The Best Built In Espresso Machines – A Comprehensive Guide to Our Top 3 Picks

Best built in espresso machine

Most of us stumble out of bed every morning, put our feet into our slippers and groggily make our way to the kitchen for a fresh, hot cup of coffee to start our morning off right.  A coffee machine is just as important in american households as a stove, dishwasher, and microwave, so why doesn’t every home come with a coffee machine?

If you are building your dream home, remodeling your kitchen, or simply have a couple of empty cabinets, you should consider a built in (or integrated) coffee machine.  A built in coffee machine will brew a morning cup that can easily compete with the best coffee houses while giving you a sleek kitchen design with plenty of counter space. 

We have looked at a number of integrated coffee machines and have narrowed down your list to the three best built in espresso machines available, so if you are a true coffee aficionado seeking a great cup of coffee and a clean, minimalist kitchen design, read on.

 

Bosch BCM8450UC

Dimensions: 14 x 23.37 x 17.87

Features 

  • Adjustable cup size
  • Bean container holds 1 lb.(500g)
  • Large water reservoir 84.5 oz. (2.4L) 
  • Stainless steel insulated milk container
  • Programmable – 14 different modes
  • Dispenses two beverages at the same time
  • Nest integrated
  • Works with alexa
  • Home connect app allows you to prepare coffee from your smartphone
  • Memory system stores up to 8 of your favorite coffee preferences
  • Integrated built-in sensors alert you when water or coffee beans are low
  • Aroma double shot prepares extra strong coffee with less bitterness
  • Automatic system for cleaning, milk steaming, rinsing, and descaling

 

If you are looking for an appliance that will seamlessly integrate with the rest of the technology in your home, the Bosch BCM8450UC may be the best built in espresso machine for you.  Its Nest integration feature connects to your Nest products to give you peace of mind.  You can keep an eye on all your appliances while you are away and turn them off remotely if needed.  It also works with alexa and has a Home connect app so you can brew your favorite coffee beverage from anywhere in your home using your smartphone or tablet. Once your coffee is ready, it will send a notification to your device so you don’t have to waste time waiting for the machine to brew. 

In addition to its ability to connect to your existing technology, it has a sleek modern look that will add a touch of elegance and design to every kitchen.

This machine is considered a super automatic espresso machine and will take care of every step of the coffee making process from grinding the beans to frothing the milk.  You can think of it as your own personal built in barista.

The dual chamber grinder can be filled with two different kinds of beans and it’s Silent Ceramic Grind Drive System is designed to be ultra quiet.  Bosch also designed built in sensors to control the amount of ground coffee after each cycle.  The ginder is adjustable but instead of giving you exact grind size settings, it provides you with two options: light (coarser grinds) and dark (finer grinds).

The large water reservoir is refillable and does not require a plumbed water line, saving you the hassle of hiring a professional to install your machine.

The One Touch Double Cup feature allows you to brew two different coffee beverages at one time so you don’t have to wait on your partner’s latte to finish so you can brew your preferred beverage. Settings can be adjusted for strength, size, and temperature as well as the option for a single or double shot of espresso.

The Bosch BCM8450UC is capable of brewing up to 12 types of beverages and you can program 8 different personalized beverages.  Each stored coffee drink can be customized by brew strength, size, and temperature then with the simple tap of the touch screen or your smartphone.  

If you prefer beverages that require steamed milk, you can safely store the milk in the integrated canister for up to 8 hours alleviating the need to constantly refill a milk pitcher.

Finally, the Bosch BCM8450UC makes cleaning as simple as running the automatic cleaning option which cleans, descales, and clears the milk steamer, providing hands off coffee machine maintenance.

This high-end espresso maker is sleek, stylish, and ticks every box for convenience, performance, and quality.

Fisher & Paykel EB24DSXB1

Dimensions: 23.44 x 18.063 x 18.875

Features

  • Adjustable cup size
  • 13 drink options
  • Multiple strength options
  • Removable water tank (2.37L)
  • Whole bean or ground coffee
  • Adjustable grind size (13 sizes)
  • 2 year warranty

The Fisher & Paykel EB24DSXB1 lets you make barista quality coffee at home, just the way you like it. Whether you prefer an Americano or Latte, this machine comes with 13 different drink options to make any coffee connoisseur happy. 

Each cup can be customized with features such as adjustable strength, temperature, and cup size. Your go to beverages can even be memorized and programmed to brew at the same time each day, meaning you can wake up to a latte without any work first thing in the morning. This coffee machine is ready when you are.

