If you’re looking for the best manual espresso machine, I can tell you’re an authentic coffee connoisseur who favors the quality of a barista-style espresso shot over the convenience often provided in automatic models, which can be activated with one touch of a button.
In earlier days, manual espresso machines used to merely refer to lever machines, which use a lever to force hot water through ground coffee for extraction. Over time, a new type of espresso maker has emerged, with more portability and ease of use compared to the traditional models.
There’re a variety of these machines on the market. Since choosing the right fit for your coffee routine can be a daunting task, I’ve put together a list of the best models with top-quality design and utilitarian features so you can get a scoop on the one that best suits your needs.
Manual Vs. Automatic Espresso Machines
Manual and automatic espresso machines vastly vary in design, operation system, and the taste of espresso they deliver. If you’re confused about these 2 categories, let’s make their differences clear once and for all.
The first manual espresso maker dated all the way back in 1884. With the innovations of technology nowadays, these manual models feature both traditionally aesthetic design and up-to-date utilitarian functions for ease of use.
In general, they require the user to perform pumping actions with a lever or hand pump to generate the water pressure and force it through the ground coffee for espresso extraction. That means you’re allowed for full control over the pressure and timing in your shot.
Nonetheless, since these machines are all about personal techniques, you’ll have to gradually climb the learning curve to achieve the professional-style espressos. If you’re willing to spare some time and practice, manual units are the best option to upgrade your coffee lifestyle.
These units are divided into many categories, based on their levels of automation. For instance, the semi-automatic models still require you to do some manual works, like preparing the ground coffee and loading the portafilter. The rest of the extraction is activated by one touch of a button.
On the other hand, super-automatic machines do the comprehensive process for you from start to finish. When it comes to convenience and consistency in flavor, these units are unparalleled.
Therefore, automatic espresso machines usually come at higher prices. If you’re a coffee drinker who lives on a hectic daily schedule and doesn’t have time to craft the perfect caffeine fixes for the morning, automatic machines are certainly an ideal go-to.
Types Of Manual Espresso Machines
If you think all manual espresso machines are the same, you’ll be surprised to know that they’re, in fact, split into 3 types. Two of which have been around for as much as decades, and the other has made its glorious debut in recent years.
Spring Piston Machines
A Spring Piston machine is visually identified by its upright lever position. To pull an espresso shot, you bring the lever down to engage the pre-infusion. Once you release it, the lever will push the piston downward to extract the espresso through the ground coffee.
In this stage, you need to release the lever slowly and steadily. Otherwise, the machine’s body will tremble, and you’ll get splattered with hot water and coffee ground.
Direct Lever Machines
A Direct Lever machine has its lever in a downright position when not in use. With this model, you have maximum control over the pressure, which requires a bit more practice and patience. But once you master your hand dexterity in this intricate process, the result is an exceptional flavor profile that’ll satisfy even the toughest coffee geeks.
These modern hand-pumped machines don’t require any electricity or batteries. They operate using manual strength and often boast small and compact designs, which make them the perfect travel companions. Plus, these gadgets come at extremely affordable prices without sacrificing the decent quality of espressos.
The Best Brands Of Manual Espresso Machines
If you’re not experienced in the field of the best manual espresso machines, these are the most world-famous brands to give you a general idea of which one to choose.
When it comes to pulling the authentic espresso shots, La Pavoni lever machines are second to none. These iconic gadgets boast timeless looks and the quintessential Italian brewing method dedicated to espresso aficionados who search for a top-notch flavor for life.
La Pavoni machines indeed take some learning curves to master and are priced at a premium range. But once you’ve managed to perfect the shots, chances are you won’t enjoy any other coffee drinks but the ones you brew at home.
Flair Espresso offers a variety of manual espresso machines that are simple and efficient to operate. Coming as affordable options, these machines are still capable of delivering delicious cups of Joe that espresso geeks crave.
Compact and portable, they’re designed for use at home and on the road.
Thorough a 70-year history, Elektra manual espresso machines are recognizable for their classic state-of-the-art designs. These models produced from sturdy materials through a hand-crafting production to last for years and produce some of the best-tasting espressos for daily treats.
Adopting a modern concept of hand-brewed espresso, Handpresso gives you small, lightweight, and portable espresso machines that require no batteries or electricity to function. These devices enhance the flexibility to get a decent cup wherever you go in less than 5 minutes.
