Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or simply enjoy the convenience of brewing a delicious espresso, flat white or americano at home, having an espresso machine is a total game changer. Home espresso machines have the ability to replicate the quality and flavour of the coffee you’d find at your favourite coffee shop.
Having an espresso machine at home offers the perfect balance of convenience and control allowing you to explore and experiment with various coffee beans, grind sizes, and brewing techniques. With a wide range of options available, from fully manual, semi-automatic to fully automatic machines, you can find the perfect one to suit your needs.
Not only do these machines deliver a rich and flavourful cup of espresso, but they also provide the foundation for crafting popular coffee beverages like lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos etc.
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Picking the Right Espresso Machine for You
Choosing the perfect espresso machine can be a daunting task, given the wide array of options available in the market.
To ensure you make an informed decision, it’s essential to understand your specific needs and preferences. From manual to fully automatic machines, each type offers unique features and functionalities.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of selecting the right espresso machine that suits your taste, lifestyle, and budget.
Our Picks for the Best Espresso Machine
Fiamma Nau Classica
With the NAU Classica, you can manually measure each espresso shot and find the right timings for all your favourite coffees.
This compact espresso machine offers you the ability to take your home coffee brewing to the next level. The NAU Classica is a mid-budget home espresso machine and our top pick for all your brewing needs. This elegant espresso machine allows you to time your shots to the second with the beautifully integrated stopwatch, manually pre-infuse your espresso and get the absolute best out of your coffee.
One of the main advantages of the Friamma NAU Classica is its self-contained build. You do not need to connect this machine to any plumbing and the draining of the water is a simple matter of removing the drip trays and emitting. While this is an extra step it sure beats having to connect to any plumbing.
A really nice touch with the manual style of brewing on the NAU Classica is having the option to pre-infuse each of your shots. This is a very simple process as all you need to do is lift the lever up a touch until you hear the water start to pour and you then lift it all the way to fully engage the pump. Having the ability to pre-infuse your brews like this enables you to get creative with how your espresso extraction runs and how the final cup will taste.
Below is a brief overview of its specs.
|water tank: 3L
|weight (kg) 26
To give you a greater overview of this wonderful home espresso machine we put together an unboxing and first-look video on our YouTube channel. In this video, we will go over how to set up and use the espresso machine and also talk about some of the cons we found while using it too.
Can I have one?
If you would like to get your hands of one of these beautiful home espresso machines then you are most welcome to get in touch with us directly via the website and we would be delighted to talk further about pricing, shipping and how you can get the best out of the Fiamma NAU Classica.
A more budget-friendly option for home espresso
Breville Barista Express
The Breville Barista Express, sometimes known as Sage Barista Express (depending on where in the world you live) is a home-style espresso machine that comes with some great features and a few cons too.
Brewing espresso at home with the Barista Express
One thing you will notice right away with this machine is that it’s fully an “all in one” single boiler espresso machine, meaning it will grind your coffee, dose your coffee, brew your coffee and of course steam your milk.
The all-in-one style of espresso machine is a great tool for people who are just dipping their toe into the world of home brewing espresso, and at a slightly lower price point, this could be the one for you.
During our testing we found that this machine was very good at some things but not so great at others.
While it is very nice to have a built-in grinder we found the process of “dialling in our espresso” (you can read all about that in our other blog post) to be easy but, the drawback with this is you won’t get the same amount of absolute control with your grinds as you would with a stand-alone unit.
Why is this important you might ask, each coffee is very different and requires fine adjustments to how it is ground and brewed. But, with that being said, if you are only new to it all and don’t want to spend money on an extra grinder you will still yield some very good results.
Pros and cons of the Barista Express
|Budget-friendly for what you get
|Can’t make micro-adjustments to grind
|All in one unit
|Takes some time for the pressure
to build in the steam wand
|Very intuitive and automatic
|Can be a bit loud for some people
|Water comes to temp in
a little under 10 minute
|The water tank is a bit small
Final thoughts on the Barista Express
So, there you have it. A little overview of the Barista Express from Breville (sage). We really do like this espresso machine and for everything you get at this price point, we think it would very much suit anyone that is looking to make great coffee at home without any extra fuss.
The Creme De La Crema
LELIT BIANCA V3
Now we get into a more high-end consumer model of home espresso machine, in reality though, you could probably even use this in a small coffee shop.
Using the LELIT BIANCA V3
The LELIT BIANCA V3 is a feature-rich, beautifully constructed and designed espresso machine. Its flow profiling dual boiler system allows you to be able to get the absolute best out of each coffee shot while at the same time steaming your milk for back-to-back coffee goodness.
One of the main selling points of this espresso machine is its dual boiler, this unlike the other espresso machines mentioned above, allows you to pull a shot and at the same time steam your milk. Having this ability will enable you to make more coffee faster and back to back in your need. So it would suit a group event like a dinner party very well.
You also have options to easily change the pressure profiles of this espresso machine. Achieving the ideal pressure is a delicate dance between two key elements: extraction time and grind size. These factors work hand in hand to craft the perfect shot, highlighting the nuanced flavours locked within each coffee bean.
Another fantastic option the LELIT BIANCA V3 has is its “Low Flow Mode”. This can be set automatically or can be done manually. This feature lets you set times for pre AND post-infusion of your coffee shots. When timed correctly this really helps to draw out the absolute best in coffee you might have.
The main downside to this espresso machine is going to be the price, for a simple home brewer this high price tag might be a tough shot to shoot but if you are deadly serious about getting the absolute best out of each and every shot you make or, like mentioned above, have a small coffee shop then this might be the right choice for you.
Pros & Cons of the LELIT BIANCA V3
|Brew temp can be adjusted
|Fast heat-up time
|Size and footprint
|Huge control in flow rate
An honourable mention
Flair Espresso Maker PRO 2
We cant make a list of great home espresso machines without mentioning the wonderful Flair Espresso Maker PRO 2. This is a 100% manual espresso process and we love it!
Brewing espresso with the Flair Pro 2
We love our Flair Pro 2, there is just something so beautiful and meditative about a fully manual espresso shot. While the above-mentioned machines have bells and whistles galore, this simple yet incredibly functional design offers you an espresso experience like no other.
From your kitchen to the forest you can take this and enjoy all your favourite coffee where ever you like. The process is simple and elegant.
The only real drawback to the Falir Pro 2 is the application of pressure. The handle does a good job at helping you create the desired amount but if you don’t have the strength or the purchase over the Flair you might find yourself having to go through a few shots before getting the correct one for yourself.
But this like most things will come in time and practice makes perfect, as they say.
We will have a video coming soon all about our experience of the Flair so be sure to look out for that.
For the love of espresso
The Flair Pro 2 is purely an espresso maker, and yes of course you can make a flat white after the fact but you wont be using the Flair. If you enjoy your coffee with a bit of milk then you will need to take this into account, but, if you love your espresso and can look past the slight learning curve this beautifully constructed design will stand out on your countertop.
|No Steam Wand
All good things…
So there you have it, a look at some of our best picks for your home espresso brewing needs.
Now over to you, have you used any of these espresso machines? Which is your favourite or which would you most likely buy? We very much hope the above information will guide you in the right direction when making your espresso machine purchase.
We would be delighted to hear from you in the comments so please feel free to let us know.
As always, if you have any questions or would like any further information about anything mentioned in this blog post then do not hesitate to get in touch.
We’d be delighted to help you out in any way we can.