Finding the best espresso machine with grinder isn't an easy task, something I've experienced myself when I was looking for a new device. It depends on how you approach this fun, but extensive search. To cover every angle, I divided the article in a number of categories, each covering a variation of an espresso machine with grinder. So in this article, I will take a look at:
So, from a manual espresso machine to a super-automatic one, it's all in here.
Breville Barista Express
And don't worry, all the differences between these types of espresso machines are explained in this article. Some devices come with a built-in grinder, where others require a separate grinder. In the end, I make sure you end up with the best equipment for your needs.
In this article, you will find the best espresso machine with grinder in each category. Also, all of the standalone machines and machine/grinder combinations won't cost you more than $1,000, some even a lot less. Whether you're looking for the convenience of a super-automatic espresso machine, or prefer to do all of the labor yourself with a manual espresso machine with grinder, we got you covered.
I divided this article in three main categories, each covering a different espresso machine with grinder. In each of the categories you will find the overall best machine, the best choice when you're on a budget, and the best choice if money is not an issue. Below you will find each category winner, and you can jump to its section right away, in case you're not interested in the other categories.
Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine with Built-in Grinder
Best Choice for Overall Best Espresso Machine with Grinder
Best Manual Espresso Machine with Grinder
The goal of each of the reviews on Let's Grind Some Coffee is to do an insane amount of research, so you don't have to anymore. We work with a number of talented and experienced writers, who know what they're talking about. Each writer is responsible for conducting his/her own research, so there's no miscommunication possible. When doing this article I owned the Breville Barista Express BES870XL. For the other products I used product reviews, customers comments, and instruction videos and manuals.
Sometimes we've had the products in our hands to test it directly, but in most cases, we rely on other espresso machine reviews, product manuals, comment sections, Youtube videos, forum discussion and so on. This way you don't only get our opinion, but a collective opinion of experts all around the globe.
By combining all of our findings in our reviews, each article should serve as your definite resource to base your decisions on. As the research can get quite extensive, our individual product reviews tend to be very long and detailed. However, when making a "Best Pick" article like this one we try to be as comprehensive as possible. We will break down the pros and cons of each product as clearly as possible, so you know what you're buying. If you want to learn more about a product you can read its longer and more detailed review.
We base our "Best Choice" on a couple of points, including:
The feature set, build quality/durability and output quality. After we rate each finding, we have a look at its price. We want you to be able to afford the product you're interested. It's easy to get a maximum score with a product costing $5,000+. While this ultimately may be the best product you can get, its price tag will prevent most people from being able to afford it. Therefore, the price of a product is an important consideration before declaring a product the best.
For each category, we list the following options:
- What is the overall best product, based on price vs. quality?
- What is the best product under $XX (where we use a relevant budget)?
- What is the best product is money is not an issue?
This way we think we can satisfy anyone looking for a product, as well as being able to show what you can get for each different price range. After all, it's up to you whether you think a better product is worth its money, we just make sure you know what you're getting.
Don't hesitate to leave any feedback or questions in the comment section. We're more than happy to help. We're always open to adding relevant information to the article if there's an omission or if something is unclear, just let us know.
Let's first define what exactly an espresso machine with grinder is. To me, that's a specialized coffee maker capable of making at least (sometimes even only) espressos, combined with a built-in grinder. An all-in-one device, just like an ordinary coffee maker with grinder is for your regular cup of joe.
But it also could be an espresso machine with a separate grinder, so you get two specialized devices dedicated to performing one task perfectly. This is the definition I used for the "Best Espresso Machine under $200 with Grinder" in this category, and the "Best Manual Espresso Machine with Grinder" in the category further on in the article.
Learn more about the differences: Espresso Machine vs. Coffee Maker
Manual espresso machine:
This type of machine requires the most manual labor from you. You have to fill the portafilter with ground coffee, place it in the group head, and slowly pull down a lever to apply the required pressure while running water through the portafilter. If you want to make a cappuccino, you need to steam the milk yourself.
Semi-automatic espresso machine:
With this device, you still have to fill your portafilter with ground coffee, but after you put it in the group head, your machine will take care of the pressure part. The semi-automatic applies to the extraction process, which is thus handled by your machine. You still need to steam the milk yourself if you want a cappuccino.
Manual, Semi Automatic or Super Automatic Espresso machines?
These terms are applied to show the amount of labor involved when making coffee. A manual espresso machine requires the most effort, where the super-automatic is fully hands-off.
