Trendy Built-In Espresso Machines for a Kitchen Upgrade

Remodeling a kitchen adds value to your home. It improves your quality of life, it shows off your design abilities and it allows you to upgrade your kitchen with energy-saving and compact appliances! Why stop at your coffee maker? So, if you’re planning to put up that dream coffee bar you’ve always wanted in time for the next party, take a look at what features a built-in coffee machine should have. We hope this will help you figure out just what to look for when you build that espresso machine in your kitchen.

What is a Built-in Espresso Machine?

A built-in espresso machine prepares coffee consistently in the touch of a button or two. With these machines, you can prepare a roast from bean to cup without user intervention. It’s a super-automatic coffee machine that you can program today and wake up with tomorrow -with little to zero prep time, no fussing over grinds, or rearranging your countertops on a busy morning. 

Its functionality is comparable to compact and semi-automatic coffee machines. Yet, what makes built-in espresso machines advantageous is its ability to produce the same quality of coffee from day one, no matter how frequently you brew coffee.

Why have a Built-in?

Buying a built-in espresso machine is  a true luxury not a necessity. It’s only essential  for die hard coffee lovers who want to drink ONLY the best coffee at home. This is a DIY coffee experience for those with little care for kitchen real estate, electric bills, or making the rest of us look petty 🙂 

At first glance, the cost upfront of buying a built-in might be a bit high. Yet, if you were, to sum up, the total expenses you make from buying coffee from a cafe and restaurant, you’d quickly realize you’re spending a lot of money for a coffee and never without a special trip out of the house.

Built-in espresso machines offer features and functions to brew a delicious coffee comparable to barista-made coffee at a lower cost. Best of all, it’s a valuable trade-off because you get most of the functionality that a professional barista has and that will yield consistent, delicious, coffee plus a nice learning curve for you to master the art of espresso. 

Built-in Espresso Machine VS Regular Coffee Machine

Built-in espresso machines have the same goal as regular coffee machines – to prepare a delicious coffee anytime you want. Both devices have bean hoppers where you can store your favorite beans. It also has built-in grinders. You can pick between ceramic burr and conical burr grinders.

Some coffee machines also have a bypass dozer if you prefer a pre-ground coffee to make espresso shots. Built-ins and regular espresso machines also have separate milk and water tanks you can detach. Most of their removable parts are dishwasher-free.

In terms of procedure, a built-in coffee machine and a regular espresso maker brew and prepares froth similarly. To brew your morning roast, you feed the grinder with coffee beans. These beans are ground to its finest grind size before it is delivered to the brew group. The ground beans are compressed with hot water forced through the beans, leaving the coffee under pressure.

Once the flavor extraction is done, your fresh coffee is delivered from the spout to your cup. However, the procedure is not the same with semi-automatic machines since some brands will require a basic skill to achieve that perfect brew. 

Kitchen Design VS Mobility

An integrated coffee machine gives a custom touch to your kitchen. Most built-in coffee machines have a contemporary look and finish that fits well with a modern kitchen design. So, if you’re considering a kitchen renovation, it is best to consult a contractor on where you can place the machine for coffee. Keep in mind, a high end machine will require its own water line or a separate, heated water tank. 

On the other hand, regular coffee machines can be stored anywhere. It’s a recommended machine for those who have little space as most coffee makers were designed for homes with small kitchens.

Safety in Built-in VS Regular Coffee Maker

You might have encountered the horrors of brewing coffee with an integrated coffee machine on the internet, but don’t be discouraged. It can also happen to regular coffee makers. Accidents occur if the machine is mishandled, neglected, or damaged. 

Mechanical and electrical problems also transpire in other home appliances. Instead of applying DIY repairs for your built-ins and regular coffee machines, it’s best to contact the technical support. Don’t forget that these machines come with a warranty and a website with easy to understand tips, recommendations, and instructions.

