Want to become a home coffee barista? – Get over with those mainstream automatic coffee brewers and find a simpler and less costly machine. In this article, we will walk you through the best semi-automatic espresso machines available today.
Keeping a classic style espresso machine in the kitchen is a dream of every coffee lover. The best thing about the semi-automatic machines is that they allow you to prepare your coffee shot according to your preferences.
Even if you are a newbie at coffee making, you should be looking for a machine that would allow you to prepare your favorite cup of coffee without completely depending or relying upon those fancy and expensive automatic machines.
Let us now have a look at some of the best options available out there.
Semi-automatic Espresso Machine – Our Top Pick
Out of all the espresso makers that we reviewed, the one that stood out in almost all the aspects was the De’Longhi America EN750MB Espresso Machine. If you are looking for an espresso maker that lets you choose the grind size and adjust the coffee taste as per your needs, then this one is for you.
It comes with a number of brewing options and adjustable settings so that you may prepare a frothy, flavorful coffee at home.
Top 5 Semi-automatic Espresso Machines of 2020
There are numerous espresso machines present in the market. However, we have compiled the best ones for you so that you may choose the most suitable one for making your kitchen look classier and your coffee a lot better.
Let’s not wait any longer to turn you into a home barista!
- De’Longhi America Lattissima Pro Original Espresso Machine
- Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine
- Gaggia Carezza De LUXE Espresso Machine
- Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine
- Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine
De’Longhi America Lattissima Pro Original Espresso Machine
If you are a lover of long-lasting, foamy-layered espresso cups, the De’Longhi America Espresso Machine might just be the right choice for you.
With a one-touch, easy-to-operate functionality, this espresso maker will give you the perfect cup of Joe that you need for the right start to your long and hectic day ahead.
Get a breathtaking shot of coffee by this De’Longhi Espresso Machine as it creates a flavorful coffee using the ideal amounts of milk in the extraction process.
With perfect milk foaming mechanism, you get a full-bodied, balanced and flavorful milk-based drink like the Cappuccino or Latte Macchiato. You can adjust the texture of the milk froth with an easy-to-use regulator knob as per your preferences.
Auto-Cleaning & Quick Heating Convenience
Its detachable milk container comes with an auto-clean function that makes your life a whole easier. In addition to this, the quick heat system of this machine just requires a few seconds to give you a delicious cup of espresso served at the right temperature.
- 6 pre-programmed beverage options
- 19-bar high pressure pump for barista-level brewing
- One-touch digital touchscreen display for ease of use
- Stainless steel design that makes it last longer
- Advanced descaling mechanism makes the process easier
- Its rapid heat-up system speeds up the heat time
- Comes with auto-off functionality to save energy
- This machine requires expensive, branded pods, which can be a problem if you are on a tight budget
- Even a small problem with the milk frother would end up wasting half of the original amount of coffee. So, you may have to be extra vigilant with the equipment.
Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine
Another renowned name in this product niche is Breville. And this model, the Barista Express Espresso Machine, is one of the better options that you will find given the options and usability that it offers.
More Customization Means More Control
You can easily customize the grind size of your bean. It won’t matter what size of bean you are using, you can always get your desired brew. You can also form that foam milk texture using its steam wand performance.
This not only enhances flavor but also makes you able to show your artistic skills with latte art. This device comes with digital temperature control that manages the water temperature according to the espresso extraction.
Adjustability and Warrantee
This espresso maker has a limited warranty of one year. Moreover, it also comes with an adjustable grind amount and single/double shots settings.
Breville allows any home barista brew the coffee directly into the port filter of the device.
- It comes with a well-explained manual that helps you set the machine according to your requirements.
- The appearance and functionality that it proffers stands out amongst competitor products
- Easy machine clean up process
- Provides you an excellent creamy and frothy coffee
- It comes with a 16-ounce milk pitch, so you do not have to buy any other frothing pitchers
- As the machine is semi-automatic, so it needs a lot of practice and wastage of coffee brews at the start to learn the mechanics thoroughly.
- The machine is quite noisy while you operate it. It might be a hindrance to everyone’s sleep if you are trying to prepare a coffee shot in the morning.
Gaggia Carezza De LUXE Espresso Machine
With the Gaggia’s Carezza De Luxe espresso machine, you can prepare a deliciously rich and creamy coffee with controls and features that are quite easy to operate.
It gives you a frothy milk beverage using the Panarello wand frothing. So now, brew both your coffee beans and ESE pods using the specialized options provided by this impeccable machine.
Its double-walled design and turbo frother work altogether in order to prepare a creamy, frothy coffee with different needed tastes.
Front Loaded Water Reservoir is Always a Plus
If you know coffee machines or espresso makers and have been using these for a while, then you would know what this means. With a 47 oz tank capacity, this machine comes with a reservoir that can be easily pulled out from the front with visible water level.
