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Best Espresso Machines with a Grinder: Top 5 Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Coffee Geek Lab / Best Espresso Machines with a Grinder: Top 5 Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Best Espresso Machines with a Grinder

Getting yourself an all-in-one coffee maker is a great idea. Especially if you like your coffee fast and fuss-free.

That’s why I suggest you check out today’s review of the best espresso machines with a grinder. These devices can do most of the work for you. All you have to do is pick the suitable one (which we will discuss in the buyer’s guide).

ProductDetailsRatingPrice
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XLBest Overall – Editor’s Pick – Barista Express by Breville
  • conical burr grinder;
  • integrated steam wand;
  • digital temperature control for the right water temperature;
  • supports single and double espresso shots;
  • adjustable grind size.
9.5Check current price on Amazon
DeLonghi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine (ESAM3300)Best Value for Money – De’Longhi Magnifica (ESAM3300)
  • super-automatic design, does all the work with only one push of a button;
  • works with both whole beans and pre-ground coffee;
  • removable water tank for effortless refills;
  • steel burr grinder;
  • 8.8-oz bean container.
9Check current price on Amazon
 De'Longhi La SpecialistaBest for Adjustability – De’Longhi La Specialista
  • adjustable milk steamer for different types of foam;
  • dual heating system for precise temperature controls;
  • smart tamping system;
  • fast heat-up;
  • separate hot water spout for teas or Americanos.
8.5Check current price on Amazon
Philips 2200Best User-Friendly Espresso Machine with a Grinder – Philips 2200
  • fully automatic;
  • adjustable grinder (12 increments);
  • ceramic burr grinder;
  • removable brew group for easy cleaning;
  • adjustable temperature (3 settings).
8Check current price on Amazon
Gaggia AnimaBest for Cappuccinos and Lattes – Gaggia Anima
  • aroma strength adjustments;
  • programmable shot size;
  • removable water tank;
  • integrated steam wand;
  • 3 temperature settings.
8Check current price on Amazon

Our Reviews of the Best Espresso Machines with a Grinder

Best Overall – Editor’s Pick

Barista Express by Breville

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL
  • stainless steel construction;
  • 67-oz water reservoir capacity;
  • ½-lb bean hopper;
  • conical burr grinder;
  • integrated steam wand.

The first item on our list is one of the best espresso machines under $1,000 that combines reliability, versatility, and great value for money. 

The Barista Express by Breville uses the PID technology to control the temperature of the brew. The machine maintains proper water temperature and ensures precise extraction and a balanced flavor of the espressos.

This espresso machine is quite easy to use and would work for different experience levels. The grinder delivers the coffee straight into the portafilter, and you can adjust the coarseness in small increments. There’s a tamper conveniently stored next to the grinding station. Additionally, this model comes with a built-in milk steamer, so you can make more beverages than just espressos.

ProsCons
Sturdy constructionMight require some learning curve (or tinkering with the settings) to achieve your desired shot of espresso
Precise temperature controls for an optimal extractionRequires frequent cleaning (especially the grinder), which can bother some users
Adjustable grind size
Integrated steam wand
Removable water tank for easy refills

Overall, the Barista Express is a worthy find. This machine was built to brew perfect espressos at home, offering versatility and reliability in use.

Best Value for Money

De’Longhi Magnifica (ESAM3300)

DeLonghi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine (ESAM3300)
  • steel burr grinder;
  • removable water reservoir;
  • integrated milk frother;
  • 3-hour automatic shut-off feature;
  • pre-ground coffee bypass.

The Magnifica has all the right to be called one of the best espresso machines with a grinder thanks to its impressive functionality and a rather attractive price.

This model by De’Longhi is quite versatile. You can grind the beans right before brewing and adjust the grind coarseness according to your preferences. Or you can use the pre-ground coffee if you’d like. The machine works with both.

The Magnifica belongs to the best Italian espresso machines due to its build quality and satisfying performance. This model heats up fast (in around a minute) and brews delicious espressos. The coolest thing is that the Magnifica is a super-automatic espresso maker, which means it will do all the work for you.

ProsCons
Easy to use, fully automated processMay require frequent descaling, which takes time
Comes with a milk frother for lattes and cappuccinosMight seem too noisy to some users
Removable water tank for easy refills
Removable drip tray to accommodate taller cups
Dual heating system for faster operation and precise temperature controls
Great value for money considering its functionality and build quality

All in all, the Magnifica has a chance of impressing you. This super-automatic machine is easy-to-use and offers a great set of features for a rather reasonable price.

