Best Home Espresso Machine 2014
If you really love espresso then you really need to find the best home espresso machine that you can. We list here some of the best rated espresso machines that are available right now.
Many of these machines are automatic or super automatic espresso machines. These do cost a bit more than a semi automatic in many cases but they are usually very consistent in the espresso they produce.
The super automatics are fantastic in that they also allow you make espresso and espresso based drinks at the press of one button in many cases, including the cleaning of the machine. So if convenience is important to you then a super automatic may be a good and easy option.
Bestselling Espresso Machines
What is the BEST ESPRESSO MACHINE?
Are You Looking For The Best Espresso Machine
If you are looking for a top rated espresso machine that makes a great cup of coffee then look no further. We have compiled a list of the best espresso makers for 2013 available that offer good quality taste and value for money, from great brands like De’Longhi, Gaggia, Krups and more.
If you are new to automatic espresso makers or you are looking for a new espresso machine for 2013 for a gift for a partner, friend or a family member then you are probably not too sure what you are looking for. You just know you want to have the convenience of a great cup of joe in the comfort of your or their own home without the equipment being too expensive.
If you already have an automatic or manual espresso maker, but its seen better days and is not giving out the quality beverage you had become used to then you are probably a bit more experienced now about home espresso machines and your looking for a product of good quality that will make a great cup of expresso and may even want to spend a little more to get one of the best rated espresso machines to get that quality.
Included is a shortlist of some of the top espresso machines which are some of the highest rated espresso makers for home that are on the market right now. We have taken the time to find the greatest coffee machine brands that people like you have rated highly and given the best ratings and reviews for automatic coffee machines.
These will be some of the most reviewed and best selling machines available on Amazon today. Amazon do great deals on coffee and espresso makers and we have tried to include some of the lower priced and higher priced machines so there should be something to suit everyones budget. Be sure to read as many reviews as you can if you are interested in a particular machine so you can find out the pros and cons.
How To Pull Espresso Shots Properly
Pulling Espresso Shots
Is the EC702 from DeLonghi the best value espresso machine under $200
Top Rated Espresso Machines
The is a great espresso coffee machine that is fantastic as a first machine. This unit is well made with lots of little extra touches that make the journey into the world of home made expresso so much easier. For instance this machine will take ground coffee, but you can also use ESE pods, so you have the option there.
This will make you a nice cup of espresso with a tasty crema that is a joy to behold, and that really what its all about. The price also means that if you feel the urge to upgrade to a more advanced semi automatic machine or a super automatic machine you want have spent to much on your first one that you feel you have wasted you money.
” Excellent machine and value ”
One of the top rated home espresso machines and a popular choice if you are looking for a good budget pump espresso machine.
Delonghi Super Automatic Espresso Machine Review
The Delonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica super automatic espresso machine from Delonghi is a very highly rated espresso machine and one of the most popular super automatics espresso machines available right now. This unit allows you to create great espresso without mess or fuss. This espresso machine features a a good quality conical burr grinder that means that your espresso coffee is bean to cup so you will be getting the maximum amount of flavor from your beans for your espresso and espresso based drinks. Of course this machine also takes ground coffee if you prefer for ease of use.
With simple controls on the front of the machine it makes it easy to customize the coffee to your own taste and select the functions that you require. The brew group on this machine come out easily so makes it easy to keep everything on this machine nice and clean. Also everthing is accessible from the front and the top of the machine, including the bean hopper and the water tank. With a small footprint this means you can put this super automatic in a smaller space knowing that you arent going to need to pull it out to access everything on the machine.
The best features of the DeLonghi ESAM3300 are:
- Makes a great tasting cup of espresso with good temperature and rich flavor
- Very easy to maintain, easy to clean and use
- Removable brew group makes for easy cleaning
- Easily adjustable cup sizes
- Great value for money super automatic
- Built in coffee warming area
- Uses coffee beans with the built in grinder or can use pre ground coffee too
Customers really love the fact that this super auto is very easy to use and easy to clean too. But customers did mention that this is quite a noisy machine so dont be surprised if you get woken up when someone is using this machine in your home, especially if you have a small place. Although the nise only lasts the short time it takes to make an espresso. They also love the fact that this machine makes great espresso coffee with a good crema, and will warm up fairly quickly when you need it so not long waits for your espressos. This popular super automatic espresso machine is currently reated 4 out of 5 from 319 customers reviews on Amazon.com.
