If you often drive into coffee shops for coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and lattes, a combination coffee/espresso machine might be a worthy purchase. These are multifunction appliances that bring a coffee shop into your kitchen.
The common consensus is that coffee and espresso makers are exorbitantly expensive and sophisticated to use. While this is true to some degree, some models are actually very affordable and easy to use, too, as you’ll find out in these reviews.
Top Pick: De’Longhi BCO430BM Combination Coffee and Espresso Maker
Best For Versatility
- 15 bar system
- Independent coffee maker and espresso
- Front-loading design
- Brew Pause feature
- 24-hour timer
The De’Longhi BCO430BM is what you’d call a true coffee and espresso maker combo. This manufacturer literally combined 2 machines into one unit for optimum performance.
You see, in a bid to make the machine compact and relatively affordable, most manufacturers utilize a single brewing system to serve 2 purposes in typical combos. While they succeed in making the maker somewhat compact, one of the functions often tends to be a hit or miss.
This BCO430BM eliminates this by offering you 2 independently controlled machines with separate water reservoirs, thereby assuring you the best of each world.
Perhaps the best part of this concept is the ability to brew a pot of Java while creating an espresso shot at the same time.
The unique combo design of this 15-bar model is complemented by a fantastic frother that creates exceptionally thick foam for evenly textured drinks.
The other features that attracted us to this model include a 24-hour time, a brew-pause function, and a built-in advanced charcoal filter for better-tasting espresso and coffee.
This coffee/espresso combo measures 11.02″ wide, 14.52″ deep, and 12.79″ high. While it’s wider than most of our recommendations here, its height fits nicely in most kitchens with low-sitting cabinets.
✔ Brew coffee and espresso concurrently
✔ Front-loading convenience
✔ Has brew-pause feature
✔ Frother works well
✘ It’s bulky
✘ No brew sizes for espresso and cappuccino
EspressoWorks Espresso Machine & Cappuccino Maker
Best Professional Combo Machine
- 19 bar pressure pump
- 47-ounce water reservoir
- 17-ounce milk reservoir
- 4 brew options
- Thermoblock heating system
For coffee lovers who are enthusiastic about Italian espressos, we recommend you to check out the EspressoWorks.
Aptly named, this coffee maker has advanced technology to make single and double coffee shots, cappuccino, and latte. This dual coffee maker offers all these functions while maintaining a very clean control interface for straightforward use.
The standout feature of this coffee and espresso maker combo is its 19 bar pump pressure system. In case you don’t know, creating an authentic Italian espresso shot requires a machine with at least 9 pressure bars.
This maker’s high-pressure system means that you’ll be pulling a great shot of espresso after another. You only require quality beans.
On this note, this espresso machine also comes with an electric grinder. This is a powerful and easy-to-use model that only takes 20-30 seconds to grind your beans. This means that you’ll always get your espresso, latte, and cappuccinos with all the flavors and aromas intact.
The EspressoWorks features a 47-ounce water tank that offers up to 19 shots of espresso. What’s more exciting here, though, is the built-in 17-ounce milk reservoir and the accompanying frother.
✔ Comes with lots of accessories
✔ High-pressure bar system
✔ Built-in, detachable milk reservoir
✔ Free electric coffee grinder included
✘ Can be loud
✘ Lacks carafe or mug brew sizes
Nespresso by De’Longhi VertuoLine ENV135SAE
Best For Pod-Based Espresso
- 54oz water tank
- 17-count used capsule container
- 9-minute auto shut off
- 1350 watts
The Nespresso Vertuoline solely uses coffee and espresso pods. It might interest coffee and espresso lovers who appreciate barista-style coffee drinks but would prefer eliminating the hassle of grinding and measuring coffee grounds.
This coffee and espresso maker is centered on optimum ease of use. To make espresso, for instance, simply take the smaller pod and insert it in the brewing chamber. Next, lock the pod in using the large knob at the top and touch the only button on the head- the machine will do the rest.
The Vertuoline uses an automatic blend recognition that reads a barcode on the pod to automatically detect its ideal brew. This means that there’ll be no settings to fiddle around with. It also ensures that you get consistent drinks each time.
