Best Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo

Making an espresso is no mean feat. Brewing the espresso, steaming the milk, then pouring the espresso and the milk, wiping the steam wand and then flushing it. Now, fortunately, you can yourself become the barista from the comfort of your own home with the host of Coffee and Espresso maker combo machines available. 

Things to consider before buying a Coffee and Espresso Machine Combo

What is it?

A Coffee and Espresso maker, exactly as the name suggests, is a machine that can make numerous specialty drinks to cheer up your morning. You choose what you want to make – an espresso, or lattes and cappuccinos or of course, my favourite, just a simple pot of hot coffee. You may not look as cool as a barista making it but the machine definitely does a good job of preparing the drink. They come in different designs with some of them having steam wands. 

Why buy an Espresso and Coffee Maker combo machines can be quite intimidating to the uninitiated. In case you are a beginner you might want a machine which you find easy to operate. They are also relatively expensive and take up a lot of space.The compact Espresso and Coffee Makers provide a means to making more specialty drinks tailored to your taste, at a fraction of the cost. You also save up on the transport costs of going to your nearest coffee shop everyday just to get your favourite brew. 

Choosing the perfect one 

Coffee and Espresso Maker combos have become the new hype and so you will find a plethora of really cheap options in the market. However, you should always make sure to invest in something that gives you that quality cup of coffee you desire.

You should focus on four basic points when choosing the machine that makes the best coffee –

» Primary Use

First you need to make sure the type of drink you are likely to prepare the most of. Knowing how you plan to use the machine helps you choose one that is certain to deliver on that front. It’s up to you whether you want a hard-hitting espresso machine with the occasional lattes and cappuccinos or you want longer coffee with the shot of espresso occasionally. This will narrow down your list considerably. 

» The Espresso Machine 

Always check how effective the Espresso Machine is. A good quality espresso machine on the combo is absolutely essential whether you are a committed espresso fiend, or you just like the occasional cup. You should check all the user reviews to find a clearer picture about the machine and it’s parts, eg. The pump. Then you know whether the machine can meet your expresso requirements. 

» Pods or Ground Coffee 

Cleaning up is extremely convenient and takes very little time when it comes to the Pod(Capsule-based) Combo Machines. However, it uses a large amount of plastic, which is not eco-friendly at all. You are also quite limited in the brewing process. A ground coffee Combo Machine does not have these limitations, though it has a much harder clean up process. It basically boils down to your personal preference. 

» Dimensions 

Like any other appliance, you first check the dimensions of the combo machine. Most of them are made with the objective of making them as compact as possible leading to variations in their sizes. So you need to have space to fit it in your kitchen or storage space, as you might want to use it sparingly. 

You should also look at it’s operations, it’s price, quality of brew, material quality and brewing time. 

Problems that may arise

You can spend lavishly on your Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo, but you will still be prone to a few problems. We are bound to face more problems, while buying one on a budget. Balancing the taste of the brew(s) with easy usage and versatility, perfectly, is extremely hard to achieve. Let’s take a look at problems that follow, 

Unfamiliarity 

You are bound to face problems early on, after buying one of these machines. You will need some time to get familiar with how the machine functions even if you went and bought the one which you felt was the easiest to use. Your machine could possess a complicated menu or the grind might not always fall through all the way or maybe even you have to grind the beans all by yourself. So be prepared for the few challenges at the onset. 

Taste 

The Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo definitely is an economical solution to your everyday coffee needs. However, you might not be able to recreate the exact taste and aroma of the coffee that you are used to having at your favourite coffee shop. You have to be resigned to the fact that the quality of the coffee  you create using the machine, might not be better than the one you can have, out at the bar. 

We have decided to save you the trouble of going to hundreds of choices by making a list of the top five Coffee and Espresso Maker Combos, based on their prices, their quality and last but not the least, their style. So, let’s take a look –

Top 5 Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo of 2020

NINJA CM401

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It is a machine designed to provide a really tasty brew while providing a quality performance with excellent efficiency. The unit needs around 1500 watts of power and has dimensions that are (12×8.8×15) inches. You can get four distinct types of coffee from this machine.

The first is the Classic Brew which gives you a traditional style drip coffee. If you love black coffee, this is the option for you. Then comes the Rich Brew which gives you a more concentrated form of drip coffee. The Ninja can make cold coffee as well, with it’s Over-Ice Brew option. You need to put ice in your beforehand to enjoy this option to the fullest. Lastly comes the Speciality option, which is a blend setting(super-concentrated), and designed to provide very small amounts of coffee packed with a much higher dose of caffeine content and flavour. 

