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When it comes to choosing the best espresso machine 2016, two brands stand out above all others. De’Longhi and Nespresso are well known among coffee lovers all over the world. It comes as no surprise that their offerings are top of most coffee drinker’s list. I have been a big fan of coffee for many a year, and morning routine starts off with a steaming hot espresso. Without my espresso first thing in the morning, the day just doesn’t start off right.

I have been a Nespresso fan for longer than I care to remember, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. But I had to broaden my coffee horizons and decided to give the De’longhi range of espresso makers a shot.

I own both the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, as well as the Nespresso Inissia. The Inissia was an anniversary gift last year.

After hearing good things about the De’Longhi EC 155 BAR Pump Espresso maker, I just had to try it out. For less than a $100, this versatile machine works well. While the De’Longhi is a good deal larger than the Inissia, it does have the ability to make a mean cappuccino.

I also found that the EC 155 is incredibly easy to clean, and I really enjoyed the self-priming operation. No one likes to stand around waiting for an espresso maker to reach the correct temperature.

In the end, I was really impressed by the Delonghi EC 155. Is it the best espresso machine 2016? It came really close to ousting my Inissia. In the end, my personal recommendation remains the Inissia. It is more compact, and the fashionable and colourful design suits my personality best.

If you need a coffee espresso machine that makes espresso fast and without much effort on your part, I highly recommend the Nespresso C100. The automatic and single-shot espresso machine has convenience, taste and speed all in one package. There is nothing like making your favorite espresso drink with the press of a button.

coffee espresso machine

Nespresso C100

Best for Small Kitchens and Offices

The automatic espresso machine is brewing unit and a separate milk frothing unit you can keep in the drawer when not used. That means the compact unit will take very little space on your kitchen counter top or office pantry.

The Nespresso C100 uses their proprietary espresso pods, which are easily available online and in stores. Each pod contains carefully measured ground espresso that makes one serving. There are many espresso flavors to choose from, and they make pretty good espressos considering that they are not freshly ground beans (for me, freshly ground means that I grind it right before putting it into the machine).

Easy to Use and Clean

Making the espresso is as simple as switching on the unit, filling up the removable water tank (one fill can make several cups), placing the cup beneath the nozzle, inserting the pod and pressing the button. You can choose to have the lungo (110 ml) or espresso (40 ml) simply by choosing from the two backlit buttons. Even a kid can figure it out!

Not only is it very fast and easy to use, there won’t be any mess made. The used pod is then discarded automatically into the container below, which you can take out and empty when it is full. How about cleaning inside the machine? Just run a shot without the espresso pod, until you see clear water coming out of the nozzle. It’s so easy you can do this every time you make an espresso!

Meanwhile, the milk frothing unit is a single touch machine for you to froth or just heat up the milk. There is a line on the inside to show the maximum amount of milk to fill for frothing, and similarly for steaming. This is a much easier way to create smooth froth than using a steam nozzle like the semi automatic machines.

Convenience is the Word

For anyone who is looking for convenience and nothing else, this is the perfect espresso machine you want to buy. Great for offices too, since nobody will want to descale and maintain a semi automatic espresso machine at work. It is even compact enough to bring with you while traveling.

The Nespresso C100 is an affordable espresso machine and if you are lucky you’ll get free shipping to your door when you buy it at Amazon: Nespresso C100 at Amazon

Get more recommendations at my Coffee Espresso Machine main page.

Did you know that the popular espresso machine Rancilio Silvia is claimed to be the almost legendary espresso machine in the espresso-making industry? It simply has its own standard unlike any other, and the bulky espresso machine makes really mind-blowing espresso coffee with its brass boiler.

coffee espresso machine

Rancilio Silvia

It is THE Espresso Machine

The Rancilio Silvia is THE semi automatic espresso machine on the market. The main reason for its raving reviews is because Rancilio made this home espresso machine the way they make their commercial ones. Quality parts are used, and the brass boiler is the best type you could get on the home espresso machine market.

This is a machine built like a tank, no kidding. With its sturdy and solid build, it’s guaranteed that your unit will last longer, and this means better return for your investment. The Rancilio Silvia has a polished and brushed stainless steel exterior looking rather slick, making a perfect addition to your modern kitchen or SoHo.

Needs Some Skills

If you are a beginner in espresso making, this espresso machine could be a bit difficult for you. However if you are serious about espresso drinking like me, your barista skills will improve fast with the Silvia. Meanwhile, I recommend that you get a quality tamper because tamping your grounds correctly could make a difference when it comes to flavor. If you are getting professional, an additional PID could be in your shopping list too.

Once you get the hang of making an espresso with the Silvia, you will enjoy strong, flavorful and tasty espresso with thick floating crema (of course, provided you used quality beans and a good grinder as well) every morning. The thought of it alone makes me want to get up and make a cup right now.