Olympia Express produces solid and attractive lever espresso machines that are favored by many expert baristas around the world. These timeless models also feature up-to-date technology, making them easier to use. In terms of espresso quality, they guarantee the best flavor to satisfy even the pickiest coffee fanatics.
Best Manual Espresso Machine Comparison Chart
The following table showcases the most important features when it comes to choosing the best manual espresso machine. Check them out carefully as one of these might just be the right fit for your daily coffee routine.
|La Pavoni EPC-8 Manual Espresso Machine - Best Overall||11 x 7 x 12 inches||14 pounds||Stainless Steel||1-Year Warranty|
|Wacaco Minipresso GR Manual Espresso Machine - Best Budget||2.8 x 2.4 x 6.9 inches||1 pound||Plastic||1-Year Warranty|
|ROK EspressoGC Manual Espresso Machine - Best Fully Manual||5.1 x 8.63 x 11.75 inches||4.4 pounds||Aluminum||10-Year Warranty|
|Flair Classic Manual Espresso Machine - Best Portable||12 x 6 x 10 inches||4.9 pounds||Cast Aluminum and Stainless Steel||5-Year Warranty|
|La Pavoni PPG-16 Professional Manual Espresso Machine - Best Professional||16.25 x 4.5 x 12 inches||14.4 pounds||Brass||1-Year Warranty|
|Elektra Micro Casa A Leva Manual Espresso Machine - Best Spring Piston||10 x 10 x 19 inches||25 pounds||Brass||N/A|
|La Pavoni PC-16 Manual Espresso Machine - Best for Home Use||16.1 x 14.6 x 9.8 inches||14 pounds||Chrome||1-Year Limited Warranty|
|Gaggia 11400 Achille Manual Espresso Machine - Best Vintage||16 x 12 x 18 inches||27.4 pounds||Stainless Steel and Brass||1-Year Warranty|
|La Pavoni Bar 2L-B Manual Espresso Machine - Best Commercial||31 x 21 x 21 inches||149 pounds||Chrome and Brass||1-Year Manufacturer Warranty|
|Handpresso Wild Hybrid Manual Espresso Machine - Best Small-Sized||8.5 x 2.75 x 4 inches||1.06 pounds||Aluminum||2-Year Warranty|
|AeroPress Manual Espresso Machine - Best for Travel||4.75 x 4.5 x 11.75 inches||0.4 pounds||Polyester||1-Year Warranty|
|Olympia Cremina Manual Espresso Machine||10.63 x 7.87 x 12.99 inches||24 pounds||Rust-Free Steel, Chrome, and Brass||2-Year Manufacturer Warranty|
|STARESSO Manual Espresso Machine||2.75 x 2.75 x 9.64 inches||0.88 pounds||BPA-Free Plastic and Metal||1-Year Warranty|
|Wacaco Nanopresso Manual Espresso Machine - Best Hand-Pumped||2.36 x 2.76 x 6.14 inches||0.74 pounds||BPA-Free Plastic||1-Year Warranty|
|Cafflano Kompresso Manual Espresso Machine||7.3 x 3.1 x 4.1 inches||0.5 pounds||BPA-Free Plastic||N/A|
Which Are The Best Manual Espresso Machines On The Market?
The best manual espresso machines come from La Pavoni – the most celebrated Italian lever machine brand – for their unparalleled construction, utilitarian features, and the durability to last for decades of use. Alternately, Wacaco’s machines are the outstanding representatives of compact espresso makers, which are perfect for traveling.
Before getting into more specific reviews, let’s get the scoop on these best manual espresso machines for each particular purpose. Hopefully, this comprehensive list will help you odd the ideal one out for your needs and interests.
- Best Overall – La Pavoni EPC-8 Manual Espresso Machine
“Boasts a state-of-the-art design, durable stainless steel construction, brews professional-style espressos, and cappuccinos.”
- Best Budget – Wacaco Minipresso GR Manual Espresso Machine
“Comes at an affordable price, modernistic and sleek look, compact for travel, makes virtually no noise when in use.”
- Best Fully Manual – ROK EspressoGC Manual Espresso Machine
“Very easy to use, makes rich and full-bodied espressos consistently, no electricity or recharge required, 10-year warranty.”
- Best Portable – Flair Manual Espresso Machine
“Constructed from heavy-duty materials for long-term use, available in 4 elegant colors, small and portable for narrow spaces.”
- Best Professional – La Pavoni PPG-16 Professional Manual Espresso Machine
“Eye-catching appearance, generous 38-ounce water reservoir, dual frothing system to yield delicious cappuccinos and lattes.”
