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Top five best ground coffee machines

By Yvette Fletcher

We reveal which traditional espresso machines have scored highly in our ground coffee taste test.

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Best espresso coffee machines

A traditional ground coffee espresso machine is perfect for creating that authentic coffee shop experience in the comfort of your own home.

Pick one of the best espresso coffee machines and you'll be about to make instant shots of delicious-tasting and smelling espresso. A bad machine will produce a watery espresso coffee that's only fit for pouring down the sink.

We've rounded up the top traditional espresso coffee machines, all of which use ground coffee or ESE (easy-serving espresso) pods. Each of these coffee machines has excelled in our tests and was awarded a Which? Best Buy.

Log in to unlock our table below to reveal the best ground coffee espresso coffee machines – one Best Buy scored 86%, miles ahead of our worst-scoring coffee machines at only 50%.

If you're not yet a Which? member, you can get instant access to all our Best Buy coffee machine reviews with a £1 trial to Which?.

Top five ground coffee (traditional) espresso coffee machines
  Why we love it Coffee taste test Cappuccino Score

Top-scoring coffee machine

This one breezed through our tests - our expert thought it was one of the best coffee machines tested, making excellent espresso that's 'rich and strong with a good kick.'

Making an espresso was also easy, although it did take a little longer than other coffee machines to heat up. It can also make great cappuccinos.

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Stylish design

This machine makes delicious espressos quietly and quickly - you won't have to wait long for it to heat up or to dispense your coffee. But it does take a while to steam milk.

It's easy to use (although you'll need a little strength), is pleasingly sturdy and heavy, but will need quite a bit of space on your worktop.

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Automatic tamping system

With helpful features, such as a built-in automatic tampering system, this machine makes an excellent espresso - our expert said it had an 'intense flavour.' It froths milk well, too.

Using the machine is a little different, in part because if you're making two espressos at once it doesn't require using different filters, but it is easy to use.

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Cheap ground coffee espresso machine

This machine makes great coffees (with good crema halos) time and time again, and will also impress cappuccino fans with its excellent milk frothing.

Available in a range of colours, this espresso machine is as impressive looking as its coffees are flavourful. A great machine for the price.

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Quick-to-make espresso

This coffee machine is quick - it'll dispense your espresso in less than 30 seconds. The coffee has a thick crema and sweet flavour, and milk frothing is a cinch if you'd like to make a cappuccino.

It's a straightforward coffee machine, but its portafilter is a bit tricky to clean.

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If you want to find out which coffee machines made it into our top five, and see all of our reviews and Best Buys - log in or try Which? for £1.

If you're not sure an espresso coffee machine is right for you, browse other models, including popular Nespresso coffee machines in our coffee machine reviews.

Ground coffee espresso machine tests

Each of our espresso machines goes through tough tests to see how easy it is to use and clean, whether it makes hot coffee or not, how well it steams milk and how noisy it is. We also get our coffee tasting expert, Giles Hilton, to taste the coffee each machine produces in a blind taste test.

Giles rates each espresso on its flavour, texture, smell and crema, so only the very richest brews will make the grade to become a Best Buy. We use the same ground coffee in each machine so we can compare how well each machine extracts the flavours. All the traditional espresso machines we have selected above gained five stars in our ground coffee taste test, so you know you'll be getting a machine that makes a top-notch espresso. 

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