The combination coffee espresso machine saves space and makes great coffee drinks. Drip Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino or Latte Macchiato from one machine. Our review shows how to buy one and which ones are the best.
The new hype in the home coffee brewing is the combination coffee espresso machine. If you’ve ever been mesmerized by the motions of your barista behind the counter while you waited on your latte, you’re not alone. There is a certain meditative quality to espresso drinks: brew the espresso, steam the milk, pour the espresso, pour the milk, wipe off the steam wand, flush the wand, repeat. Baristas are passionate for a reason. Coffee is a lifestyle.
Fortunately, you don’t have to fill out an application to your local coffee shop to experience the bliss of being a barista. You can enjoy the process in your own home with a combination coffee maker/espresso machine.
The combination coffee espresso machine saves space and makes great coffee and espresso. Our review shows how to buy one and which ones are the best.
Our Top Category Picks
- The Most Convenient - Nespresso GCC1-US-BK-NE VertuoLine
This is the most convenient coffee and espresso maker combo.
- The best Two Ways - DeLonghi BCO430
A two way espresso and coffee maker that brews real espresso and real drip coffee.
- The Most Popular - Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-iQ
The best for drip coffee lovers that need a latte or a cappuccinno from time to time.
- Best price - Espressione
A traditional two way coffee maker and espresso machine with a price that can't be beat.
- The Best High-End - Miele Coffee and Espresso System
This is our top pick in most categories, easy to use, convenient, and delicious coffee, though the price might be a deterent.
What is a Combination Coffee Espresso Machine?
A coffee and espresso maker combo is a machine that allows you to brew both espresso and your favorite drip coffee in one place. These machines come in various different designs. Some have steam wands, some brew simultaneously coffee and pull shots, some are compact, and some can brew up to 10 cups of coffee. Anything all-in-one is a win, generally.
The combination coffee espresso machine saves space and makes great coffee and espresso shots. Our review shows how to buy one and which one is the best. You can now be a barista in the comfort of your own home. At the end of the day, it's all about convenience.
Why Do You Need One?
Well, as we just mentioned, a combo maker will eliminate the need for multiple machines, therefore clearing up precious counter space in your kitchen. If you love coffee and espresso drinks, this machine allows you to create coffee masterpieces at home. You’ll save money since you won’t be running to the café before work every morning, and you’ll be able to tailor your beverage to your tastes. Not that your barista doesn’t already do a good job at that! Although these machines are typically a little bit pricey, they end up paying for themselves, especially if you’re partial to more expensive coffee shops like Starbucks.
Types of Combination Coffee and Espresso Makers
The two way coffee machine is literally a combo of two coffee makers into one. There are some shared pieces but most of the components are separated into two units.
The capsule based espresso machine can be tweaked make a longer coffee, in the barista circles is called cafe crema, and it is just a longer shot of espresso.
The drip coffee machine cannot make espresso shots. It does make a stronger concentrated coffee which can pass as an espresso, but the taste profile is totally different.
The pure espresso machine is also a great alternative. As the capsule based coffee maker, it can pull regular espresso shots and it can make caffe crema. The difference is that the technology to pull a shot is different from a Nespresso machine.
Nespresso GCC1-US-BK-NE VertuoLine Capsule Based Coffee and Espresso Machine
Nespresso takes an original approach to the coffee and espresso combo. Their GCC1-US-BK-NE VertuoLine Evoluo Deluxe is a capsule-based system, and it only has one brewer. The machine has an intelligence module that scans the capsule, and it adjusts the brewing parameters accordingly.
I love the idea, and I am partial to this brewer because the brewed coffee tastes like an espresso. If you, however, like the classic taste of standard drip American coffee, it might not be for you.
Because of the way Nespresso approached the brewing, having a single brewer for both coffee and espresso makes this model very compact. Besides fitting into a smaller kitchen space, it looks amazing, with its futuristic design.
Espresso purists will probably choose a classic espresso machine, but for the vast majority of us, a Nespresso coffee maker is the most convenient solution.
