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The Best Espresso Machines in Canada in 2020 – Reviews and Buying Guide

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Last updated on 20 Oct 2020

If you’re the type of person that has to grit their teeth and count to 342 to keep your cool when you hear someone say “espresso,” you deserve to get yourself a new Espresso machine. Espresso machines are capable of making espressos (duh), cappuccinos, and lattes. Some higher-end models can even accurately mimic that barista-style fancy coffee you get at Starbucks or another café, which will help that budgeting problem you probably have if you’re obsessed with fancy coffee. 

If you’ve been struggling to come up with new justifications for your $8 coffee every morning, it might be time to try something new. An espresso machine will give you that rich, quality taste right in your own kitchen, and even the most novice users will soon feel like a 5-star barista once they get going with their new espresso machine.

Espresso machines are an investment even if you choose a lower-end model, so you have to make sure you do your homework to choose the right model for your budget and preferences. To help you along with your espresso purchasing journey, we’ve considered 794 customer reviews and analyzed 44 products over 58 hours to bring you the strongest contenders for 2020’s best espresso machine. 

Following our last update, we’ve picked out the Breville café roma ESP8XL espresso machine for its quality coffee, ease of use, and reasonable price tag.

Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL - BREESP8XL, Brushed Stainless

In a rush? Buy it Now on Amazon!

 

Espresso Machine Comparative Table

Product Summary Rating Price
TOP PICK
Breville Café Roma ESP8XL

Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL - BREESP8XL, Brushed Stainless

  • The Best Overall. 
  • Stainless steel
  • 13 lbs
  • 15-bar Thermoblock pump
  • Removable drip tray
  • Grid and frothing jug included
  • 9.3” x 9” x 11.8”
  • Dual-wall filter 
  • Froth enhancer
  • Cup-warming plate
  • 1000 Watts
  • Single and double pod filters
  • Extra-large cup height
  • Selector control for steam or espresso
  • 1.2 L tank capacity 
  • 1-year warranty
9.5/10

Read our Review

See price on Amazon
UPGRADE PICK
Breville Barista Express BES870XL

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine - BREBES870XL

  • The ‘Treat Yourself’ Choice. 
  • Stainless steel 
  • 15-bar Italian pump
  • 1600W Thermo coil heating system
  • Purge function automatically adjusts water temperature 
  • Conical burr grinder with ½ lb sealed bean hopper
  • 2 L tank capacity (removable)
  • 23 lbs
  • Grind size selector 
  • Filter size selector for 1 or 2 cups
  • Extra-tall cup clearance
  • 360-degree swivel-action steam wand
  • Comes with milk jug, cleaning disc, cleaning tablets, cleaning brush, coffee scoop, precision dose trimming tool, and more
  • 12.5” x 12.6” x 13.1” 
  • 1-year warranty
9.7/10

Read our Review

See price on Amazon
BUDGET PICK
De’Longhi EC155

De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

  • The Responsible Choice.
  • Black
  • 15-bar pump
  • 1100 Watts
  • 1 L tank capacity 
  • 6.7 lbs
  • 12.2” x 19.3” x 15” 
  • Manual cappuccino system 
  • Removable drip tray
  • Twin brewing cycle
  • Steam wand included 
  • Removable water tank
  • 3-in-1 filter holder for 1 cup, 2 cups, or ESE pods
  • 1-year warranty
9.1/10

Read our Review

See price on Amazon

Our Pick for The Best Espresso Machine

Breville Café Roma ESP8XL Review

Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL - BREESP8XL, Brushed Stainless

The Best Overall
Breville

The Breville Café Roma ESP8XL espresso machine sits right in the middle price-wise and offers a great selection of usability features while delivering excellent functionality. Is the best choice for the perfect balance of value and quality.

See price
on Amazon

Breville Café Roma ESP8XL Video Review

What We Think of the Breville Café Roma ESP8XL

The Breville café roma espresso machine possesses a great matchup of quality and value, which is highlighted by its 15-bar Thermoblock pump and dual-wall filter system. The heating system in this machine extracts espresso at the exact perfect temperature for maximum flavour. The 15-bar pump maximizes crema for that barista-quality aroma and rich taste. 

