Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big Italian coffee maker test 2021. Here we present all the Italian coffee machines we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Italian coffee maker for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy an Italian coffee maker.




Summary

  • Italian coffee machines help you make the ultimate coffee experience at home. Basically, Italian coffee makers are divided into espresso makers, fully automatic coffee makers and portafilter machines.
  • Espresso makers brew your coffee on your stovetop in a matter of minutes. Fully automatic coffee makers work automatically at the touch of a button.
  • Coffee makers are semi-automatic coffee makers and are also often sold with a grinder. This feature allows you to prepare your coffee individually. However, they are more time-consuming than fully automatic coffee machines.

The Best Italian Coffee Maker: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an Italian coffee maker

Who is an Italian coffee maker for?

In principle, an Italian coffee maker is suitable for everyone. Its many advantages make the Italian coffee maker one of the most popular coffee-making options currently available.

The grind of the coffee is important for the preparation of an aromatic coffee. (Image source: unsplash.com / Hanny-Naibaho)

Since coffee machines, especially Italian coffee machines, run the gamut from the simple classic to the sophisticated portafilter, we've picked out some information to help you find just the right coffee machine for the perfect coffee experience.

Basically, we distinguish between espresso makers, portafilter machines and fully automatic coffee machines.

But which of the Italian coffee machines is best for which purpose? The portafilter machines offer you the ultimate enjoyment.

However, their price and also their size are some of the reasons why fully automatic coffee machines have been able to establish themselves in private households.

As entry-level devices, capsule or pad machines are often bought first to enjoy a delicious coffee every now and then.

What can I make with my Italian coffee machine?

In principle, every Italian coffee machine can make all the drinks it has in its range perfectly. You should not be blinded by the name "espresso machine", which is also commonly used.

A portafilter machine can also produce an excellent espresso and, depending on the programme, all other coffee variants, such as cocoa and milk variants.

Really delicious frothed milk, as used for latte macchiato, has only been included in the programmes of Italian coffee machines for a few years.

We have listed the most common Italian preparation methods with an Italian coffee machine here. These are the most common variants.

  • Caffè (espresso)
  • Doppio (double espresso)
  • Ristretto (espresso with approx. 15-20ml)
  • Lungo (espresso with approx. 35-40ml)
  • Caffè Macchiato (a shot of milk in this espresso makes it look like a mini cappuccino)
  • Caffè Corretto (espresso with grappa or other spirit)
  • Cappuccino (one third each espresso, hot milk and milk foam)
  • Caffè Latte (Italian variant of the latte)
  • Latte Macchiato (foamed milk with a carefully added espresso.)

Other options that can be prepared using an Italian coffee machine.

  • Drinking chocolate
  • Tea
  • Hot water

What types of coffee roasting are available for Italian coffee machines?

What you fill your Italian coffee machine with for the ultimate coffee enjoyment is not entirely unimportant, so we have summarised for you what types of coffee roasting there are.

Type of roasting Description
Light roast pale or cinnamon roast
Medium roast American roast, breakfast roast
Strong roast light French roast, Viennese roast
Double roast Continental roast, French roast
Italian roast espresso roast

The stronger the roast, the more intense the flavour of your Italian coffee. Based on your usual coffee taste, this allows you to approach your perfect roast.

What features should you buy in an Italian coffee machine?

Before we go into detail about the advantages and disadvantages of an Italian coffee maker, we have compiled a brief overview of the equipment you need and what you should look out for.

The larger your Italian coffee machine, the more accessories you will need. The more accessories you need, the larger the Italian coffee machine.

  • For your espresso maker, you should buy an aluminium microfilter and the gaskets, depending on the model. These are consumables.
  • For fully automatic coffee makers, there are many variants and accessories, depending on the preparation options. They should include Aqua Clean filters to prevent calcification and removable milk tanks for hygienic use.
  • For the portafilter machines, there are Razors for exact gram dosing, single- and double-walled filter baskets, stainless steel milk jugs, water filter holders and filter cleaning sets.

If you choose an Italian coffee machine with milk preparation, make sure that you can clean it hygienically.

It is also important that the machine is decalcified, otherwise this will affect the longevity of the machine and the taste of the coffee.

