Espresso Coffee Machines Reviewed

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Canstar Blue’s 2019 coffee machines review has seen ALDI Expressi, Nespresso, Breville, DeLonghi, Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Sunbeam and Caffitaly compared on their reliability, ease of use, taste quality, ease of cleaning, value for money, design and overall customer satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | ALDI Expressi

ALDI Expressi has come out on top in Canstar Blue’s 2019 espresso coffee machine ratings, scoring five-star reviews for reliability, ease of use, taste quality, value for money, design and overall satisfaction.

ALDI Expressi rated best in coffee machine ratings

There are typically two options when it comes to quality coffee – splash out around $5 at your local café every day, or invest in a coffee machine for your home so you can enjoy a cup as often as you like. If the second option sounds appetising to you then you’ve come to the right place, because our annual review compares coffee machine brands on customer satisfaction, so you can find out what other Aussies think about the compared brands before you go ahead with a purchase. Think of it as like asking hundreds of your closest mates what coffee machine they think is best!

There are various types of coffee machines out there, and if you’re a coffee snob like we are, you’ll want to make sure you’re not disappointed with the results of your home-made espresso. So, which brand do Australian consumers rate highest? To find out, we’ve once again surveyed more than 700 coffee-lovers across the country to get their opinions on the coffee machine they’ve most recently bought and used, based on factors like reliability, ease of use, quality of coffee, value for money and more. Seven leading brands received the minimum sample size to be included in our 2019 ratings, but only one earned five stars for overall customer satisfaction – ALDI Expressi.

Best-Rated Coffee Machines

Making coffee with espresso machine

Canstar Blue’s 2019 espresso coffee machines review saw seven major brands compared and rated in the following order for overall satisfaction:

  • 1st ALDI Expressi
  • 2nd Nespresso
  • 3rd Breville
  • 4th DeLonghi
  • 5th Nescafe Dolce Gusto
  • 6th Sunbeam
  • 7th Caffitaly

Nespresso, Breville, DeLonghi and Nescafe Dolce Gusto all achieved four stars for overall satisfaction, while Sunbeam and Caffitaly had to settle for three stars in this year’s review. While ALDI claimed top spot overall, other brands had their strengths in other areas. Nescafe Dolce Gusto was the only brand to achieve five stars for ease of cleaning & maintenance, plus five stars on reliability and ease of use. There were also top marks for Nespresso and DeLonghi in some areas.

This report incorporates all types of coffee machines, including manual, capsule/pod and automatic. So, let’s review what each of the seven brands in this year’s review have to offer.

Top Coffee Machines

ALDI Expressi

The ALDI Expressi espresso machine includes a 19 bar high pressure pump, automatic capsule ejection, cleaning function and automatic shut-off. It comes in either titanium or white exterior finishes, priced at $79.99. A milk frother can be purchased separately for $29.99. Spare parts can be purchased online at the Expressi Shop.

The capsule range includes coffees of diverse intensities from 5 to 13. The flavours range from caramel to fruity blueberry notes. Plus, there’s also a hot chocolate milk-based capsule drink. Capsules are priced at $5.99 for a box of 16.

ALDI’s coffee machine was rated five stars for overall customer satisfaction in this year’s review, as well as for reliability, ease of use, taste quality, value for money and design. It recorded four stars on ease of cleaning and maintenance.

ALDI Expressi’s espresso machine range includes:

  • Expressi Multi Beverage Capsule Machine (Titanium): $79.99 (RRP)*
  • Expressi Multi Beverage Capsule Machine (White): $79.99 (RRP)*

Check Coffee Machine Prices at Appliances Online^

Nespresso

Famous for its advertisements featuring George Clooney, Nespresso has established itself as a boutique coffee experience. Nespresso capsule machines cover a wide range of appliances from the Essenza Mini standalone capsule machine – priced at $159 – to the rather extravagant Lattissima Pro priced at $699.

Across the machine range, there’s a choice of capsule machines, separate frother appliances and for the most authentic experience, models with a fully-automatic steam wand! Unlike several capsule products, Nespresso’s capsules can be purchased individually so you can custom-create your very own assortment starting at 69c each. Visit a retail boutique, reseller, or the Nespresso online store to explore the range.

Nespresso was rated four stars for overall satisfaction, ease of cleaning and value for money, but scored an outstanding five stars in all other categories, including design, ease of use and taste quality.

Nespresso’s espresso machine range includes:

  • Nespresso Creatista Plus BNE800BSS: $799 (RRP)*
  • Nespresso Lattissima Pro EN750MB: $699 (RRP)*
  • Nespresso Lattissima One EN500BW: $399 (RRP)*
  • Nespresso Inissia EN80BAE: $249 (RRP)*
  • Nespresso Essenza Mini Solo EN85WSOLO: $159 (RRP)*

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Breville

breville-coffee-machine

Breville produces both manual and capsule coffee machines, plus a drip coffee appliance. The manual machine range starts with the Compact Cafe with a 15-bar pressure Italian-made pump and steam wand for around $200. At the other end of the price spectrum is the Oracle Touch fully automated machine with a built-in grinder and automatic tamper, colour screen and digital temperature control, hands-free milk frother, and self-cleaning function, priced at $2,500!

