The Espresso Machines Kitchn Editors Use at Home

updated Sep 29, 2021
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There are few sounds I love more than the quiet clicking and humming of my espresso machine as it heats up. Pulling an espresso shot and frothing milk for a cappuccino or latte is one of my favorite parts of any day. If I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I do all of this in the morning, but more often than not it’s my afternoon pick-me-up — when I’m less bleary-eyed and functional enough to operate machinery.

Which made me me wonder: What espresso machines do my fellow Kitchn editors have (and love!)? So, I asked! Here are their answers (including my own!).

1. Breville The Barista Express

Copy Chief, Lauren Kodiak, uses her Breville The Barista Express machine daily. “I love the fact that this machine has a built-in grinder,” she says. “It does pretty much all of the work for me!)” Contributor Sholeen Damarwala also wrote about how this coffee maker was, for her, a zero-regrets splurge: “The machine pulls espresso shots like a total pro, while the steam wand (it does a 360-degree swivel!) heats and froths milk for delicious cappuccinos, lattes, and more. I also love that the coffee maker has a built-in water heater so I can simply top my espresso shot with piping-hot water for a cup of black coffee or make a cup of tea without using a kettle.” Our former Social Media Manager also had this machine and raved about it. That’s THREE votes for one machine! How’s that for a not-risky-at-all splurge?

2. Sowtech Espresso Machine

If you’re looking to lightly invest in an espresso machine, look no further than this model. “The machine takes about 90 seconds to build pressure and heat up and then you’re ready to pull your shot,” Amelia Rampe, studio food editor, writes. “Then you switch over to the steam mode, so you can steam your milk, which takes around 45 seconds.” Amelia and her husband searched the internet for an espresso machine that “both pulled shots and steamed milk, had decent reviews, came at a price that wouldn’t make me blush, and didn’t require the maintenance of a Ferrari.” And they’ve been super happy with this guy since they got it!

3. Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by Breville

“I love my little pod machine!” Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman, emphatically says. This automatic machine heats up in just 25 seconds and comes with a milk frother to make lattes and cappuccinos. If you want espresso with absolutely no fuss, then this model is for you. Lisa also highly recommends Woken compostable espresso pods, which are compatible with most Nespresso machines!

4. Isomac Espresso Machine

And, finally, we have my espresso machine, which is a very expensive model. I’d have to save up for years to afford this, but my mom found it for a couple-hundred bucks at an estate sale. It’s the centerpiece of my kitchen (everyone comments on it!) and it makes espresso that, I think, rivals that of coffee shops. My mom also found her even more expensive espresso machine at a different estate sale for less money. The moral of the story: Estate sales might be a good (unexpected) place to look for espresso machines, if you want to find a state-of-the-art machine for a bargain price!

Do you have an espresso machine you love? Tell us about it in the comments!