The 9 Best Coffee and Espresso Machine Combos of 2020

Why choose between coffee and espresso when you can have both?

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Our Top Picks
"Customers offer high praise for its ease of use, value for money, and, of course, the rich taste you’ll find in every sip."
"The Lattissima Pro uses a 19-bar pressure pump system to pack maximum flavor into every espresso shot."
Best for Beginners:
De'Longhi BCO430BM at Amazon
"On one side, the machine has a café-style portafilter and a milk frother; on the other, a 10-cup glass carafe for drip coffee."
"The Miele CM5300 has nine preset drink options and offers unparalleled convenience, versatility, and taste."
Best for Pods:
Keurig K-Café at Amazon
"Along with brewing standard drip coffee, this machine can turn K-Cups into delicious lattes and cappuccinos."
"Measuring less than 7 inches long and weighing not even a pound, the Wacaco Minipresso GR is the ultimate travel companion."
"The stovetop design uses steam to push boiling water up through coffee grounds and then into your cup."
"The VertuoLine itself measures just 8.3 x 11.91 x 11.93 inches, and the milk frother can be stored separately."
"Adjust everything from the size of your drink to its strength and temperature, making this one of the most versatile brewers."

Many groggy workday mornings involve the same routine. The phone alarm, the hurried shower, down to the same cup of coffee. But, like hitting snooze for another 10 minutes of bliss, it feels good to shake things up.

Combination coffee-and-espresso makers come in many forms, from manual to automatic, but they all have the versatility to make multiple kinds of drinks. A handful of options (including ones on this list) can brew drip coffee, pull a shot of espresso, and even froth milk for lattes and cappuccinos. There are some drawbacks to consider—these machines tend to be pricier and take up more space than standard brewers—but variety is an essential part of why we love coffee.

For the best of both coffee worlds, here are our favorite coffee-and-espresso machine combos. 

Best Overall: Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

What We Like
  • Highly versatile

  • Choice of glass or thermal carafe

  • Removable water reservoir

  • SCA certified

What We Don't Like
  • Coffee concentrate, not real espresso

  • Not fully programmable

From frothy lattes to your standard cup of coffee, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker can whip up a wide array of delicious drinks. The item has received glowing reviews online, with customers offering high praise for its versatility, ease of use, and value for money.

After packing the filter with freshly ground coffee beans, you can choose from six different brew sizes, ranging from a single cup to a full carafe. There’s even an option for iced coffee drinks—a feature that sets the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker apart from many other machines. Keep in mind, however, that the item produces a rich coffee concentrate to make specialty drinks, such as lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos, rather than using true espresso.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Nespresso De'Longhi Lattissima Pro Espresso Machine

What We Like
  • Multiple functions for coffee and more

  • Nearly hands-off operation

  • Compact design

What We Don't Like
  • Small servings

  • Fairly expensive

  • Milk is sometimes lukewarm

This automatic coffee-and-espresso maker can brew all of your favorite drinks with the touch of a button. Simply pop in a Nespresso capsule and choose from seven preprogrammed options: espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, ristretto, lungo, hot water, or warm milk froth. If any of these drinks are unfamiliar, check out our guide to espresso terms. 

Our product tester reviewed the Lattissima Pro and wrote that it is "ridiculously easy to use" and called it "about as hands-off and automated as you can get." The machine uses a 19-bar pressure pump system to pack maximum flavor into every espresso shot, and its integrated milk frother provides a café-worthy texture to lattes and cappuccinos. Post-coffee cleanup is also easy, thanks to a sliding drip tray and an auto-clean function for the milk container. 

"Just about the only thing this machine doesn’t do is produce coffee in large volumes," our reviewer wrote. The small serving sizes and fairly high price tag are among the few drawbacks to this otherwise excellent coffee maker.

"Efficiency is where this machine shines. It heats quickly and leaves you with virtually no cleanup." — Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best for Beginners: De'Longhi Combination Espresso and Coffee Machine BCO430BM

What We Like
  • Polished, modern look

  • Brews a lot of coffee at once

  • Simultaneously makes drip coffee and espresso drinks

What We Don't Like
  • Long setup and cleanup

  • Expensive

  • Coffee tastes average

This semi-automatic coffee-and-espresso maker is a great way for beginners to test out the true barista experience. De’Longhi has been one of the most trusted names in coffee for over a century, and this is one of the company's most popular products.

