Australia’s Best Coffee Machine

A quality espresso machine will let you enjoy café-quality coffee at home – but with so many models on the market, and an astronomical range of prices, choosing the right one can be challenging.

In this roundup, we’ve shared our pick of Australia’s best coffee machines, plus a deep dive into which other coffee machines are worth your money, along with tips for cleaning them and understanding the warranty.

The Best Espresso Machines in Australia in 2020

Our top five choices are:

  1. Breville Oracle Touch
  2. La Marzocco Linea Mini
  3. Rancilio Silvia
  4. Breville Barista Express
  5. Gaggia Classic

To find out what sets these apart and which machines didn’t make the list, keep reading for our detailed reviews.

How we picked

I’ve worked in the coffee industry since 2015, and during that time, I’ve trialled numerous home and commercial espresso machines.

However, these recommendations don’t just reflect my experiences. I’ve also reviewed third party data, including Canstar Blue, ProductReview.com.au, Amazon reviews, speciality coffee reviews and a wide range of blogs (which I’ve linked to, where relevant).

Any espresso machine that received significant numbers of negative reviews or seemed challenging to use at home was cut from the list – no matter how good it looked on paper.

What to look for

Level of Automation

Most espresso coffee machines on the market today are at least semi-automatic, if not automatic or even super fully automatic. We haven’t recommended any manual espresso coffee machines, as we consider them an extremely niche and hard-to-control product that isn’t appropriate for 99% of home users.

A side-note: If you’re looking for something super-easy, we’d recommend checking out our guide to buying the best coffee pod machine instead of getting a full-on expresso machine, as expresso coffee machines require a little more work.

Super-automatic espresso coffee machines do everything for you from grinding the coffee to steaming and pouring the milk. You only need to choose the type of coffee you want, typically from a list that includes at least a latte, cappuccino, espresso and Americano.

With automatic machines, you have to grind and tamp the coffee as well as steaming and pouring the milk. However, when it comes to pulling your espresso shot, you can push a button and let the machine do it for you.

Semi-automatic espresso machines also require you to decide how long the espresso shot lasts for, which can help you tweak the flavour of your coffee. The extraction time should last for 20–30 seconds. Assuming all other factors are equal, a longer brew time will add up to a richer flavour that can become bitter or astringent if taken too far. A shorter brew time will be fruitier but can become sour.

Generally speaking, the more automation, the easier the coffee machine is to operate but the less control you have over what your coffee tastes like.

Variety of Beverage Options

With semi-automatic espresso machines, there is no limit to the variety of drinks you can produce. However, with super-automatic coffee machines, it can sometimes be hard to override the pre-programmed drinks and prepare your personal favourite.

When reviewing similar super-automatic or otherwise highly automatic machines, we’ve given preference to the model with either a wider variety of presets or the ability to programme in your own drinks.

However, if you have a favourite drink you want to make at home, and it’s not a latte, cappuccino or espresso, it’s worth checking the machine can make it before you buy. A lot of super-automatic coffee machines don’t have presets for flat whites, cortados and macchiatos.

In-Built Coffee Grinder

Best Coffee Grinder Australia

An in-built grinder is not always a good thing. It makes the espresso-making process easier and cuts down on the amount of equipment you need to purchase. However, if it’s a poor-quality one, you might find yourself regretting the purchase.

When looking at the grinder, check to see how much you can adjust it – especially at the finer end of the scale. Espresso requires a fine grind, typically slightly finer than table salt, but you can adjust it slightly to tweak the taste (go finer if your coffee is too sour or courser if it’s too bitter).

Avoid purchasing any espresso machine with an in-built blade, as opposed to burr, coffee grinder. Blades are a much cheaper technology that results in inconsistent grinds, which in turn typically leads to sour, bitter or muddied coffee flavours. For a look at which grinder will suit you best, check out our guide to the best coffee grinder.

Number of Boilers

Espresso should be made at 90.5°C to 96°C while milk should be steamed at 55°C to 65°C. Milk that’s steamed at higher temperatures will lose some of its sweetness and richness, as well as developing an odd sulphuric flavour.

