Best Coffee Machine in Australia for Home Use

By Ivan Bezbradica | Updated 8 October 2021

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Australians love coffee. Whether it's a morning latte or afternoon espresso we can't go a day without our daily fix. The only problem is those $4 lattes start to add up after a while! This is when you come to realise you may be better off investing in a home coffee machine. It'll save you cash while helping your coffee habit. 

But what is the best coffee machine in Australia? After hours of research, comparing expert reviews and Aussie opinions, in this article we've outlined the top home espresso machines for Aussies.

Best for most

Breville Barista Express

The Barista Express is our top pick as it comes equipped with everything you need to make great coffee at home. The Breville's in-built grinder is what sets it apart from its competitors. The grinder not only saves bench space but money too! 

OUR
PICK
Breville Barista Express

Entry level

Gaggia Classic Pro

If you visit any coffee forum the Gaggia will likely be recommended as a great entry level machine. This is because it has many commercial features at a low price point. 

Gaggia Classic Pro

Dual boiler pick

Breville Dual Boiler

If you are looking for a dual boiler espresso machine for a good price, the Breville Dual Boiler is the best valued machine on the market. A dual boiler machine allows you to steam milk and extract espresso at the same time.

Breville dual boiler

How We Decided

There is a big range of espresso machines to choose from. Everything from entry level coffee machines to thousand dollar pro-sumer gear. In order to make the search a little easier we decided to narrow down our selections to coffee machines that meet the needs of the average coffee lover. This means we will shy away from $3,000.00 + espresso machines (although we'll mention them at the end should you be curious). Our price point will be capped at coffee machines below $1,500.00.

So after we set our search guidelines we set out to see what coffee machines Australians liked on public forums such as Product Review and Whirlpool. We looked at machines that had high ratings and recommendations among consumers. We then cross referenced these consumer favourites with expert blogs where baristas frequent to make sure fellow coffee addicts approve as well. 

Then we really went down the rabbit hole and checked out some coffee specific forums and sub-reddits like Coffee Snobs and r/coffee. Here we double checked that the machines we were looking at had good reviews among fellow coffee enthusiasts. The author of this guide also drew upon his knowledge as a barista for 6 years in Melbourne's cafes. After all this research we narrowed down our list to the 6 machines below. 


Best Coffee Machine Australia: Top 6


Best for most

Breville Barista Express

What we like 

In-built grinder
Everything you need to make coffee

Specifications

Type: Semi-automatic

Boiler: Single 

Size: 33.8 x 31.3 x 40.7 cm

OUR
PICK
Breville Barista Express

When selecting the best coffee maker for Australian homes, we asked ourselves what the average household needs. We decided it must have a good price, the ability to make great coffee, and come equipped with everything you need in one package. The Breville Barista Express ticked all these boxes.

The Barista Express is a semi-automatic espresso machine. This means it allows you to make coffee manually while automating certain parts of the coffee making process. For example, you will have to steam milk yourself, but the machine comes with pre-programmed single and double shot espresso extraction buttons. This allows you to make coffee like a barista does in your local cafe, while streamlining parts of the process.

The Breville comes equipped with a single boiler. This means it has one boiler for steaming milk and extracting coffee. What does this mean in practice? Basically, you can't steam milk and extract espresso at the same time. Rather you need to flick a switch to go from making espresso and steaming milk. This function is fine for home use, the only caveat is that there is a small delay between the two functions as the boiler needs to increase in temperature before being able to steam milk.

What we like

The grinder

The main feature we like about the Breville is its inbuilt coffee grinder. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, it saves you money by not having to buy a separate coffee grinder. Most coffee machines require you to budget for both. Grinders on their own can cost at least $200.00 just to produce ground coffee. But Breville gives you everything you need to make coffee in one package. The grinder also allows you to set your grind size to "dial in your grind".

Secondly, the in-built grinder saves you bench space. If you have a small kitchen this is a life saver. The last thing you want is to have a awesome espresso machine but nowhere to do daily cooking!

Everything in one package

The Breville comes with everything you need to make coffee at home: espresso machine, grinder, jug, tamper, and portafilters.

The design

The Breville is a beautifully designed machine and it comes in three colours: stainless steel, red, and black.

What we don't like

The tamper

The author of this article has used the Breville Barista Express. The one gripe he has with it is that the free tamper that comes with the machine is too light. This isn't a deal breaker, just the author's preference he prefers heavier tampers to allow for a easier tamp. If you find this an issue, you can easily pick up a stainless steel tamper for $20.00.