Many models come in a choice of stainless steel, cranberry or black sesame exterior finishes. Breville also collaborates with Nespresso to create a significant proportion of the Nespresso capsule machine range.

In this year’s review, Breville was rated four stars for overall satisfaction and most other categories, except for ease of cleaning and value for money where it was rated three stars.

Breville’s espresso machine range includes:

  • Breville Oracle Touch: $2,499.95 (RRP)*
  • Breville Dual Boiler: $1,299.95 (RRP)*
  • Breville Barista Touch: $999.95 (RRP)*
  • Breville Barista Express: $599.95 (RRP)*
  • Breville Duo-Temp Pro: $399.95 (RRP)*

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

DeLonghi

Delonghi-Hero-Image-high

Italian kitchen appliances designer DeLonghi has one of the biggest coffee machine ranges on the market, covering manual espresso machines, fully automatic coffee machines, and capsule machines (collaborating with Nestle to produce the Nescafe Dolce Gusto range).

The manual coffee machine range covers a number of different colours and styles, from sleek modern designs to retro throwbacks. These are also compatible with ESE pods, thanks to the 2-in-1 filter holder. Some models also include an automatic milk frother and dispenser. Prices range from $299 to $629. The fully automatic coffee machine range stretches well into the high end of the market, with prices starting from $899 for an entry-level model, up to $4,998.99 for the Maestosa Epam unit.

Last year’s winner, DeLonghi saw a mixed bag of results in this year’s review, recording four stars for overall satisfaction, reliability, taste quality, and value for money. It got five stars for ease of use and design but just three stars on ease of cleaning and maintenance.

DeLonghi’s espresso machine range includes:

  • Delonghi PrimaDonna Elite Coffee Machine ECAM65055MS: $3,199 (RRP)*
  • Delonghi Dinamica Coffee Machine ECAM35055B: $1,499 (RRP)*
  • Delonghi Magnifica S Coffee Machine ECAM22110SB: $999 (RRP)*
  • Delonghi Nespresso Citiz & Milk Coffee Machine EN267WAE: $399 (RRP)*
  • Delonghi Icona Pump Espresso Coffee Machine ECO310W: $299 (RRP)*

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Nescafe Dolce Gusto

For coffee at home, at just the touch of a button, Nescafe Dolce Gusto offers a wide range of capsule machines, from the classic Piccolini priced from only $89, to the futuristic circular Majesto, for $399 (pictured). Its fully automatic Eclipse model is shaped as a loop, which opens up to reveal the coffee dispenser, while the Stelia design was apparently inspired by a drop of coffee.

All Dolce Gusto coffee machines operate at a maximum 15 bar pressure and can be used to brew both hot and cold drinks. Boxes of Nescafe capsules can be purchased from most major grocery and home supplies retailers, as well as online from the Dolce Gusto website. Flavours include classic coffees, plus the likes of chai, hot chocolate and even skinny cappuccino.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto was rated a solid four stars for overall satisfaction, and for taste quality, value for money and design, with five stars in all other areas.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto’s espresso machine range includes:

  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Majesto Automatic Black: $399 (RRP)*
  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Movenza Brushed Black by Breville: $149 (RRP)*
  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Lumio Automatic Red by Breville: $99 (RRP)*
  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Oblo Piano Black by Breville: $69 (RRP)*
  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolini Matte Black by Breville: $59 (RRP)*

Check Coffee Machine Prices at Appliances Online^

Sunbeam

This Australian home appliance brand produces a range of manual coffee machines, choosing to stay clear of the capsule trend. The Sunbeam range covers all budgets, starting with the Piccolo Espresso single-cup espresso and steam wand appliance at $139.

At the highest end of the pricing spectrum, there’s the Sunbeam Torino Espresso Machine & Grinder for $1,999 with a one-touch grinder, LCD screen, pressure gauge, hot water dispenser, temperature-sensing steam wand and many more cool features that are said to produce a professional-tier barista experience at home. Sunbeam also produces a drip filter coffee machine and a number of different coffee grinders.

Sunbeam received three stars for overall satisfaction in 2019, and in most other categories, including reliability, ease of use, taste quality, ease of cleaning and design. It got four stars on value for money.

