This blog typically focuses on accessible and cost effective ways to make coffee, but just because you drive a regular car doesn’t mean you can’t check out some exotic sports cars once in a while. If you’re the type of person who has no budget and cares about style and having the best, then this blog is for you.
Below are some of the most over the top machines to make espresso at home. These machines are miniaturized versions of commercial machines that you can find in your favorite cafes. We also talk about some high end grinders to pair with these machines. All these machines will be total overkill for a home setup and are all very capable machines. For many of you, what it will come down to is what style and features you want for your setup. Unless noted below these machines can be operated without direct plumbing for easy countertop use. All espresso machines require regular care and maintenance and also perform better when used with filtered/softened water. Some may even require professional installation and filtered/softened water for warranty purposes so don’t overlook that.
The most common “end game” machine you’ll see in the home specialty space is the La Marzocco Linea Mini (LMLM). It only comes with a Manual Paddle (MP) operation and is an absolute beast when it comes to pulling shots and steaming milk. This machine has a lot of aftermarket options and even has companies dedicated to their customization with aftermarket colors and accessories.
Those who want to take it up another notch will go for the La Marzocco GS3, offered in both Manual Paddle (MP) and Auto-Volumetric (AV) models. If you’re in the market for one of these, you probably already know the difference and your preference, but the AV model allows you to program the volume of water for easy repeatability in pulling your shots. For example, if your partner doesn’t want to be bothered with weighing espresso output, it would be easier for a less experienced home barista to pull a shot on an AV machine.
If you’re a technology lover and like this design check out the Victoria Arduino Eagle One Prima. This machine has a myriad of settings that can be controlled through the app and is designed with sustainability in mind in an effort to reduce water and electric usage. This machine offers auto-volumetric capabilities for easy to repeat shots.
The Slayer Single Group is the most expensive machine we list and really leans toward commercial use as this machine requires plumbing to be operated. This means you’ll need to have someone cut a hole in your countertop for the cleanest looking install. This machine only has a manual paddle for operation. You’ll see this same machine in multiple group head configuration in the most trendy specialty coffee shops.
The Option-O Lagom P64 is one of the best single dosing grinders money can buy and will pair nicely with any of the above machines.
The Mahlkonig E65S GbW is a commercial grinder that has the feature to Grind by Weight. If you’re pulling consecutive shots the speed offered may be of interest to you. Otherwise I’d stick with a single dose grinder
The Mahlkonig EK43S is the short version of the same grinder you will find in many of your favorite cafes. It is a commercial grinder designed to grind large quantities of coffee quickly. While absolute overkill in a home environment it is a strong performer and if you like the design will pair with any of these machines.