You should also steam the milk during or after the espresso is made. If you steam it first and then leave it to wait, it can start to lose its foam and texture before you pour it.

For these reasons, higher-tech coffee machines typically have two boilers: one for brewing the espresso and the other for steaming the milk. When creating our list of recommendations, we’ve given priority to dual-boiler models.

PID Temperature Control

Water temperature stability is key to good-quality espresso. Traditional thermostats, however, typically control the temperature by turning themselves on and off. This means the temperature is constantly fluctuating.

Digital PID controllers, in contrast, will bring your water to set a temperature and maintain it there.

While budget models might not have this feature, it makes a big difference to your coffee quality. We have not recommended any coffee machines that cost more than $1,000 but use traditional thermostats.

Pressure and Bars

More is not always better, and that is especially true when it comes to bars of pressure.

Some coffee machine manufacturers will tell you that their espresso machine has a high number of bars without defining what this means, hoping that the average consumer will assume that this is good without investigating further.

In fact, extremely high pressure levels – such as 16–18 bars – result in poorer-quality coffee. Most espresso machines are designed to hit 9 bars for the majority of the espresso-brewing process.

So, you can safely ignore the salesperson on this. As long as your machine can reach and maintain 9 bars, there’s nothing to worry about.

Pre-Infusion

In pre-infusion, the dry, ground coffee is infused with a small amount of low-pressure water before the coffee-brewing process begins. This reduces the likelihood of something called channelling.

Channelling is when the coffee inside the portafilter is not tightly packed, and so the water flows through the path of least resistance. As a result, it overextracts some coffee grounds, creating bitterness, and under-extracts other grounds, creating sourness. You will know you have channelling issues if you see blond streaks in the stream of coffee

Good tamping will ensure the coffee is tightly packed. However, when high-pressure, 9-bar water is then pushed through your coffee in order to make your espresso, it can dislodge some of the ground espresso.

Using pre-infusion instead, along with good tamping, helps avoid channelling and so results in more consistent espresso. As such, we have given greater weight to coffee machines that have this function.

Tamper, Milk Jug and Other Parts

Photo by Josh Boot on Unsplash

Your coffee machine may come with some accessories, including a tamper and milk jug (for the milk frother). The best tampers will be made of metal, rather than plastic. The tamping process can have a significant impact on the coffee quality, since it removes air bubbles from the dry coffee and creates an even puck ready for extraction.

Meanwhile, if you’re hoping to pour latte art, you’ll need to either make sure your milk jug handle and spout are perfectly aligned or buy a new jug. Different spout shapes are suited to specific types of latte art, so don’t get disheartened if you can’t pour a rosetta or heart with the one that comes with your espresso machine – that’s normal.

We’ve given points for quality accessories and docked them when high-quality coffee machines came with poorly made tampers.

Size

Some coffee machines can take up a lot of space on your kitchen worktop, while others are surprisingly small. Generally speaking, super-automatic machines and ones with in-built grinders tend to be larger, but make sure to use a measuring tape before you buy.

The Best Coffee Machine You Can Buy in Australia in 2020

Top Pick: Breville Oracle Touch

Our pick of the best coffee machine: Breville Oracle Touch

The Breville Oracle Touch is available in silver or black and retails at $2,799.95. A fully automatic coffee machine with an in-built grinder, it’s designed to make your life as easy as possible.

Users adore the complimentary at-home White Glove Service, available in the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart metropolitan areas. A Breville professional will come to your house to provide an in-person masterclass for up to six people on how to make coffee with the Oracle Touch.

You will also get a two-year warranty as well as access to dedicated customer service support lines and videos tutorials on creating latte art, milk texturing and more.

The intuitive touchscreen allows you to choose from five pre-programmed coffees as well as save an extra eight beverages of your choice. In other words, you can choose a standard latte or flat white, or programme in a cortado or piccolo latte.

You can also adjust the grind, milk frother temperature and texture, number of shots (one or two) and hot water settings from the digital display. The shots can be set to run by time or volume; we suggest doing it by volume for greater consistency.

