Coffee Machine Buying Guide

Cafe quality coffee? - yes you can :-)

Making cafe quality coffee at home is not hard. But you will need a traditional European coffee machine and grinder - just like your favourite barista uses but more compact and better suited to use in your kitchen or office.

Why buy from us?

We don't just sell coffee machines. The Jetblack Espresso team consists of technicians, parts specialists and barista trainers as well as product specialists. Our life-time after sales support is the best in the business. You can buy online with delivery, click and collect from one of our stores (or visit and browse when possible). We're available on the phone six days per week and via email and social media.

Choosing a coffee machine

We stock the biggest range of home espresso machines in the country from all of the top brands. A great starting point is to check our recommended models, then refer to our buyers guide below.



Types of Coffee Machines

Single Boiler

Single boiler coffee machines have one boiler that is used for making coffee and steam milk. Single boiler machines are great for tight spaces or making one or two coffees at a time. They can be a great option for people who like their coffee black or don't need to steam lots of milk.

Heat Exchanger

Heat exchangers have one boiler for steam and a "heat exchanger" tube for brew water. They are the "sweet spot" of Italian & German espresso machines in households where batches of milk coffees are the norm. They can do it all with a minimum of fuss, look great and perform well. There's usually no reason to "step up" to a dual boiler for the typical home barista.

Dual Boiler

Dual boiler coffee machines have a separate boiler for coffee and for steaming milk. This allows precise control of brew water temperature and higher steam pressure. These machine are perfect for the coffee enthuisiast. If coffee is as much a hobby as a daily ritual then a dual boiler may be perfect.

Choosing a coffee machine for home

European quality

There is little difference between European domestic coffee machines and their commercial stablemates which are found in cafes across the globe. In most cases, the domestic model is simply a scaled down version of the commercial machine with many common parts and the same design imperatives - the machine is built to last and built to make cafe quality coffee. They are not "appliances" designed to be thrown away after a few years of use.


Are manual coffee machines easy to use?

Yes! With a little "know-how" and we can show you how! 

Do I need a rotary pump?

You only need a rotary pump if you're going to plumb the machine to mains water.

Do I need a dual boiler?

You only need a dual boiler if:

  • you want to experiment with brew water temperature,
  • want a machine that heats up as fast as possible or
  • want the most steam pressure available

For making milk coffees at home a heat exchanger will do the job nicely.

Do Italian coffee machines heat up quickly?

Most Italian machines take between ten and twenty minutes to heat up. Dual boilers and single boilers generally heat up faster than heat exchangers. Most machines can be put on a timer to be ready first thing in the morning.