Brew Barista-Quality Coffee at Home With These Top Coffee Makers and Espresso Machines

From a classic Chemex to machines that can make brewed coffee and espresso at the same time, these stellar options will help you craft a cup of joe like a pro.

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Breville ® Oracle ® Touch Black Truffle Espresso Machine
Photo: Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

There's something supremely satisfying about starting your morning with a delicious cup of coffee, and if you make it at home, you don't even need to change out of your pajamas. If your homemade cup of joe doesn't taste as good as the stuff brewed by your local barista, you've come to the right place. We've rounded up the best coffee makers and espresso machines for home use.

When it comes to shopping for an espresso machine or coffee maker, knowing what you like to drink is key. "This should always guide where you look and what you are looking for," says Andrea Allen, co-founder of Onyx Coffee Lab and 2020 US Barista Champion. If you drink coffee, but not espresso drinks, there is no reason to invest in a machine that makes also lattes. She also recommends starting at a mid-priced option from a trusted brand. "People feel like they need to buy the nicest one out there for it to be any good, but in reality, the coffee itself is the item that makes the most impact on your experience," she says.

In addition to choosing a quality machine, keep these basic tips in mind to make great coffee at home.

  • First, use fresh (never pre-ground) beans says Miles Butler, co-owner and founder of Many Hands Coffee Co.
  • Second, how you grind your coffee beans is vital to the quality of your cup. "Conical burr or flat burr grinders will give you the most consistent grind time and time again, and they last a long time," Butler says.
  • Lastly, if you're using a coffee maker like a French press where you heat the water, don't "cook" your coffee by pouring boiling water over the grinds.

Instead, Butler recommends letting boiled water chill for a minute (ideally, it should reach a temperature between 195ºF and 205ºF) before submerging the grounds. Boiling water will over-extract the grounds and result in a more bitter coffee; using slightly cooler water will lead to a smoother taste and a more enjoyable and approachable cup overall, says Butler. He advises being patient—and be sure to practice to get your coffee just how you like it.

The Best Espresso and Coffee Makers

Best for On-the-Go: AeroPress Original Coffee Maker

AeroPress Original Coffee & Espresso Maker - Quickly makes delicious coffee without bitterness - 1 to 3 cups per pressing
Courtesy of Amazon

A favorite of baristas and other coffee professionals, the Aeropress "is easy, quick, and essentially foolproof," Butler says. Experts often take this small manual coffee maker with them when they travel.

It's also great if you like to hit the snooze button, but still want a top-notch cup of coffee in the morning—it takes about a minute to brew 1 to 3 cups of coffee. Using a rapid, total immersion brewing process that doesn't require a long steep time, the appliance produces coffee that is smooth and full-flavored.

Pro tip: You can also use an Aeropress to turn espresso into an Americano with the addition of hot water or a latte by adding steamed milk, says Butler.

Best Pour-Over: 6 Cup Classic Chemex

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series - 6-Cup - Exclusive Packaging
Courtesy of Amazon

For pour-overs, you can't go wrong with a Chemex, says Allen. "Due to its tempered glass and compact and ergonomic design, it is a beautiful and simple way to tease out the nuances of any given origin or blend," says Butler.

He recommends using a reusable stainles-steel mesh filter rather than paper filters to reduce waste. A Chemex is also a good method for making coffee if you want to make it ahead and sip it later: The brand notes coffee brewed in a Chemex can be refrigerated and reheated without losing its nuanced flavor.

Best French Press: Espro P5 French Press

ESPRO P5 32-Oz. Glass and Polished Stainless Steel French Press
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Not all French presses are created equal, and this one by Espro is a cut above the rest, say our experts. Butler is a fan of the durable, sleek design and unique filter basket of the ESPRO P5. "The dual-walled stainless-steel mesh filter 'cage' is unlike any other French press I've brewed with, giving you a smooth and groundless cup every time," he says.

The Espro P5 press stops extraction as soon as the plunger is depressed, and its filter system is 9 to 12 times finer than standard filters on the market.

Best Design: Joy Resolve Barisieur Alarm Clock Coffee Maker

Joy Resolve Barisieur Alarm Clock Coffee Maker
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

If your dream is to wake up and smell the coffee—literally—this coffee maker is for you. It's one of the best high-tech options out there, notes Butler.

The Joy Resolve Barisieur Alarm Clock Coffee Maker is an automatic machine that you can program to make coffee or tea first thing in the morning—or when you get to the office. Plus, it makes brewing coffee look like a mini science experiment, and who doesn't want that?

Best Espresso Machine: Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine

Breville ® Barista Touch ™ Black Truffle Espresso Machine
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Whether you're new to making espresso or a full-fledged barista, this user-friendly machine by Breville is a solid option for a serious caffeine enthusiast. It has five pre-programmed favorites (espresso, Americano, latte, flat white, and cappuccino) and you can customize the brewing and steaming functions to make your perfect cup every time.

"This machine produces great espresso and has a built-in grinder and steam wand," Allen says. She notes that it's also an optimal size for the home, and can even be stored in a larger cabinet when not in use.

Best Splurge: Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine

Breville ® Oracle ® Touch Black Truffle Espresso Machine
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

If you're ready to go all-out on your at-home espresso game, the Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine is the "Cadillac of home espresso machines," says Allen. "I've literally never pulled a bad espresso on it."

It's outfitted with a conical burr grinder that automatically grinds, doses, and tamps grounds into a stainless-steel portafilter. And with this machine, you're always just a few taps of a touchscreen away from a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.

Best Retro Style: Smeg 10-Cup Drip Coffee Maker

Smeg 10-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

The Smeg 10-Cup Drip Coffee Maker is an aesthetically pleasing option that combines mid-century style with modern conveniences like aroma control (so you can adjust how strong your coffee is) and auto start. It can brew between 2 and 10 cups, and has a keep-warm plate in case you want another cup later. This machine comes in a variety of colors to match your kitchen—or your other SMEG appliances.

Best 2-in-1: De'Longhi All in One Combination Coffee Maker

De'Longhi All in One Combination Coffee Maker
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

For the coffee enthusiast who wants it all—or if you drink lattes, but your partner prefers brewed coffee—De'Longhi has the answer. Their combination brewer makes both espresso and drip coffee. And yes, you can use both sides at once. The machine comes with a steam wand for frothing milk, a bold setting for stronger drip coffee, and a 10-cup spill-proof glass carafe.

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