You love coffee and want to get a machine to make it at home instead of standing in line at Starbucks. But you don’t know which one to buy, and it turns out there is a lot of diversity in the coffee world. So, which is better, a coffee maker or espresso machine? The espresso machine vs coffee maker debate has coffee connoisseurs divided worldwide. Each machine aims to give the best quality beverage, but it all comes down to personal taste. 

To help you decide between the two machines, we have complied with both the machines’ differences and benefits. This will assist you in making the most brilliant choice according to your taste.  

espresso machine vs coffee maker

What Is An Espresso Machine?

Espresso machines make the quintessential drink, loved by coffee drinkers all around the world. The technique of brewing in an espresso machine varies. It shoots near-boiling water through finely grounded coffee beans at nine bars of pressure. The end product is a “shot,” which has a rich, bold, and concentrated flavor. People drink the shot as it is or use it as a base for other drinks such as cappuccino, lattes, americanos, or ristretto. 

As compared to filter coffee, espresso is thicker and contains more caffeine. The shot includes three layers: heart, body, and crema. 


It is the bottom layer of the espresso shot. It is deep and rich brown, containing the bitter quality of the coffee. 


It is the middle layer of the espresso shot and is caramel brown. 


It is the top layer of the espresso shot. This sweet golden layer holds the aroma and the most delicate flavors of the shot. The crema helps create the coffee art often seen on top of cappuccinos and lattes. 

Different kinds of machines make espressos. Automatic and semi-automatic espresso machines can pull you a shot at the click of a button. In contrast, the manual espresso machine gives you more control over the brewing process.

An experienced user can make an excellent coffee with a manual machine, but an amateur user will need an automatic machine. A primary espresso maker will cost about $100-$200 while a more decent model is $500- $1500. 

Espresso Machine Pros & Cons:


  • An espresso machine can make rich espresso shots equal to the one you get at a coffee shop. 
  • Espresso machines can make specialty drinks such as cappuccino, lattes, or americanos.
  • Most espresso machines come with a streamer arm for heating and frothing milk. 
  • Espresso machines are high-speed. You can make a shot in 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • Some espresso machines have a built-in coffee bean grinder. 


  • Manual espresso machines are tricky to use
  • An espresso machine can be a surplus for you if you prefer filter coffee. 
  • Espresso machines are expensive. 

What Is A Coffee Maker?

A coffee maker is a relatively simple machine as compared to an espresso machine. Hot water runs over ground coffee, where it absorbed the flavor and oil of the beans. Then this mix drips through the filter into a mug or container, and there you have your regular cup of joe ready. 

High-end coffee makers also grind the coffee beans for you, but mostly the rest of the process is pretty much the same. You can control the strength of coffee by adjusting the number of coffee grounds used. Most coffee makers range between $20-$150. 

Coffee Maker Pros & Cons:


  • Coffee makes pull you a classic cup of black coffee to which you can add cream, milk, or sweetener according to your preference. The perfect option for those who like their coffee simple. 
  • Some coffee makers come with timers so that you can have your coffee ready by the time you wake up.
  • Most coffee makers can brew a large quantity of coffee at once.
  • Coffee makers are cost-effective.


  • You cannot make espresso or specialty drinks in a coffee maker. 
  • Drip coffee makers have a slow brewing process. 
  • The taste of the coffee gets ruined if left on a hot plate to keep warm.

Contrast Between A Coffee Maker And Espresso Machine 

Now that you know all the essential information about coffee makers and espresso machines, let us draw the significant differences. This final set of information can help you clarify the espresso machine vs coffee maker debate. 

The major difference lies in the brewing technique used.

Roasting of beans

The type of roasting depends on the brewing technique. These beans are lightly roasted for a filter coffee which preserves the acidic flavor. Whereas in espresso, the roasts are much darker and richer in taste, creating an intense flavor. 


Coffee makers use coarse and thick ground beans, while an espresso machine uses finely powdered coffee beans. 

Brewing time

Due to the finer grind, an espresso machine can make a shot in 20-30seconds. In contrast, the coffee maker relies on gravity to gradually drip the water through the filter. 


An espresso machine uses high pressure, whereas a coffee maker relies on gravity. 


A coffee maker is way cheaper and reasonably priced than an espresso machine. 

Caffeine level 

A coffee maker is capable of producing 95mg-165mg of caffeine per 225ml cup of coffee. The coffee can be further made stronger by using darker roasted beans and increasing brewing time. Espresso machines produce 375mg-520mg of caffeine per 225ml cup of coffee.

Take Away 

In this debate of espresso machine vs coffee maker, the conclusion is finally here. Suppose you are a coffee enthusiast that cherishes the authentic, rich, creamy coffee experience while loving to indulge in coffee art. Moreover, Coffee makers can only give you a simple cup of black coffee but are less costly. In that case, an espresso machine is the better option for you. It allows you to choose between various coffee styles depending upon your mood. However, if you like your coffee classic and classic, then a coffee maker is for you.