So, you just got back from a beautiful trip in the southern part of Italy where you indulged in great pasta, wine, and Italian coffee...
Or maybe you just got back from your local coffee house, where you just had an incredible cup of espresso.
Regardless, you’re here to find the best Italian espresso machine so you can make great espresso yourself.
Well lucky for you I’ve created a guide to make you an Italian espresso machine pro.
In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Italian espresso machines, and help you get your hands on one of the best Italian espresso machines you can buy this year.
With one of these Italian espresso machines, you'll start making perfect Italian espresso at home in no time!
La Pavoni PA-1200 Coffee Press
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Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine
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De'Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine
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EspressoWorks All-In-One Espresso Machine
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Gaggia's Babila Espresso Machine
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Best Italian Espresso Machines
These are my favorite Italian espresso machine picks you can find on Amazon now (just click the links!):
What is an Italian Espresso Machine?
You want a quality espresso machine, but don’t really know where to start, right?
To start things off, if you want to invest in a long lasting machine that will have you pulling flavorful espresso everytime, you should be looking at Italian espresso machines.
Straight from Italy, these machines will give you traditional Italian coffee that is full of flavor without having to fly across the ocean (or drive to the expensive coffee shop down the street).
What is Italian Espresso?
As the coffee pro that you are, you probably know that espresso is the perfect shot of coffee goodness that makes your lattes caffeinated, but what you might be thinking: What is Italian espresso?
Italian espresso, known by Europeans as Italian coffee, is typically a high quality shot of either robusta or Arabica beans, created from the perfect ratio of hot water and added pressure.
When you brew a cup of American coffee, the ground beans are basically steeped in water, and gravity helps to create the brew.
When you make espresso, the machine injects the finely ground beans with hot water and steam, among the pressure that condenses to make a strong cup of Italian coffee.
When done right, the Italian espresso is more acidic than the average American drip coffee with a thicker consistency.
Adding a bit of sugar is typical, but you can also drink Italian coffee black for an intense, but flavorful, boost of caffeine.
Hot Pro Tip
Next time you’re out at your local coffee shop, get an espresso, add sugar to it, and if the sugar falls straight to the bottom of the dainty espresso cup, you know that local coffee shop is giving you a traditional, and quality, espresso!
In the United States, our daily drip coffee is consumed out of need, right? No shame, I’m totally guilty.
In Italy, and around Europe, Italian espresso is sipped and consciously enjoyed at all hours of the day.
The crema (the frothy layer at the very top) dissolves quickly, and the goal of drinking Italian espresso like a true Italian is to drink the coffee with a bit of crema in every sip.
It’s seen as an indulgent treat throughout the day. We can all dream of this easy going life, right?
Espresso itself was first invented in Italy, so investing in the perfect espresso machine straight from Italy means each cup of espresso that you brew will be rich in culture, as well as taste.
Traditionally created by hand, we can now buy high quality Italian espresso machines to ensure we have the perfect Italian coffee at home every time we feel like indulging.
What to Look for when Buying an Italian Espresso Machine?
When looking for the perfect Italian Espresso Machine for you, don’t be afraid to be picky!
This is why I’ve created a list of the top 4 things that you should look for - You’re welcome.
The body of espresso is what makes it espresso.
The crema at the top is a must for finding quality espresso. The little bit of cream really makes the flavor that much better. Make sure that the machine you pick is creating flavorful crema.
If It's not, it means that the machine is producing enough pressure against the roast, making it a weak cup of coffee, and not a bold cup of italian espresso that we’re looking for.
As the Italians say, if the espresso doesn’t have crema, don’t drink it.
Good espresso is pulled and made within 45 (ish) seconds.
This ensures that you get the most fresh cup of espresso, at its most perfect temperature and roast.
Any time longer than 45 to 50 seconds will mean you’re getting skimped on freshness, and any time less will just mean you aren’t actually getting espresso, just a quick drip coffee.
If you’ve been on my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am an advocate for getting the freshest beans possible.
The fresher the beans, the better the taste.
This is why I always say you should grind your beans on your own, right before you brew them. Getting store bought, ground beans will make for stale tasting coffee.
Investing in an Italian Espresso Machine with a built in coffee grinder can reduce the clutter in your coffee collection, and make crafting your perfect cup of espresso that much easier.
If you're set on a machine without a grinder, and you need one, I've already picked out some of the Best Home Coffee Grinders on the market.
Features Important to You
This is where your coffee habits come into play: are you someone who is really particular about how hot you like your coffee?
Then you should probably look for a temperature control option on the espresso machine.
