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The 4 Best Italian Espresso Machines (2024 Guide)

Jason Gass
Last Updated: December 30th, 2023

If you are like many people, the idea of espresso brings about thoughts of quaint cafes on narrow streets in Italy. Of course, Italy is the home of espresso, so it only makes sense that the best espresso machines should come from this beautiful country.

When it comes to shopping for a great Italian espresso machine, there are plenty of choices and they can be a bit of a daunting appliance to shop for. Many have parts and pieces that you don’t normally find on coffee makers. Knowing what you’re shopping for is a must if you want to purchase a really great espresso maker.

In this article, we will give you five of our favorite Italian espresso machines. There is a range of options in our list and there is sure to be one that piques your interest.

We have also provided a helpful buying guide to help you narrow the vast number of choices down to the few that really fit your needs and your coffee brewing preferences.

Follow along with us as we navigate the world of Italian espresso machines.

How to Choose the Best Italian Espresso Machine

choosing best italian espresso machine

If you are ready to start shopping for a great espresso machine from Italy, you will want to know some of the product features that are key to a quality product.

In our buying guide, we will give you some of the features that we look for when selecting our picks for the best Italian espresso machine.

Types of Machines

There are four types of espresso machines that you’ll find. They are all capable of making a great shot of espresso, but each works a bit differently.

You should know before you start shopping what your preference is for effort, learning, and time when you are brewing espresso. These will all play into the type of machine that you select.

(i) Manual

Manual espresso makers are just as the name implies. They require you to manually extract espresso. Some of these machines are completely muscle powered and require a source of hot water.

Others have water reservoirs and heat water for you, but then require you to use a bit of muscle power to “pull” a shot of espresso. These espresso makers generally take more time to learn how to use and are slower at brewing your espresso.

(ii) Semi-Automatic

Semi-automatic espresso makers still have a bit of manual operation, but for the most part, the machine will heat your water, create its own pressure, and provide steam for frothing milk.

With semi-automatic espresso machines, you will use a button or dial to start and stop the extraction of your espresso. While you don’t have to physically pull a lever, you still need to recognize when your espresso shot is fully extracted, and manually stop the machine.

(iii) Automatic

These are often called fully automatic. These machines slightly decrease the effort of the semi-automatic. However, you still have to do quite a bit of work to make a shot of espresso. The real benefit of an automatic espresso maker is that you don’t have to sit and watch your espresso being extracted and stop the machine.

Automatic machines use a timer or other means to stop the extraction process automatically. Automatic machines also don’t require you to turn knobs to steam your milk. This is a push-button operation and is usually much easier to figure out than a knob or dial.

(iv) Super-Automatic

Super-automatic espresso makers are kind of like luxury cars. They have all the bells and whistles and pretty much just make your morning espresso drink happen, with minimal work. Most of these machines have preset recipes or the option to program your particular preferences.

They grind your beans, froth your milk, and perfectly combine the ingredients for your cappuccino, latte, or macchiato. These machines tend to be more expensive, but if you don’t have the time to wait for your espresso to brew, or the time to learn how to pull a shot, the super-automatic espresso machine is your pick.

Milk Frothing

The way that your Italian espresso machine froths milk comes in three options. You have to decide how much you want to work, or practice to make a great microfoam. Most Italian espresso makers will come with a frothing wand.

You’ll see this option on manual, semi-automatic, and automatic options. This feature requires you to insert the wand into a pitcher of milk and let the steam and your eyes do the work. It does take practice to get the right consistency of microfoam.

The second option is a milk frothing tank. These are generally found on fully automatic or super-automatic espresso makers. These tanks hold a quantity of milk, and depending on the setting will make properly steamed milk or milk froth for your drink preference.

The third option is to invest in a separate milk frother. Some super-automatic espresso machines don’t have a frothing wand or tank, so they either come with a separate frother, or you’ll need to purchase one separately.

Ease of Use

Ease of use, as you can see, is highly variable, and can even vary between the different types of machines. When it comes to the overall idea of ease of use, we think that the most important thing you can look for is a machine that has easy-to-follow instructions, intuitive controls, and features that you are comfortable using, with a minimal learning curve.

It doesn’t make sense to buy a manual espresso machine, with pressure gauges, knobs, and levers, if you don’t want to out in the work and learn. It may be the easiest of the manual options, but if it isn’t easy for you, it is not a good purchase.


Size is really a matter of where you are going to be using your Italian espresso machine. If you have a large kitchen with plenty of counter space, you probably can get away with a larger-sized espresso machine.

However, if you are thinking about traveling with your espresso maker or want one for your camper or RV, you may need to look for options that have a smaller footprint and will fit easily into small cabinets or on limited counter space.