- Best Spring Piston – Elektra Micro Casa A Leva Manual Espresso Machine
“A reminiscent of the Italian’s golden era, Spring Piston operation allows for complete control, large 61-ounce water tank.”
- Best for Home Use – La Pavoni PC-16 Manual Espresso Machine
“Produces barista-style espressos at the comfort of your home, sturdy boiler and steaming mechanism, made for decades of use.”
- Best Vintage – Gaggia 11400 Achille Manual Espresso Machine
“Impressive retro-looking design, traditional operation with modern utilitarian features for ease of use and safety, 1-year warranty.”
- Best Commercial – La Pavoni Bar 2L-B Manual Espresso Machine
“2 brew groups for making multiple shots at a time, prevent overheating, easy clean-up, extremely large 14-l water tank.”
- Best Small-Sized – Handpresso Wild Hybrid Manual Espresso Machine
“Small and portable gadget, reaches 16 bars of pressure, makes single-shot serving, works with the ground and E.S.E pods.”
- Best for Travel – AeroPress Manual Espresso Machine
“Brews your favorite caffeine fixes on the road, 4 water level markings for extra flexibility, lightweight and compact.”
- Best Hand-Pumped – Wacaco Nanopresso Manual Espresso Machine
“Fits perfectly in your hand for easy pumping, fully manual, comes with a built-in cup and cleaning brush, BPA-free plastic.”
Top 15 Best Manual Espresso Machines in 2023 Detailed Reviews
Without further ado, let’s get to know each one of the best manual espresso machines on the market. In this section, we’re examining the most significant features of these machines to figure out if they are the ultimate choice for your coffee experiences.
1. La Pavoni EPC-8 Manual Espresso Machine
If you’re looking for the finest manual espresso machine out there, this La Pavoni EPC-8 is certainly your ultimate option. Not only boasting a state-of-art design, but its durable stainless steel construction will also last for many years of frequent use in your kitchen.
With a 20-ounce water reservoir, this lever-operated machine can serve 8 cups of espresso for 2 ounces per serving. Its small-sized and simplistic design makes it convenient enough to fit under a low cabinet, so you can rest assured that it’ll be a perfect add-on to your kitchen.
This machine comes with a comprehensive set, including a tamper, a screen, a measuring ladle, and a traditional steam wand to create thick and rich foam for your beloved milk-based coffee drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos.
Lastly, it may take you some time to learn your way around this machine. But when you do, you’ll be impressed just by how easy it is to brew professional-style espresso shots right at home to treat yourself, your family, and friends.
- Durable stainless steel constructed with chrome plating
- Removable water reservoir with 20-ounce capacity
- Valid internal thermostat to monitor the pressure
- Comes in with a comprehensive set of accessories
- 1-year warranty
- Made of high-quality material
- Ideal for making all types of coffee drinks
- Fits easily under low cabinet or under a shelf
- Gives you full control over your espressos
- Heats the water quickly
- Suitable for entry-level coffee drinkers
- The machine gets extremely hot after a while
- Removing the portafilter immediately after brewing can get you splattered with water and coffee ground
|Dimensions||11 x 7 x 12 inches|
|Water Capacity||20 Ounces|
Interested in finding out more about this La Pavoni EPC-8 Manual Espresso Machine? Check this overview video out right here!
2. Wacaco Minipresso GR Manual Espresso Machine
The ergonomic design, ease of use, and portability are only some of the many benefits this Minipresso GR machine’s got to provide for a coffee connoisseur. Moreover, if you’re looking for a low-budget espresso maker to satisfy your daily coffee cravings, this gadget is assuredly your most economical option.
This compact machine can yield up to 50 ml of espresso in 1 setting, which is the standard single-serving shot. However, if you prefer to make a fuller cup without having to spend double the amount of time, there’s a 100-ml water reservoir that you can purchase separately.
In addition, operating this manual equipment is as easy as it is. Featuring a semi-automatic piston, it reaches a maximum of 8 bars of pressure to produce rich and bold espresso on the go. And the neat design makes it not only perfect for home use but also for traveling and hiking.