The in-built conical burrs automatically grind, dose and tamp 22g of coffee at a time. This simplifies the espresso-making process but also takes away some of the control. 22g of coffee is relatively high for a double espresso shot, with many coffee shops opting for 14g to 18g.

We are a fan of the dual boilers, meaning you have better temperature control when switching from espresso to milk steaming. The Oracle Touch also uses PID technology to stabilise the temperature, while the group head, which is where the coffee is made, is heated.

It features a low-pressure pre-infusion, while the Over Pressure Valve (OPV) is a quality control feature that prevents the pressure from creeping up too high at any point in the brewing process.

The milk frother wand stands out for its excellent steaming, while users reported loving the consistency, ease of use and simple cleaning process of this machine. The Solenoid valve, in particular, makes backflushing the group head quick and effective (scroll down for more information on espresso machine maintenance and cleaning).

It’s worth mentioning that this is a particularly large model. It may not be the espresso machine for you if you live in a small flat or share your kitchen with housemates.

Despite that, it is hard not to like the Breville Oracle Touch. If you want a high-quality, easy-to-use coffee machine and do not mind the slightly reduced control, we have no hesitation in recommending it as the best coffee machine Australian consumers can buy in 2020.

Runner Up: La Marzocco Linea Mini

Best coffee machine runner-up: La Marzocco Linea Mini Blue

At $5,990, the semi-automatic La Marzocco Linea Mini is a premium-range model that brings café-quality machinery into the kitchen.

La Marzocco is one of the world’s most famous commercial espresso machine makers, used in speciality coffee shops around the world. We’re happy to see that they have not skimped on the technology or performance for this model, targeted at home users.

The Linea Mini is available in red, yellow, blue (as pictured above), black, white and silver. With its straight lines and large knobs, it has a vintage ‘70s look. Yet despite the retro appearance, this model boasts plenty of high-tech features – including an app.

The machine stands out for the quality of its materials. In fact, it’s hand-built and undergoes testing in both Florence, Italy and Melbourne, Australia. It comes with a 24-month warranty, while a La Marzocco technician will install it for you in your home.

The most impressive thing about this model, however, is its temperature stability. Small fluctuations in water temperature can lead to espresso tasting slightly more sour, bitter or muddied. In most espresso machines, the hot water boilers and the brew groups, which is where the coffee is infused with hot water, are separate.

Yet in the La Marzocco Linea Mini, they are integrated. This creates a degree of temperature stability in line with commercial espresso machines, as well as cutting down on energy use.

As you would expect from a machine of this quality, the temperature is further stabilised with a PID controller. There is also inbuilt pre-infusion which you can operate with either the paddle or the app.

It’s a dual-boiler espresso machine. Since you should steam your milk at much lower temperatures than you make your espresso, this means you can immediately switch between the two tasks without sacrificing quality.

Speaking of steaming, it also has a professional-level wand identical to the one used in La Marzocco’s commercial espresso machines. The power and control are remarkable.

We like that, despite delivering café-level quality, this model isn’t tricky to use. To set the temperature, adjust the dial on the side. Slide the paddle across to brew. The two large knobs, which control the steam and hot water (e.g. for Americanos), are ergonomic and simple. Indicator lights help you to keep an eye on the temperature and water.

As an analogue machine, it might be off-putting to people looking for touch screen controls. We personally feel that this makes it simpler to use once you are used to it. However, as of March 2020, you can also operate the machine with the app.

Meanwhile, the tamper and other accessories are of above average quality. The top of the espresso machine also doubles as a built-in cup warmer, meaning you won’t need to pre-heat your coffee mug. And in a small little touch, the drip tray is also held into place with magnets, adding to the general feel of sturdy stability.

You can plumb in this coffee machine, which would mean that you never need to refill it. However, with the 2.5L water tank, you shouldn’t need to do this too often anyway.

That being said, there were a few things that we didn’t like about the La Marzocco Linea Mini. We would have liked more control over the pre-infusion stage, given the high price tag.