Which manufacturers of Italian coffee machines are there?

We have compiled the most important brands of Italian coffee machines in this list:

  • DeLonghi
  • Krups
  • Alessi
  • Gianni
  • Bezzera
  • La Pavoni
  • La San Marco

There are certainly many other manufacturers and brands. But most of them are Italian manufacturers and they have been engaged in the production and continuous improvement of their Italian coffee machines for decades.

What are the alternatives to an Italian coffee machine?

Italian coffee machines can consist of many different programme variants. Each of the models has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The classic and still very popular is hand-brewed coffee, it remains a nice alternative to Italian coffee machines. (Image source: unsplash.com / Karl-Fredrickson)

In the following section, we will give you a brief overview of the alternatives to an Italian coffee machine.

Hand filter coffee

Hand filter coffee; The coffee powder is put into the filter, which is lined with a paper filter, the hot water is added to swell and gradually filled up. It takes about 3-4 minutes.

Coffee maker

Available in many sizes, variations and price ranges. The desired amount of water is poured in and the coffee with the filter is inserted into the insert provided. Takes about 3-4 minutes.

Pad machine

More varied preparation options, prepared at the touch of a button. All you need to do first is insert the appropriate pad and make sure there is enough water in the tank.

Capsule machine

The most versatile alternative, which can be prepared at the touch of a button.

In addition to the water tank, which must be filled, you may have to replace the capsules (latte macchiato: 1 x espresso and 1 x milk capsule) and, depending on the machine, dose them yourself.

Decision: What types of Italian coffee machines are there and which one is right for you?

An Italian coffee machine is not just an Italian coffee machine. There are various devices that fall under this designation, but they differ from each other.

If you want to buy an Italian coffee maker, there are three alternatives to choose from:

  • Espresso maker
  • Coffee maker
  • Automatic coffee maker

What distinguishes an espresso maker and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

In espresso makers, a metal pot is heated on the stovetop. Inside the espresso pot are several containers, the one for the powder and the water container.

When heated, the two components melt together to form an espresso. The short preparation time of about 3-4 minutes is a particular plus in addition to the good taste.

The preparation of an espresso in the morning or simply in between on the cooker top, with the espresso maker. (Image source: unsplash.com / Eric-Barbeau)

Make sure you know what kind of cooker you have at home, whether induction or ceramic, so that you can also use your espresso pot.

Advantages
  • No electricity required
  • Inexpensive to buy
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
Disadvantages
  • Few preparation options
  • Small quantities possible
  • Few dosing options

What distinguishes a fully automatic coffee maker and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The Italian fully automatic coffee machines can be used for private users and commercial operations.

They have a beautiful, elegant design and a wide range of preparation options.

Fully automatic coffee machines offer a wide variety of preparation options. Some models are in no way inferior to portafilter machines. (Image source: unsplash.com / David-Charles)

The simpler operation at the touch of a button, as well as the size, are often just as convincing as the lower price compared to portafilter machines.

Advantages
  • Many preparation options
  • Beautiful designs
  • Preparation at the touch of a button
  • Aromatic coffee
Disadvantages
  • More time-consuming cleaning
  • Partially expensive
  • Higher noise level
  • No large quantities to prepare

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a portafilter machine?

With this Italian coffee machine, you can make almost all the settings for the preparation yourself.

Screen machines are the most sophisticated Italian coffee machines you can buy on the market. The individual settings allow you to prepare the perfect coffee. (Image source: unsplash.com / Blake-Richard)

The grind of your coffee is again decisive for the results, because if the powder is too coarse, espresso will be watered down, while normal coffee can taste bitter if the powder is ground too finely.

Advantages
  • Many preparation options
  • Very high pressure possible
  • Preparation at the touch of a button
  • Aromatic coffee
  • Less bitterness
Disadvantages
  • More time-consuming cleaning
  • Price-intensive purchase costs
  • Higher noise level
  • Large appliance which requires space
  • Long heating time

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate Italian coffee machines

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible Italian coffee machines.

The criteria you can use to compare Italian coffee machines include:

  • Cleaning
  • Milk frother
  • Water tank
  • Coffee
  • Grinder
  • Water temperature

Cleaning

Regular cleaning of automatic coffee machines and portafilter machines is very important to prevent germs from forming inside.

