The Best All-in-one Coffee Makers for Your Kitchen in 2021

You wear the same clothes, order the same meals, do the same things, day in, day out. Don't you crave new experiences? Start small, with your daily caffeine hit. Replace espressos with drip coffee, or change your usual ‘coffee, black’ with a cappuccino. You don't even have to buy three separate coffee machines. Instead, choose an all-in-one model that will satisfy your need for caffeine variety. Let me share a few great options hand-picked for their unique feature sets.

The 7 Best All-in-one Espresso and Coffee Maker Picks

Nespresso Vertuo Espresso & Coffee Combo

Nespresso Vertuo Espresso & Coffee Combo

  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: Nestle Nespresso
  • Color: Black
  • Human Interface Input: Buttons
  • Item Weight: 12.96 Pounds

If you're after the fastest and easiest way of making coffee and espresso, this Nespresso Vertuo machine is a winner. You don't have to do anything but top up the water tank and insert a capsule. The smart device will take care of the rest by heating and measuring the right amount of water. It only takes 15 seconds to heat up and under a minute to brew anything from an espresso (1.35 oz) to an alto (14 oz). And it will turn off after 9 minutes of inactivity to save you the utility bill expenses.

The downside, of course, is the use of the pods. Even if they are recyclable, you have to take part in a Nespresso program to ship them back for reuse. Besides, the pods are more expensive than whole bean coffee, though they come in various flavors and roasts to fit every foodie's taste. And don't forget that every Nespresso is a single-serve machine, so there's no way to prep a full carafe to enjoy throughout the morning.

On the bright side, the bundle includes not only a complimentary set of capsules but also an Aeroccino milk frother. With some practice, you'll build delicious cappuccinos and lattes for yourself and your loved ones. And you get to enjoy this versatility for under $250!

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Brand: Mr. Coffee
  • Color: Silver
  • Human Interface Input: Dial, Touchscreen
  • Item Weight: 10.37 Pounds

For such a tiny and affordable machine, this Mr. Coffee sure packs a punch with three automated programs for brewing espresso, cappuccino, and latte. The built-in frother works wonders, though it requires thorough cleaning after every use. And while making regular coffee isn't on the standard list of features, you can experiment with single and double shot filters and double cycles to find the right combination for something close to drip coffee.

When it comes to design and build quality, you shouldn't expect much from a semi-automatic espresso machine under $200, but you can still get a few years out of it. The 15-bar pump is just right for pulling shots, and the single-touch control is easy to master. Besides, the water and milk tanks are removable for easy filling and cleaning.

While the machine comes with a self-cleaning cycle, get ready for regular descaling and thorough cleaning every once in a while if you want this machine to last long. Another downside to this being a semi-automatic coffee maker is a rather steep learning curve. Most complex operations are pre-programmed, but you still need to measure and tamp the grounds properly, or you'll end up with a weak cuppa.

Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

  • Material: Glass
  • Brand: Ninja
  • Color: Black and Stainless Steel Finish
  • Capacity: 3.1 Pounds
  • Human Interface Input: Buttons

I'll say upfront that this isn't an espresso machine. But it comes with an awesome specialty brew feature that creates a heady concentrate with a flavor and texture extremely close to that of an espresso shot. If you're a fan of true espresso, skip straight to the next model, but if you're willing to compromise and settle for a Swiss army knife of a coffee maker for under $200, pay attention.

This Ninja is programmable and customizable. You can pick the right serving size (from a single cup to a full carafe) and brew strength. Aside from regular and rich options, you can also brew over ice to get a concentrate that won't taste watered down. And the specialty feature is a stand-in for espresso. There's even a fold-away milk frother for building the softest foam to top your cappuccinos and lattes. The carafe is also customizable, with a choice between a thermal carafe and a warming plate + glass carafe combo.

Hands-on testing revealed a couple of small perks you'll appreciate throughout daily use. For instance, the drip-stop feature is a godsend, especially for a machine with a warming plate. And the self-cleaning feature is a nice touch, though it's not enough for proper maintenance unless you use soft or filtered water. I couldn't find fault with this machine, and the Specialty Coffee Association seems to agree with me, considering the current certification status.

Keurig K-Cafe Coffee & Espresso Machine Combo

Keurig K-Cafe Coffee & Espresso Machine Combo

  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: Keurig
  • Color: Charcoal
  • Capacity: 3 Pounds
  • Human Interface Input: Buttons

This is another example of a combo coffeemaker that doesn't possess a pressure pump but produces a passable strong brew reminiscent of espresso. Keuring relies on traditional K-cups and lets you choose among four serving sizes (from 4 to 12 ounces), and the shot feature replaces an espresso for drinking black or building it into milk-based drinks. For under $200, you get a bundle with a dishwasher-safe milk frother, mounted on the side and used for iced coffee, latte, and cappuccino.