Best for Adjustability

De’Longhi La Specialista

De'Longhi La Specialista
  • stainless steel construction;
  • sensor grinding technology;
  • automatic tamping;
  • adjustable frothing system;
  • dual heating system.

The La Specialista surely deserves to be among other top-rated espresso machines. This model is ideal for those who want to have control over their brew, as the La Specialista allows for adjustability almost every step of the process.

The automatic tamping station is a very handy feature. After grinding the beans, you just need to pull the lever, and the machine will tamp the grounds with precise pressure. This feature is ideal for beginners or someone who hates spilling grounds when tamping.

Another cool thing about this model is the grinder. You can adjust the coarseness in small increments to achieve a suitable configuration for perfect espressos. Additionally, this model uses sensors to make sure there are always enough beans for your perfect shot.

ProsCons
Allows for multiple adjustments and precise controlsThe grinder may get jammed occasionally, so you will need to clean it regularly
Dual heater for optimal temperature and fast brewingThe milk frother may start showing inconsistent results after some time
Versatile steam wand, for different styles of foam
Automatic tamping for increased convenience
Sensor grinding and precise adjustments

All things considered, the La Specialista deserves your attention. This machine is versatile and lets you take over the process without sacrificing the quality of the beverages.

Best User-Friendly Espresso Machine with a Grinder

Philips 2200

Philips 2200
  • ceramic burr grinder;
  • fully automatic design;
  • removable brew group;
  • 12-step grinder adjustment;
  • automatic descaling.

If you are a beginner, want one of the best espresso machines with a grinder, but don’t wish to bother with a luring curve, the Philips would be perfect for you. This super-automatic model does everything, and all you have to do is press the button.

The Phillips uses a ceramic grinder that allows for 12-step increments when adjusting the coarseness. This means you can experiment with the grind to find what makes the most delicious cup according to your preferences.

This model also comes with a steam wand, and that’s the only step of the process you will have to master yourself. Everything else is up to the machine. The Philips works with both whole beans and pre-ground coffee. It also allows users to control the temperature and to adjust the aroma setting (3 options).

ProsCons
Super easy to use, suited for beginnersThe plastic exterior makes this model less durable than many stainless steel competitors
Fully automatic (including the descaling)Might be too loud for some users
Integrated steam wand for a wider variety of beverages
Dishwasher-safe parts for effortless maintenance
Adjustable grind and temperature

Despite some flaws, the Phillips might change the way you look at your daily coffee. This machine allows for almost effortless brewing, which so many users would appreciate.

Best for Cappuccinos and Lattes

Gaggia Anima

Gaggia Anima
  • adjustable temperature (3 settings);
  • 60-oz water reservoir (removable);
  • 8.8-oz bean hopper;
  • by-pass doser for pre-ground coffee;
  • chrome-plated steam wand.

If you love creamy espresso-based beverages and want a good latte machine, the Gaggia Anima might be the right choice. Using a high-quality steam wand, this model allows for fast steaming and makes beautiful, silky froth.

What makes the Gaggia stand from the competitors is its adapting system. The machine learns from the settings you use to grind coffee and adjusts them in the future to work with your preferred beans.

The Anima comes with an integrated Pannarello steam wand. Its intake hole siphons the air directly into the milk, creating rich, dense foam ideal for lattes and cappuccinos. Additionally, you can adjust the temperature of your beverages depending on how hot you prefer them.

ProsCons
Automatic brewing processUses many plastic parts, which might disappoint some users
Works with both whole beans and pre-ground coffeeUsing the steam wand might require going through a learning curve
Quality steam wand for perfect milk foam
Adjustable temperature and aroma strength
Intuitive controls, easy to use
Removable brew group for easy cleaning

All things considered, the Gaggia Anima can easily become your favorite espresso machine. It brews delicious coffee and froths perfect foam for specialty beverages.

Types of Espresso Machines with a Grinder

As you probably already know, shopping is much easier when you are informed about the product you’re interested in. So, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the common types of grind and brew espresso machines you can come across.

Now, the first two large groups we can divide them into are based on the integrated milk frother (or a steam wand). There are many espresso machines that allow users to make lattes and cappuccinos too, thanks to an adjustable steam wand that typically comes attached to the unit on the right side, next to the portafilter. However, if you drink espressos only, you can get a model that comes without a steam wand (it might even be less expensive). 

