One of the toughest choices in life is transitioning from your local café to home espresso, especially if you don’t have the right machines for brewing the perfect morning coffee.
However, single boiler espresso machines will definitely make the transition easier. These are compact, effective, and fast, making them the perfect machine for a kitchen countertop.
The real problem arises when you finally have to choose the best single boiler espresso machine. To make life easier for you, we’re going to share our top espresso machine reviews, and we’ll also share relevant information that’ll help you make a wiser choice.
|Product Name||Gaggia Classic Pro||De’Longhi EC685M||Rancilio Silvia||DELONGHI ECO310BK||GaggiaCarezza De LUXE|
|Material||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Stainless Steel||Metal||ABS body and brushed stainless steel front|
|Steam Wand||Commercial||Adjustable frothing wand||Articulating steam wand with professional steam knob||Patented “Cappuccino System” frother||Stainless steel Panarello|
|Water Reservoir||72 oz||33.8 oz||12 oz||12 oz||34 oz|
|Pump||15-bar Italian-made Ulka pump||15-bar professional pump||9 bar||15 bar||15 bar|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Top Single Boiler Espresso Machine Reviews
Finding the best single boiler machines was no small feat, but through extensive research, we’ve come up with the following espresso machines that offer the best features.
1. Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine
This machine from Gaggia is one of the most balanced espresso machines that you can find on the market. It doesn’t come at a low cost, true, but it offers all the bells and whistles that you can expect from a coffee machine at such a price point.
It’s a simple-looking coffee machine, and there’s no flashy component to it. However, the parts that are inside this are of high quality, and they will help a home brewer pull off a perfect cup of coffee easily, even if they’re completely new to this.
As for the brewer type, it’s a semi-automatic espresso machine that’s compatible with pre-ground coffee and ESE pods. So, it’ll provide enough versatility.
It comes equipped with a commercial steam wand that’ll provide full control while frothing and steaming. You’ll also be able to produce latte art with this. Moreover, get a 58mm brass portafilter that’s usually found in commercial machines. The 3-way solenoid valve seals the machine while it brews.
Furthermore, the frame of this unit has been updated by the manufacturers to provide a better outlook and to ease access to the water reservoir. Another amazing thing about this machine is the mounting system of the pump which reduces noise to a great extent.
If you’re bent on bringing the barista-café experience to your home, this might just be the perfect choice for you.
- One of the best espresso machines for beginners
- Dual hole steam wand lets you produce latte art easily
- Compatible with both ground coffee and ESE pods
- A 3-way solenoid valve locks the machine while brewing
- Doesn’t offer advanced features
To those who are looking for a great build, a quality steam wand that offers full control, fast operation, and easy controls, this is one of the best options for you.
|Color||Brushed Stainless Steel|
|Dimensions||9.5 x 8 x 14.2 inches|
|Country of Origin||Italy|
2. De’Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic
At number two, we have the De’Longhi EC685M, which takes up a small space and is capable of providing consistent output. Although it’s an entry-level espresso machine, it’s equipped with a 15-bar pressure pump.
Another amazing benefit of this espresso machine is that it can hold quite tall cups despite being a small and compact unit by itself.
It’s not an automatic machine, which means you’ll have to do most of the job by yourself. So, it’ll definitely take some time for you to get used to this machine.
Still, there are ample features that’ll make the learning curve much easier and more comfortable for beginners. For starters, it comes with an automatic stop flow feature that’ll stop the flow of coffee once the preset volume is poured.
Another helpful feature is the customizable milk frother. This helps you to adjust the amount of foam you want in your drink. If you want a dry drink, turn the regulator ring up. Turn the ring down for a foamy drink.
- Adjustable milk frother for setting the amount of foam in the drink
- The automatic stop flow feature helps the machine stop after pouring a certain amount
- Thermoblock technology brews the espresso in less than 35 seconds
- A removable drip tray lets you house bigger cups
- Doesn’t come with a grinder, so you’ll have to buy one separately
- Quickly overheats after brewing two or three cups, which can be frustrating
This single boiler machine offers the advantage of size. You’ll be able to store and use it with minimum footprint. However, there’s one great drawback to it, which is the absence of a grinder. Is it the best machine? No. Is it the most effective espresso machine on the market for its size? Yes.
|Manufacturer||DeLonghi America, Inc|
|Dimensions||13 x 5.9 x 12 inches|
|Warranty||1 Year Warranty|
3. Rancilio Silvia with Iron Frame
If you want to become your own barista, then this unit from Rancilio Silvia will serve you the best. This stainless steel beauty comes equipped with a portafilter handle that you’ll find in most of the commercial units from Rancilio. This portafilter is proven to extract flavors from the coffee most efficiently.
It looks professional, and it has a stainless steel body with high-grade components. The chrome-plated steaming wand looks and feels premium, and there’s also a cup warming tray and a brass boiler of high quality.
