Updated for 2021.
Introduction to all Things Espresso Machines
Most people are familiar with traditional coffee makers like drip coffee machines, Keurigs, or French Press coffee makers, but espresso machines are still a blur to many. Maybe you stop by your coffee shop to pick up a latte on your way to work or visit the cafe to enjoy a cappuccino with a friend for brunch, but do you ever wonder how exactly the barista prepares the deliciously crafted drinks topped with latte art? Perhaps you’ve even considered making your own at home.
Whole Latte Love has dedicated over 20 years of expertise to make sure that people like you can serve as their own barista whether it’s at home or in the office, and create their own espresso and milk-based beverages. In this guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know about espresso machines and becoming your own barista, so that you’ll never have to wait in line again at your chain coffee shop, only for the barista to get your order wrong and misspell your name on the cup (we’ve all been there).
How To Make Espresso
Coffee and espresso beverages are made from the same bean, however preparing each drink depends on how you grind, tamp and brew the coffee. As a general rule of thumb, coarser grinds are for your typical drip coffee, french press, and cold brew, and finer grinds are best suited for espresso or a Turkish style coffee.
At Whole Latte Love, we want to ensure that coffee and espresso drinkers alike can skip the line at their local coffee chain and brew their own iced mocha lattes, cappuccinos and more in the comfort of their own home or at the office. We’ve all had to start somewhere, no one has ever magically perfected pulling a shot of espresso or making latte art without lots of practice and knowledge, so to get you started, here’s everything you need to know about coffee, a beginner’s guide to espresso and quick tips on pulling the perfect shot of espresso.
What are Espresso Machines?
In order to make a good cup of espresso, latte, cappuccino or any other espresso-based beverage, you need to start out with a good espresso machine. Many of you are familiar with Nespresso machines, Keurigs, traditional espresso pots like Moka pots and other ways to brew coffee and espresso, however, espresso machines differ in that they give the user much more control (or more convenience) over the process from start to finish and give users the opportunity to brew with fresh, whole bean coffee which is always ideal.
Espresso machines are also money-savers, k-cups add up over time, and we even did a comparison on the long term costs of owning a Keurig vs. an espresso machine, and you might’ve guessed Keurigs turned out to be more expensive in the long run, so we say skip the Keurig and invest in a durable espresso machine that’s perfect for your needs.
There is a wide variety of machines that we offer that deliver a good cup of espresso including semi-automatics, super-automatics, single-serve machines, prosumers, and manual espresso machines. There are a ton of options on the Whole Latte Love site, so while you’re browsing through, really think about which machine is best for you and your lifestyle.
Consider how many drinks you make a day. Is the machine for the home, office or commercial use? Are you a beginner? Do you prefer to just press a button and go or would you prefer a hands-on experience? Investing in a great quality espresso machine will be worthwhile once you think about which machine best fits your lifestyle.
What are Super-Automatic Machines?
Super-automatics, also known as bean-to-cup espresso machines, are a modern and more convenient take on traditional manual espresso machines. They feature internal components that grind, tamp, and brew your espresso and then dump the coffee pucks into a dump drawer. This takes the guesswork out of dialing in the right grind size, properly and evenly tamping the coffee, and brewing so that your drink comes out just right.
Super-automatic espresso machines are perfect for coffee and espresso lovers who love to brew and go. Many super-automatics offer high-end features including touchscreen displays, Bluetooth connections via a smartphone, a dedicated milk carafe so milk never passes through the machine, keeping things clean and hygienic, and programmability and customization allowing users to adjust milk temperature, coffee strength, coffee volume and even create profiles to store your preferences for next time.
Top 10 Best-Selling Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
1. JURA GIGA 6
JURA’s GIGA 6 is a great machine for entertaining large groups or if you want to make your coworker’s day by swapping out your office’s old drip coffee machine. It's a large machine with dual thermoblocks, dual hoppers, dual ceramic disc grinders, dual pumps, dual fluid systems, and parallel preparation. You may as well think of it as two machines in one. The hoppers hold just under 20 oz of beans each, and they're removable.
So, if you find yourself hosting a party, a get-together or business function, you can load up the GIGA 6 with a few lbs. of beans with different coffees in each hopper without having to worry about running out of coffee. You could even have spare hoppers for an even wider variety of coffee, or for decaf drinkers.
Even better, with the dual grinders, you can create custom blends by using both hoppers at once to mix a percentage of beans from the left hopper with a percentage of beans from the right, based on your preference.
We can’t forget to mention the GIGA 6's parallel preparation. It can prepare two full drinks at the same time, and that includes milk drinks too. So yeah, if you wanted to, you could press a button and the GIGA 6 will make you two cappuccinos.
