Best Barista Coffee Machine

Best Barista Coffee Machine

Key takeaways

Factor Takeaway
Price Barista coffee machines range from under £500 to over £2000. Pricier models have more automation and customization.
Espresso quality Look for 15-19 bar pressure, PID temperature control, and a commercial-style portafilter for best espresso.
Milk frothing Automatic milk texturing makes it easy to get café-quality microfoam for lattes and cappuccinos. Manual steam wands give more control.
Grinder Built-in burr grinders let you grind fresh for maximum flavor. Dose control and adjustable grind settings are helpful.
Ease of use Touchscreens with pre-programmed drinks make barista coffee achievable at home. Adjustable settings let you finetune to your tastes.

Whether you're a budding home barista or simply want to supercharge your morning coffee, investing in a quality espresso machine lets you pull café-quality shots in the comfort of your kitchen. From entry-level models to high-end all-in-one systems, here are our top picks for the best barista coffee machines to suit every budget and skill level.

Best overall: the Barista Express™ Impress

the Barista Express™ Impress (Stainless Steel)

It's a tough call, but for the perfect balance of performance, features, and price, nothing beats the the Barista Express™ Impress. This innovative machine packs in everything you need to make third-wave espresso at home:

  • 15 bar Italian pump delivers water at the ideal pressure for espresso extraction
  • Thermocoil heating system reaches optimal brew temperature in just 3 seconds
  • 54mm stainless steel portafilter fits 19–22g of coffee grounds for bold, complex flavor
  • Built-in precision conical burr grinder with 16 settings for the perfect grind size
  • Assisted tamping with the Impress Puck system takes the guesswork out of tamping
  • Powerful steam wand for café-quality microfoam milk texturing
  • Intuitive interface with progress animations so you can easily track each step

Whether you're an espresso newbie or a coffee connoisseur, the Barista Express Impress makes it simple to grind, brew, and froth like a pro. Just follow the on-screen prompts to dial in delicious espresso drinks every time.

Best for beginners: the Bambino™ Plus

the Bambino™ Plus

Ready to dive into the world of espresso but feeling a little intimidated? Meet the Bambino™ Plus, your new best friend. This compact machine has everything you need to start brewing barista-level espresso at home, without the overwhelming options of pricier models:

  • 19 bar pressure pump delivers water at the perfect pressure and temperature
  • 54mm portafilter fits a full dose of grounds for bold flavor
  • Automatic hands-free milk texturing with adjustable temperature and foam level
  • 3 second heat-up time thanks to the ThermoJet heating system
  • Simple 1 and 2 cup buttons plus a dedicated steam button

The Bambino Plus gives you the tools to pull rich, full-bodied espresso shots and silky textured milk for lattes and cappuccinos. Its simple controls flatten the learning curve, while the automatic milk texturing lets you focus on dialing in your espresso. For an easy entry point into real barista brewing, you can't beat the Bambino Plus.

Best for pros: the Oracle™ Touch

the Oracle™ Touch (Black Truffle)

For the ambitious home barista, there's no better machine than the Oracle™ Touch. This top-of-the-line model automates the trickiest parts of making espresso, so you can focus on honing your skills:

  • Integrated precision conical burr grinder automatically doses and tamps 22g of coffee
  • Dual stainless steel boilers with PID temperature control for optimal brewing and steaming
  • Automatic microfoam milk texturing with adjustable temperature and foam level
  • Touchscreen display with 5 pre-programmed favorites plus 8 customizable settings
  • Dedicated hot water spout for making Americanos

From grinding to tamping to milk texturing, the Oracle Touch handles all the heavy lifting. But thanks to its highly customizable settings, you still have full control over every variable. Tinker with grind size, brew temperature, shot volume and more to get the flavors just right, then save your perfect coffee under whatever name you like. With the Oracle Touch, you can go from bean to latte in under a minute, without sacrificing quality or creativity.

Best under £500: Sage Bambino® Stainless Steel Coffee Machine

Sage Bambino® Stainless Steel Coffee Machine

Working with a tighter budget? You can still get Sage quality without breaking the bank, thanks to the Bambino® Stainless Steel Coffee Machine. Priced under £500, this entry-level espresso maker has the core features you need to brew pro-level coffee:

  • Thermojet heats water to the ideal brewing temperature in 3 seconds
  • 19g dose for full flavor using the included single and dual wall filter baskets
  • Low pressure pre-infusion for even extraction
  • Manual steam wand for café-quality latte art
  • Compact design fits any kitchen counter

The Bambino proves you don't have to spend a fortune for great espresso at home. It delivers the same rich, full-bodied shots as Sage's pricier models by using digital temperature control and low pressure pre-infusion. The manual steam wand is powerful enough to create silky microfoam for pouring latte art. And cleanup is a breeze thanks to the Bambino's stainless steel housing and included cleaning tools.

