Bring the Coffee House to Your Kitchen With the Best Espresso Machine Under $1000

Best espresso machine under $1000

Do you want to make great espresso drinks from the comfort of your own home?  Maybe you want to work on your barista skills or maybe you’re trying to spend less at coffee shops, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg?  Bring coffee house style espresso drinks to your kitchen with the best espresso machine under $1000Some espresso machines can be upward of $5000 while others are as low as $50.  While a $5,000 espresso machine may be nice, a mid-range machine can be just as good and still not break the bank.  Our guide takes a look at the 11 best espresso machines under $1,000 so you can have your latte and drink it too.

On a budget and looking for a less expensive machine?  Check out our guide to the best budget espresso machines.

Best Espresso Machine Under $1000 Quick guide

Recommended Products


Key Features

Our Top Pick

Rancilio Silvia

Compact Size

Stable Temperature

Quick Recovery

Large Water Tank

ESE pod adapter kit available

Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine

Krups EA89 Deluxe One Touch

Fully Automatic

15 Customizable drink options

Adjustable delivery spout

Best Manual Espresso Machine

Breville Barista Express

Automatic or Manual operation

Built in grinder

PID digital temperature control

Easy to clean

Best Capsule Espresso Machine

Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus

Heats up in 3 seconds

Self-cleaning steam wand

Automatic Shutoff

Best Budget Espresso Machine

Gaggia Classic Pro

Large water reservoir

Comes with multiple baskets

Options for upgrades

Multiple color options


Best Espresso Machines Under $1000 – Our Reviews

Rancilio Silvia


  • Compact size
  • Stable temperature
  • Quick recovery
  • Flexible steam wand
  • Large water reservoir
  • ESE pod adaptor kit available
  • Single or double shot capacity


  • Smaller drip tray
  • Doesn’t have a built in grinder

When it comes to mid-range priced espresso machines, the Rancilio Silvia is a stylish and compact choice.  Its smaller dimensions (11.4 x 13.4 x 9.2) and classic design will fit into almost any kitchen.  The compact size also means that it comes with a smaller drip tray and does not come with a built in grinder so if you want to use freshly ground beans you will need to purchase a separate coffee grinder.

It is a semi-automatic espresso machine that is designed for long term use. The commercial grade group head provides strong heat resistance and makes for superior quality flavor extraction.

The chrome plated brass boiler holds 12 ounces of water and offers the highest power among other home appliances in its class.  This high power means it provides outstanding steam power and a short recovery time between espresso shots. It also comes with the same easy to remove 58 mm portafilter that comes standard on the commercial model Rancilio espresso machines. 

The professional, stainless steel steam wand is hinged and offers a full range of motion for easy milk frothing and is knob operated for precise steam pressure control. 

The removable water reservoir holds 2 liters of water and can be filled from above without removing the reservoir if desired. 

The Silvia also comes with a 7 gram coffee spoon, plastic tamper, and both single and double filter baskets. 

Gaggia Classic Pro


  • 72 oz. water reservoir
  • Comes with multiple baskets
  • Options for upgrades 
  • Available in multiple colors


  • Takes about 5 minutes to heat water between shots
  • Caution: drip tray has sharp edges

The Gaggia Classic Pro is one of the leading espresso machines on the market and is similar to the Rancilio Silvia in that it is a traditional Italian model that hasn’t changed much since 1991.  Its classic, compact, straightforward design comes with a commercial 58 mm portafilter.

The durable stainless steel housing is built to last and is made by Italy’s in-house experts.

The commercial quality, chrome plated, 58 mm group head portafilter ensures great heat retention and the two hole steam tip means you can make latte art that competes with the pros. 

It also comes with a single shot pressurized basket as well as a single and double shot non-pressurized commercial baskets that are capable of producing rich crema.  As you become more comfortable pulling your own espresso shots, you can switch out the baskets to tailor your espresso to your liking.  An additional shower screen, barista pro basket, and group gasket are all available additions as you start to become a master home barista. 

The 3-way solenoid valve dries out the after extraction liquid, allowing the puck to come out in one piece, making cleaning up between shots a breeze.

This is a great machine if you want espresso for one or two people but if you often entertain, the small capacity may make you want to look elsewhere. 

