Aeropress vs Espresso Machine

If you love a great, robust cup of coffee there are really two choices: an espresso machine or the AeroPress. Both of these coffee making wonders allow you to enjoy espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, and a host of other espresso-based drinks.

The two options are very different, however. For many coffee lovers, there is a desire to enjoy a great cup of coffee anywhere. And there are the people that love espresso but just don’t have the space. For these people, AeroPress is a great option.

If you just want to enjoy coffeehouse-style coffee at home, and you don’t mind the learning curve, an espresso machine may be your perfect option.

For the rest of us, however, the decision between the Aeropress Vs Espresso machine can be a bit difficult. In this article, we’ll give you some pros and cons between the two options and offer our thoughts on when and where each option is most practical.

With this handy guide, you will be able to easily select between an espresso machine and an AeroPress.

Things To Consider Before Buying AeroPress or Espresso Machine

buying aeropress or espresso machine

When you are shopping for an AeroPress or an espresso machine you do have a few factors that you should consider. Just like any other appliance you need to do your research before running out and spending your hard-earned dollars on an espresso machine or an AeroPress.

Below, we offer you the product features that you should consider when shopping for an AeroPress or an espresso machine.

Price

You really need to know your budget when you are shopping for any sort of appliance. Coffee makers come in a wide range of prices, and you can get really great products for minimal money.

There are also a lot of high-end options when it comes to coffee makers that offer you simplicity, ease of use, and some really great bells and whistles.

Besides the actual price of the coffee maker, you will need to think about the cost of other equipment that is needed to operate the coffee maker you select.

This may include things like coffee grinders, water kettles, filters, and other items. If you have to spend a lot on accessories or special filters you may want to consider another option.

Size

When it comes to size, there are really two things you need to think about. First the size of the coffee maker, and second the size of your coffee cup.

When it comes to the size of the coffee maker, you’ll want to consider the size of your kitchen, or the location where you’ll be keeping your coffee maker. If you have a large kitchen and plenty of space a larger, more expensive coffee maker may be a great option.

However, if you’re looking for a coffee maker for travel, whether it’s your suitcase or an RV, you may want to consider a more compact option.

Then there’s the size of your cup. How much coffee do you like to drink? Is a small shot of espresso enough to get your day going? Or, do you like to entertain and need to have enough coffee for two or more people?

The capacity of your coffee maker is important and should be considered when you are shopping.

Taste

Not all coffee makers create the same flavor profile, even when you use the exact same bean and grind. The way that coffee makers operate allows for the extraction of different tastes from coffee beans.

If you love really robust coffee you’ll want to look for a coffee maker that uses pressure and higher heat to extract flavors from your coffee.

For a more mild taste, you’ll want a coffee maker that utilizes no pressure and lower-temperature water. This keeps the flavors of the coffee light and without bitterness.

Grind Size

Some coffee makers have specific grind size requirements for the best-tasting coffee. This may mean you have to invest in a grinder that is capable of making these specific grind sizes.

If you’re not ready to invest in another piece of coffee-making equipment, you can always buy coffee grounds in specific sizes, or use one of those grinders in the grocery store.

Still not interested in the extra work? You’ll need to consider the coffee-making options that utilize the pre-ground coffee you find in the store.

Presenting the AeroPress vs Espresso Machine

Now that you know how to pick a great coffee maker, and the product features that you should consider when comparing coffee makers, we offer our comparison of the AeroPress and espresso machines.

Both the AeroPress and Espresso Machines use pressure to create a robust and rich coffee. There are some noted differences between the two machines, and in your consideration of both options you should think about what your coffee preferences are, where you’ll be using this coffee maker, and your budget.

AeroPress

AeroPress Pros:

  • Can make up to four cups of espresso at one time
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to assemble, disassemble, and clean
  • Comes with everything you need to get started

AeroPress Cons:

  • Requires special filters
  • Doesn’t make as robust an espresso as other options
  • Plastic construction
  • Need an additional appliance for making frothed milk

Espresso Machine

Espresso Machine Pros:

  • Makes a consistent coffee product
  • Brews directly into your cup
  • Comes in a range of prices, sizes, and features
  • Froths milk with the same appliance

Espresso Machine Cons:

  • Learning to use an espresso machine can be challenging
  • Espresso machines only make espresso, no other types of coffee.
  • Espresso machines can be more expensive

Features & Benefits

features & benefits aeropress vs espresso machine

Design and Construction

Espresso machines are typically countertop appliances that require more space than you’ll need with an Aeropress.

Typically espresso machines are constructed of durable materials such as plastic and stainless steel. These materials are able to stand up to the high heat necessary to make a cup of espresso.

Espresso machines work by using steam or pumped water to “force” water through fine-ground coffee. Espresso machines use higher-temperature water to generate heat and to create a robust flavor.