How to Choose a Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo
When choosing a machine, consider these questions:
How Serious Are You about Your Espresso or Drip Coffee?
If you will only drink high-quality coffee and are a stickler for flavor, you’re probably going to want to opt for a top-of-the-line design, whereas a more laid-back coffee drinker might be comfortable with something a little more humble.
Do You Love Cappuccinos and Lattes?
If you love milky, frothy coffee beverages, there are designs that include steam wands that would allow you to create them just like they do at your favorite café. Because, sure, you could just heat milk up on the stove, but you wouldn’t get the same frothy consistency as you would if you steamed it. So, it’s a good thing to have.
On the other hand, if you’re more of a purist, you could probably skip this feature and save yourself a little money.
Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo Reviews Side by Side
Best for Brewing
Drip coffee and
Espresso and Drip
Espresso and Drip
Espresso and Drip
What’s your Budget?
Coffee/espresso machines range in price, from about $100-$300. The best machines fall in the $200+ range, but if you’re willing to sacrifice a few features, the machines in the $100 range are functional.
Another option, if you’re low on cash but desperate to brew quality coffee in your home, is to opt for a manual machine, like the Aeropress. It might require a little more work, but it makes a great cup. It doesn't give you a real espresso, nor does it brew classic drip coffee, but the coffee is amazing, and the unit is really cheap.
How Much Space do You Have?
Your counter space should be a deciding factor when choosing the right combination coffee/espresso machine. If you’re lucky enough to have ample space in your kitchen, you need not worry about this one. But if things are a little tight, there are compact options that would function better in your space.
Real Espresso vs Strong Drip Coffee
If you need real espresso, and great drip coffee, a combo is the way to go. If you are flexible and the taste is not the most important factor, because your drinks will be drenched in milk anyway, then a smart coffee maker such as the Ninja would be a great choice.
DeLonghi BCO430 Combination Coffee and Espresso Machine with Milk Frother
The BCO 430 is a two way coffee and espresso maker.
It features a 15 Bar pump for its espresso brewing needs. This means it can brew a real espresso.
The traditional drip coffee brewing module also makes great coffee, the unit is calibrated perfectly.
The unit can be programmed, and you can adjust brewing strength and temperature.
You can pre-program your drip coffee maker to start brewing in the morning.
A nice thing is that BCO430 can use both coffee grounds and ESE espresso pods.
The adjustable steam wand allows you to froth milk for delicious latte and cappuccino creations.
The included permanent filter is a nice touch, helping the overall quality of your coffee cup.
This machine has two coffee brewers and a milk frother in one.
The unit comes with a basic tamper, a goldtone permanent filter, and a glass carafe. The built-in chlorine filter makes this unit even more attractive for the prospective buyer. Nothing is worse than coffee brewed with bad water.
One other feature is the brew 1-4 which means you can brew a good single cup, or brew up to 4 cup. If you are regularly using drip coffee makers, you know that you can't get that from a 10-cup automatic drip coffee machine, coffee will be just too weak.
The machine has also a cup warmer on the top, which is on par with many espresso machines.
An impressive function is to be able to brew both espresso and drip coffee at the same time.
You will need a coffee grinder with this DeLonghi combo coffee maker.
DeLonghi BC0330T - Drip Coffee and Espresso Machine Combo
Another competitor in the combo coffee makers niche is DeLonghi BC0330T.
This unit contains two brewing units, one for the espresso shots, and one for the filter coffee brewing.
This machine includes a swivel jet milk frother for lattes and cappuccinos, a 24-hour timer, and a brew pause function so you can grab your cup before it’s done brewing if you’re in a hurry.
The permanent gold tone filter that comes with the machine is a great way to save you money down the road.
For coffee lovers who like it, the permanent filters can give more body to your cup, and more flavor.
If you like a cleaner cup, you can still use paper filters.
The espresso machine part is a steam-powered machine, which delivers decent shots for making lattes. If you are an espresso connoisseur, this machine is not for you. A nice feature is the water filtration system which reduces chlorine and other impurities.
The patented "Flavor Savor" brewing system ensures fully saturation of the coffee grounds for a complete extraction.