More frustratingly, this model takes a while to pre-heat. If you are just preparing an espresso or Americano, you’ll need to wait 15 minutes. But if you also want to steam milk, you’ve got a long 30-minute wait ahead of you.  

Longer preheating times are normal in high-quality espresso coffee machines, but this could be irritating if you’re just looking for a quick and simple-to-use coffee machine.

The La Marzocco Linea Mini is the best-performing coffee machine on our list – it could outshine many coffee shop’s setups. If quality is what matters, you don’t want an in-built grinder and you don’t mind waiting before drinking your first coffee of the day, we recommend the La Marzocco Linea Mini.

If not, however, take a look at the Breville Oracle Touch or another one of our top five.

Other Options

Rancilio Silvia

Rancilio Silvia Black

At around $900–$1,000, the Rancilio Silvia is a much more affordable espresso machine than our top picks. Bear in mind, however, that you will need to pay around an extra $500 if you want PID.

It comes in black or silver, is semi-automatic and does not have a built-in grinder.

This model comes with just one boiler, which is fairly normal for the price and will not be an issue if you just want to make espresso, Americanos and long blacks. However, if milk steaming is important to you, it might be worth paying the extra for a dual-boiler espresso machine such as the Breville Oracle Touch or La Marzocco Linea Mini.

Despite these issues, the Rancilio Silvia has many fans – and for good reason. Sturdily built from high-quality components, this machine typically has a long life. It is not uncommon for people to use it for 10 or even 20 years.

We recommend paying the extra for the PID. Without it, the unstable water temperature can be challenging. Many users complain about initial difficulties in learning how to pull a good espresso shot.

If you’re looking for something that will last you a long time and is reasonably affordable, and high-quality milk steaming isn’t essential, then the Rancilio Silvia might be a good choice for you. Otherwise, we recommend paying the extra for the easy-to-use Breville Oracle Touch or the high-performance La Marzocco Linea Mini.

Breville Barista Express

Breville Barista Express

The semi-automatic Breville Barista Express is available in black, red and silver and retails at $949.95.

It has a built-in stainless steel conical burr grinder, steam wand and tamper. And with a dedicated hot water dispenser, it can make long blacks, Americanos and even tea.

One of our favourite things about this coffee machine is that you have a lot of control over your coffee, but it never feels confusing or overwhelming. You can switch between manual and auto-dosing and also set your ideal water volume. It also has 18 grind settings; Breville recommends that you start at number five and then adjust as required.

It has a PID controller, although it doesn’t have dual boilers. The water temperature is set to stay at 93°C during brewing, but you can adjust this to better dial in your espresso shot and get the flavours you want.

Espresso should be brewed at 90.5°C to 96°C. Within this range, you can go cooler to reduce extraction and get fewer bitter notes, or hotter to increase extraction and get less acidic ones.

The Razor Precision Dose Trimming Tool is a nice touch. Professional baristas carefully weigh the amount of ground coffee in their portafilters, because having too much or too little can impact not only the strength of your brew but also what flavours it has. However, for the average home user, this can feel like just too much effort.

That’s when this Breville-patented tool comes in. By sitting the Razor on the portafilter after grinding and tamping your coffee, and then swivelling it a couple of times, you can remove excess grounds.

It won’t be as precise as scales since it only measures the volume. The weight of different coffee beans can vary greatly, especially if you’re switching between darker (less heavy) and lighter (heavier) roasts. However, the Razor tool is extremely user-friendly, especially when you’re making your first coffee of the morning.

Moreover, the Barista Express’ handy cleaning indicator will help you stay on top of your regular espresso machine maintenance. You will also find an extensive repair kit in the box. Espresso machines that are dirty internally will perform poorly and may produce lower-quality espresso.

That being said, this is a cheaper machine. Some of the parts are made of plastic. It lacks a water level light. And some users found it broke down on them – although nearly all praised Breville’s customer service.

It comes with a one year repair warranty. Given the machine’s reliability issues, we would have liked to have seen a longer one.

