The 9 Best Coffee and Espresso Maker Combos

Close-up-of-espresso-pouring-from-coffee-machine

Choosing a coffee machine can be exciting and frustrating in equal parts.

At first, your mind might be racing, and you could be unsure of which type of machine makes most sense.

Do you want the unparalleled convenience of a super-automatic espresso machine, or would you like to go one step further and try a single-serve coffee machine?

Perhaps you’re tempted by the allure of a semi-automatic espresso machine or a lever espresso machine so you can play barista at home?

Or, you could be drawn toward the multipurpose nature of latte and cappuccino machines.

These are just some of your options for making coffee at home. You could even consider making coffee without a machine, or you could experiment with a moka pot for stovetop coffee at its finest.

We review all of these options and more right here.

Today, though, we’ll be highlighting the best coffee and espresso maker combos, so you can benefit from short shots of espresso (of varying degrees of authenticity) as well as longer coffee on demand.

What should you consider when you’re comparing coffee machines in this class, then?

  • Degree of automation: Coffee and espresso machines come with varying degrees of automation. A manual machine forces you to pull a lever to create the pressure you need for espresso. Semi-automatic machines give you outstanding control over the brewing process but require mastering the art of shot pulling. Super-automatic espresso machines, also known as fully-automatic machines, offer push-button convenience at the expense of controlling the brewing process, and they also feature integrated grinders. Automatic machines fall somewhere in between. We review machines at all levels of automation, including single-serve machines. All that counts is establishing how much control you want offset against convenience
  • Type of coffee: All the machines on our list can produce both espresso and coffee. When it comes to espresso, you need 9 bars of pressure to create an authentic shot. We flag any machines that fail to meet this specification throughout our reviews. Check that the other types of coffee on offer are to your liking before committing to purchase
  • Pod-based coffee: Not everyone enjoys pod or capsule coffee, but if you want convenience above all else, these machines are unbeatable
  • Control: temperature and pressure: Look for machines that allow you to manipulate the water temperature and pressure. For espresso, the water should be somewhere between 195F and 205F, with 9 bars of pressure used for extraction

Now, if you keep these simple pointers uppermost in mind when you’re comparing the best coffee and espresso maker combos, you should easily establish which makes the right fit for your kitchen.

Madibarestaurant.com is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

I. The 9 Best Coffee and Espresso Maker Combos

1. Our #1 Pick: Nespresso Lattissima Pro

Nespresso-Lattissima-Pro-Coffee-and-Espresso-Machine-by

Features

  • Type of machine: Single-serve capsule-based
  • Weight: 12.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.79 x 13.07 x 7.63 inches

We’ll kick off with our favorite overall from today’s collection of the best coffee and espresso maker combos, an entry from the mighty Nespresso.

Now, by the standard of Nespresso machines, the Lattissima Pro is pretty pricey, but you get a great deal of performance and versatility in return for the stiff price tag. As an added kicker, the Pro is currently available at a heavy discount, so move quickly to snatch a real bargain.

The pump onboard is rated at 19 bars, giving you more than enough pressure for authentic espresso – 9 bars is typically recommended. Unlike with a semi-automatic machine, though, you don’t need to worry about coffee grinds and you don’t need to concern yourself with pulling a shot either. Insert a Nespresso pod, top the machine up with filtered or bottled water, and enjoy short shots at the push of a button.

As a combo unit, you can drink much more than espresso. The milk frother bundled ensures you can enjoy latte, macchiato, cappuccino and more at the push of a button and with no messy cleanup.

Automatic descaling removes any hassle from maintenance and continues the theme of convenience throughout.

As long as you don’t object to the limitations inherent with single-serve capsule-based machines, the Nespresso Lattissima Pro is the jewel in Nespresso’s crown.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Crisp and responsive touchscreen
  • Optimum pressure for espresso
  • Long coffees with push-button ease
  • Taste of capsule coffee polarizes opinion

2. DeLonghi Coffee Maker and Espresso Machine

De'Longhi-All-in-One-Combination-Coffee-Maker

Features

  • Type of machine: Automatic espresso and drip coffee machine
  • Weight: 13.7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.79 x 11.02 x 14.52 inches

DeLonghi has a deep bench of coffee machines including this nifty combo unit that can make great espresso as well as longer and creamier coffees.

Indeed, the key selling point of this model is the fact you can pull a short shot of espresso at the same time as making a creamy coffee, ideal if you have impatient kids at home or you have a high-demand kitchen.

The left-hand side of this unit is given over to espresso, while the opposite side contains a drip coffee maker.