2. Gaggia Brera
The Gaggia Brera is one of our most popular super-automatic machines. It’s affordable, has a great simple design and can fit into any kitchen space, and makes the most delicious drinks simple enough for any home barista to make.
The Brera is equipped with a plethora of features that allow the user to maintain the convenience and ease-of-use with a super-automatic machine, but also customize their daily joe to their liking. With the ability to customize your coffee’s strength, aroma, and volume, you’ll be on your way to crafting barista-quality beverages with no fuss.
3. Gaggia Anima Prestige
The Anima Prestige takes the cake for the most convenient super-automatic machine. If you’re looking for a primarily hands-off experience, you might want to take a second look at the Anima Prestige. It’s equipped with 4 brew buttons located on the face of the machine so users will be able to brew an espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino, and latte macchiato, and a dedicated milk carafe in place of Gaggia’s pannarello wand to easily froth milk for those milk-based beverages, with no work required on the barista’s end.
After frothing the milk, the milk carafe automatically runs through a cleaning cycle to purge out any milk residue, this keeps things clean so you'll be confident knowing that you won’t run into any hygienic or maintenance issues in the long run.
After paying $10 per day (San Francisco prices) at our local coffee shop, my partner and I finally did the math and figured out that within 3-4 months, this machine would pay for itself. We have now owned our machine for 6 months and love it. Our house is the gathering place for family and friends, and we have frequent out-of-town guests, so this Read more about review stating Easy to Use - Makes Excellent Lattes and Capuccinosmachine gets a lot of use! The milk carafe is the best feature (and the reason to buy this model), because you just store whatever milk remains in it in the refrigerator for the next latte/cappuccino. Unlike other machines, you don't have to stand there with the foaming wand - you can walk away until your latte is done. The only "downside" for some people (not us!) is that you can't do foam art. Put your coffee in a computer mug and go to an art museum instead.
4. Gaggia Anima
The predecessor to the Anima Prestige, the Gaggia Anima still tops our list for best-selling super-automatic machines and for a great reason. It’s a classic super-automatic machine that many of our customers fell in love with before the launch of the Anima Prestige. Wrapped in elegant black housing, the Anima is a perfect machine for users who don’t care much for grinding, tamping and brewing espresso, but really enjoy taking control of frothing their own milk for making lattes and cappuccinos.
If you appreciate the convenience of a super-automatic but would still love to feel like a barista in the comfort of your own home, the Anima is a great machine to get started with Gaggia’s no mess, no hassle, pannarello wand. For more information about the Anima, check out more details and glowing reviews from satisfied customers below.
5. Gaggia Accademia
Crafting beverages with the Accademia is a dream. You’ve got seven drink presets to choose from; an espresso, a caffé, caffé lungo, cappuccino, latte macchiato, and a latte. Coupled with the ability to steam milk with either the integrated milk carafe or the manual steam wand, you’ll be surprised at how well the Accademia creates barista-quality beverages seamlessly.
6. Gaggia Babila
Named after Milan’s San Babila church, the Babila represents the beauty of Italian culture and history. The dual-boiler super-automatic delivers eight luxurious and flavorful programmable and customizable beverages. Adjust your drink preferences by strength, volume, temperature, and taste, and if you’re feeling for a more personalized touch, utilize the flow adjustment dial to weed out even more nuances and flavor notes in your coffee.
More than just flavor, the flow adjustment dial allows you to customize different drinks on your personal menu; use an increased flow for an espresso lungo and a more restricted flow for a ristretto or crema-rich espresso. The Babila blends Italian culture and design with Italian-style beverages in the comfort of any kitchen or office space.
7. Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Similar to the Velasca, the Velasca Prestige steps it up a notch with the integrated milk carafe, silver housing and even more programmable drink options, with a one-touch cappuccino button in addition to an espresso and espresso lungo. This chic super-automatic gets the job done quickly with a 45-second heat-up for brew temperatures and equally fast heating for steaming temperatures, this is perfect for days when you’re in a rush and need your cappuccino fast!
The Velasca Prestige adds another luxurious feature that spoils the users, adjustable pre-infusion that aids in extracting all of the delicious flavors and nuances out of your coffee. For a better understanding and comparison of the Velasca and Velasca Prestige, read our in-depth review below.
Review of Gaggia Velasca & Velasca Prestige Super Automatic Espresso Machines
8. JURA A1
The JURA A1 is a super-automatic machine with a great value, a great design, a small footprint, and is perfect for home baristas who just want a good espresso. It’s built with JURA’s revolutionary feature, the Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P) which pulses water through the coffee grounds to extract even greater and more intense flavors out of your coffee.
