P Pat Cotter

Top 3 Over $1,500 Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines of 2022

Top 3 Over $1,500 Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines of 2022

If you’re looking for the very best espresso machine you can get in 2022, you’ve come to the right place. Our picks for best semi-automatic espresso machine over $1,500 are designed to help you find the right machine, not just the most expensive one. We’ve got three categories to help you. First, our crowd pleaser pick is going to offer usability, affordability, and design to be the best fit for the widest range of users. Next, our top features pick is going to be the sweet spot between price, performance, and feature set. Finally, our ultimate pick is for the true enthusiasts - those who have the budget and the interest to get the most out of their morning coffee. Let’s get to the picks!

Crowd Pleaser

For our crowd please pick in the over $1,500 best espresso machines of 2022 category, we’ve got the Diletta Bello. The Bello is a fantastic entry into E61 group machines and an excellent jump into prosumer options for the budding espresso enthusiast. What makes it our crowd pleaser pick is its competitive price, powerful performance, and perhaps most importantly, its tactical feedback. We think the best way for new users to get up to speed with espresso is by using a machine that doesn’t do too much of the work for you. We totally support anybody who wants great coffee without that extra work, but if that sounds like you then you might want to take a look at our Best Superautomatic Espresso Machines of 2022. For the hands-on user, the Diletta Bello is an excellent choice. The heat exchanger boiler inside of the machine gives you the power to brew espresso and steam milk at the same time. Something many other machines struggle with. You also get that aforementioned E61 group head, which is a heated group that the water passes through, maintaining temperature all the way from the boiler to your cup. These features alone are enough to recommend the machine at its price point. But there’s more - the Bello also has high quality, tactile controls to help you feel the brewing process, and it provides feedback with its dual pressure gauge. You also get its stunning stainless design, and because it’s a machine we helped to bring to market, we have spent a lot of time working with the manufacturer to ensure that it’s carefully constructed and built to last. If you’re looking for an Italian espresso machine in 2022 that won’t break the bank, the Diletta Bello is one of the best you can get.

Top Features

For our best semi-automatic espresso machines over $1,500 top features pick we’ve gone with the Rancilio Silvia Pro X. If you’re not familiar with Rancilio, they’ve been one of the top machine manufacturers for both home and commercial for quite some time. The original Silvia is still a great machine, featuring commercial style construction and great performance. The only issue with the Silvia is that it’s a unique machine that requires some extra practice and finesse to really understand. While the Silvia Pro X isn’t a simple machine, it rewards users that have learned to handle the quirks of lower cost machines with an excellent array of features. First, the biggest upgrade from the original Silvia is the PID controlled temperatures. PID controllers regulate boiler temps to fire up the heating element before it’s needed, at just the right time to keep the water inside heated to just the right temps. This means no more temperature surfing or guesswork on when and how long to brew for. This machine also features a dual boiler design, dedicating (and prioritizing) the brew boiler, with a separate steam boiler as well. These features take the cake, but the Silvia Pro X also packs in a load of additional features to sweeten the deal. You’ll get a pressure gauge, auto-on programming, a shot timer, auto backflushing, soft pre-infusion, a hot water spout, and more. If you’re not sure that you need all of those features, just know that dual-boiler PID controlled temperatures is enough for us to recommend this machine at its price point. The rest is just extra.

Ultimate Pick

Our ultimate pick for best espresso machine over $1,500 in 2022 is the Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto. This machine is an Italian espresso powerhouse, and we love it a lot. You’ve probably seen it featured a lot at Seattle Coffee Gear, and that’s for a good reason. Let’s talk more about why it’s such a great option. For starters, the R58 offers dual boilers, one dedicated to brewing and one for steaming, plus PID controlled temperatures. This is a must for a machine in this range, and the R58 delivers here. But that’s really just the start of this machine’s features. The PID controller is managed via a detachable touch screen unit that also allows for auto-on programming and gives you other diagnostic info. Additionally, this machine has a built-in shot timer that has a unique mirrored face so it blends into the machine when not in use. This all preserves the beautiful design and impressive looking interface of the R58 Cinquantotto. Finally, this machine uses a commercial-style rotary pump that can be plumbed in so that you never have to refill a water tank. The hand-built Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto really is the ultimate semi-automatic espresso machine, and it’s why we love it for our ultimate pick!

Honorable Mention

For our honorable mention we wanted to highlight the Breville Dynamic Duo - which is actually a machine and grinder bundle. The bundle includes the Breville Smart Grinder Pro, and the Dual Boiler espresso machine. The machine is a pretty impressive option given its price point - it’s got dedicated steam and brew boilers as the name suggests, plus PID controlled temps and some pretty impressive programmability. From temperature adjustments to shot times and auto-on, there’s a lot you can do to program the Dual Boiler. It’s an impressive machine on its own, but bundling it with the grinder really puts it over the top. The Smart Grinder Pro isn’t the highest end espresso grinder on the market, but it’s a solid option especially for newer users. We really like how simple and versatile it is, and it makes for a great pairing with the Dual Boiler. The best part about this package is that it’ll be a perfect fit for a new user, or someone upgrading from Breville’s all-in-one machines, and then you can upgrade the grinder separately in the future if you like. It’s a great package for an excellent price!

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