Which home espresso machines are the worst?

We give the lowdown on the five poorest-performing coffee machines from our test.

Wake up and smell the coffee

While we don't consume as much coffee as some nations, such as Italy, France or the UK, we're still pretty snobby when it comes to our morning brew. There are plenty of home espresso machines on the market, but life's too short for bad coffee – so here are the machines that you don't want to wake up to.

The ones to avoid, and how they scored

Espressotoria Adesso ($165)
43%: Poor taste testing, poor milk frother, and uneven coffee temperature

Sunbeam Café Barista EM5000 ($299)
47%: Poor taste test score, and OK milk frothing

Espressotoria Capino ($99)
Poor taste test score, borderline milk frothing, and uneven coffee temperature

Laspressa Espresso Point PC + Frother ($69)
50%: Poor taste test score, only OK milk frothing, very poor for coffee temperature, and can't accommodate larger cups

Sunbeam Multi Capsule Espresso Machine CM2000 ($299)
52%: Poor taste test score, OK milk frothing, uneven coffee temperature consistency

Looking for the best coffee machine?

See our expert product reviews.

Home espresso machine reviews

What to look for in a coffee machine

CHOICE coffee expert Chris Barnes says it's important to think about what type of machine will suit your lifestyle before making a purchase.

"For convenience and if you're not too fussy about the coffee, maybe a capsule machine. For maximum convenience (cappuccino at the press of a button) but at a high price, maybe a fully automatic machine. For good espresso, go with a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine, but this can need a bit more practice and skill to get the best results."

And if possible, try a coffee from your preferred machine first: "Some bigger retailers have machines ready for this purpose, or perhaps a friend has the machine at home. But don't forget, store staff (and your friend!) might not be the best barista, so take that into account. With a manual/semi-automatic espresso machine, the user's skill and experience can be just as important as the machine itself."

And don't forget, capsule pods are not easily disposed of in recycling. "They usually end up in landfill which is not great from an environmental point of view," says Chris.

For our reviews, coffee machines are rigorously tested in our labs to find out which ones:

  • produce the best tasting coffee
  • are easiest to operate
  • are best at frothing milk.

Learn how we test coffee machines.

What kind of coffee machine do you need?

For more information read our buying guide, and check our reviews to see which machines won our CHOICE stamp of approval

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