We tested the best espresso machines – that’s what we thought

We tested the best espresso machines - that's what we thought

We set out to find the perfect mix (Picture: Getty)

Want to spice up your morning cup of coffee? Or maybe you’re bored from your 9 o’clock Starbucks runs?

Ditch that dodgy old filter machine because with the help of some nifty kitchen gadgets, you can make professional-tasting coffee in the comfort of your own home.

But how do you know which type of coffee maker is right for you when you consider different specs and prices?

To help you make the right decision, we tested different machines to bring you the best four for design, style, budget and luxury.

Here are our tips:

Breville Bijou Barista

Best for the budget

Breville Bijou Barista

Simple but effective (Image: Amazon)

This model has a subtle brushed chrome look and doesn’t take up much space on a kitchen worktop.

Users manually place pre-ground coffee into the portafilter handle and press firmly before attaching it to the machine’s group head (the part where the pressurized water extracts the coffee).

Operated via a combination of three buttons and a dial, it’s easy to use and its 15 bar pressure pump produces a more than decent single or double espresso.

The vapor tube is a bit noisy but offers solid performance. The wand is also posable, allowing users to angle it into different sized jugs.

In short: A no-frills and reliable entry-level model.

Buy for £169 (was £219.99) from Amazon.

Dualit bean to go machine

Best for minimalist design

Dualit bean to go machine

Super slim (Picture: Dualit)

Sleek and stylish, Dualit’s award-winning bean-to-cup model is a classic product. Users fill up the 1.2 liter water tank and pour beans into the built-in hopper and… that’s it.

The mechanics of grinding, brewing and the 19 bar pressure pump are housed in the surprisingly compact black and silver outer shell.

Operation is controlled via a single power button and five touch buttons on the top of the device. The latter offer single and double espresso, lungo shots (bigger, more water), steam and hot water.

The texture, aroma and cream that the machine produces are good.

In short: A superior product with a great price tag.

Buy for £299.99 exclusively from Dualit.

Smeg Bean to Cup coffee maker

Best for style lovers

Smeg Bean to Cup coffee maker

1950s vibes with modern skills (Image: John Lewis)

This bean-to-cup device from Smeg has plenty of 1950s chic with its curved lines, brushed aluminum front and taupe finish.

A discreet power button on the side and five touch buttons on top offer ristretto, espresso, filter coffee and hot water, plus a second menu option offers light ristretto, light espresso, long coffee and steam.

Other features include a control for adjusting the bean grind size, a design that makes cleaning easier, and warnings for empty water tanks and coffee bean hoppers, along with all sorts of other controls. The pump pressure of 19 bar delivers an excellent cream and the steam nozzle heats the milk in no time at all.

In short: An elegant piece of kitchen eye candy.

Buy for £649 from John Lewis.

Sage The Oracle

Best price performance ratio

Sage The Oracle

Like a barista at home (Image: Sage)

This impressive device wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end restaurant and is dead easy to use.

Place the coffee beans in the hopper and lock the portafilter in the dispenser… and you’ll automatically have perfectly dosed and firmly tamped grounds every time.

Then lock the portafilter in the group head and select a single or double espresso or a long black with the push of a button.

A pre-infuse setting warms the base prior to extraction, while a heated brew head adds beauty. The steam wand has a built in thermostat and users can fine tune the wand settings for different milk textures and froth.

A double boiler ensures that you can heat milk and extract espresso at the same time.

In short: Professional barista results with in-house engineering that does the heavy lifting.

Buy for £1,799.95 from Sage.

This article contains affiliate links. We receive a small commission for purchases made through any of these links, but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and verified independently from commercial initiatives.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/16/we-tested-out-the-best-espresso-machines-heres-what-we-thought-17558714/ We tested the best espresso machines - that's what we thought

Justin Scaccy

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