Gaggia Brera


  • Quiet
  • Easy to use
  • Built in grinder
  • Steam wand
  • Front loading
  • Dreg drawer


  • Small water tank
  • Small bean hopper
  • Lengthy cleaning process

One of the more moderately priced espresso makers on our list, the Gaggia Brera is a compact model that is both quiet and easy to use. At only 12.4” it can easily slide under kitchen cabinets and still leave you plenty of counter space. 

The built in bean grinder alleviates the need for additional appliances and offers five different grind settings so you can further customize your espresso shot.

The front loading water reservoir holds 40 ounces of water so it will need to be refilled frequently and the bean hopper only holds eight ounces of espresso beans so be sure to check the bean level with each water refill. The smaller reservoirs are something to factor in if you have more than one coffee drinker in the home. 

The convenience of the front loading water reservoir and dreg drawer however, means it can easily remain under your counter until it needs to be cleaned. 

The Gaggia Brera also comes with programmable brewing and a Pannarello wand for milk frothing that doubles as a hot water dispenser for americanos and tea.

Push button controls and an LED display with illuminated icons allow the user to have an easy and intuitive experience and the rapid steam technology quickly heats up the water for both brewing and steaming. 

This super automatic espresso machine would be ideal for a single user home but if you have multiple coffee drinkers or entertain frequently, you may want to look elsewhere.

Jura Ena Micro


  • Compact design
  • Built in grinder
  • Energy saving mode
  • Quick brew time
  • Programmable Options


  • Small water tank
  • Small bean capacity
  • Single shot only
  • No milk options
  • Not easy to clean
  • All plastic

The Jura Ena Micro is the perfect espresso machine for a single coffee drinker who only needs to pull one shot of espresso. 

If you have more than one coffee drinker in the house or if you prefer multiple coffees throughout the day, you will most likely get tired of constantly refilling the water reservoir and bean hopper.  Holding only 38.6 oz of water an .2 lbs. of espresso beans, this espresso machine will need to be frequently replenished. 

Other than water and bean capacity, there are plenty of great qualities in this compact machine.  The responsive touch panel is easy to operate and there are 6 different settings to customize your espresso.  It also comes with 2 aroma levels, 3 cup sizes, 3 strength settings, and 3 water amounts to further customize your user experience.

In addition to customization options, the Jura Ena Micro also has an energy saving mode and a patented zero-energy switch for enhanced energy efficiency. 

If you prefer a latte or cappuccino, you will need a separate milk frother as this machine does not come with a milk steaming wand.  

If you are looking for a simple, easy to use, ultra compact espresso machine, this one’s for you, but if you prefer milk based coffee drinks or have more than one coffee drinker in the home, you may want to look elsewhere. 

Breville Barista Express


  • Built in coffee grinder
  • PID digital temperature control
  • Automatic or manual operation
  • Steam wand
  • User friendly
  • Easy to clean


  • Small drip tray
  • Top loading
  • Requires practice for manual brewing

Breville’s Barista Express is one of the most versatile compact espresso machines whe have found and it can brew up a quality espresso beverage in under a minute. 

The built in conical coffee grinder allows you to grind the beans just before brewing.  The grind dial gives you full control of your ground size, and after grinding, it delivers the exact amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter.

This machine also allows you to choose between automatic and manual controls so you can either let it do the work for you or you can have complete control over your coffee. This makes it perfect for a household who has two coffee drinkers looking for different qualities in an espresso maker or for those busy mornings when you just don’t have time to manually make your coffee.  Its really the best of both worlds. 

The PID digital temperature control ensures the water is at precisely the right temperature for optimal flavor extraction. In addition to the PID, it also features a low pressure pre-infusion function to bloom the espresso before it is extracted with the 15 bar pump.  This blooming followed by high pressure extraction ensures your espresso’s perfect caramel color and rich crema. 

The Barista Express brews both single and double shots and the steam wand creates a micro-foam perfect for latte art.

As far as capacity is concerned, the bean hopper holds approximately a half pound of espresso means and the water reservoir holds 67 ounces. 

This machine also comes equipped with a “time for cleaning” reminder so you will never forget to properly service it, and the automated cleaning cycle makes cleaning a breeze. 

