Top five best espresso coffee machines for 2021
Good make tasty espresso quickly and easily, without giving you a headache from all the noise it makes. But the worst models will have you throwing your money away twice: on the machine itself and on the disappointingly watery coffee it leaves you with.
To help you find the best coffee machine – whether you're a fan of espressos, cappuccinos or a longer coffee – we've rounded up the top-scoring models across the board. Our selection includes capsule, ground coffee and bean-to-cup machines. And because they've all gone through our rigorous lab testing, you can rest assured that no matter which of these Best Buy coffee machines you go for, you'll end up with a delicious brew.
We've also highlighted three less-than-excellent coffee makers worth avoiding. The coffee from these machines was among the worst we've tasted, so it's worth steering clear.
Last updated: November 2020
Three espresso machines to avoid
Even the big brands can produce a dud from time to time. Among our list of disappointing coffee machines is a model from a popular capsule brand. This machine produced a poor espresso that left our coffee tasting expert underwhelmed.
Check the models below to avoid a mediocre morning brew.
Choosing the best coffee machine
Coffee machines range in price from as little as £40 to more than £1500. There are three main types:
- Capsule coffee machines – use pre-portioned coffee pods to make a quick and easy brew
- Ground coffee machines – traditional pump espresso machines where you measure out and prepare the ground coffee yourself
- Bean-to-cup coffee machines – grind fresh beans on demand and make your drink automatically
Capsule machines are often cheaper to buy, but can cost more in the long run due to the higher ongoing cost of buying capsules vs ground coffee or beans.
Which? coffee machine tests
We've tested hundreds of coffee machines, and we do it more thoroughly than anyone else too. Our independent coffee-tasting expert Giles Hilton blind tastes coffee from every machine, rating the flavour, crema, texture and aroma of the espresso. As well as testing how good the coffee is, we also check how hot the coffee comes out, how noisy the machine is when brewing and how quick it is to make your drink. If the machine has a milk frother or steam wand, we froth milk for cappuccino and check how well it blends with the espresso.