5 Best Personal Espresso Machines: When One Cup Is All You Need

Sometimes, 1 cup of delicious espresso is all you need to get your day started. However, most machines make two espressos at a time and you need only one cup.

To get the “kick” you need, you need a personal espresso machine that will turn your coffee blend into a delicious brew.

We gathered all the important information to ensure that you choose the best model that meets all your needs. Read on to get the answers you need.

The Rundown

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine RundownBreville Bambino Espresso Machine
OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★
With its temperature control system, this espresso brewer allows you to adjust its brewing temperature to your likings.
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De'Longhi Espresso Machine RundownDe’Longhi Espresso Machine
OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Due to its high 15 bar extraction pressure, this espresso machine can easily brew authentic barista-quality beverages.
Jump To Review

CALPHALON bvclecmp1 espresso machine rundownnCalphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine
OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Its simple dial control knob ensures that you can easily set the desired brewing program with a simple turn of a knob.
Jump To Review

What Do We Mean By Personal?

When we say personal, we do not mean that you need an espresso machine only you will use. You are more than welcome to share it with your loved ones. What we mean is that the machine provides one cup of espresso peruse.

Let Us Talk About Portafilters

Once you are set on buying a brewer for one cup of espresso, you need to learn a bit more about the portafilters. The main types you might come across are:

  • double spout portafilter – these portafilters allow you to split a double espresso shot halfway. As a result, you can make two separate espresso shots at once.
  • single spout portafilter – they usually come combined with a single filter basket and dispense the perfect espresso shot into your cup.
  • naked portafilter – naked or bottomless portafilters come with no spouts. This means that the filter basket is exposed and you get to observe how little espresso droplets are created on the filter’s bottom.

Portafilter Types

Which Portafilter Do You Need?

To brew just one cup of espresso at a time, you need the machine that comes with a single-cup filter basket. It can hold between 6 to 10 grams of your favorite coffee grounds. You will get the measuring spoon. One spoon of ground coffee is optimal for one espresso. When you press the coffee in the portafilter before brewing as the instructions say, it may rest some space but it’s not the sign you need to add more coffee. One spoon is enough.

Benefits And Downsides

There are many benefits of having this type of espresso machine:

  • they are very easy to use
  • their size ensures that you always get a strong flavorful espresso shot
  • you brew as much coffee as you can drink so no coffee goes to waste
  • you get to enjoy a fresh brew whenever you want, no more stale coffee

The only con is that you can’t make multiple servings at once when you have company. However, since you are looking for a personal brewer, I don’t think this is such a big deal.

Additional Features & Functions You Want To Cover

Here are some additional features and functions you want to cover to ensure that you buy a powerful brewer with great performance:

Power Rating

A basic home espresso brewer can have a power range anywhere from 700 to 1200 Watts. However, to ensure that you choose a powerful brewer, look for a model that uses at least 1000 Watts. 1500 Watt models, or more powerful ones, will provide you with pro-grade performance.

Design & Quality

You can never go with choosing stainless steel as this is the main material used to improve the machine’s quality, durability, and resistance to exterior damages. If you do opt for a plastic model, make sure that the plastic parts do not come in contact with your brew to avoid burnt plastic flavors in your brew.

Extraction Pressure

I would say that this is the most important feature when shopping for an espresso machine. While a 9 bar extraction pressure is considered good and will provide you with a flavorful brew, a 15 to 20 bar extraction pressure will help you make barista-style beverages you would get to enjoy only in a professional coffee shop.

Extraction Pressure
Home Grounds

User-Friendly Features

There are versatile user-friendly features you can look for in a one-cup espresso machine. This may include:

  • a cup warming tray
  • simple control panel
  • an ergonomic portafilter handle
  • heat-resistant frothing handle
  • a removable bottom drip tray
  • an easy-access removable water reservoir
  • dishwasher-safe removable parts

Frothing System

You need to pay attention to the machine’s frothing system. Models with a manual frothing wand allow you to manually control the wand’s frothing performance. This means that you get to make thick cappuccino froth as well as silky smooth foam for latte art.