For the price, the package will also include a separate Aeroccino milk frother. While we prefer a built-in one, the key advantage of this standalone frother is that you can prepare your milk as your espresso brews.
This model measures 12.2’’ by 12.3’’ and has a 54-ounce water reservoir. Uniquely, it also boasts another bin that holds up to 17 used capsules.
✔ Very easy to use
✔ Has an impressive separate frother
✔ Imparts crema foam on regular coffee
✔ No settings required & Auto-off function
✘ Does not use ground beans
✘ Supports Vertuoline pods only
✘ Brews at slightly below 195 F
DELONGHI ESAM3300 Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
Best Super-Automatic Combo Coffee Maker
- 8.8oz built-in grinder
- Single and Double espresso
- 60oz water reservoir
- Manual steam wand
- Heat time ~75 seconds
This Delonghi coffee and espresso maker has been around for close to 2 decades. The fact that it’s still among the top-rated models today speaks volumes about its quality and reliability.
First things first, this model isn’t the most compact at 15.25’’ x 11’’ x 14.38’’. However, the manufacturer has put all the stops to ensure that you can fit it even in the tightest places.
Its 60-ounce water reservoir, for instance, slides out of the front-right side. This is unlike in other models where the tank is located either at the top or at the back. Also, all the control buttons are at the front for easy access.
Compared to other machines on this list, what’s unique about the ESAM3300 is its all-in-one concept. This model combines the coffee grinder, coffee machine, and a frother into one solidly built unit.
This machine also puts all the controls in your hands, so you can pull out coffee and espresso shots that perfectly meet your needs. The control buttons allow you to choose from 3 cup sizes and 8 different dose settings. You can also choose between a single and a double.
✔ Incredible reliability
✔ Excellent consistency
✔ Simple user interface
✘ No digital display
✘ Grinder can be noisy
✘ Water tank needs refilling often
Krups 985-42 Il Caffe Duomo Coffee and Espresso Machine
Best For Beginners
- 20-second brew-pause
- Steam nozzle
- 40-ounce coffee carafe
- 8-ounce espresso carafe
If you are in the market for Krups coffee and espresso maker, we give you the 985-42 Caffe Duomo. Similar to the De’Longhi, the Krups Duomo combines an independently controlled espresso machine and a coffee maker.
On this note, the 2 power buttons at the front bottom of this machine are the only controls that you are going to find here. This means that you need almost zero coffee-brewing and espresso-making skills to use it. This is what makes it a perfect combo for pretty much anyone who wants a coffee shop-style cup of espresso or coffee, without necessarily being a skilled barista.
This coffee maker uses coffee grounds and a conical filter. It also has a front-loaded water reservoir capable of making up to eight 5-ounce cups. There are no optional coffee brew sizes on this machine. However, lifting the glass carafe from the heating plate pauses the brewing function for 25 seconds- just enough for you to grab a cup.
The espresso system, on the other hand, makes 4 cups of espresso before the need to refill the tank. Impressively, you can brew into the included carafe, or 2 espresso cups using an adapter.
This dual-purpose machine also has a rotating steam nozzle for your Caffe lattes and cappuccino fix.
✔ Great coffee and espresso quality
✔ Very easy to use
✔ You can use the 2 systems simultaneously
✔ Has a heating plate
✔ Has a brew-pause feature
✘ Not programmable
✘ Relatively small water reservoirs
Our Coffee Maker & Espresso Combo Verdict
The De’Longhi BCO430BM is our clear winner on this list for a couple of reasons. We appreciate its independent espresso and coffee brews and the fact that these 2 functions can be used concurrently. Although the Krups Duomo offers this versatility too, the De’Longhi has the upper hand in terms of convenient features, including programmability and auto on/off. Albeit being wider in size, this model is notably shorter and will fit in most kitchen spaces with low-sitting cabinets.
How to Buy a Coffee and Espresso Maker Machine
What is a coffee and espresso maker combo?
Just as the name suggests, this refers to a machine that lets you make regular coffee and shots of espresso. This is a 2-in-1 machine that offers both of these functionalities.
Why do I need a coffee and espresso maker combo?
