As nice as automatic espresso machines are, sometimes it’s nicer to go old school and put in the work yourself. By that, I mean using a manual machine that requires you to do most of the work. If you are into these kinds of machines, you need to know all about the best lever espresso machines I have included in this roundup!

I am a person who likes to get their hands dirty now and then, so sometimes I set my automatic espresso machine aside and grab the lever one. Sure, it requires more precision, time, and effort, but the espresso shot that you get at the end is that much more enjoyable. If you have never tried a lever espresso maker before, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

My manual lever espresso machine reviews are of great models you can find on the market right now. Most of them include a lot of great features, while some are more affordable than others. To get all the deets on the machines included on my list, I recommend that you stay and read until the very end of this article!

TOP PICK

As my favorite lever espresso machine, I have to mention the Flair PRO 2 Lever Espresso Machine. This company has a lot of great lever machines, three of which are included on my list, but this PRO 2 has to be at the top of the list because of how simple, lightweight, and sturdy it is. It is also quite easy to clean, which makes brewing espresso that much more enjoyable.

My Reviews of the Best Lever Espresso Machines

Product Key Features
Best Overall Flair Espresso Maker PRO 2 (Black) - An all manual lever espresso maker with stainless steel brew head and pressure gauge
Flair PRO 2
  • Complete brew control
  • Removable steel spout
  • Stainless steel portafilter
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Flair Espresso Maker - Classic: All manual lever espresso maker for the home - portable and non-electric
Flair Classic
  • Durable build
  • Fully portable
  • Easy maintenance
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Best Budget Flair The NEO Espresso - An all manual lever espresso maker for the home, no pods and no plugs
Flair NEO
  • Flow-control portafilter
  • Strong base
  • Brews espresso with crema
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La Pavoni PC-16 Professional Espresso Machine, Chrome Black
La Pavoni Professional
  • Attractive chrome base
  • Steaming mechanism
  • Double shot brewing
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ROK EsspressoGC Explorer Edition
Rok Manual
  • Extended 10-year warranty
  • Sturdy build for lifetime use
  • Clip-on double adapter
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LEVERPRESSO HUGH V4 Lever Portable Espresso Maker, Double Espresso Shot with Ridgeless Portafilter Basket, Manually Operated, Perfect for Hiking & Camping (Pressurized Filter)
LEVERPRESSO HUGH V4 Lever Portable Espresso Maker
  • Two-lever design-9 bars of pressure
  • Stainless steel and aluminum body
  • Portable- smallest portable lever espresso machine
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Detailed reviews are the best thing to give you all the information you would ever need, which is why I have included such reviews of all six machines on my list. To determine which one of these six lever machines is the perfect one for you, go over each of these guides. Trust me, you will not regret it!

1. Flair PRO 2

Best Lever Espresso Machine
Flair Espresso Maker PRO 2 (Black) - An all manual lever espresso maker with stainless steel brew head and pressure gauge

Flair PRO 2

Key Features

  • 6 to 9 bars of pressure
  • Pressure gauge
  • Removable brew head
  • Stainless steel tamper and drip tray

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If you are someone who likes to take their espresso machine everywhere with them, this might just be the best option for you. This PRO 2 machine from Flair is the company’s best portable machine, designed to make espresso with ease and within a minute. Since the machine comes with its travel case, you do not need to worry about its storage while traveling!

On the side of this lever machine, you will see the custom pressure gauge that lets you check the pressure you are generating with the machine while pulling the shot. The pressure can go anywhere from six to nine bars, which is perfect for espresso. Once the shot is almost done, make sure that you release the lever and let it finish the brew on its own.

Pros

  • Portable, comes with a travel case
  • Quick shot brewing
  • Sleek aesthetics

Cons

  • Possibility of getting a wobbly unit

This machine allows you to be included in the brewing process from start to finish. If you think that pulling espresso with lever machines is hard, you need to check out this one. It will show you that Flair’s manual lever machines are some of the easiest, most convenient machines on the market.

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2. Flair Classic Lever Espresso Machine

Flair Espresso Maker - Classic: All manual lever espresso maker for the home - portable and non-electric

Flair Classic Lever Espresso Machine

Key Features

  • 6 to 10 bars of pressure
  • Detachable brewing head

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I love machines that don’t need to be plugged in at all times – they are so much easier to use, and you can use them just about anywhere. That is why I love this classic espresso machine from Flair. It’s a fully manual machine that you can operate using nothing more than the lever – no electricity needed at all!

As with all espresso machines, you will need to clean this machine after using it. The cleanup is very simple – all you need to do is detach the brewing head, detach all its parts, and rinse it with cool water. If any other parts need cleaning, you can give them a quick wipe and they will be good to go!

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Sturdy design
  • Comes with a custom travel case
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons

  • Controls might be difficult to master

This machine has a sturdy build, making it quite durable. If you manage to master the controls quickly, you will have no problem making espresso.

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3. Flair NEO Lever Espresso Machine

Best Budget
Flair The NEO Espresso - An all manual lever espresso maker for the home, no pods and no plugs

Flair NEO Lever Espresso Machine

Key Features

  • 6 to 9 bars of pressure
  • Flow-control portafilter
  • Standard brew head

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Even though the NEO has a very similar construction to the previously mentioned Flair espresso machines, the biggest advantage that this one has over the other two is the price. This is the most affordable lever machine that I have on the list, so if you are on a tighter budget, you should look into it. The brewing is simple and quick, and the espresso you get will be strong with beautiful crema!