Super-automatic espresso machine:
These are the all-in-one devices where you just need to put your cup under the coffee outlet and hit a button. Most of these devices allow you to make several varieties of coffee, as well as being able to adjust the strength. These are also known as bean-to-cup espresso machines, and are known for their one-touch button functionality.
In general, the more automatic is gets, the less control you have over the quality of your espresso. But with more control, like with a manual espresso machine), comes more practice and risk of failure. The semi-automatic is a good compromise of a well enough amount of control vs. a high-quality result.
So if a semi-automatic is our definition of an espresso machine, and we're looking for a built-in grinder, what do we get?
Overall Best Choice for Best Espresso Machine with Grinder.
Best Budget Choice for Best Espresso Machine with Grinder.
Best Choice for Best Espresso Machine with Grinder Without Budget.
The Barista Express is one of the few semi-automatic espresso machines with built-in grinder available on the market. It is Breville's most popular espresso machine, and also the one I bought myself after reading many espresso machine reviews. You can read about my search in my article about the best Breville espresso machine.
I choose a semi-automatic espresso machine with built-in grinder to be the definition of "best espresso machine with grinder," and the Barista Express definitely deserves that title. Being a semi-auto, it also holds the title of best semi-automatic espresso machine with grinder (luckily we're not handing out awards, as this would require a big trophy).
You may argue that my definition of the best espresso machine being a semi-automatic is the wrong decision. Some consider manual espresso machines to be the only ones capable of producing a high-quality espresso.
Others are looking for the convenience of a super-automatic, of which the higher-end models are producing excellent espressos as well. As I mentioned above, I believe a semi-automatic espresso machine hits the sweet spot for people looking for a espresso machine with grinder. The fact that the Barista Express, besides being a semi-automatic, also has an built-in coffee grinder is a what makes is the best overall device to me.
Okay, let's dive into the specifics of the Breville Barista Express. It features an integrated conical burr grinder, capable of producing coffee grind fine enough for making espresso.
What is an Americano coffee?
An Americano is basically a dilluted espresso, to make it less stronger. It consists of 2/5 espresso, and 3/5 hot water.
It comes with pre-defined shot times for both a single and double espresso. It has a convenient steam wand for making cappuccinos and lattes. It also has a hot water pipe, for making Americanos, which is a diluted espresso with 2/5 of espresso and 3/5 of hot water. It comes with a pressure gauge to help you achieve the so-called "espresso range", which is the optimal pressure for making espresso.
The Barista Express has some excellent features, some of which are only seen on far more expensive devices. It does have some minor flaws, none of which are serious enough to prevent it from being the best espresso machine with grinder.
Pros & Cons
If you want to learn more about the Barista Express, please read my extensive Breville Barista Express review. In this review, you will also learn more about PID temperature control and pre-infusion for example, and why this is important.
You won't get any built-in grinder for this price, but I did find the best espresso machine under $200. In fact, it is so cheap that there's even room left for a separate grinder.So if you're just getting started in the world of espresso making, or simply don't want to spend too much money, we've got you covered.
Keep in mind, though, you won't get anything fancy like the Barista Express for this budget, and it's quite possible that both devices break within a couple of years. However, that's long enough for you to know if you like making espressos and want to upgrade your gear eventually.
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista is a cheap, but very popular entry-level espresso maker.
What I like about it is the fact that it comes with an Automatic Milk Frother, which you can use to make cappuccinos and lattes. Most cheap espresso machines come with a simple steam wand, which isn't very convenient for making milk foam easily. In comparison, the steam wand of the Barista Express is generally known for its ease of use, as it has a highly optimized design.With the Café Barista, you won't have to worry about that, which is a big plus.
This tiny device has a huge number of positive reviews, and it is considered to be the best Mr Coffee espresso maker. Also, since it only costs about $145, there's some room for a decent coffee grinder. Never buy pre-ground coffee, as this won't get you a good espresso.
The Cuisinart DBM-8 is a popular cheap coffee grinder, capable of producing the fine espresso grinds. As with most cheaper products, money was saved on build materials. This results in getting inconsistent grinds sometimes, and now and then your grind isn't fine enough for espresso.
However, for a price of around $45 that is easily forgotten (check out the latest price), and it probably lasts as long as your espresso machine. If you decide you want to spend a bit more to get a better, have a look at our coffee grinder reviews.
For its low price tag, the Café Barista is quite impressive. As you would expect, though, it does have some flaws which correlates to its low price.
Pros & Cons
We'll be doing a more in-depth into the details of this handy little espresso maker in the neat future.
As I previously defined a semi-automatic espresso machine with built-in grinder to be the best fit for this category, what device would be the best if you don't need to stick to a budget?