You can expect great functionality out of this Rancilio Silvia. Equipped with a 15-bar pressure pump, this is capable of warming up the coffee within three minutes ata regular temperature. The revolving steam wand will help you froth the milk so that you can prepare a cup of foamy latte.
However, the entire process is manual. So, you’ll need to control the entire process delicately if you want to enjoy the best coffee experience.
This is one of the easiest-to-clean coffee machines out there. You’ll just have to wipe the exterior and the steam wand after each use, and you’ll need to purge the wand. That, coupled with a descaling cycle from time to time, will help you brew specialty coffee for years.
- Great build quality and is designed for convenience
- The chrome-plated moving steaming wand can last a very long
- The 15-bar pressure pump system extracts a bold and full-boiled flavor
- A huge water reserve of 64 ounces, so it requires fewer refills
- Can be tough to get used to as it’s a completely manual machine
If how much money you’re spending on a single boiler machine isn’t a factor for you and you want the best of the best, then we’d suggest you go for this one from Rancilio Silvia.
|Dimensions||9.2 x 11.4 x 13.3 inches|
|Warranty||3 Year Warranty|
4. De’Longhi ECO310BK
You’ll love the De’Longhi ECO310BK unit if you love products that offer great value for money. It’s an entry-level coffee machine, but despite that, it offers a stylish and elegant outlook.
Plus, it’s great for beginners who want to prepare their favorite cup of espresso or latte with the minimum effort. This unit is designed for easy usage. It’s equipped with a milk frothing wand on the side, and there’s a hidden water tank at the back.
There’s a 15-bar pressure pump system equipped with this that’s considered to be the standard for these models. It also comes with two thermostats. While one of them will heat up the water, the other will be used for steaming. Thanks to the unique design, you’ll be able to prepare up to two cups of coffee at the same time.
It’s also compatible with both pods and ground coffee, so you’ll have some liberty there. If you don’t prefer grinding coffee by yourself, using the pods will make things easier for you.
- Two thermostats let you control the temperature of brewing and steaming independently
- Adds versatility by allowing you to use both pods and ground coffee
- The 48-ounce water tank lets you enjoy several cups of coffee without a refill
- Let you switch from making espresso to a latte easily with the Panarello frother
- The portafilter can be tough to fix at first
- You won’t be able to swivel the frother back and forth
To us, the outlook of the product we’re reviewing is equally important as the product itself. This is why we highly recommend this unit from De’Longhi. It features all the bells and whistles that you can expect from an entry-level unit, and it’ll allow you to brew specialty coffee and prepare quality espresso quite easily.
|Dimensions||10.24 x 9.06 x 11.81 inches|
|Warranty||1 Year Warranty|
5. GaggiaCarezza De LUXE
Finally, we have another semi-automatic espresso machine that can help you brew a perfect cup without having any barista skills. This one’s from Gaggia, and it’s one of the best entry-level espresso machines.
The first thing that’ll catch your attention is the retro Italian style that’s hard to find nowadays. Although retro, the design of this unit is quite smart and reliable. It comes with a 1.4-liter water tank, a milk frother, and a cup warmer.
It also features a compact form factor that makes it extremely easy to store. The build quality is pretty good, but sadly it gets warmer a bit too easily over time. The front is a bit rounded to give a retro look, and it also comes with an analog temperature dial.
Another thing that we’ve noticed while researching is that it mostly features a plastic build. However, the components that are prone to wear are of very high quality. So, you can rest assured that it won’t wear over time, and the targeted plastic construction makes it very lightweight as well.
It’s equipped with a Panarello wand that’s perfect for frothing both cappuccino and latte. If you have a delicate hand, you’ll also be able to produce latte art with this wand.
- The Panarello wand is perfect for frothing cappuccino and latte
- The pressurized portafilter is compatible with both ground coffee and ESE pods
- Retro design is smartly molded to provide amazing features
- Very reliable when delivering quality coffee over a long period of time
- You may need some time to get used to the operation
This is one of the most stylish espresso machines. Plus, it’ll provide quality espresso and help you brew specialty coffee at a reasonable price without requiring barista skills. We consider this a solid choice.
|Dimensions||11 x 8.3 x 11.8 inches|
|Country of Origin||Romania|
There are multiple factors to look for while picking the best machine for yourself. In this section, we’ll discuss the various factors in detail, so you know what to look for.
There are four main categories of espresso machines that you can choose from. These are:
Why are these important? Well, while the manual espresso machines will require your fullest attention for brewing a perfect cup, the super-auto will do all the work by itself.
In this list, we’ve reviewed mostly manual machines and some semi-auto machines. While the manual ones are tough to maneuver, they’ll let you come up with great flavors and aromas.