This unit comes with a milk frothing jug and a frother that perfects both thick milk texturing as well as velvety smooth frothing. You’ll also get to use a stainless-steel measuring spoon, coffee tamper, and both single and double shot filters to customize your espresso-making experience. You can also use k-cups with this machine to lighten your workload in the morning by not having to measure out your coffee grounds.

It took me ages to convince my husband that we needed an espresso machine for the house, but now that we got one, he uses it every single day. It is very easy to keep tidy with the drip tray and the accessories make me feel like I’m drinking true café espressos. It only takes about 2 minutes to warm up which is very convenient when we’re running late.

Mandy E.

A simple dial control allows you to instantaneously switch between espresso for extracting your coffee and steam for texturing milk. This espresso machine only does one cup at a time and comes with a warming plate to keep one cup hot while you make the second one if necessary. It also can’t froth the milk and make the coffee at the same time, so it’ll take a bit of extra time to get both. All things considered, for the price point, it doesn’t get much better than this.

 

Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL - BREESP8XL, Brushed Stainless

Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL - BREESP8XL, Brushed Stainless

Breville Café Roma Espresso Machine ESP8XL - BREESP8XL, Brushed Stainless

 

Breville Café Roma ESP8XL Specifications

  • Dimensions:  9.3” x 9” x 11.8”
  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Colour: Silver 
  • Tank Capacity: 1.2 L
  • Pump: 15-bar Thermablock
  • Wattage: 1000
  • Warranty: 1 year

 

Breville Café Roma ESP8XL Pros and Cons

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Pros

  • 3 filter sizes for 1 cup, 2 cups, and K-cups
  • Dual-wall filter
  • Affordable
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Cons
  • Only one pump so can’t make frothed milk simultaneously with coffee

 

Our Final Opinion About the Breville Café Roma ESP8XL

Quality:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Effectiveness:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Design:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

This Breville Café Roma espresso machine performs admirably for its price range and it will please both new users and practiced baristas. This machine offers the perfect quality and value for a guilt-free purchase guaranteed.

See price
on Amazon

Our Upgrade Pick for an Espresso Machine

Breville Barista Express BES870XL Review

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine - BREBES870XL

The ‘Treat Yourself’ Choice
Breville

The Breville Barista Express BES870XL espresso machine is a luxury Breville model with advanced operational features and professional-grade functions. If this machine doesn’t deliver the perfect espresso, nothing can.

See price
on Amazon

Breville Barista Express BES870XL Video Review

What We Think of the Breville Barista Express BES870XL

The Breville barista express truly does a remarkable job at replicating a professional espresso, cappuccino, and latte. The 15 bar Italian pump and thermo coil heating system deliver a commercial quality coffee easily at home. Plus, this machine has a super effective stainless-steel conical burr grinder with a ½ lb sealed bean hopper to perfectly grind your coffee beans at home for an amazingly fresh taste that you just can’t get from a machine that won’t grind for you. 

This unit has a 2 L water tank so you can make over a dozen cups in a day if you wanted to (we’ve been that tired too, no judgement) or just enjoy not having to worry about filling it up so often. The grinder on this unit is fully adjustable so you can adjust your dose and size at your leisure. The thermo coil system speeds up heating times so you can enjoy that cup of coffee faster than your body can wake up. The steam wand included with this machine allows you to get artistic with your milk by delivering micro-foam that’s got better flavour and texture.

I bought this espresso machine for my home business and my clients absolutely love it. It took a bit to learn, but it is easy to use after you get used to it and it makes absolutely amazing espressos. It comes with a bunch of accessories to make the perfect cup and the built-in grinder is really useful for all-in-one use.

Cindy G.