In addition to the dual-heating system, you also get a pump rated at 15 bars, more than capable of producing the requisite 9 bars of pressure for proper espresso like the Italians drink it.

An automatic steam wand allows you to create the microfoam you need for all your beverages without needing any special barista skills.

For lovers of super-strong coffee, hit the Bold setting and get an even heavier caffeine hit first thing in the morning to start your day the right way.

When it’s time for drip coffee, you’ll appreciate the intelligently-designed carafe which takes the sting out of pouring.

This unit is highly programmable through a full 24 hours, allowing you to come downstairs to fresh coffee in the morning, or to return home from work to a house filled with the welcoming smell of coffee on the go.

For a wide choice of drinks and complete convenience when you’re making them, this combo espresso maker and drip coffee machine from DeLonghi is well worth your further investigation.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Brew espresso and coffee simultaneously
  • Bold setting for extra-strong coffee
  • Generous milk reservoir
  • Quite noisy

3. Keurig K-Café

Keurig-K-Cafe-Single-Serve-K-Cup-Coffee-Maker

Features

  • Type of machine: Single-serve K-Cup pods
  • Weight: 12.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.41 x 14.17 x 17.32 inches

Keurig is Nespresso’s only serious competitor in the single-serve coffee space. Using any K-Cup pod, the K-Café is a more versatile machine than the Lattissima Pro above in terms of the coffee you can use. Can it compete when it comes to all-round performance, though?

This is one of the most popular machines in the Keurig line with just cause. The compact form factor makes this model the perfect fit for small or crowded kitchens, but you get super-sized performance.

Make espresso, coffee, or espresso-based coffees like latte and cappuccino at the push of a button and with no need to master any new skill.

You’ll appreciate the 60oz water tank, especially if you have a larger family always hungry for coffee in the morning. This is removable to streamline cleaning and refilling, too. This translates to enough for 6 cups of coffee before you need to top up the tank.

Pre-heating time is negligible, so you can fire your machine and push a button for near-instant gratification.

You can use all sizes of coffee mug with the K-Café, including taller travel mugs for your morning commute.

Aside from a handful of complaints about issues cropping up after the first year of use, almost all user testimony for the Keurig K-Café is glowingly positive.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Make up to 12oz of coffee
  • Excellent espresso at the press of a button
  • Dishwasher-friendly milk frother
  • Build quality issues develop over time

4. Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

Wacaco-Nanopresso-Portable-Espresso-Maker

Features

  • Type of machine: Portable espresso maker
  • Weight: 0.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2.44 x 2.8 x 6.14 inches

Next up we have something different with this novel all-in-one travel coffee maker from Wacaco. This brand makes some highly innovative coffee gear that allows you to enjoy great coffee on the go with no electricity or batteries required.

Don’t let the manual operation put you off, though. Using only your hands, you can generate up to 18 bars of pressure with the Wacaco, more than enough to produce authentic espresso without a machine.

For best results with the Nanopresso, use finely ground coffee and tamp it hard. Do this and you’ll be amazed at the crema-rich espresso you can achieve in a unit small enough to slip in your bag.

This model is the overhauled version of the outgoing classic, the Minipresso. You’ll need to use even less force with this uprated iteration.

Not only is the Nanopresso super-simple to use, the detachable portafilter disassembles to make cleanup just as easy.

If you fancy protecting your Nanopresso on the road, there is a travel case available separately.

Overall, this is one of the best travel coffee and espresso maker combos, and you can use it just about anywhere.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Perfect for camping or hiking
  • Ample pressure for espresso
  • Holds up to 80ml of water
  • Not the most convenient for home use

5. Bialetti Moka Express

Bialetti-Moka-Express:-Iconic-Stovetop-Espresso-Maker

Features

  • Type of machine: Moka pot
  • Weight: 0.18 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.6 x 4 inches

While you can’t make authentic espresso with a moka pot – you only get 2 to 3 bars of pressure rather than the 9 bars recommended for espresso – you can certainly generate rich, full-bodied, and highly concentrated coffee using one of these stovetop coffee makers.

Bialetti invented the moka pot back in the 1930s and have been refining the art of stovetop coffee ever since. The Moka Express is the flagship model, an exercise in stripped-down simplicity that produces deceptively good coffee.

The Moka Express is pretty easy to use once you get to grips with it. Ideal for use on all cooking surfaces – although you’ll need an adapter for induction cooktops – this is one of the most versatile espresso and coffee maker combos, and it’s also almost as portable as the Wacaco Nanopresso above.