De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica


  • Quality build materials
  • Auto warm up
  • Automatic cleaning


  • Especially oily beans can get stuck in the grinder
  • Not completely maintenance free

The De’Longhi Magnifica is a powerhouse, packed with features and built with some of the best materials. It is also beautifully designed with a clean and modern aesthetic. It also comes with an easy to use push button control panel and features programmable menu settings. 

With these programmable settings you can quickly brew up an espresso, latte, cappuccino, flat white, or even a macchiato.  The machine brews either single or double shots and even remembers your brewing preferences so each up is automatically brewed to your ideal temperature, saturation, and density.

This model offers a beans to brew system that grinds the espresso beans just before brewing for ultimate freshness. The burr grinder is very quiet and offers 13 adjustable grind settings so you can better control your brew.

It features two stainless steel boilers that distribute the heat evenly, as well as an instant reheat function, keeping the machine at an ideal temperature for additional coffee beverages.

De’Longhi’s patented “Cappuccino System” frother carefully steams the milk to produce a rich and creamy froth. The milk frother rotates 180° to accommodate virtually any size milk container. 

The sizeable 60 oz. removable water reservoir and 8.8 oz. bean hopper means more espresso shots between refills. 

The Magnifica has a height adjustment that accommodates different size cups, and a cup warming tray to make sure your latte is toasty and warm.

Additional features include and energy-saving function that automatically turns off after 3 hours of non-use, a water level indicator, removable drip tray, and automatic programs for rinsing and descaling. 

Krups EA89 Deluxe One Touch


  • 15 customizable drink options
  • Adjustable delivery spout
  • Fully automatic


  • Plastic parts
  • Top loading
  • Milk canister is hard to clean

The Krups Deluxe One Touch is a super automatic espresso machine that takes all the work out of making your favorite coffee drink and three different temperature settings means you can have your coffee as hot as you like.

The Deluxe One Touch features an OLED screen with 15 fully customizable drink options. At a single touch of a button you can have any of 7 espresso drinks, 5 milk based coffee drinks, and three gourmet tea options. If you prefer a more robust tasting coffee there is an option to add an extra shot of espresso as well. 

The built in grinder has an adjustable dial so you can further customize your espresso by using your preferred grind size. The ground coffee is then tamped down with 35 pounds of pressure to ensure your espresso is perfectly extracted with a rich and smooth crema. 

The delivery spout is adjustable to accommodate multiple cup sizes (including travel mugs) and the extra large 77.8 oz. water reservoir means you can have more coffee drinks before needing to refill the tank. 

The milk frother uses a separate milk canister located on the side of the machine.  The built in milk canister allows the machine to automatically make milk based coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos but can be a bit cumbersome to clean. 

Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus


  • Heats up in 3 seconds
  • Automatic shutoff
  • Self-cleaning steam wand


  • Must use nespresso capsules
  • No manual controls

The Nespresso Creatista Plus is your personal countertop coffee bar.  Using Nespresso’s original, patented capsule system this super automatic espresso machine consistently makes cup after cup of high quality coffee. Simply load the selected capsule into the machine, press the start button and wait.  The machine will prepare your coffee by extracting it from the coffee capsule as the hot water passes through. At the touch of a button, you can brew a Ristretto (0.5 oz.), Espresso (1.35 oz.), or Lungo (5 oz.). 

The machine heats up in less than 3 seconds and, thanks to its energy saving mode, it automatically turns itself off after 9 minutes of non use. In addition to its energy saving capabilities, the large 1.5 liter removable water reservoir also saves you time since you need to refill it less often. 

The Creatista plus takes espresso making one step further by easily creating milk based coffee drinks like cappuccinos, flat whites, lattes, and macchiatos.  The built in steam wand allows you to choose from 8 different froth texture levels and has 11 different temperature options from 131℉ to 169℉ (55℃ to 76℃). The steam wand is also self cleaning, automatically blowing steam through the wand after each use. 

The high-resolution TFT LCD display is easy to read and assists you in all aspects of coffee preparation, brewing, and maintenance.  Using the display, you can adjust the volume of coffee, the temperature of the milk, and even to make your favorite iced coffee drinks.