Despite this, the Breville Barista Express is an affordable coffee machine with a PID controller and an in-built grinder. If you don’t want to spend more than $1,000, this might be the right model for you. Otherwise, take a look at some of our other top picks.

Gaggia Classic

Gaggia New Classic

The stainless steel Gaggia Classic, which has been recently updated, is a semi-automatic espresso machine retailing at $899. It does not have an in-built grinder.

As a single-boiler espresso machine without PID, you might have water temperature stability issues, especially when you switch between brewing espresso and steaming milk. However, we like the quality of the two-holed steam wand.

It is, in fact, very similar to the Rancilio Silvia. Users find it lasts for years and can be tricky to master at first but can produce good-quality espresso with time.

Despite that, unlike the Rancilio Silvia, you cannot pay the extra for PID. If you are trying to choose between the Gaggia Classic and the Rancilio Silvia, we recommend the Silvia for this reason.

De’Longhi PrimaDonna Elite

DeLonghi PrimaDonna Elite Experience

Want a fully automatic coffee machine that will do it all for you? The dual-boiler De’Longhi PrimaDonna Elite will grind the beans, pull the espresso shot and steam and pour the milk. It retails at $2,699.

Users praise the De’Longhi PrimaDonna Elite’s simplicity: simply select your drink on the app or via the touch screen panel, and you are ready to begin making coffee.

It has a built-in descaling, cleaning and rinsing programme, while it automatically cleans all parts that come into contact with milk after every use. In a nice touch, it also notifies you when the drip tray is full.

When making your coffee, you have seven grinder options, as well as a small bypass doser for if you want to brew pre-ground coffee.

There is a limited series of pre-programmed drinks, and you can change the intensity of them. You also have one button that you can programme to create your ideal espresso – but you can’t save any information about your milk preferences.

This is actually our least favourite thing about the De’Longhi PrimaDonna Elite. While everything is easy, you have limited control. It doesn’t have presets for flat whites, macchiatos, cortados and other common drinks, nor can you programme these settings in yourself.

This seems lacking in comparison with the Breville Oracle Touch, which not only has a wider beverage menu but also allows you to create an additional eight favourite drinks. We were also unconvinced by the quality of the steamed and textured milk compared to the Oracle Touch.

If you’re looking for something where you don’t even need to clean up behind you, the De’Longhi PrimaDonna Elite could be a good choice. However, the Breville Oracle Touch retails at the same price, gives you more choice over your beverages and is also extremely easy to use.

The Little Guy Home Espresso Maker

The Little Guy Home Espresso Maker

This quirky little stovetop device is not your typical coffee machine. It’s made of recycled stainless steel, retails for $699 and is capable of producing something very similar to a traditional espresso.

The Little Guy’s small and simple design means you can take it camping as well as storing it in your kitchen cupboard. You can also purchase an induction top so that you don’t have to rely on your stove.

If, however, you’re used to a more traditional espresso machine, you might find that this comes with a steep learning curve. The mechanics are drastically different, and this is not a forgiving device. Get the grind size marginally wrong, and the results will be unpleasant.

Although it’s close to producing a regular espresso, you will struggle to create a decent layer of crema. And, since the steam wand gets rather hot, be careful to not scald yourself or your milk.

You will also need to let this model cool down between uses, which can take around 20 minutes. If you live with several coffee-lovers, this might not be the right choice for you.

That being said, users generally love this striking and stylish espresso machine. While it can take a while to refine your method, many home brewers use it for years. It also comes with two 51mm coffee baskets for the portafilter, a stainless steel coffee jug, nylon tamper and instructional DVD.

In short, if you are looking for something unique and small, and don’t mind having to work on your brewing technique, the Little Guy Home Espresso Maker could be a good choice for you.

Aldi Stirling Espresso Machine

Aldi Sterling Espresso Machine

The stainless steel Aldi Stirling Espresso Machine ticks off most of the features you might want from a basic coffee machine, yet in the end, our favourite thing about it is the three-year warranty.