I like the clever design solutions that went into building this machine. The removable water reservoir (60 oz) is large enough to accommodate a few large mugs and is easy to fill at the tap. And the drip tray can be removed to fit travel mugs up to 7.2 inches high, so brewing your commute coffee is easy and fast.

On the other hand, you don't get the versatility of a full carafe of coffee, and you have to use K-cups. The disposable ones are often non-recyclable, and the reusable ones are a sure way of making a mess of your kitchen. My biggest concern is the longevity of the machine. According to some reviews, it fails or starts malfunctioning within a year of purchase. I cannot say for sure whether it's due to poor maintenance or low build quality, but I'm still wary of investing $200 in a coffee maker with such a colorful reputation.

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma

  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Brand: Breville
  • Color: Brushed Stainless
  • Item Weight: 13 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 9.25 x 9 x 11.75 inches

I fell in love with this machine because of its gorgeous, streamlined look that makes me feel like a professional barista in my home kitchen. It won't dazzle you with various brewing options, but it does the core features justice. Two of these are pulling espresso shots and frothing milk. The former relies on a Breville double-wall technology for the best crema, and the latter is simply outstanding for a machine with a price tag of around $250.

Cafe Roma comes with two filters (single and double shot) and a pod adapter that lets you brew something like regular coffee. However, the drip tray limits the height of the mug you can use, and most travel mugs are out of the question. Even a cup warmer on top doesn't make up for this oversight.

Now let's talk shots. For one, the coffee comes out piping hot, so you won't be complaining about lukewarm brew or have to heat it in a microwave. For another, the extraction process is automated and rather fast. Regardless of the grind setting and tamping pressure, the coffee maker pulls a double shot in 15 seconds. While espresso doesn't taste sour, it may seem too weak, so you have to play around with extraction parameters to fit your taste.

Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine

Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine

  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: WACACO
  • Color: Black
  • Capacity: 2.08 Ounces
  • Human Interface Input: Unknown

It may seem that Wacaco doesn't fit among all-in-one coffee machines, but I consider it a younger traveler of a cousin to my home espresso machine. The tiny affordable device ($50) fits in a backpack, glove compartment, or laptop bag to provide instant caffeine hit on the go. It's lightweight, portable, and durable.

The only downside is the need to stay close to a source of hot water. You'll need a thermos, an electric kettle, or a pot over a campfire to boil the water for brewing. Luckily, you won't need much, as the reservoir only fits 50 ml, though you can get a larger tank of 100 ml for a double shot of espresso.

Should I even call it espresso if it doesn't come from a stationary coffee maker? Considering the device produces up to 8 bars of pressure using a hand piston, it comes closer to pulling espresso shots than Ninja Specialty Coffee Brewer. And if you use less pressure and attach a larger water tank (for an extra $25), you'll get yourself a cuppa of regular coffee. Sure, Minipresso won't replace your drip machine or espresso maker, but it has no equal when it comes to brewing delicious java on the go.

De'Longhi Latissima Pro

De'Longhi Latissima Pro

  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: Nestle Nespresso
  • Color: Silver
  • Human Interface Input: Touchscreen
  • Item Weight: 12.6 Pounds

Lattissima Pro is by far the sleekest and most intuitive of coffee makers on my list. Its display lets you control everything from serving size to the amount of milk you want to add. In fact, many buyers claim the frother is the best feature of this model, as it produces outstanding microfoam and is easy to remove, store in the fridge, and clean. Adjustable cleaning schedule based on water hardness is another perk on the regular maintenance side of things.

So can you get a regular coffee from this machine? Sure, but it takes some experimentation. First, you'll need a lungo coffee pod, then you'll need to choose a double lungo extraction program. This way, you get a large enough serving to fill half a large mug. If you repeat the process, you'll get a 14-oz serving. Considering this machine is very quick, you can get a cup of coffee faster than you would get a cuppa of drip java.

For all its benefits, Lattissima Pro has a huge drawback–it's around $800 ($600 if you're lucky), which is too much for a capsule machine that doesn't work with ground beans. If you're looking for speed and convenience, it's a perfect fit for you, but if you need true versatility, look for a coffee maker in this price range that’s compatible with beans rather than pods.

Coffee-Espresso Machines: Types and Features

If you want to learn more about the combo coffee machine features and differences, let me walk you through their critical parameters. Once you master these, you'll be able to find the best device for your kitchen without my guidance.

Semi-automatic Machines

Go for this group if you want to feel like a real barista and are ready to spend a couple of weeks learning your way around the portafilter and steam wand. If you choose a semi-automatic espresso machine, you can save up to a few hundred dollars. However, it may be challenging to master proper cleaning and maintenance routines, as semi-automatic models come with extra moving parts and mechanisms that are not dishwasher safe.

Automatic Coffee Makers

Stuck in between the two extremes, the automatic machines are the hardest to explain and tell apart from their younger and older cousins. Think of them as a step up from semi-automatic espresso machines, as they usually start the brewing automatically once the water heats up. However, you will still need to control the extraction duration and stop the brewing before it ruins your shot. In some cases, the brewing process is fully automated, while the steam wand for frothing the milk is 100% manually operated.