On one side, the machine has a café-style portafilter for espresso and an adjustable milk frother; on the other, a 10-cup glass carafe for drip coffee. The item is also equipped with an active carbon filter to ensure fresh, healthy water and a warming plate at the base of the machine to keep coffee piping hot up to two hours after brewing.

Our product tester reviewed the De'Longhi BCO430 and wrote that the machine is best "for a newbie getting into espresso drinks, but for a more advanced coffee connoisseur, this wouldn’t be our No. 1 pick." She found the taste of both the espresso and drip coffee to be adequate but not spectacular. While prices vary, there might be "less expensive options...that brew better-tasting coffee."

Best High-End: Miele CM5300 Countertop Coffee System

What We Like
  • Built-in burr grinder

  • Automatic cleaning

  • Customizable drink options

  • Extremely versatile

What We Don't Like
  • May require learning curve

  • Can get pretty noisy

Intuitive touch controls. A sleek, space-saving design. And rich, barista-worthy coffee. The Miele CM5300 Countertop Coffee Machine packs luxury into every sip. 

While customers should expect to pay a hefty price, this product offers unparalleled convenience, versatility, and taste. The Miele CM5300 has nine preset drink options, ranging from must-haves like lattes and cappuccinos to more creative drinks like ristrettos and macchiatos. Users can adjust drink size, coffee temperature, and create individualized coffee profiles for each member of the family. Further separating it from most coffee-and-espresso machines, the Miele CM5300 automatically froths and pours the milk for your drinks. A built-in burr grinder and automatic cleaning system, along with easy-to-remove parts, makes the coffee process simple from start to finish.

Best for Pods: Keurig K-Café

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Quality coffee beverages

  • Low maintenance

What We Don't Like
  • Single-serve coffee brewer

  • Must use K-Cup pods

  • Oddly shaped

No surprises here. Keurig is the original coffee-pod manufacturer, and its K-Café offers the taste and convenience that you know and love but with a twist. Along with brewing standard drip coffee, this machine can turn K-Cups into lattes and cappuccinos. These drinks are "not at the same level as what an expensive espresso machine can make," our product tester wrote, "but it’s definitely a close second." She added that the dishwasher-safe milk frother produces a "full, foamy milk froth" but is better suited for an "amateur latte or cappuccino."

The K-Café lets users adjust coffee strength and offers a choice between 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-ounce brew sizes. It’s the ideal coffee-and-espresso maker for customers who want their caffeine fix quick and hassle free. Just hit a button, grab your favorite mug, and enjoy.

"Makes quality coffee and espresso beverages with the added benefit of being very low maintenance."Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester

Best Portable: Wacaco Nanopresso

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Compact

  • Durable

  • Good crema

What We Don't Like
  • Messy and lots of cleanup

  • Significant effort for single espresso shot

Measuring less than 7 inches long and weighing not even a pound, the Wacaco Nanopresso is the ultimate travel companion. You can store the item inside a suitcase, backpack, or purse and use it in any situation, whether you’re in a national park or an airport. No batteries. No cords. Just good coffee, whenever and wherever. 

The Nanopresso uses ground coffee beans, offering the utmost control over the strength and taste of your espresso—although Wacaco does manufacture portable coffee makers that take coffee pods, for customers who prefer that style. The product is reasonably priced, especially compared to countertop coffee-and-espresso makers, and backed by hundreds of positive customer reviews. Make sure to clean the Nanopresso frequently, however, as some users note that the product’s durability can decline if not properly cared for.

