Espresso. The base for many of your coffee shop favorites while being easy to love because of all the recipes you can make with a single shot.
With the right machine and the proper knowledge, you can save a lot of money if you invest in brewing your own. In fact, some home espresso machines are good enough to use in tiny cafes!
Here we take an in-depth look at some of our favorite choices that are good enough to satisfy your urge for espresso right at home and unleash the latte art genius in all of us. But, If you’re in a hurry, here’s our top pick:
Alternatives At A Glance
The 8 Best Espresso Machines With Grinder 2023
Now that you have a better idea of what you can be working with, we picked out some options for you to consider.
Sometimes it can come down to price, after-sales service, or espresso recipes. Choose a machine that will make your life easier, but your espressos tastier.
Want another quick tip? Ideally, the top home options should have a built-in burr grinder with the machine to save space and maximize freshness.
Let’s get right to our 8 picks for possibly the best espresso machines with grinder for your preferences.
Breville is one of my favorite home-coffee-brands. I’ve worked with this coffee maker a lot in home and (small) commercial settings. I’d easily recommend it as my top pick to home-brewers.
- Built-in grinder with adjustable grind size and dose
- Digital temperature control so you can brew exactly how you want to, depending on your coffee beans
- 4 interchangeable baskets for single and double shot preferences (2 explicitly made for maximizing pre-ground coffee beans)
- Decently sized water tank
- Burr grinder has a hard time grinding more dense, lighter roasted beans
- Steam wand requires a near-perfect form to create nicely textured milk
It’s one of the top espresso machines on this list (and other home-brew lists) because of the built-in grinder, precise steam wand, and digital temperature control. The drip tray and water tank are proportionally sized as well, making it easy to use.
Most negative comments on this machine for coffee are durability and maintenance concerned. However, I can attest to the sturdiness of this espresso maker if adequately maintained. I’ve outlined exactly how to do this in the Frequently Asked Questions portion at the end of this post.
This automatic coffee machine fits on any surface. It’s an incredible creation by De’Longhi, one of the more well-known brands in home brewing.
- Easy to clean compared to other machines
- Auto shut off feature
- Built in grinder
- Automatic cappuccino frothing for more consistency
- Some durability concerns on the new machines compared to the old ones
- Concerns about grinding of beans or brewing directly from grinding
While you won’t be able to make coffee with complete control, this brewer makes a perfectly good cup on its own. The water tank is solid, and the automated milk frother takes one less thing off of your mind when brewing.
Solely as an espresso machine, it’s built to ensure that you can make decent coffee effortlessly. Still, to make great coffee, remember you’ll have to upgrade your beans, use mineral water, and find the right type of milk for your recipes!
All in all, it’s a solid pick if you’re in the market for an automatic coffee machine with a built-in grinder.
De’Longhi’s second entry on this list is more similar to Breville’s Barista Express espresso machine. It’s semi-automatic and gives you a higher probability of creating cafe-style milk and coffee if you know how to use it.
- Automated tamping for consistent pressure
- Built-in burr grinder to save space on your counter
- Large water tank
- Automated steam wand can froth different milk types for you: cappuccino or latte-style
- Brew temperature isn’t always consistent
- Water leaks are common
My favorite feature of this machine is the quick start-up which eliminates the waiting time.
Made with stainless steel its easy to wipe down and keep looking spotless. All in all, a great pick if you use good beans and like the unique aesthetics of this brewer.
De’Longhi’s THIRD entry on this list is game-changing in theory. Ever imagined an automatic coffee maker with 18 drink options? Well, you don’t need to daydream any more. This brewer is like having a precise, consistent barista on stand-by at home!
- Milk steamer tends to malfunction for some users
A good friend of mine has this machine, and he absolutely loves the coffee that it churns out. He’s not a specialty coffee drinker, so he doesn’t look for the finer notes of a light roast black coffee.
He’s thrilled with this pick for his specifications and preferences, and as might you if you enjoy the milker side of brewing.
As for the concerns about the milk frothing mechanism’s durability, I believe that you have to be willing to clean and maintain it properly frequently to get the best results.
The 3200 has an excellent design and the right features for most espresso drinkers, but this is expected given it’s a flagship model.
- Built-in adjustable ceramic burr grinder
- Aquaclean feature allows you 5,000 cups of coffee before the need for descaling
- 5 programmed espresso-based recipe options
- Some parts are dishwasher safe
- Not great if you enjoy strong espresso
- Difficult to find compatible cups that fit under the group head
With that said, the 5 main espresso-based drinks are available for home brewing. Be sure to use chilled, full-fat milk so that you maximize the creaminess for your cup.
Most complaints about thin milk are likely because of overheating. The immediate fix for this is to use chilled milk to balance out the brewers’ amped-up heating element.
