The 5 Best Espresso Machines You Can Buy
At Clive, we are always asked: What is the best espresso machine I can buy? The best isn't always the most expensive. It depends on what type of coffee consumer you are.
The 5 most popular espresso machines by category:
- Money is no object: La Marzocco GS3 MP
- Best bang for your buck: LUCCA A53 Mini Espresso Machine by La Spaziale
- Classic looks: ECM Synchronika
- For straight espresso purists: Special Edition ECM Classika PID
- The café experience: La Marzocco Linea Mini
The Best "Money is no Object" Espresso Machine
We've played with just about every espresso machine out there. Just like you, we've ridden the waves of hype and excitement that come with new tech and modern designs. At the end of the day, we still recommend the La Marzocco GS3 MP as the best end-game espresso machine. Its stunning looks mix both nods to traditional modern design with modern lines that stand out from the crowd. The wealth of customization options from paint to wood accents means that you can really make this machine yours. Inside, you get enough power to run a small shop and the ability to run with either a water line or its internal reservoir. The real pièce de résistance is the manual paddle which gives you full control of the flow rate of water to the group head. This is the kind of thing true espresso hobbyists dream about.
The Best "My Partner Will Kill Me if I Spend More Than $2,000" Espresso Machine
The best espresso machine under $2,000 goes to the Lucca A53 Mini Espresso Machine by La Spaziale. If it can handle the rigors of commercial use, it can certainly handle your kitchen. This espresso machine pulls about 40 shots a day at Clive HQ, all for under two grand. A front-filling water reservoir, huge boilers, generous drip tray and volumetric programming make this the one to beat at that price point. Of course, the mid-century modern looks aren't for everyone. As such, we have added powder-coated all black and all white versions that are crazy cool. You can't buy a better machine for twice the price.
The Best Espresso Machine with Classic Looks
We carry a lot of very good looking classic espresso machines. When most people think of a "classic" machine, they are thinking about E61-style group heads (which is the huge brass head that the portafilter is attached to). For E61s, the best is the ECM Synchronika. You are probably saying to yourself, "Of course you would say that - it is the most expensive in the class." That's not why we say it. This machine is beautiful and will last a lifetime. Long term, we will make a lot less money if you buy this machine because you will pass it along to your children and never come back again: Stainless steel boilers, thoughtful design engineering, a single piece, powder coated steel chassis and built for easy maintenance. It's not just a pretty face. This is an heirloom.
The Best Espresso Machine for Straight Espresso Purists
With huge double boilers, you are paying for a lot of stuff you don't need if you just enjoy a straight espresso. For the more budget conscious, the Special Edition ECM Classika is the perfect little machine to pull. While not a star at back-to-back milk drinks as a single-boiler, it is wonderful at straight espressos in a small footprint. With the good looks of a classic espresso machine in a choice of powder coat finishes - we always recommend this for the espresso purist.
Recreating the Café Experience at Home
For many, the love of coffee starts in a local coffee shop with excellent shots and an atmosphere that makes it a home away from home. If you're like us, you inevitably aim to recreate that experience in your actual home. No machine provides the feeling and features of a commercial machine quite like the La Marzocco Linea Mini. That's no coincidence. There's a good chance the machine at that shop you adored was, in fact, a 2 or 3-group Linea Classic. In the Linea Mini you get two large boilers, a discrete PID temperature control system, and all kinds of brilliant touches that make it a joy to work with. Whether you just love classic Italian design or wish to serve your entire dinner party without skipping a beat, you can't beat the Linea Mini.
Still unsure? Check out our How to Choose an Espresso Machine blog.