Best all-in-one: Sage The Barista Touch Espresso Machine

Sage The Barista Touch Espresso Machine Brushed Stainless Steel

Can't decide between a semi-automatic and a super-automatic? Get the best of both worlds with Sage The Barista Touch Espresso Machine. This innovative model puts café-quality espresso drinks at your fingertips, with both one-touch and manual operation:

  • Touchscreen display with 5 pre-programmed favorites plus 8 customizable settings
  • Integrated conical burr grinder with dose control delivers 19-22g of grounds on demand
  • Automatic hands-free milk texturing with adjustable temperature and foam level
  • PID temperature control and low pressure pre-infusion for rich, balanced extraction
  • Manual mode for full control over every step of the brewing process

With the Barista Touch, you can make everything from a simple espresso to a custom flat white with a couple taps. The touchscreen walks you through each drink, grinding, dosing, and texturing milk automatically. But experienced baristas can also operate the machine 100% manually, tweaking grind size, shot time, milk temperature and more. Whether you want to set it and forget it or geek out over every detail, the Barista Touch has you covered.

Choosing the right machine for you

With so many excellent options, how do you pick the right barista coffee machine for your needs and skill level? Here are a few factors to consider:


Barista-grade espresso machines range from around £300 to well over £2000. In general, pricier models will have better build quality, more precise temperature control, higher-end grinders, and more automation and programming features. However, even entry-level machines from reputable brands can pull great shots. Decide how much you're comfortable spending, then look for a model that maximizes features and quality at that price point.


Before falling in love with an espresso machine, make sure you have room for it! While some barista coffee makers have ultra-compact designs, others can be quite large, especially models with built-in grinders. Measure the width, depth and height of your countertop and compare that to the machine dimensions to ensure a good fit.


Using freshly-ground beans is the single best thing you can do to improve your espresso's flavor. Look for machines with a high-quality built-in burr grinder, which crushes beans to a uniform size rather than chopping them like a blade grinder. The more macro and micro adjustments the grinder offers, the more you'll be able to dial in your perfect grind size and consistency.

Ease of use

How hands-on do you want to be with your machine? If you're eager to learn the ins and outs of espresso pulling, choose a model with manual control over as many variables as possible, like the Barista Touch or Oracle Touch. If your priority is getting a great drink without the fuss, opt for a super-automatic machine that does the grinding, dosing, tamping, and brewing for you.

Milk drinks

If you enjoy sipping cappuccinos, cortados, and macchiatos, pay attention to the milk texturing capabilities of any machine you're considering. Some barista coffee makers, like the Bambino Plus, froth milk automatically, making it easy to get café-quality results at home. Others have manual steam wands that give you more control over the process. And some have both, so you can choose between automatic and manual frothing.


Don't forget to budget for a few key accessories to accompany your new machine. You'll want a knock box for discarding used grounds, a milk pitcher for steaming and pouring, and some microfiber cloths for wiping down the machine. If your machine doesn't have a built-in grinder, you'll also need to invest in a quality burr grinder. And every barista needs a collection of espresso-specific mugs and glasses—browse our picks here.

Dialing in the perfect espresso

Even with the fanciest espresso machine on the market, getting a god shot takes practice, patience, and a little know-how. Here are a few key variables to keep in mind as you perfect your home barista skills:

  • Dose: Most espresso drinks call for a "double shot," which is roughly 18-21 grams of coffee. If your shots taste weak or watery, try increasing the dose. If they taste overly strong or bitter, decrease it.
  • Grind size: Espresso needs a very fine grind—about the consistency of powdered sugar. If your shots pull too quickly and taste sour or lacking, try a finer grind. If they pull slowly and taste overly strong or bitter, coarsen up the grind.
  • Tamp: Compacting the grounds in the portafilter ensures even extraction. Tamp straight down with about 30 pounds of pressure, aiming for a flat, level surface.
  • Brew ratio: Most baristas aim for an espresso brew ratio of about 1:2—so for an 18g dose, you'd end up with about 36g of liquid espresso. Adjust the yield up or down to taste.
  • Shot time: The ideal extraction time depends on your brew ratio, but most espresso shots clock in at around 25-30 seconds from the moment you start the pump to when you stop the shot. Tweak grind size and tamp to steer the shot time.

Level up your latte art

Latte art

Once you've mastered pulling great espresso shots, you'll want to show them off with some impressive latte art. The key is getting the right consistency of steamed milk—ideally with a creamy "microfoam" rather than stiff macrofoam. Here are a few tips:

  • Fill your pitcher no more than halfway full for maximum room to incorporate air into the milk.
  • Use cold milk straight from the fridge—it's easier to get a stable foam with chilled milk.
  • Submerge the steam wand so the tip is just below the surface of the milk. Open the steam valve and listen for a "ripping" sound.
  • Once the milk has roughly doubled in volume, submerge the wand fully and continue steaming until the pitcher is almost too hot to touch.
  • Give the pitcher a good swirl on the counter to break up any large bubbles and incorporate the foam throughout. The texture should be glossy, thick, and free of visible bubbles.
  • Pour milk into the center of your espresso, aiming for a thin, consistent stream. Wiggle and move the pitcher to create designs as you pour.

With practice, you'll be slinging hearts, rosettas, and tulips in no time. Check out our full line of latte cups and cappuccino cups here to showcase your foamy designs.


Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or just looking to up your morning brew game, investing in a barista-grade espresso machine is a great way to enjoy café-quality drinks at home. Our top pick is the Barista Express™ Impress for its winning combination of performance, features, and price. For beginners, we recommend the Bambino™ Plus, while experienced baristas will love the customization and control of the Oracle™ Touch. No matter which model you choose, our tips and accessories will have you brewing, frothing, and sipping like a pro in no time.

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