Philips 3200


  • Easy to clean milk canister
  • AquaClean filter
  • Low maintenance
  • Dishwasher safe parts


  • Must warm up after automatic shutoff
  • Doesn’t fit a travel mug

Whether you prefer espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, or macchiatos, the Philips 3200 Series super automatic espresso machine delivers perfect results in no time. At the touch of a button, you can choose from an espresso, latte macchiato, coffee, americano, cappuccino, or hot water. 

Equipped with its LatteGo milk system, this machine produces silky smooth foam. This two component system uses no tubes or hidden parts.  The milk canister can easily be cleaned under the tap or even in the dishwasher. 

The easy to use touch screen display lets you customize your favorite coffee drink by adjusting the strength and cup size using the intuitive menu. The ceramic grinder also has 12 different grind size settings to further personalize your coffee experience. 

Philips Aroma Extract system maintains a the water temperature between 194℉ and 208℉ (90℃ and 98℃) and adjusts the water flow, providing an optimal balance between brewing temperature and aroma. 

The AquaClean water filter lets you enjoy espresso brewed with purified water and can brew up to 5,000 cups before descaling, maximizing the efficiency of your espresso machine. A notification lets you know it’s time to descale and once you install the new AquaClean filter, the limescale notification is automatically disabled. 

This is a quality machine that quickly produces a great coffee beverage with very little effort and saves time with easy cleaning. 

Nespresso Lattissima by De’Longhi


  • Heats quickly
  • Responsive touch panel
  • Detachable milk canister


  • Must use Nespresso capsules
  • Espresso could be hotter

The Nespresso Lattissima Touch will have you out the door, latte in hand, in no time.  Using Nespresso’s original, patented capsule system this espresso machine consistently makes cup after cup of high quality coffee. Simply load the selected capsule into the machine, press the start button and wait.  The machine will prepare your coffee by extracting it from the coffee capsule as the hot water passes through.

The thermoblock heating system heats up the machine in only 40 seconds and then uses Nespresso’s patented 19 bar pressure extraction process to produce the optimal shot of espresso. 

It comes with 6 simple one touch buttons for coffee lovers to prepare creamy lattes, latte macchiatos, cappuccinos, espresso, coffee, and even steamed milk. It also has  several memory functions for other customized options. 

If you prefer milk based coffee drinks, the 12 oz. capacity milk canister dispenses milk in adjustable levels throughout the extraction process so you can choose the amount of milk in each drink. 

Other great features include an automatic cleaning system, automatic shut off, an adjustable drip tray to accommodate different size cups, and pause brew in case you need to make a quick adjustment mid brew. 

Saeco PicoBaristo AMF


  • Easy cleaning
  • Removable brew group
  • Great milk frother


  • Removable drip tray also removes the front of the machine
  • A little pricey

The Saeco PicoBAristo AMF automatic espresso machine brews 7 great tasting coffee beverages at the touch of a button.  Use the intuitive backlit touch pannel to enjoy espresso, espresso lungo, ristretto, caffe crema, double espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, and more.  

The ceramic burr grinder ensures you get the freshest coffee from freshly ground beans and has 10 different grind settings so you can customize your cup. You can further customize the brew strength and temperature of each espresso shot. 

This machine is reliable and doesn’t need much in the way of maintenance.  You can brew up to 5,000 shots of espresso before it needs to be descaled thanks to the built in AquaClean water filter. This filter also means you get the best tasting espresso since its brewed with purified water.

The boiler uses quick heating thermoblock technology so you can brew shot after shot of espresso with very little wait time and the milk frother creates creamy foam with the touch of a button. 

The 8.8 oz. bean container means more espresso between refills and the waste container holds up to 15 brews. Finally, the brewing group is removable and slides out easily for quick and convenient cleaning. 

What makes true espresso?

Espresso is basically coffee brewed under pressure. Espresso machines force a small amount of nearly boiling water out under at least nine bars of pressure through finely ground coffee. The result is a thicker, creamier coffee with more caffeine.  According to coffee aficionados, pressure is the key to making true espresso. Keep in mind, you will need a machine with at least a 15 bar capability in order to build up enough pressure to maintain a steady nine bar pressure for your coffee. 

