The 10 Best espresso machines
Whether you start the day with a skinny latte or like to end meals with a strong single shot, these are the tools for the job.
Wake up and smell the coffee with vintage-look Icona. It's simple, with just three buttons, and uses ground beans to produce an espresso with exceptional oomph. Unlike most machines of its size, it has a large water reservoir, so you aren't forever filling it up.
Gaggia has been making machines since its founder Achille Gaggia created the first pressure-driven one for his Milanese coffee house back in 1938 – so it has had time to perfect its formula, and it shows. The Grangaggia not only looks sleek as space rocket, it's also flexible, running on pods and grounds.
Simplicity, speed and consistency are the watchwords. The two-button M100 runs on Nespresso pods and pumps out your drink in a spritely 25 seconds. If you want hassle-free coffee at the touch of a button, it's hard to better.
The Favola plus is a clever-old machine. It allows you to programme it to give you exactly the amount of coffee you require to kick-start your day. Just tap the button and your espresso (or espresso lungo) is ready in under a minute. Comes with a milk frother for macchiatos too.
The crema on the espresso this three-button DeLonghi produces is coffee-shop quality and it only takes 30 seconds about it. Taste-wise it excels, too, leaving none of the bitterness often found in espresso produced by machines in this price range. Runs on pods or grounds.
Inexpensive it might be, but the Meno's crema-crowned espressos don't lack punch. It's pretty, too, with a pleasing curved front and shiny finish. Remarkably easy to clean at that – just run hot water through the innards.
You can tell a Francis Francis at 50 paces, the retro styling always giving it away. This one runs exclusively on pods and produces 30ml of decent coffee in less than 30 seconds
For those who feel espresso is a serious business, the Milanese-made Rocket is a dream. It has a rotary pump, meaning it's exceptionally quiet, and an insulated boiler, so it's always ready to go. As much a work of art as a coffee machine.
£ 1,498, amazon
Want the convenience of a capsule machine but the taste of machine running on grounds? Check out the Ena Micro. Just pop your beans in the back and it does the rest, producing some top-notch espresso in 25 seconds flat. And it's slim enough for the smallest kitchens.
No need to tamp down your coffee grounds with this machine – it does it for you. It produces one or two cups of great-tasting espresso and even has a cup warmer to make sure you get your cup o' Joe at the perfect temperature.
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