On the other hand, semi-auto ones are easy to use, and they are great for beginners who just want a cup of coffee with low effort. Then again, manual machines are very complicated. The higher you climb from that, the more convenient features you’re going to find.
Type of Drink
Another major factor that’ll determine which machine will be suitable for you is the type of drink you’re willing to prepare. Not all single boiler machines on the market will allow you to create latte art or specialty coffee.
So, you must decide what you want the machine to produce before you actually buy one. For large and milky drinks, we highly recommend double boilers. On the other hand, single boilers tend to be better at preparing straight espressos and Americanos.
Trust me; you don’t want a coffee machine that’ll take up all the space on the countertop table in your kitchen. So, if you’re unsure of the space that’ll be left after installing the coffee machine, you better measure or at least estimate.
After the estimation, you’ll be able to come up with at least an idea of how much space you can afford to accommodate the coffee machine. We’ve come across a lot of people who’ve made the mistake of going wild with huge coffee machines, only to regret and change them with smaller ones later.
How often are you going to prepare a drink using your coffee machine? There are single boiler machines that can prepare more than five cups of coffee, and there are ones that overheat after preparing two or three cups.
However, most single-boiler machines can’t prepare more than four or five cups at a stretch without overheating. So, if you think that you may need more over time, you should definitely go for dual boiler machines.
The grinder is another important component of a coffee maker. Having the right grinder can make your life a lot easier, and not having a grinder will only force you to resort to ESE pods.
Other than the De’Longhi EC685M, all the other units on this list come with a grinder that can provide you with well-grounded coffee in a short time. Still, the EC685M is a solid choice if you want a compact coffee machine and won’t mind getting an aftermarket grinder.
Pros and Cons: Single Boiler Espresso Machines VS Dual Boiler Machines
Both of these offer unique advantages and disadvantages over one another. Let’s take a look at all of them in this section.
Single Boiler Advantages
- Can be bought at an affordable price
- Are usually faster to heat up
Single Boiler Disadvantages
- Let’s you do only one thing at a time
Dual Boiler Advantages
- Lets you control the temperature of the steam and brew independently
- The output is more consistent when preparing multiple cups at a stretch
- Cooling flushes aren’t required before pulling the shot
Dual Boiler Disadvantages
- Very expensive
- Takes longer to heat up
As you can see, both of them have their strong and weak aspects, so the type that will be better for you boils down to your personal requirements. Now, before you dive in and get one for yourself, we highly encourage you to invest your time and effort into finding out which type serves you better.
How Important Is a Coffee Grinder?
What would you choose if you had to pick between a coffee grinder and an espresso machine? Well, if it were up to us, we would’ve chosen a coffee grinder!
Yes, a coffee grinder holds so much importance in preparing a quality cup of coffee. If you didn’t have a coffee grinder but had a coffee maker, then you’d have to use pre-ground coffee, which wouldn’t taste good.
On the other hand, having a grinder means that you can still enjoy the flavors and aroma of freshly ground coffee. In fact, even freshly ground coffee becomes stale within minutes. If you try using coffee that was ground 5-10 minutes back, you’ll find a stale taste in it.
This is why we highly recommend choosing a coffee grinder over a coffee maker.
Is Steam Wand Required for Having Good Espresso?
Foamed milk is essential for many espresso drinks. While you may not prefer steamed milk in every drink, you’ll definitely be using it in certain drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos.
A steam wand only makes the entire process of frothing milk easy. The wand’s steam power helps the user froth the milk, and some even come with customizability that lets you adjust the level of foam you want.
If you’re interested in enjoying good espresso drinks, then you should definitely invest in a coffee maker with high steam power and a quality steam wand.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should clean the exterior and steaming wand of an espresso machine after each use. If you’re capable, you should also clean the inner components at least once a month.
It depends on the manufacturer. However, ideally, you should have your machine serviced at least once in three to four years.
The quality of the grind is a huge factor in determining the quality of the espresso. Ideally ground coffee should be a bit coarser than flour. If the coffee is too coarse, then the flow rate will be too fast. If the flow rate is too slow, then the grinding is too fine.
There may be different reasons behind this. One of the most common reasons is that people tend to extract the brew before it’s warm enough.
Another common mistake is not clamping the portafilter during the heating phase, which also tends to leave the brew cold.
If these aren’t the reason, then the machine is probably calcified, and you better get it serviced soon.
To increase the crema in espresso, use new coffee and increase the tamping pressure.
These are the best single-boiler espresso machines that you can get your hands on right now. All five products that are reviewed here are of amazing quality. However, if you were to ask us about our favorite, we’d certainly recommend the Gaggia Classic Pro.
This unit offers everything that you can expect from a machine at this price point. However, you should also keep in mind that the rest of the products offer unique features too, and you should take a look into them as well.
In the end, we’d recommend you go for the one that suits your requirements the best. Only then will you be able to get the perfect brewing experience.