- Modernistic and sleek design
- Constructed from BPA-free plastic and metal filter
- Built-in coffee cup and scoop
- Compatible with ground coffee
- The 100-ml water reservoir can be purchased separately
- Comes in set with many utilitarian accessories
- Very quiet when in use
- Sturdy and durable for long-term use
- Perfect for travel, camping, and hiking
- Comes at an affordable price
- There’re too many parts to clean
- You can only produce one shot of espresso every time
- Needs an external heating source
|Dimensions||2.8 x 2.4 x 6.9 inches|
|Water Capacity||2.35 Ounces|
Brewing an espresso with this Wacaco Minipresso GR Manual Espresso Machine is as easy as it gets. See it right now for yourself in the following video.
3. ROK EspressoGC Manual Espresso Machine
(Best Fully Manual)
Despite the low price, this ROK EspressoGC is undoubtedly one of the top-notch manual espresso machines. From the optimal design to the portability it provides, this excellent model is the front-runner for coffee geeks who favor ease of use without sacrificing the quality of the rich and full-bodied espresso.
This espresso maker is lightweight, portable, and will fit in any drawer or luggage, making it an ideal tool for travelers. However, it’s completely manually-operated and requires no electricity. Therefore, you’ll need an eternal heating source to make a cozy and robust espresso shot.
Besides, the unit features a pressure chamber made from BPA-free glass, which is better insulated. The two levers are fairly easy to operate, and its entire eye-catching metal construction was surely built to last.
Finally, if any trouble happens to your espresso machine, the company will back you up with a 10-year warranty. That means you can buy this budget-friendly item and enjoy your favorite caffeine fixes wherever you go, whether at home, campsite or on a long day hike in the wild.
- Made of robust aluminum
- The BPA-free glass pressure chamber
- Upgraded piston gasket for higher pressure level
- Stainless steel portafilter
- Reliable 10-year warranty
- Lightweight, space-saving, and compact
- Requires little effort to make rich and creamy espresso
- A travel-friendly machine
- Needs no source of electricity
- Very easy to use
- Comes at a good price
- Requires an external heating source for hot brews
- Limited water capacity
|Dimensions||5.1 x 8.63 x 11.75 inches|
Prepare to be blown away by this ROK EspressoGC Manual Espresso Machine’s design and operation in this short video right here.
4. Flair Classic Manual Espresso Machine
Are you looking for a manual espresso machine that can help you pull barista-level espresso shots consistently yet still compact enough to fit in your suitcase and not take up much space on your counter? If so, chances are you won’t want to miss this renowned Flair Classic machine.
The Flair Classic model comprises of 3 main components: the base, post, and lever. All of which are constructed from heavy-duty materials like stainless steel and cast aluminum, increasing the unit’s durability for long-term use.
Besides, you can easily disassemble the parts for cleaning or packing in the travel case that comes along in the set to indulge yourself with a flavorful cup of espresso anywhere you go. And since this machine comes in 4 elegant colors, there’s no doubt that you’ll find one to match your kitchen style.
However, it’s noteworthy that you’ll need to pre-heat the reservoir and boil the water via an external heating element. And if you plan to make multiple shots at a time, this small espresso machine may not the best option.
- Constructed from durable materials to increase longevity
- Includes 3 main parts: the base, lever, and post
- Holds maximally 60ml of water
- Comes with a padded travel case
- Available in 4 elegant colors
- Pulls espressos with complex flavor with delicate crema
- Extremely space-saving and portable for travel
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- No electricity needed
- Beautiful simplistic design
- Needs pre-heating with an external heating element
- A steep learning curve is needed to get used to it
|Dimensions||12 x 6 x 10 inches|
|Color||Black and Red, Black, Chrome, White|
|Material||Cast Aluminum and Stainless Steel|
Click on this video if you’d love to find out how this Flair Classic Manual Espresso Machine actually works in reality.
5. La Pavoni PPG-16 Professional Manual Espresso Machine
This PPG-16 manual espresso machine is another heritage from La Pavoni – an Italian company that you can never go wrong with. Not only the stunning appearance is sure to catch everyone’s eyes, but its excellent operation system will also give you the feelings of a professional barista.
This built-to-last La Pavoni machine is made of solid brass with a shiny nickel plating that’ll be the centerpiece of any kitchen. It’s equipped with a 38-ounce capacity, which is large enough to serve 16 shots of espresso before needing to be refilled.
In addition, the dual frothing system allows you to make many coffee specialty drinks at the comfort of your home like cappuccinos, lattes, and flat-whites. Some dedicated practices with this epitome will upgrade your coffee experiences to a whole new level.
