Espresso is a wonderful and flavourful beverage everyone has once in a while. In fact, it gives that great start to the morning, with caffeine kicking in, giving you that much-needed dose of energy for the day. You can make it home or join the others in the queue in the coffee shop, all lined up for their favorite beverage. Either way works well unless you are short of time, want to save money on coffee, or are a coffee connoisseur.
Espresso machine with grinder
One of the first ways to be on the coffee journey is to buy some form of device to give you the freedom to make your coffee. Most of the time, it’s an instant coffee machine or an espresso unit. There are a variety of espresso models which come in all shapes, sizes, and budgets. The most important aspect is the budget. Even the basic espresso makers will set you back by several hundred dollars at the very least. And as you add features and functionality to the machine, it can very well go beyond a thousand dollars.
Also, there are a few basic requirements that should be ideally standard in your setup to the price. The prime among them is a built-in grinder. Espresso cannot work without a grinder (internal or external) unless you use only coffee, which has been ground for the espresso.
Why do you need a grinder in an espresso maker?
Buying an espresso machine with a built-in grinder is usually a better decision since the manufacturer combines the two units into one machine. You can rest assured that there is no compromise on the grinder’s quality. Since they are built to work together and in sync, the manufacturer will ensure the grinder is of top quality, which will last the machine’s life. It’s also a matter of great convenience to have the system built-in rather than go hunting for a grinder.
Grinder selection can be notorious with just so many options available that you will be confused. Often people compromise with what they have bought or need to buy another one because the one they purchased was just not good enough. Do you think a manufacturer will make any such mistake? Especially since they have been in business for years? The answer is obvious and straightforward. It makes more sense to buy an espresso maker with a grinder as it is of better quality and more durable than the convenience it offers.
Now let us have a look at some products that offer built-in grinders and review them.
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
This is one of the best products out there, with the best overall ratings and our top favorite too. The machine is so easy and intuitive that it can make any layman into a Barista in no time. It is designed in a way that it’s easy for anyone to make the perfect blend of coffee you need. The machine uses the 4 keys formula to deliver the best coffee, including the right amount of beans, correct water pressure, accurate temperature control, and microfoam milk. You have the option to control the volume of every shot with just a button. You can either choose the amount of coffee manually or select the single or double shot option on the unit.
The unit features a specially designed digital temperature controller that can be adjusted by 4 degrees Fahrenheit on every step up or down. This temperature control is affected by the digital PID in the system. The machine ensures you get the maximum flavor using the low-pressure infusion process wherein the machine will gradually build-up the pressure at the beginning to help ensure all the flavors are extracted to the full and evenly thereby giving a balanced taste to the user.
Using a high-power 1650 watts heating unit, it creates microfoam for milk texturing which is useful when making lattes at home. There are quite a few accessories included with this product. They are dual wall filter baskets, an integrated tamper, one-cup, two-cup, a stainless steel milk jug, a 54mm stainless steel portafilter, a razor dose trimming tool, a coffee scoop, cleaning disc and tablets, and a cleaning tool.
With that being said, we feel it has an extremely beautiful finish and sleek modern design, which is one of its biggest appeals. With all these features and functionality, it is truly one that’s best for a home barista.
- It includes an integrated grinder
- Strong 15 bar Italian pump
- Capable of variable grind size
- Capable of variable temperature control – digital
- Features a dedicated hot water dispenser
- Ability to choose dose – Single/double shot or manual control
- It has Micro-foam milk texturing
- Accessories included
- The drip tray accumulates all the coffee sludge
- The water reservoir could have been larger
DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
You would have guessed that this is an automated and programmable device that makes the most wonderful coffees by the looks themselves. If you are one of those coffee lovers, who love technology and want a machine that can automate the process and make the coffee for you, this is the machine you should be buying. It features a burr grinder that sports a wonderful 13 grinding settings and will always grind a fresh lot only when you want your coffee, thereby giving you exceptionally aromatic coffee. It works great with beans that are a medium roast with low oil levels.
The machine can also be used with ground coffee in the second chamber. Beans with higher oil content tend to clog up the espresso machines. It uses a rotary dial and push buttons on the front panel, along with programmable settings. The patented “Cappuccino System” will create the best froth for your Cappuccino by uniquely mixing the steam and milk. It takes almost 50% less time for cleaning compared to other machines. It ships with two stainless steel boilers which provide instant reheat functionality along with good heat distribution. This way, any two cups of coffee will still have the same temperature no matter how long the interval between them be.
