An Ultimate List of Espresso Machine Accessories

An Ultimate List of Espresso Machine Accessories

Espresso is a fun, frustrating and beautiful coffee brewing experience. For the best espresso at home, the right accessories will help to elevate your experience, make your coffee machine even more beautiful and help alleviate some of the frustrations. The right accessories will elevate your espresso experience as well as the quality of the cup immensely. For the home barista that has turned this hobby into an obsession, a range of beautiful and helpful accessories will scratch that itch.

Must-Have Espresso Machine Accessories

  • Grinder

This blurs the line between a necessity and an accessory but had to make the list. If there is one accessory that you need to invest in it’s a quality burr grinder, the best within your budget. You can have the best machine on the market and every accessory under the sun but your espresso will only be as good as the grinder you use. 

A good quality burr grinder will produce a consistent grind size for each coffee ground helping you get specific flavours out of your coffee beans as well as stay consistent the next time you use it to help you get the same result every time. If there's anything you don't want in the art of espresso, it’s changing variables. 

If the price of a high-quality electric grinder is making you sweat there's the added option for hand grinders. Nowadays there are a variety of different hand grinder options that come in at a lower price that may fit into your budget. The downside to hand grinders is that it can add some extra time and effort in your routine. This is a great option if you are making one or two cups in the morning, however for cafes or households full of coffee addicts you may quickly find that an electric grinder may be worth the investment. Again, invest in the best quality hand grinder that you can afford to get the most out of your espresso.

  • Tamper

A tamper is another necessity, but one you can have a bit more fun with. The tampers that come with most espresso machines will generally work fine however a quality tamper gives you that satisfying ergonomic feel. If you enjoy making espresso as much as the rest of us coffee enthusiasts, it's a bit more fun using a tamper that you love. As well as feeling better it can elevate the appearance of your coffee station.

If you’re looking for something really nice, there are the options of precision tampers. These have been engineered to perfectly fit your portafilter tamping with every ground of coffee for an even extraction. 

  • Milk Jugs

This is another accessory that you can have a lot of fun with and elevate the appearance of your coffee station. Milk jugs come in a huge range of colours, shapes and sizes, from the basic stainless steel construction to custom colours, and you can even have your own logo printed on the side. Potential upgrades in your milk jug game include sharply spouted and tapered milk jugs giving you greater control and detail when pouring latte art.

  • Cleaning products

Possibly not the most fun or sexy part of espresso but that shouldn't take away from how important it is to keep your pride and joy clean. An espresso machine cleaner and a cleaning brush are essentials to keep your machine looking beautiful and working properly, your espresso tasting delicious and possibly prevent any maintenance costs in the future. Just dissolve the recommended amount of cleaning product into a blind filter using hot water from the espresso machine and backflush your machine once a week.

  • Electronic weighing scale

As espresso progresses so does the science and accuracy. One of the most influential improvements in espresso of recent time has been weighing espresso down to the tenth of a gram. Again this helps prevent the enemy of amazing espresso… inconsistency! A quality weighing scale can do more than just weigh out a consistent dose of espresso. Weighing scales geared towards espresso can help you track your entire shot, with inbuilt timers to track your rate of extraction and the output of espresso by weight.

  • Custom portafilters/naked portafilters

Let’s face it, nothing says I know more about espresso than an aftermarket portafilter to match your kitchen aesthetic. If there’s one thing that will take your espresso machine setup to the next level it’s this. They come in a variety of colours and materials such as wooden handles and gold, bronze and silver detailing. 

Arguably the sexiest thing about espresso is watching your perfectly dialled in espresso start to drip from a naked portafilter. Naked portafilters have an open bottom that allows you to see through to the bottom of the filter basket. This not only looks amazing but gives tons of feedback on how your espresso is extracting and how good your puck prep was. For example, if you tamp slightly unevenly a naked portafilter will show your espresso extracting more towards the low side. This makes naked portafilters an amazing tool to improve your espresso preparation and show you areas of possible channelling.

  • WDT

Anything that can give us an incremental gain in the quality of our espresso is seen as an absolute win. And something as simple and affordable as a little tool that evenly stirs your coffee grounds, is even better. WDTs (Weiss Distribution Tool) helps evenly distribute your coffee grounds prior to tamping. The theory is that some grinds that sit in your portafilter after grinding can clump together in denser clusters making it harder for water to brew through those areas. This tool has been increasingly popular since the introduction of naked portafilters which have shown how often channelling may occur.

  • Distributors

Another step you can take to ensure you have an evenly extracted espresso is the use of other tools such as distributors. An uneven mound of coffee grounds in the portafilter prior to tamping will cause the highest point to be tamped denser than the surrounding coffee. This creates a volume of coffee in the portafilter that water will struggle to move through. This creates an uneven extraction having varying amounts of water flowing through the puck.

  • Precision filter baskets/Shower screens

One of the cheapest and most effective upgrades you can do to take the quality of your espresso to the next level is to upgrade your portafilter basket and shower screen. It has been shown that many filter baskets and shower screens that come with espresso machines have less than ideal construction. To ensure coffee brews evenly through the espresso puck, water needs to be evenly distributed from the top of the espresso puck.

How to Choose the Right Accessories for Espresso Machine

Choosing the right accessories for your space ultimately depends on two factors. How crazy in love you are with espresso…and budget. The reality for most of us is that we do need to manage the potential money pit that is espresso making by choosing our accessories wisely.

The best way to manage this is by gradually choosing accessories that will help you fix any potential problems you are having. This means that you will not break the bank in one day but will help you understand exactly how each step improves the result in your cup.

Final thoughts

Let’s face it we love making espresso more than the 5 minutes it takes us every morning to make our favourite cup of coffee. And the process is something we would love to draw out and experiment a little with a little more every day. Accessories help us to achieve an espresso that the best cafe would be envious of and let us have a little more fun every morning. So if you’re serious about your coffee, look into investing in another accessory or two…or more.


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