The controls on this unit are incredibly easy to use and fully customizable. You can choose between a single or a double shot and make both cups at once so no one is left waiting for their sip of heaven. As an added bonus, this Breville espresso machine uses low-pressure pre-infusion to gradually increase the pressure at the start of the cycle for an event extraction for better flavour. The only downside to this unit is the price tag; it’s an expensive espresso machine, but man does it ever deliver on a quality brew.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine - BREBES870XL

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine - BREBES870XL

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine - BREBES870XL

 

Breville Barista Express BES870XL Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12.5” x 12.6” x 13.1” 
  • Weight: 23 lbs
  • Colour: Silver 
  • Tank Capacity: 2 L
  • Pump: 15 bar Italian
  • Wattage: 1600
  • Warranty: 1 year

 

Breville Barista Express BES870XL Pros and Cons

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Pros

  • Conical burr grinder with 1/2 lb sealed bean hopper
  • Large water tank
  • Advanced functions
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Cons
  • Expensive

 

Our Final Opinion About the Breville Barista Express BES870XL

Quality:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Design:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)

This luxury espresso machine by Breville will make all of your espresso dreams come true, and you’ll truly feel like you have a personal barista in your kitchen. However, it is on the pricier side so be sure to budget it into your monthly expenses.

See price
on Amazon

Our Budget Pick for an Espresso Machine

De’Longhi EC155 Review

De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

The Responsible Choice
De’Longhi

If you really want an espresso machine but are on a budget or don’t need a super fancy model, this De’Longhi EC155 espresso machine is the perfect fit for its reasonable functionality, reasonable price tag, and good quality. Good for you for being responsible with your spending, your wallet will thank you later.

See price
on Amazon

De’Longhi EC155 Video Review

What We Think of the De’Longhi EC155

The De’Longhi espresso machine is a great low-level budget-friendly option with all the basic functionality and usability features that you can expect in an espresso machine. It can make two cups at once with dual nozzles for extraction, and the 15-bar pump applies the perfect amount of pressure to get that desired taste. 

The entire machine is a durable stainless-steel with a sharp black finish to look great on every counter. This machine outperforms must others in terms of cappuccino capability thanks to a patented manual cappuccino setting that results in the richest and longest-lasting foam. While it does excel in cappuccinos, it does espressos and lattes very well as well.

I’ve never used an espresso machine before, but this unit is pretty to learn. The frother does a pretty good job and the different portafilter sizes let me easily switch between making a single shot or a double. The cup warmer keeps it warm while I finish making breakfast so everything is ready at the same time.

Randi R

The machine takes pods for convenience but can be set to one shot or a double shot if you want as well. The advanced cappuccino system allows one cup to be made after another at the perfect temperature every time. The water tank and drip tray are both easily removable for easy cleaning and the compact design of the espresso machine won’t take up too much real estate on your counter. The water level is easy to view at all times so you won’t run out of water in the middle of your brew. This machine can’t take large cups, and it isn’t as high-quality as the more expensive models, but it will please your taste buds anyways.

De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

 

De’Longhi EC155 Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12.2” x 19.3” x 15” 
  • Weight: 6.7 lbs
  • Colour: Black
  • Tank Capacity: 1 L
  • Pump: 15 bar 
  • Wattage: 1100 
  • Warranty: 1 year

 

De’Longhi EC155 Pros and Cons

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Pros

  • Manual cappuccino system
  • Two separate thermostats
  • Affordable
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Cons
  • Lower quality 
  • Short cup height

 

Our Final Opinion About the De’Longhi EC155

Quality:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Design:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)

Overall, the De’Longhi EC155 espresso machine scores points for being so affordable, but this machine is better suited to beginners who don’t want to be confused by advanced functionality and different settings. It is not high-quality enough to please espresso connoisseurs.

See price
on Amazon

Alternative Products to Consider

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Review

Breville BREBES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso, Silver

The Professional Alternative
Breville

This Breville BES920XL dual boiler espresso machine is a top-of-the-line professional-grade espresso machine that will blow your old model out of the water. Recommended for all of the espresso aficionados out there.

See price
on Amazon

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Video Review

What We Think of the Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler

The Breville dual boiler espresso machine has a variety of advanced features to make a better espresso. Dual boilers and dual Italian pumps allow for simultaneous steaming and espresso extraction. This unit is capable of pouring two cups at once for greater convenience. You also have the use of a stainless-steel milk frother ergonomically placed at the front of the unit. The unit won’t grind beans for you, so you’ll have to buy your own grounds. 

