Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Machine
Right out of the gate, I was in love with this machine. The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Machine ($159) has everything you could want in a semi-auto machine, and is extremely easy to get replacement parts for. A quick quote on the Mr. Coffee site, and for under $40, you can pick up every replacement part they offer for this machine. User-Friendly, removable water reservoir for easy filling, removable milk reservoir, self-clean feature and has great cup clearance.
DeLonghi EC155 Espresso/Cappuccino Machine
The DeLonghi EC155 Espresso/Cappuccino Machine ($90) shows up everywhere as a best seller. Which after researching it, is pretty easy to see why. Not a big sticker price, self-priming to speed the start up and brew time, nice swing out frothing arm to make it easy to use with a plastic end instead of metal which is definitely easier to clean, it can brew with either pods or grounds and has 2 different thermostats for brewing and steam. It has a removable water reservoir, which takes the hassle out of trying to aim and not drench the counter.
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
The feature rich Breville BES 870XL Espresso Machine ($600) has a lot of handy extras, without adding in too much automation. With a built in hopper for beans, adjustable grinder, attached 54mm tamper, hands-free grinding cradle and a monster 67 fluid ounce removable water tank, you definitely won’t have to be running around the kitchen looking for accessories. The steam wand has a 360-degree swivel, so you can texture and froth like the artist you are.
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker-Electric Titan
Everything about the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine ($170) screams convenience. For those wanting a no hassle espresso, from a machine ready to provide it in less than 30 seconds with almost zero clean up needed, you’ve found what you’re looking for with this baby. True to its ‘Pixie’ name, it has a small footprint and won’t eat up much counter space at all. Brewing capsules can be ordered directly through Nespresso at a low cost and quick delivery.
Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine
Weighing in at 20 pounds of solid stainless steel, the Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine ($360) is one heavy duty little workhorse. It is compatible with either grounds or pods, the frothing wand has good mobility and being stainless steel, clean up is a breeze. It comes with an instructional video, and is a forgiving machine for learning the nuances of espresso making.