Best Stovetop: Bialetti Moka Express

What We Like
  • Available in multiple sizes

  • Easy to use

  • Classic design

  • Great budget option

What We Don't Like
  • Clean after every use (hand-wash only)

  • Not real espresso

Few coffee makers have been around as long as the Bialetti Moka Express. The iconic stovetop gadget was made in 1933 by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti and has been a beloved source of coffee for the near-century since. Its simple but timeless design pushes boiling water up through the coffee grounds and then into your cup. While it doesn't produce true espresso, the item brews coffee with more pressure than normal, putting it closer to espresso as far as taste and consistency. You can also purchase a separate milk frother to whip up lattes and cappuccinos.

The whole process takes about five minutes from start to finish. When selecting the grind size for your moka pot, Allie Caran, the Director of Education at Partners Coffee, recommends using "a fine to medium grind for a heavier body and stronger flavor.”

The Moka Express is available in an array of sizes, ranging from 1 to 12 cups. Be aware that this figure can be a bit misleading, as each "cup" represents one serving of espresso; a 3-cup pot, for example, produces just 4.4 ounces of coffee. Nonetheless, the item is cheaper than standard combination coffee-and-espresso machines, even at its largest size, making it a great value-for-money option.

"An outlier among all of the automated (and expensive) coffee-and-espresso makers, the Moka Express is a great option for those who prefer non-electric brewers."Derek Rose, Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats

Best Space Saver: Nespresso VertuoLine Bundle

What We Like
  • Speedy drink preparation

  • High-quality coffee and espresso beverages

  • Beautiful, compact design

  • Includes 12 coffee capsules

What We Don't Like
  • Must use Vertuo coffee capsules

  • Coffee is on the stronger side

  • Makes only individual cups

The Nespresso VertuoLine is more than just a space saver. It makes downright tasty coffee, espresso, and (thanks to the separate Aeroccino milk frother) specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. 

This bundle is highly reviewed, with the majority of customers awarding it five stars. Users particularly love the VertuoLine’s convenience (simply pop in a Nespresso capsule and press brew) as well as its durability and easiness to clean. Our product tester noted that brew time is "extremely fast," taking roughly 15 seconds. When compared to the Keurig K-Café, another coffee-and-espresso maker on this list, the VertuoLine "heats up significantly quicker."

The machine itself is very slim, and many customers mention that the bundle saves even more space since the milk frother can be stowed away separately. 

"Offering speedy prep, low maintenance, and excellent coffee and espresso beverages, the Nespresso Vertuo is a true bargain."Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester

Most Versatile: Philips 3200 Fully Automatic Espresso Machine EP3221

What We Like
  • Built-in grinder

  • Adjustable coffee strength and temperature

  • Powerful milk frother

What We Don't Like
  • Fairly expensive

  • Might require learning curve

  • Can be noisy

With four preset drink options, a built-in bean grinder, and a bevy of customizable settings, the Philips Fully Automatic Espresso Machine is the type of item to transform your at-home coffee routine. It can brew espresso, Americanos, and black coffee with a single touch of the intuitive display, and the possibilities don't end there: An attached steam wand allows for lattes and cappuccinos too. You can adjust everything from the size of your drink to its strength and temperature, making this one of the most versatile brewers on the market.

Despite the many options, customers generally say the machine is easy to use. It's also incredibly fast and gets high marks for the rich coffee flavor. It will certainly be larger than many coffee or espresso machines, so consider your counter space before purchasing. Philips produces other automatic coffee machines that are worth considering, but we chose the EP3221 model, a middle-tier option, because it stands out as the best value for your money.

Final Verdict

Combination coffee-and-espresso makers range widely in size, features, and price, and our top two picks showcase this variety. The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is an all-around favorite because of its versatility and value for money, but keep in mind that it doesn't brew true espresso. Our Runner-Up, Best Overall pick, the Nespresso Lattissima Pro, is significantly more expensive but offers the convenience of pods and one-touch brewing.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

This piece was written by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He uses the Bialetti Moka Express to shake up his everyday coffee routine and make café-style drinks, like lattes and Americanos, right from home. It’s the perfect partner to his primary coffee maker, the Bodum Brazil French Press.

The Ultimate Coffee/Espresso Machine Buying Guide

Coffee is great. Espresso is great. Why choose between them? Today’s top brands are increasingly manufacturing and improving upon combination coffee-and-espresso makers. These machines not only provide variety to your daily coffee routine, but they also save money and counter space for customers who would otherwise buy two separate appliances. Finding the right one will turn your kitchen into your favorite coffeehouse.