Breville includes an over-pressure valve that limits the extraction pressure to keep you safe during use, and you have flexible shot control to make the perfect cup every time, whether it’s one cup, two, or a manual setting. The machine uses precise temperature control for premium flavour and texture. The steam wand is powered by a dedicated boiler to achieve commercial -quality micro-foam texture.

Former barista here. I have to say, this machine performs similarly to the $3k and $4k models and I am impressed. This machine has complete brew temperature control, heated brew head, dual broilers for texturing milk and making espresso simultaneously, volume and timed output, and a pre-infusion pump pressure and pre-infusion timing. Just wow.

Polly M.

The unit doesn’t neglect user friendless, quite the opposite. The LCD display is easy to read for ease of programming, plus it has a shot clock for timing the extraction for a perfect finish, but you can also set it to show the time or the temperature, whichever you prefer. The unit will also assist you with occasional descaling of the machine and includes water hardness strips as well as a descale alert to keep the unit in tip-top shape.

 

Breville BREBES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso, Silver

Breville BREBES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso, Silver

Breville BREBES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso, Silver

 

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14.7” x 14.8” x 14.7” 
  • Weight: 30 lbs
  • Colour: Silver
  • Tank Capacity: 2.5 L
  • Pump: Dual Italian 
  • Warranty: 2 years

 

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Pros and Cons

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Pros

  • Great water temperature control
  • Flexible shot control
  • Accessories included
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Cons
  • Very expensive
  • No grinder

 

Our Final Opinion About the Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler

Quality:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Design:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Price:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)

We are a little overwhelmed by the functionality and usability of this Breville espresso machine. This model definitely delivers a professional, commercial-quality espresso in the comfort of your home, but it’ll cost an arm and a leg to get it there.

See price
on Amazon

Oster Prima Latte BVSTEM6601SS-033 Review

Oster Prima Latte Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Maker, Stainless Steel BVSTEM6601SS-033

The Beginner-Friendly Alternative
Oster

With automatic functionality and one-touch controls, the Oster prima latte BVSTEM6601SS-033 espresso machine will make a great addition to every kitchen. This machine is suitable for beginners to the world of espressos since it does some of the work for you.

See price
on Amazon

Oster Prima Latte BVSTEM6601SS-033 Video Review

What We Think of the Oster Prima Latte BVSTEM6601SS-033

The Oster prima latte espresso machine takes the cake on usability features. Its one-touch controls make the selection between single or double shots and espresso, cappuccino, and latte settings lighting quick. You can also set your milk to be frothed or steamed in a split. The unit can accommodate different sized cups and comes with 2 measuring scoops. 

There are three portafilter options to choose from depending on how you prefer to make your coffee: single shot grounds, double shot grounds, or a pod. The portafilter is easily removed to be properly cleaned and the milk container does the same. You can choose to let the machine control your coffee or you can set it to manual and get creative, it’s totally up to you.

Man is this thing easy to use. All you do is pick the single or double shot filter, select your coffee grounds, fill the milk reservoir, and choose your brew type. It does everything for you so you don’t even need to know how to make an espresso to use this machine. It is the perfect machine for a novice.

Patrick J.

This machine takes just a couple minutes to reach temperature and just 3 minutes when using milk for lattes and cappuccinos. This espresso machine does both well, but you might find your espresso a little bit weaker than you’d like if you enjoy a nice strong coffee. This machine is also a bit time consuming to clean, and you can only make one cup at a time. These elements notwithstanding, this a good choice for someone who wants an espresso machine that makes cappuccinos and lattes easy.