Delonghi EC702 Video Review
How to make perfect espresso
You need more than a fancy machine if you want a truly great espresso every morning
If you have an espresso machine best rated then theres a few tips to get the best from your espresso.
Make sure everything is clean so your coffee isnt tainted by residue from the last usage.
Tamping is required so the water doesnt run through the coffee too quickly.
Make sure machine and group handle are preheated by running through with hot water, and warm the cups otherwise the espresso will cool very quickly. No point in spending all that money on top expresso machines to end up with cold espresso.
Experiment with your timing until you get one that is right for you. Then use that religiously or adjust according to the taste you require.
A really good espresso will have 3 things. It will have a nice crema, the small amount of froth on top of the espresso coffee shot is a good sign of a well made espresso. The body of the coffee will be nice and full and tasty. The smell, a good espresso will have a beautiful aroma to it.
How much do you want to spend on a new espresso machine?
What do you expect to pay for your next machine? How much should you spend on a quality machine?
Home Espresso Machines 2014
Best Espresso Machine For Home
The best espresso machines for home are well made with commercial quality parts. But as with many things in life you get what you pay for. There are some great espresso machines out there that make fantastic tasting coffee, but to get the best machines you really have to pay the price. The difference between the best espresso machines and the cheaper models is consistency. Good espresso machines are able to maintain temperature and pressure accurately and consistently meaning that once you get a great shot you can produce it every time.
What Is The Best Espresso Machine For Home Use
Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder
The Breville BES860XL Barista Express is a great looking semi automatic espresso machine but is unusual for a semi automatic in that it comes with a burr coffee grinder. Coffee beans start to lose their freshness and flavor as soon as they are ground so the shorter the time between grind and brew the more rich the flavor of the resulting espresso coffee is going to be. With an integrated grinder the Breville lets you grind fresh coffee from beans every time to enable you to get teh maximum flavour from your coffee.
The BES860XL comes with dual wall and single wall filters so you can choose which to use depending on your experience with espresso machines and how much control you want over the whole grind, tamp and brew process. The machine also features a cup warmer and a steam wand that rotates completely so making it easy to create that froth needed for those great espresso based drinks. The machine is nicely design with clear controls on the front to make it easy to select and adjust settings as required.
The key features of the Breville BES860XL are:
- Conical burr grinder and bean hopper built into machine
- Dual wall and single wall portafilters included
- 67 ounce water tank
- Clean indicator lets you know when machine needs cleaning
- Very easy to use machine allows you to make great espresso drinks
- Magnetic tamper can tamp on machine or in hand and wont get easily lost
Is Espresso The Same As Coffee?
Whats The Difference Between Coffee And Espresso? Whats The Difference Between A Capuccino And A Latte?
Regular coffee is ground roasted coffee beans that have been brewed with water, left to sit for a while, and then the ground coffee strained off. Espresso coffee uses a different brewing technique so essentially the difference between regular coffee and espresso coffee is in how it is brewed.
Espresso coffee tends to be made with a much more intense coffee flavour than regular coffee, as its literally meant to be a shot of coffee that you take quickly, rather than something you sip while reading the morning paper or working at your desk.
When espresso is brewed, the coffee is compressed and then the water is forced through it under pressure to generate that coffee drink with the intense flavour. The standard serving of espresso is 1.5 ounces.
A capuccino is an espresso combined with milk frothed up to twice its normal size. Skim milk actually makes a much more frothy capucinno due to the lower fat content.
Latte is the same but with with steamed milk rather than frothed milk, so basically just hot milk. Lattes dont have as much foam, and use twice as much milk.
What Do Semi Automatics Do? Semi automatics, which are the most popular type of espresso machines, regulate the temperature and pressure when making the espresso, which are two very important parts of getting a good espresso.
Should I Buy A Grinder?
Why You Should Grind Your Own Coffee Beans
If you have an espresso machine already but you are finding that you just cant get the right taste from it, the problem often is not down to the machine. It could well be the grind of the coffee. Espresso machines are very picky about the grind of coffee that works best for them.
A good grinder will grind those coffee beans to just the right size that works best for your espresso machine. Even then you may have to make adjustments until you find the perfect grind for your machine. So to find a preground coffee that will have the perfect grind to match your espresso machine is just going to be down to luck. You can often get great coffee form a cheaper espresso machine and a good grinder than you can with a more expensive espresso machine and no grinder.
