DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
The DeLonghi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine is the perfect choice for someone who is looking for “everything” in one machine. The Magnifica is designed to make a both a delicious cappuccino and a stimulating morning coffee with the same ease and outstanding quality. This flexibility is a major benefit, since it’s likely that not everyone in your home prefers the same coffee drink.
The Magnifica uses a double boiler system designed to provide consistent hot water temperatures brew after brew, while also providing quick reheating time to speed the brewing process along. The machine uses an integrated burr system to grind up to 7 ounces of beans at a time, but includes a noise dampener so your neighbors won’t think you are using a jackhammer on your driveway.
Although technically an “automatic” machine, the brewing process with the Magnifica can be controlled from beginning to end. You can select the temperature of the water, time of the brew and other aspects of the process to produce the perfect flavor you are after. Save the settings, and you can produce the same quality shot of espresso time after time. The Magnifica is a terrific choice for making everything from a simple cup of coffee, to a shot of espresso, to any number of espresso-based drinks.
The specifications for the DeLonghi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso Machine:
- Integrated low noise burr grinder
- Patented cappuccino system
- Programmable menu settings
- Direct-to-Brew bean grinding system
- Double boiler for quick brews
- 60-ounce water tank
- Holds up to 7 ounces of beans
- Descaling program
- 17 by 13 by 18 inches
- 2-year warranty
The DeLonghi Machine is one of the best super automatics out there for the price. These machines are the best in class for price and performance, produce a great espresso, and are maintainable in ways that other manufacturer’s models are not.
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If you admire the espresso machines used by your local barista, why not buy one yourself? The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is designed to give you the same control and performance of the commercial makers in your local café.
The Breville BES870XL design relies on the single most important requirement for extracting a tremendous shot of espresso: fresh ground beans. The reason café espresso tastes so much better is that freshly ground beans produce a much richer, flavorful shot of espresso than pre-ground ones. To accomplish this in a home unit, the Breville BES870XL utilizes an integrated burr grinding system which turns beans into an espresso powder in less than a minute. Tamp the beans to your desired compactness, and you are ready to brew a café-quality shot on par with your local cafe without paying $5 a pop.
Key specs for the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine:
- Available in black, silver or red casing
- 15 bar pump pressure
- Stainless steel conical burr grinder
- Half pound sealed bean hopper
- 67-ounce water tank
- 54mm tamper
- Pressure gauge
- Thermocoil Heating
- 360-degree swivel range for steaming wand
- “Clean Me” light to indicate need for cleaning
- 2 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches
- 23 pounds
The Breville Espresso Machine also provides users with control over everything from the temperature of the water used in the extraction process, to the amount of grounds filtered. This additional functionality gives you the ability to dial in your espresso recipes to perfection, and is the primary reason the Breville BES870XL ranks highly on our list of best espresso machines under $1000.
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La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine
And now, for something completely different. If you are looking for real control in your espresso brewing, the La Pavoni Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine is well worth checking out. Here’s a key fact about brewing: the pressure at which hot water is passed through espresso beans determines the intensity of the espresso shot. With the Europiccola, you control that pressure through a manual lever. Lightly pull on the lever and you get a less intense espresso. If you pull on it like you are trying to win an arm wrestling contest, brace yourself – because you’re about to win the espresso strength trophy.
From a practical perspective, this beautiful machine will produce just one or two shots of espresso per brew. That’s not a problem, though, because it uses a double brass boiler system which ensures no long waits between brews. An articulating steam wand is included to allow for the creation of a variety of steam drinks ranging from lattes to cappuccinos.
The attractiveness of this machine doesn’t mean that it is dainty. The Europiccola is made with stainless steel and no plastic parts. Coming from Italy, this machine will both last for years and years while incorporating the brew secrets of the country which we can thank for giving us espresso in the first place. You’ll be proud to leave this machine out on the kitchen counter because of its beautiful design, which only adds to the overall value of the La Pavoni.
Major specifications for the La Pavoni Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine:
- Made in Italy
- Manual pressure arm for brew control
- All steel construction for durability
- Chrome plated
- Brass boilers
- Instructional video
- 20-ounce water capacity
- 11 x 7 x 12 inches
- 1-year warranty
Simply put, this machine rocks for high-quality espresso. It looks great. It is so well made, it feels like it will last forever as it is so simple, no electronics to break down no plastic bits to break off. You get a huge amount of control over the way the coffee tastes, it’s all in the speed of lowering the handle and the tightness of grinds. It takes a few attempts to get it right but once you’ve worked it out you’ll never look back.
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Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine
Rancilio may not be a well-known name to most consumers, and there is a good reason why. Rancilio primarily makes commercial espresso makers – the machines used in your local café. However, the company has started making home espresso machines which stand out because they incorporate the same commercial grade-parts and extraction technology used in their professional units. The “Silvia” is perhaps the best version of this new home line.
The Rancilio Silvia is a classic espresso machine which requires you to grind and tamp your own beans. Once you place the ground espresso powder in the head of the machine, though, brewing is simply a matter of pressing a button. The Silvia will use pressurized hot water to create a shot with terrific crema; the flavor really boils down to the quality of bean you use. If the process sounds simple, it is. But the use of high-quality commercial parts makes for a compelling espresso.
The devil is often in the details when it comes to evaluating high-quality espresso machines. One small detail that makes the Silvia a wonderful machine is the articulating steam wand. Unlike those included with most competitors, the Ranciilio’s wand can be moved about not only on the side of the panel, but also around to the front of the machine to perform quick steam clearances for cleaning. The wand is also positioned high enough that it’s easy to steam milk in larger containers.
Key facts about the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine:
- Iron frame
- Stainless steel side panels
- Ergonomic 58mm portafilter
- Single chrome plated brass boiler
- Articulating steam wand with full range of motion
- Pod adapter kit
- 8 pounds
- 2 x 11.4 x 13.3 inches
We also appreciate its heaviness, good looks, quiet operation and metal steam wand. A ‘Real’ espresso maker for the home! This machine is the perfect blend of quality, durability, and ease of repair for a home machine under $500. It makes espresso that rivals any you can buy at a coffee house.
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Dream Up Version 2 Espresso Machine (Love Is In The Air)
The Dream Up Version 2 Espresso Machine is designed for the espresso drinker with a cozy kitchen and a sense of style. This modern unit is designed without many bells and whistles, creating a small footprint which will fit into tight spaces. Unlike traditional espresso machines which are a consistent silver and black design, though, the Dream Up comes enclosed in a boldly-colored casing. You can select from 18 different colors, which means this machine will match the color scheme of just about any kitchen.
That’s all great, but does the Dream Up make a great espresso? The answer is definitely yes. This machine has a 16 bar pressure brewing system which is controlled by toggle switches. It is also versatile; it can work using either ground beans or pre-packed pods. If you prefer ground beans, be aware that you will have to grind the beans separately.
With an articulated steaming arm, you can make sophisticated espresso drinks ranging from mochas to double lattes. Switching from extraction to steaming involves a wait of roughly 25 seconds as the water temperature heats up sufficiently to steam your milk. Once ready, the steaming is controlled through a manual knob on the right side of the machine, as is the case with most units.
The specifications for the Dream Up Version 2 Espresso Machine:
- Pod adaptable
- Comes in multiple colors
- Aluminum thermoblock construction for fast heating
- Stainless steel components
- Triple valve release to avoid over pressurization
- 16 bar pump pressure
- Fixed filter holder
- 6 x 11 x 13.6 inches
- 16 pounds
The Dream Up doesn’t automatically indicate when cleaning is required. For this reason, we recommend descaling be performed every three months to prevent buildups which will impact performance.
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