 

Oster Prima Latte Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Maker, Stainless Steel BVSTEM6601SS-033

 

Oster Prima Latte BVSTEM6601SS-033 Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14” x 8.6” x 12.5”
  • Weight: 9.8 lbs
  • Colour: Black and Silver
  • Tank Capacity: 
  • Pump: 15 bar
  • Wattage: 1040 
  • Warranty: 2 years

 

Oster Prima Latte BVSTEM6601SS-033 Pros and Cons

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Pros

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • One-touch controls
  • Automatic milk frother
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Cons

  • One cup at a time 
  • Somewhat tricky to clean

 

Our Final Opinion About the Oster Prima Latte BVSTEM6601SS-033

Quality:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Design:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)

Overall, the Oster prima latte BVSTEM6601SS-033 espresso machine is the perfect choice for novice espresso makers. This machine takes all the guesswork out of making a latte, espresso, and cappuccino, it is very easy to use, and it won’t break the bank.

See price
on Amazon

 

Philips 2000 Super Automatic HD8651/14 Review

Philips 2000 Series Super Automatic Espresso Machine with Classic Milk Frother, HD8651/14, Black

The Automatic Alternative
Philips

The Philips 2000 super automatic HD8651/14 is fully automatic to make your espresso-making process nearly non-existent; all you have to do is fill it with coffee beans and water and let it take over! This is one of the smartest espresso machines out there to make your life that much easier.

See price
on Amazon

Philips 2000 Super Automatic HD8651/14 Video Review

What We Think of the Philips 2000 Super Automatic HD8651/14

The Philips super automatic espresso machine has a 1 L water tank to make 8 servings per fill-up. You can easily make two cups at one time thanks to the dual nozzles and wide base. You can use this machine with nearly any sized cup to a maximum height of 95 mm, which is plenty. This espresso only takes beans, but would you really want to use store-bought pods or year-old grounds anyway? Probably not. 

This unit is automatic in every single way. It will grind your beans, froth your milk, rinse itself, adjust dosing if it recognizes a change in the beans you usually fill it with, and pour your espresso all automatically. If that’s not enough, it is a beautiful espresso machine. Like seriously, super stylish. The brew group is completely removable for simplified and thorough cleaning, which is incredibly convenient.

I have never had such a convenient espresso in my life. It grinds the beans for a really fresh taste and it does the espresso and the frothed milk for you. I love that it does two cups at once so me and my husband don’t have to wait our turn. It rinses itself automatically to stay cleaner which is convenient and it doesn’t really take any maintenance at all.

Lucy P.

Of course, it isn’t perfect. This machine has a smaller water tank and bean container so you’ll have to refill both regularly. It also demands to be descaled immediately, which can take about 15 minutes each time. The automatic rinse can be a bit annoying as it begins after 15 minutes, so you’ll have to restart the process if you want a second cup.

Philips 2000 Series Super Automatic Espresso Machine with Classic Milk Frother, HD8651/14, Black

Philips 2000 Series Super Automatic Espresso Machine with Classic Milk Frother, HD8651/14, Black

Philips 2000 Series Super Automatic Espresso Machine with Classic Milk Frother, HD8651/14, Black

 

Philips 2000 Super Automatic HD8651/14 Specifications

  • Dimensions: 15.2” x 16.7” x 15.4” 
  • Weight: 18.6 lbs
  • Colour: Black
  • Tank Capacity: 1 L
  • Warranty: 1 year

Philips 2000 Super Automatic HD8651/14 Pros and Cons

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Pros

  • Fully automatic
  • Fits on small counters
  • Easy to clean
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Cons

  • Fairly pricey
  • Can only use beans

 

Our Final Opinion About the Philips 2000 Super Automatic HD8651/14

Quality:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Design:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)

Overall, the Philips 2000 super automatic HD8651/14 espresso machine is one of the better models in the mid-level zone. It certainly isn’t a budget model, but for the functionality, you’d expect it to cost a lot. We definitely recommend this fully automatic espresso machine to everyone.

See price
on Amazon

 

Cuisinart EM-100C Review

Cuisinart EM-100C Espresso Maker

The Simple Alternative
Cuisinart

The Cuisinart EM-100C espresso machine is a simpler, more affordable option for making one or two cups at once. The manual controls are simple and easy to learn and it comes with all the basics for a yummy cup of espresso.