The twin LED lighting provides a gentle glow on dark mornings and the double cup feature will allow you to brew two beverages at once…an essential feature if you have more than one coffee drinker in the house.  

In addition to adjustable temperature and cup size, the built-in conical burr grinder has 13 different grind sizes to choose from.  Even the most particular coffee aficionado will be pleased with that many options. 

The removable water tank alleviates the need for a plumbed water line meaning there is no need to hire a professional for installation and this machine comes with a storage drawer to keep coffee hidden away but within easy reach.

If you are looking for a sleek and cohesive kitchen design, the EB24DSXB1 may be the best built in espresso machine for your kitchen.  It is part of the Fisher & Paykel companion products suite and is designed to aesthetically match other appliances in the collection for flexible and streamlined configurations.  Finished in black reflective glass with a polished metal trim, this integrated coffee machine will match any product from the companion set.

The intuitive touch display includes refill reminder along with cleaning and maintenance data. The self-cleaning function makes maintenance effortless and it comes with a removable drip tray as well as a waste container for used coffee grounds. 

The Fisher & Paykel EB24DSXB1 is sleek, stylish, integrates seamlessly with the other appliances in the companion suite, and ticks all the boxes of a quality built in coffee machine.

Smeg CMSU6451XT

Dimensions: 15 x 23.4 x 17.9

Features

  • Double cup feature
  • Adjustable coffee strength (5 different strength settings)
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Adjustable grinder
  • Removable water reservoir (1.7L)
  • Dual boiler
  • 15 bar pump pressure
  • Adjustable foam setting
  • Automatic cleaning system
  • Simple black and white LCD display
  • Hot water function

Smeg is known for making modern appliances with a retro look.This high-end, fully automatic built in coffee machine is a perfect example of their aesthetic combined with functionality in a streamlined package. 

The Smeg CMS6451X offers three adjustable temperature settings and five different strength settings (extra light, light, medium, strong, and extra strong) so everyone in the house can customize their own individual cup.

The touch panel is paired down and very user friendly. The double cup option allows you to brew two cups at the same time; an essential feature if you have two coffee drinkers in the house, and it comes with a hot water feature to please the tea drinkers in the home.  The hot water feature is also a convenient option for making the kids hot chocolate or a quick bowl of instant oatmeal. 

Like the Bosch, this model has a built in grinder and removable water reservoir so there is no need to hire a professional to install a plumbed water line, but if you prefer a cappuccino in the morning, you will need to manually fill the milk canister before each use.  

The Smeg is also limited in the range of drinks it can automatically produce. Unlike the Bosch, you will be limited to espresso shots, brewed coffee, americanos, and cappuccinos. Lattes and macchiatos will need to be made manually using the espresso and foamed milk but if a clean, retro design is what you are going for this one may be the best built in espresso machine for your kitchen.

Finally, the Smeg CMS6451X has an intelligent self-cleaning function that cleans the machine each time you turn it on and off meaning cleaning is hands off and each cup of coffee will be as tasty as the last.

Why Built in?

Convenience is the number one advantage to installing a built in coffee system in your home, as many proud coffee machine owners will tell you, but the benefits don’t stop there. 

Built in espresso machines are not only designed to deliver top-grade performance, but integrate seamlessly with any high-end kitchen. The built-in installation model is made with high quality materials and brings a sophisticated aesthetic to surrounding cabinetry. 

 Integrated coffee machines create a more streamlined look, reducing clutter and freeing up valuable counter space that will positively contribute to your overall kitchen design.

What’s so special about built in espresso machines?

In addition to giving you a sleek kitchen design with lots of counter space, a built in espresso machine will provide you with barista quality coffee without the need to leave your house. 

With built in coffee grinders, plumbed in water lines, and a programmable customization control panel, set up for your morning brew requires minimal effort.  Whether you prefer your coffee or espresso, a temperature of 180° or 195°, a bold or a medium brew, virtually every setting is customizable, creating the perfect cup of coffee for even the most sophisticated palates. 

Drink gourmet coffee in the comfort of your own home

With a wide menu of pre-programmed specialty drinks, you can impress your friends with an espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, and more at the touch of a button. Even better, you can customize each one to your specific taste, getting the same neighborhood coffee shop experience without even leaving home.

Which is the best built in espresso machine for me?

Keep in mind, the best built in coffee machine for you may not be the best machine for someone else.  When shopping for an integrated coffee machine, keep in mind the size of the area you plan to install it, the type of coffee you drink, what settings and controls you prefer, and your budget. 

Size

Most machines come in a pretty standard size but a few are designed to fit into smaller spaces.  If you are doing a full kitchen remodel, you can build around your coffee machine, but if you already have an existing space where you plan to install the appliance, it will be essential to get the exact measurements to ensure there are no gaps.