Upgrade cost

This is only a con if you decide to upgrade your coffee machine in the future. Most high end coffee machines require you to buy a separate grinder. As the Barista Express comes with an inbuilt coffee grinder, you will also need to buy a new grinder if you upgrade. You don't want two espresso machines on your kitchen bench!

Who's the Barista Express for?

The Barista Express is the ideal machine for the average household that wants everything needed to make coffee at home in one package. We believe that the Breville is the perfect compromise between price, features, and coffee making ability. Making it a great fit in any Australian kitchen. 


Entry level

Gaggia Classic Pro

What we like 

58mm group head & proper steam wand
Great reputation 

Specifications

Type: Semi-automatic

Boiler: Single 

Size: 23 x 38 x 24 cm

Gaggia Classic Pro

The Gaggia Classic Pro is one of the most recommended espresso machines among coffee lovers (1). This is because it contains commercial components and has an excellent built quality - all in an entry level price point! Users often comment how well built the Gaggia is, with many reporting a decade of use with no issues.

The Pro is the newly updated version of the Gaggia Classic.The main differences from the original is that it comes with a professional steam wand. The old version had an assisted steam wand. This was a issue with many users as it made it harder to make latte art. It's nice to see a company listen to its consumers when bringing out a new model.   

Like our top pick, the Gaggia is a semi-automatic machine with one boiler. Meaning you will have to wait for the boiler to change temperatures to go from steaming milk to extracting espresso. The machine has a stainless steel exterior and a small foot print. It's the perfect size for big or small kitchens. 

What we like

Commercial group head

The Gaggia comes with a 58mm stainless steel group head. So what's the big deal with this? Basically this is the same type and size you will find in commercial coffee machines. You could literally take the group head out and put into a profession machine and it'll work. A commercial group allows for better heat stability and a grind distribution, resulting in better coffee.

Steam wand

The new steam wand on the Classic Pro allows you to texture milk just like a barista does. You gradually introduce steam into your milk to make the perfect froth.

Internal components

The Gaggia uses commercial style internal components. This means if your machine ever needs maintenance it is a lot easier to fix compared to other models and your local coffee mechanic can do the job. Yes, coffee mechanics exist!

What we don't like

Design a bit dated

To be honest the design of the Gaggia is a little bit dated, however it does have a vintage charm to it. To spice things up the Gaggia Classic Pro now comes in three colour options to suit any kitchen: stainless steel, red, and black.

Who's the Gaggia Classic Pro For?

The Pro is a perfect coffee machine for Australians who wants to make cafe quality coffee at home without breaking the bank. We recommend this machine for people who want to team up a good espresso machine with a quality grinder to get the most out of their coffee.


Pod pick

Nespresso Citiz and Milk

What we like 

Easy to use
Cheap!

Specifications

Type: Pod

Boiler: None

Size: 27.7 x 37.2 x 21.8 cm

Nespresso Citiz and Milk

Pod coffee makers have become a popular coffee making option as of late (2). This is because they're affordable and very easy to use. Oh, and George Clooney may have something do with it.

Our top pod pick is the is the Nespresso Citiz and Milk. This is because it comes with everything you need to make both espresso and milk based drinks at a very good price. 

Pod machines work by inserting a coffee "pod" into the machine which then rapidly passes hot water through it to create espresso. Some pod machines come with a milk frother while others don't. We recommend picking one with a frother like the so you can make different types of coffees. In our opinion there is not much difference between cheaper and more expensive pod coffee machines, that's why we like the Citiz as it allow you to make many types of coffee on the cheap.  

What we like

Ease of use

The team at Best Dingo has had hands on experience with the Nespresso Citiz and Milk. What we like about it is that it is very easy to use with minimal clean up. The machine takes moments to heat up. All you do is press a button to turn it on, pop in a pod, and press go. You have the option to extract a single or double shot of espresso. 

Milk Steamer

We like how the Citiz comes with a milk frother. This allows you to make both black coffee and milk based drinks.

Cheap

The Citiz is very affordable, making it a great option to make coffee at home without breaking the bank.

What we don't like

Hit or miss coffee pods

There is a wide range of coffee pods to choose from and many of them in our opinion are lackluster. If you get this machine you will find yourself trying out a lot of different pod brands before you taste one you like. In order to avoid this trouble, our recommendation is to buy fresh pods from a local Australian coffee roaster. They taste much better as the ground coffee is fresh. Our favourite pods are from St Ali Coffee Roasters in Melbourne and in Mecca Coffee Roasters in Sydney.