Well, that's easy: The Breville Oracle. I like to call it the world's first automated semi-automatic espresso machine. This beast of a machine does still count as a semi-automatic, due to its open design and the fact that you're still needed to move the portafilter.
However, there's no need for tamping anymore, since the Oracle automatically grinds, doses, and tamps the coffee in the portafilter.
It also makes the milk foam just how you want it, without you needing to froth the milk yourself. You are only required to move the portafilter from the grind section on the left into the group head in the middle.
Costing almost four times as much as the Barista Express and with no direct competitors around, the Breville Oracle is in a class of its own. But that's what is possible when money is not an issue. Please note though; this machine is more than worth its money.
Pros & Cons
You can probably guess by now that I am a big fan of this machine, but it's out of my price range for now. If you want to learn more about this magnificent device, make sure to read the full Breville Oracle Review.
If you're more a hands-off person, then you will probably prefer a super-automatic espresso machine over a semi-auto. These devices are also known as a bean to cup espresso machines. This means you insert the beans in the bean reservoir, put a cup under the group head, select the type of coffee you want to make, and wait till it's done. No moving around with a portafilter, and no need to apply any pressure yourself.
On the other hand, having your machine take care of all the work, means you have less control over the brewing process. If you looking for the perfect espresso, and you love tinkling with even the finest settings for improving your shot, a super-automatic won't be a good match for you. However, having a machine that makes one good and consistent espresso after another can be a blessing. Especially when all you have to do is push a button. I previously had a super-automatic before I switched to a semi-automatic (the Barista Express), so I know what I am talking about ;-)
You should know that super-automatic espresso machines capable of producing a good espresso aren't cheap. In general, the more complex a machine gets, the more expensive it is. Super-automatics are no exception, which is why this category Budget Winner is a whole lot pricier than the Overall Budget Winner, the Mr. Coffee Café Barista (which is a simple device). I made sure that all super-automatic espresso machines listed here are well worth your money, though.
So let's have a look at the best super-automatic espresso machine with built-in grinder. In this category you will find:
Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine with Grinder.
The Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine under $1,000.
Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine with Grinder Without Budget
Finding the best super-automatic espresso machine wasn't an easy task. The main concern with each of these machines is the durability. With lots of moving parts, things are bound to break, especially on the cheaper models where lots of plastics are used.
But after carefully curating many espresso machine reviews, I have found the best super-automatic espresso machine.
The De'Longhi Magnifica S is a higher-end model within the popular De'Longhi Magnifica espresso machine line. Not only does it have a built-in grinder, but it also comes with a built-in milk frother for making cappuccinos and lattes.
This truly is a super-automatic, with one-touch functionality for making various drinks. You don't need to foam the milk yourself, and this machine is perfectly capable of making excellent foam.
I had a similar machine myself, but it was a lower-end model, and the technique for making foam then wasn't always that great. However, this is something De'Longhi really improved on, and I would certainly get this one should I switch back to a super-automatic espresso machine.
All of its current users are amazed by the high-quality espresso and cappuccino is making. Where many machines, even at this price level, are prone to leaking and breaking, this device seems to operate flawlessly.
Pros & Cons
If you want to learn more about this machine, don't forget to read our full review which will be ready in a few weeks.
Finding a capable espresso machine under $1,000 isn't an easy task. Many machines either don't achieve the right pressure or temperature (or both) for making an espresso. As an espresso is a delicate type of coffee, it all needs to be perfect. As I mentioned above, you might expect at these prices that manufacturers have enough budget to make a decent machine. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.
en Jura, which has an excellent reputation for building espresso machines, doesn't always get it right. Luckily, the Jura Ena Micro 1 hits the sweet spot or temperature and pressure.
It's even capable of producing ristrettos, the most delicious of all coffees, but due to its strength not easily achieved by most espresso machines. In fact, even many semi-automatics are capable of making a ristretto, as it is not just a matter of making an espresso and stopping it halfway in the process.
The Jura Ena Micro 1 is a one-cup espresso machine with a tiny footprint. You can pre-define the amount of coffee for three buttons; you can pre-set a ristretto, espresso, and regular coffee. There's also a 2-cup version (the Jura Eno Micro 5), in case you're drinking coffee with a soulmate who likes the same settings as you do. The Jura Ena Micro 1 is a simple device, yet excellently capable of doing what it's supposed to do.
What is a ristretto?
A ristretto is an even stronger coffee than espresso, which uses only 15ml of water (vs. 30ml for an espresso), but with the same amount of ground coffee used.