Leave it up to the A1 to deliver top-notch, crema-rich espresso with ease. The A1 also features JURA’s AromaG3 grinder to keep things quiet and efficient while grinding the beans and the Intelligent Pre-Brew Aroma System (I.P.B.A.S) which lets you create drinks with anywhere from 5-16 grams of coffee.
The A1 will pre-infuse the grounds prior to extraction to ensure the user gets the best and most consistent result in their cup. To top it off this machine is a great option for eco-conscious customers looking to reduce their energy consumption with the Zero-Energy Switch.
9. JURA E6 with P.E.P
The E6 is a machine that’ll give users the most hands-on experience over any other super-automatic machine. If you’re looking for a balance of modern design and features with simple manageability, then look no further than the E6. Now, if there are days when you aren’t looking for the hands-on home barista experience, you can connect to the E6 from your smartphone via a Bluetooth connection and connect to the J.O.E. app. With a simple “Hey Siri, make two coffees.”, the E6 will give you a quick 3-second countdown allowing you to get things set up and brew two fresh hot coffees in seconds.
This is what so many Whole Latte Love customers love about the E6, the ability to go manual or automatic on any given day and still be able to easily operate the machine without the hassle of grinding, tamping or brewing any beans by hand, and this is the same reason why the E6 makes our top 10 best-selling super-automatics list. If you want to learn more about the E6, check out the E6 product page below.
10. JURA S8
The JURA S8 is a beauty to behold. It may be the most expensive machine on the list but it doesn’t skimp out on a plethora of features and functions that are well worth the investment.
Like the E6, the S8 can be operated using the JURA Smart Connect and the J.O.E. app but this isn’t the only thing we love about this machine; the 4.3” touchscreen display makes it easy and accessible to brew and steam your favorite beverages, the P.E.P system and AromaG3 grinder delivers consistent, quiet, and flavorful espresso every time, and a full range of 15 specialties are available on the S8, including ristretto, espresso, coffee, cappuccino, caffè latte, espresso macchiato, and flat white.
The S8 is nothing less than brilliant among JURA’s line of premium machines and the swiss design and functional operations represent this flawlessly.
What are Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines?
Semi-automatic espresso machines are great for hobbyists who enjoy every step of the process that goes into crafting that perfect cup of espresso. While super-automatics control all aspects from grinding the beans to extraction, semi-automatic machines give users control over grinding their own beans, tamping their coffee, locking in the portafilter and brewing their espresso.
Semi-automatic machines also feature steam wands allowing users to steam and froth milk for lattes, cappuccinos and more milk-based beverages. The steam wands can also dispense hot water for tea or hot cocoa.
What’s great about semi-automatic machines is that many of them allow you to start off as an entry-level barista and grow into a pro-barista. The Gaggia Classic Pro is one of our most popular semi-automatic machines primarily for entry-level baristas, however, it features upgradeable accessories allowing you to take your home barista skills to the next level. With that, here are more of our best-selling semi-automatic machines.
Top 10 Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
1. Gaggia Classic Pro
The Gaggia Classic Pro is unsurprisingly at the top of our list for best-selling semi-automatic machines. The Classic Pro has been a customer favorite since its release in early 2019 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Some of the features that customer just can’t get over are the new and improved rocker switches with temperature indicator lights, the commercial steam wand giving users full control over frothing milk and achieving the perfect texture for milk beverages, improved pump mounts so the machine operates much quieter as well as the updated frame which is wrapped in stainless steel, allowing users to seamlessly remove the drip tray to access to water reservoir.
2. Gaggia Carezza De LUXE
Want a simple machine that can create latte art out of the box? Take a look at Gaggia’s Carezza De LUXE, a semi-automatic machine that’s ESE (Easy Serve Espresso) pod and pre-ground capable and the pannarello wand can be converted to a manual steam wand, which makes brewing espresso a breeze for the home or office user. This is a great machine for an entry-level user who wants the option to use what they have in their kitchen without needing to purchase any extra equipment.
The Crema Perfetta portafilter helps you to pull consistent, crema-rich shots and the pre-infusion function guarantees your espresso to be rich and full of flavor. To round out the incredibly easy functionality of this machine, the retro look mimics a vintage, Italian design that’s sure to stand out in any kitchen space, so it’s no surprise that the Carezza De LUXE made our top 10 semi-automatics list.
3. Profitec Pro 500 PID
Profitec machines are well-known for their superior build quality, simplicity, and functionality. The Pro 500 PID is a great example of this with the ability to fit seamlessly under almost any cabinet space, a PID controller that eliminates the need to perform a cooling flush after steaming, and an E61 grouphead for amazing temperature stability and pre-infusion for a flavorful extraction.
The heat exchange element means there’s no wait time between brewing and steaming, so you can create your drink from start to finish with no interruptions or wait times. Profitec Pro 500 is a handmade machine with a mirror finish giving this semi-automatic a modern and sleek aesthetic, and guaranteed durability.
