Best Espresso Machines: Manual Models

For the seasoned espresso veteran who takes joy in pulling their own shots of espresso to perfection, a manual machine is the obvious choice. If you are the type of person with patience for creating a sensation for your taste buds who gets an overwhelming satisfaction from a flawlessly executed espresso, then you are most likely searching for the best espresso machine you can buy. Here are some suggestions from like minded espresso aficionados.


La Pavoni Europiccola

La Pavoni Europiccola

No matter your espresso making skills, this machine will certainly look great in your kitchen. It is designed in the kind of shiny chrome that will make you feel proud that you bought your very own espresso machine. You can also get it in a brass finish version which looks simply stunning - if you don't mind paying premium for that. Those who have tasted espresso in Italy claim that this machine can produce shots of equal quality and taste.

The Europiccola is a direct lever espresso machine that is relatively easy to use and for those who like to sample different types of coffee, you can adjust the grind and tamp of your coffee and anything will taste good when its made with this machine. An extremely reliable model, you can plan on purchasing a Europiccola and displaying it in your kitchen for years to come. You can purchase Europiccola 8 cup model in chrome for under $750.


Elektra Micro Casa a Leva

Elektra Micro Casa a Leva

This is one of the very few spring lever home espresso machines around. It is a very unique looking model. With its slim design featuring both silver and gold accents and a temperature gage attached to the side, it may remind you of something straight out of the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

If you decide to go for this machine be prepared for a long and adventurous journey - it will take quite some time and experimentation with grind and tamp to produce the perfect shot. However, even espresso fiends who claim that this model is picky, find that after some tinkering they are very happy with the espresso that is produced by the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva. The machine is not cheap - the price tag is in the neighborhood of $1500.


Gaggia 11400 Achille Lever-Operated Espresso Machine

Gaggia Achille

Achille Gaggia is touted as the inventor of the modern espresso machine, and the machine that bears his name will not disappoint. If part of your enjoyment of espresso is to highlight your kitchen with an eye-catching machine, you will be delighted with the sleek, shiny looks of the Gaggia Achille. When guests see this machine in your kitchen, they will automatically assume you are an accomplished espresso master, and they better be right. As a direct lever espresso machine, this machine is most definitely not for beginners. You will need to know how to grind, tamp, measure water and pull the lever with just the right pressure and timing. You can get one of these for around $800.


If you are searching for the best espresso machine that money can buy, any of these machines would be an excellent choice. Your final decision will come down to the aesthetic look that you want to create in your kitchen, your price range, and to whether you prefer a spring piston or a direct lever machine.

Further Reading

Manual Espresso Machines
Best Espresso Machine: Semi-Automatic Models
Pump Espresso Machines
Boiler Types for Espresso Machines