Brewing Capacity

To check the machine’s brewing capacity you need to know how big of a water reservoir it offers. 2-liter models are a great choice if you don’t want to worry about having to refill the tank too often. However, they are usually somewhat bulkier. If you want a smaller model, go for one with a 1-liter reservoir.

Safety Features

The main safety feature you can expect is the automatic shut-off program. It makes them much more energy-efficient and also ensures that you never have to worry about whether you left the brewer on. Other safety features include non-slip bottom feet, heat-resistant handles that keep your hands safe from high heat, etc.

5 Best Personal Espresso Machines

While the first model offers the highest power rating, the second one ensures optimal extraction pressure. Read on for more information about their differences.

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 12.5 x 7.6 x 12.2 In
Weight: 3.1 Pounds
Material: Stainless Steel
Wattage: 1560 Watts
Pressure: 9 Bars
Capacity: 64 Fluid Ounces

This 1 cup semi-automatic model features a very simple control panel. It allows you to choose whether you want to make a single or a double espresso shot at once and to easily switch to the steaming cycle. You can also easily adjust the temperature and frothing settings.

With its powerful and efficient low-speed infusion process, this brewer helps you extract all the delicious flavors from your grounds. Once the grounds are fully saturated, the high extraction pressure will push water through the puck and provide you with a thick, rich, and creamy brew in less than a minute.

Its manual frothing wand allows you to control how thick of a milk froth you want to make. It comes with a small coated handle. This is a great feature as the frother gets hot during the steaming process. It ensures that you don’t accidentally burn yourself.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★★
Pressure: ★★★★☆
Quality: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★★
Power: ★★★★★
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $550 to $800
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Its small compact design makes it a great fit for all countertops.
  • Provides professional brewing results in the shortest time possible.
  • Its auto steam purging cycle easily cleans the steam system.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • It only uses pressurized portafilters.

De’Longhi Espresso Machine

De'Longhi Espresso Machine

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 12.99 x 5.9 x 12.99 In
Weight: 9.3 Pounds
Material: Stainless Steel
Wattage: 1300 Watts
Pressure: 15 Bars
Capacity: 1 Liter

The great thing about this espresso/cappuccino maker is that it features a somewhat smaller footprint. Thanks to this feature you will be able to fit it atop any countertop surface. This also makes it much easier to store away while it is not in the use.

Its 3in1 filter holder is designed to ensure that you can make a single or a double cup or brew a cup of coffee using ESE pods. A small steam control knob is located on the machine’s side to ensure that you can control the brewer’s frothing performance.

Thanks to its automatic flow-stop feature, this personal brewer dispenses the perfect amount of espresso into your cup. At the same time, it keeps the brewing temperature at its optimal level to ensure that you don’t end up with a watery brew.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Pressure: ★★★★★
Quality: ★★★★☆
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Power: ★★★★☆
Safety: ★★★★★

PRICE RANGE

from $200 to $450
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Its control buttons are easy to access.
  • It offers 3 different temperature settings.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Its frother doesn’t provide consistent results.

Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine

Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machinee

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 13.9 x 11.6 x 15.3 In
Weight: 15.42 Pounds
Material: Stainless Steel
Wattage: 1350 Watts
Pressure: 15 Bars
Capacity: 2 Liters

The great thing about this espresso machine is that its top works as a cup warming tray. This means that you get to pre-heat your espresso cups while the machine does its magic. As a result, your brew will remain at its optimal temperature level for a much longer time.

With its powerful thermoblock heating system, this brewer ensures optimal results with every single use. Its pre-infusion process slowly blooms the coffee grounds inside the filter basket and ensures that you get to enjoy all the delicious flavors in your brew.