Product Review: Profitec Pro 500 PID Espresso Machine
4. Rancilio Silvia M
20 years after Whole Latte Love received the Rancilio Silvia M, this single boiler semi-automatic machine is still blowing customers away with its incredible steam power and commercial-style parts. The Rancilio Silvia M was recently featured in our Top 5 Espresso Machines Under $1,000 and is truly a high-quality machine with a lot to offer.
The commercial features include the rocker arm switches, the same ones used on Rancilio’s commercial machines, a 3-way solenoid valve to dry out the puck before knocking it out of the portafilter for a mess-free process, and a 58mm portafilter. The Silvia M is a great machine for entry-level espresso lovers looking for a durable machine with history and the ability to perfect your skills as a home barista.
I bought my Sylvia nearly 20 years ago from Whole Latte Love. I have used it every day. I love this machine, it’s my first one. I maintained it somewhat regularly, descaled it and did a thorough cleaning about 3 to 4 times a year. In that 20 years I only had to replace one minor part; the brew thermostat on the boiler. Cost about 20 bucks and took Read more about review stating I've used this espresso maker every day for 20 years about 5 minutes to swap out. I cannot recommend this enough for an entry level machine. But I’ve decided that it’s time to upgrade… and my emotional connection to my Sylvia is making it a little hard. Wonderful workhorse, classic styling, great counter size. I’m going to miss her.
5. Breville BES990BSS The Oracle Touch
A machine made by a brand that’s familiar to many American home coffee and espresso drinkers, the Breville Oracle Touch BES990BSS bridges the gap between manual and automatic espresso machines seamlessly. It features a vibrant touchscreen display showcasing a variety of customizable beverages including espresso, long black, latte, flat white, and cappuccino. You can also create and save up to 8 personalized drinks to add a personal touch to your morning coffee.
What might be most surprising is that this machine has dual boilers allowing you to brew your coffee in the morning without having to wait too long between brewing and steaming. The built-in grinder and tamping system also give users one less step in the process to worry about, and the PID temperatures are easily accessible if you ever find that you want to adjust the temperatures by a couple of degrees. Overall, this is a great machine for users looking for a brand they’re familiar with that makes convenience and control over crafting their morning espresso easy.
6. ECM Casa V
The ECM Casa V is praised for being one of the slimmest semi-automatic machines on the market. If you’re short on counter space and have lower-than-average cabinets, this might be a great machine to take a look at. This single-boiler, German-designed, and Italian-crafted machine offers a minimalist design with intuitive features for the home user.
The Casa V is a great machine for home baristas who won’t need to brew and steam beverages back-to-back and have some time on their hands to wait for the machine to heat to accurate steam temperatures. But with a little patience, the Casa V is well worth the wait, the 1200 watt heating element bursts incredible steam power and the intuitive controls on the face of the machine walk you through the entire process.
ECM’s Casa V is a great choice for intermediate-level and pro-baristas who don’t have tons of kitchen space but would appreciate a great machine with intentional design and great performance.
A Quality Gasket and the Nanotech Screen Could Change Your Brewing Experience with the Casa V
7. Profitec Pro 700 w/ Flow Control
Like many other Profitec machines, the Pro 700 has an amazing build quality and even more superior performance. Coupled with Whole Latte Love’s exclusive flow control device, the Pro 700 creates amazing results for home and office baristas to show off top-notch, crema-rich espresso beverages with consistent results drink after drink.
The flow control knob allows users to tease out specific flavor notes and characteristics in their coffee by increasing and restricting the flow which is perfect if you’re looking to brew a drip-style coffee or an espresso that’s packed with flavor. With additional features such as the PID controller, the rotary pump for quiet operation, dual boilers for no wait time between brewing and steaming and an incredibly retro design, the Pro 700 with flow control is for espresso enthusiasts who take their coffee seriously.
Profitec Pro 500 vs. Profitec Pro 700
8. Bezzera New Hobby
The Bezzera New Hobby has gotten tons of attention since it’s arrival at Whole Latte Love. The machine features rocker switches to power-up, brew, steam and refill the boiler, all equipped with ready indicator lights. The generous 3-liter reservoir also has visible indicator lights to save you the hassle of checking periodically if the machine is running low on water.
What I love about the Hobby is that it’s another incredible entry-level friendly machine for espresso enthusiasts. Users don’t have to try hard to froth milk, the steam power on this machine does all of the hard work for you, leaving you with velvety and airy milk for lattes and cappuccinos. The Hobby is a semi-automatic that’s built to last for years to come, the stainless steel housing and build ensures durability and longevity, and the features with the Hobby make brewing espresso an exciting experience and the espresso and milk-based drinks that this machine can whip up are even better.