It retails for $299 but you may be able to buy it direct from Aldi on sale at $149. It can brew single and double espresso shots and has a steam wand for your milk. You will also find a tamper and milk jug in the box.

The single boiler is controllable with a dial, allowing you to switch from pre-heating through to steaming. It does an adequate job at steaming the milk.

As for making the espresso itself, it has a surprisingly ergonomic and solid portafilter, given the price. Unfortunately, the portafilter is the most well-built part of the coffee machine. Users complain that the filter basket gets stuck, it leaks water and the steaming function breaks down quickly.

One of the major issues is that it does not handle finely ground coffee well. Espresso should be made with far finer coffee grounds than drip, pour over, or press, or moka pot coffee. If the coffee is too coarse, it will not extract enough and is therefore more likely to produce sour coffee.

Another problem is that the machine often uses too much pressure – especially if you’re using finely ground coffee. As a result, the ground coffee becomes too compacted and the water struggles to make its way through.

Aldi has developed a reputation for its coffee pod machines, and the Aldi Stirling Espresso Machine could seem a logical next step for consumers looking to improve the quality of their home coffee: it is cheap, has a long warranty and is easy to use. Yet large numbers of users found they had to return the Aldi Sterling Espresso Machine just months into using it.

We suggest saving yourself the stress of potentially returning this machine and buying one of our top picks instead.

Other Budget Espresso Machines Under $500

Although numerous supermarkets and low-budget brands have produced cheap espresso coffee machines, we find that many of them break down quickly. They also often produce poor-quality coffee, either due to bad coffee grinding, cheap parts or poor water temperature stability.

Is an Espresso Machine the Right Coffee Machine for You?

Although the espresso machine is the most iconic and arguably the best coffee machine on the market, it’s not the only option for making your morning cuppa.

Espresso is made by pushing a small amount of high-pressure water through finely ground, compressed coffee for a short amount of time. This is what creates the thick mouthfeel, intense taste and instantly recognisable golden crema.

If you are a cappuccino, flat white or latte-lover, an espresso machine is probably the best option for you.

But before you make your decision, let’s take a look at the other options out there.

Espresso vs Drip/Filter Coffee

Drip or filter coffee has less body, greater clarity and more subtle flavours. If you don’t want anything as hard-hitting as espresso, or are looking to enjoy the floral aroma and juicy, acidic notes of a speciality coffee, they might be worth considering.

These devices can be roughly divided into two categories: batch brew and pour over.

A batch brewer is a relatively simple coffee machine: you add a filter, add your ground coffee and water, and wait. A few minutes later, you have enough coffee for two, four or even eight people.

Batch brew quality can vary, with a lot of research having been done into filter bed shape and water dispersion. Generally, however, the machine will be far cheaper and simpler than an espresso machine.

As for pour overs, these are brewers such as the Chemex, V60 and Kalita Wave. They are relatively inexpensive: a plastic version of the V60 costs around $15, for example.

However, we only recommend them for passionate coffee brewers. They give you significant control over the flavour profile of your coffee since you can experiment with grind size, pulse pouring, agitation, water temperature and more. But the pay-off is fiddlier brewing routines that often cause consistency issues.

Espresso vs Capsule/Pod Coffee

Capsules give you espresso-like coffee at the touch of a button. The machines are relatively inexpensive, although the cost of the replacement capsules can soon add up. You can read our review of coffee pod machines here.

The lack of control might disappoint passionate coffee brewers. There’s no tweaking the grind setting to bring out more chocolaty or cherry-like notes, nor is there the ability to buy freshly ground beans from your local café.

Capsules also have a reputation for a bad environmental impact, but this isn’t completely accurate. If you purchase compostable capsules and dispose of them correctly, capsules can actually have less of a footprint than espresso or filter. In one study from the University of Bristol, only instant came out better.

However, there is currently limited market choice for compostable capsules, while composting plants can be even rarer. Typically, they will only break down in commercial composting plants and not home composting bins, where the temperature is much lower.

Compostable capsules that are not disposed of correctly are just as bad for the environment as regular capsules.

