The Best Espresso Machines

July 6, 2017

The Best Espresso Machines

the best espresso machine

We have already claimed loudly that there is no such thing as “best espresso machines“. Nevertheless, we still have to discuss which brands sell best and why.

This review is based on consumer opinions of the technical characteristics of the most popular brands. These include durability, user-friendliness, boiler capacity, waiting time and price.

Our choices for most popular names are: the Gaggia Espresso & Cappuccino Machine, the Saeco Via Veneto (both semi-automatic espresso machines), the semi-professional Pasquini Livia 90 and the semi-automatic Rancilio Silvia.

The Gaggia espresso coffee machine

The Gaggia coffee/espresso machine

 

  • The case is made of a combination of plastic and metal.
  • The internal components are made of durable metal.
  • Boiler capacity is 3.5 oz.
  • Extraction time is 15 seconds.
  • The steam is ready in 35 seconds.
  • The machine steams 8 oz. of milk in 95 seconds.
  • The price is approximately $300.
  • The Gaggia-patented ESE pod system can be added.

The Saeco Via Veneto espresso machineThe Saeco Via Veneto espresso machine

  • Saeco owes its fame to being the exclusive-supplier for Starbucks, under the brand-name .Estro
  • This home-use model features a whole-plastic case.
  • It is a stainless-steel, five-ounce capacity boiler.
  • Extraction time is 18 seconds.
  • The steam is ready in 35 seconds.
  • It takes 60 seconds to steam 8 oz. of milk.
  • A pod system can be added.
  • The machine can be purchased for $200.

The Pasquini Livia 90 espresso maker machineThe Pasquini Livia 90 espresso maker machine

  • This is a semi-commercial model, most popular with frequent home users and an office staple.
  • It has a stainless steel case.
  • The copper boiler has a capacity of 1.5 liters.
  • Extraction time is 20 seconds.
  • There is instant steam.
  • It takes 25 seconds to steam 8 oz. of milk.
  • It has a one-touch system.
  • The machine is priced at $1,350.

 

 

Many espresso lovers are fond of the Rancilio Silvia semi-automatic coffee machine. Its popularity far exceeds other models from this or other manufacturers. The reason is durability, user-friendliness, reasonable waiting time and extraction quality. By the way, the Rancilio line has named its three semi-automatic models after famous women. One of them is the Audrey (after Audrey Hepburn)and the second is the Nancy (inspired by Nancy Reagan). As for the Silvia, the most famous of the three, nobody seems to know which celebrity inspired the name.

Rancilio Silvia semi-automatic espresso machineLet us have a look at Silvia’s features

  • The components and case are made of metal.
  • Boiler capacity is 12 ounces.
  • The steam is ready in 20 seconds.
  • The machine steams eight ounces of milk in 45 seconds.
  • It takes 20 seconds to brew.
  • The grind size is very important for proper extraction. Many recommend using a quality burr grinder, such as the Rancilio Rocky.
  • The price is close to $500

By now, you will have guessed that we saved what we consider the best espresso machines till the end. Yes, our choice is the Rancilio Silvia, the mystery lady of home espresso machines. Probably the most durable of all four, the Silvia returns its investment in about one year. The learning curve when using this machine is medium to high. It forces you to thoroughly consider the processes of home-roasting and home-grinding. Yet, in the end, your efforts will be more than rewarded.

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