How do the dual-purpose devices work? Well, not all are the same. In fact, they vary in design more than any other kind of coffee maker. The differences are visually evident when scrolling through a list of products. Some have a split design with a coffee pot on one side and an espresso group head on the other. This style of machine requires users to make coffee and espresso manually, but it’s on the less expensive end. Another popular design is that of automated machines, where coffee, espresso, and a number of other beverages dispense through the same spout. These brew an array of drinks at the touch of a button but cost a lot more. Prices for coffee-and-espresso makers start as low as $25—though, this is usually for specialized items like a moka pot—and can easily surpass the $1,000 mark for super-automatic machines (more on those below).

After you decide on the larger considerations of price and level of automation, there are many small details to consider. For instance, do you want a machine that uses coffee pods or real coffee beans? Are lattes and cappuccinos must-have options, or do you simply need the bare bones of coffee and espresso? These numerous decisions reflect precisely why it’s worth buying a coffee-and-espresso combo machine: versatility. We often get burnt out sipping the same old cup of joe every day, but by making so many different drinks, these brewing devices can reinvigorate your love of coffee for years to come.

DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima Pro Espresso Machine
The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Key Considerations

Grounds or Pods

Some machines are compatible with both coffee pods and coffee grounds, but customers must typically choose between the two. Which option is best for you? If taste is your primary concern, go with grounds. Freshly ground coffee beans produce a stronger and more intricate flavor than pods; plus, you can adjust the amount of grounds to make your coffee stronger or weaker as you see fit. Grounds are also more affordable than pods over time and can be purchased in a wider array of flavors and blends. For those interested in pod-based machines, however, you’ll see a big advantage in convenience. Pods speed up the brewing process, make cleanup easier, and eliminate the hassle of pulling an espresso shot by hand. Keurig and Nespresso are the two most popular pod-based brands, but others are in the mix as well, often manufacturing machines that use E.S.E. pods. One last detail to consider is that pod-based machines are predominantly single serve, while brewers that use ground coffee can often make multiple servings at once.

Espresso or Coffee Concentrate

Many machines actually brew a beverage called “coffee concentrate” instead of real espresso. The key difference between the two is pressure. To make espresso, highly pressurized water is rapidly forced through finely ground coffee beans, resulting in the delicious little shots we know and love. Coffee concentrate (not to be confused with cold brew coffee concentrate) is made more like standard drip coffee, as the water is slowly filtered through coarse and loosely packed grounds. Think of it as a cross between coffee and espresso. Brands are generally transparent about the difference in product descriptions, but it’s worth keeping an eye out because all machines in this category are called coffee-and-espresso makers regardless of whether they make espresso or concentrate. Which one is right for your coffee needs? If you want the most flavor and most control of your coffee, go with espresso. Nothing beats the real thing, after all. For those who prefer convenience, want to save some money, and don’t mind a slightly weaker taste, coffee concentrate may be your best option. 

Primary Function

The main appeal of combination coffee-and-espresso makers is that they blend two great devices together. However, some models favor one brewing method over the other. Many specialize in espresso and just happen to make regular coffee too. Others can whip up a full pot of joe but are a letdown in the espresso department. You can occasionally tell if a machine leans one way or the other simply by looking at it. For example, a robust group head and sturdy portafilter indicate high-quality espresso. Another easy trick is to check a machine’s list of drink options. Machines that can make lattes and cappuccinos may also lean toward the espresso side, while ones that make coffee concentrate skew toward a standard coffee maker. Consider what beverages are most important to you before buying, and it will be much easier to narrow down the options.