9. ECM Classika PID
10. Profitec Pro 300
The first machine in the Profitec Pro lineup, the Pro 300, is a powerful and classic dual boiler machine. If you’re looking for a classic powerhouse to add to your coffee bar, the Pro 300 is a phenomenal machine featuring many of Profitec’s most popular functions, seen on their higher-end machines.
It features a PID controller so you’ll have access to controlling the brew and steam temperatures of both boilers for accurate temperature stability, top quality German engineering by experienced and professional manufacturers, and durable internal plumbing so the machine will last you years of brewing and steaming your heart away.
Review of Profitec Pro 300 Dual Boiler PID Espresso Machine
What are Prosumer Machines?
Prosumers are the top dogs of espresso machines for people who really appreciate every aspect of brewing their espresso from monitoring the temperature of the brew boiler and shot timer via the PID controller to experimenting with different flavors and nuances in their coffee using flow control.
Prosumers are as close as it gets to the commercial machines you’ll see in your local coffee shop and quite often feature commercial-style parts including a commercial steam wand, group head, and portafilter to really level up the home-brewing experience for any barista.
Espresso lovers who purchase prosumers are perfectionists who would go great levels for a perfect shot and might even classify themselves as the “entertainers” who love to host and impress their guests with barista-style beverages. To learn more about why we really love prosumer machines and why you should consider getting one if you’re really keen on getting a good cup of coffee, check out our article The Best of the Best: Why You Should Get A Prosumer Machine.
Top 10 Featured Prosumer Espresso Machines
1. Profitec Pro 600
2. Rocket Espresso Appartamento
The Rocket Espresso Appartamento is a heat exchange machine with uber temperature stability, a pre-infusion system for flavorful coffee and is a machine that we are proud to have a hand in its design. Not only is the Appartamento another beauty to behold, but Whole Latte Love is currently the only retailer to offer our customer’s this stylish machine in a variety of colors on the panels including Copper, Black, Gold, Rose Gold, White, Amazonite, Walnut, Iridescent, Ruby, Aquamarine, and Sapphire. We want you to feel confident while brewing and steaming, and this design is only part of this machine’s great qualities and characteristics.
The reimagined E61 brew group, generous 1.8-liter copper boiler with a 1200 watt heating element, the no-burn stainless steel steam wand and an electronic microprocessor to alert you when the water reservoir needs to be refilled, are all part of the package with Appartamento. With this machine, it’s clear that Rocket is a stickler for details; this machine represents all of the great aspects that any home barista could dream of.
This is the 4th machine I've purchased from Whole Latte Love, each representing a further step into the art, science, and love of espresso. The Rocket Appartamento is built like a tank, looks like a work of art, and performs like a classic Italian sports car; it is very mechanical - a drivers espresso machine. Paired with a quality grind Read more about review stating First step into a larger world...er (I use a Quamar M80 on-demand), this machine will pull shots that rank with units at a far higher price point.
3. Bezzera DUO DE
The first feature on this machine that swept us off our feet was the wood accents giving a natural touch to this modern beauty. The DUO DE is undoubtedly stunning out of the box, but once you start brewing and steaming, it’s even more impressive with its performance. With five programmable brew buttons on the face of the machine and triple PID thermostats giving you limitless control over temperature stability, brewing and steaming with DUO DE is a breeze.
To add on, the group head is specially heated by two heating elements and controlled by a PID thermostat and we can’t get over the personalized touch of this machine being manufactured, designed and assembled in-house, so you are confident that this machine is thoughtfully designed with the consumer in mind.
Review: Three Defining Features on the Bezzera DUO DE
4. Bezzera Matrix DE
Most consumers are captured by the Matrix DE’s customizable color panels, and we have to admit, we were just as taken away. Within a few taps on the touchscreen color display, you’re able to change the colors of the panels to match the feel of your kitchen space, and access steam and brew boiler temperatures.
If you’re looking to customize your favorite beverage, the Matrix DE gives you the option to program the volume of your espresso or you can control the extraction manually using the manual button on the face of the machine. Like with all other Bezzera machines, the Matrix DE is manufactured, designed and assembled in-house, by real people, who care about the quality of your morning joe.
The Bezzera Matrix DE: A Review of This Luxurious Dual Boiler Machine
5. ECM Mechanika V Slim
If you’re short on counter space but don’t want to compromise on investing in a lower-end machine, the Mechanika V Slim is a great option. It’s compact yet modern and bursts with tons of power with a 1400 watt stainless steel boiler and a 2.2-liter boiler capacity. The V Slim is seriously slim sitting at 9.8 inches wide and 15.5 inches tall.