This eliminates all the hassle while refilling your water reservoir. Also, the water reservoir of this machine is compatible with Mavea Inteza water filter system.
Better with Finely Ground Coffee
In order to get the best result, you need to use finely ground coffee. Otherwise, the coffee may not taste the same.
- Quick heating – takes 60 seconds to reach ideal brewing temperature
- Auto Frothing Wand helps you prepare a frothy cappuccino or latte
- You can get a thick cream upon your coffee with its crema perfetta portafilter
- Carries out perfect extraction by evenly soaking the coffee grounds
- No leakage issues (a lot of competitor products in this range do have the leakage problem)
- You got to re-prime the pump yourself every time it runs out of the water. If you get an error while the brewing process, take out the plug and start the process all over
- You need to get used to the settings first, otherwise it can have adverse effects on the taste
Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine
The best thing you will find in this espresso machine is its corrosion-resistant material.
If you live in a humid environment and are tired of your machines becoming a wreck due to it, then you might want to get your hands upon it as soon as possible. It not only hides the visible dirt and fingerprints but also has the ability to accommodate large cups, unlike other traditional coffee espresso machines.
It contains indicators regarding each step, so you do not have to check the coffee manually, again, and again before it gets fully prepared.
- The radiant heat allows you to keep and store up to 12 cups of the coffee
- You can froth and brew your coffee at the same time, preparing a delicious frothy coffee
- It may take time to heat up but has the ability to boil the water at a rate approximately three times faster than the microwave
- It is kind of over-priced as it does not even come with extra equipment, including the pitcher, etc
- Shows hindrance in preparing consistent coffee cups
- Requires around 15-25 minutes to get heated up at the start
Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine
If you are looking for a mid-priced semi-automatic espresso machine that gets close to commercial level brewing features – the Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic can be a good option for you.
It comes with barista-level features and an updated modern design for a perfectly brewed coffee at home.
A Good, Durable Espresso Maker
If you are someone who prefers long-term durability and quality over other factors, then this espresso machine will provide you a great range of features and is known to last for years.
Barista Level Portafilter
This semi-automatic espresso maker comes with a chrome-plated brass 58mm portafilter – this is what the barista at your favorite coffee shop uses, too. This means that you are certainly in for a treat!
Product Tight Microfoam with Steam Wand
This machine has a commercial-grade steam wand that will give you complete control during the process of steaming and frothing milk. The advanced hardware and mechanism allows the machine to product tight microfoam that is just about perfect for latte art.
- Its improved design contains various commercial components that provide you with a variety of brewing options
- Offers silent brewing and quiet coffee-making experience
- Get a café-quality espresso at home by achieving a perfect layer of crema using its pressurized basket
- The 3-way solenoid valve is usually present in the commercial machines in order to discard the puck perfectly after extracting the espresso
- Do not have enough room for a mug. That means you got to prepare your coffee in a little cup and then shift it into yours
- The machine can be a mess if you do not know how to operate it like a pro
Things to Look in a Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
Now that we have reviewed the best options that you can buy in this product category, let us tell you about the factors that you need to take into consideration before making the all-important purchase.
Here are a few things to look out for:
One of the most important elements for a semi-automatic espresso machine is the portafilter. Make sure that the espresso maker that you are about to buy does come with a commercial-level portafilter, as it will create a huge difference to the final taste.
Single or Dual Boiler
Espresso machines with a single boiler will use one hardware component for both steaming and brewing. This would mean that once you have pulled an espresso shot, you will have to wait for a while till the machine heats up for ideal steaming temperature again.
On the other hand, espresso makers with dual boilers will use two separate boilers – one for brewing and the other one for steaming. This means there is almost no wait time and it will give you the same quality in lesser time.
Both are fine, however, you need to know your usage or the environment where you will be using your espresso machine. If you know for a fact that you will have a high demand of coffee, you should go for a dual boiler machine, and vice versa.
E61 Brew Group
E61 group heads play a vital role in maintaining the right temperature using the mechanism of water circulation through thermosyphon system.
If you are looking for perfection in terms of brew quality and final taste in your coffee cup – go for a machine that does have this mechanism.
Final Word on Our Semi Automatic Espresso Machine Guide
By now, you must have an idea that if you are out in the market to get your hands on the best semi-automatic espresso machine, what machines you need to focus on and for what major reasons.
Semi-automatic machines might be quite challenging to operate at the start, but once you learn how they work, you will forget the taste of all other coffee brewing methodologies, that’s for sure.
When it comes to coffee brewing, particularly with espresso makers, always make sure that you have done your research well enough before you spend your hard-earned bucks on these machines as they are a long-term investment that you won’t regret – if done right.