Grinder

Automatic machines, which grind the beans for you, will be more expensive than semi-automatic machines that are designed for pre-ground coffee.  If you prefer to buy your beans from a gourmet roaster and freshly grind them before each brew, a machine that grinds the beans may be worth the extra money. 

Milk Frother

Most machines have a milk frother, which opens up the variety of coffee drinks you can make, but some are better than others.  If you prefer a cappuccino or latte every morning rather than an espresso or brewed coffee the quality of the frother is a feature to consider.

Settings

Some machines have settings that are easier to control than others.  Many have a screen that displays the setting options so you can program the machine to make your preferred coffee beverage, while others have pre-set options so you can make your favorite coffee with a touch of a button.

FAQ’s

Is it easy to clean?

Since each coffee machine operates a little differently, it is best to consult your owner’s manual before cleaning.  Most built in machines however,will have a removable water, coffee filter basket, and milk container which can all be easily washed by hand or placed in the dishwasher if your manual says they are dishwasher safe. 

Some machines are self- cleaning and circulate hot water and steam through the internal parts of the milk frother each time they are turned on and those which aren’t self cleaning usually have their own manual cleaning settings.

Like any other countertop coffee machine, a built in will need periodic descaling.  How often you need to descale will depend on how often you use the machine, and your specific tap water.

Does it need a water line?

While some built in coffee machines do need a built in water line, many of them offer a removable water tank that can easily be filled at the sink. 

A machine that requires a plumbed water line will limit where you can put your new coffee machine, while a built in coffee machine with a removable water tank can open up your options by removing plumbing limitations.

Can you adjust the grind?

If you are looking at built in coffee machines, you are most likely particular about every aspect of your coffee…including the size of the grinds used to brew your morning cup.  

Grind size can greatly vary the flavor of a cup of coffee so having this as an adjustable feature is ideal.  Built in espresso machines come with a variety of settings to customize each brew to you optimal standards but not every integrated coffee machine has an adjustable grinder so make sure you carefully review the specific settings before settling on a machine. 

Built in Espresso Machine Accessories

After you select the perfect built in coffee machine to streamline your kitchen, you are going to want to consider the extra add ons available.  While features like a warming drawer aren’t required, they certainly are nice to have around.

Warming drawers

Cup warming drawers allow you to take your built in coffee machine to the next level and work amazingly well as towel warmers if you need to keep your food warm before serving.

Vacuum seal drawers

A vacuum seal drawer is an amazing accessory that serves multiple purposes.  The vacuum sealer can be used to keep your leftovers fresh or to freeze them for a quick dinner after a busy day. 

It can also be used to reseal your coffee beans or grounds so that each cup tastes as fresh as the last.

Finally, if you have a steam oven, the vacuum seal drawer can be used to sous vide cook and precision boil in a bag.

Trim Kits

Built in coffee machines are generally 24 inches but if you want to add a warming drawer or a vacuum seal drawer, a compatible trim kit brings the two together into one integrated design.

Built in Espresso Machine Maintenance Tips

There is nothing better than a fresh, hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning, but the warm conditions inside your coffee machine that provide you with this miracle elixir cal also encourage the growth of bacteria.

It is important to keep your coffee machine clean but unfortunately, improper cleaning can be just as problematic.  If not cleaned correctly, residual traces of cleaning solution can end up in your morning cup.  

Proper cleaning does not have to be stressful, if you go through a few basic steps you can have both a clean machine and peace of mind that no harmful bacteria is in your brew.  

Brew with your cleaning solution

Your built in espresso machine should be cleaned at least once a month to eliminate any bacteria and calcium deposits accumulating inside the appliance. You can do this by running a recommended cleaner (see your user manual) or a homemade solution of half white vinegar and half water.

Attach the cleaning basket to the portafilter.  This basket (the one with no holes) is specifically designed for cleaning. Place one tablet of your cleaning solution into the basket and attach it to the grouphead.  Run your machine for a 5 second brew cycle, 5 times.  Then detach the portafilter, rinse it off and reattach the regular brew basket.

Run a few clean water cycles

In order to make sure all residual traces of cleaning solutions are rinsed out, you need to run a brew cycle using clean water at least two times.  Make sure you dispose of the brewed water since it may contain trace amounts of cleaning solution. 

If your integrated coffee maker has an espresso function, you should also pull 2 – 3 shots of espresso and dispose of them.