Philips Saeco Espresso Machines
Philips Saeco RI9837/05 Syntia Automatic Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
If you are not keen on getting involved in the whole espresso making process, and just want to get properly made tasty espresso at the push of a button then you really want to invest in an automatic espresso machine.
With this Philips Saeco automatic espresso maker you can set the strength, grind and size of cup to get the coffee made just the way you like it. And like many automatic espresso machines it very easy to live with. Very easy to use and easy to clean too.
This machine is designed with a small footprint so doesnt use up all the counterspace that you have, which is great if you want to squeeze it into a small space. This is a well designed and built espresso machine that makes a good cup of espresso with ease. This is quite a small automatic so is good for those that dont have loads of space.
Philips Saeco Syntia Video Review
DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker
The DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Machine is a very popular espresso machine and is often seen as a good entry level machine for those that are new to espresso machine. Thats mainly because it offers everything you would expect from a semi automatic espresso machine but comes at a very affordable price. This comes with convenient features such as the ability to use ground coffee or ESE coffee pods through the use of different portfilters, cup warming panel on the top of the machine and a self priming feature which means the machine heats up for brewing fast.
This value for money espresso machine makes great tasting espresso at a good price so is a good machine for those starting out on an espresso making journey. Seperate thermostats mean your water and steam pressure will be independently controlled so you will get accurate temperature for both. Of course with a less expensive machine you are going to get as many features as some of the more expensive machines, but the important thing is that this machine makes great tasting espresso.
The top highlights of the DeLonghi EC702 are:
- Heats up quickly
- Warming tray
- Nicely designed espresso machine so looks good in the kitchen
- Large water container for fewer refills
- Can take ground coffee or ESE pods
- Two filter sizes for single or double shot espresso
Philips Saeco Vienna Plus Automatic Espresso Machine
This automatic espresso machine from Philips Saeco is an easy to use espresso machine that produces great espresso with a rich taste. The integrated grinder and bean hopper mean you can get fresh ground coffee from bean to cup to give you that wonderful espresso taste with maximum flavour from your coffee beans at the push of one button. Serving size is also easily selected from the front panel.
This machine is easy to maintain as the brewgroup, drip tray and drawer, water tank are all removable and so easy to clean. The machine also features auto shutoff after one hour of non use too. This is a compact espresso machine with a fairly small footprint so wont take up loads of counter space.
The best features of this Philips Saeco Automatic Espresso Machine are:
- Very simple controls on/off switch, steam, coffee
- Makes a nice espresso with a good crema and a rich flavor
- Fast warm up time
- Great steaming wand for perfect foam
- Very easy to use expresso maker
- Strength and coarseness controls on grinder
Best Domestic Coffee Machine
Home Cappuccino Machines
Finding the best espresso machine can be a complicated process with the number of models, range of prices, and the amount of features available in each machine. With espresso machines, the espresso machine isnt the only thing to consider. If you buy an expensive espresso machine but fill it with cheap, out of date or incorrectly ground coffee you will find it difficult to get good espresso anyway.
To make the best of which espresso machine you buy, you need to use the right grind of coffee that suits your machine. Espresso needs quite a fine grind, but you really need to check what works best for your individual machine. The best way to do that is to purchase your own grinder as this will allow you to tune the grind of your coffee until you find what is right for your machine and allow you to get teh best results from your espresso.
What is the best espresso machine for home?
Is the Gaggia Classic the best espresso machine for beginners?
The Gaggia Classic is an espresso machine that has been available for a very long time. This tells you that this is an espresso machine that has stood the test of time and remained popular amongst espresso drinkers looking to get a good cup of espresso at home without breaking the bank.
Gaggia as a company, which is now part of Philips, have been around for a long time and were one of the first companies to produce high pressure espresso machines. And the Gaggia classic is one of their more popular machines and the fact that it has been in production for so long shows what a quality machine it is. Its not the cheapest machine out there (nor the most expensive), but its problem the best semi automatic consumer machine that will produce a consistent and reliable good cup of espresso every time.
Of course with all home espresso machines there are some compromises to be made, but the classic is a great performer considering its price. If you really want to understand how to make good espresso drinks at home this is probably one of the best cheap espresso machines to start learning on.
