes in a retro style to compliment your kitchen and has a two-year warranty to increase buyer confidence.
A very affordable sleek looking retro coffee machine which is easy to use with compatible ESE pods, this machine allows you to save money and create a frothy cappuccino or espresso easily.
However, this Swan retro coffee machine is reported to be relatively small. It has a plastic build quality, and this is probably due to its lower price. The pods are also quite expensive and don’t allow you to customise your grinding process, therefore may not give as good as an espresso as other models on our list.
- Very affordable with a modern retro-style look.
- Can create a frothy style coffee with milk steamer.
- Two-year warranty.
- Can make two cups of coffee at once.
- Can’t adjust grinding process due to pod system.
- Pods are expensive.
- Poor build quality.
Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee Machine
This mini coffee machine boasts a very low selling price. It has a 1310 watt power with a 19 bar high-pressure system which extracts all the flavour you need for a perfect cup of coffee.
It’s lightweight, and compact design can fit neatly into anyone’s kitchen, with adjustable and automatic water control and 25 second heating time, this little machine can save you lots of time in the morning.
This machine is compatible with Nespresso capsules and has 600 ml water tank for making your cups of coffee.
The Nespresso mini machine is also very energy efficient with an eco mode and auto-switch off when the device is inactive. The machine features two cup sizes when making coffee, depending on if you want small or large.
The Essenza is a great little machine to buy for helping you make espressos and Italian coffees without a hefty price tag, it can fit neatly in anyone’s kitchen and is extremely easy to use with their capsules.
However, the negatives of this model have to be its capsule method which can be expensive to upkeep, it’s also reported to be faulty and lacks a milk frothing option.
- Compact design and very affordable.
- 19 bar pressure system.
- Adjustable water control and quick heating time.
- Two cup sizes.
- Capsule ares expensive.
- Reported to be faulty.
- No milk frothing option.
Lavazza A Modo Mio Tiny Espresso Coffee Machine
If you are looking for a highly rated espresso machine on a budget, the Lavazza machine could be right for you. This espresso machine comes with a slow extraction 15 bar pressure to get the best flavour extraction possible out of your coffee.
This machine works with Lavazza A Modo Mio capsules and has a ready time of 25 seconds. The device also has an adjustable cup rack to suit your cup size needed. Its parts are also all dishwasher safe.
The design of this Lavazza espresso machine is very compact and easy to use due to its single button press system to turn it on. Its water tank has a 750 ml capacity, which is enough for most family coffee drinkers.
A very affordable espresso machine with a compact size and excellent extraction system, this model is also straightforward to use due to its limited controls and buttons.
Downfalls of the Lavazza model has to be its lack of a milk frother and capsule system, which can be quite expensive. The machine is also reported to produce colder coffee.
- Compact and affordable.
- Easy to use and can accommodate different cup sizes.
- 15 bar pressure with a ready time of 25 seconds.
- 750 ml water tank.
- Lack of milk frother.
- Capsule system can be expensive.
- Can produce lukewarm coffee.
Our Verdict – The Best Espresso Machine UK
Overall, to conclude the best espresso machine on our list has to be the Sage BES875UK The Barista Express, this machine is the most expensive on our list. Still, it is worth it due to its high-quality design and adjustable grinding process; its milk frothing system is also perfect for people wanting to make professional barista-style coffee at home.
As a runner up and a more affordable option we would suggest the De’Longhi ECP31.21 espresso machine, this model is very cheap but can still grind your favourite coffee beans and froth your milk.
What To Look For In An Espresso Machine UK
Now we have compared and found the best espresso machines on the UK market. It would be best if you familiarised yourself with espresso machines features before making your choice.
Some models operate automatic, manual or semi-automatic, some also can grind coffee beans, and others work via capsules. These are some points you need to consider, so we have put together an espresso machine buying guide below to help you out.
Types Of Espresso Machines
Nowadays, there are many different types of espresso machines on the market with various features and prices. We have listed out the main ones below with some details so as you can get to know them.
Manual espresso machines are the oldest kind of espresso machines on the market. These manual models allow you to control everything from grinding to milk frothing, so it’s a case of what you put in you get out.