Must-have Features 

If you’re torn between these two coffee makers, here are some considerations that you can weigh in to better your choices:

Integration

Built-in coffee machines can integrate into any kitchen design as it displays a modern look. It offers easy installation to the surrounding kitchen fixtures since most of these coffee machines are made of top quality materials that contribute positively to the overall kitchen design.

Likewise, these sophisticated built-in coffee machines create a streamlined look which captivates the minimalist concept that is clutter-free and countertop space-saving. Most importantly, you can find built-in coffee machines in different finish options, with stainless steel as the most popular finish for its simplicity.

Milk Frother

What makes a coffee machine extra special is its ability to produce a rich, creamy froth. Any coffee machine can do it, but built-in coffee machines can prepare it consistently no matter how many times you use it. The secret? It’s in the boilers.

Integrated espresso machines use steel boilers because they can absorb and retain heat. It enables you to brew a large number of shots because the boiler will not cool quickly. At the same time, you can steam milk and produce froth simultaneously while maintaining the milk’s temperature at its best.

So when you use a UHT milk to create a creamy foam with a built-in coffee machine, expect its quality to liken the froth often prepared by professional baristas.

Adjustable Coffee Grinder

The most flavorful coffee has a preferred grind quality. There’s no one-grind-fits-all. So if you want to buy an espresso machine to use frequently and produce the same quality of coffee, the built-in coffee machine is your sure bet.

If you were to choose between a coffee maker with a built-in grinder or not, the definitive answer is yes! Get one with a built-in grinder. That’s because these machines are manufactured by trusted brands that know more about coffee, which is their basis for the design and functionalities of their coffee maker.

Removable Water Tank with In-line Water Supply

Recent models of built-in coffee machines come with a removable water tank with inline water supply. It is a must-have integrated coffee machine to include in your kitchen renovation if you can’t go a day without espresso.

A direct connection to a water supply in your espresso machine eliminates the need to frequently refill the water tank of your fully automatic coffee maker. It secures you from possible accidents from water spillage, especially on internal electrical components. 

Also, it prevents water from sitting too long in the water tank because an inline water supply guarantees fresh water for a freshly brewed coffee. However, if you’ll be opting for an espresso machine with inline water supply, make sure that the water quality is “soft” or between 0 ppm and 50 ppm. That’s because hard water can damage an espresso machine.

Easy to Clean

Fully automatic and semi-automatic built-in coffee makers are high-end kitchen appliances, but it doesn’t mean that these are hard to maintain. They are easy to clean and maintain as each, and every automatic coffee maker has a descaling program and removable parts. Best of all, some of these parts are dishwasher-safe.

Descaling program in espresso machines is an essential feature because it removes mineral build up in the brew group of the device. Keep in mind that all water contains minerals that pass through the coffee machine. It can accumulate in the heating component of the coffee machine, which is called limescale. If not removed, it can affect the taste of your coffee.

Warranty

A warranty is an essential feature to look at coffee machines because it shows how much manufacturers care about their customers’ experience and products. You can use the warranty for repairs or replacement if something goes wrong with the product you’ve purchased. Above all, you are rest assured that your machine investment can last for years.

Our Favorite Built-In Espresso Machines

So if you’re looking for the best built-in coffee maker for your kitchenette, here’s what Big Cup of Coffee recommends.

Best Quality – SMEG CMSU6451X Stainless Automatic Coffee Machine

The CMSU6451X by SMEG is a stylish, functional, and fully automatic built-in coffee machine. It can prepare regular or double coffee and milk-based coffee drinks, including cappuccino and macchiato. It also has a hot water function, descaling program, and frothing system. 

Ultimately, it’s an espresso machine with a classic look and finger-proof stainless steel finish that can be operated with a multilanguage LCD.