The Three Kinds of Espresso Machines

Manual (or Lever) Espresso Machines

The manual espresso machine was introduced in 1905 and is sometimes called a lever or piston machine. Manual machines are piston driven and require the user to pump a lever in order to generate the pressure needed to pull a shot. These machines require skill and practice, but once you have mastered them, you will be rewarded.  Manual machines allow you to control everything about your espresso shot.  As the name suggests, you basically do everything (from grinding the beans, pushing the espresso, and frothing the milk) yourself.

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

If you enjoy the satisfaction that comes with hands-on espresso making but don’t want to have to do absolutely everything yourself, a semi-automatic machine is right up your alley.  Semi-automatic machines raise the bars of pressure for you but you still get to choose how much coffee to put in the portafilter, you tamp the grinds to the appropriate pressure, and you start and stop the pump to control how much water is used per shot.  

Fully Automatic Espresso Machines

If you are a home barista who prefers to be completely in control of your morning cup, this machine is not for you.  However, if you want a consistent morning coffee without the hassle, look no further.

These are one touch machines. You program the machine to your preference in coffee strength and milk frothing and the machine will create your preferred beverage time after time with no fuss. These machines are great for individuals who are short on time and need to quickly grab a cup of coffee as they head out the door. While they don’t quite pair up to the manual or semi-automatic machines, they are a great pick for those looking for a consistent cup of coffee on the go. 

Buying guide

Manual or Automatic

When considering purchasing an espresso machine, keep in mind how hands on you want to be in pulling your espresso shot of brewing up your cappuccino.  If you want to control every aspect of your espresso, a manual machine is your best option but if you just want to enjoy a latte without all the work, look for an automatic machine.  The semi-automatic machine will allow both aspects to meet in the middle.  A semi-automatic machine will allow you to control certain aspects of your drink (like milk frothing) but without all the work of a manual machine. 

Steam or Pump Driven

Steam based machines have been used for years and are one of the oldest kinds you can find on the market.  As the name suggests, coffee is produced when steam builds up and pushes boiling water through the coffee grounds.  Steam machines are usually cheaper alternatives to pump machines which is a plus, but they also have their drawbacks.  With steam machines, you usually have to wait for the machine to cool down before you can brew your next cup of coffee and steam machines usually don’t produce enough pressure to produce the rich crema that great espresso is known for.

Pump machines on the other hand, use a pump to inject pressure into the boiling water, forcing it through the compacted coffee grounds. The constant pressure produced by the pump ensures that your espresso will not be bitter and produces a rich layer of crema on top.  The down downside is that pump machines are often more  expensive than their steam based counterparts. 

How Many Bars of Pressure

Most espresso aficionados will tell you that nine bars (that is nine times the atmospheric pressure at sea level) is the ideal pressure for making the perfect shot of espresso, but you can find machines out there that take pride in having higher pressures. The amount of bars used in brewing a shot of espresso is really a matter of taste so don’t get caught up in the “bars of pressure.”  As long as you are happy with the flavor of the resulting espresso, bars shouldn’t really matter.

Thermoblock or Boiler

Espresso makers typically heat the water in two ways.  A boiler system works like a kettle and boils the water before brewing.  A thermoblock system passes the water over a heated metal block in a thin stream.  The main difference is that the thermoblock system heats the water instantaneously while the boiler system takes a little more time. Thermoblocks however are more susceptible to leaking, prone to limescale development and typically have a shorter lifespan. 

Other Considerations


A portafilter is the part of an espresso machine that locks the filter basket in place before your brew.  Portafilters usually come in sizes from 40 to 60 millimeters and knowing your portafilter size is useful if you intend to buy spare filter baskets or when purchasing a tamper.  You want to make sure you choose a tamper that is suited to the size of your portafilter.  


If you are considering a superautomatic espresso machine, programmability may be a feature you want to take into consideration.  Do you love the idea of waking up to a steamy latte to start your morning? Most of the superautomatic espresso makers do all of the work for you and therefore often offer an option that will allow you to program them to brew your favorite beverage at a set time. 

Milk Option

A machine with a milk frother widens the range of coffee drinks you can make at home and diminishes the need for extra gadgets laying around.  Unfortunately, it is also one more thing you need to clean and maintain.  

