I need a nice espresso machine for our new office.
After putting in more than 60 hours of research, we enlisted a former barista, aided by Stumptown Coffee’s education crew, to test five espresso machines, four grinders, and a dozen accessories to find the best beginner’s espresso setup for less than $1,000. We recommend starting with the Breville Infuser espresso machine, because it makes pulling consistently great-tasting espresso shots easier and more approachable than the other machines we tested. It also comes with all of the accessories you need to get started.
The Breville Infuser was the best out of all the machines because of its superior performance for both espresso and milk steaming, ease of use, and the fact that it comes with all the accessories needed to get started. It made a consistently flavorful shot of espresso, and it was very easy to set up and use. The experts we consulted were even impressed with how easy it was to pull a decent shot with the Breville—high praise from a group of people experienced with $1,000+ machines!
Using the Infuser is a breeze, even if you’ve never touched an espresso machine before. It comes with a straightforward “how to get started making espresso” sheet, a removable water reservoir, preset options for single and double shots, and a manual mode for precision control. Although it didn’t make the absolute tastiest shot of espresso we tried, our testers were impressed with its consistency and pleasant mouthfeel. Every shot we pulled had a good amount of crema on top, as you’d expect from a high-end cafe. And the Breville’s steam wand was by far the best tested, though it does take a bit of time to heat up fully.