Italian espresso makers really run the gamut when it comes to price. There are some really reasonably priced options, and then there are some very extravagant high-priced options, as well.

While we tend to look for products that are a good combination of features, quality, and price, this may not be the ideal way for you to shop.

If you are on a budget, look for Italian espresso machines that are within your price range, but also offer you the features that are the most important for your coffee brewing experience.

Ease of Cleaning

There is nothing less fun than cleaning your stuff. So, if you don’t like to clean your appliances, look for Italian espresso makers that come with automatic cleaning cycles.

For manual espresso makers, some of the simple options have parts that are dishwasher-safe. These are great for people that want to enjoy delicious espresso but don’t enjoy the process of cleaning their appliances.

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Best Italian Espresso Machine

dstblcr-table__imageGaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro
  • Commercial Steam Wand
  • Easy to Use Rocker Switch Controls
  • Rugged Brushed Stainless Steel
dstblcr-table__imageRancilio Silvia
  • Ergonomic Porta Filter
  • Articulating Steam Wand
  • Classic Linear Design
dstblcr-table__imageNuova Simonelli Oscar II
  • Semi Automatic
  • Reusable Filter
  • Timer Feature
dstblcr-table__imageDe’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super Automatic
  • Integrated Coffee Grinder
  • Auto Clean Function
  • 13 Adjustable Settings Grinds
dstblcr-table__imageMoka Express: Iconic Stovetop
  • 100% Biodegradable and Compostable
  • Ergonomic Handle
  • Suitable for Gas, Electric and Induction

Our Top 5 Best Italian Espresso Machine

italian espresso machine on the market

Now that you have our thoughts on what to look for in an Italian espresso machine, it is time for us to offer our picks for the five best Italian espresso machines.

We do have a range of options, and there are both manual and automatic-style espresso makers on this list. We have also given you portable countertop options just in case you are looking for an Italian espresso machine that you can drop in your suitcase for a great cup of coffee no matter where you are.

1. Gaggia Classic Pro

The Gaggia Classic Pro is a really great semi-automatic Italian espresso machine. This machine is both simple and highly functional. Even though it is fairly basic, and doesn’t have a ton of extra features, the Gaggia Classic Pro makes a perfect shot of espresso.

The first thing you may notice with this espresso machine is the minimal use of plastic parts. We love that the Gaggia is made from durable stainless steel. The simple styling is perfect for any kitchen and the small footprint makes it an ideal option if you don’t have a ton of space.

You will still have to do some work to get a great cup of coffee from this espresso maker. This machine does not have a built-in coffee grinder so you will need to grind and fill your portafilter with your favorite Italian roast coffee.

Though this machine looks like an automatic machine, you will need to start and stop the extraction of the espresso, and you will need to use the knob on the side to control the flow of steam for frothing your milk.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is one of the fastest-heating espresso machines, and the pump is much quieter than you’ll find on most espresso makers. This is a great benefit if you want to make a cup of espresso or cappuccino without waking up everyone in your house.

Overall, there are so many good things about the Gaggia Classic Pro that it is hard to find another machine that we would pick as our top Italian espresso machine.


  • Compact machine has a larger sized water tank for convenience
  • Grounds puck is really easy to remove from the portafilter
  • Beautiful stainless steel styling
  • Reasonable price and a great value


  • This machine takes longer to heat up than some other comparable models
  • You will need to practice the timing of the extraction and frothing with this semi-automatic machine
  • Only comes in one stainless steel finish

2. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

The Rancilio Silvia espresso machine is a close second to the Gaggia Classic. The Silvia is designed as a professional, commercial-grade machine, but is intended to be used in your home.

The Rancilio starts with an iron frame for a sturdy and durable base. The iron is covered in high-quality stainless steel panels, for an attractive and easy-to-maintain machine that fits well in most kitchens.

Inside the Rancilio, a brass boiler quickly heats your water, and the Italian-made pump provides plenty of pressure for a perfectly extracted espresso. The brewing process leaves you with an extra dry puck of grounds that easily pop from the portafilter for easy cleanup.

This is a semi-automatic espresso machine, so you will need to start and stop the extraction manually. And to froth milk, you will need to manually control the frothing wand and steam delivery. There is a bit of practice to both of these steps, but it is much easier than learning how to use a manual espresso machine.

The Rancilio Silvia is a bit larger than the Gaggia, so you do need to have a bit of counter space for this espresso machine. It is also pretty heavy thanks to that iron frame.


  • Iron and stainless steel construction make this a super durable machine
  • Large water reservoir
  • The controls on this Italian espresso machine are very intuitive and easy to operate
  • The top of the machine is a cup warmer, so you don’t have to brew into a cold cup


  • This is a very heavy espresso machine
  • There’s not much space under the portafilter so you have to use espresso cups or shot glasses
  • A bit on the expensive side

3. Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine

The Nuova Simonelli is a beautifully designed and exceptionally attractive Italian espresso machine. The Oscar II is a fully-automatic espresso machine so you get a great espresso with minimal effort.