The steam wand is the part of the machine that heats and foams the milk for your latte or cappuccino.  There are several types of steam wands available.   Each one works a little differently and you definitely want to consider this feature if a milky coffee is your preferred beverage.   Some wants are controlled by the push of a button, some require you to turn a knob to control the amount of steam that passes through the wand into the milk, and others froth the milk by pulling it through a valve which heats and foams the milk and pours it directly into your coffee. If you prefer a foamy cappuccino and want total control over the milk frothing process we suggest a machine with the knob controlled steamer.  If you are looking for ease and convenience, either of the other types should be sufficient.

Having a milk frother is ideal if you regularly drink lattes and cappuccinos,but since there are a number of separate appliances out there that can be used to froth milk, the lack of a frothing option shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Pod Compatibility

The best shots of espresso require very finely ground beans and unfortunately, most regular grinders just don’t make the cut. ESE refers to Easy Serving Espresso and the pods are simply coffee disks that are inserted into the portafilter of your machine.  They aren’t going to impress your hipster friends, but if you have a machine that can accommodate these pods but they certainly will make your life easier. ESE pods take the grinding porting out of espresso making and make cleanup a breeze. They also tend to be less expensive than nespresso capsules while producing a similar product.

Machines made by Nespresso also use capsules to brew their espresso.  Nespresso capsules allow you to easily create your own specialty coffee drink at home or in the office between meetings, producing a quick espresso with a rich crema in less than half the time of a traditional machine.  


Lets face it, kitchens come in all shapes and sizes so the size of the machine is one of the first things you should consider when shopping for a new espresso maker.   If you have limited counter space, size is a factor you should consider when looking for an espresso machine. Luckily, there are some compact models out there if you are short on counter space. 

Ease of maintenance

When you are looking at spending a considerable amount of money on a kitchen appliance, you are going to want it to consistently work well.  With an espresso machine, that means regular cleaning and maintenance. 

Some models are easy to clean, but others can be a struggle.  Make sure you research how to clean the machine you are considering.  If cleaning is going to be a lot of work, the inconvenience may mean you choose a different model.  

Keep in mind that the more components and features your machine has, the more you will need to clean and maintain. 


Espresso machines by default are fragile products that require a lot of care and maintenance.  When looking for an inexpensive machine, one of your primary concerns should be durability. What materials is it made of and will they last?

The build materials of cheaper machines are well…cheaper, and often less durable.  Less expensive models typically use more plastic components, to keep the price down, rather than the metal components used in the top of the line options.  While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the machine won’t brew a great espresso, unfortunately, it does mean the lifespan of your machine will be shorter.  When looking for a machine, we suggest you make sure it has a stainless steel boiler. A stainless steel boiler should allow the machine to last longer, brew better espresso, yet still be affordable. 

Number of Coffee Drinkers In The Home

Espresso machines offer both single and double shot options.  This refers to the amount of espresso you get from your machine each time you brew.  When making the decision between single and double shot espresso makers, consider how you will be using your machine.  Do you often serve coffee to guests or just make your regular morning cup?  If you typically only make coffee for one, a single-shot machine should meet your needs but if you have a partner who likes a latte first thing in the morning or you often serve a cup to a friend in the afternoon, a double-shot machine will make your life much easier. 

  • Bean and water capacity
  • Grinder
  • Temperature Regulation
  • Filtration

How much should I expect to pay for an espresso machine?

Everyone deserves to be able pull a shot of espresso in the comfort of their own home without having to spend thousands of dollars on an espresso machine.  While the super fancy espresso machines with all the bells and whistles can be in the $5,000-$7,000 range, you can easily find a quality machine for under $1,000.

What can I expect from an espresso machine under $1000?

Mid-range espresso machines are often equipped with an integrated coffee grinder and a steam wand so you will be able to easily make lattes and cappuccinos without additional appliances.  They also often include a PID digital temperature control to make sure the water temperature is exact to pull the optimum shot of espresso. 

While a mid-range machine will not give you all the bells and whistles of a premium or commercial espresso machine, it should meet all of your home espresso needs. 