Because these machines have been around for a long time and are well made, they are very very easy to find places where you can get spares and accessories and get them repaired if necessary. This would do well as a home machine or a machine for the office and has long been one of the best rated espresso machines for the money.
The model shown is the Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel.
If your at the stage where you are getting serious about your coffee, but the likes of the Ranchio Silvia and a good grinder are still a bit too painful for your pocket then the Gaggia Classic is a great option and is one of the top rates espresso machines for the money. Combine this with a good ground coffee, or great beans and a good grinder, and you should be able to make espresso much better than most you will get in a coffee shop.
If you want to go straight to the machines, click here to see the top rated espresso machines on Amazon.com.
Best Espresso Machine For The Money
Breville BES860XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with Grinder
The Breville BES860XL is a stunning looking espresso machine from Breville. But its not just about looks as this is an espresso machine thats good on function too. It comes with a built in grinder with stainless steel conical burrs with bean hopper so every cup of espresso you make will be using freshly ground beans for maximum flavour.
This machine makes every this easy and even includes a quick start guide to get you up and running as fast as possible. It also includes a fully rotatable steam wand for your frothy milk for making all those different espresso drinks. This machine will make you a great cup of espresso with a nice crema. Single and dual wall portafilters are included too so you can choose to make your espresso just the way you like it. With a nice design, lots of features to make things simple, and easy cleanup there is a lot to like about this espresso machine from Breville.
A highly rated espresso machine on Amazon.com, with 4.5 stars out of 5 from 211 customer reviews.
Is the Breville BES840XL Espresso Maker The Best Espresso Machine Under $500?
Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive?
That cost more than my…!
Something that often comes up when discussing and looking at espresso makers is the question of why they are so expensive to buy. At the end of the day all it is is just a cup of coffee surely.
Now that is true, but to get that truly magical espresso taste, the ground coffee has to go through an excrutiating process. Those coffee beans are brewed for around 25 seconds under extreme pressure to produce that little bit of espresso magic from the coffee. And to do that safely in the comfort of your own home needs some solidly built equipment.
If you are buying a mid range or high end espresso machine such as a super automatic its likely to be one of the most expensive gadgets in your kitchen, if not in your whole home. So why are they so expensive. Well espresso machines are still luxury items for many of us, and luxury items always tend to come at a bit of a premium.
Add to that that many of the top espresso machines are made by hand on short production runs which increases the cost. Also many of the top machines are designed in Switzerland or Italy and may also be made in a European factory with higher costs and import charges to add into the mix and you start to see why something that seems so simple as an espresso machine can end up being on of the most expensive things you buy for your home.
Best Espresso Machine Under $200
Best rated cappuccino machine
There are great espresso machines available for under $200 dollars, which should be somewhat better quality than the cheapest machines that we list here that are under $100. These are good entry level machines that should produce something closer to real espresso, but with as with many things the more you pay the better features, performance, design and build quality you get from your machine.
The machine shown here is the Nespresso Essenza C91 Manual Espresso Maker, Black, one of the best espresso machine for the money.
The machines are some of the best rated espresso makers for the price and are still great value for money, and are a great option for good taste without getting into spending so much on the machine, so are fantastic if you are new to the gourmet coffee journey but want the best espresso maker under 200 dollars that you can get..
All these machines are top rated with good reviews by customers, so should all make a good cup of espresso. They should be easy to work with and have a few more functions than the most basic models. Click the images or links to look at the products in detail or make a purchase as these as some of the best espresso machine under 200 dollars.
What is the best espresso roast?
The best espresso beans or roast will come from freshly roasted beans.
Find a good local roaster or order freshly roasted online.
Online delivery times wont affect the freshness as a good roast needs to rest a few days anyway.
How Long Will My Espresso Machine Last?
When thinking about how much you are going to spend on an espresso machine you should consider how much you are going to use it and also how long that machine is going to last. For example if you by a $200 machine but it only lasts you 2 years, then that has cost you $100 a year. But if you buy a $500 machine and its lasts you 5 years or more, that machine has cost you the same or less if you get more than 5 years out of it.
It doesnt always follow, but in theory the more expensive machines should have a long lifespan. Many of the mid range and high end espresso machines are made with semi professional or professional parts that are designed to take a lot of abuse.
