The best portafilter coffee machines 2021 and winners of the Stiftung Warentest

It is not only the wholesome coffee alternative and the small dose of caffeine, but also the basis for cappuccino and latte macchiato: the espresso. GIGA names them best espresso machines and what to look for when buying one Portafilter coffee maker should pay attention to the turn of the year 2020/2021.

If you want to make espresso at home, you can choose between different types of devices:

  • Portafilter machine
  • Coffee machine
  • Capsule / pad machine

Another method is the espresso maker, i.e. a special jug that you put on the stove. We’ll go into the exact differences between the types below. Here we first answer the question: Which machines can you choose for the perfect espresso?

Table of contents espresso machines

The best espresso machines 2020: an overview of all test winners

placement product price offer
Portafilter machine: test winner of Stiftung Warentest De’Longhi Dedica Style EC 685 approx. 160 euros Model on Amazon
Fully automatic coffee machine: test winner and price tip Tchibo Esperto Caffè approx. 200 euros Model at Tchibo
Pad machine: best seller Philips HD6554 / 68 Senseo about 45 euros Model on Amazon

Test winner at Stiftung Warentest: De’Longhi Dedica Style EC 680/685 portafilter machine

Delicious espresso and beautiful milk foam, that’s what the De’Longhi Dedica Style EC 680 produces. Thanks to the Corona-related home office, it is allowed to demonstrate its skills in the kitchen of the author of these lines much more often than usual. Three bowls for that Portafilter are included: for single and double espresso, as well as for Coffee pods. If you want full enjoyment, you don’t buy ground coffee powder, but grind the beans fresh in a grinder. The coffee comes into the mold, is pressed down, the solid portafilter is inserted with a slight twisting movement and after a good half a minute warm-up time, the espresso flows into the cup at the push of a button. If desired, you can manually froth milk using the steam nozzle on the side.

De’Longhi Dedica EC 68. Image source: Manufacturer.

The housing looks high-quality, thanks to the slim design it can also be accommodated well in small kitchens. The drip tray can be easily removed and cleaned. Only the flashing signals (for example as a descaling request) are a bit cryptic. The Stiftung Warentest describes the De’Longhi machine as “ideal for beginners”, criticized the Test 12/2016that the foam is quite coarse-pored and the good espresso has little crema. And yet: The De’Longhi Dedica Style EC 680 is the test winner with a grade of 2.1 and is also ahead of the competition in sensory assessment. Yes, you can celebrate espresso brewing with this portafilter machine.

The machine mentioned has now had a successor: The De’Longhi Dedica Style EC 685 the manufacturer has changed almost nothing, it is even structurally identical, explains De’Longhi. And yet there are changes: The drip tray has now been improved; if you remove it, you can now place larger containers under it. And the milk frother offers the option of heating the milk without frothing. The portafilter machine is available in different colors:

De'Longhi Dedica Style portafilter machine

De’Longhi Dedica Style portafilter machine

Benefits:

  • Makes very good espresso
  • Housing narrow and chic, high quality for the price range
  • Milk frother suitable for beginners

Disadvantage:

Price tip fully automatic coffee machine: Tchibo “Esperto Caffè”

Tchibo “Esperto Caffé” fully automatic coffee machine. Image source: manufacturer

A push of a button and shortly afterwards the espresso flows into the cup – with fully automatic coffee machines it is much easier to get a cup of dopamine. Because even if they are mostly called “fully automatic coffee machines” – they actually tend to cook espresso. A grinder is built into the machines so that you always get freshly ground coffee powder. However, it can get a little more complicated when cleaning.

In our advice on fully automatic coffee machines, we list the Philips 2200 series EP 2220/10 as a price tip. If you can do without the manual milk frother on your new fully automatic coffee machine, you should take a look at the Tchibo “Esperto Caffé”. This currently costs instead 269 ​​euros only 194 euros directly from the manufacturer:

The Stiftung Warentest rated the Tchibo fully automatic coffee machine with “Good” and an overall rating of 2.2. The consistency and the intense taste of the espresso were convincing.

Tchibo fully automatic coffee machine Esperto Caffè

Tchibo fully automatic coffee machine Esperto Caffè

benefits

  • makes good espresso and coffee
  • Expandable bean compartment
  • very compact

disadvantage

  • Cleaning inconvenient
  • no milk frother

Bestselling pad machine: Philips HD6554 / 68 Senseo

Image source: manufacturer.