Espresso vs Immersion, Press and Stovetop Coffee

Immersion brewers such as the Clever, French press/cafètiere and AeroPress create greater body and richer flavours than your standard drip coffee, but the resulting beverage still won’t taste like espresso.

The Bialetti Moka pot will get you a little bit closer to the espresso. You could add frothed milk and have something fairly similar to a latte. Yet you won’t achieve the same level of richness as you would with an espresso machine, nor will you get crema. It’s also difficult to control the quality with a Bialetti Moka pot, with too much bitterness being a common complaint.

How to Clean & Maintain Your Espresso Machine

When an espresso coffee machine is dirty, it will produce worse coffee and perhaps even have a shorter life. Limescale buildups can cause issues in the piping, and in the worst of cases, you might even have to shell out for an expensive repair.

After making your espresso, remove the used coffee straight away so that the oils in the coffee don’t stick to the filter. If you have a portafilter, rinse it for a couple of seconds before wiping it with a clean cloth.

Have you steamed milk? Wipe off the wand immediately using a clean, damp cloth so that the milk doesn’t have time to harden.

Every so often, you will need to do a deeper clean. For this, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you have an espresso machine with valves, you will probably need to backflush it. Insert the filter without holes (the “blind filter”) into your portafilter and add your espresso machine cleaner. Make sure you use the one recommended by your manufacturer, if applicable.

Then, run the water for 10 seconds before allowing the espresso machine to release pressure. Repeat this a few times. Finally, repeat this step but without using espresso machine cleaner. Some people also like to pull one espresso shot and discard it in case any cleaner is left inside.

If your espresso machine does not have valves, follow the recommended cleaning instructions in the manual. You may need to remove the dispersion screen and use a damp cloth to clean the area.

No matter what type of machine you have, you should regularly soak the portafilter and steam wand in cleaner.

You will also need to descale your coffee machine from time to time. Check the manual to see how often your espresso machine needs this, how to do it and which cleaning agent to use.

Although you might read blog posts recommending vinegar as an affordable and eco-friendly way to descale your coffee machine, we do not recommend it. Not only is the taste and smell hard to get rid of, but it could void your warranty.

Espresso and Coffee Machine Warranties

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) enforces automatic guarantees and protects consumers’ rights. However, many consumers believe it provides them with greater rights than is actually true.

Significantly, the ACL does not provide an automatic guarantee for up to two years. This timeframe is specifically for mobile phones bought under a two-year contract. The time in which you can get a refund, exchange or repair will depend on the nature of the product in question.

Unfortunately, there is no recommended warranty length for espresso or coffee machines in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s guide to electricals and white goods under the ACL. When purchasing an espresso machine, it is important to confirm the warranty duration.

It is worth paying close attention to exactly what is covered under warranty, especially if you purchase an extended one. Some warranties cover parts and labour, while others give you the right to a replacement.

Bear in mind that even if your extended warranty gives you greater rights, you will not be able to access them while you are under the normal warranty. I.e., if your coffee machine comes with a one year parts and labour warranty but you purchase a two year extended replacement warranty, you will not be able to get a replacement in the first year.

Take the time to read the fine print. While the manufacturer cannot charge for repairs (unless it is a user-created fault), there may be fees for home collection and/or transport costs if, for example, it is not returned to the point of purchase.

Should the manufacturer or retailer decide the fault was caused by misuse (e.g. not regularly cleaning the coffee machine or placing foreign objects inside the bean hopper), they may argue that they do not have to replace or repair the machine for free.

The Bottom Line: Which Coffee Machine Should You Buy?

Either of our top picks (Breville Oracle Touch and La Marzocco Linea Mini) will help you make exceptional espresso-based coffees at home with little fuss. We think they are the two best coffee machines available in 2020 in Australia.

Best coffee machine with an in-built grinder: Breville Oracle Touch

Best semi-automatic, grinderless coffee machine: La Marzocco Linea Mini

Header photo by Joe Hepburn via Unsplash.

Scroll to Top