A new year, some new fresh coffee beans – what about a new machine? If 2018 is the year for upgrading your home machine to something a little heftier, here are our top picks for mid-range ($500 – $1500) home espresso machines.
1. Breville Bes920 ~$799
This nifty little machine has a quick start time, is super easy to use and has both a fantastic milky steamer (for that silky microfoam) and a solid amount of pressure to soak your grounds thoroughly. This machine is a great all-rounder. Its easy-to-use interface is suitable for those just starting out with home espresso and skilled baristas who want to dive deep into the science of espresso have preinfusion times and water temperature (plus more) to experiment with.
– Quick heat up time
– Dual boiler for simultaneous steam and coffee extraction
– Great for both newbies and coffee aficionados
– Seemingly short lifespan, we’ve seen some break down within 4 years, although that could be a coincidence.
2. Rancilio Silvia v5 ~$859
This machine is not for the beginner, but Rancilio has truly built an exceptional commercial-grade home machine. It’s just about as far away from automatic as you can get, there’s not even a dedicated 2-shot button, but this is exactly the reason coffee lovers cherish this machine. Every aspect of the brewing process (including modding the machine with PIDs and extra features) is in your control. The modding community for Silvia models is truly one the biggest in the home coffee world, with heaps of information and support out there from fellow owners.
– High quality, commercial grade parts
– Best home extraction we’ve ever seen
– Huge modding community, so upgrades and support are at your fingertips
– A bit basic looking
– Can’t steam and extract coffee simultaneously
– Takes a bit of finessing to get the best coffee (but when you get it right, it’s the best!)
3. Sunbeam Torino ~$1199 with Grinder
This is a great looking machine that really competes with the Breville BES920 in functionality but with the Rocket Giottos in looks. With a fully manual pump for the aficionados and a semi-automatic button for those who want an easier option so it caters to all levels of skill. There are heaps of programming options to optimize the extraction for your tastes, so this makes the machine great for those with some brewing experience. Online reviews all rave about the perfect crema you can achieve, with one even comparing it to an industrial machine as the standout!
– Great looking machine
– Thermoblock technology that heats water up much faster than a boiler
– Simultaneous coffee extraction and milk steaming
– Some steam wands have issues out of the box (So, buying through a big company like Harvey Norman is a smart option)
– Only available to purchase with a grinder
Please leave us your comments below if you think we’ve missed a machine or if you’ve had experience with any of these machines.