The Oscar II starts with a large-size water tank so you don’t have to constantly refill this espresso machine. You’ll grind your beans and fill the portafilter with your favorite coffee and insert the portafilter into the machine. From here, your work is done. With a single push, the Oscar II is brewing a perfect shot or double shot of espresso.

The narrow and extra-long frothing wand fits in a wide range of containers, so you don’t have to spend time trying to find the right pitcher for the Oscar II. The top of the Oscar II includes a warming shelf for your espresso cups. This is a great place to store your cups as well, giving you more cabinet space for espresso beans and other accessories.

Nuova Simonelli does make higher-priced espresso machines, and Oscar II is no exception. At just under $1,500 this machine may not fit well in everyone’s budget. However, if you can afford this machine, you will love how it looks on your counter. It really is as much an art piece as it is a great espresso machine.


  • This is a visually stunning espresso machine
  • Easy-to-use automatic espresso maker with intuitive controls
  • Adjustable water temperature
  • Comes in two finishes (red and black)
  • Cup warmer is a nice feature


  • Larger water tank takes more time to heat up
  • Does take a bit of practice to get the milk frother to work right
  • Higher priced than other options

4. De Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica

It is really an easy choice to put the DeLonghi Magnifica, a super-automatic espresso machine on our list. DeLonghi is a well-known name among Italian coffee makers, and you know you can rely on this brand to be durable, easy to use, and long-lasting.

This espresso machine is so easy to use and gives you so many options for customizing your brew. The push button operation makes it easy to select single or double shots of espresso. You can use the dials to adjust the water temperature, grind size, and milk consistency. Besides being easy to use, this is one of the easiest espresso machines to clean and maintain.

The grinder is easily accessible, for filling and cleaning. The water tank pulls out from the front of the machine, so you don’t have to pull the espresso maker out from under your cabinets to add more water.

The Waste bin for grounds easily removes for easy cleaning and emptying. The one downfall with this machine is that the milk container is not very accessible.


  • The DeLonghi is very easy to use and has intuitive controls
  • Store your personal preferences for fast brewing of your perfect coffee
  • Stainless steel construction for durability
  • Looks great on your kitchen counter
  • Water reservoir is accessible from the front of the machine


  • The water reservoir is pretty small
  • Only comes in one finish
  • Milk tank is hard to access

5. Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Bialetti Moka Express is one of the classic, easy-to-use manual espresso makers from Italy. Bialetti has been making the Moka stovetop espresso maker since 1933. In fact, this percolator-style espresso maker is probably the original way to make authentic Italian espresso.

The Moka pot is so simple to use, and there is something refreshing about the simplicity. To make espresso with your Moka pot, you simply add water to the base, and coffee grounds in the filter basket and set it on your heated stove. In about five minutes, you will have a delicious espresso, and you don’t have to go broke to get there.

The Moka pot comes in some very fun colors and a couple of different sizes. The smallest makes just three cups of coffee. This is more than a typical espresso maker, but the quality of the espresso is amazing.

It is worth noting that you will need to fine-tune your coffee-making skills with the Moka pot. There is a bit of practice and trial and error to get the right grind size and coffee type to make espresso in the Moka pot to your particular tastes. Though, this is part of the fun of making espresso with the Moka pot.


  • The most affordable espresso maker you can buy
  • The Moka pot makes some of the best espresso
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and colors
  • Easy to store
  • Easy to clean and maintain


  • The Moka pot doesn’t make espresso, it makes a very strong coffee that is close to espresso
  • You do need to watch this coffee maker so you don’t overcook your coffee
  • Takes some practice to get the right combination of beans, grind size, and water

The Best Italian Espresso Machine – Final Thoughts

You just cannot go wrong when you invest in an Italian espresso machine. Since Italy is the birthplace of the espresso, you know that espresso machines made in Italy are designed for performance and quality.

Whether you pick the simple Moka pot or a more complicated machine that will do everything for you, there is a great Italian espresso maker for you.

Our pick, the Gaggia Classic Pro isn’t the fanciest of Italian espresso machines, but it is a high-quality, well-built espresso machine. Not only does it fit nicely in most kitchens, but it is easy to use, and of the machines we considered, really does make the best-tasting espresso, with minimal effort or time.

About The Author

Jason Gass

Jason Gass is a Colorado based freelance writer and blogger whose goal is to share a good cup of coffee and great stories around a campfire with close friends. When he’s not working, he spends most of his time traveling, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.

Just so you know, if you click on a product on and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

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