Features

  • Versatility: coffee maker, espresso maker, cappuccino maker, hot water boiler
  • Operation: Has a digital control panel with programmable settings to customize volume, temperature, strength, and aroma.
  • Customization: Allows the user to adjust the coffee intensity (5 levels) and coffee temperature(3 levels)
  • Grinder: Has built-in and adjustable coffee grinder
  • Water Tank: Not plumbed. The tank is removable and has to be filled manually.
  • Technology: Bean-to-Cup Brewing System

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 15 x 23.4 x 17.9 inches
  • Weight: 65 lbs
  • Pump Pressure: 15 bars
  • Tank Capacity: 1.8 liters
  • Programmable automatic switch-on: Yes
  • Automatic rinsing: Yes
  • Automatic descaling: Yes
  • Automatic energy-saving stand-by: Yes
  • Programmable control panel: Yes
  • Coffee bean container: Available (up to 220g)
  • Separate container for ground coffee: Available/Detachable
  • Separate container for milk: Available
  • Coffee Dispenser: Adjustable
  • Frothing nozzle: Available
Top Quality
Smeg 24" Built In Fully Automatic Coffee Machine with Milk Frother, Stainless Steel
$4,236.50
  • Makes one or two cups at the same time
  • Adjustable coffee intensity: extra light, light, medium, strong, extra strong
  • Coffee temperature adjustable by 3 levels
  • Adjustable coffee grinder
  • Removable water tank


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09/26/2020 05:33 pm UTC

Best Big Brand – Bosch BCM8450UC Built-In Coffee Machine

The BCN8450UC by Bosch is a UL-listed sleek built-in coffee machine. It has a large AV2 TFT color touch screen interface for customizing your drinks. It displays a sophisticated stainless steel rotary selection and dial settings for the 14 modes. All of its containers are hidden behind the front door, with the water tank that can be refilled manually.

Features

  • Versatility: coffee maker, espresso maker, cappuccino maker, hot water boiler
  • Operation: Has a digital control panel with programmable settings to customize shots, modes, and brewing preparation.
  • Customization: Allows the user to save up to eight beverage profiles for one-touch preparation; has 14 coffee mode preparation 
  • Grinder: Has built-in ceramic coffee grinder
  • Water Tank: Not plumbed. The tank is removable and has to be filled manually.
  • Technology: SilentCeramic Drive Grinding System, AromaPro, CoffeeSensor, HomeConnect App, Nest Integration, Remote Monitoring

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17 11/16” x 21 31/32” x 23 33/64” (inches)
  • Weight: 71 lbs
  • Pump Pressure: 19 bars
  • Tank Capacity: 2.41 liters
  • Programmable automatic switch-on: Yes
  • Automatic rinsing: Yes
  • Automatic descaling: Yes
  • Automatic energy-saving stand-by: Yes
  • Programmable control panel: Yes
  • Coffee bean container: Available
  • Separate container for ground coffee: Available/Detachable
  • Separate container for milk: Available
  • Coffee Dispenser: Adjustable
  • Cup size: Adjustable
  • Frothing nozzle: Available
Top Brand
BOSCH Built-In Espresso Machine
$2,964.00

BCM8450UC 24 UL Listed Built-In Coffee Machine with

  • Home Connect App - The Bosch Home Connect App is a remote control, product manual, shopping assistant, and repair technician all in one. Simply download to your smart device to enjoy greater convenience across all your Bosch appliances.
  • Remote Monitoring - Keep track of what's in the fridge from your grocer's aisle, how much time is left on that roast in the oven, or if it's time to add the next load of laundry right from your smart device. Remote Monitoring will always keep you in the know
  • Nest Integration - Integrate your Nest products with your connected appliances to give you peace of mind. Keep an eye on your appliances while you're away, receive a notification if your oven is still running, or turn off your appliances remotely.
  • 14 Modes - Within Minutes, you can prepare Espressos, Cappuccinos, Lattes, Macchiato & More. You can prepare your favorite coffee drink like a professional barista with a simple touch of a button.
  • Works with Nest, Amazon Alexa and Works with Amazon Dash Replenishment


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09/26/2020 05:34 pm UTC

Our Favorite Espresso Machine Alternatives

If you don’t like having a built-in espresso machine, have a limited space to spare or fancy something with more versatility, check out these options Big Cup of Coffee recommends.