- Robust brass construction with nickel plating
- Dual frothing system
- Internal thermostat to prevent overheating
- The 38-ounce boiler capacity can pull up to 16 espresso shots
- Direct Lever operation
- Eye-catching appearance
- Makes delicious coffee specialty drinks right at home
- Heats and steams quickly
- Lasts for years of frequent use
- Easy to keep clean and replace malfunctioned components
- It’s definitely on the expensive side
- Needs some dedicated practices to master this machine
|Dimensions||16.25 x 4.5 x 12 inches|
|Boiler Capacity||38 Ounces|
6. Elektra Micro Casa A Leva Manual Espresso Machine
(Best Spring Piston)
With the polished chrome finish and an intricate brass eagle adornment on top, this Elektra Micro Casa Spring Lever machine is reminiscent of the old Italian glory days. This kit features both traditional concepts of the first espresso machines and the up-to-date functions to ensure your safety and ease of use.
The Spring Piston operation is easier to master as it delivers the same extraction pressure in every release. That means it’s only a breeze to get a consistently rich and velvety cup of espresso every time, just like at your favorite coffee house once you get used to it.
Besides, this machine boasts a water level sight glass that lets you observe the exact amount of water in the boiler. And its pressure relief valve is super helpful in controlling the pressure inside of the system, therefore preventing potential hazards and secure your family’s safety.
- Polished chrome and brass finish
- Water level sight glass
- Safety boiler pressure relief valve
- Spring Lever operation
- Large boiler capacity of 61 ounces
- Boasts both of traditional Italian concepts and modern safety features
- Easier to master
- Delivers consistent results
- It steams and brews coffee simultaneously
- Very quiet when in use
- Stable and durable for a long period of use
- t’s a high-end machine with an exorbitant price
- Less control over the process
|Dimensions||10 x 10 x 19 inches|
|Boiler Capacity||1.8 Liters|
Check this overview video for more information on the Elektra Micro Casa A Leva Manual Espresso Machine.
7. La Pavoni PC-16 Manual Espresso Machine
(Best for Home Use)
Are you looking for a reliable manual espresso machine that is capable of yielding top-quality espressos and cappuccinos at the comfort of your home? If so, this PC-16 model from La Pavoni has all the essential features and attachments to be an eminent addition to your kitchen.
From the first glance, this machine’s attractive look will catch every guest’s eyes with its lustrous chrome exterior and the elegant wooden handles. Its sturdy boiler incorporates a generous capacity of 38 ounces, allowing you to pull 16 shots of 2-ounce cups before topping up.
In addition, if you’re a cappuccino fanatic, the well-functioned steaming mechanism will satisfy your daily hankering as it can produce foamy milk quickly for your delicate cup of Joe. And though the first few shots are likely to fail, the latter result is worth all your practices and patience.
- Big boiler capacity of 38 ounces
- Sturdy chrome construction
- Elegant and lustrous exterior
- Well-functioned steaming mechanism
- Comes with an instructional video for beginners
- A perfect home addition for coffee connoisseurs
- Pulls excellent shots of espressos and cappuccinos
- Serves at its best conditions for decades of use
- The warm-up process is relatively fast
- Doesn’t take up much counter space
- The steaming function is pretty noisy
- It can get extremely hot, so you should be extra cautious when operating it
|Dimensions||16.1 x 14.6 x 9.8 inches|
|Boiler Capacity||38 Ounces|
|Warranty||1-Year Limited Warranty|
This informative video will show you how to yield a delicious espresso shot with the La Pavoni PC-16 Manual Espresso Machine.
8. Gaggia 11400 Achille Manual Espresso Machine
This Gaggia Achille manual espresso maker will take you back to the golden era of espresso with its strange but impressive retro-looking design. Aside from the traditional lever-operated mechanism, it also employs some utilitarian features to satisfy the needs of modern users.
Unlike the previous models, this unit has a cylindrical shape with the burnished stainless steel housing that’ll be sure to match kitchens of any styles. Its transparent water reservoir can hold up to 28 ounces for brewing multiple shots in just one sitting.
What sets this vintage machine apart from the rest is its ultramodern heat exchange boiler that’s capable of switching from brewing to steaming in a second. And whether you prefer a single or double shot, the company has got you covered with both types of filter baskets in the set.
