4 Best Espresso Machines for Beginners in 2023

Brewing cafe-quality espresso drinks on a home machine took a lot of practice, but the best new models have made it much easier. Better yet, you can get a machine capable of making great drinks for under $1,000.

After more than 120 hours of research and testing, we believe the Breville Bambino Plus is the best option for novice and moderately skilled enthusiasts. It’s powerful and easy to use, and it can deliver consistent, rich shots and steam perfectly textured milk. The Bambino Plus also has a sleek, compact design, so it fits well in most kitchens.

Our choice

Breville Child Plus

This powerful little machine is quick and easy to use, and will impress both novice and experienced baristas with its consistent espresso shots and silky frothed milk.

The Breville Bambino Plus is simple, fast and fun to use. It allows you to make really good espresso drinks at home. The user manual is easy to understand and with a little practice you can capture rich and consistent shots and even capture the nuanced flavors of premium barbecue. Perhaps most impressive is the Bambino Plus’ ability to create the silky milk froth produced by your favorite barista, whether you use its high-speed automatic froth setting or steam the milk manually. The Bambino Plus is also compact, so it should easily fit into any kitchen.

Also great

Gaggia Classic Pro

This affordable machine can get surprisingly complex shots, but it struggles to froth milk and feels a little dated. It’s best for those who mostly drink straight espresso.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is an updated version of the Gaggia Classic, which has been a popular entry-level machine for decades thanks to its simple, affordable design and ability to produce decent espresso shots. While the Classic Pro has a slightly improved steam wand compared to the Classic, it still lacks precision compared to the Breville Bambino Plus. It also struggles to pick up velvety-textured milk foam (although it’s capable of doing so once you’ve practiced a bit). The Pro isn’t as easy for beginners to master as our top pick, but it was able to produce shots with greater nuance and acidity, and often more intense cream ( video ). If you have a taste for straight espresso, that advantage may outweigh the Gaggia’s disadvantages.

Update selection

Breville Barista Touch

Sleek and powerful, with excellent programming and a built-in grinder, the Barista Touch allows beginners to prepare cafe-quality espresso drinks at home with very little learning curve.

The Breville Barista Touch offers plenty of guidance in the form of a touchscreen control center with step-by-step tutorials and plenty of software, so it’s great for beginners. But it also includes advanced controls and allows manual work, more experienced users and people who want to be creative. It has a quality built-in grinder as well as an automatic milk foam setting that allows you to control the amount of foam created. The Touch is a great choice if you want a machine that lets you dive right in and start making some decent drinks without having to go through tons of online video collection. Even a guest could probably stand up and have a drink for himself on this machine without too much trouble. But those with more experience are probably not bored. you can choose to have more or less control over every step of your drink making process. The Barista Touch is just as consistent as the smaller Breville Bambino Plus, and it’s also slightly more powerful, pulling balanced shots and frothing milk with ease.

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Ascaso Dream PID:

An elegant, fun machine for those looking to improve their skills and experiment more, the Ascaso makes the best espresso of any machine we’ve tested, but it takes some practice to master.

Purchase options

*Price was at time of publication 1335 dollars.

The Ascaso Dream PID is an elegant, very compact machine capable of producing professional-grade espresso drinks on a consistent basis. If you’re somewhat espresso-savvy and want an affordable machine that can withstand multiple practice sessions, the Dream PID offers the right mix of easy programmability and hands-on experience. We found the espresso it produced to be exceptionally flavorful and complex, better than any other machine we tested, with little variation in quality over several rounds unless we deliberately changed our settings. The steam wand is also capable of frothing milk to your desired texture (as long as you work to learn how to use it, as there’s no automatic setting), resulting in creamy yet still robust tasting lattes. This is the first car we’ve offered that costs more than $1,000, but we think it’s worth it. The Ascaso was quite a pleasure to use and usually produced a much superior espresso compared to the competition.