Best Overall Value – De’Longhi ESAM3300 

The De’Longhi Magnifica is a great small appliance you can add to your kitchen. Don’t be fooled by its size because this compact super-automatic machine features programmable menu settings, large water reservoir, a bean-to-cup brewing system, removable parts, and automatic descaling program. Best of all, it cost a fraction of a high-end built-in espresso machine price.

Features

  • Versatility: coffee maker, espresso maker, cappuccino maker, hot water boiler
  • Operation: Has digital control panel with programmable menu settings for one-touch brewing
  • Customization: Can pause brewing cycle and adjust coffee volume, strength and grind size
  • Grinder: Has built-in, conical burr grinder
  • Water Tank: Not plumbed. The tank is removable and has to be filled manually.
  • Technology: Patented Cappuccino System, Direct-to-Brew System, Double-Boiler System, Instant Reheat Function, Tubeless System

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11 x 15.3 x 14.4 inches
  • Weight: 23.2 lbs
  • Pump Pressure: 15 bars
  • Tank Capacity: 60-fl
  • Programmable automatic switch-on: Yes
  • Automatic rinsing: Yes
  • Automatic descaling: Yes
  • Automatic energy-saving stand-by: Yes
  • Programmable control panel: Yes
  • Coffee bean container: Available (up to 12 oz)
  • Separate container for ground coffee: Available
  • Separate container for milk: Yes
  • Coffee Dispenser: Adjustable
  • Cup size: Adjustable
  • Frothing nozzle: Available

See our full review of De’Longhi Magnifica if this automatic coffee machine meets your requirement.

De'Longhi ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
$529.95

Capable of preparing espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte drinks, and more, this super-automatic machine features a unique beans-to-brew system that grinds coffee beans right before brewing for exceptionally aromatic espresso. The appliance comes equipped with two stainless-steel boilers that provide excellent heat distribution, as well as an instant reheat function, which keeps the machine at an ideal temperature, no matter how long the interval between cups. In addition, its quiet burr grinder automatically grinds beans and can be set to a specific grinding level, but the unit can also be used with ground coffee if preferred.

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09/26/2020 10:32 am UTC

Best Rated – Philips Carina 1200-Series

If you love drinking silky smooth cappuccino or latte macchiato, the Philips Carina 1200-Series is the best espresso machine with a milk frother for you. The Philips Carina is an all-in-one cost-effective coffee machine with AquaClean technology, front-loading reservoir, and Pannarello Steam wand for that rich and creamy foam.

Features

  • Versatility: coffee maker, espresso maker, cappuccino maker
  • Operation: Brew coffee and create milk foam with a one-touch intuitive LED display.
  • Customization: Users can adjust the coffee dose, shot time and temperature
  • Grinder: Adjustable, built-in ceramic burr grinder.
  • Water Tank: Not plumbed. The tank is removable and has to be filled manually.
  • Technology: ThermoBlock system, AquaClean, Classic Frothing System

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 14.5 x 17 inches 
  • Weight: 18 lbs
  • Pump Pressure: 15 bars
  • Tank Capacity: 1.8 liters
  • Programmable automatic switch-on: No
  • Automatic rinsing: Yes
  • Automatic descaling: Yes
  • Automatic energy-saving stand-by: Yes
  • Programmable control panel: Yes
  • Coffee bean container: Available (up to 10 oz)
  • Separate container for ground coffee: Available/Detachable
  • Separate container for milk: Available
  • Coffee Dispenser: Adjustable
  • Cup size: Adjustable
  • Frothing nozzle: Available (Pannarello Steam wand)
Best Rated
Philips Carina 1200-Series Compact Super-Automatic All-In-One Programmable Espresso Machine w/Steam Wand -
$499.00
  • EP1220/04
  • Seattle Coffee Gear Exclusive w/ 2 Year Philips Direct Warranty! All-In-One - The Carina 1200 grinds, brews, and froths—all in a compact coffee package.
  • Panarello Steam Wand - This auto-frothing wand makes the foam for you, while still giving you control over temperature and texture.
  • Programmable Drinks - Each drink button can be preset to your favorite recipe, and changed on the fly with handy dose and volume buttons.
  • AquaClean Compatible - Add Philip's smart-sensing water filter to track usage—letting you go up to 5000 cups without the need to descale. (SOLD SEPARATELY)
  • Front Loading Water Tank - Oft-overlooked, the Carina's 1.8L slide out water reservoir is refillable without having to move your machine.


