For coffee lovers, there’s nothing quite like the taste of an espresso drink in the morning — and the best espresso machines for beginners can bring the barista experience right into your own home.
But what is espresso, exactly, and why can’t you prepare it with a regular coffee maker?
Unlike a drip coffee maker, an espresso machine uses extra pressure to pull the flavor out of the beans in just seconds. When you’re shopping for an espresso machine, look for options that can produce at least nine bars of pressure during extraction, which is the optimal amount for an espresso shot. (Beware of picks that call themselves espresso machines but can only produce three to four bars of pressure — they won't be up to snuff.)
What features should a beginner look for in an espresso machine?
Some features to look for in an espresso machine (beyond nine bars of pressure) include a touch screen display that guides you through the process of making different drinks or simple, intuitive buttons that won’t confuse you while you learn. A machine that grinds fresh beans is more likely to produce high quality espresso (though you can also buy grinders separately or use pre-ground beans), but if the idea of dealing with messy grounds is overwhelming, you can opt for one that calls for easy-to-use espresso pods instead. If price is an inhibiting factor for you — especially if you just want to test out a life of espresso machine ownership and are hesitant to invest in a pricier model — you’ll be pleased to know that there are options under $100.
From a touch-screen machine to options that are compatible with pods, here are the best home espresso machines for beginners. They’re one-stop shops for learning how to make high-quality espresso at home, even if you have no idea what you’re doing (yet).
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