Retro “insert object/art/music/fashion” are popular because they look different than most modern designs. Plus, there’s a feeling of nostalgia (depending on your age) that comes along with retro stuff as well.

What’s a retro style coffee maker, you ask? It’s a functional, designer device with fluid lines and bright colors.

Enough talk, let’s look at our Top 7 jaw-droppingly gorgeous coffee makers with a retro twist that will make a great addition to your home.

The 7 Best Retro Style Coffee Makers - Our Pick

We included different types of coffee makers that we felt best reflected retro style. They include automatic drip machines, classic espresso machines, and a colorful Moka pot.

Our choices are based on overall looks, functionality and cost.

Ready to boogie?

Smeg 50's Retro Style Aesthetic Coffee Maker

Smeg 50's Retro Style Aesthetic Coffee Maker

  • Programmable: Yes
  • Electric: Yes (1050 W)
  • Water capacity: 47.3 oz (1.4 L)
  • Dimensions: 9.65 x 10.1 x 14.22 inches

Our top pick is the Smeg 50s retro series coffee maker. Smeg is an Italian appliance company that was established in 1948. Their line of retro appliances is to die for. Not only can you buy this blast-from-the-past drip machine, but you can also purchase other appliances to match. Toasters, fridges, stand mixers, etc.

This coffee maker can brew up to 10 cups of coffee (47 oz) at a time. Despite what you may read in some reviews about the old version, the updated version of this machine has an easy-to-fill water reservoir and a longer “keep warm” function. The warming plate turns out automatically after a brew cycle and keeps your coffee nice and hot for 40 minutes.

Additional features include aroma and water hardness settings, which allow you to fine-tune your cup of coffee. Apart from a permanent mesh filter, it comes with a filter holder with a convenient handle. The beauty of it is that you can use paper filters if that’s what you prefer (not included)

The Smeg 50s style machine can be summed up with the following: a drip machine with sleek lines, your choice of eight colors, and a modern LCD to tie everything together. One downside is the price. At $200, it’s pricey, but the design is unmatched in design.

Delonghi Icona Vintage

Delonghi Icona Vintage

  • Programmable: No
  • Electric: Yes (1100 W)
  • Water capacity: 47.3 oz (1.4 L)
  • Dimensions: 10.0 x 11.4 x 12.4 inches

The Delonghi is at #2 because it’s one of the best retro style coffee makers for espresso-lovers. It has a modern/retro fusion look that catches your eye, boasts 15-bar pressure in a small package, and it’s compact enough for any countertop. You’ll want to pick out a place for this machine because it’s fairly heavy at 9 lbs.

With its three-button system, the Vintage Icona is a breeze to use. When you host a house party or get-together, your guests will marvel at the matte finish, reminiscent of 50’s Italy. It comes in different colors, too.

Like others on our list, this machine is Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) compatible for special pods with a teabag-like material instead of the Keurig/Nespresso plastic. Bells and whistles include a milk frother/steamer, fits two espresso cups, and has a conveniently fixed tamper.

You get a perfect cup every time — a nice, smooth espresso that’s not overly bitter and has a foamy crema. The water capacity is tied with the Smeg — 47.3 oz (1.4 L) — making it easy to do back-to-back pumping.

We recommend this for amateur baristas who want to get a feel for espresso at home. For the regular home consumer, the Vintage Icona might replace the centerpiece in your kitchen. It’s that good (looking).

Espressione Cafe Retro Espresso Machine

Espressione Cafe Retro Espresso Machine

  • Programmable: Yes
  • Electric: Yes (1050 W)
  • Water capacity: 24 oz (0.7 L)
  • Dimensions: 12.0 x 12.5 x 13.8 inches

The Espressione is a heavy-duty home espresso machine with an 18-bar pressure pump. This scream retro with its bright colors and basic feature-set. But don’t let “basic’ discourage you from considering it for your home or office.

When Espressione decided to make a coffee maker retro version, they put in a lot of effort to make it functional and aesthetic. You can tell that by the temperature gauge, which looks like something out of an old muscle car, and the on/off and steam-ready indicator lights look like something out of an old space shuttle. Function-wise, it’s ESE-ready for ESE coffee pods, has a removable water tank and a milk frother/steamer.