Milk Frothing/Steaming

A coffee-and-espresso maker that can froth or steam milk opens up an array of drink options, like lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos. There isn’t a major difference between frothing and steaming—the former provides more aeration, the latter always uses heat—so don’t get bogged down by that when buying. What’s more important is understanding how machines incorporate frothing/steaming capabilities. A frother/steamer comes in two forms. First, it can be built into the machine itself, typically in the form of a wand. Second, it can be an entirely separate device included with your purchase—this is frequently seen with Keurig products. A built-in frother is more powerful, leading to richer drinks, but it can also be loud, messy, and more rigorous to clean. In contrast, separate frothers are typically weaker—if so, try running them multiple times—but many are dishwasher safe and can be stored in the cupboard when you’re done. If you buy a machine that doesn’t come with a frother/steamer, it’s easy to purchase one separately should you change your mind.

De'Longhi BCO330T Combination Coffee Machine
The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Ease of Use

Coffee-and-espresso machines can be sorted into three categories based on their level of automation: semi-automatic, automatic, and super-automatic. Let’s start with semi-automatic machines. They are the most hands-on and, as result, the most affordable. Users have to pack the portafilter by hand and pull espresso shots themselves. It’s messier and more time consuming, but it offers a lot of control over your coffee, all while making you feel like a real barista. Next are automatic machines, sometimes also referred to as “fully automatic.” It’s the middle-tier option and typically the hardest to identify. The category is similar to semi-automatic, as users still have to pack the portafilter by hand, but the key difference is that automatic machines stop the flow of water for you when the espresso is finished. With this kind of machine, your espresso shot will never be over-extracted. The final category, super-automatic, is the most convenient but also the most expensive. These machines make every drink at the touch of a button, from regular coffee to cappuccinos—they can even froth the milk for you. How much control do you want over your coffee? Or are you more interested in easy, one-touch brewing? Just be prepared to pay more for added convenience.

Size

Coffee-and-espresso makers are a double-edged sword when it comes to size. On one hand, they save space for those who would otherwise buy two separate brewing devices. On the other, they are usually larger than standard drip coffee makers, so they could still take up valuable real estate on the countertop. Sometimes, a machine’s size is associated with its level of automation. More automated machines are more compact because drinks come from the same spout. Machines that require hands-on brewing are larger because they have to accommodate more parts, like an espresso filter, steaming wand, and so on. There are a few coffee-and-espresso makers that completely defy this trend and are, in fact, able to be stored in cupboards; the downside is that these devices tend to be less versatile. Make sure to measure your counter space beforehand—and don’t forget to measure the height of your cupboards!

Temperature and Pressure Control

Some machines allow users to control key espresso factors like pressure and water temperature. No matter the type of machine you use, from semi-automatic to super-automatic, it’s worth knowing the optimal brew settings. Just like drip coffee, espresso tastes best when the water is between 195 and 204 degrees. Less than that and it’s hard for espresso to reach the proper extraction percentage, meaning it will be weak and watery. Pressure is a more complicated matter. Keep two numbers in mind when buying or brewing: 9 and 15. Brands love advertising that a product can reach 20-plus bars of pressure, but all you actually need is 15 bars. Anything higher is superfluous. A 15-bar machine is able to create the perfect amount of pressure at the brew head, which is 9 bars. 

Speed

We all want our coffee fast, especially on those early pre-work mornings, but quality coffee can take awhile. When buying, you’ll come across items that work at all different speeds. Pod-based machines brew very quickly but don’t usually achieve the flavor of real coffee grounds. It takes around 30 seconds to adequately pull an espresso shot by hand, but a machine may need anywhere from five minutes to half an hour to preheat. What is more important to you, speed or flavor? There are products that strike a middle ground, but you may have to choose between the two. One last detail to look for when buying is if a machine is programmable or not. Some can be preset to brew coffee or espresso right when you wake up, saving you time and starting the day off right. This luxury is actually common in many different price ranges.

Price

This is certainly a key consideration when buying any household appliance, but coffee-and-espresso makers come in an especially wide range of prices. Some basic coffee-and-espresso makers start as low as $25, while super-automatic machines can easily break the $1,000 mark. Of course, the majority of devices fall somewhere in the middle of this range. Searching by a specific brand can be a useful tactic when buying, particularly if you’re already familiar with it. For instance, Keurig is a widely known and generally affordable name in this category, while products from Miele and Saeco are largely high-end. Before making your decision, it’s helpful to understand the price landscape and zero in on a budget that works for you.