- The 28-ounce domed water reservoir
- Cylindrical shape
- Burnished stainless steel exterior
- The Turbo frothing wand for making milk-based coffee drinks
- The set includes single-shot and double-shot filter baskets
- The retro-looking design brings back a sense of nostalgia
- Features some advanced, user-friendly functions
- Produces foamy milk consistently
- Makes classic-style espressos
- Quickly switch from brewing to steaming
- There may be some water leakage from the steam wand
- Not an ideal option for a novice
|Dimensions||16 x 12 x 18 inches|
|Material||Stainless Steel and Brass|
|Boiler Capacity||28 Ounces|
If you’re interested in this vintage Gaggia 11400 Achille Manual Espresso Machine, this video is a must-watch!
9. La Pavoni Bar 2L-B Manual Espresso Machine
Whether you’re planning to get a decent commercial-grade manual espresso machine for your own coffee shop, or wanting to throw some coffee-themed parties with your friends or family every so often, chances are this La Pavoni Bar 2L-B will be your perfect companion.
This massive unit is basically a comprehensive which comprises of every essential part to yield multiple shots at a time, especially in peak hours. It features a safety thermostat to prevent the machine from overheating, and a manometer to keep the boiler’s pressure under control.
With the 14-liter boiler, you can easily pull numerous top-tier espresso shots before another refill. And as complex as the entire mechanical operation may seem, its anti-vacuum valve is super helpful in preventing the clogs from forming inside the system.
In short, this commercial espresso maker is a great choice to serve espressos to a crowd while still saving time from the daunting clean-up. However, it’s priced at a premium and will certainly take up much space. So if you’re purchasing for home use only, maybe consider other options on the list.
- Spring Piston operation
- Equipped with 2 powerful brew groups
- Safety thermostat to prevent overheating
- Anti-vacuum valve for easy clean-up and maintenance
- Hot tap water and flexible jet
- Generous 14-liter boiler
- Suitable for commercial purposes
- Makes multiple espresso shots continuously
- Well-built construction
- Easy to transport
- Modern functions for complete safety
- It’s the most pricey machine on the list
- Not the best option for home use
|Dimensions||31 x 21 x 21 inches|
|Material||Chrome and Brass|
|Boiler Capacity||14 Liters|
|Warranty||1-Year Manufacturer Warranty|
10. Handpresso Wild Hybrid Manual Espresso Machine
Boasting a modern concept of an espresso machine, this small and compact piece of hardware is capable of pulling excellent single shots of espressos every time. Also, this Wild Hybrid espresso maker weighs just over 1 pound and will fit in kitchen drawers of almost any sides when not in use.
This machine works perfectly with both pre-ground coffee and E.S.E pods. Despite the neat shape, its water reservoir can hold up to 2 ounces, which is the exact standardized capacity for every single shot.
Besides, a notable plus point from this equipment is how much conveniences it’s got to offer. Simply pump the handle until it reaches 16 bars of pressure, fill up the water tank with hot water, and insert the ground or pod. With just one touch of a button, the rich and bold cup of Joe will be ready to serve.
- Available in 2 classy colors: black and silver
- Works with ground coffee and E.S.E pods
- Reaches maximumly 16 bars of pressure
- 2-ounce water reservoir
- Solid aluminum construction
- Especially easy and convenient to use
- Produces nice and smooth layer of crema
- Space-saving and travel-friendly
- Delivers rich and concentrated espressos consistently
- Comes at an affordable price
- Requires an external heating element
- It takes a bit of manual strength and hand dexterity to reach the maximum pressure
|Dimensions||8.5 x 2.75 x 4 inches|
|Water Capacity||2 Ounces|
Have a sneak peek at the Handpresso Wild Hybrid Manual Espresso Machine’s operation in this video right here.
11. AeroPress Manual Espresso Machine
(Best for Travel)
For any coffee aficionados who love traveling, the most dispiriting thing has to be leaving your cups of Joe at home and having to compromise with that watery and bitter coffee from the hotel. With this AeroPress espresso machine, you can treat yourself to your favorite caffeine fixes even when you’re miles away from the metropolitan areas.
Unlike the other models, this unit employs an immersion brewing process, which is effective in extracting the full-bodied flavor minus the bitter and acidic taste that most coffee geeks try to avoid. It also features 4 water level markings on the exterior so you can flexibly brew 1-3 cups in one sitting.
Additionally, this machine is small, lightweight, and extremely portable. Besides, the zippered nylon tote bag that comes in set helps you to store and pack it together with the rest of your travel or camping essentials with ease.
