As a coffee aficionado, you have always wanted to brew your favorite cup at home.
But, with all the different types of espresso machines available- single boiler, dual boiler, and a heat exchanger- you are not sure which one to pick.
If you’re on a budget and want to have some high-end features on an espresso machine, we recommend you go for a heat exchanger machine.
Like dual boilers, a heat exchanger machine lets you brew and steam at the same time. Since it uses a single boiler with a copper pipe wrapped around it, water heats faster, which means you’ll get your desired brew in a short time. Not only that, but you’ll also reduce maintenance costs.
Now, if you’re wondering where to find the best heat exchanger espresso machine, keep reading, and you’ll find it.
Best Heat Exchanger Espresso Machine Reviews
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
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The Breville Barista Express espresso machine gives you the utmost convenience when it comes to brewing any type of espresso.
It features a built-in conical grinder that lets you grind your favorite roasted beans so that you can never miss a freshly brewed cup. Plus, you can control the grind size from the finest to the coarsest, depending on the type of beverage you want to have.
Even if you have poured the wrong beans into the bean hopper, you can unlock the grinder and then change the beans.
This machine has a cup warmer on the top where you can place your cups and preheat them to maintain the original espresso color.
Although there are preset volumes for single and double shots, you can program the timer, too, to get your desired espresso volume.
Not only can you have espresso, but also latte and cappuccino! This espresso machine has a built-in steam wand that creates a foamy texture for milk-based beverages.
What’s more, it comes with a drip-tray, which when you take it out, will reveal a storage box containing filter baskets and cleaning tools for your convenience. Also, the drip-tray comes with an indicator that pops up when the tray is full.
- Features a built-in conical burr grinder
- Can be used to adjust the grind size
- Can be used to create a foamy milk texture
- It has a cup-warmer
- The drip-tray has an indicator
Breville BES840XL The Infuser Espresso Machine
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Another great espresso machine, The Infuser by Breville offers barista-style espresso that you will enjoy in every sip.
As its name suggests, it features a pre-infusion function, which causes it to apply low-pressure at the beginning of the extraction process, and then gradually increase it to ensure the grinds expand enough for uniform extraction.
It features an auto-purge function as well, which automatically purges hot steam and adjusts the water temperature suitable for extraction.
There is also a built-in pressure gauge that lets you know the right amount of pressure is being applied while brewing. Plus, the built-in cup-warmer ensures your espresso cup remains at the right temperature for maintaining the espresso color.
Like the previous Breville machine, this one also has preset functions for single and double shots, and if you want to have a customized volume, you can program that.
Other than espresso, if you want to have a latte or cappuccino, you can use the steam wand! It releases steam at a high pressure suitable for creating microfoam and latte art. Since the machine includes a milk pitcher, you don’t have to look for one elsewhere!
The Infuser saves energy as well. After an hour of inactivity, it enters ‘Sleep Mode’ , and after three hours of inactivity, it automatically shuts down. So, if you have forgotten to turn off the machine, there won’t be a problem!
- It pre-infuses coffee grinds
- Features an auto-purge function
- Can be used to create froth and latte art
- Can be used to adjust volume
- Automatically shuts off after three hours of inactivity
De’Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder
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The De’Longhi La Specialista is one espresso machine that provides effortless brewing.
It features a conical burr grinder that lets you grind your favorite coffee beans. What makes this grinder stand out is that it has a sensor, which, when you adjust the grind size, will automatically set the grinding time for that particular grind size. This ensures you get the perfect dose.
With this espresso machine, you don’t have to tamp the grinds manually! When you pull the lever on the left side of the machine, it will automatically tamp the grinds with the right pressure. There’s no need to worry about a messy countertop!
Apart from that, it features a steam wand, which allows you to select the froth type for latte or cappuccino. There’s also a separate hot water spout you can use if you want to brew a cup of tea, and it ensures the residual coffee flavor doesn’t mingle with the tea flavor.
You can use cups of any size for brewing. The built-in magnetic tray allows you to place shorter cups, and when you flip it over, you can place taller cups, including travel mugs.
- Features a built-in conical burr grinder with Smart Sensor technology
- Automatically tamps coffee grinds
- Features a separate hot water spout
- Can be used to select the froth type
- Heats up in second
Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
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Known as one of the best entry-level espresso machines, the Gaggia Classic Pro offers restaurant-quality espresso with its commercial design.
It features a commercial steam wand with a two-hole steam tip that produces microfoam suitable for creating latte art. If you want hot water for soup or oatmeal, you can turn the steam knob, and it will dispense hot water.
Like most commercial espresso machines, this one has a three-way solenoid valve. The valve releases excess brew pressure and water through the group-head, so you can easily discard dry coffee puck.
Instead of buttons, this machine has switches with lights that indicate what function it is ready for. You can turn on its power and get it ready for brewing or steaming using the individual switches.
With this machine, you don’t have to wait for a long time for it to heat up. When you want to brew espresso, it will heat the boiler in five minutes, and for steam, it will take less than a minute.
If you want to have a delicious cup of espresso in your favorite tall mug, you can remove the drip tray and then place it.