These machines are often widespread but can be challenging for inexperienced coffee makers to learn with.
- Allows you to control everything.
- Often produce fresher tasting coffee.
- Can be expensive.
- Hard to learn espresso-making with.
Semi-auto machines are trendy and often quite affordable, they still allow you to adjust parts of the espresso-making process such as the grinding and frothing but automate the pumps electrically, making it more user friendly. These models can still be complicated; however, only if you don’t have experience with espresso machines.
- Can be affordable.
- More choice on the market.
- Allows you to adjust processes.
- Makes it more comfortable to use due to electronic pumps.
- Can be expensive depending on the brand.
- Can be complicated to use.
Fully automatic machines
Fully automatic espresso machines are perfect for lazy morning coffee drinkers; they often allow you to choose pre-programmed settings and take care of the coffee-making for you. These machines don’t allow you to set anything manually, so this can be a drawback if you like your espresso in a certain way.
- Easy to use and very quick.
- Very common with lots on the market.
- Suitable for lazy coffee drinkers.
- You cannot manually set your espresso to be the way you want.
- Can be more prone to breakage.
- Can be expensive depending on the brand.
Pod espresso machines
These pod machines work by buying capsules and inserting them into your coffee machines. These little models are often very affordable and easy to use. However, the capsules can be expensive and limited, depending on which country you are in. They also give a weaker tasting coffee than other machine types above.
- Very easy to use.
- Not messy.
- Poorer tasting coffee quality.
- Pods can be expensive.
Espresso Machine Features To Consider
There are some main features to look out for in an espresso machine, what features you choose to include should fit into your budget, often more features and adjustability will mean a higher price but better-tasting coffee.
- Integrated coffee grinder – Having a coffee grinder feature in your machine is excellent for fresher tasting coffee. It can save you time from grinding your own, this especially essential for a high-quality espresso.
- Milk frother – Having a milk frothing system is an excellent feature for creating latte art and barista-style cappuccinos.
- Size – Check the size of your espresso machine before purchasing, some can be too small which will limit your cup size, some can also be too big which can use up a lot of counter space in your kitchen.
- Settings – With automatic and semi-automatic machines, it’s a good idea to check what programmes they come with, you can save these programmes for future use once you know how you like your coffee.
- Cup sizes and warmer – Some machines can take different cup sizes and multiple at once, this is useful if you want to make coffee for multiple people in the morning or have a larger cup when you feel like it. Many machines also have a cup warming feature which can be great to keep your espresso warm.
- Ease of use – A lot of auto machines have a one-touch system which is excellent for people who are on a time limit in the morning, you don’t want a device which is fiddly and complicated to use every time you want a coffee.
- Cleaning – Make sure your model is easy to clean otherwise filters, and fiddly parts can get dirty very quickly. Check your details are dishwasher safe just in case.
- Durability – Look for a machine with warranty and high ratings, some devices will only hold out for a year then break, try to search for a reliable machine.
What You Can Make With An Espresso Machine
Let’s take a look at what we can make with an espresso machine, as believe it or not, a lot of our favourite coffees start with an espresso shot so that these machines can be versatile for your morning coffees.
- Lattes – These coffees are great for milk lovers and start with an espresso shot in a tall glass with milk filled up to the top. You can add in syrups such as vanilla or make it stronger with more espresso.
- Espresso shots – Whether you like a double or single, an espresso machine with giving you a high quality shot to wake you up in the morning.
- Cappuccinos – These drinks tend to be very popular and similar to lattes, but have a more pungent taste with less milk dilution.
- Macchiatos – Macchiatos are an espresso shot with a small layer of frothed milk on top; these drinks often taste stronger and are not meant to be stirred.
- Mochas – Mochas are very similar to lattes, but have chocolate added in with cocoa powder on top.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Espresso Machines
Espresso machines can be a great addition to anyone’s home if your a coffee drinking family, however, like most technology they do comes with their cons and this is something to consider before investing in one.
- Saves you money – Espresso machines can be costly upfront but save you money in the long run, think about all the money you might spend in coffee shops on the way to work or for your daily mid-afternoon fix.