Who's the De'Longhi Nespresso Citiz and Milk for?

The Nespresso Citiz is best suited for the person who wants a hassle free coffee making experience. If you don't want the hassle of learning how to grind coffee, steam milk, and using an espresso machine - the Citiz is a great choice for you.


Dual boiler option

Breville Dual Boiler

What we like 

2 boilers
Ability to program machine 

Specifications

Type: Semi-automatic

Boiler: Dual boiler

Size: 37.7 x 37.7 x 37.2 cm

Breville dual boiler

We're now getting into some of the more expensive coffee machines on this list. But with an increase in price come more features. We believe that the Breville Dual Boiler is one of the best value coffee machines in the higher end range. This is because it packs in a lot of features that you would only find in $3,000.00+ espresso machines, yet you can pick up the Breville for less than $1,500.00 packaged with a grinder. Below we discuss the features that makes this machine good value.  

What we like

Dual boilers

The Breville is a dual boiler machine. This means it has one boiler for steaming milk and another for extracting espresso. This gives you three benefits. Firstly, you can steam milk and extract espresso at the same time. Secondly, it's fast. Having two boilers means you don't have to wait to change functions, so you can make coffee quickly for a lot of people. Finally, a dedicated brew boiler allows you to adjust the temperature of the boiler. 

Temperature control

The Breville comes equipped with a PID temperature control. It allows you to control the temperature of the brew boiler. This means you can adjust the temperature of the extraction water to match the type of coffee bean you're using. This is a really geeky feature that's usually only found in more expensive machines.  

Programmable

We like how you can program many of the Breville's functions. You can customize the extraction time, the pre-infusion, and temperature. This allow you to fine tune your coffee making experience.

Shot clock

The espresso machine starts a timer as soon as you start extracting your coffee. This is a simple but nice feature to have. A shot clock is essential to make sure you're not under or over extracting your coffee.

What we don't like

Tamper

Much like the cheaper Barista Express, we don't like the tamper that comes with the machine. It is too light and if you're spending this much money on a machine, we recommend you invest in a nice heavy stainless steel tamper. 

Who's the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine for?

The Breville is the best espresso machine for Australians that want a geeky coffee making experience. You want to be able to fine tune every aspect of the extraction process to get the most out of your bean. It's also suited for a person who wants to experience higher end coffee machines, but doesn't want to spend multiple thousands of dollars. 


Super-automatic pick

De'Longhi Eletta

What we like 

It does everything
One touch coffee making 

Specifications

Type: Super-automatic

Boiler: Single 

Size: 26 x 46 x 36 cm

Eletta Coffee Machine

We've talked a lot about semi-automatic coffee machines in this guide as they're the most similar to those found in local cafes. However super automatic espresso machines may better suit you better if you want a hassle free coffee making experience. If this is you, then we recommend the De'Longhi Eletta.

Think of the De'Longhi Eletta as your robot barista. Press on button and the machine does the rest. It will grind your coffee, extract the espresso, froth your milk, and then combine the ingredients to make your beverage. This automation of the entire coffee making experience is what makes it "super-automatic".  

What we like

It does everything

The machine does everything. All you do is select what beverage you want and the machine does the rest.

Multiple drink options

The Eletta comes pre-programmed with 5 main drinks: cappuccino, flat white, latte, long black, and espresso. You can also program the machine to make the drinks to your liking. 

Ground coffee on demand

The machine comes with an internal grinder. This allows you to grind fresh coffee from a local roaster to make delicious coffee. This is what makes super-automatics better than pod style coffee machines - fresh coffee. It will always taste better. 

Self cleaning

The machine cleans itself. Did we already say it does everything?

Milk Frother

It comes with a integrated milk steamer that pours frothed milk directly into your cup to mix up the beverage.

Auto-turn on

There's nothing worse than craving morning coffee but having to wait for your coffee machine to heat up. You can program the Eletta to wake up before you so its all ready to go.

What we don't like

Not as good coffee as semi-automatics, but much better than pods

When you automate all of the coffee making process you lose the control you would get with a more manual machine. This means you can't fine tune your coffee as well as a semi-automatic. However the machine will still make good coffee, and much better coffee compared to pod based systems as it uses fresh coffee. 

Who's the De'Longhi Eletta for?