Here’s a YouTube link on how to clean it : https://youtu.be/q3AVdiF2X0o

Let’s take a look at it’s parts –

It has a dishwasher safe glass/thermal carafe, which is a removable container, that can hold up to 10 cups of coffee.           

It has a simple, compact, easy to use frother which is also foldable.

PROS:

  • It can adjust the temperature and water amount on it's own.
  • You only need to add the required amount of coffee, for your desired size and brew. It can do the rest of the work, itself.
  • It comes with a "Heated Plate", which keeps your drink warm for around 2 hours.
  • You can pause brewing or stop completely at any point with the drip-stop button. It prevents overflow and/or burning yourself.
  • It has a fold-open top for quick and easy refilling.
  • The "ninja scoop" tells you the number and amount of scoops you need, for whatever amount in total that you might want to brew.
  • It has a filter of its own. So, you can also save money on buying paper filters.

CONS:

  • It can get pretty noisy at the start of the brewing process. You will also hear the loud beeps when it ends.
  • The foldable frother which cannot heat milk.

Breville BES500BSS

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You can see Breville’s dedication to innovation and durability, clearly reflected in the Breville Bambino Plus, made of the Breville-standard stainless steel. It is considerably more durable than any plastic competitor and has around 1560 watts of power. It’s dimensions are (11.8×7.7×12.6) inches. 

You can get a single serve or a double, while brewing (If you care about single serve flexibility – read our best dual coffee maker article here). 

You also have control over the steaming, including the temperature and texture. You get an extra “purge” function and it is preferable to possibly rinse the portafilter in between shots. You should keep the milk sensor clean and dry to get accurate temperature readings. You also get a pre-infusion function with the Bambino Plus, beyond the dosing stage. This function will gradually increase the water pressure, allowing the coffee grounds to expand gently leading to an even extraction. 

You can enjoy the experience with the machine, when it comes to home brewing, but it gives you very limited options for expansion. Let’s take a look at it’s parts,

It has a water tank that can hold around 64 ounces.

It has a steam wand(automatic) to adjust the temperature and texture of the milk.

It comes with an inbuilt 54mm porta-filter, suitable with a 19 gram dose.

PROS:

  • It takes up very little space and is still much more than just a tiny drip machine.
  • It only has a heat-up time of 3 seconds and only 5 buttons. So it is user-friendly, compact and fast all at the same time.
  • It has a 15 bar Italian made pump along with Digital Temperature Control.
  • The stainless steel body increases its structural strength.
  • It has only 5 buttons for control, making it quite simple and easy to use.
  • The relatively large capacity water tank ensures that you do not have to refill before multiple brews.
  • It delivers quality milk foam(microfoam) enhancing the flavour of the brew and enhancing the latte art.

CONS:

  • It lacks a grinding mechanism. So you will have to spend extra to get a fresh espresso.
  • It lacks a few dosing equipment and also a scale.
  • It is constricted to beginner coffee makers and intermediate or in-house baristas.

Breville The Barista Express Espresso Machine, BES870XL

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You get to unleash the barista in you with the The Breville Barista Express. This is a great option of an espresso machine, if you are simply looking to make a good, strong brew. You can take your time to enjoy those shots, with an exquisite taste, that you have prepared. The machine does the grinding and extracting for you. The machine goes into standby mode if it is left alone for an hour. You can rest assured that it will definitely conserve energy with it completely shutting off at the end of three hours. 

It has a power of 1600 watts and it’s dimensions are (13.25×12×16) inches. You can make a single serve or double serve at the same time. It has an “auto-purge” function, to get the machine to the temperature optimal for extracting espresso. You can easily use this semi-automatic machine as a beginner but it also comes with highly customisable controls to give you that proper barista experience. 

Let’s take a look at it’s parts, 

It has an integrated, conical, stainless steel burr coffee grinder. 

It has an 8 ounce hopper. 

It comes with a Razor Dosing Tool for the portal filter. 

It has a stainless steel steam wand.

PROS:

  • It has digital temperature control to maintain the temperature at the ideal 200° F for proper extraction. You can also change the brew temperature, up or down, to a maximum of 4° F for your desired brew. The increments will be of 2° each.
  • You can simply set the water volume and it does the job itself, using it's programmable volumetrics.
  • It comes with a total of 4 baskets. A couple of them are non-pressurised, while the remaining two are single and double pressurised respectively.
  • You get several tools included with the new machine including a frothing pitcher, a tamper of the perfect size along with dosing and cleaning tools.

CONS:

  • Unfortunately, the superfluous espresso grounds are bound to collect and get mixed in the drip tray, in spite of the upgraded tray design.
  • The hot water dispenser has an imperfect design.
  • The machine is relatively taller and requires diligent regular maintenance.

Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker

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You will simply fall in love with this new machine from Keurig that can make foam, using milk. Keurig has come up with an attractive and extremely modern design for this unit, which is primarily made of plastic, like most of its other models. It does however, have a premium nickel-coloured finish.

The controls can be found on the top and they come with a strong brew option. You can enjoy four different cup sizes, which are – 6, 8, 10 and 12. There is also an extra 2 ounce Shot button, dedicated for lattes. The water reservoir can hold water enough for 6 full cups of coffee. So, in case you use it for 2 ounce shots, like me, the reservoir can go on for around a week before needing to be refilled. 

The milk frother on this machine uses fresh milk and resides in the base of the machine on the right. The machine requires 1500 watts of power and it’s dimensions are (12.5 × 15.3 × 11.7) inches. You can put travel mugs, up to a height of 7.2 inches, into the machine. Now let’s jump into its different parts: 

It has a removable water tank on it’s left side, which can hold about 60 ounces of water. 

It has a heating system that comes with digital controls in the middle of the machine.

It comes with a drip tray.

It has metal handles.

PROS:

  • You can use any kind of milk of your choice in the milk frother like cow milk, almond milk or even coconut milk.
  • The frother comes with 3 inbuilt frothing modes - Cappuccino, Latte and Cold Froth.
  • The frothing jug that comes with it, is made of stainless steel and has no electronics in it.
  • It is energy efficient, as it comes with an inbuilt, programmable auto-off feature, that turns off the machine, on its own, two hours after the last brewing.
  • It gives you reminders, when it is time to descale the machine. This ensures that the brew always tastes perfect.
  • It will work perfectly up to an altitude of around 5000 feet.

CONS:

  • The machine has a major design flaw, with it's frother and water tank jutting out. This makes it wider and less compact.
  • This unit does not have a digital clock or an "auto-on" function.
  • The foamer tends to rattle, if the handle is not facing forward.
  • The latte option produces more milk foam than desired.
  • You are always dependent on acquiring the coffee pods first, to make anything.

De’longhi America EN750MB Lattissima Pro 

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This machine comes with a pod based system, with the original “Nespresso Capsule System”, pre-installed into it. You have no work regarding any kind of measuring or grinding. Using capsules ensures that there will never be any change in the taste of the brew. You can adjust the strength of the brew and the flavour too, according to your preference(s). The milk froth always has a consistent strength, when it comes to this particular machine. It comes in a stainless steel body which is considerably compact, giving off an industrial look. The design is even more eye-catching and will definitely modernise your kitchen with it’s chrome-plated and brushed finishes. It can exert a maximum of 19 bars of pressure. It needs 1300 watts of power to run and the dimensions of the machine are (10.79 x 7.6 x 13) inches. Here are it’s different parts, 

It had a fine sensor touch display. 

It has a removable tank, with a hinged lid, that can hold up to 43 ounces of water. 

It comes with a milk carafe, that has a volume of 17 ounces. 

It comes with a drip tray

It has a used pod container and an unused milk container that can store around 0.5 litres of milk.

PROS:

  • It has the original De'Longhi automatic cappuccino Latte Cream System, pre-installed into it.
  • It gives you that high-quality taste.
  • You can get 6 different specialty drinks, namely - Espresso, Lungo, Cappuccino, Ristretto, Hot Milk and Latte.
  • It can also dispense hot water.
  • It has a programmable and very easy to use touch-screen control panel.
  • It has an inbuilt milk carafe system that cleans itself. You just need to turn on the knob of the milk regulator.
  • The container for the used capsules makes sure the unit is very easy to clean.
  • The hinged lid on the water tank prevents spills and splashes.
  • The unused milk container prevents milk wastage.
  • The milk foam that is created is incredibly fresh.

CONS:

  • It is relatively quite heavy and thus cannot be moved around much.
  • It has a very short power cable which is just 45 cm in length. This limits the number of places it can be put.

So, all in all, it is the DE’LONGHI AMERICA EN750MB LATTISSIMA PRO, that would be the perfect option for a Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo. You can get six different types of coffee with this machine, thus fulfilling all your different coffee wishes. It also restricts any wastage to bare minimum and makes it extremely easy to clean after the brewing, much simpler and easier. It has its own share of drawbacks, like being dependent on the coffee pods. But, the coffee pods also make the cleaning up easier. It is durable, easy on the pocket, compact in size and above all, gives you the rich taste in every cup of coffee, right in your own home.

So, if these are some of the features you are looking for, like me, then opt for one that serves your needs the best. I hope this article helped you to come to a perfect decision and now the only thing that stands between you and your coffee is a coffee maker!