Types of Coffee-Espresso Machines

Semi-automatic

This is the most hands-on type of coffee-and-espresso maker. Users have to do a lot of work themselves, like filling the filter for drip coffee, pulling an espresso shot, and steaming milk. Even though it’s more of a hassle, many customers prefer this type of machine because it provides a lot of control over the coffee, as well as a barista-like experience. Semi-automatic machines are also cheaper than the other two types, automatic and super-automatic. Those new to coffee or espresso may be daunted upon seeing the many parts, knobs, and gauges, but after a quick learning curve, it will be easy to create café-worthy drinks right from home.

Breville the Barista Express
The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

Automatic

This category is, unfortunately, quite vague at times. It’s natural to assume that a coffee-and-espresso maker labeled “automatic” would do every step of the process for you. In reality, automatic machines are very similar to semi-automatic ones. For both, users have to grind and tamp coffee by hand. The main difference is that automatic machines stop the flow of stops by itself when the coffee is ready. It’s only a slight upgrade over semi-automatic machines, but it does make the brewing process that much easier. These often come at a similar price to semi-automatic machines or are a little more expensive.

Super-Automatic

Super-automatic is the top tier of coffee-and-espresso makers. Virtually every aspect of the brewing process is controlled by the machine. While features vary, a super-automatic machine usually has a built-in grinder to start your coffee off with fresh beans. Then all you have to do is touch a button on the machine’s digital display and it can create a number of drinks in seconds. Super-automatic machines often even steam milk for you, so you can be sipping a latte or cappuccino without having to deal with espresso filters or frothing wands. Sometimes you can adjust a number of details like water temperature, coffee strength, and drink size.

Brands/Manufacturers

Bialetti

The Italian manufacturer Bialetti has a number of coffee makers to offer, but we’re highlighting the company specifically because of its popular stovetop brewer, the Moka Express. It stands out in comparison to other coffee-and-espresso makers because, well, it’s not exactly a coffee-and-espresso maker. The Moka Express brews a cross between drip coffee and espresso. You can drink the coffee by itself—it will naturally taste like an Americano—or mix it with milk for a latte. Other benefits of the unique brewing device include its compact size and budget prize, both of which far outshines the majority of options in the coffee-and-espresso category.

Keurig

With its signature K-Cups, Keurig is a beloved brand already found in many households. The company is primarily known for quick drip coffee, but it also manufactures a small number of coffee-and-espresso makers. Two worth checking out are the K-Café and K-Latte. As expected, the main advantage of Keurig is ease of use. As an added bonus, its products tend to be more affordable than competitors in this category. Just keep in mind that Keurig machines don’t produce real espresso. They use a condensed, bolder form of coffee known as coffee concentrate.

Keurig K-Café
The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

Nespresso

Nespresso has long been known for its high-quality espresso machines. The Swiss company was founded in 1986 and, for many years, espresso was its primary focus. That changed in 2014 when Nespresso released its VertuoLine machines, designed to brew coffee in multiple sizes along with its classic espresso. The brand often adds and discontinues different models, but between its Vertuo machines and Original machines, there are always many great options to choose from. Several are affordably priced around the $200 mark, but others quickly move into higher price echelons. And, of course, the company’s defining characteristic is its patented coffee capsules, which are quick, easy to use, and available in dozens of varieties.

Philips

This a trusted, century-old brand that manufactures far more than coffee makers. Its products are on the more expensive side, especially compared to other popular names like Keurig and Nespresso, but the quality makes up for the cost. Customers interested in automatic and super-automatic machines should check out the 2200 Series and the 3200 LatteGo. Philips also owns the brand Saeco, which manufactures a number of high-end options in its own right.