The machine has a solid steel body with ABS plastic furnishing. The boiler is made out of Aluminum, made to withstand the extreme pressures this espresso maker can produce.

Reviewers complain of quality issues related to simple operation. So it would seem that the materials are excellent, but there may be some design flaws yet to be worked out. Plus, at the price point, it’s clear that the retro look directly affects the MSRP.

Regardless of some problems, the Espressione makes amazing espresso with a thick crema (depending on the roast). We’d recommend it for people that want to try making new coffee drinks.

Russell Hobbs Retro Style 8-Cup Coffeemaker

Russell Hobbs Retro Style 8-Cup Coffeemaker

  • Programmable: No
  • Electric: Yes (1000 W)
  • Water capacity: 40 oz (1.18 L)
  • Dimensions: 9.25 x 7.2 x 13.0 inches

Russell Hobbs may be a new brand name for you. That might be because they’re a UK company. However, they’ve been around since 1952, making quality coffee makers, tea kettles, toasters, and other home appliances.

We placed this #4 on our list because of how affordable it is. For under $100, you get a stylish machine that brews tasty auto-drip coffee. This coffee maker was built for convenience. It has a retro brew progress gauge that shows you how long you have to wait, plus it also displays how long the warming plate has been on. And it also has a water level indicator on the outside as well as a coffee spoon that clips onto the machine.

Ideal for home and office use. Comes with a removable, permanent mesh filter. Use the “Pause & Pour” to pour yourself a cup before the brew cycle has finished. But honestly, this machine is so well-designed and retro that we can’t imagine you’d want to stop looking at it. Oh, and it has a 2-year warranty, so you don’t have to worry about something breaking.

We recommend this coffee maker for people that want one-button operation fresh coffee. If you’re looking for something programmable, the Cuisinart would be ideal for you, albeit at a higher price point.

Whitbread Wilkinson Pantone Coffee Maker

Whitbread Wilkinson Pantone Coffee Maker

  • Programmable: No
  • Electric: No
  • Water capacity: 3, 6, 9 espresso shots (depending on model)
  • Dimensions: 7 x 9 x 5 inches

At #5 on our list is a retro colorful coffee maker called the Whitbread Wilkinson Pantone. If you didn’t know, the word Pantone means a specific shade of color. In this case, the company chose a variety of bright, attractive colors (and they imprinted the specific Pantone right on the coffee pot).

This is a Moka pot intended for stovetop use. These devices were invented and popularized by the Italians, who still use it to this day. Generally, baristas consider Moka coffee to be stronger than drip coffee but weaker than traditional espresso.

It’s easy to brew an aromatic cup of coffee — simply add water to the bottom chamber, put in the filter (included), and put in medium-ground coffee (sea salt consistency). Screw on the top, use a low-medium heat, and in about 5 minutes, you’ll have fresh coffee.

This series of retro Moka pots is made from heavy-cast Aluminum and is intended for use on electric or gas stovetops. One important note is that the listed 3-cup, 6-cup and 9-cup capacity is misleading. They do not reflect the standard of 5 oz to a coffee cup most manufacturers use. Instead, they’re closer to espresso shots — so 3, 6, and 9 shots.

While it’s not electric or programmable, it embodies the retro style. It’s hands-on and incredibly easy to use and clean.

Cuisinart Vintage Programmable Coffee Maker

Cuisinart Vintage Programmable Coffee Maker

  • Programmable: Yes
  • Electric: Yes (1025 W)
  • Water capacity: 60 oz (1.77 L)
  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 9.0 x 14.0 inches

We call the Cuisinart DCC-1200 Series vintage because of the color combos and retro-looking knobs and buttons. This is one of the best machines on our list because of how much bang you get for your buck.

At just shy of $100, the Cuisinart combines the best of retro and the modern world with a slew of programmable functions. The brew-pause feature is perfect for people short of patience or time, allowing them to pour themselves a cup of joe before the brew cycle is completely finished. Also, it has a 24-hour auto-start feature as well as auto shut-off.

This is the highest capacity coffee maker on our list at 60 oz. Yes, we know that they list it as a 12-cup machine, but that’s somewhat misleading if you’re from the US. Most manufacturers use a 5 oz coffee cup standard.