This pot comes in several sizes to suit, with this model ideal for making 3 cups of espresso. Moka pots work most effectively when they are filled to capacity, so look for the right size rather than simply shooting for the biggest coffee pot you can find – unless you plan to use it, of course.

For a hands-on approach to brewing coffee that fills your kitchen with the delicious scent of brewing joe while allowing you to take control over the process, the Bialetti Moka Express is a classic with just cause.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Works on all cooking surfaces
  • Iconic design and powerful performance
  • Makes close approximation of espresso
  • Adapter required for induction cooktops

6. Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker

Breville-BNV250BLK-Vertuo-Coffee-and-Espresso-Machine

Features

  • Type of machine: Single-serve capsule-based
  • Weight: 9.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 11.9 x 11.9 inches

Nespresso make a number of co-branded machines, including this collaboration with kitchenware specialist Breville.

The Vertuo delivers push-button capsule-based coffee at a reasonable price point. You’ll be committed to buying capsules from the Nespresso Vertuo Line. Barcode recognition prevents you from using other capsules, but this also optimizes each coffee depending on the capsule used. Buy these capsules direct from the manufacturer for some great value deals.

The main selling point of the Vertuo is the Centrifusion technology onboard. This helps promote the best possible extraction, assisted by the highly capable pump delivering the pressure required for authentic espresso.

At 40oz, the water reservoir could be slightly larger, but you’ll benefit from a space-saving footprint by way of compensation.

Heating time is extremely brisk, and you’ll be up and running in no more than 15 or 20 seconds.

Capsule-based single-serve machines are not to everyone’s liking, and we’re not here to persuade you to try one of these machines if you prefer taking more control over brewing. If you’re sold on the idea of pod-based convenience, though, Breville’s iteration of the Nespresso Vertuo is a must.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Complete convenience
  • Pioneering Centrifusion technology
  • Choice of over 30 coffees
  • Only compatible with VertuoLine capsules

7. Philips 3200 Series Automatic Espresso Machine

Philips-3200-Series-Fully-Automatic-Espresso-Machine

Features

  • Type of machine: Super-automatic espresso machine
  • Weight: 20.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17 x 18.75 x 20.75 inches

The Philips 3200 Series may not have the most attractive name, but in terms of design it makes a real statement on the kitchen counter.

You’re not sacrificing function for form, though, with this model being hands-down one of the best coffee and espresso maker combos out there. How does it shape up, then?

Choose from the following beverages:

  • Espresso
  • Espresso lungo
  • Americano
  • Coffee

You can also draw hot water on demand from this unit, giving you a wide choice of drinks in a single highly capable unit.

The Philips is a fully-automatic machine, so you’ll benefit from an integrated conical burr grinder. Use fresh beans and grind them right before brewing for maximum flavor, aroma, and freshness.

This is the base model, coming with the machine and a milk frother. You can also pick up an AquaClean iteration, allowing you to make up to 5000 cups of coffee before descaling.

This is a fairly substantial piece of kit, so make sure you have the space to accommodate in the kitchen counter before committing to purchase. If so, you’ll be treating yourself to one of the best coffee and espresso maker combos on the market.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Makes espresso, lungo, and americano
  • Integrated burr grinder
  • Bean-to-cup coffee
  • Quite bulky on the counter

8. Krups Coffee and Espresso Maker

Krups-XP160050-Coffee-Maker-and-Stainless-Espresso-Machine

Features

  • Type of machine: Single-serve pod-based
  • Weight: 8.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.9 x 11 x 16.5 inches

Krups serves up a superb coffee and espresso maker combo as we near the end of our reviews, so how does this model stand and fall?

Well, the multipurpose functionality is the key draw. On one side of the machine you can make short shots of espresso, while a glass carafe on the other side of the machine lets you rustle up drip coffee on demand, too.

The steam system lacks the punch to deliver authentic espresso. It’s rated at 4 bars while the recommended pressure for espresso is 9 bars. That said, you’ll still enjoy intense and full-bodied shots of concentrated coffee.

This onboard steaming system also makes it easy for you to rack up latte, cappuccino, and macchiato when you get the craving for a longer, creamier coffee.

If you prefer longer coffees, the drip side of the machine makes up to 10 cups of joe for all-day drinking.

The Krups is highly programmable so you can get coffee on demand with no waiting around. You get minimal control over the brewing process, although you can manipulate the brew strength.

The machine keeps your drip coffee warm for up to 2 hours, ideal if you’re working from home.

