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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 traditional ground coffee 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 is compact and stylish, and comes at the great price of around £140 too. It can make coffee from grounds or ESE pods, and you can set your preferences such as the temperature.

The espresso it produces was highly rated by our expert, and is simple to make. It froths milk well and also dispenses hot water so you can make other drinks, such as hot chocolate. 

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Automatic tamping system

With helpful features, such as a built-in automatic tamping 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

Costing around £90, this is the cheapest Best Buy ground coffee machine we've tested. It makes excellent, full-flavoured coffee time after time. 

The milk frother is impressive too, making smooth and creamy cappuccinos, and quickly too. It's also really easy to use.

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Quick-to-make espresso

This machine is super quick at making espressos - it can make a single shot in around 15 seconds and a double within 22. The espressos it makes are great too, with a dark, smooth taste.

It's also great at frothing milk for cappuccinos, which it also does quickly. To top it all off, it's easy to use with the control panel having just three switches - on/off, steam and coffee.

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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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