Best Home Espresso Machines for Former Baristas
For those who have worked as a barista, quality in home coffee equipment is key. If you got used to having top of the line equipment available to you for your morning cup, cheaper home equipment can feel like a real step backward. But never fear! We have several great espresso machine recommendations for all of the former coffee pros out there that can fit a range of budgets. Let’s take a look!
The Diletta Bello+ is the most affordable machine on our list, and while we know it isn’t cheap, it’s a really great value. If you’re a former coffee professional the most important thing for your machine will likely be baseline performance. Fancy programming is great, but you want something that’s going to consistently provide a great shot and offer strong steaming performance. This is why we love the Diletta Bello+.
This machine offers a relatively simple design that provides utilitarian control for its get-it-done feature set. Temperatures on the Bello+ are managed by a PID controller, which doubles as a shot timer when you lift the lever. You can also program in some pre-infusion, and adjust the machine’s eco mode settings. The most important thing though, is the machine’s solid temperature control and strong brewing and steaming performance. The Bello+’s heat exchanger boiler type can even brew and steam simultaneously, something you’ll appreciate if you have professional experience.
The Lelit Bianca meets the standard of the Diletta Bello+ and packs in some wildly cool features. While it is significantly more expensive than Diletta’s offering, it justifies this with its paddle-based pressure profiling system. If you’re not familiar with the concept, every machine has a “pressure profile” that characterizes what happens when you flip the brew lever. Machines that offer pressure profiling have extremely low latency controls that allow you to control the pressure with those controls throughout the shot pulling process. This means that you can slowly ramp the pressure, start high and bleed it off, or use some other pattern. Using these tools you’ll be able to recreate the pressure profile of your favorite commercial machine, or just come up with some new recipes for tasty shots.
Plus, with the Lelit Control Center app, you can save your pressure profiles and recreate them, allowing for endless experimentation. It makes the Bianca an advanced espresso machine, but an exciting one for any former coffee professional.
Rocket Espresso is a brand you might be familiar with as someone with commercial coffee experience. This manufacturer is responsible for some truly spectacular commercial and home espresso machines, and the Mozzafiato is no exception. A heat exchanger like the Bello+, the Mozzafiato earns its price tag by its use of commercial grade components, particularly the pump. Most home espresso machines use a vibratory pump. This style of pump can last many years and perform well, but they usually cannot withstand the persistent pressure of a plumbed in water line. This Mozzafiato model uses a rotary pump like those found in commercial machines, allowing you to plumb it into your water line directly.
The convenience of a plumbed in machine is perhaps the thing that will resonate the most with you as a former coffee professional over any of the other things we’ve talked about in this list. That said, we still have one more ante to up.
Rocket’s ultimate home espresso machine is the R58 Cinquantotto. This machine carries all of the bells and whistles you’d expect from an ultra-high end espresso maker. It uses a slick detachable touchscreen PID controller to manage machine parameters, including temps, auto-on timing, and other machine settings. It also features a rotary pump like the Mozzafiato, so it can be plumbed in. What’s more, this machine has dedicated brew and steam boilers, a feature also found on the Lelit Bianca. When you combine a plumbed in water line with the dual boiler setup, this machine will likely be the closest mirror to a professional machine that you might have worked with in the past.
Want to see these espresso machines in action and get some more thoughts? Check out our video below! Oh, and don’t forget the grinder!