Special hygiene is especially necessary for models with milk preparation. In many models, the entire brewing group must be removed and cleaned under water.

Some premium machines have automatic cleaning systems that mean you no longer have to clean the brew group by hand.

Milk frother

Fully automatic coffee makers often have a steam nozzle on the side. This allows you to create a spoonful of milk foam. High-quality fully automatic coffee makers with the one-touch function make milk froth at the touch of a button.

Water tank

The capacity of the water tank is often underestimated. Larger water tanks with at least 1.8 litres are advisable, especially for higher coffee consumption.

Before buying, check the filling capacity to make sure that a cup requires 125 ml and a mug 250 ml of water.

Coffee

The strength of the coffee can be regulated by the amount of coffee. Most Italian coffee machines have several levels that can be adjusted for each cup.

Some high-quality machines have additional memory programmes that can be used to preset different preferences.

The coffee bean compartment Some machines do not recognise whether the compartment is empty or not and brew your coffee anyway. You should make sure you have a large enough coffee compartment before you buy.

Grinder

Really good coffee needs two things - high-quality coffee and a sophisticated brewing technique for consistent enjoyment.

Hand-picked coffee beans and a quality-tested Italian coffee machine make this enjoyable experience possible. Take a look at the different grinders and the degree of grind that this grinder can produce.

Water temperature

To ensure that the coffee tastes aromatic and ends up hot enough in the cup, the brewing temperature must be very finely tuned. Then there is the hot steam for the milk foam. For the flavour to really come out, it must not be too hot but also not too cold. The temperature control of the Italian coffee machine can therefore be a very important purchase criterion.

Trivia: Interesting facts about Italian coffee machines

Can I get spare parts for my Italian coffee maker?

You should buy spare parts for your Italian coffee maker directly from the manufacturer. The reason for this, apart from the guarantee and warranty claims that you have, is that you will then really get the right spare parts.

If you use the wrong spare parts, this can have a negative effect on your Italian coffee machine and your guarantee and warranty claims could be invalidated.

If something is wrong with your Italian coffee maker, contact your dealer or manufacturer directly.

How does an Italian coffee maker work?

As we have seen in this guide, Italian coffee machines are very diverse and it is not possible for us to say in general terms how all Italian coffee machines work.

Our tip is to try to find videos and instructions on exactly the Italian coffee machine you want to buy before you buy it. Even a different model series may already have different functions or be cleaned differently, which is why it is so important to always look for the explicit device.

If you lose the instructions, it doesn't matter, the manufacturer will send you a new one or you can usually find the instructions for your Italian coffee machine on the manufacturer's website.

Which coffee beans are suitable for very good espresso?

Espresso is famous for its strong and slightly bitter taste, and in addition to this characteristic, espresso contains a very high caffeine content.

The bean that most fits this definition is therefore the Robusta coffee bean. It is valued by coffee farmers for its resilience and comes mainly from West Africa and Southeast Asia.

However, we recommend other coffee beans that are among the best-known varieties:

  • Arabica
  • Liberica
  • Excelsa
  • Stenophylla
  • Kopi Luwak

How do I clean my Italian coffee maker?

The following cleaning procedure is recommended to remove coffee oils and other impurities from a portafilter:

  1. Remove the portafilter from the machine, clean the brewing sieves and place them in a container with coffee fat solvent.
  2. Place a dummy sieve in the portafilter and fill it with the cleaning powder. Then put the filter holder back in place. Then press the draw button several times to clean the machine's pipes and brew head. Then remove the portafilter and clean the group head with water.
  3. Remove any cleaning agent residue from the dummy sieve under running water.
  4. Reassemble the portafilter and remove any detergent residue by making several brews without coffee grounds using the brewing water.
  5. Clean the seals of the group head with a brush.
  6. Now soak the portafilter in coffee fat solvent for a few hours. Make sure that the plastic handle of the portafilter does not come into contact with the cleaner.
  7. Loosen the screw of the shower and place the sieve in the cleaner solution. After the cleaning process, carefully reassemble all the parts.

Image source: 123rf.com / Bujdoso A.

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