One thing you will like about this espresso machine is that it operates smoothly without making any noise. So, if you want to brew espresso at night, you can comfortably make a cup without waking anyone.
- Features 3-way solenoid valve
- Comes with switches for power, brew, and steam
- Minimizes noise while brewing
- Features commercial steam wand
- It has a removable drip-tray
Gaggia Carezza De LUXE Espresso Machine
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The Gaggia Carezza De Luxe espresso machine is a compact machine that allows you to brew espresso with ease.
If you don’t prefer beans, you can use pre-ground coffee or ESE pods for brewing your favorite cup. Before the brewing process starts, the machine pre-infuses coffee grounds for the optimal extraction.
Unlike most espresso machines, this one has a portafilter with a unique design that ensures you get the perfect crema in every brew. It also features a double basket that can hold about 18 grams of coffee for a richer flavor.
There is a cup warmer as well, which is a necessity if you want your brewed espresso to remain hot for a longer time. You can place up to four small-sized cups on the cup warmer.
In addition, the water reservoir is removable, and if you need to check the water level, you can view it through the glass in the front.
Other than espresso, you can make a latte and a cappuccino as well! The Panarello wand automatically produces a rich and creamy milk texture, and you can even remove it to create microfoam for latte art. Plus, it dispenses hot water for tea or soup.
When you need to whip up a cup, you don’t have to spend a lot of time waiting for it heats up in under a minute!
- Can be used to brew ground coffee and ESE pods
- It has a unique portafilter design
- Features a window for viewing the water level
- It has a cup warmer
- Automatically goes into idle mode after nine minutes of inactivity
Heat Exchanger Espresso Machine Buying Guide
Semi-automatic espresso machines are commonly used by baristas in many coffee shops.
This type of espresso machine automatically adjusts the brewing pressure and the boiler temperature, so you don’t have to spend minutes tweaking those settings.
Since it is semi-automatic, it doesn’t come with a built-in grinder, so you will need to manually grind the coffee beans, tamp them, and attach the portafilter.
You will also need to control the brewing time, which means when you load the portafilter and press the brew button, the espresso machine will keep on brewing until you halt the process as it reaches your desired volume.
Semi-automatic espresso machines that are smaller in size typically use a single boiler, while larger ones use a double boiler or other variations.
There’s not much difference between semi-automatic and automatic machines.
Both espresso machines have the ability to control the brewing pressure and temperature, but the only difference lies in the fact that automatic machines end the brewing process automatically.
When you load the portafilter, set the brew time, and then hit the brew button, the espresso machine will continue brewing until a certain amount of time has passed.
You will find automatic machines consisting of either a single boiler, a double boiler, or a thermoblock.
Super-automatic espresso machines are capable of doing everything for you, which is why they are used in restaurants, offices, and other fast-paced environments.
These machines grind coffee beans, tamps them, brews the espresso, and froths milk for milk-based beverages.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have control over your espresso! Most super-automatic machines let you adjust the grind size and espresso volume for a customized drink.
Super-automatic machines don’t use a single boiler, but a double boiler, thermocoil, or a thermoblock.
Built-In Coffee Grinder
This is something you might want to look for in an espresso machine if you don’t have a separate grinder already or want to save the counter space.
Some espresso machines feature a built-in coffee grinder, which you can use to brew a cup of freshly grounded espresso. These grinders typically use conical burrs, which allows you to adjust the grind size before brewing.
When you are shopping for the best heat exchanger espresso machine, it is essential to check its dimensions. Typically, heat exchanger machines don’t come in a large size since they use one boiler.
But, before you purchase one, you need to check how much space you have on your kitchen countertop so that you can safely place the espresso machine.
You need to measure the dimensions of your kitchen countertop and also the distance between the cabinet base and the countertop to ensure there’s enough space for operating the built-in grinder (if there’s one in the machine).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Does A Heat Exchanger Espresso Machine Work?
– A heat exchanger espresso machine capitalizes on its heat source and then transfers the heat energy to another element. The steam is supplied by the boiler for milk and hot water. However, the temperature is perfected by the exchanger so that you get extraordinary shots.
How Important Is PID On Espresso Machine?
– PID controllers are important to render the users flexibility to increase or decrease the temperature. It plays a crucial role in retaining the maximum flavour of espresso.
How Long Does It Take An Espresso Machine To Heat Up?
– It varies from model to model. While cheaper machines don’t take any more than 5 to 10 minutes to heat up, their performance might be subpar. If you want a good quality espresso machine, you need to allow it as long as 20 minutes to heat up.
Nobody would want to have a cup of poorly brewed espresso because it doesn’t just go along with the taste buds! So, to get the most out of your preferred beverage, all you need is the best heat exchanger espresso machine.
We wanted to share our recommendations with you so you can work comfortably with the machine and end up getting the delicious cup every time. All of the above products have been carefully tested, which means there’s no room for error.
You probably have found one from the list by now, and if you did, then why not start making your very first espresso?
James is the owner of North. After working at Nick’s on Broadway, James moved to Red Fez and put his knowledge to the test with hot dog R&D. He assisted in the launch of Momofuku Ko in NYC In 2008. And a year later, James was part of Christina Tosi’s team for Momofuku Milk Bar as their bread baker.