What’s the best espresso machine to purchase for your home?
As an espresso aficionado, I have quite a few opinions on this subject, and have sampled quite a few different machines.
In my opinion, there are a few characteristics that are worth judging an espresso machine on.
Does the machine manage to provide an espresso that is hot, consistent, and not watery?
Does the espresso created by the machine suffer from odd flavor or any other artifacts of the machine itself?
Is the espresso quick, or would you be faster heading to a Starbucks? Believe it or not, I’ve run into these problems with certain home espresso makers.
The Nespresso Inissia
The Inissia is the number one home espresso maker, in my opinion. The Inissia is a pod based espresso maker, so be sure to stock up if you purchase one.
Nespresso has a wide variety of very high quality pods, and there are also a number of pretty-good knockoffs that you can purchase, too.
Aside from the normal array of pods, there are also quite a few seasonal and specialty pods that Nespresso produces.
These seasonal flavors are delicious as well as much sought-after by Nespresso club members, so snap them up quickly.
As far as the quality of espresso itself goes, the Inissia is by far the best of the crowd.
The Inissia manages to get hot enough and produce enough pressure to really give the authentic espresso experience, and extrudes the espresso at a rate that promotes the formation of the lighter crema on top of the liquid—any espresso enthusiast’s dream.
The Inissia is also graced with a wonderfully small form factor that holds an ample reservoir of water and a well-concealed yet spacious waste container.
A very nice touch that the Inissia has is the small pedestal which makes the use of a demi-tasse style espresso cup even easier than it would be otherwise.
It’s fast and easy to fill the water reservoir or empty the pod trash bin. I suggest participating in the Nespresso pod recycling program as well, as it’s free.
Just keep your used pods in the bag that Nespresso gives you, and bring them back to the store whenever you next stock up on pods.
You can have delicious espresso while also feeling like you’re preventing additional damage to the environment!
There aren’t that many downsides to the Inissia, aside from its reliance on pods.
If anything, I’d have to ding the Inissia on its weak integration with peripherals such as the foamer. Peripherals that come with the Inissia are actually totally separate, and unconnected to the Inissia itself.
The user is forced to add extra work to get the ideal foam. With that being said, if you’re just looking for espresso alone, trouble with peripheral integration is no trouble at all.
The Inissia is definitely the strongest espresso machine on this list, and warrants an immediate buy.
The warrantee offered by Nespresso makes the Inissia a no brainer, and practically foolproof.
The Inissia also comes in quite a few colors, each of which adds some personality to the machine if desired.
Be sure to get it in one of their quirkier colors, too—it makes the flavor of the espresso itself seem more flavorful.
The Krups Espresseria
The Krups Espresseria takes things in a different direction than the Nespresso Inissia, relying on good beans rather than pods.
The Espresseria has a bean reservoir, built in burr grinder, and twin spouts to output the final product.
Unlike pods, beans get old, and so the not-airtight bean reservoir may lead to some beans going a bit stale.
With that being said, the pressure and steam output of the Espresseria are nothing to scoff at, with its twin pumps more than capable of producing Italy-quality espresso.
The Espresseria will be quite noisy as a result of its grinder and powerful pumps.
The form factor of the Espresseria is subdued, yet also has a few different potential styles, should the buyer be interested.
The Espresseria is relatively easy to clean, but will require a fair amount of hands-on cleanup either weekly or after each espresso, with particular attention being paid to the spouts and grinder.
The Jura Ena Micro 1
The Micro 1 is the sexiest espresso machine on this list, complete with absolutely stunning form factor that combines the feeling of high technology and simplicity.
The Micro 1 makes one cup of espresso with perfection, based off of fresh beans stored in its reservoir.
The reservoir for the beans is quite well protected, though it is not airtight.
Thankfully, the Micro 1’s exterior simplicity is mirrored in its user controls, which are three tiny buttons, each depicting a different size of beverage.
With that being said, the water reservoir is quite small, and may require frequent replacement with fresh water.
Once the water is in the Micro 1, the quality of good engineering is readily detectable by the speed that the water is brought to temperature and the pressure which it is extruded under during the production of the espresso.
The Gaggia Brera SA
The “Superautomatic” Espresso Machine by Gaggea Brera doesn’t exactly live up to its namesake of being superautomatic, but does output a pretty good cup of espresso regardless.
The Superauto is just as automatic as the other bean-based espresso machines. Complete with a cheerful exterior and two spouts, the Gaggia Brera is a decent machine that could easily be at home in a small café.
Complete with a good user interface and light form factor, it’s a good pickup for someone with a moderate interest in espresso.
While the foamer can be a bit temperamental, the Gaggia Brera is actually very easy to use, and also easy to clean.
It’s not exactly a Cadillac, but most users won’t be able to tell the difference.
So, with these three espresso machines in mind, which one is the ultimate winner?
For me, it’s the Inissia. The Inissia combines ease of use, a beautiful form factor, ease of maintenance, and delicious espresso.
With membership in the Club Nespresso program, there’s also a huge selection of pods, none of which disappoint.
The Inissia is well-supported by Nespresso, and having one in your home means that you set yourself up for the pleasurable errand of heading to the Nespresso café to replenish your supply of pods.
Did I mention that when you go there, they give you a free cup of whatever espresso you desire?