If you want to test your barista skills or love those creamy cappuccinos, you might want to consider a model with a built-in steam wand. In this case, you will also have two options: espresso machines with a single or a dual boiler. Now, single-boiler models use one heating system for both brewing and steaming. Naturally, double-boiler espresso machines have separate heating systems for these two processes. Such a design offers quite a few benefits. It allows users to make multiple beverages simultaneously, as you can brew and steam the milk at the same time. Such coffee machines typically work faster overall and make a good choice for couples or families of coffee lovers. A single-boiler model will simply require more time to brew and steam, especially if you want to make a few cappuccinos or lattes at once. Such espresso machines are ideal for solo uses or couples who don’t mind waiting for a bit when making more than one beverage at a time.

Finally, espresso machines with a grinder come with different grinder types, and it’s important to understand what sets them apart. There are two common ones: blade and burr grinders (1). A blade grinder looks like a propeller and uses metal blades to crush the beans. This type is much more affordable. However, blade grinders have more weak sides than advantages, I’m afraid. When using this type, it can be hard to achieve an even grind. Some bits may be bigger, others can be smaller, and such an inconsistent grind may affect the quality of your beverage. Additionally, when the blades work, they rotate very fast and, consequently, heat up. This may also affect the beans. As a result, you might get a completely different flavor than you were expecting due to the overheated beans.

If you do give your preference to a cheaper machine with a blade grinder, it’s important to grind your beans in small batches. You might also want to pause the grinder during the process to prevent the blades from overheating.

Burr vs Blade Grinders

Source: https://coffee-channel.com/burr-vs-blade-grinders/

Now, keep in mind that for espressos, you need a very fine grind. That’s when burr grinders can come in handy.

Guide to Coffee Grinders

Source: https://www.wholelattelove.com/blogs/quick-tips/a-beginners-guide-to-coffee-grinders

Such grinders typically use either steel or ceramic burrs. These days, ceramic ones are more common for home espresso machines, and there are many reasons for that. Ceramic burrs are durable and reliable. They do not conduct heat when grinding, so the beans remain unaffected. Even though ceramic burrs aren’t typically as sharp as the steel ones, they retain their sharpness and show consistent results even after long-term use. However, keep in mind that ceramic burr models tend to be more expensive.

Now, steel burrs usually start off sharper and allow for more precision, but they might lose their sharpness with time and the coarseness can become less consistent after regular use. However, this grinder type is more affordable. Steel burrs can retain heat when grinding, which might burn some of the precious coffee oils. Nonetheless, as steel burrs run hotter than ceramic ones, most manufacturers try to make sure to optimize the steel grinders to run at their ideal speed, without overheating critically.

Finally, burr grinders can be conical or flat. And here’s what you should know right away: both types achieve a uniform grind. The only main difference between them is the amount of grounds they can retain. Flat plate grinders generally trap more grounds, but this may vary depending on each specific model. This aspect will not affect your espressos in any way though. It may just influence the amount of coffee beans you go through.

Things to Consider when Looking for the Best Espresso Machine with a Grinder

Trying to navigate among all the top-rated espresso machines with a grinder can be overwhelming at times. There are so many cool models to choose from, but how do you make the wisest choice?

Well, an informed choice is always the best one. You should understand what you need exactly and pick accordingly. And to help you with that, I’ve gathered the main factors you might want to consider when shopping:

  • Size. Espresso machines with a grinder tend to be slightly bulkier and a bit taller than regular coffee makers. You should take this factor into consideration if your kitchen has limited counter space. Additionally, keep in mind that most coffee makers emit steam when brewing (and even more when steaming milk), so you might not be able to keep your espresso machine under wooden cabinets. 
  • Purpose. Do you want espressos and nothing else? Or would you like to experiment with milk coffee-based beverages, such as lattes, cappuccinos, and more? If you want more than just espressos, you should pick a model that has an integrated steam wand or a milk frother. If not, you might even save a buck or two, as some espresso machines cost less when there’s no steam wand included. 
  • Bar pressure. Experts agree that you need 9 bars of pressure to pull a good espresso shot (2). However, many coffee connoisseurs believe that 15 bars produce the most flavorful, richest espressos. Whoever you agree with, your new espresso machine has to maintain at least 9 bars of pressure. Anything lower than that would not make a full-bodied beverage that tastes like an authentic espresso. 
  • Your budget. Now, grind and brew espresso machines may vary greatly in price depending on their construction, features, and materials. Typically, anything below a $100 price point isn’t likely to maintain the 9 bars of pressure required for excellent espressos (3), so you might want to stay away from super cheap coffee makers. There are many good espresso machines under $200, but not all of them will feature an integrated grinder. So, be prepared to spend at least around $500 for your new grind and brew maker.
  • Ease of maintenance. This is the factor that worries many shoppers as espresso makers can be quite finicky to clean. Keep in mind that you will have to descale yours regularly, plus clean the grinder quite often to avoid clogging. If you are willing to splurge a little more, some models come with a self-cleaning mode (which does not apply to the grinder though). The easiest ones to maintain are Nespresso machines. And while those don’t technically brew espressos, you can still try one of them if you absolutely can’t stand cumbersome cleaning. 
  • Grinder type. As you already know, there are two main grinder types – blade and burr. Of course, for great-tasting espressos, a burr grinder is recommended. However, models with such grinders tend to be more expensive. If your budget is limited and you have to settle with a blade grinder, make sure you pause it a couple of times when grinding the beans to prevent them from heating up.
  • Water reservoir capacity. Espresso machines with a grinder can have different water tank capacities depending on their size and design. If you are an avid coffee drinker and don’t want to be bothered with frequent refills, you should consider a larger model with around a 50-oz water reservoir (at least). However, if you only drink a couple of beverages per day (or, for instance, will share your espresso maker with your significant other), a smaller machine would suffice. A quick note: some espresso machines are compatible with plumbing kits that allow users to connect their brewers directly to the water supply. While that may seem like a good time-saving solution (as you won’t have to deal with water refills), it isn’t recommended. Tap water can be harsh and may lead to calcium build-up inside the machine. Plus, it can affect the flavor of your espressos. Therefore, it might be a better idea to stick to the good old water tank and to use filtered water for your coffee.
  • Reviews. If you have a specific machine in mind, check what other users have to say about it. Reading the reviews can give you a general idea of the device’s durability and the potential malfunctions you might face when using it. Additionally, some users often share handy lifehacks on how to get the most out of the coffee machine based on their experience. This might be helpful for a beginner coffee enthusiast. 
  • Durability. Models with an integrated grinder (also known as super-automatic espresso machines, as you know) tend to be more durable than the majority of other coffee makers. Still, it’s important to check the materials when shopping. Naturally, stainless steel or brass models are much more durable than plastic ones. And keep your eyes open for an extended warranty. It might be a good indication of the machine’s build quality.

Typical lifetime of coffee machines

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/220433/life-expectancy-of-coffee-machines/

F.A.Q.

Why are espresso machines with a built-in grinder so expensive?

Most of these machines use high-quality materials and commercial-grade parts. Additionally, such espresso makers do most of the work, which is another reason why they tend to cost more.

Do you need a special grinder for espressos?

Not necessarily, but your grinder needs to be adjustable. For espressos, you need really fine grounds.  A good burr grinder can achieve that coarseness.

Does a burr grinder really make that much of a difference?

Yes. Burr grinders give users more control over the coarseness of their coffee grounds. Additionally, a burr grinder is able to achieve a uniformly even grind, while blade models often make differently sized bits of coffee beans.

Conclusion

Getting yourself an espresso machine with a built-in grinder means making the job much easier. And that’s a smart move. And if you want to make a smart choice, you need to consider a few aspects. Make sure you understand what grinder type would be more suitable for you, factor your budget in, and think about whether you need a steam wand or not. Pay attention to the bar pressure of the espresso maker if you want “real” espressos. And finally, check the warranty and the materials used for the machine to make sure your money will not go to waste. If you are still hesitant, allow me to share the espresso machine that managed to impress me the most. The Barista Express by Breville is a real gem in the world of home espresso machines. It comes with a precise grinder, a steam wand, and even a handy tamper storage section. But most importantly, this model brews excellent espressos. It grinds the beans evenly and maintains the optimal brewing temperature to achieve that exemplary espresso flavor. Which item caught your attention? And what special features are you looking for in a home coffee brewer? Let us know in the comments!

References:

  1. Anna Brones (June 09, 2014). What’s the Difference Between a Burr Grinder and Blade Grinder? Retrieved from https://www.thekitchn.com/coffee-tools-what-kind-of-grinder-should-i-use-204496
  2. William Grimes (May 15, 2002). Critic’s Notebook; New York’s Best Espresso? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/15/dining/critic-s-notebook-new-york-s-best-espresso.html%20-%20link%20trusted 
  3. Michael Hession (May 24, 2013). Espresso 101: The Methods and Machines Behind the Perfect Shot. Retrieved from https://gizmodo.com/espresso-101-the-methods-and-machines-behind-the-perfe-484457706

Yurii Brown

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