The bestseller list on Amazon for coffee pod machines is currently topped by the Philips HD6554 / 68 Senseo. The handling of such a machine is comparatively easy. Overall, the customer ratings are very good, with 4.5 out of 5 stars.

To cook two cups at the same time, the Philips machine can hold two pods of coffee powder. If you press the start button twice, it will dispense a small, strong coffee. If you also use espresso pods, you get the closest thing to classic espresso.

Philips HD6554 / 68 Senseo coffee pad machine

Philips HD6554 / 68 Senseo coffee pad machine

Benefits:

Disadvantage:

  • Coffee more expensive and limited selection

Buying an espresso machine: you should also know that

Portafilter machine, fully automatic coffee machine or pad machine?

At a Capsule or pad machine you put in a small jar of coffee concentrate or a sachet with coffee powder. The comfort is high. But the coffee prices are higher and the selection less than with the other types of machines. In addition, the capsules generate a lot of waste. Frugal and lazy souls will find their ideal device in the pad machine.

The coffee lover prefers to use it Portafilter machine. Here you have a great influence on how the espresso or the mixtures with milk should taste in the end. You can buy coffee beans not only from Tchibo, Aldi & Co, but also from local and small roasters. With a good machine and a little skill, you can compete with the street cafe.

If the portafilter method is too cumbersome for you, take one Coffee machines. Portioning of the beans happens automatically, followed by grinding and filling. After the hot water has run through, the coffee powder is tipped into a waste container. The cleaning effort of a fully automatic coffee machine is greater than that of a portafilter machine. For this you can smear the jam bread in the morning while preparing coffee. A suitable device for everyone who gets a bit hectic in the morning or who are only mentally present after they have drunk coffee.

What other alternatives are there for making espresso?

Espresso makers are a classic alternative to espresso machines. The bestseller on Amazon, available in different sizes, is the Bialetti Moka Express espresso maker. The jug is filled with water at the bottom and an insert with the ground coffee sits above it. You put the pot on the stove. If the water becomes hot, it rises due to the increased pressure caused by the coffee powder. Since the pressure is not as high as with an espresso machine, the crema is very low. The caffeine drink tastes different – but also good!

On the left the Bialetti Moka Express, on the right the Wacaco Nanopresso for on the go. Image sources: manufacturer.

You don’t have to do without fresh espresso when traveling in the pampas either: There are espresso makers for on the go with which you can manually push the hot water through the coffee powder with a lot of pressure. With an adapter you can also use Nespresso capsules. The customers are very impressed by the taste of the espresso from the Wacaco Nanopresso. However, you have to heat the water on the gas stove or in the kettle.

Can you also make espresso with coffee beans?

The coffee and espresso beans in the supermarket are the same types of beans: predominantly Arabica, occasionally Robusta. Some of them are mixed for espresso. The main difference, however, lies in the roast: beans for espresso are roasted longer. They therefore look darker and contain less acid. It is best to choose these beans for portafilter machines as well as fully automatic coffee machines – especially when the acidity of the classic coffee bean roasting hits the stomach.

Which accessories do you need for a coffee grinder?

Who one Coffee machines and beans is first of all equipped. In the medium term, you still need a decalcifier (either the manufacturer’s recommendation or a home remedy).

For owners of a Portafilter machine There are a few more things on the shopping list: Depending on which coffee drinks you want to prepare and what comes in the cup and when, you need an espresso and / or milk jug. The espresso powder is pressed down with a tamper. If you have whole beans, put them in a …

Which coffee grinder to use for the espresso?

Owners of a portafilter machine need a grinder for freshly ground beans. The Melitta Molino offers a good price-performance ratio:

Melitta Molino 1019-01 coffee grinder

Melitta Molino 1019-01 coffee grinder

In addition to such coffee grinders with grinders, there are devices with fly knives. Their grinding quality is comparable. With these types, however, it is difficult to find the perfect grind. Because how small the beans are beaten depends on the grinding time. The owner must therefore develop a feeling for his device. The Severin KM 3879, for example, is recommended.

No matter which type you use: You have to feel your way about the perfect grind for your beans, your espresso machine and your taste. If you grind the beans very small, the drink can become bitter. If you grind the beans too coarsely, the water will run through too quickly. But somewhere in between there is the perfect espresso!

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