- Saves you time – No more waiting in lines at cafes or making your own coffee, these machines can make you your favourite drink in a matter of minutes.
- Easy to use – These machines are effortless to use, especially if they are automatic or semi-automatic.
- High-quality taste – You will notice how nice your coffee will taste when compared to instant or French press coffee, machines with integrated grinders will give very high quality tasting coffee.
- You can be a professional – You can brew your own coffee from within your home and use the milk frother to practice some barista art!
- Can be expensive – Now these machines may save you money in the long run. Still, certainly not upfront, these models can be a considerable investment, especially capsule espresso machines as you need to continuously buy the capsules for them to work.
- Can be complicated to use – Not all espresso machines are easy to use, manual machines, in particular, can take some getting used to if you have never used one before.
- May break down – Automatic machines, in particular, may break down quite quickly due to their electronic system.
- Will it compare? – Even though you may have your own espresso machine, the quality can be impacted by the type of appliance you choose and coffee you grind. Therefore you may find it to be less quality taste-wise when compared to your local baristas blend.
- Can be noisy – Coffee machines are loud, there’s no way out, so make sure your family all love coffee before starting it up early in the morning!
Overall, espresso machines are worth the investment if you love strong coffee and spend a lot of money in your local Starbucks, just make sure you choose the right model for you with all the features you need to brew your perfect cup.
What’s The Difference Between A Coffee Machine and Espresso Machine?
Both give us our coffee fix. However, there are a lot of differences in how the coffee is produced in either machine; we’ve listed out the differences below.
- Roasting – Espresso machines use darker beans for a richer tasting coffee and can be mixed straight with hot milk. Coffee style beans will be much lighter.
- Grinding – Coffee for an espresso machine is more powdery and fine than for a typical coffee machine. The process for regular coffee will have a thicker grind.
- Time – Espresso machines are much faster than coffee machines due to their more nuanced grinding process.
- Caffeine – Caffeine content is much higher in espresso machines that coffee machines.
- Pressure – Espresso machines have bars of pressure that shoot out the coffee.
Suppose you’re into your coffee and prefer a high quality strong and rich taste. In that case, an espresso machine is more suitable for you than a coffee machine. However, coffee machines are often cheaper and easier to use. It’s all down to your preference and budget.
What kind of espresso machine should I choose?
The choice is down to personal preference and budget; however, automatic/semi-automatic machines are usually the best in terms of taste quality and user use in the long term run. Capsule style espresso machines may be easier to use but will cost more long term due to having to refill capsules all the time.
What kind of coffee beans are suitable for espresso making?
The best coffee beans for espresso machines should be dark roasted beans as these will give a richer flavour, before buying check they are made for espresso use to get maximum flavour out of the extraction process when using your machine.
What should I budget for a high-quality espresso machine?
For a high-quality machine with integrated grinding and programmes, you should budget anything from £200-£500 and above, these machines will often be pricier upfront but save you money in the long run, so if you can invest initially, then choose a more expensive machine as they will give better long term results.
What’s the best pressure for an espresso machine?
The best pressure for an espresso machine should be around 15 BARS. This will ensure you can use more coffee of a harsher grind easily without your device getting stuck.
How long does it take to make an espresso with a machine?
Not long at all, matter of fact for a single shot you can get it with 30 seconds! For other coffee drinks, this will take longer as you need to factor in milk frothing time etc.
How easy is an espresso machine to use?
An espresso machine can be straightforward to use if you go the automatic route, all you need to do is choose your programmes then let the machine do its job! Cleaning processes should be accessible, depending on your model.
How do I maintain my espresso machine?
Make sure to wipe down your machines exterior and milk steaming wand, in particular. This will prevent any debris and bacteria building up, also flush out your heads before brewing new espresso; this will prevent any old grounds giving your fresh coffee a nasty taste.
Keep your filters and draining pipe clean too, the little everyday maintenance can save you from having more significant problems in the future.
Our #1 Espresso Machine Choice
Overall, for a high-quality and reliable espresso machine, we recommend the Sage BES875UK Barista Express model. All these models accessories combined with its stylish design will give you a fun and versatile machine to use every morning when making your coffee.