Espresso Machine Maintenance Tips

If you want to enjoy perfect tasting coffee every time, you must clean your machine regularly.  The same oils that provide the flavor to the coffee beans and create the rich crema that tops your espresso, can build residue, gradually emulsify and cling to your machine.  Oils alos deposit a film on the portafilter and brew basket which will eventually block the filter holes and leave deposits on the portafilter spout.

Keeping your machine clean will both extend its life and prevent an unpleasant, rancid flavor in your coffee. 

How to clean your espresso machine

Before you begin cleaning your espresso machine, check the manufacturer’s guidelines in the user manual.  Each machine is a little different and it is best to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions but a few basic cleaning tasks should be done regularly.

Purge the steam wand with a final blast of steam and wipe it down after every use.  Run a shot of water through the machine after each brewing session and if you have a machine with a three-way solenoid valve, every 10 to 15 shots, do a clean water backflush.

What you will need

  • A dishcloth
  • A kitchen towel
  • A scouring pad
  • A bowl for the portafilter to soak in
  • A steam wand brush
  • A backflush basket
  • Backflush detergent/espresso machine cleaner

How to do the actual cleaning

  1. Wipe away any residue from the shower screen
  2. Put the backflush basket into the portafilter and add detergent (check the instruction manual for the recommended amount)
  3. To flush away coffee oil residue that is trapped in the system, run the machine pump, wait 15 seconds, repeat several times.
  4. Using a dishcloth dipped into some of the cleaning detergent, rinse away any deposits from the portafilter basket, the rolled edges of the shower screen, and the group head threads.
  5. Rinse the drip tray and blank basket to remove any remaining detergent.  The water should now run clean (If not, repeat step 2).
  6. Replace the drip tray and portafilter and repeat the backflush process using clean water to remove any remaining detergent.
  7. Clean the steam wand using a clean, damp dish cloth to wipe the exterior and use your brush and hot water to clean the inside.  Place the steam wand into a container and thoroughly purge it by opening the steam valve for 30 to 45 seconds.
  8. Rinse and wipe clean the portafilter basket and use a scouring pad (we recommend Scotch-Brite) to clean the inside surfaces of the spouts and portafilter.
  9. Put the basket and filter into a large container and cover with warm water mixed with a little of the cleaning detergent.  Allow the parts to soak for around 30 minutes but be sure not to submerge the handles because they could be damaged by the cleaner.
  10. Rinse everything thoroughly, wipe dry, and re-assemble.


What is the difference between espresso and coffee?

Both espresso and regular coffee are well…coffee.  The main difference is the way each beverage is prepared.  Starting with the beans, coffee roasted for espresso are typically roasted for a longer period of time than beans roasted for coffee.  The grind of the beans is different too.  The coffee is ground much finer for espresso than for regular coffee.

Finally, the brewing methods are different.  Regular coffee is typically made in a drip coffee machine or using a pour over method where hot water slowly trickles through the coffee grounds, while espresso is made by using pressure to push the water through the grounds more forcefully.  This pressure is what creates the rich crema that typically tops a shot of espresso.

What makes espresso better than regular coffee?

Espresso is much more versatile than regular coffee.  Espresso can be enjoyed straight up or in a latte, cappuccino, flat white, as well as a variety of other coffee drinks.  

Espresso makers also don’t require paper filters like a standard coffee machine, so many of the essential minerals and oils that are naturally present are retained in the espresso.

What kind of beans should I use?

Bean type is really a matter of personal preference.  Typically, espresso beans are roasted longer than regular coffee beans but there is no set rule when it comes to brewing a great shot of espresso.

How much does an espresso machine cost?

Espresso machines can range anywhere from $50 to over $8,000.  We suggest you try to spend a minimum of $250 but if you want a machine with more functionally the you should count on spending at least $700-$900.

How much pressure should an espresso machine have?

Most espresso aficionados will tell you that nine bars (that is nine times the atmospheric pressure at sea level) is the ideal pressure for making the perfect shot of espresso, but you can find machines out there that take pride in having higher pressures. The amount of bars used in brewing a shot of espresso is really a matter of taste so don’t get caught up in the “bars of pressure.”  As long as you are happy with the flavor of the resulting espresso, bars shouldn’t really matter.