Another great feature is the warming plate, which has three temperature settings. Plus, a water filter and a permanent coffee filter are included in the package.

We recommend this machine for people on a budget that love drip coffee and need extra programmable features. This is an affordable coffee maker with a stunning retro look.

Swan Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine

Swan Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine

  • Programmable: No
  • Electric: Yes (1100 W)
  • Water capacity: 40.5 oz (1.2 l)
  • Dimensions: 11.22 x 7.87 x 12.4 inches

Wow, what a beautiful, compact espresso machine! Please note, this retro look coffee maker is only available with a 220v plug, so you’ll need a transformer to use it in the US.

Brew yourself an espresso with 15 bars of pressure at any time of day or night and enjoy the aesthetics while you’re at it. It comes with a removable water tank to make it easy to fill, and it’s compatible with ESE pods as well as ground coffee. Remember, for the best espresso with a lovely crema on top, use a fine grind.

This is the perfect solution if you love milky drinks — it has a built-in milk frother. The Swan allows you to make 1 or 2 shots of espresso at a time, so you and your significant other (or whoever wants a fresh espresso) can simultaneously partake in a fresh cup.

We love this model because of the sleek retro look, the awesome temperature gauge, and the variety of color options. It’s also compact enough to fit practically anywhere.

Choosing the retro look coffee maker - Buyer's Guide

Superficial or not, the first thing you should look for is the retro look. If the design doesn’t suit you, you won’t enjoy the coffee-making experience. Think about how the color will fit in with your kitchen.

    Next, evaluate the following:
  • How much does it cost?
  • How convenient is it?
  • Will it fit on my countertop?
  • How much coffee does it make?
  • What are the maintenance costs?

We’ll look at each question in more detail below.

But first, if you’re interested in a particular machine, do your research. Browse other websites, it could be that what you’re looking at on Walmart or Best Buy is old stock, and the machine has already been discontinued.

Cost

What type of coffee do you want?

We included auto-drip machines, espresso makers, and a Moka Pot. Obviously, the prices are different. Retro look coffee makers range from around $30 to $250+. At the low end is the Moka Pot — the manual stovetop pot — and at the high end, the Espressione. In our opinion, auto-drip machines are the perfect middle-ground. They also range in price, Smeg’s 50’s style device is $200, while the Russell Hobbs Retro Style 8-Cup is <$100.

Convenience

Making coffee, like cooking, shouldn’t be hard. Companies do research and thoroughly test their products to ensure they’re easy to use.

It’s your call on programmable features. Our opinion is it only takes a few extra minutes to set up, so auto features are only useful if you need them.

Machine Size

Easy enough. Look at the dimensions of the machine and break out the tape measure. The tallest one on our list is the Smeg at 14.22 inches.

Brew Size & Time

Brew time also varies. You can make a shot of espresso in as little as 25 seconds, while the large-capacity drip machines could take up to 6-8 min. And this is where you need to decide if you want a small, bold kick of caffeine or a milder drip coffee. Because if you or yours are fans of milky drinks like capps and lattes, investing in an espresso maker could elevate your coffee game.

Maintenance Cost

To put this into perspective, let's imagine the following scenario: You buy a drip machine, use it daily, and one day a light pops up warning you that the device needs to be cleaned.

Your reaction will influence any costs for repairs. Neglecting to clean it could spell disaster. The only real cost besides the optional paper filters (in this example). All you need to buy is drip machine cleaning powder (or vinegar).

Every manufacturer provides an instruction manual that outlines the steps you need to take. The cheapest to maintain is the Moka Pot, as all its components are removable and cleanable. If anything ever happens, a replacement won't break your bank.

Additional Features

If you’re the type of person who likes to brew a pot and drink it throughout the day, get an auto-drip machine with a warming plate. On the other hand, if you prefer to get more control over your coffee, a good espresso machine is the way to go.

Final Thoughts

Retro will still be trendy, so if retro, vintage items are your thing, go for retro coffee makers on our list. Consider what type of coffee you like, the cost, design, and features, how convenient it is, and any additional features you find useful (e.g., auto start, warming plate).

We love retro! The colors, the lines, and the nostalgia (because we’re old).

Renat Mamatazin

Renat Mamatkazin

2021/04/09

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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