- 4 clear water level markings on the exterior
- Gives you the flexibility to brew 1-3 cups at a time
- Comes in set with a zippered nylon tote bag for easy storage
- The microfilter helps to prevent a gritty and grainy cup
- Made of durable BPA-free plastic
- Very lightweight and compact
- Suitable for home use and traveling
- Requires minimal cleaning
- Delivers full-bodied coffee drinks with no bitterness
- The price is a great deal
- The limited capacity isn’t ideal for making multiple shots at a time
- It takes some practices to get used to the exemplary pressure
|Dimensions||4.75 x 4.5 x 11.75 inches|
|Boiler Capacity||1 Cup|
This 5-minute video will guide you through the best way to brew espressos with this AeroPress Manual Espresso Machine.
12. Olympia Cremina Manual Espresso Machine
Without a doubt, this timeless lever-operated espresso machine is a proud representative of Switzerland. It’s a combination of the classic design and utilitarian functions to deliver the exquisite shot of espresso every time, making it a counter staple in many kitchens for the last 40 years.
The machine boasts a pre-infusion system, a steam wand, and a 3.8-pint water tank enough to pull 20 espresso cups. Asides from the “singing” sound when the water comes to a boil, it’s quiet when in use and produces top-notch espressos or cappuccinos as long as you learn your way around it.
However, what genuinely distinguishes this high-end machine from the crowd is how well-built and functional it is. The unit is constructed of premium materials like stainless steel, chrome, and brass, which requires low maintenance and easily lasts for decades of use.
- Made of top-quality materials
- The classic pre-infusion piston system
- The boiler’s capacity is enough for 20 cups
- The heating element has a safety thermal protection
- Made in Switzerland
- Impressive appearance
- Durable for years of frequent use
- Produces perfect espressos with delicious smell and crema
- Allows for complete control over your desired cups
- Great for making latte art
- Requires little maintenance
- It’s quite an expensive high-end machine
|Dimensions||10.63 x 7.87 x 12.99 inches|
|Material||Rust-Free Steel, Chrome, and Brass|
|Boiler Capacity||3.8 Pints (60.8 Ounces)|
|Warranty||2-Year Manufacturer Warranty|
See what makes this Olympia Cremina Manual Espresso Machine so special in this video right now!
13. STARESSO Manual Espresso Machine
This renowned manual espresso machine from STARESSO is one of the most user-friendly and versatile models you can find. Whether you’re at the home, office, on a business trip, or out in nature, this little machine will quickly pull a decent espresso shot to freshen yourself for the day.
The unit comes in an ergonomic and small-shaped design for easy setup and disassembling. Its water tank has a capacity of 80 ml, which is the perfect size for a single shot. Plus, it’s capable of preparing the full-bodied espresso with thick crema from both ground coffee and Nespresso pods.
Finally, if you’re a milk-based coffee fanatic, you’ll be impressed by how effortless it is to make frothed milk with this equipment. Simply pour the milk into the glass chamber and press the pump to extract milk foam. With this easy procedure, a nice mug of cappuccino is at your disposal anytime.
- BPA-free plastic and metal construction
- Available in 3 striking colors: black, pink, and white
- Suitable for use with ground coffee and Nespresso pods
- The water reservoir’s capacity is 80 ml
- Patented pumping system
- Compact and ergonomic design
- Easy-to-use hand-pumped equipment
- Can make frothed milk
- No batteries or recharge required
- Virtually silent when in use
- A budget-friendly machine
- You’ll need to heat the water separately
- Makes a single-shot serving each time only
|Dimensions||2.75 x 2.75 x 9.64 inches|
|Material||BPA-Free Plastic and Metal|
|Water Capacity||80 ml|
Don’t hesitate to take a quick look at the STARESSO Manual Espresso Machine by clicking on this video.
14. Wacaco Nanopresso Manual Espresso Machine
If you’re looking for a sturdy hand-pumped espresso machine, this Wacaco Nanopresso is sure to be your best option. Its body was constructed to fit perfectly in your hand for easy gripping. With this functional device, chances are your daily coffee routine will be taken to a new level of convenience.
Besides, the gadget features a patented pumping system, which requires 15% less hand strength compared to the previous Minipresso model. When performing the pumping action, I would recommend taking it steadily to get the finest-quality crema for your cup of Joe.
Lastly, this machine works in virtually complete silence, meaning you won’t wake up your entire family making your morning caffeine fix. And if you live a fluid lifestyle or often go on trips, this compact unit will certainly be a great companion in the long run.