So yes a budget machine that costs $100 – $200 dollars is great as a first espresso machine, but when your ready to move on to something a bit more heavy duty and with more control its worth making the investment in a quality machine that is known to give years of service with few problems. That way you know even though the machine may be expensive up front, you are still getting good value for money over the life of the machine.
More Of The Best Machines Under 500 Dollars
DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
At this price you are going to get a quality espresso machine with consistently good coffee. If your serious about your espresso then one of these machines will help you start your day right.
This easy to use super automatic espresso machine from DeLonghi is for you if you want a machine that will produce great coffee at the push of a button but wont break the bank. Makes great espresso coffee.
What Is The Best Water For Espresso?
Does it even make any difference?
Mineral content in water almost acts like salt in food. A little bit can enhance the flavor. Water with little or no mineral content in it when making espresso will result is a slightly less flavorful cup of espresso.
But on the other side mineral content in water will result in deposits in the internals of the machine. These deposits gunk up the works and change the pressure in the machine, effectively making the machine have to work harder to achieve the same result leading to much faster wear and tear on the parts.
All espresso machines will come with instructions on how to clean and descale which is important to follow to prolong the life of your machine. This is why the more expensive machines and commercial machines have water softeners and filters that are built in to cope with that.
If you arent really sure then use a combination of distilled water and tap water. That should then give you low mineral content to avoid rapid scaling, but not so low that you take away the flavor from the water to the detriment of the taste of the final espresso from your machine.
Single Serve Espresso Makers
Nespresso D120-US-BK-NE CitiZ Automatic Single-Serve Espresso Maker and Milk Frother, Limousine Black
Good quality single serve espresso coffee maker with aeroccino for making the perfect espresso based drinks
What features are most important to you in an espresso machine?
Let us know the features that you really want to see in the espresso machine that you buy.
I want a good tasting shot of espresso and a nice crema
The machine should be easy to use every day
I want my espresso machine to look good in my kitchen or office
I dont want to have to read war and peace just to make a cup of espresso in the morning
I want to get what I paid for.
Is the DeLonghi EC702 the best unit under $200?
What Is Crema?
If you have pulled a good shot of espresso then you should get a crema on the top of your espresso. This is a little bit of golden brown or reddish foam that sits on top of your espresso, and is a combination of air and the oils from the coffee, and is part of the flavor and taste of a good espresso.
Where do you go for the best espresso?
Who is making the perfect espresso for you?
My kitchen, every morning! (47%)
Starbucks or similar chain (26%)
My local non chain coffee shop (26%)
Can you use regular coffee in an espresso machine?
Espresso coffee is very finely ground to get maximum strength from the coffee.
Regular ground coffee would not get the intense flavour.
Instant coffee will clog up your machine.
Best espresso machine under $100
Best rated expresso machine
An espresso machine for under $100 dollars may seem inexpensive and is. But if you are just starting out on your home espresso journey its probably wise to start on one of the cheaper machines until you know more about the process.
These are also good machines if you are on a tight budget but still want espresso at home You need to find out if you actually like the work involved in making an espresso, so its better to start off with a cheaper machine becuase if you find you enjoy all that goes into it, it may work out more expensive if you have to abandon your old machine in a short space of time. This wont hurt as much if you have started out your journey with a relatively inexpensive bit of equipment.
Then you will learn your way through and once you find out if you enjoy the process and the espresso it produces, you can then advance onto the type of machine you are more comfortable with or none at all. Click through to amazon to read the customer reviews on the latest products available.
Keep your beans as fresh as you possibly can.
Freshness affects flavour greatly so only buy enough to last 2 weeks at a maximum.
Keep them in a dark container with a airtight lid or a plastic bag with a ziplock.
De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Best Budget Espresso Machine Under 100
If the budget is really tight, this is about as cheap as you can get in terms of espresso machines. You can still get good espresso out of these machines but you are not going to get many extra functions or features, and the espresso may not be consistent as from some of the more expensive machines or brands.
The EC155 from DeLonghi is the best selling espresso machine on Amazon.com. Its a great little espresso machine thats very simple, nicely designed, small footprint, makes a nice cup of espresso and comes in at a very reasonable price.
Is the De’Longhi EC155 the best espresso machine under $100
What about manual espresso machines?
Manual espresso machines require pretty good barista skills to produce a good cup of espresso!
Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Manual coffee makers
Manual espresso makers put the control back in your hands. But they are definitely more of an art than a science and need a lot more patience to get the espresso just right. But if you are prepared to make a few mistakes and some trial and error, you can produce some awesome espresso drinks that are made just to your taste.
“I have a drip coffee machine, a french press and a Krups espresso maker, and they are all officially retired thanks to the Aeropress.”
What about automatic espresso machines?
Automatic espresso machines do it all. All you need to do is add the beans.
What is the best automatic espresso coffee machine?
Top Automatic Espresso Machines
What is the best automatic espresso machine? If your no barista at all, and have no thoughts that you want to be, then maybe the completely automatic or super automatic machine is the way to go. The only thing that an automatic machine will ask of you is to supply the beans. The best super automatic machines will do pretty much everything else, as many of the models are even self cleaning, and only need emptying once in a while.
You pour in the beans and after a while out should come a wonderful shot of espresso. But that kind of barista magic certainly doesnt come cheap, so you have to be fairly serious about the quality of the coffee that you expect to get or really not have the time to play around with lesser machines to justify one of these. But what is the best automatic espresso machine for home?
The model shown here is the Jura-Capresso 13548 Impressa J6 Automatic Coffee and Espresso Center, Piano Black and is one of the top rated machines available right now.
The advantage of a good automatic espresso machine is that you should get better tasting espresso with all other things being equal. Once beans are ground they start to lose their oils and hence their flavour, so pouring whole beans into a machine should mean you are getting the maximum amount of flavour from the beans that you possibly can.
Generally you can expect a pretty good cup of espresso from an automatic machine and the other advantage is they tend to be very consistent so you should get the same taste with the same settings on the machine every time.
Sometimes you will hear the terms semi automatic and super automatic and fully automatic. The main difference is in how much of the work gets done for you. Super or fully automatic machines will grind the beans for you, and some will even clean themselves. In a semi automatic the grinding of the beans and the cleaning of the machine is all your own work.
Is the Philips Saeco Xelsis the best super automatic espresso machine?
Keep It Hot
Espresso cools quickly as it is a small volume of liquid, so keep machine, group handle and cups warm before use.
Top Rated Espresso Machine 2013 – Espresso equipment
Espresso Machine Accessories
Of course if you have an espresso machine you are going to need the little extras like a good tamper, a nicely size milk jug, and some good espresso spoons. Some machines will come with one or more of these so check the product to see what you need.
For making cappuccinos, lattes and other espresso based drinks you need a good milk jug. This stainless steel polished milk jug fits the bill with its no drip lip.
What about stovetop espresso makers
Stovetop espresso makers or “moka” pots as they are also known, quickly brew an extremely rich, full-flavored coffee on your stovetop
Five Espresso Drink Recipes
2 shots of espresso, double the volume of frothed milk, and then a frothy milk topping.
2 shots of espresso, double the volume of steamed milk, top off with milky foam
2 shots of espresso in a tall glass, ounce of chocolate powder or chocolate syrup, then fill the glass with steamed milk and then add a lump of whipped cream and chocolate on top.
Take a cup and pour in steamed milk. Very slowly pour the espresso on top
2 shots of espresso and an ounce of heavy cream
Espresso Facts And Tips
Although espresso is quite strong compared to other coffees such as drip coffee, because you actually drink a much much smaller volume of liquid compared to a standard coffee, a cup of espresso tends to have about a 1/3 the caffeine of a cup of drip coffee.
If you read espresso machine reviews and buyers guides, you will find that espresso machines will generally brew the coffee at a temperature of 190°F to 195°F which is currently regarded as the best temperature for the brewing of espresso.
20 to 30 seconds is the ideal brewing time for 1 shot of espresso.
Espresso is not a type of coffee or a type of machine. The combination of the grind of the beans and the whole brewing process, brewed under pressure, is what make the resulting coffee espresso, so any type of beans can be used depending on tastes.
Clean Your Espresso Machine
A dirty or scaled up machine will start to produce poor tasting espresso and will eventually clog up and stop working. Cleaning your machine on a regular basis to keep it dirt and build up free will ensure you get great espresso every time
Great Espresso Links
Home Barista – The Home Baristas Guide To Espresso
Gizmodo.com – Espresso 101
Best Home Espresso Machines 2013