What’s the best espresso machine for you?
Your espresso machine has a big impact on the quality of your morning coffee, but which type to choose – manual, semi-auto, automatic or capsule? Our test results will help you pick the ideal machine.
There are four main types of espresso machine:
Manual - produce the best coffee in our tests, but they’re very
hands-on. You’ll have to do the grinding (if it has a hopper),
filling of the portafilter, tamping, extracting and frothing. If
you’re particular about your coffee, and don’t mind the extra time
and work involved, these machines are a great choice.
Semi-auto - if you’re a coffee aficionado, but aren’t keen on all the
fuss of a manual machine, a semi-auto is a good choice. Like with
manuals, you fill and tamp the portafilter – but a semi-auto extracts
the exact amount of coffee at a pre-set temperature, which some
models let you customise, with the press of a button.
Automatic - if you want to upgrade from instant coffee, and don’t
mind paying upwards of $1000, automatic espresso machines are where
you should look. They handle everything from grinding and tamping to
extracting. They’re ideal for busy households that drink lots of
coffee and aren’t hung up on making the best coffee possible.
Capsule - the simplest way to brew espresso. Capsules are automatic
machines, but instead of a portafilter to extract coffee, they use
pre-packaged coffee capsules – just pop one in and press start.
They’re one of the fastest espresso machines, but some coffee lovers
will find the flavour questionable.