How to Choose the Best Vintage Espresso Machine After 2020
Most espresso makers on the market today have either stainless steel or plastic housing. Some have brass boilers, but most in the low- and even mid-range have stainless steel.
La Pavoni PPG-16 Professional 16-Cup Espresso Machine
Our favorite for 2020
Elektra ART.SX Microcasa Semiautomatica Commercial Espresso Machine
A gorgeous machine
Mini Verticale Espresso Machine Finish: Copper and Brass
But if you’re looking for the absolute best espresso makers, you’ll find that the top models have both brass boilers and brass housing. Why? Because brass has excellent heat efficiency.
Brass has fantastic thermal conductivity and capacity, which means it heats up incredibly quickly – and it stays hot for longer than stainless steel. It has excellent corrosion resistance as well.
Buying a brass espresso machine is not like buying a conventional model. Here are some things to keep in mind as you compare models:
- Capacity: Consider the machine’s capacity when weighing your options. Choose a model that is capable of brewing just the right amount of espresso for your home, office or business.
- Pressure Gauge: High-end machines, like the ones on our list, typically have a built-in pressure gauge for your convenience. What this gauge does is allow you to determine whether or not you have the right amount of coffee and the right grind. The more resistance (i.e. coffee), the higher the pressure and the better the taste (up to a certain point of course). Opt for models that have a pressure gauge if you want to brew consistent, great-tasting espresso.
- Body Material: It’s important to remember that while you’re buying a brass espresso machine, the brass typically refers to the boiler material. All of the machines we’re reviewing offer a brass boiler. The exterior housing of the machine may be made of brass or a combination of other materials. Many of the models on our list are made of brass and copper. Determine what type of housing material you prefer.
The Top Brass Italian Espresso Machines Reviews
La Pavoni PPG-16 – The La Pavoni PPG-16 is a professional 16-cup espresso maker made of brass. This high-end espresso maker features a 38-ounce boiler made of solid brass to deliver quick heat-up times. An internal thermostat helps ensure that your espresso is brewed at just the right temperature.
A steam pressure piston and dual frothing systems put this machine ahead of the competition. With this one machine, you can make homemade lattes and cappuccinos that taste better than your local coffee shop.
Featuring beautiful rosewood handles, this espresso maker is made in Italy and even comes with a DVD.
If you want a fine Italian espresso maker that doubles as an art piece in your kitchen, the La Pavoni PPG-16 is a smart choice.
Elektra ART.SX Microcasa – The ART.SX Microcasa is a stunning espresso maker from Elektra that will add a touch of class to your kitchen. Built with copper and brass features, this espresso maker has a built-in heat exchanger system that ensures your espresso is brewed at the perfect temperature and extracts the most flavor.
Despite its complicated appearance, the ART.SX Microcasa is surprisingly easy to use. There are just three red switches to control its functions: power, boiler refill and coffee brew.
A pressure gauge and water level sight allow for easy brewing, while the large 10” diameter base adds stability to the machine.
Featuring a bold brass eagle on the top of the machine, this is one dignified espresso maker.
La Pavoni Professional Espresso Maker – La Pavoni’s Professional Espresso Maker features a copper and brass finish, and includes all of the features you would expect in a fine espresso maker.
Offering a 38-ounce boiler capacity, this machine features nickel-plated and solid brass boilers. It can also brew up to two shots of espresso at one time.
Piston operated, this espresso maker uses steam pressure and also offers a separate cappuccino spout. A mounted pressure gauge and internal thermostat are also built in for added convenience and better brewing.
Featuring a distinguished look with fine wooden handles, this professional-style espresso machine is ideal for coffee aficionados who will not settle for anything less than the best.
Elektra Mini Verticale Espresso Machine – The Mini Verticale Espresso Machine from Elektra is a truly beautiful machine that makes a delicious cup of espresso.
Standing tall at 27 inches, this machine offers simple operation with two control buttons on the left side of the machine: power and coffee.
A steam function is available, so you can make delicious espresso and cappuccinos right in your home kitchen. A compartment at the top of the machine also allows for easy and convenient storage of cups.
The brass boiler includes a thermostat and pressure switch for professional use.
If you’re looking for a fancy espresso machine, it’s hard to beat the Elektra Mini Verticale. Featuring a striking brass eagle on the top of the machine, this espresso maker will be the focal point in the room.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Right Brass Espresso Machine for You
Choosing an espresso machine is a bit more complicated when you’re looking at brass manual models. Automatic machines offer a lot of features and convenience, but manual machines require more work on your end, so you want to ensure that you can see important details, like the water level and pressure gauge.
What should you be looking at when buying a brass espresso machine? In addition to the points mentioned above, you’ll also want to consider:
- Boiler: A machine that markets itself as a brass espresso maker should have a brass boiler. Double check to make sure that that the boiler – not the housing – is made of brass. One of the models on the list above has boilers that are both brass and nickel-plated.
- Steam Wand: Most brass models will come equipped with a steam wand, which allows you to brew cappuccinos and lattes right in your kitchen. And when you’re working with a steam pressure piston, you’ll be able to use the steam function just after brewing the espresso.
- Controls: Brass manual machines should have simple controls, meaning that there should only be one or two buttons. Typically, you’ll find a power and “coffee” button. Some models also have a boiler refill button.
- Price: Finally, the last thing you want to look at is the price of the machine. Brass models are pricey, but worth the cost due to their heat efficiency and superior brewing results. With that said, you should still set a budget and find the best quality model that you can afford.