Finally, clean the drip tray and other components

Your coffee machine is now clean and ready to go, but don’t forget about the external components of the machine.  If your machine has a drip tray or other components, remove them and thoroughly wash and dry them.  If you notice any scale accumulation, clean them using white vinegar.  Nozzles or other components that have become encrusted with mineral deposits may need to soak in the white vinegar for a few minutes to dissolve the scale deposits. Thoroughly rinse and dry the components and then reattach them to your machine.

Tips for making great coffee drinks with your machine

  • Very cold, 2% milk will give you the best results for your milk based beverages
  • If using a non-dairy milk, oat milk is recommended due to its creamy consistency.
  • Pat oily beans dry with a paper towel before grinding.  Excess oil can clog the grinder
  • If your coffee has too little crema or is not strong enough, turn the grinder to a finer consistency or use more grounds per cup

Espresso Drinks to impress your guests

You just invested in your new built in coffee machine or maybe you are still considering one of the models mentioned above. Once you master the art of creating the perfect coffee we suggest you experiment with all of the different espresso beverages you can create with your new machine.  It is always fun to try something new and the possibilities are endless.  Here are a few of our favorite recipes to start with!

Straight up espresso

The espresso you make with your new machine will form the basis for all of the drinks mentioned below so it is important to perfect your pull before you venture on to other drinks.

Espresso is usually brewed with the darkest roasts so it is usually a very concentrated brew with a strong flavor (making it perfect for the milky drinks below). It is brewed with very little water so it is usually very high in caffeine and uses high pressure to brew so it should have a rich, foamy crema on top.  

Caffè Americano

The Caffè Americano is basically one or two shots of espresso mixed with hot water.  You can either drink it as is or add cream and sugar.  The extra water makes the Caffè Americano a longer drink than espresso and gives it a milder flavor, but remember, it packs the same caffeine punch as straight up espresso.

Cappuccino

The Cappuccino is named after the Capuchin friars of Italy (after the colors of their robes) and is still a very popular drink today.  It is made from espresso mixed with a small amount of steamed milk and topped with a thick layer of foamy milk.  You will definitely need a steamer wand to produce the rich foamy milk that gives this beverage its distinct taste and mouthfeel.

Latte

The Latte is a very popular drink enjoyed by those who don’t like their coffee too strong.  It is similar to the cappuccino but in reverse.  Steamed, frothed milk is poured into the cup and then a shot of espresso is poured in the middle and then topped with a thin layer of foam.  The higher milk ratio of the Latte makes it a milder beverage and perfect for adding a flavored syrup. 

Macchiato

A Macchiato is for those who enjoy espresso but prefer a little milk.  Simply brew one to two shots of espresso and spoon a little steamed milk on top.  The Macchiato has less milk than the cappuccino and hardly any foam, making it a great drink for those who enjoy a strong coffee flavor.

Ristretto

If you like your brew super strong and want to impress your hipster friends, this is your drink, but bewear, Ristretto is not for the faint of heart.  This power packed espresso uses the same amount of grounds as a regular espresso but only half the water, creating a very strong shot with a very high caffeine level. 

Ristretto can be used in place of espresso in all of the milk based coffee drinks, giving them an extra caffeine punch.

Lungo

A Lungo is the opposite of the Ristretto.  It begins with a traditional espresso but is topped with extra water.  How is that different from the Americano?  The Caffè Americano is topped with clean hot water, while the lungo is topped with hot water that runs through the grounds of the machine, making it a “longer” shot.

Cortado

Cortado comes from the Spanish word cortar which means “to cut.” And rightly so, because a cortado is an espresso that is “cut” with milk.  The Cortado contains a one to one ratio of milk to espresso making it similar to the cappuccino, except it is served with no foam.  Many people who love the rich coffee flavor of straight up espresso but have stomach issues opt for a Cortado because the small amount of milk helps cut the acid of the coffee without losing much of its flavor.

Affogato

This coffee/dessert hybrid is sure to please any palate.  An Affogato is simply espresso poured over a scoop of gelato, usually vanilla, but hey, we don’t judge.  This sweet treat combines hot and cold with sweet and bitter, making it a perfect way to end a meal or a decadent afternoon pick me up.

Final Thoughts

Integrated coffee machines represent high-end luxury and everyone deserves to enjoy their coffee in style.  A built in espresso machine will keep your kitchen looking sleek and clean and impress your houseguests.  Before shopping, remember to keep in mind the features you would like your machine to have and the location you want it installed. 

Whether you are short on counter space or simply want to create a minimalistic, streamlined design, an integrated coffee machine is a key item to consider.  Hopefully our guide will help you see at a glance the features you want in your new appliance and help you find the best built in espresso machine for your kitchen.