The point above alone is an excellent example of why it’s good to read all types of feedback, so you have an idea of how to adjust!
Commercially sold espresso machines are made by professionals and tested on their target markets. Some comments will be from home-brewers who are using old workflows from different machines or brew methods!
What I like most about this espresso machine is the fact that it’s so compact. While you sacrifice some overall quality elements by making things as small as possible, it seems to deliver well enough on the base requirements.
- Built-in burr grinder
- 4 espresso based drinks pre-programmed
- 3 strength and temperature options for your espresso brewing needs
- Only some parts are dishwasher safe
- Water tank could be bigger
Espresso lovers will enjoy the adjustable temperature and brew strength options and adjustable grind sizes. You have the variables to add variety in your espresso, but offload all barista skills to the coffee maker.
I love how easy a stainless steel espresso machine is to maintain. Just a good wipe with a damp cloth, followed by polishing with a dry cloth, and they’ll stay looking good as new!
- Automated milk frothing for cappuccino and latte drinkers
- Easy cleaning because all applicable parts are accessible from the front of these espresso machines
- Beautiful LED display
- Premium stainless steel body that fits in with anything
- Struggles with brewing dense beans (lighter roasts)
- Water tank is a bit small
Maintaining the internal parts is a different beast. It’s best to use a medium to dark roasts for fully automatic machines because they’re less dense and easier to grind. When it comes to adding milk and water, it’s always better to have them chilled or at room temperature at the very least.
For the great design, easy cleaning and limited space it takes up on your counter, this could be a good pick if your preferred coffee beans fit the machine’s capabilities.
As an espresso lover, I love that this has an option for a lungo. A lungo is an espresso that is pulled “longer” than your usual espresso. It has more water in it, making it easier to perceive your espresso’s flavors. In size, it’s in-between an espresso and an Americano. It’s my favorite espresso beverage!
- Manual frothing for an aspirational home-barista
- 3 different temperature settings
- Programmable espresso machine options: espresso and lungo
- Sleek espresso machine design
- New espresso lovers may find the process a bit complicated (lungo option might be confusing for some)
- As with Gaggia’s first espresso machine entry, there have been some malfunctions with poorly fitting beans (too dense or too oily)
Like other espresso machine brands, Gaggia Espresso machines seem to struggle with beans that are too dense or too oily. This is rooted in grinding. The easy workaround for this is to buy an external grinder or purchase only premium coffee beans. I’d recommend giving both a try!
The Buyers Guide To Espresso & Grinders
Remember, Investing in the best espresso maker for you will require an extensive examination of your coffee workflow.
Ground beans have to be processed well, roasted nicely, and ground evenly. Any breaks in this coffee chain and you are basically setting up your brew for watery or bitter failure.
If you need a bit more information to help you pick out the best espresso machine for you, below, we discuss a few more points for you to consider.
Benefits of built-in grinders
The best espresso machine-with-built-in-grinder options exist for espresso lovers like us to maximize aroma.
Taste is 80% smell, so you want to preserve as much of it as possible by grinding on-demand. Ground beans exponentially lose flavor from aroma after 90 seconds of leaving your grinder. This makes a strong case for buying whole coffee beans.
If you’re as deep into coffee as buying an espresso machine and enjoying a complex espresso, you might as well invest in looking for high-quality coffee beans. Beans are more important than coffee machines and grinders. However, once you find good beans and are headed towards the direction of espresso, preserving the aromatics should be your next priority.
Introducing grinding on-the-spot is a non-negotiable for coffee enthusiasts. It sets cafe-level coffee apart from even the best home set-ups.
This is why you can invest in the best espresso machine and the best burr grinder for your set up (which is costly). Or you can find a good machine that already has both to save on resources and space!
Semi Automatic VS Super Automatic Espresso
One of the most significant considerations at the start of any espresso machine investment is deciding if you want a semi-auto or a super-automatic setup.
After all, you’re spending more than you would for a V60, so purchasing the wrong machine will make dents in your kitchen counter and wallet.
To illustrate, if you purchase a fully auto machine but want to develop some barista skills you see in cafes, you can get bored and frustrated with the type of espresso you pull.
If the nature of your interest in espresso is such, there’s a good chance you like the fine details. There’s also a good chance that you enjoy the process that you witness in coffee shops!
On the flip side, if you get a semi auto-machine, but only want to drink espresso whenever you want it, it can feel too busy and tedious. Espresso, as a brew method, is one of the most attention-needing ways of making coffee. You have to think about the water tank, the drip tray, the group heads, the sound of the grinder, etc.
Let’s take a closer look at each espresso machine type to guide your inquiry better.