Don't forget tho plan for a coffee grinder if you choose this machine.
Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-iQ - Coffee and Espresso Maker
Ninja Coffee Bar does not make real espresso like the other machines in our list, but for the average coffee drinker, the multitude of brewing styles is more than enough. Because it lacks a pump, it cannot pull espresso shots, but there are a few innovations that allow the Ninja coffee maker to brew a variety of coffee beverages:
The built-in frother allows the home barista to make lattes and cappuccinos for an even wider selection. The most important thing about Ninja is its reliability. All of the espresso-drip combination machines suffer from this perspective, because of the complexity. You have two separate machines in one. Ninja is a bit more complex than your average drip coffee machine, however, nothing like a real combo machine.
Espressione Combination Coffee and Espresso Machine
The Espressione Combination Coffee Espresso System is another great alternative.
This machine boasts commercial-quality espresso and features a steaming wand for frothing milk.
The unit also has several programmable options with an easy-to-use interface.
The 15 bar pump ensures you get a real espresso from the machine, and not a watered down version, like with steam espresso machines.
This machine is inexpensive and a great choice for people with a restricted budget.
It can brew up to ten cups of coffee at once, and you can adjust the cup size and program the time you want it to start brewing. You can use it with regular ground coffee or with E.S.E. espresso coffee pods.
If you look for a machine that will last you for years, maybe this isn't the machine for you. On the other hand, if you need a machine that brews great coffee, and you know you will replace it soon, it's a great alternative to more expensive units.
The Best Combination Coffee Maker
Want more help deciding which machine to choose? Consider these:
- Generally, these combos are not renowned for reliability, but if you are lucky, you can get one to serve you for years.
- If you need real espresso, go with the more expensive models, that have a pump driven espresso maker, those are the real deal.
- Nespresso is a good balance between coffee and espresso, and it only has one brewer. The drip coffee though, although delicious, is not your typical American coffee. It's a more flavourful cup, that resembles espresso.
So, there you have it: all you need to know about combination coffee/espresso machines. What do you think? What is your choice?
Miele CM 6110 Coffee and Espresso Machine
The Best Combo Coffee Maker
Miele is the most expensive of the selection but if you have the budget is worth every last penny.
The unit can brew a wide range of beverages from coffee and espresso to milk-based coffees such as latte and cappuccino.
The machine has an integrated quality grinder, so you don't need another piece of equipment on your counter.
A nice feature is the option to use coffee beans, or ground coffee, for a variation.
The Miele is the most expensive combo coffee maker, but the brewed coffee is amazing, and the unit is the most reliable of all - German built.
Just a few things to get straightened before I let you check the price on Amazon. The unit does not make drip coffee like the other machines we reviewed here. The coffee is a variation of espresso, where the water is pushed under pressure through a puck of ground coffee.
When brewing coffee, the CM 6110 grinds the coffee coarser, resulting in a faster extraction than with espresso, hence the flavor profile is different. This coffee is one of the most flavorful drinks you've ever had, without the punch of an espresso.
If we were to ignore the price tag on this unit, I would strongly recommend it against any of the other options. But since the machine is quite expensive, the decision is not that simple anymore.
As you probably figured already, in our eyes the winner is the CM 6110 from Miele. This is a machine that tweaks the espresso unit to pull longer shots, allowing an unrestricted flow through the puck, and pushing more water through. From a taste perspective this is the best choice, but of course, you will need a generous budget to get the Miele.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Ninja system brews a drip coffee. The unit serves strong shots of drip coffee by adjusting the water volume. While these shots can be used in a latte, they are not an espresso replacement. The flavor profile is just different. On the bright side, the Ninja system is more affordable than the Miele, making it more appealing from this perspective.
In between, we have the real combination drip/espresso machines, with a dual unit. They have an espresso machine and a drip coffee machine all in one. These are perfect for those who aim perfectly tuned coffee taste for both drip coffee lovers and espresso drinkers. These machines are two separate brewers into one. They use two different brewing methods, compared to Ninja, (drip only), and Miele, (pressure brewing only).