Sunbeam’s espresso machine range includes:

  • Sunbeam Torino Espresso Machine & Grinder PU8000: $1,999 (RRP)*
  • Sunbeam Cafe Series Espresso Coffee Machine EM7100: $999 (RRP)*
  • Sunbeam Barista Max Espresso Coffee Machine EM5300: $699 (RRP)*
  • Sunbeam Café Barista Coffee Machine EM5000: $299 (RRP)*
  • Sunbeam Mini Barista Espresso Coffee Machine EM4300: $299 (RRP)*

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Caffitaly

Caffitalty

The Caffitaly one-touch system range includes espresso-only devices, ideal for small kitchen spaces, to fully automatic cappuccino machines with a fully automatic milk frother, giving coffee-mad households plenty to choose from. Prices for the various devices range from $159 to $399, with a standalone milk frother available for $55.

Caffitaly’s coffee machines can only use Caffitaly System capsules, but the company has partnered with a number of brands, including Gloria Jean’s, Grinders and Woolworths, to create a range of compatible coffee capsule flavours to choose from. Details are on the Caffitaly website.

Caffitaly was another brand to be rated three stars for overall satisfaction, with three stars for taste quality, ease of cleaning and value for money, but it also received four stars for reliability, ease of use and design.

Caffitaly’s espresso machine range includes:

  • Caffitaly S22 (Silver & Black): $399 (RRP)*
  • Caffitaly S23 (Black): $350 (RRP)*
  • Caffitaly S24 (Black): $159 (RRP)*

Check Coffee Machine Prices at Appliances Online^

Things to consider when buying a coffee machine

Smart modern female customer choosing coffee machine at electronics store - Image

As well as rating the coffee machines they have purchased in the last three years, respondents to our survey also helped to paint a picture of what to look for when buying a machine in the first place. Sure, we all want great-tasting coffee, but what other factors help determine overall customer satisfaction? Below are the key drivers of customer satisfaction identified from our research:

  • Reliability: 25%
  • Ease of use: 20%
  • Taste quality: 17%
  • Ease of cleaning and maintenance: 15%
  • Value for money: 12%
  • Design: 11%

Let’s now delve a little more into each of these categories.

Reliability

Our research identified reliability as the most important factor in shaping customer satisfaction with coffee machines – and it makes perfect sense! You can own the most sophisticated coffee machine in the world, but unless it works perfectly every time, you’re going to question its real value. Imagine the frustration of not being able to make that first coffee of the morning! We’ve all been there.

  • ALDI Expressi was rated best on reliability, followed by Nespresso and Nescafe Dolce Gusto. It was four stars for DeLonghi, Breville and Caffitaly while Sunbeam was left on three stars.

Ease of use

No espresso coffee machine should be overly difficult to use, but our ratings suggest that some are easier to operate than others – and that’s to be expected. It stands to reason that the harder a coffee machine is to use, the less likely you will be to use it! Keep this in mind when picking the best machine for your home. The most sophisticated coffee machines may deliver the best coffee, but unless you can operate the machine properly, you won’t get to enjoy it. A fifth (18%) of survey respondents said they don’t use their coffee machine as much as they thought they would, with ease of use potentially playing a part.

  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto was rated five stars on ease of use, followed by DeLonghi, Nespresso and ALDI Expressi. It was four stars for Caffitaly and Breville, plus just three stars for Sunbeam.

Coffee taste

What’s worse? A coffee machine that’s prone to breaking down, or a bad cup of coffee? With a good cup of coffee on the go, you might be able to overlook some things not going to plan. But if the coffee isn’t up to the standards you expect, it might affect the rest of your morning.

  • Nespresso was rated best for taste, followed by ALDI Expressi. DeLonghi, Nescafe Dolce Gusto and Breville earned a four-star review while Sunbeam and Caffitaly were rated three stars.

Ease of cleaning & maintenance

You might be surprised to learn that coffee machines – even espresso machines – will require a fair bit of love and care in order to keep them working effectively. So, considering how easy a coffee machine is to clean is important before splashing out hundreds of dollars. Like ease of use, if your coffee machine is hard to clean, you’ll probably be less likely to actually use it.

  • For ease of cleaning & maintenance, Nescafe Dolce Gusto was the only brand to get a five-star review from customers, while ALDI Expressi and Nespresso were rated four stars. Three stars went to Breville, DeLonghi, Caffitaly and Sunbeam.

Value for money

When it comes to buying a coffee machine, you certainly have some cheap options out there, but ‘cheap’ doesn’t always mean the ‘best’ value. For your purchase to represent good value for money, it will likely need to deliver on coffee taste and reliability, which ALDI was able to impress with despite its low-cost model. Value for money is very subjective, but our customer ratings offer a helpful guide as to where you will find it.

  • In the value for money stakes, ALDI Expressi was top of the class. It was four stars for Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Nespresso, DeLonghi and Sunbeam, with Breville and Caffitaly rated three stars.