Pros & Cons
We'll be doing a dedicated review on the Jura Ena Micro 1 in the near future, but if you're looking for a perfect espresso machine under $1,000 with built-in grinder, this is your best bet.
The Jura Giga 5 is probably the most expensive device listed on this site, coming in at a $5,000+ price tag. And while you might think this is something you would find in a coffee café, it's not. In fact, it is not even allowed in a commercial setting as it is only home-rated, which means that you could get insurance issues when using it in a commercial setting and it causes a fire.
The Jura Giga 5 is, therefore, the ultimate home espresso machine, for those looking for only the best of the best. So why is the Giga 5 so expensive? Well, it features dual everything for starts.
Dual high-quality grinder, dual boilers, and dual pumps, allowing for making two different drinks at the same time. This machine basically consists of two separate espresso machines, packed in one large casing. The added benefit of having two grinders is that you can use them for different beans, like espresso beans and decaf coffee beans.
The Jura Giga has all gimmicks needed to brew your coffee at the right temperature and pressure with optimized taste and also cleans up after itself. Besides making anything from ristretto to latte, it also comes with a guide function to help you create coffee drinks with added liquor or cacao, like a Marocchino (with cacao) or a Red Cool (with Campari). Don't worry; I haven't heard of these drinks before either.
It is hard to say if this machine is worth its price tag. It is an extraordinary espresso machine, but it is in a league of its own when it comes to home espresso machines. I guess its main competition is buying a cheap car and drive to your local Starbucks each day for a whole year for the same amount of money. However, if you're a looking for the perfect companion for your expensive mansion, this is your new best friend.
Pros & Cons
If you want to see some delicious coffee making videos, please have a look at Jura's sales page. We'll be also doing a more in-depth review soon.
If you want to have full control over the brewing process and don't mind a lot of trial-and-error, then a manual espresso machine is a perfect fit for you.
Also called a lever espresso machine, these instruments of precision rely on you to achieve the right pressure for extracting coffee. As these are the least automatic machines of all espresso makers, they come with the highest margin of error as you have to get it right each and every time. But if you have the time, dedication, and patience to learn the proper technique for the so-called "God shot" (seriously, that's how it is called: God shot), please buy a lever espresso machine and go make us all proud!
It's a fantastic system to watch, and the sheer beauty of a level espresso machine could warrant it's price tag. Especially in shiny chrome and or brass, these devices are discussion starters, as these look amazing in your kitchen.
What is a lever espresso machine?
A lever espresso machine don't has a on/off switch like regular machines. You need to pull a lever to get the extraction going, which allows you to control the pressure.
A level espresso machine is no easy picknick, and you can expect to throw away a lot of failed espressos before getting it right. Even when you feel like you mastered the technique, it will still be hit-and-miss sometimes. This is a very sensitive way of making espresso, so make sure your grind, tamping pressure, temperature, and the amount of pressure is right.
It's time to have a look at the various manual espresso machines. These are the machines I will be covering.
Best Manual Espresso Machine with Grinder.
The Best Manual Espresso Machine under $500 with Grinder
Best Manual Espresso Machine with Grinder Without Budget
The La Pavoni Europiccola is their entry-level lever espresso machine, and a good start if you are a beginner in this segment. It is considered to be the best lever espresso machine under $1,000, as most other devices are above that. This is a sturdy device, featuring an all-metal design under heavy chrome plating. You won't easily break something, that's for sure.
You would expect it to be heavier, though, but it only weights 14 pounds. It durable build does allow it to be around for many years to come if you maintain it properly.
It heats up pretty quick (in about 5 minutes), but after making a few espressos it heats up too much, and you have to wait for it to cool down. This is, unfortunately, something most home espresso machines are affected by, so you can't really blame La Pavoni. Also, it is not regulated by a PID, so you have to keep an eye on this yourself (also known as temperature surfing, meaning you have to balance the heat in between shots).
The Europiccola also has a steam wand for making milk foam for cappuccinos. However, it doesn't swivel, and it situated close to the boiler, so you have to be careful when using it. Other users recommend to get a deep milk frother, so you have a bit of working space without harming yourself. It does have enough steam pressure to make a decent amount of steam.
Pros & Cons
As for the grinder, you'll be looking at a high-end espresso grinder. The grinder needs to deliver a consistent, fine espresso grind. Without the proper grind, you simply won't get the right espresso, no matter what you do further in the process.