This machine can fit in almost any kitchen space, with plenty of extra room. But, just because the machine is compact doesn’t mean it isn’t just a powerful as the big boys, this heat exchanger has quick heat-up times and allows you to brew and steam with no wait time in between, just remember to run a cooling flush every once in a while to prevent the machine from overheating, and you’ll be on your way to delicious espresso beverages throughout the day.
6. Bezzera DUO MN
If you’re an espresso enthusiast and artisan of sorts who will go great lengths for a delicious cup of espresso, then Bezzera DUO MN might be a great machine for you. With the touchscreen display and dual PID temperature controllers, you’ll be able to control the temperatures of your brew and steam boilers to control the results of your espresso, and with automated pre-infusion, you’ll be able to extract a delicious cup of coffee with intense flavors and amazing aromas.
Also, a plus for any coffee drinker who finds themselves brewing multiple cups a day, the DUO MN is plummable to that you can brew more and think less throughout the day.
7. Bezzera Matrix MN
The sister machine of the DUO MN, the Matrix MN features the color panels and wood accents as well as all of the great features seen on the DUO MN. You’re getting a 3.5-inch touchscreen display where you can access the dual PID temperature controllers, you can change the colors of your panels, and you can even program your machine to turn on or off for every day of the week. This is a machine that packs a balance of convenience and control into one so that you can focus on brewing and steaming to your heart’s content.
Bezzera Matrix MN Review: A Machine with Originality, Programmability and Superb Attention to Detail
8. ECM Mechanika IV Profi
ECM’s Mechanika IV Profi is an expertly engineered heat exchange machine. The large 2.1-liter boiler allows you to brew and steam simultaneously and the solid brass E61 group features a pre-infusion cylinder to extracts all of the flavors out of your coffee. Under the drip tray, you can access a switch to choose between a reservoir or a direct water line connection, giving you the option to brew and steam at your convenience. The Mechanika IV Profi is a high-end prosumer made for espresso lovers who really care about the performance of the machine and the results of their espresso.
ECM Technika IV Profi Switchable Review
9. ECM Synchronika w/ Flow Control
ECM’s Synchronika is a high-end, handmade dual boiler machine with a pre-installed Flow Control knob exclusively sold at Whole Latte Love. The PID controller allows users to control the boiler temperature coupled with an integrated shot timer to really take control over the espresso brewing experience. The results in the cup are all up to you.
The Synchronika can also connect to your water line allowing you to brew more and think less about refilling your water reservoir. Flow control is the newest upgrade that we’ve been excited about for quite some time. The flow control knob sits on top of the E61 grouphead where you can increase or restrict the flow of water to create your own extraction profile whether you’re looking for a drip-style coffee or to change the acidity and tease out the flavor notes of your coffee.
The ECM Synchronika with Flow Control makes our top 10 best-selling list effortlessly thanks to Whole Latte Love customers who are artisans in their kitchen.
10. Profitec Pro 800 Lever Group
Are you a fan of the features from traditional lever machines but value the aesthetic and functionality of modern prosumers? Lucky for you, the Profitec Pro 800 Lever prosumer blends both old world and newer espresso machines beautifully. This single-boiler, dual-use machine sports a massive 3.5-liter copper boiler that functions for all of your brewing and steaming needs, and features a PID controller for amazing temperature stability.
If you’re not a fan of refilling water reservoirs, no worries, the Pro 800 can easily connect to a water line with the use of a water filtration system such as the BWT system. The BWT system will ensure that your espresso tastes better and improve your machine’s longevity by preventing scale build-up.
I'm closing out my first month of ownership of this machine, and am completely delighted. I am no pro when it comes to pulling shots, so the learning curve was steep, but if you want a machine that will outlast you, maximize your control over volume and pressure to finesse your shots, and still cover up your mistakes along the way, this is it. It' Read more about review stating Profitec 800 is just amazing!s like shaving with a blade instead of an electric razor. I now SCOFF at fully automatic machines, and turn my nose up at electric pumps. This is a man's machine, and I'm obviously drinking WAY too much caffeine...
Refurbished Espresso Machines
Tested by our experts for top-quality functionality, Whole Latte Love’s refurbished or used, espresso machines are a great way to invest in a quality product at a great value. We offer machines in like-new conditioned, at a reduced cost from our most popular brands including JURA, Gaggia, DeLonghi, and even coffee and accessories to compliment your home or office coffee bar. If you’re thinking about whether or not a refurbished machine might be right for you, check out our article Why Buy A Refurbished Espresso Machine for an in-depth guide on our greatest refurbs.
