Looking back at 2023, it might go down in the Whole Latte Love history books as The Year of YouTube—we put out a lot of video resources: 32 produced videos on everything from dialing in espresso to properly aligning your portafilter plus 38 livestreams unboxing and setting up our most popular machines.
So, as we prepare for another year full of excellent espresso content, we wanted to take a moment to look back on the successes of 2023 in the hopes that we can build on them in 2024.
Without further ado, here are our top 5 most popular espresso machine videos of 2023.
#5: ECM Mechanika VI Slim In-Depth Review
If you want prosumer-level power without having to sacrifice half your kitchen counter, you’re going to absolutely love the Mechanika VI Slim from ECM. It’s got everything you could hope for in a heat exchanger: an E61 group head, stainless steel boilers, phenomenal steaming power, and optional flow control for perfect pre-infusions.
All of this in a petite 9.8” frame that will fit on even the most cramped countertop.
Check out our in-depth review of this petite but powerful prosumer!
#4: Best Heat Exchanger Espresso Machines of 2023
Espresso machines with heat exchange boilers are extremely popular, and for good reason. They bridge the gap between entry-level machines and those with dual-boilers.
While heat exchangers may not have quite the same level of precision temperature control as a dual-boiler, they have similar features and performance: namely, you can produce steam and hot water while brewing.
Our video on the best heat exchangers of the year covered the Bezzera BZ13, the Profitec Pro 400, Profitec Pro 500 PID, Bezzera Aria, and the ECM Mechanika Max and garnered over 46,000 views. Check it out!
#3: Best Dual Boiler Espresso Machines
Dual boilers are the powerhouses of the espresso machine universe. They offer the highest level of precision when it comes to temperature setting, and give you the ability to engage in milk frothing and espresso extracting simultaneously.
For anyone on the never ending quest for the perfect espresso extraction, a dual-boiler machine is a necessary tool.
In our video overviewing the best dual boilers of 2023, we cover the Profitec Pro 300, Profitec Pro 600, Lelit Bianca V3, Crem One Profiler, and the legendary ECM Synchronika (as well as the AMG edition). Check it out!
#2: Dialing In Espresso
The most accurate PID temperature controller in the world won’t mean much if you aren’t putting properly ground espresso beans in your portafilter. Ensuring you’re using the right grind size makes an enormous difference when pulling a shot.
Our customer service team gets a LOT of questions about this topic, and we’ve been directing them all to this video, which perhaps explains its popularity.
If you’re on the quest for the perfect extraction and you haven’t been dialing in your grinder consistently, you should probably give the video a watch too.
#1: Best Home Espresso Machine for Beginners
There must be a lot of folks out there looking to learn how to brew espresso at home: our video on the best entry-level espresso machines was the most popular of the year.
We overview the Breville Bambino Plus, Gaggia Classic Evo Pro, Rancilio Silvia M, ECM Casa V, and Profitec Go (the only entry-level espresso machine with a PID controller that doubles as a shot timer).
All of these are fantastic choices for the aspiring home barista at incredibly reasonable price points. Jump on the bandwagon and watch the video for yourself!
What is the most reliable espresso machine?
The most reliable espresso machine is going to be the one you take great care of. Routine maintenance is essential for ensuring your espresso machine lasts a long time. Independent of user input, however, the ECM Synchronika is the most reliable espresso machine. It’s easy to maintain and rarely requires serious maintenance.
How often do you dial in espresso?
You should dial in your grinder every time you change beans. But really, if you're paying attention to how your shots are brewing, you never stop dialing in your grinder. If your shot runs long, you’ll adjust a bit coarser; if it runs short, you tighten the burrs up.
Are dual-boiler espresso machines worth it?
If you like milk drinks (lattes, cappuccinos, etc.) and also care deeply about precisely controlling brew and steam temperatures, a dual-boiler espresso machine is not only worth it, it’s essential.
What is the difference between single-boiler and heat exchanger espresso machines?
A single-boiler espresso machine uses one boiler to produce both brew water and steam, meaning you can only do one at a time. A heat exchanger, on the other hand, has a separate chamber within the steam boiler for hot water, so you can brew and steam simultaneously, though they lack precise control of boiler temperatures.