Additional features like an exclusive cup tray that will keep the cups warm, the height-adjustable spigot will adapt to any cup height, the 180 swivel Cappuccino System that can accommodate any size milk container, rinse and decalcification programs, and more make it a very well designed product. Cleaning the unit is fairly easy with automated programs as well as a removable boiler, due to which you can easily access difficult-to-reach areas. The machine is not just super-automatic, but its design is also space-saving apart from being modern and sleek.
- It includes an integrated grinder with a patented “Direct-to-Brew” system
- Patented “Cappuccino System” for creating a rich froth
- It includes a Cappuccino frothing system
- 50% less time for cleaning compared to other machines
- It has a Programmable control panel
- Easy to maintain and keep clean
- Ability to reheat instantly
- The bean container and the water tank are removable
- The water reservoir could have been larger
- It does not process oily beans very well
- The grinder is quite noisy
EspressoWorks Espresso Machine Grinder Bundle – Best Value
This machine is slightly different than the ones we have seen before. It does come with a grinder, but it sits separately, meaning it is not integrated within the main machine. The manufacturers may have probably thought of this as a space-saving feature or wanted to keep the two units physically separate intentionally. Either way, it’s a great product and works wonderfully well to deliver the best quality coffee to you.
The main machine heats up quickly and is capable of getting ready to use in just 45 seconds. You can choose a single or double shot of espresso with the two stainless steel portafilter baskets. It features a fairly ok 1.25-liter water tank that is removable and therefore easy to clean and maintain. The package comes with quite a few accessories like a measuring spoon and tamper, stainless steel milk frothing pitcher, Single Shot Filter Basket, Double Shot Filter Basket, 2 Ceramic Espresso Cups, and portafilter so that there is no need to purchase any additional accessories.
The controls are easy to understand and follow for even a new user. You can also control the amount of coffee you want by using the dial on the machine. Overall, it’s a good product offering the best value.
- 15-bar pressure pump system
- Quick start-up and fast heating system
- Quite a few accessories shipped with the product
- Options to select a single or double shot
- Easy of cleaning with a removable water tank
- The machine is easy to clean and maintain
- Weak/watery espresso
- The grinder can clog with oily beans
- The machine build and quality is not that good
- It does not have an auto shut-off mechanism
Gaggia 1003380 Accademia Espresso Machine
The Gaggia 1003380 Accademia is a super-automatic programmable espresso coffee machine. It comes with a built-in ceramic burr grinder that will help you prepare a fine ground that’s just right for the espresso. The burr grinder also comes with an integrated bean hopper and a double lid that retains and saves the aroma inside. You can use the whole beans for making the coffee or pre-ground coffee with the grinder and the bypass doser.
The adjustable telescopic coffee dispenser can adjust to a height of 6 ½ inches to adapt to most cup sizes. The easy-to-read and understand front panel, the buttons’ layout, and the large brightly lit display look very impressive and extremely functional. It is one of those few machines which feature both a carafe and a commercial-style steam wand. You can make custom drinks with the carafe or make something of your own using the manual wand.
The manual frothing wand will allow you to froth the milk any way you want, like airier froth or micro froth as per the beverages you choose. It comes with a detachable milk carafe for milk-based drinks and a removable brew group, making cleaning and maintenance quite easy. A unique flow knob will allow you to easily choose between a strong espresso or a lighter, larger coffee.
- The integrated ceramic burr grinder
- Programmable controls
- Flow knob to adjust extraction levels
- Pre-brewing cycle to capture aroma and flavor
- Due to the adjustable coffee dispenser, it accommodates a wide variety of cup sizes
- Auto frothing milk carafe
- Easy to clean
- Cheap, flimsy coffee spout
- High-maintenance machine
- There is no indicator to show the beans are low
- A small water reservoir of 1.7 liters and a bean hopper
- It produces lukewarm drinks
Factors for selection
We have listed some important factors below that will help you select the right machine for you for your benefit.
- Ease of Use
- Ease of Cleaning
- Your drink preferences
- Customer Service
We have seen and reviewed quite a few products here. Whatever espresso machine you choose, you should always consider the facts that matter to you, your needs, preferences, and your usage pattern. Also, you must make a choice that reflects your lifestyle needs. If you are looking for automated machines with a lot of programming options and features, you should choose one of the De’LonghiDe’Longhi or Gaggia machines. And if you’re looking for some manual and hands-on control to enjoy the process of coffee making, Breville will be the ideal choice for you.
Overall there are unlimited choices in the market, and making a choice can sometimes confuse a newcomer. So take your time, look for reviews and make a wise choice. Ultimately it’s going to an expensive buy, and we would recommend you do thorough research before finalizing on one. If you choose a good brand and a sturdy product, it will serve you well for a long time to come. I hope the information shared with you has been useful.