Its water reservoir is located at the back of the machine and is completely removable. It can hold up to 2 liters of water at once to ensure that you don’t have to refill it as often. It features a hinged lid to ensure that you can easily fill it up without removing it from the machine.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Pressure: ★★★★★
Quality: ★★★★☆
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Power: ★★★★☆
Safety: ★★★★★

PRICE RANGE

from $280 to $350
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • You can easily calibrate its shot volume.
  • It provides fast and efficient heating performance.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • You will need some time to get the hang of its performance.
  • Its group head tabs are made out of plastic and can easily get damaged.

Yabano Espresso Machine

Yabano Espresso Machine

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 16.34 x 13.66 x 7.95 In
Weight: 2.11 Pounds
Material: Stainless Steel
Wattage:
Pressure: 15 Bars
Capacity: 2.1 Pounds

It is worth knowing that this machine with a steamer is very easy to use. You only need to choose whether you want to make a single or a double espresso shot. It also comes with a simple steam control dial to ensure that you can make the perfect milk froth.

Its water reservoir can hold up to 37.2 oz of water and is completely transparent. Thanks to this feature you will always be able to tell when it is time to refill it. Since its bottom drip tray is also completely removable from the machine, you can easily clean it when needed.

Another amazing feature of this 15 bar machine is its built-in pressure gauge. It allows you to check exactly how much pressure is created during the brewing process to ensure that you always get a full-bodied brew with a thick consistency.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Pressure: ★★★★★
Quality: ★★★★☆
Functionality: ★★★☆☆
Power: ☆☆☆☆☆
Safety: ★★★★★

PRICE RANGE

from $160 to $300
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Its top works as a cup warming tray.
  • It comes with a front-mounted pressure gauge.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Its water reservoir isn’t as accessible.

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

SPECIFICATION:

Dimensions: 9.2 x 11.4 x 13.3 In
Weight: 30.8 Pounds
Material: Stainless Steel
Wattage: 993 Watts
Pressure: 15 Bars
Capacity: 0.3 Liters

Note that this Italian brand model comes equipped with a commercial-grade group head. It ensures exceptional heat stability and extraction quality. As a result, there is no need to worry that your brew might lack the flavor or the rich consistency of an amazing espresso brew.

Its portafilter handle is ergonomically designed to ensure that you can have a firm and secure grip on it. Its frothing wand provides you with a wide motion range. Thanks to this feature you will be able to create a perfect froth for cappuccinos, lattes, etc.

There is an additional pod and capsule adaptor kit is available for this machine if you want to enjoy a bit more brewing versatility. However, it does not come included with the brewer. You will need to purchase it separately.

OUR RATINGS

Overall: ★★★★☆
Pressure: ★★★★★
Quality: ★★★★☆
Functionality: ★★★★☆
Power: ★★★☆☆
Safety: ★★★★☆

PRICE RANGE

from $840 to $1310
depending on eCommerce offer (Amazon, Walmart, eBay) and discounts

REASONS TO BUY:

  • Comes equipped with a commercial-grade quality brew group.
  • Its frothing wand is easy to use and provides great results.

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • There is a slight learning curve you need to master.

What If You Sometimes Still Want Double Espresso?

You don’t have to worry that you are losing out on anything if you opt for a personal espresso maker. This is because all the listed models, and most of the ones you can find on the market, come equipped with both single and double shot espresso filters and single and double brewing cycles. That means that you still have the chance of making either a double espresso shot or 2 single espresso shots at once for occasions when you get a company.

To Wrap It Up

To conclude, you can’t go wrong buying a Breville Bambino Espresso Machine. Although it has the lowest extraction pressure out of all listed models, its powerful performance and simple temperature and frothing controls make it an amazing choice. It easily brews versatile espresso/milk-based beverages, too. It is worth knowing that the personal machines are somewhat smaller so there is no need to worry about their size.

Patricia
Patricia has a Bachelor’s in Economics and experience in the restaurant. She finished her education in 2015. and joined a cooking team as a restaurant manager. Her work with chefs helped her to become a successful freelance writer. She writes about kitchen appliances by chefs’ recommendations but in accordance with the interests of ordinary people. Except for appliances, she writes about receipts she has collected through her work before she joined the Kithentoast team in 2020.