Design

After all the functional factors mentioned above, you’ll also want a coffee machine that is easy on the eye – and impresses your guests when they pop round for drinks. Some espresso machines more closely resemble alien spacecraft than traditional coffee makers, but perhaps that’s the look you’re going for? Whatever your (design) tastes, you might be better advised to concentrate on the above points rather than the appearance of your coffee machine.

  • Nespresso, DeLonghi and ALDI Expressi all scored five stars, while Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Caffitaly and Breville received four stars, with Sunbeam rated three stars.

What types of espresso coffee machines are there?

Coffee preparation

There are three main types of espresso coffee machines you can buy, including:

  • Manual machine: become a barista in your own home with a manual coffee machine that gives you full autonomy over the results of your coffee. This type of coffee machine lets you control the coarseness of your grounds as well as the frothiness of your milk.
  • Capsule/pod machine: is typically easy to use with no tamping required, plus you can add a full range of exquisite flavours to your taste palette. It’s also ideal if you’re limited on bench space.
  • Automatic machine: takes all the guess work out of your morning coffee. For those who aren’t able to function without their coffee in the early hours of the day, perhaps this one’s for you!

You’ll find these domestic coffee machines above in all shapes and sizes to help suit whatever your expectations or expertise are.

How much do coffee machines cost?

Typically, espresso coffee machines can cost anywhere between $80 and $6,000. As a general guide, expect the following figures for each type:

Coffee Machine Type Price Range
Manual machine $200 – $3,400
Capsule/pod machine $80 – $999
Automatic machine $500 – $5,950

General Guide Only

On average, respondents to our survey spent $372 on their espresso coffee machines, meaning you don’t need to splash out a fortune on one of these bad boys, especially considering that some can cost as much as $5,950. However, spending over $300 on one isn’t necessarily a cheap buy either, so doing your research prior to your purchase is a wise idea.

Apart from considering the key drivers of customer satisfaction, types of machines and price, our 2019 survey also revealed the following insights:

Which coffee machine should I buy?

Picking the best coffee machine for your home is clearly a challenge, but our customer ratings offer a helpful guide. Ultimately though, it all comes down to your personal preferences – and your budget of course! Consider how often you are likely to use your coffee machine. Our research found that more than half of respondents (56%) use theirs every day, but a sizeable proportion (18%) said they don’t use their coffee machine as much as they thought they would, down from 32% last year. If you’re not sure, it’s probably a smart move to go for a relatively cheap option in the first instance so that you’re not left brewing over your purchase.

Also consider how much you spend on coffee away from home. Those takeaway coffees on the way to work quickly add up, so work out how much you want and stand to save by making your drinks at home instead. This could be a good guide as to how much it’s worth spending on your home coffee maker. Our survey found that almost two in five adults (38%) are spending less on takeaway coffee since purchasing their own appliance, down from 73% last year. However, one in four (25%) prefer the taste of their homemade brew, down from 55% in 2018, leaving the remainder with a preference for café taste.

You’ll also have to consider things like:

  • Space: If you plan on keeping your coffee machine on your kitchen bench, make sure you don’t buy one that’s too big. But if you keep it hidden in a cupboard, you might find it starts to gather dust!
  • Ongoing costs: Make sure you get an idea of how much any coffee capsules and other accessories will cost you going forward. The price of coffee machines is often in line with the cost of the capsules you use with it, so if you’re going for a high-end piece of kit, you can expect premium capsule prices.

When all is said and done, coffee machines can be a great addition to your kitchen, provided that you get adequate value from them. For many consumers, they probably fall into the category of impulse purchase, so give it some thought before diving in.

Appliance Reviews & Ratings

Picture credits: Melica/shutterstock.com, Igor Kardasov/shutterstock.com, rawf8/shutterstock.com

*Prices taken from Appliances Online and respective retailers, correct as of September 2019.

More About Coffee Machines

Our latest customer satisfaction research on espresso coffee machines saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:

  • Best Overall: ALDI Expressi was rated best for overall satisfaction, followed by Nespresso and Breville
  • Best on Reliability: ALDI Expressi was rated best on reliability, followed by Nespresso and Nescafe Dolce Gusto
  • Best Ease of Use: Nescafe Dolce Gusto was rated best on ease of use, followed by DeLonghi and Nespresso
  • Best Taste Quality: Nespresso was rated best on taste quality, followed by ALDI Expressi and DeLonghi
  • Best Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance: Nescafe Dolce Gusto was rated best in regards to ease of cleaning and maintenance, followed by ALDI Expressi and Nespresso
  • Best Value for Money: ALDI Expressi was rated best on value for money, followed by Nescafe Dolce Gusto and Nespresso
  • Best Design: Nespresso was rated best on design, followed by DeLonghi and ALDI Expressi

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used an espresso coffee machine in the last 3 years (note: this includes manual, automatic and pod machines, not stovetop espresso pots or plungers) – in this case, 732 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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