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09/26/2020 08:31 pm UTC

Best Low Cost – Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse

You can skip the lines from cafes if you’re craving for a delicious cappuccino with Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse. This espresso and cappuccino machine creates java-quality drinks with rich and strong flavors and creamy and airy milk foam. 

Features

  • Versatility: coffee maker, espresso maker, cappuccino maker, 
  • Operation: One-touch control panel and dial-turning
  • Customization: Allows users to customize shots and adjust frothing
  • Grinder: Built-in burr grinder
  • Water Tank: Not plumbed. The tank is removable and has to be filled manually.
  • Technology: Thermocouple heating system, one-touch descaling program

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13 x 10.6 x 14.3 inches
  • Weight: 15.92 lbs
  • Pump Pressure: 19 bars (Italian pump)
  • Tank Capacity: 650 ml both for milk and water reservoir
  • Programmable automatic switch-on: No
  • Automatic rinsing: No
  • Automatic descaling: No
  • Automatic energy-saving stand-by: Yes
  • Programmable control panel: Yes
  • Coffee bean container: Available
  • Separate container for ground coffee: Available/Detachable
  • Separate container for milk: Available
  • Coffee Dispenser: Adjustable
  • Cup size: Adjustable
  • Frothing nozzle: Available
Best Low Cost
Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Maker and Cappuccino Machine
$259.99
  • 19 Bar Italian pump delivers ideal pressure to extract robust coffee flavors
  • Easy 1 button interface takes the guesswork out of controlling the espresso maker
  • Select single or double shots of espresso with a simple 1 button press
  • Thermocouple heating system evenly heats the water for piping hot drinks
  • Automatic milk frother whips any milk into a light, creamy froth
  • Removable milk reservoir is easy to fill, clean and store leftover milk in the fridge
  • Cup tray adjusts to conveniently fit tall and short mugs
  • Note: Instruction manual must be followed to prime unit before using for first time


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09/26/2020 07:34 pm UTC

Our Takeaways

Built-in espresso machines are a must-have kitchen upgrade if coffee and milk-based coffee drinks play an important role in your morning routine and socializing with family and friends. It offers convenience and consistency in brewing delicious coffee; it also adds value to your home with its modernized look.

These sophisticated coffee appliances might be expensive upfront, but they pay forward with cafe-caliber coffee beverages you’d otherwise buy from coffee shops and restaurants. You’ll can enjoy any coffee drink you crav- anytime in the comfort of your home with this integrated coffee machine. Above all, it enables you to prepare the freshest brew with gusto and impress guests at your next party.

Yet, if you find built-in coffee machines too fancy for your budget or cannot spare a small space for that dream coffee bar. You can always opt for compact super-automatic coffee machines. Look for the features that can meet your expectations and can bring an enjoyable coffee experience to your mornings, your parties, or your personal preferences.

Are you planning to upgrade your kitchen and install your dream coffee bar? What coffee brewing features are you looking for? Please share with us your coffee machine installation plans and experiences at the comments below.

Cheryl De Torres

Cheryl De Torres

Author

Writing content for 3 years and it wouldn't be possible without a cup of coffee in the morning. And yes! The stronger, the better.

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