See the price
on Amazon

Cuisinart EM-100C Video Review

What We Think of the Cuisinart EM-100C

This Cuisinart espresso machine can make espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes easily and quickly. It can take coffee grounds or coffee pods, whatever suits your fancy. You can choose to make one or two cups at a time since this machine is equipped with dual nozzles and a 15-bar pump. the machine also comes with a tamper included. 

The espresso maker also comes with a warming plate, a stainless-steel steam nozzle, and a stainless-steel frothing cup to get that perfect frothed milk for your coffee. The 1.5 L water tank is removable for straightforward filling and easier cleaning. The unit also has a removable drip tray to quickly clean up any spills or accidents.

I almost always make an espresso in the morning and this Cuisinart machine does it quickly. It is easy to use and it can do two cups at once if you’d like. It comes with a cup warming plate, steam nozzle, and frothing cup. I like that it lets me know when it’s hot and ready to go since I usually make breakfast for my kids at the same time. It also fits nicely on my counter since it isn’t too big.

Mary Anne Y.

It is a compact espresso machine that will easily fit on any countertop and won’t eat up too much counter space. This unit is built to last with a solid stainless-steel build and has a 3-year warranty for a confident purchase. 

You may find that the steam nozzle is a tad longer than it needs to be, making it a bit awkward to use. There’s also no way to tell if the pressure from the pump has been released, so you’ll have to be careful during use and pay attention to what you’re doing.

Cuisinart EM-100C Espresso Maker

Cuisinart EM-100C Specifications

  • Dimensions: 10” x 12.8” x 14.8” 
  • Weight: 14.5 lbs
  • Colour: Silver
  • Tank Capacity: 1.5L
  • Pump: 15 bar
  • Wattage: 1000
  • Warranty: 3 years

 

Cuisinart EM-100C Pros and Cons

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Pros

  • Comes with all necessary accessories 
  • Uses pods or grounds
  • Indicator light when ready for use
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Cons

  • A lot of work to clean
  • Milk takes a while to heat up

 

Our Final Opinion About the Cuisinart EM-100C

Quality:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Effectiveness:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Design:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)

Overall, the Cuisinart EM-100C espresso machine is great for any home and will make a good espresso reliably for years to come. It has all the basic functions you need from your espresso machine and it doesn’t complicate the process.

See price
on Amazon

 

Why Should You Trust Us?

All our recommendations on Achetezlemeilleur.ca are the result of many weeks or months of research, tests, comparisons, analyses of user’s ratings and if need be, interviews with experts and scientists. You will quickly notice that the products we suggest here are not the most expensive or the most trendy: they are those that will best perform their daily tasks, passing all security, reliability and efficiency tests while having an appealing price-quality ratio for everyone. 

In the end, the products we recommend are those we would have wanted to buy, or those we will choose for our friends and family.

Things to Know Before Buying an Espresso Machine

How Does an Espresso Machine Work? 

Typical coffee makers use a drip system that consumes a lot of water and takes roughly 8 minutes to brew in order to get the best flavour out of the beans. Espresso machines work much faster by using a minimum of 9 bars of pressure to shorten the brewing time to fewer than 30 seconds. By using this faster method, you get a richer, thicker, and creamier coffee that has a significantly higher dose of caffeine than your average drip coffee. 

What Are The Different Types of Espresso Machines?

There are 5 different types of espresso machine: manual, semi-automatic, automatic, super-automatic, and capsule. 

  • Manual machines require you to load finely ground beans into a portafilter and tamp them down before attaching the filter to the brew head and using the manual lever to pull water through the grounds. This method is the hardest to master but offers the most customizability. 
  • Semi-automatic machines are similar to manual in terms of preparation, but they automate the flow of water so you don’t have to manually pull the water through the grounds, and you manually select the size of your drink. 
  • Automatic machines go one step further and allow you to select and program the size of your coffee drink and offer greater consistency in flavour than the more manual espresso machines.
  • Super-automatic machines have all the bells and whistles so they can grind your beans, tamp them down, measure them out according to your selected size, and sometimes even froth your milk for you. 
  • Capsule machines are the easiest to use and offer the most consistency in your coffee since they use pods or capsules of pre-measured coffee grounds for a consistent taste. There are often many different flavours of espresso, latte, and cappuccino to choose from with these capsule machines.  