I can recommend these three grinders. All are capable of providing fine espresso grinds, with all of them being fairly to really consistent, the latter depending on your budget:
Best Choice | Rancilio Rocky:
The Rocky is an electric burr coffee grinder, which easily makes consistent, fine espresso grind. It has an excellent price vs. quality, and would be the best choice if you want espresso grinds without breaking the bank.
Budget Choice | Porlex JP-30 Manual Grinder:
If you want to keep your process fully manual, the Porlex JP-30 is an excellent choice. Its consistency can swing a bit due to the lower quality materials used. A bit better is the ROK Coffee Grinder, which is discussed below in the budget section.
No-Budget Choice | Mazzer Mini:
If you want to the absolute best espresso grinder, the Mazzer Mini is your best bet. Capable of producing only fine espresso grinds, this is as close as you can get to a commercial coffee grinder. Being almost as expensive at the La Pavoni itself, you would have to consider if it is worth the difference to the Rancilio Rocky.
We will be doing a more detailed review of the La Pavoni espresso machines in the near future.
Because most manual espresso machines are far above the $500 mark, it's not difficult to get the best manual espresso under $500 label. In fact, it is so low priced that it even qualifies as the best manual espresso machine under $200. However, as it's only competing with a few small hand-pressed espresso makers, the price alone isn't a justification of its placement on this list.
Its results are what warrants its position. The ROK crew made a pretty decent manual espresso machine at a very competitive price, in a design that's almost all metal.
Even though it is technically a lever espresso machine, it has a unique approach to an old technique but using two levers on the left and right. You fill the water container with hot water, move the levers up, wait a few seconds, and then move it down in about 15-20 seconds.
This is a no-frill manual espresso machine; it doesn't even use any electricity. You have to boil the water outside the machine and fill the water reservoir (which is just one of the very few plastic elements). As the water starts to cool down right away, you all have to time it really well. If your water is too cold you will end up with a sour espresso.
It doesn't have a steam wand. However, a manual milk frother is included. To be honest, this looks really stupid and won't give you proper milk foam. I would advise using an electric milk frother (Epica Milk Frother). The included measuring scoop also serves as a make-shift tamper, but as it is plastic you could easily break it, so you better buy a metal 50 mm tamper like this one.
If $200 is all you want to spend on a manual espresso machine, the ROK Presso is your best (and only) choice. Just realize that this is a stripped-down experience from the La Pavoni espresso machines, but it is only about 1/3 of the costs.
Pros & Cons
As with all the other manual espresso machines, you're going to need a separate espresso coffee grinder to go along. You could, of course, use any of the recommended coffee grinders listed above. But, ROK also made a coffee grinder which mimics the design of the ROK Presso and works essentially in the same way.
It is called the ROK Coffee Grinder and costs about as much as the ROK Presso. It is a perfect grinder to go along with the Presso, not only because it looks alike, but also because it is a good grinder at a competitive price. You can check out our ROK Coffee Grinder review if you want to learn more.
The combination of the ROK Presso and ROK Coffee Grinder makes this the best manual espresso machine under $500 with grinder, just make sure you understand the limitations this price tag brings to the device.
This is one of the most beautiful espresso machines I have ever seen. The Elektra Microcasa is a lever espresso machine with a chrome and brass finish, looking absolutely stunning. Besides its looks, this is also a very excellent lever espresso machine. It is considered being more user-friendly than the La Pavoni espresso machines, but you can't go wrong with any of them.
It's added feature compared to the La Pavoni Europiccola is a pressure gauge, shows you the pressure inside the boiler and indicated the optimal time to brew your espresso.
It also has a built-in thermostat for safety reasons (in case your water runs dry), as well as a better heat regulator inside. Elektra crafted the boiler in such a way that it delivers pretty dry steam (you don't want too much water in your milk), allowing you to make perfect foam for a delicious cappuccino.
As the technique used is much comparable to the La Pavoni, I will stick to highlighting the differences:
Pros & Cons
Except for its learning curve (like any manual espresso machine), there aren't any real downsides. You have to decide if the minor upgrade in functionality is worth almost double the money of a La Pavoni Europiccola. If I were buying a lever espresso machine, this would definitely be the one, if it only was for the design.
Thank you for reading the full article on the best espresso machine with grinder. It's an extensive list, and then to think that I just scratched the surface of most devices. Since it is such a broad topic, I wanted to make sure to cover every angle of it. Of course, this article is never really done, as there is so much to say about any of these espresso machines. So feel free to add anything relevant in the comment section, including any questions you might have.
Again, thank you for reading and good luck on your purchase. I hope my article helped you in your decision (if so, please let me know as well :-).
Jacco, Chief Grinder