One thing you need to understand before beginning your search for the best single shot espresso machine is that it is virtually impossible to get the perfect shot of espresso on the first try. Making the perfect cup of coffee is a learning experience with every machine. No two machines are the same and you’re going to have to learn and relearn the quirks of an espresso maker before you get close to your ideal brew.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are tons of resources online that show tips and tricks for making the journey easier, but make no mistake, it is going to take trial and error. So don’t get frustrated and don’t blame the machine, unless it’s obviously broken, chances are any problem you have is a result of you not understanding the right way to make coffee with this specific machine. Learn the love the process.
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
The Breville Barista Express is the premier brand of espresso machine if you want to spend top dollar to get the best possible machine in the market for the best value. It’s a fully automated, all-in-one solution to all your espresso needs. It has a built-in coffee grinder to grind down your coffee beans of any kind. You can also tweak how fast or how thoroughly you want your beans grounded and then set the machine to those settings so that it does that same process every time.
The machine also provides the optimal water pressure by default for making the perfect shot of espresso in the least amount of time. The pressure starts off slow and then ramps up as needed. The machine also has the option for microfoam milk that you can use to add even more flavor or make stunning latte art.
- All in One Espresso Machine
- Built-in Coffee Grinder
- Optimal Water Pressure
- Manual Microfoam Milk Texturing
Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine
The Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine is another great option for espresso enthusiasts. The main selling point of this machine is the precision heating solution provided by Thermoblock technology. This ensures even heating during the espresso extraction for the best flavor. Combined with the pre-infusion, this results in the perfect shot of espresso.
If you’re looking for the best single shot espresso machine, the Calphalon Temp iQ features a dial interface with the option to only pump out one shot or two-shot of espresso. This takes the guesswork out of the equation and you can simply get the perfect amount with a single press of a button. For even more added convenience, the espresso machine also features a cup warming tray so the cup is espresso ready. As an added bonus, the machine comes packaged with a Tamper, a cleaning pin, a stainless steel milk pitcher, and Dual wall 1 and 2 cup filters.
- 15-Bar Italian pump
- Auto-Shot Control
- Thermoblock heating technology
- Removable 2.0L water reservoir
- Cup warming tray
Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
The Mr. Coffee Espresso machine is a 3-in-1 deal that can also easily make Cappuccino and Latte. If your home or office has multiple coffee drinkers, it’s very likely that having more options will be appreciated. Take note that the coffee grinder comes separately, you can select to buy both at the same time, which is recommended for making espresso.
The machine also includes automatic milk frothing which does its job automatically. Just set the machine for the brew you want and wait for it to do its job. You can use the One-touch control panel to specify a single shot or double shot. This works for all types of brews. If you’ve chosen the single-shot variety, simply put the correct measurement cup underneath and it will fill it to the brim with no spillage.
- 3 in 1 espresso, cappuccino, latte maker
- Automatic Milk Frother
- One-touch control panel
- Removable Reservoirs
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Genio 2 Coffee Machine
The NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine is for when you absolutely need to save all the countertop space in your kitchen. The main selling point of this machine is the absolutely minuscule amount of space it takes up in the kitchen as compared to other machines that provide the same features. The overall design is also a plus.
This compact design does come with its drawbacks, however. While the machine can make specialty brews, the process is not automatic and needs you to add coffee beans as needed. But that is the case with almost all pod machines so if you’re okay with that then this can be a very good purchase.
The user interface is very intuitive. After you put the beans or milk in the front pocket, you can adjust the pressure using the toggle stick at the back. This lights up the bar on the top of the machine which indicates what’s happening in the machine. If you get the recommended Nescafe coffee capsules, you’ll notice that the packaging of those capsules shows how many bars are needed for making that type of brew.
- Compact Design
- 15 Bars Pressure
- Futuristic User Interface
- All Specialty Brews
Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
The Gaggia Classic Pro is the upgraded and updated version of the best entry-level semi-automatic espresso machines in the market. Everything from the frame to the internal mechanisms has seen an upgrade in terms of design and functionality.