Maybe you want something smaller, or with a milk frother, or even a steamer.
There are endless combinations of gadgets and tools on the market among Italian Espresso Machines that can get you to craft a cup of espresso that was made just for you.
What are the Best Coffee Beans for Italian Espresso Machines?
A lot of coffee companies and roasters (usually the bigger coffee chains) have pre-packaged blends named Espresso Blend.
Espresso Blends are a good place to start when you’re new to pulling your own espresso.
Lucky for you, I have the perfect list of the Top 5 Espresso Bean Coffee Blends to get you started.
Though there are a lot of Espresso blends, it’s important to know that you can use any coffee beans for espresso.
The process of making espresso does change the taste of the blend, so finding the perfect blend of roasted beans to use when making Italian espresso should be up to you and your taste buds.
I typically go for Arabica coffee because the rich flavor of the beans comes out nicely when pulled as espresso. If your morning drip coffee is already bold and very strong, it’ll be even stronger when made into espresso.
I love bold coffee, but I don’t like coffee that punches me in the face. Play around with your coffee palette and mix it up! When making espresso, try going for a lighter roast, and work your way up.
Obviously, you want a batch of quality beans that will pair with your authentic, flashy Italian Espresso Machine, right?
The Coffee Quality Institute is one site that I always go to when I want to find my next favorite roasted coffee beans.
Now, I think you're ready to find your next favorite coffee tool to add to your collection. Here is my list of the top 5 best Italian espresso machines!
- Removable, hidden water tank
- Stainless steel
- Built to last
La Pavoni’s newest Italian Espresso Machine is simply beautiful. It’s entire body is stainless steel - no plastic that will melt, and no cheap parts that will break off after a few months of use.
La Pavoni’s machines are built to last years, making it a great investment for any coffee enthusiast.
A downside to this specific model is the fact that you’ll need to buy a few extra parts, like a milk cup and a tamper.
If you’re new to the espresso game, you’ll need to invest a little more than you’ll probably want at first, but all the pieces will last you time and money in the future.
- Built in coffee grinder
- Accurate temperature control
- Hands free operation
Breville’s Espresso Machine is awesome.
The pretty look of the machine is just a plus: this machine is long lasting, with a number of different additions like temperature control, dose control, and the most important: the grinder!
You can place roasted beans in the storage compartment for easy espresso pulling. From grinding the beans to pulling espresso, the whole process takes just under a minute, meaning you’ll be getting the freshest espresso possible.
It’s a great starter machine for those that are just starting to learn about the espresso making process, but it also works great from when you’re a professional espresso puller.
It’ll make you feel like a pro barista in your own kitchen!
- Quick start
- Active temperature control
- Great for lattes
De’Longhi’s La Specialista Espresso Machine is the perfect machine for those that want to expand beyond just espresso.
This is a great machine for latte fanatics. The steamer provides different options on how to steam the foam, and steam is perfectly!
If you’re a beginner, you might want to steer away from this machine, though.
With so many different options, I’d leave this espresso machine for the advanced espresso pullers. It has temperature control, AND a built in tamping station, making it efficient
Plus, you can get this espresso machine in silver or red: very fancy.
- Great for beginners
- Removable water tank
- Comes with everything you need
EspressoWork’s All in One Espresso Machine is a great start to start with when you are a beginner espresso puller.
It has everything you need to get started, while also being separate from the machine itself. Each tool, like the grinder, the milk froth cup, and the tamper can all be used to create other coffee drinks.
Pair it with this machine, and you can get awesome and easy espresso, lattes, and macchiatos.
It also comes with two cute espresso cups, making it the perfect espresso starter kit!
- One touch automatic machine
- 8 programming brew options
- Adjustable coffee dispenser
Gaggia’s Babila Espresso Machine is the espresso machine of the future.
It’s completely automatic, making it extremely easy to get amazing espresso and espresso drinks (like lattes or macchiatos).
There is basically every setting you could ever want: temperature control, bold or light, and pregrounding.
It can also make 2 cups of different styles of coffee at the same time: magic.
For those that just want great coffee, without the hassle of learning how to be a home barista, this awesome machine is for you.
Top Pick: La Pavoni PA-1200 Coffee Press
It’s beautiful on my kitchen counter, it’s built to last, and it gets the job done EVERY time!
I personally like that I can also get different accessories for this machine, like a tamper and a milk cup that make the espresso process feel a little more personal.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on a beautiful Italian espresso machine, and start learning how to craft the perfect Italian espresso.
It’ll make you feel like you're on a vacation every morning - well not really, but it will make you feel a little more fancy.