Slow but Steady

I love my Rancilio Silvia and will not trade it for any other machine, but on the other hand, if you are looking for a quick fix in the morning, this might not be the machine for you. The Silvia heats up slowly, well, slower compared to others, so if you are on the run and cannot wait for the early morning caffeine jolt, you could possibly do better with an automatic or super automatic espresso machine.

I am inclined to think that quality coffee takes time to brew, so I reserve my enjoyment of the espresso making with Silvia for times when I am not rushing for work.

If you are buying the Rancilio Silvia, definitely invest in a good burr grinder. No point having the sleekest sports car in town if you don’t have the license to drive, so to speak. All that said, if you are thinking great quality machine that makes lovely espresso, do get the Rancilio Silvia.

The best price with free shipping is often found here: Rancilio Silvia

If you want an automatic or super automatic, go back to my Coffee Espresso Machine main page for recommendations.

You don’t have to be a born and bred Italian to enjoy and appreciate an Italian inspired, classic espresso machine with the amazing capability of brewing one of the world’s best coffee beans. Gaggia 14101 is the perfect ‘accomplice’ to the world famous Vittoria Coffee, a household product that has been around for decades. For value, this semi automatic espresso maker can’t be beat.

coffee espresso machine

Gaggia 14101

The futuristic looking espresso machine brews the aromatic coffee bean into a strong flavored beverage that could probably put major commercial coffee chains to shame. The quality build with a brushed stainless steel exterior promises durability and will look good on your counter top for a long time before it shows wear.

Good Build, Works Fast, Gives You Strong Espresso

This moderately sized and professional looking espresso machine can make 2 cups of coffee at a go. While the machine’s high power 17.5-bar pump produces a smooth cream for your coffee, you can save a lot of your precious time with the high-voltage boiler when you’re waiting for the water to get hot.

The coffee machine is relatively easy to use, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or in this case a professional barista) to figure out the complexity of such state-of-the-art machine as you could learn all there is to know about how to operate the machine in no time. So no need to worry at all about being a coffee machine novice for it’s quite easy to work the machine out.

Extra Feature

This coffee espresso machine has another surprise: there’s a hot water dispenser feature. Not only will Gaggia 14101 serve as a reliable coffee espresso machine, it can also produce nice cups of tea for those who prefer tea over coffee, and also for anyone else who prefers to just drink instant coffee instead with this feature.

This machine is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a coffee machine that has 3-in-1 simplicity. On the other hand, coffee addicts and business owners alike can rejoice as the stainless steel Gaggia 14101 is also well designed to cater both commercial and personal needs at a competitive and reasonable price.

Something that was complained about is the steam wand, which does not swivel in all directions and makes maneuvering a full cup of milk slightly difficult. However the same complainant admitted that the frothing quality is good.

Also, a tip for those who use tap water instead of distilled, this machine has an aluminum boiler that can corrode if not descaled often. So it’s either going for distilled water, descale the machine often, or be prepared to upgrade/replace the boiler in a year.

Other than the minor disadvantages, this is a machine with good value for money. I recommend it as an entry level machine for those who are serious about espresso drinking, because this is an affordable espresso machine in the mid range that produces good espresso. You will love this before you upgrade to something at the higher end.

Get this machine here: Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

Back to my Coffee Espresso Machine main page for more.

You may think you have great espresso by the collar when you bought the best espresso machine there is, but that is not entirely true unless you also possess the knowledge and skills for pulling the perfect shot.

It is not difficult to get a good grip on skill by a few practices, while knowledge could be easily obtained by reading some of the tips I have here.

1. Beans and Grind
Always use fresh beans and grind them just before making the shot. That way the beans will not lose flavor before it goes into your coffee. Get a good burr grinder, even though it may be expensive. A good grinder will give you much better espressos than a cheap and low quality grinder.

The size of the grind should be just right for your espresso machine. For each espresso machine, the correct size of the grind may be different, so you might want to test out a couple of sizes until you find the best one for your machine.

2. Tamp
A firm tamp is needed to get the flavor out of the beans and make strong espresso, because too loose a tamp will allow the water to pass through the grind too quickly and result in a weak taste.

On the other hand, if you tamp too hard the water might take too long to pass through and result in a burnt and bitter taste. Find the right amount of pressure to put on the tamp with a few practices.

3. Heat
Allow the espresso maker to heat up properly before making your first shot each time. A tip for making sure everything is hot enough to make a good espresso, is to run an empty shot through the machine before putting the grounds. This will warm the cup for the espresso as well.

4. Timing
Usually you stop the machine when the shot glass is full, but what if you use a different size cup? If you stop it too early, the espresso will be strong but lack the lovely crema that comes at the end; but if you stop it too late, it will be weak and comes with a bitter taste.

One shot of espresso is about 1.25 oz, and twice that for double shot. Get that right and you have a great espresso.

Well, those are a few tips for making a great espresso, and do remember to clean the machine thoroughly because a dirty espresso machine can never make a tasty espresso. Happy espresso making!