Well, there are a couple of reasons why you’d want one of these combination machines. First, if you like both black and milk/coffee mixes, then this machine will let you brew your shots at home without having to spend a penny at the coffee shop. This actually saves you money in the long run.
Secondly, if you are a real coffee aficionado, this device offers you an opportunity to try out new tricks and come up with your customized shots.
How does coffee and espresso combo machine work?
Depending on the operating mode, this combination machine works just like a regular coffee or an espresso machine.
When making regular coffee, the machine draws water from the reservoir and heats it before pouring it over a coffee bed or pod. As the water drips through the coffee, it extracts aroma and oil from the coffee, thereby creating your favorite cup of Joe.
The coffee maker works in a pretty much similar manner when it’s on espresso mode. The significant difference, though, is that it now uses highly pressurized water to extract the aroma from the compacted coffee.
How to Choose a Coffee and Espresso Maker
Buying a coffee and espresso combo machine takes a little more consideration than purchasing a regular coffee machine. It gets much easier if you know what matters most, though.
These dual-function machines differ significantly on the amount of coffee that you can brew at once. Some of them have a drip function that lets you brew directly into a carafe, a traveling mug, or even a cup. However, keep in mind that in espresso mode, most machines offer a single-serve only.
So, your choice here will heavily depend on your personality. If you are a heavy black coffee drinker, but you often appreciate a shot of espresso, you might want to go with a drip design coffee and espresso machine.
On the other hand, if you are considering this machine purposely for espresso and cappuccino, any single-serve model will fit the bill.
Pods vs. Ground Coffee Combo Machine- which one should you buy?
In our opinion, the choice between pods and ground coffee boils down to personal opinion. If you prefer a quick shot of espresso or a hot cup of java without having to measure coffee grounds or clean up messes, a pod machine might be your go-to option.
However, while coffee pods don’t always equate to bad coffee, their quality isn’t any closer to that of freshly ground beans. So, if you are a real purist and don’t mind grinding your beans first, you might want to get a model that primarily uses grounds.
This is one of the main features that separates an espresso machine from a regular coffee maker. Your beautiful cup of espresso is only perfect if it has nicely heated and steamed milk.
So, ensure that your target combination coffee/espresso maker has this function. If not so, consider buying a good quality standalone frother separately.
Size vs. Available Space
The size of the machine might not be an issue if your kitchen has ample space already. However, if you are managing with a small kitchen, you want to work with the available counter space to get the most compact coffee maker. Worth mentioning, most of these units can be as tall as 15’’. Keep that into consideration, especially if you have low-sitting kitchen shelves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are combo coffee and espresso makers worth it?
If you enjoy coffee just as an energy booster, and you’re not a fan of espresso, cappuccino, and the likes, these combination machines might not make a lot of sense. On the other hand, if you want to cut down on what you spend on store-bought coffee and espresso-based drinks, then it’s worth it. Be sure to get a good model, though.
Are combination coffee/espresso machines hard to operate?
Generally, ease of use correlates with the number of options. Some machines require you to press/touch just a single button, and they’ll do the rest. The compromise here is that you don’t have lots of control over brew quality.
Machines that are regarded as hard to use often allow a reasonable degree of customization. This is a valuable aspect if you want your coffee/espresso to meet your exact needs.
Do coffee and espresso makers need a filter?
A good shot of coffee or espresso requires clean water without odors and bad tastes. Some of these machines come already fitted with a filter. For those that lack one, it pays to use filtered faucet water or bottled water. This not only impacts your brew’s taste, but it also prolongs your machine’s life by preventing scale build-up.
Best Use Tips
- For ground machines, always keep the portafilter clean. Otherwise, it might make your future coffee bitter.
- Consider grinding your beans only before making your coffee or espresso to ensure a full-bodied brew.
- Serve promptly- after around 15 minutes, your brew will start breaking down, thereby losing its true flavor.
- Use filtered or distilled bottled water- it enhances your brew’s taste besides protecting the machine’s waterways from clogging up with the scale.
- Play around with the grind to get the size that makes your perfect shot. Ideally, the espresso grind should fall between the size of flour and sugar.