Super-Automatic Models

Choose a super-automatic espresso maker if you want fast and delicious java without extra hassle. All it takes is filling the water tank and bean hopper for all-in-one coffee machines with grinders to get cracking. A smart device will prep the grounds, tamp them into the filter, pull a shot, froth the milk, and combine the two into a delicious cappuccino or latte. Most devices will also self-clean and indicate the best time for descaling, but their rates often put them out of reach of a regular coffee lover.

Cost

As you've seen in my shortlist of combo machines, the price range is broad enough to satisfy everyone. If you're not willing to spend too much on a kitchen appliance, find a coffee maker under $100. If you're ready to pay more for better materials and additional brew customization features, you'll find plenty of options within a $200-$400 range. The high-end machines are usually $600 and above, but they rely on metal parts instead of plastic and boast high build quality that should last five years or more.

Grounds or Pods

If espresso is your primary drink of choice, you need a coffee maker that works with ground beans or has a built-in grinder. This way, you can enjoy the freshly ground java with a nuanced aroma and flavor profile. You can experiment with Arabica and Robusta blends or go with single-origin beans to find the must-haves for your pantry.

Pods are a solid option if you want fast results and don't care much about the beans' origin, as long as the brew tastes good. Capsules are more expensive in the long run, once the coffee maker and burr grinder pay for themselves. However, there are hundreds of pod options, including flavored coffee.

Milk Frothing

The best all-in-one coffee maker models come in two configurations. Some have a built-in frother that can be either automated or manual (aka steam wand). Automated frothing is the best for novice home baristas, though it comes with the hassle of cleaning out the milk system. Steam wands take time to master, but nothing beats the joy and wonder of creating soft microfoam for the first time.

Other combo machines do not have built-in milk frothing capabilities, but they come bundled with stand-alone frothers. These are usually easier to clean, especially if they are dishwasher safe. However, they may take extra space on your kitchen counter.

Convenience

Can it get more convenient than getting barista-grade coffee at home? Sure, if you know what to look for. Single-press brewing is one example of super user-friendly controls that don't require you to memorize the user manual. Programmable brewing is another unbeatable feature, as it allows you to wake up to a full carafe of steaming coffee. Cleaning reminders are also great, especially if you tend to forget about descaling and maintenance. Removable tanks, large bean hopper or used pod tank capacity, and manageable noise levels are equally important for your day-to-day convenience.

Dimensions

Countertop real estate comes at premium rates if you love cooking. Instead of relying on photos and luck, measure the free space you have and are willing to sacrifice to a coffee maker. Do not think you'll be able to fit it into a smaller space than the dimensions you see on the specs list. And don't forget to measure the distance from the counter to the bottom of your wall-mounted cabinets. Some machines have a smallish footprint but are too tall to fit under the cabinets and let you remove the water tank or open the bean hopper lid comfortably.

Brew size

What kind of coffee drinker are you? Do you nurse a full carafe throughout the day? Or do you prefer quick breaks for a fresh brew every couple of hours? If you fall into the first category, look for machines that come with a glass carafe and warming plate or a thermal carafe. If you prefer single servings, any of the pod machines or portable coffee makers should fit your preferences, along with single-shot espresso makers.

Brew Time

A perfect single shot pull lasts 20 to 40 seconds, and pod machines produce a drink in about the same amount of time. You can't speed up or slow down extraction time if you want to end up with a drinkable brew. Instead, focus on heat-up time. Ideally, it should be within a minute for single-serve machines and within 10 or 20 minutes for a carafe-equipped drip machine. This parameter is critical for models without a programmable brewing timer so that you don't have to waste time waiting for the pot to boil when you're in a hurry to get out the door.

Maintenance

The simpler the machine is, the easier it is to maintain, and the longer it can last, even with some level of neglect. That doesn't mean you can buy the cheapest coffee maker and ignore cleaning and descaling recommendations. Instead, it means that the fewer parts you have to remove to properly clean out the coffee maker, the better chance of surviving it has. If you're as absent-minded as me, set up a reminder on your phone to descale the device every three months. And if you go for a coffee maker with a built-in frother, I suggest you clean it thoroughly at least once a week to prevent bacterial growth.

Final Thoughts

Now that you've seen the top ten all-in-one coffee machines (or almost ten), which one do you choose? That's for you to decide, but I'm partial to Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista. It's affordable, compact, and versatile enough to make coffee, espresso, and cappuccino, my personal holy trinity of java. I might consider adding a pod machine, like Nespresso Vertuo, to my kitchen setup for conveniently fast brewing, but my countertops can’t fit another appliance.

Renat Mamatazin

Renat Mamatkazin

2021/04/05

Founder and owner of Lion Coffee and 3ChampsRoastery, 1st place winner of Ukrainian Barista Championship 2017. Interested in travelling, football and Formula-1 (besides coffee, of course).

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