Check out the range of home coffee machines we recommend here at BaristaHQ
The Lello 1375 Ariete Café Prestige Coffee Maker is a fantastic value for money machine. It is rare to find a stainless steel coffee maker under $200 which is still capable of making an outstanding espresso, though the Lello 1375 certainly fits into this category and outperforms many machines that are vastly more expensive. The 950 watt heater heats the machine quickly and the pump system provides sufficient pressure and consistency for a fantastic milk texture. The warming plate for mugs on top of the machine is also a nice touch. These features make this machine our preferred coffee maker for this price range and is a great entry level machine when learning how to make coffee at home. Like all coffee makers, this machine has its quirks and may require some familiarisation. You will need to empty the drip tray vigilantly as it is not sizeable, and the use of finely ground beans and/ or tamping too hard may cause the machine to block. Otherwise, this is a great first machine which will help you practice your barista skills in the home.
Check out the latest deal on the Lello 1375 Ariete Café Prestige Coffee Maker here!
The Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder is our pick in the $500 – $1000 range of at-home coffee makers and is a step up from the Lello 1375 above. Although more expensive than the Lello 1375, the Breville BES860XL will allow you to experiment and develop as a barista, as opposed to simply make coffee within the home. How? The flexibility that this machine provides will provide you with ample opportunity to progress from a novice barista with no experience to a competent barista able to be employed within most professional café environments – all the while making fantastic coffee regardless of your experience!
When used with the dual wall filter the machine does not require the user to adjust the grind size or tamp pressure, thus suitable for a novice barista. When used with the single filter, however, the user will need to apply discretion and skill when making the espresso to ensure that the grind size and tamp pressure produce the desired effect. When learning these skills for the first time you will need to be aware of under extraction (resulting in a watered down espresso) and over extraction (resulting in a bitter espresso). Once comfortable with the use of the dual wall filter, the single wall filter will allow you to begin to learn of the art of being a barista and vary the grind size, tamp pressure and shot length.
Other features which make the Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine such a great purchase are:
- An inbuilt grinder and automatic doser to avoid spilling beans over your counter (note that the Lello 1375 does not have an inbuilt grinder)
- Storage compartments for extra filters and cleaning tools
- An automatic cleaning cycle and indicator
- Fantastic post purchase support from Breville and Amazon
Our only wish was for greater water storage (though the inbuilt water filter is a big plus).
Check out the latest deal on the Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine here!
The Pasquini Livia 90 Semi Automatic Espresso Machine is as close to a commercial quality coffee maker as you can find without crossing over into a machine that is commercial quality (and price!). At almost 50lbs with a stainless steel body, this machine is a top of the line at-home coffee maker that could also be used in the office or for small catering events. Unlike the Breville BES860XL which includes a grinder, automatic cleaning system and hopper to hold your coffee beans, the Pasquini Livia 90 is a more traditional Italian made machine which is designed to withstand the rigours of heavy use.
This coffee maker will simultaneously brew coffee and steam milk, and also has a large 1.5 liter boiler which automatically refills to ensure you are ready for your next espresso at a moments notice (similar to a commercial machine). The powerful pump system will produce steady pressure and allow full flavour extraction and a thick milk texture – necessities for excellent coffee. The Pasquini Livia 90 has an NSF Sanitation Certification and could if required be used as a commercial machine and the customer support from Pasquini and also Amazon is fantastic should anything ever go wrong (which will happen with any machine that is used regularly). This machine could be used to make the transition as a skilled barista into your own entry level barista business or is an excellent component as part of a broader catering service you may be providing.
Check out the latest deal on the Pasquini Livia 90 Semi Automatic Espresso Machine here!