How Do I Make The Best Espresso at Home? 

There are a few ways to make the most of your espresso machine. 

  1. Prime the machine before using it for the first time or if the machine has gone unused for more than one month. We recommend 3 cycles of clean water to prime the machine properly.
  2. Use filtered water for the freshest cup of coffee and to avoid a buildup of scale in the machine.
  3. Use dark roast beans to achieve maximum flavour and grind them finely for that strong flavour unique to espressos. We also recommend you grind them just before brewing to achieve better flavour as well. Fresh is best!
  4. Use skim milk for frothing because it increases its size the best and use whole milk for a creamier froth. 

How to Properly Choose Your Espresso Machine

  • Budget. 

Since espresso machines can range from under $100 to more than $3000, your budget plays a huge role in how you choose your espresso machine. You also have to consider the cost of accessories that aren’t included with the machine as well as your ingredients every week. Your budget will also determine the number of features on your espresso machine, so determine which features are a must-have to help you set your budget. 

  • Time. 

Some espresso machines use advanced heating technology and smart settings to speed up the time it takes to make your coffee through dual nozzles for two cups at once, dual boilers to make the espresso and steam the milk simultaneously, or advanced heating systems to reduce the time it takes to get up to temperature. If you’re the impatient type or have minimal time in the morning, these features will quickly prove useful. 

  • Maintenance. 

Some espresso machines require minimal maintenance and some need to be cleaned after every use by hand, so make sure you know what you’re signing up for when you make your purchase to avoid getting stuck with a machine that requires too much maintenance for your tastes. Some machines will auto-rinse themselves after use and some espresso machines come apart easier for more thorough cleaning, which makes maintenance a lot easier, so watch out for those features as well. 

  • Ease of Use.

Things like pre-set coffee programs, a built-in grinder, automatic milk frother, simple controls, and removable tanks for milk and water all go toward improving the ease of use of an espresso machine. If you’re new to making espressos or just want something easy to learn and use, look for these key features. 

  • Settings. 

The debate of automatic vs. manual settings to achieve the best espresso is ongoing, but machines that give you a choice between the two are your best bet. Pre-sets will come in handy for mornings where you’re running late or for the sake of consistency, but a manual setting lets you adjust the strength of your coffee and more, so are the preferred choice for many espresso experts and former baristas.  Some automatic machines will control your dose of grounds as well as froth your milk for you, so they can be really helpful for novices. 

  • Accessories. 

Many espresso machines come with the basic accessories needed for making a cappuccino, latte, and espresso. A tamper will press your coffee grounds down evenly, a steam frothing wand will give you that perfect foam topping, measuring spoons make it easy to get the perfect amount of grounds in your shot, a milk frother cup is just handy, and so on. Of course, all of these accessories and more can be purchased separately, but it just makes good sense to look for a machine that has some compatible tools for your fancy coffee. 

  • Single Vs. Double Boiler.

A double boiler is a huge selling point for many people since it allows you to make your espresso and steam your milk at the same time, rather than having to do both tasks separately. A single boiler is especially annoying for many users since you have to wait for it to heat up again before performing your second step. You’ll save time by doing both at once, especially if you’re making multiple cups, so a double boiler is always a good idea. 

  • Built-in Grinder. 

The best espressos are made using freshly ground beans, but who has the time to grind their own in the morning? A built-in grinder will do that hard work for you and even measure out the perfect amount of grounds for your single or double shot. Plus, they are usually gully adjustable so you can choose the size of your grounds as well.

We do our best to provide you with a comparative guide of espresso machines allowing you to choose the best product possible. If we are missing information or new models, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or to send us a message.

This post is also available in: Français (French)

Véronique Raymond

Ancienne journaliste et rédactrice pour divers groupes de presse, j'aime la décoration intérieure, la pâtisserie mais surtout le yoga !

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