Best Espresso Machine
Perhaps you’re in the market looking for the best espresso machine for your new coffee shop, maybe you’re looking into becoming a home barista, or maybe you’re just tired of your office’s old drip coffee machine. Whatever it is, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re an absolute beginner, check out our piece on how to choose the best espresso machine for beginners, if you’re a beginner on a budget, lucky for you, we recently listed our top 5 espresso machines under $500 and top 5 machines under $1000 if you’ve got a bit more wiggle room. If you’re a seasoned barista, check out our most recent articles; top 5 super-automatics of 2019, top 5 semi-automatics of 2019, and our top 5 most popular accessories to upgrade your coffee bar.
Best Home Espresso Machine
Scrolling through the Whole Latte Love catalog of machines can be a daunting process if you’re just getting into the world of coffee and espresso, whether you’re looking for the best home espresso machine or commercial machine, we have something for everyone. If you’re just starting out, you might want to check out our best value entry-level home espresso machines to get you started. Not only do we introduce you to our top ranking entry-level espresso machine but also mention some accessories and grinders that will compliment the machines well.
What about Commercial Espresso Machines?
Thinking about opening your own coffee shop? How about a café or a restaurant? Choosing the right commercial espresso machine for your business is crucial to the success of the machine, your business and the quality of the drinks provided. For example, if you’re opening a coffee shop, you’ll need a machine that can handle a high volume of espresso and milk-based beverages compared to a restaurant that may not need a machine that can handle as high demand but can still produce great quality drinks with no issues. Take a look at our collection page for a full list of commercial espresso machines.
Espresso Machine Reviews
Whole Latte Love has an entire blog dedicated to reviewing espresso machines, whether it’s new, old, refurbished or released. You can also find tech tips for maintaining and cleaning your machine, as well as articles uncovering life hacks to get a better cup of coffee. Here are some of our espresso machine reviews below.
A Quick Review On Why ECM’s Technika V Profi PID Might Be For You
Small Espresso Machines
If you’re short on kitchen space or you don’t have much clearance between your countertops and cabinets, but you still want to be a top-notch home barista, no worries, we have great machines in store for you. Compact espresso machines are great for espresso lovers who still want to brew and steam café-quality drinks without their machine taking up tons of space. Here are a couple of our favorite espresso machines for small kitchen and office spaces.
- ECM Casa V
- ECM Mechanika V Slim
- JURA ENA Micro 90 One-Touch
- Rocket Espresso Appartamento
- Gaggia Classic Pro
Sometimes you just want to roll out of bed on a Sunday morning and sip on a delicious latte. At Whole Latte Love, we specialize in pairing our customers with the best coffee and espresso machines on the market, whether you’re just looking for a machine to deliver espresso or a machine that specializes in creating lattes with the ability to create latte-art milk foam. At the end of the day, your lifestyle will determine which machine is best for you, take our quiz to find out.
5 Drinks That You Can Make With An Espresso Machine
A double shot of espresso with equal parts steamed milk and milk foam to top it off.
A double shot of espresso with a third of the cup filled with steam milk and the top layer cover in milk foam.
A macchiato, also known as ‘spotted’, ‘stained’, or ‘marked’ espresso refers to an espresso with a dash of milk to top it off. For a rundown on the different variations of a macchiato, check out our video Quick Tip: How To Make A Latte Macchiato and Espresso Macchiato.
The difference between coffee and espresso depends on the brew method. Coffee is prepared using medium ground beans and is prepared using a coffee machine or another method such as pour-over, Aeropress, a drip machine or french press.
Espresso is prepared using fine grounds and is prepared using an espresso machine such as a super-automatic, semi-automatic or prosumer machine. The espresso is tamped and brewing when the water places pressure on the coffee bed to create a rich, creamy and intensely flavored coffee.
A single or double shot of espresso diluted with hot water.
Coffee Makers and Espresso Machines
Coffee, espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, whatever you fancy on Monday mornings, these caffeine-filled drinks are made with stellar coffee makers and espresso machines that “cure” our pre-coffee brain and get us through the day. Whether you use your office’s old drip coffee maker, your Keurig from college or a pro-barista style espresso machines, we offer a variety of machines to suit every lifestyle, barista-level environment and more.
We offer machines from companies who have dedicated almost a century to developing home espresso machines and more modern coffee makers that are handmade and crafted by coffee lovers in Italy. Whatever your style is, pour-over, french press, cold brew, bean-to-cup, manual, and more, we can assure you, you’ll find your perfect match at Whole Latte Love.
Best Espresso Beans
One of the first things that you should know if you’re looking into becoming your own home barista, is that there is no difference between coffee and espresso beans. There is a common misconception that “coffee beans” are different than “espresso beans”, but the reality is, they are the same beans.