Super Automatic Espresso Machine
These are espresso and coffee machines that only need the push of a button to make coffee. Sure, you load the water tank and the grinder hopper, but you don’t need any coffee skills to help the machine make your brew.
This type of coffee machine requires the least effort to make such a complicated beverage. Espresso may be fast to make but carries such complexity. Perhaps this is why the espresso machine is premium priced.
Fully automated espresso machines still have to fit a set of particular personal preferences like your preferred milk drinks or the number of shots you take. Be sure to examine the water tank, the steaming wand, and the drip tray. Also, check that your usual cups fit to catch the espressos right from the group head. You can see these dimensions online!
Semi Automatic Espresso Machine
A semi-auto espresso maker is my personal favorite machine to use.
You may earn additional barista skills to level up quickly with regularly brewing via this method. It’s also known as the “traditional” type of espresso machine.
The best espresso machines for me are semi automatics because you automate parts of the process that make your workflow more efficient. Everything else? You develop skills to have a hand in making the best espressos possible for you.
Grinders are usually separate, but there are espresso maker models with built-in ones such as the Barista Express. As you grind, you catch your ground beans in a stainless steel portafilter.
Almost all grinders created for espressos are of the burr grinder category. These are also known as spice grinders because these produce more even grounds than blade grinders.
You manually compress the espresso grounds and lock them in place. From here, the machine controls extraction (although sometimes, an espresso maker will let you control the pressure throughout your extraction). After extraction, you manually steam your milk using a stainless steel wand. More technique and skill come in with milk steaming and latte art.
As you can see, there’s a lot more work involved with a semi-auto espresso maker over a fully automated coffee machine. The skills and techniques you need to learn to do the above tasks involve more than pushing a button or two.
So many parts like the boiler, the insulation, the group head, steam wand, etc need to be of the highest quality, explaining the hiked up prices for the best espresso machines.
I love the coffee industry because there are machine types for everyone that are more affordable as long as you know what you’re looking for. This is why I believe that the 8 picks above will satisfy a lot of espresso and espresso machine lovers out there! Most of them come equipped with a decent burr grinder and are temperature-regulated machine types.
The Barista Express espresso machine is my easy top pick for the top espresso machine with a grinder on this list.
It’s pre-equipped with a decent burr grinder, has a decently sized water tank, and is made with premium materials. It’s also stainless steel in the right parts for easier cleaning. I’ve been able to use this machine lots of times and so far haven’t had any hugely negative experiences.
In terms of competition, it’s more affordable than the best coffee machines that do the same thing at the same rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to clean your espresso machine?
It’s normal to primarily look at features when selecting an espresso machine. We base our buying decisions on what the espresso maker can do.
However, regular maintenance and cleaning will prolong your machine lifespan. So it’s important to select a piece of equipment that is easy to clean. This may very well earn you extra returns on your next coffee investment.
After each espresso shot, it’s ideal to purge loose grounds from the group head. This lessens the amount of ground coffee that hardens when it’s time to deep clean.
Run hot water through the portafilter after every shot for easier deep cleaning eventually as well. Doing this after each shot will ensure that you only brew fresh from the bean every time. Leftover coffee will automatically over extract. So this step has an immediate impact on cup flavor.
Purge milk out of your milk frother after each use. Then force out extra steam to make a microfiber towel wet and warm. This makes wiping down a lot easier! At the end of the day, unscrew and submerge your frother in boiling water for 5-10mins. Be sure to reassemble correctly and purge out any remaining machine detergent.
Disassemble your portafilter and use a clean brush to clean out any leftover coffee grounds. This ensures that you get 100% freshly ground coffee with every espresso shot you pull.
Make sure your drip tray is wiped down regularly.
Every 100 cups:
Unscrew the grouphead screen, and brush around for loose grounds. Clean the screen thoroughly as well.
Use the blind basket (the one without holes) in your portafilter. Add 1/5 of a teaspoon of espresso machine detergent or as the instructions say. Lock in the portafilter and do a manual pull. Leave in for 10 counts, and repeat until the grouphead is clear of coffee debris.
The difference between semi automatic VS super automatic espresso?
There are 2 main differences between semi auto and fully auto coffee makers: espresso consistency and workflow.
With semi auto options, you manipulate certain variables like tamp pressure, extraction time, and ratio. This results in the possibility of tasting different types of espressos (whether accidentally or on purpose). You can imagine how hands-on your workflow will have to be too.
For super auto coffee machines, you only choose the beans (or the pods), and you brew as far as the machine will take you. It’s fast, and it’s engineered to be a certain way. If you enjoy espressos from fully automatic machines, then it’s a good pick for you.
The best espresso machine with grinder setups are consistent, fast, and durable. The best espresso machines suit your specific needs perfectly, which will likely be different to many other people.