Can't have great espresso without fresh ground beans. Looking for the best home espresso machines with built-in grinders?
You've found them!
Nothing is better than grinding your beans right before making an espresso
Every coffee enthusiast will tell you that this is a must-do step of home espresso making.
These days, there are so many great machines out there. And a bunch of junky ones too.
Never fear, I've reviewed the best espresso machines with grinders for home brewing in this article so you can grab one and get brewing!
The at-home coffee equipment industry has changed drastically over the last decade, and there are more options than ever for home brewing. There is possibly nothing more important than a great grinder for great coffee, and espresso machines these days offer a variety of options for coffee processing.
Are you ready for a quality home espresso brewing system? Or are you just looking to take your coffee game up a notch?
The kind of coffee user you are will help you determine what kind of espresso machine you'd be most satisfied with, and grinders are no different.
I'll help you walk through your options.
Many home burr grinders include an espresso setting, to make your grind for espresso easy. If you've already made the move from a much cheaper blade grinder to a burr, then you may not need an espresso machine with a grinder built-in; However, top-notch home espresso requires 3 simple things that a top-quality grinder for espresso will give you that a basic burr grinder won't:
- Fresh beans (the fresher the better)
- Getting the grinder to give you a uniform size, consistently
- Being able to fine-tune the grinder to sensitively adjust the grind size
It's these last two that you should look for in a grinder, period.
A pinch of ground espresso should feel like powdered sugar between the fingers.
And a great shot of espresso has rich, nuanced flavor.
These are two qualities that only a great grinder can give you.
What To Consider In A Espresso Machine With Built-In Grinder
A great latte shouldn't just be for visits to fancy coffee shops. If you have the right gear, you can perfect your latte art skills and treat yourself more often, you at-home-barista.
Type of Grinder
Blade or Burr Grinders
Blade or Burr Coffee grinders will be your options in a built-in grinder home espresso machine.
The cheaper the machine, the more likely it is to have a simple blade grinder.
This type of grinder can chop the coffee beans into a fine grind, but the ground particles tend to be inconsistent.
This will negatively impact the taste of your brewed espresso.
Burr grinders are more expensive, but they will produce a better, more consistent grind than blade grinders. And since this is an option in built-in grinder espresso machines, I'd recommend making sure the machine you pick has a burr at least.
Flat burr or conical
To complicate things a bit more, burr grinders are either flat or conical.
A conical grinder will have two cone-shaped blades with ridges that grind the coffee. A flat burr has two serrated rings.
It's more common to see a conical grinder in a built-in grinder espresso machine.
Burr grinders come in both stainless steel and ceramic, and both types can be great or poor quality.
Ceramic grinders tend to withstand heat and moisture better and for longer, but they are more sensitive and delicate. You wouldn't want to knock your ceramic grinder over.
More often than not, espresso machines with grinders built-in will have grinders made of stainless steel, even though some stainless steel grinders will lose their sharpness more quickly than ceramic grinders.
Prefer to get your grinder separately? Here are a few great grinders to try.
A Few Other Things To Consider
These are a few other things I look for in an espresso machine with grinder included, and that I used as criteria in picking out the best machines on the market with grinders:
- Grind Settings: It's ideal to get a coffee machine with grinder that has various settings (if it's not standardized to espresso only) and that you can fine tune to get the perfect grind.
- Serving Size Options: The size of the bean hopper will determine how many servings of espresso or coffee that you can make at one time. Do you like to host? Or are you making one or two shots of espresso just for you? You won't need a big hopper if this is the case.
- Programmability: So this is a luxury, but it's a nice feature that some machines have. With a programmable espresso machine with grinder, you can set your machine to make your coffee ahead of time. That means you can have your coffee ready when you wake up!
- Size: Some of these combination machines are huge. Although I look for efficient and economical machines that don't need so much space, these are espresso machines that have multiple tools built into them already, and they can be heavy. Be sure you have enough counter space as it's likely your built-in grinder espresso machine will be a permanent fixture.
- Ease of cleaning: Folks often get stuck with a beautiful espresso machine that's super easy to use but a pain in the butt to clean. All the convenience goes out the window, then. The more features and fixtures the machine has, the harder cleaning will likely be, and cleaning your coffee equipment routinely is very important to your coffee experience. As a note, the grinders are a common pain-point for cleaning all-in-one machines, and higher quality grinder and espresso machines will be lower maintenance.
- Durability: Finally, the best espresso machines with grinders will have a warranty of some kind to back the reputation of the brand. Make sure you get one!
Best Espresso Machines With Grinders
Given all the considerations for quality grinders and espresso machines, these are my favorite built-in grinder espresso machines for home brewing:
The Breville BES870XL is a solid espresso machine with grinder purchases. I love this thing. For beginners and more advanced home coffee brewers, the Breville Express does a great job all-around. With opportunity to tweak tamp pressure, grind size, and temperature, this machine lets you get a little more refined in your coffee taste, if you want. And if you don't, the standard features are worth it, and many claim it's easy to use, even as a novice coffee home-brewer.
So the thing about super automatic machines is that you don't learn much about making coffee, and for some, that's ok. The machine not the person decides when the shot is done, and while coffee enthusiasts will often opt for more control over the shot, super automatic machines can be great for someone who wants automation over shot quality. And for a super automatic machine, the Breville BES980XL will pull a great shot. This is a pricey machine, with all the bells and whistles to make both straight espressos and espresso drinks. It's one of the better all-in-one's on the market.
Another super automatic machine, the De'Longhi is the best comparison to the Breville and it'll run you about $300 less. This machine is great for beginner home baristas -- I'm talking to you commercial coffee shop lovers. You'll be able to make your latte under 6 minutes with this machine, and the grind is fairly consistent for a long time. De'Longhi is also offering an extended warranty, which is a bonus for any espresso machine that you plan on regularly using.
This machine is worth bringing some attention to for the extra features it has compared to the De'Longhi. The Gaggia Prestige can be tuned to a variety of "fineness" settings, and this gives some customization capability, even though it's a fully automatic machine. This machine is also one of the few that has a ceramic burr grinder. With a milk carafe and programmability, this is a solid buy. The front loaded water reservoir is a space saver too.
Top Pick: Breville Express
An espresso machine is a big investment. If you know you don't want multiple tools and you're not one to spend a little extra time pulling your own espresso, an espresso machine with a grinder included can still make good coffee for you. But which machine you get really matters.
While I like all the espresso machines with built-in grinders above, my favorite for this type of coffee home brewing would have to be the Breville Express.
It's got long-standing reviews, is popular with beginners and intermediates, and is a sleek and beautiful looking machine that's fairly easy to operate and clean.
If you want to start having your morning espresso at home, this is a great transition machine that includes all the parts you need to get brewing, without breaking the bank.
Need espresso beans too? Click here to see my favorite, over-the-counter beans.