All coffee-related beverages from your regular cup of coffee to a cappuccino are made from the same fresh whole beans. The difference in creating your morning joe is how you grind the beans. If you grind the beans coarse, you’ll be able to brew cold brew, french press, a regular cup of coffee and other coffee beverages that require a coarse grind for a great result.
To make espresso beverages, you’ll need to use a fine grind, this is typically used for cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, ristrettos, and more. With that being said, there are tons of delicious coffee that we carry from different regions around the world, however, choosing the best bean all comes down to your taste palette.
Do you prefer a light, medium or dark roast? Do you prefer caramel and chocolate flavor notes or more fruity and citrus flavor notes? For a more in-depth review of the different types of coffee and flavor notes, check out our blog Where In The World Does Your Coffee Come From & How Can It Affect The Flavor Notes?
Water & Filtration For Espresso Machines
Water filters and anti-scale products are great accessories to purchase with your espresso machine. Not only do they keep your espresso tasting and smelling delicious however it extends the life of your machine and extends the time between descaling by removing toxins and chemicals from your water that cause scale. These include lead, aluminum, copper, zinc, chlorine and more.
These chemicals are definitely not things that you want to be consuming in your morning cup of joe, so it’s very important to invest in a great quality water filter and anti-scale solution. For a more in-depth review of water filtration products and descaler, check out our blog Water Filtration For Good Coffee & Espresso Flavor And Equipment Protection.
Best Water for Coffee and How to Make the Best Tasting Coffee
Flow control has been a hot topic of discussion at Whole Latte Love. Flow control gives you the ability to experiment with the different flavors and nuances of your coffee whether you’re looking for a more drip-style coffee, brighter acidity or a stronger flavor note. It’s an exclusive feature offered by Whole Latte Love with the purchase of an E61 group machine.
Our experts are available to assemble flow control devices are your machine and walk you through the benefits of why flow control is the most innovative device in the market as of late. But for an in-depth take on flow control, check out our blog Flow Control: The New Era in Coffee and the machines that have flow control pre-installed and are ready to go.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your espresso machine is crucial to your journey as a home, office or commercial barista. With the right accessories and daily maintenance, your espresso will be full of flavor and your machine will run smoothly for years to come. Here are our most helpful blogs and videos on cleaning and maintaining your espresso machine.
- Water Filtration For Good Coffee & Espresso Flavor And Equipment Protection
- BWT Water Filters For Espresso Machines
- How To Stop or Reduce Scale in Dual Boiler Espresso Machines
- How To Descale Espresso Machines Heat Exchange Boilers
Accessories for Your Espresso Machine
To really liven up any kitchen space and improve the quality of drinks, Whole Latte Love offers a plethora of accessories to ensure you have a satisfying experience as your very own home barista, from mugs to shower screens. To check out a list of all of the accessories that we offer for your espresso machine, click here. We also have tailored access to fit your needs whether you’re a college student or a long-time home barista looking to jazz up your kitchen space.
- Back to College: All the Coffee and Accessories for A Great Semester
- Essential Accessories for Super-Automatics
- 6 Things You Need To Create A Brew-Ti-Ful Coffee Bar
- Essential Espresso Accessories
Grinders for Espresso Machines
Espresso machines are a great starting point for getting a great espresso and milk beverage, but to truly maximize your home barista experience, it’s crucial to have a great quality espresso grinder with a full range of grind settings from fine for espresso to coarse for cold brew.
Many espresso grinders offered at Whole Latte Love sport additional features for an enhanced home barista experience including a touchscreen display, a worm gear for super-precise grind adjustments, and even internal controls for quiet operation. For a list of all our espresso grinders, click here to access our catalog and for a more recent list, check out our article Top 5 Espresso Grinders of 2019.
Build A Bundle & Customize Your Experience
Building a bundle is an easy way to get your favorite machines and accessories and save some money. In our article How To Bundle Your Espresso Machine And Grinder, And Save, we walk you through exactly what our bundling system is and how you can save big bucks, rack up reward points and enjoy your espresso and home brewing experience.
How to Bundle your Espresso Machine and Grinder, and Save
3D and Augmented Reality
3D and Augmented Reality is the newest implementation on the Whole Latte Love site and we absolutely love it. It gives our users an in-depth look at all aspects of a machine, in almost any setting so that you can experience a new and improved way to shop and check out knowing that you’ve picked the perfect machine for your lifestyle and needs. Step into the virtual world of 3D and augmented reality and see your coffee bar come to life. Here’s Marc to give you a rundown on this new aspect on our site.
Shop Smarter with Augmented Reality
There you go! We hope this gave you an in-depth guide to everything you need to know about espresso machines. If you're craving more information and want to learn more about the mysterious world of coffee and espresso, make sure to check out our other complete guides on coffee and espresso, grinders. milk, and coffee makers.