If you want a hassle free coffee making experience and don't want to learn how to use a semi-automatic espresso machine, then this machine is for you. Press on button and you're done! This machine also suits the person that doesn't want to use coffee pods to make easy coffee. Fresh is best.


Pro-sumer choice

Rocket Appartamento

What we like 

Brew coffee & steam milk simultaneously 

The design

Specifications

Type: Semi-automatic

Boiler: Heat-exchange

Size: 40 x 35 x 27 cm

Rocket Appartamento Espresso Machine

At the start of this guide we did say we would touch on some pro-sumer coffee machines and here it is - The Rocket Appartamento. Now we didn't get too carried away relatively speaking. As there are machines even more expensive than this one. We once again picked a espresso machine that we believe is good value in its product category. 

What we like

Heat-exchange boiler

The Rocket has a heat-exchange boiler. This means it can steam milk and extract espresso at the same time. Within its boiler there is a cylinder that is used to rapidly heat up water to the temperature needed to brew coffee. The end result is that you can make coffee quickly and for multiple people at a time.

Design and build

This is a beautiful machine. Everything from it's stainless steel shell to it's circular accents. It's also on the smaller size compared to similar coffee makers. This makes it a great option for many kitchens. 

Pre-infusion control

The Rocket allows you to manually control the machine's pre-infusion process. Pre-infusion is when you wet the coffee within the group head before turning on the pump to extract the espresso. This allows you to extract deeper flavours from your coffee. 

Cool touch steam wand

If you've ever touched a hot steam wand you will know how much it hurts! The Rocket comes with a heat insulated steam wand that is cool to the touch. This makes it safe for kids and the person using it. 

What we don't like

Out of reach for most

This is an expensive machine. Especially when you realise you also have to buy a high end coffee grinder to get the most out of it. For the average household this machine is will not make the cut.But if you're a coffee enthusiast this is a respectful machine for any home barista. 

Who's the Rocket Appartamento for?

The Rocket Appartamento is the best coffee machine for Australian coffee enthusiast. This means you're either a barista or a person who really loves coffee that wants to invest in a quality piece of kit. 


Coffee Machine Buying Guide

Now that we've reached the end of our coffee machine reviews hopefully you've found a machine that suits your needs and budget. But if you need a little more help selecting the right machine, below is our buying guide on what to look for when buying a coffee maker. 

There are 3 questions you must ask yourself when buying the a coffee machine machine for you:

1. What type of coffee machine do I want?
2. What's my budget?
3. What features do I need?


Types of coffee machines

The first question you have to ask your self is what "type" of coffee machine is best suited for you. 

There's three coffee machine types to choose from:

1. Semi-automatic
2. Super-automatic
3. Pod coffee makers

The main way these machines differ is the level of automation they have over the coffee making process. Semi automatics give you the most control, then super-automatics, with pod machines allowing the least amount of control. All three types are pump style espresso machines (3).

Semi-automatic

If you want to make coffee like a barista does at your local cafe, then you want a semi-automatic machine. You'll steam your own milk, extract the espresso yourself, and combine the two to make your drink.

Super-automatic

If you want a hassle free coffee making experience while using freshly ground coffee, then you should get a super-automatic coffee machine. These machines are fully automatic, with a press of a button it does it all. All you do is supply the cup!

Pod or capsule coffee makers

Another hassle free option are pod coffee makers. They are a affordable coffee machine compared to super-automatic coffee machines. Pop in a pod, press a button, and you're done. To get the best out of a capsule coffee maker you want to use pods with freshly ground coffee.


Managing your budget

When buying a espresso coffee machine you got to remember you're not just buying the machine itself. You'll also need to budget for a grinder, tamper, milk jug and more. Some machines like our top pick come with an integrated grinder but many don't. 

Baristas often say that a good grinder is more important than an expensive coffee machine. This is because if you have a bad grinder you'll never be able to get the most out of your coffee machine. Whereas if you have a good grinder a cheap coffee machine will be able to make better coffee. 

A rule of thumb is to budget a third of your budget towards your grinder. This will ensure you get a good grinder to match your coffee machine.


What features do you need

After you've chosen what type of machine you're after and your budget, there are a few key features you need to look out for when comparing espresso makers. Below we've outlined the essentials.

What type of boiler does it have?

There are 3 types of boilers found in coffee machines, they are (ordered from cheapest to most expensive): single, heat-exchange, and dual boiler (4). A coffee machine's boiler is what dictates the speed you can brew a coffee and if you can steam milk and extract espresso at the same time.