- A fully manual espresso machine
- The maximum pressure is 18 bars
- Comes with a built-in cup, scoop, and cleaning brush
- The water tank features a heatsink pattern to prevent burns
- Extra accessories like the protective case and NS adapter can be purchased separately
- Simple to operate
- Portable for traveling
- Brews concentrated espresso with rich crema on the go
- Fits perfectly in your hand
- Comes at a reasonable price
- Not suitable for making many shots at a time
- It’s a bit of a problem to disassemble all the small parts for cleaning
|Dimensions||2.36 x 2.76 x 6.14 inches|
|Water Capacity||80 ml|
Here is a step-by-step guide to making an espresso on the go with this Wacaco Nanopresso Manual Espresso Machine.
15. Cafflano Kompresso Manual Espresso Machine
This Cafflano Kompresso espresso machine features a hydraulic system which can minimize the extraction of espresso. Also, its small and portable design makes it a great addition to your travel kit as well as a gift for any friend who loves a convenient caffeine fix for the day.
The machine reaches a maximum of 9 bars of pressure to extract the full-bodied and rich taste of espresso. With an 80-ml water reservoir, it yields a perfect single-serving shot in one setup, which usually takes as much as 5 minutes of manual operation.
Requiring no batteries or electricity, this gadget is an effective energy-saving solution. Despite being a budget-friendly item, its ability to pull a delicious shot every time will certainly live up to your expectation. However, it should be noted that you’ll have to heat the water separately for a cozy mug.
- Features a distinct hydraulic system
- Dual-mode pressure, including pressing and pulling handles
- Can hold over 9 bars of pressure for full extraction
- Eco-friendly espresso maker
- The water tank’s volume is 80 ml
- Extra lightweight and compact
- Easy to use and kept clean
- Yields luscious espresso shots
- Convenient to use at home, office, and in the wilderness
- Maximizes force efficiency
- Requires an external heater
- Doesn’t produce much crema
- The plastic components aren’t durable for long-term use
|Dimensions||7.3 x 3.1 x 4.1 inches|
|Boiler Capacity||0.08 Liters|
Let’s get to know more about this Cafflano Kompresso Manual Espresso Machine in the following video right here!
Buying Guides For Choosing The Best Manual Espresso Machine
Here are a few tricks and tips on how to discover the best manual espresso machine for your needs and interests. You should check these out carefully before making the final decision.
The best lever espresso machines are constructed of premium materials like stainless steel, brass, chrome, and aluminum. Not only giving your countertop item a luscious and sleek look, but these materials also make the unit more durable and sturdy for a long period of use.
On the other hand, when choosing a hand-pumped machine, you should seek for the one that’s constructed of metal and BPA-free plastic or glass to ensure that no harmful chemicals can leach into your beverages.
Water Reservoir Capacity
The water tank capacities can come anywhere between 2 ounces to over 61 ounces. Therefore, you should read this specification carefully before purchasing an espresso machine. Make sure that the reservoir can hold enough water for your brewing needs.
If you often make a morning cup or a quick afternoon pick-me-up, a small machine will be perfect. But if you need to pull multiple shots for a big family or love to throw coffee-theme parties with your friends, a larger tank will ease the work for you, especially during rush hours.
Are you a modernistic coffee fanatic, or do vintage machines always seem to fascinate your senses? Manual espresso makers are crafted in many designs: simplistic, utilitarian, and retro-looking. Choosing the one that matches your kitchen decor will make you feel better and start your day in the most effective way.
Lever espresso machines boast a sturdy and well-built construction to last for decades in your kitchen. But if you live a fluid lifestyle and want to enjoy your favorite caffeine fixes on the road, it’s best to opt for a small and compact hand-pumped gadget as it provides more portability.
The warranty policy is a crucial factor when searching for a decent machine. A good and responsible warranty signifies that the manufacturer stands by their product’s quality. Also, if any trouble happens to your machine, the warranty service will help you with useful troubleshooting solutions.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re wondering about anything in your head, check out this shortlist of the most asked questions surrounding the best manual espresso machines.
My Top Pick
And we’ve reached the end of my reviews. From my perspective, my ultimate pick will definitely be the La Pavoni EPC-8 Manual Espresso Machine. Its beautiful appearance and well-designed features make it a centerpiece on the kitchen counter and craft the most delicious espressos just like a professional barista does.
Have you found the best fit for yourself? Anything you’d like to share about the passion for these exceptional machines? Feel comfortable to share it with me in the comment section right down below!