Maintenance

The proper routine to maintain a coffee-and-espresso maker is similar to that of a standard coffee maker. Both machines require regular descaling, which is a more thorough and rigorous process than normal hand washing. Descaling is when you remove the mineral residue that builds up in a machine over time. Some manufacturers recommend descaling once a month, but you can likely get away with doing it every three months. The easiest way to descale is by wiping all parts and pieces with a combination of vinegar and warm soapy water. If your coffee-and-espresso maker has a coffee pot, pour the vinegar solution into the water reservoir, run the brew setting, and let it sit in the pot for 30 minutes. Just check your product manual beforehand, as some manufacturers advise not to use vinegar. Many brands even sell specialized descaling solutions to make the process easier. If you don’t regularly descale, the machine will likely face a number of issues, like clogging, altered coffee taste, not getting hot enough, or not running altogether. 

One factor that determines mineral buildup is the kind of water that you use. Hard water contains a high amount of dissolved minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, so it will naturally lead to faster mineral buildup in your coffee maker. Soft or filtered water, on the other hand, is easier on your machine and will cut down on the frequency with which you need to descale. But keep in mind that minerals are also an important factor in the taste of your coffee, and a moderate amount is necessary for proper extraction. Like most things in life, balance is key. Lots of minerals will overpower coffee; too few and you’ll get a weaker, even salty cup of joe. Experiment with different kinds of water to see what suits your taste buds. 

Those who own a more advanced product may have a separate (and simpler) maintenance routine. Some machines have a light-up sensor that notifies users when it’s time to clean. Others may even have an auto-clean function that eliminates the hassle altogether.

Finally, those whose machines have a traditional espresso group head should use a cleaning process known as backflushing. Start by rinsing all the coffee grounds out of your portafilter, then brush underneath the group head to remove stray grounds from there as well. After that, all you have to do is lock the portafilter into place and run the brewing cycle several times. Coffeehouses backflush machines at the end of each day, but home users only need to do it weekly. Several products are available to make the process easier, from chemical solutions to single-use tablets.

Nespresso VertuoLine
The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell 

Accessories

There are many wonderful tools and accessories to pair with a coffee-and-espresso maker, but one of the most useful is a coffee grinder. Some machines have built-in grinders, but the majority do not. Purchasing a separate one ensures the freshest possible roast and, subsequently, the tastiest cup of joe. There are two varieties of grinders out there: burr grinders and blade grinders. Burr is the superior option, offering the utmost evenness and consistency, though it’s also much more expensive. Grinders can also be manual (often relying on a hand crank) or electric. Hario is a go-to brand for a reliable manual grinder, while Breville and Bodum make top-grade electric grinders.

Another useful accessory is a milk frother. Many coffee-and-espresso makers naturally come with a milk frother, but if not it’s worth purchasing a separate one, as they add even greater drink variety. Some of the most popular milk-based coffee drinks include lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos. Milk frothers come in three varieties: manual, handheld, and electric. Expect manual and handheld frothers to be smaller, cheaper, and slightly less powerful. Electric frothers, on the other hand, can lead to café-quality drinks but are more expensive. Nespresso, Breville, and AeroLatte all manufacture reliable milk frothers.

Serious coffee drinkers may also be interested in purchasing a kitchen scale. They help to measure the perfect ratio of coffee grounds to water and are more reliable than a coffee scoop. Another small accessory worth considering is a high-quality portafilter. Ideally, the portafilter included with your coffee-and-espresso maker would already be reliable, but sometimes they are on the cheaper and flimsier side. A sturdy portafilter will lead to a richer shot of espresso. Aside from these suggestions, all you need is a delicious bag of coffee beans, and you’re ready to go.

Conclusion

Most coffee drinkers have a cup (or three) every single day. This makes it especially easy to grow tired of coffee if you can only brew the same kind over and over. That’s why coffee-and-espresso makers are such worthwhile investments, whether you’re buying your first home brewing device or simply looking to revitalize your love of coffee. They provide unparalleled versatility, especially when equipped with a milk frother. At your disposal will be drip coffee to lattes and everything in between. As mentioned above, some of the key considerations when selecting a coffee-and-espresso maker include budget, kitchen space, ease of use, and of course drink options. Thankfully, there is a wide array of machines to choose from. The perfect coffee-and-espresso maker is waiting to shake up your normal coffee routine and craft a drink you love every sip of the way.

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Continue to 9 of 9 below.