Dual and heat-exchange boilers allow you to steam milk and extract espresso at the same time. You cannot do this with single boiler machines, rather you have to wait for the machine to change temperatures to do each functions. So if you're looking for speed and want to make multiple coffees for a household, you may be better off with a heat-exchange or dual boiler. A single boiler is fine for the majority of people.

What's the size of the water tank?

A good sized water tank is handy so you don't have to keep refilling your coffee machine every day. Some more expensive machines even allow you to plump in the machine to you water supply, so you never need to worry filling it up.

Is it programmable or has manual controls?

If you're looking to make barista quality coffee, being able to program elements of the machine or take full control over it is important. Some espresso machines allow you to set the temperature of the boiler, the extraction time of your shot, and even type of your drink it produces. You should decide what features are important to you so you can keep an eye out.

Shot clock

Some coffee machines come with shot clocks that allow you to keep track of your coffee extraction. This is a handy feature as otherwise you'll need to whip your phone out. 

Type of pump

Coffee machines come with two types of water pumps - vibration and rotary. Water pumps are used to draw the water into the group head to produce your espresso.

Vibration pumps use a vibration mechanism to draw water and are found in the majority of manual machines. Vibrations are a bit on the loud size but are much cheaper.  

Rotary pumps are usually found in more expensive semi-automatic and manual coffee machines. Rotary pumps use a motor to cycle water into the coffee maker. The benefit of rotary pumps is that they quite compared to vibration pumps. They can also be plumbed into your home water system.

PID temperature control

More expensive home coffee machines give you the ability to control the temperature of the boilers. Different types of ground coffee tastes better under certain temperatures. With a PID you can set the temperature of the boiler to match your coffee.

PIDs also have the extra benefit of being able to keep the boiler's temperature much more stable. This is important to make great coffee.

Size of the home coffee machine

Some coffee makers can be quite large. So before you buy one you should double check its size to make sure it fits on your kitchen bench. If you have a small kitchen you should consider getting a compact coffee maker. 

Pressure profiling

Pressure profiling gives you the ability to control the pressure applied to your espresso extraction throughout the shot. For example a normal espresso machine will do a steady 9 bars of pressure from start to finish. However coffee lovers have learnt that if you adjust the pressure applied through the extraction process you get great tasting coffee.

For example you can start with a low pressure, then ramp up right to a full 9 bars. Normal home coffee machines tend not to have this ability, rather you will tend to find pressure profiling in pro-sumer semi automatic espresso machines.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions people ask when buying coffee machines. If you have a specific question you need answered please contact us and we'll add it to the list.  

How do I know which home coffee machine is right for me?

There are four main things to consider when deciding on a coffee machine. Your budget, the type of machine (semi-automatic, super-automatic, or pod), the boiler class, and features (for example an inbuilt grinder or programmable controls). After you've made these decisions, then you can look at the size and style of the machine - it's gotta look good in your kitchen!

Should I choose a coffee machine that works with pods or beans?

The answer to this question comes down to how involved you want to be in the coffee making process. If you want a hassle free experience, go for pods. If you want to make coffee like a barista does, go for beans. Typically coffee machines that use beans taste better due to freshness.

What type of coffee beans are best for coffee machines?

You need to use arabica coffee beans for espresso and milk based coffee. This is because it is less bitter and has a better flavour profile compared to robusta coffee beans.

What is the best pressure to extract espresso?

You need only 9 bars of pressure to extract espresso from your coffee machine (5). However you should get a machine that can produce at least 15 bars of pressure so it doesn't struggle to extract the coffee.

How much does a coffee machine cost?

A coffee machine can cost anywhere between $100.00 to $5,000.00. Choosing the right machine is a task of compromise and balancing desired features with your budget. Different types of coffee machines have different price ranges, they are:

Semi-automatic: $200 to $5,000.00

Super-automatic: $600 to $4,000.00

Pod: $100-$900.0 


Sources

1. https://coffeesnobs.com.au/forum/equipment/brewing-equipment-midrange-500-1500/841342-in-pursuit-of-coffee-zen-the-challenges-of-choosing-the-next-machine

2. https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4763958/global-coffee-pods-and-capsules-market-growth

3. https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/12/understanding-the-different-types-of-espresso-machine/

4. https://www.beanscenemag.com.au/coffee-machine-boiler-101/

5. https://www.fivesenses.com.au/blog/brew-pressure-explained/