Overall, this is one of the best coffee and espresso maker combos, and it’s also very keenly priced, so what are you waiting for?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Makes up to 10 cups
  • Steaming nozzle
  • Warming function
  • Looks and feels flimsy

9. DeLonghi Espresso and Drip Coffee Machine

DeLonghi-BCO430-Combination-Pump-Espresso

Features

  • Type of machine: Automatic espresso and drip coffee machine
  • Weight: 14.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 11 x 14.5 inches

Last in line in today’s quest for the best coffee and espresso makers is another entry from the ever-reliable DeLonghi. How does this model stack up?

This is another combo unit offering the powerful mixture of espresso and drip coffee, ideal for everyone in the family to get their coffee the way they want it.

The pump onboard is rated at 15 bars, so you’ll have ample pressure to get authentic espresso. Pull single or double shots at the press of a button and without any of the grief of a semi-automatic machine.

You can also make much more than just espresso with this machine, though. The drip coffee lets you make up to 8 cups. If you fancy a quick cuppa before the brew is complete, hit pause and grab one. When your coffee is ready, it will stay warm for up to 2 hours for your complete convenience.

A highly programmable unit, you’ll soon be able to come downstairs in the morning or home from work to the alluring scent of freshly brewed coffee. What’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Programmable through 24 hours
  • Makes all types of coffee and espresso
  • Convenient front-loading system
  • Leaking carafe reported

II. FAQs

1) What water is best for making espresso and coffee?

With more than 90% of the contents of your coffee mug consisting of water, it pays to use the right type. If you live in a hard water area, the heavy build-up of dissolved minerals – calcium and magnesium in particular – will accumulate in your coffee maker. If you use softer water or filtered water, you’ll prolong the intervals between descaling your coffee machine. Bear in mind that a moderate amount of minerals promotes proper extraction, while too many will overpower the coffee in your cup. The best thing is to experiment until you find the water that best appeals to your palate.

2) What are the best beans for espresso?

Espresso refers to the brewing method rather than a specific type of coffee bean, so any beans are fair game for making espresso. Dark roasts work well for espresso due to the sweetness and balance, as well as the relative lack of acidity. If you plan to use pre-ground coffee for espresso, ensure it is finely ground. If the grind is too coarse, you’ll end up with a watery and insipid espresso minus the trademark crema you’re looking for.

3) What is a semi-automatic espresso machine?

A semi-automatic espresso machine offers you the most intense and hands-on experience, ideal if you want to play barista at home and learn a new skill, but not so good for those prizing convenience first and foremost. Once you master the slight learning curve, though, you may find using a semi-automatic one of the most rewarding ways to make espresso. In return, you maintain total control over all aspects of the brewing process.

4) What is a super-automatic espresso machine?

Super-automatic espresso machines, also known as fully-automatic espresso machines, offer you an unparalleled bean-to-cup experience. These are espresso machines with built-in grinders so you get your espresso off to the strongest start by grinding the beans directly before brewing. You then simply push a button or two to get espresso, latte, cappuccino and more at the push of a button. While you sacrifice control, the convenience factor of super-automatics is unbeatable. Some fully-automatic machines allow you to tweak variables from drink size and coffee strength through to water temperature.

5) How do I clean my coffee and espresso maker combo?

You’ll need to descale your machine regularly. Some machines come with a descaling function baked in, while others require you to follow some simple instructions to manually descale your machine. This will prevent mineral buildup and prolong the lifespan of your machine. If your machine has a classic espresso group head, you need to backflush this weekly. Rinse all the coffee grinds from the portafilter, remove any stray grounds from beneath the portafilter and then run the brewing cycle a few times with the group head back in position. Beyond this, wipe down the chassis of your machine with a damp cloth and that’s about the extent of the upkeep required.


III. Conclusion

When you’re choosing a coffee machine, the sheer volume of choice can initially seem overwhelming. Taking the time to clear up what you want from a coffee machine can save you from making an expensive mistake, so don’t rush to brandish your credit card until you’re sure of your needs.

With the best coffee and espresso maker combos, you’ll be free to enjoy short, strong shots of authentic espresso first thing, and then you can switch to longer and creamier coffees throughout the day. All that remains is to dial in the type of machine that best suits you and your family to start enjoying barista-grade coffee at home.

Take a moment to bookmark Madiba before you head off today. We bring you fresh content daily, from inspiring recipes and informative how-to guides through to impartial reviews of all the best kitchen equipment. And, with holiday season already on the horizon, we have a very busy calendar for the coming weeks. Pop back soon and don’t miss out!

5/5 - (1 vote)

Leave a Comment