If you’re unsure of what to buy or overwhelmed by the various options in your search for the best single shot espresso machine, the Gaggia Classic Pro is a safe purchase. The price may seem daunting at first but keep in mind the main reason why this machine is so highly recommended is the industrial quality features and build quality. This machine can easily be used as a replacement for a Cafe Espresso Machine while being cheaper. There are tons of features you would only find in a commercial coffee machine like the Commercial Style Portafilter or the 3-way Solenoid Valve, or even the steam wand.
The machine includes single shot and double shot baskets and a 58 mm portafilter for making the best espresso. Or you can go the pre-ground route and use the pressurized basket. You can also produce latte art with the steam wand on top of its steaming and frothing features.
- Industrial Strength
- Cafe Quality Espresso
- Commercial Style Portafilter
- 3-Way Solenoid Valve
DeLonghi Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
The DeLonghi Espresso machine is a relatively cheap machine that does what it says on the tin and little else. All the hallmarks of a great espresso machine are in there. It has 15 bar pressure with adjustable controls to make the perfect cup of coffee. There is an option for single shot or double shot espresso, simply select the relevant option and wait for the brew to finish. The symbols can be a little confusing but consult the manual, it has all the answers you need.
There is also a manual frothing mechanism that steams your milk to get the perfect blend just right. There is also an included 3-in-1 filter holder that comes with the machine. The design of the coffee maker is sleek and futuristic and it takes up surprisingly little space. The included water tank and the drip tray are easy to remove and clean. Make sure to do at the end of every day to increase the lifespan of the machine. They are also dishwasher safe.
- 15 bar pressure
- Espresso, cappuccino, and latte
- Manual Frother
- Sleek Design
- Removable Water Tank
Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine
The Hamilton Beach Espresso machine makes espresso, latte and cappuccino. Sitting at a hundred bucks this machine is at that weird spot, where it’s not too expensive for an espresso machine but at the same type makes you wonder if it’s even worth a purchase at that price. We’re here to tell you that this right here is one of the best single shot espresso machines available in the market right now. It might not look fancy or have a ton of functions, but it does what it does very well, and that is make good coffee.
It has a 15 bar Italian pump for premium grade pressure, which is staple for any self-respecting coffee maker. One of the key features is the easy to understand user interface. No bells and whistles here. There is also a slide and lock features where you put in the ground espresso or an espresso pod into the machine and lock it using the lever on the side. Once you’re ready to make the brew, make sure you’ve placed the cup at the appropriate place to take full advantage of the cup warmer.
- Slide and Lock Feature
- 15 bar italian Pump
- Easy Setup
- Swiveling Steam Wand
- Cup Warmer
Chefman 6-in-1 Espresso Machine
If you’re like me and hate confusing symbols and non-intuitive user interface than you’ll understand why I’m so in love with the design of this machine with one look at it. Owing to its slightly larger footprint, you can clearly see at the top cleanly labelled with actual letters instead of symbols, what each button does and how. There are three sections for Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino, with single and double shot buttons. Simply select which type of coffee you’re in the mood for and let the machine get to work.
The built-in frothing mechanism also takes out the manual need for frothing the milk with a steam wand. An added bonus is the 1.8 liter water container that can provide enough for an entire office without needing any refills. It’s surprising how much of a convenience it is to not have to worry about the water level. And last but not least is the cleaning function. Simply press the button for auto clean and the machine does it all by itself. But make sure to take out the detachable parts and wash them, they’re all dishwasher safe.
- Intuitive Controls
- 15 bar Pump
- Built-in Frother
- 6-in-1 Coffee Maker
- Internal Cleaning Function
We’ve compiled a list of the best single shot espresso machines in the market right now. One questions that kept coming up time and time again were the vastly different price points. The cheapest versions of espresso makers are about a hundred bucks, while the prices can easily reach six hundred or even seven hundred for seemingly no reason. Both types of machines provide the same function, they have (almost) the same features so why the different price point?
The answer is that the pricier machines are meant to be used in an industrial setting. There are meant to be used hundreds of times a day and they pay for themselves in a short amount of time. The cheaper versions aren’t necessarily worse, they’re just meant for home kitchens. They won’t be able to handle hundreds of refills a day but they’ll make a perfectly serviceable cup of coffee to start the day with.