The AeroPress, like the espresso machine, uses pressure to “force” water through coffee grounds. The AeroPress is designed like a French Press.

This small coffee maker is made from plastic and silicone. The design of the AeroPress is intended to be compact and portable. It’s ideal in small kitchens, or for coffee lovers that want to enjoy a great cup of coffee even when they travel.

Where the espresso machine must use fine-ground coffee, the AeroPress can use a range of grind sizes to create a wide variety of coffee flavors.

Taste

If you really love the taste and feel of espresso from your local coffee house, then an espresso machine is the way to go. Home espresso machines are smaller versions of the ones in your local coffee shop. They generate a robust and rich coffee. They also allow you to froth milk for a wide range of coffee drinks.

The AeroPress also can make a rich and robust espresso. However, one of the benefits of the AeroPress is that you can utilize different grounds and different water temperatures, and even change up the grind size for more versatile tastes and coffee styles.

Easy to Use

Espresso machines used to be very complicated appliances. Today, however, they come in automatic, semi-automatic, and manual options.

Even though you’ve got a range of operation styles, the espresso machine can be more challenging to operate, and may take a bit of practice to figure out. Espresso machines are also more time intensive when it comes to cleaning and maintaining.

The AeroPress works much like a French press, so you just add coffee grounds, hot water, and press. In just a few minutes you have a delicious cup of coffee.

When you’re done, the filter and grounds puck is easy to remove, and the whole contraption can go into the dishwasher. It may be one of the most simple to use coffee makers out there!

Price

When it comes to price, you will find it hard to find an espresso machine that is as reasonably priced as the AeroPress.

For this price, you get the AeroPress, a starter package of filters, a coffee scoop, a stirring paddle, and easy-to-follow instructions. The AeroPress is completely made of plastic and silicone so it is inexpensively made, but also a great option for enjoying espresso or coffee on the go.

Espresso machines on the other hand are considerably more expensive. There are some options out there that are less than $200 but these are usually poorly made and don’t perform as well as more expensive machines.

Though espresso machines are more expensive, they are a nice option if you have the budget and are looking for a long-term investment for your kitchen.

Alternatives

alternatives aeropress vs espresso machine

If our pros and cons along with the helpful buying guide still have you wondering if you should invest in an espresso machine or the AeroPress, we’ve put together a few great products that make nice alternatives to the AeroPress and espresso machines.

1. Nespresso Lattissima Pro Espresso Machine

The Nespresso Lattissima Pro is a great fully automatic espresso machine. This easy-to-use espresso machine allows you to make a wide range of espresso drinks including cappuccinos, macchiatos, lattes, and more. The Lattissima is easy to operate, with an easy-to-use push-button display.
With this machine, there’s no guessing or practice needed for making the perfect espresso. The integrated milk pitcher makes perfectly frothed milk for your favorite drinks. The machine has self-cleaning modes for easy maintenance.
One of the pros and at the same time con of the Lattissima is that it uses Nespresso coffee pods. While this makes it easy to make your favorite cup of coffee, the machine cannot use other pod types so you always have to buy the Nespresso-specific pods.

2. KONA French Press Coffee Press Maker

If you enjoy the robust flavor of the French press but need to make more than just four cups of coffee, a great alternative to the AeroPress is the Kona French Press.

This is an attractively styled french press that makes amazing coffee. One of the standout features of this French press is that it is a bit shorter than other French press options.

This allows it to easily fit in most kitchen cabinets or even in the cabinets of your RV. The Kona is easy to operate and the filter system allows the plunger to be easily pressed without extra effort.

The Kona French press comes in five stylish colors so you can match your coffee press to your existing kitchen appliances or dishware.

3. WACACO Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine

The WACACO Minipresso GR is another great option if you’re not sold on the AeroPress. This compact coffee maker is a great way to enjoy perfectly brewed espresso even when you are traveling.

The Minipresso GR uses a small piston-operated pump to create pressure in the chamber of the coffee maker. This pressure allows you to make rich espresso without the need for power or batteries.

The espresso that this handy coffee maker creates even has the crema that is a hallmark of a great cup of espresso. This coffee maker gives you up to 50mL of espresso at one time, and it even comes with its own mug.

Aeropress vs Espresso Machine – Final Thoughts

If you love rich and robust coffee the AeroPress and an espresso machine are both great ways to make a delicious cup of coffee. They are, however, very different tools for making coffee and it is hard to pick one over the other.

If your two picks for making espresso are the AeroPress and an espresso machine, the best thing you can do is determine which product will best fit your budget, lifestyle, kitchen space, and desire to tinker with a new appliance.

If you figure out these questions, you’re sure to pick the perfect option for your needs.