Another great thing about this machine is the custom flow control filter, which, as the name suggests, restricts the flow of the brew water through the grounds. This is a handy feature for beginners because it simplifies the process and ensures proper pressure and extraction time without having to worry about dialing in your shot. This truly is a “no experience necessary” machine.

Pros

  • Easy cleanup
  • Simple to use, suitable for beginners

Cons

  • Machine might not be as durable as others

This fun and user-friendly machine is everything you need to pull a great shot of espresso. It does not come at a very high price, so if you are on a tighter budget, this machine can be a real lifesaver!

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4. La Pavoni Professional Lever Espresso Machine

La Pavoni PC-16 Professional Espresso Machine, Chrome Black

La Pavoni Professional Lever Espresso Machine

Key Features

  • Optimal brewing pressure
  • Pressure gauge is included
  • Water level glass
  • Single or double shot option

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This machine looks quite different from all the others I have mentioned so far. While the previous ones have very simple designs, this machine looks modern and sophisticated with its chrome exterior. The machine has a pressure gauge, water reservoir, as well as a lever that you can use to pull one or two espresso shots at the same time.

The company recommends that you heat the machine and attach the portafilter at first, then lift the lever to its top position before you pull the shot. If your shot seems a bit too short, you can always pull the lever once more to get a second dose of espresso.

Pros

  • Machine can heat the water on its own
  • Minimal effort brewing

Cons

  • Takes up to 8 minutes to heat up

This machine comes at a very high price, and it is not the most convenient one for people who are always rushing. You will have to wait anywhere from six to eight minutes for the machine to heat up before you can start the brew. Make sure you consider whether or not you have that much time to wait before you get the machine.

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5. Rok Manual Lever Espresso Machine

ROK EsspressoGC Explorer Edition

Rok Manual Lever Espresso Machine

Key Features

    • 5 to 10 bars of pressure

    • Portable and lightweight

    • Award-winning design

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Rok used to be very popular when they first introduced their manual lever espresso machine. Even though it was not as modern as others and it did not have a lot of features, it could still brew a great shot of espresso quickly. You have to preheat the water as well as the machine if you are looking to get a hot shot of espresso.

The metal construction of this machine ensures that you will be using it for years and years. The only problem that might arise is with the plastic pressure chamber, but that is something that you can replace whenever needed. Also, look into the updated version of the machine to get a pressure chamber made from glass composite.

Pros

  • Sturdy, ergonomic design
  • Extremely durable

Cons

  • Pressure chamber is plastic

A simple, affordable, classic machine, this Rok manual machine could be a perfect choice for you. If you want to get a raw espresso brewing experience, you need to look into this machine more closely.

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6. LEVERPRESSO HUGH V4 Lever Portable Espresso Maker

LEVERPRESSO HUGH V4 Lever Portable Espresso Maker, Double Espresso Shot with Ridgeless Portafilter Basket, Manually Operated, Perfect for Hiking & Camping (Pressurized Filter)

LEVERPRESSO HUGH V4 Lever Portable Espresso Maker

Key Features

    • 9 bars of pressure

    • Portable- smallest portable lever espresso machine on the market
    • Easy to Use
    • Eco-Friendly

 

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The Leverpresso Hugh V4 lever portable espresso maker is a game-changer in the world of on-the-go coffee brewing. Its innovative two-lever design offers coffee enthusiasts unprecedented control over the extraction process, ensuring a consistent 9 bars of pressure for every shot. This guarantees the extraction of a rich crema and the full flavor profile of freshly ground coffee beans, regardless of your location.

One of the standout features of the Leverpresso Hugh V4 is its portability. Weighing less than 1.5 lbs and boasting a compact design, it’s the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures, whether you’re camping, hiking, or simply enjoying a day out. It’s also eco-friendly. Operating entirely manually and modularly, it requires no batteries, plugs, or electricity to function. Crafted from high-quality, BPA-free materials such as stainless steel and aluminum, it’s both durable and environmentally conscious, minimizing its impact on the planet while delivering exceptional coffee.

In terms of performance, the Leverpresso Hugh V4 excels in delivering barista-quality espresso with minimal effort. With easy-to-use levers and a quick brewing time of under 3 minutes, it’s the ultimate combination of convenience and quality.

  • Machine is very quiet
  • Portable- smallest portable lever espresso machine on the market
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean

Cons

Absence of a pressure gauge leaves uncertainty about the extraction pressure, but the proof lies in the flavor of the espresso, which is consistently delicious, suggesting that a pressure gauge may not be essential.

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Things to Consider When Buying a Lever Espresso Machine

After looking into all these great lever espresso machines, you must be thinking that it will be difficult to choose just one machine for your home. I would like to make things a lot simpler for you by giving you a couple of pointers that you should focus on when buying a manual lever espresso machine. Let’s get into those pointers and see what you should know!

Prepare to Put in the Work

As you would expect, when you have a manual espresso machine on your hand, you will have to put in a lot of work. That includes grinding the beans, measuring them, tamping them, attaching the portafilter, creating the brewing pressure, and cleaning the machine afterward. This can be time-consuming, and it could require quite a lot of involvement on your part, so make sure that you are prepared to put in the work.

If you are not someone who likes to put effort or thought into their espresso, skip the manual machines and try to go for superautomatic ones.

Decide on Your Budget

There are a lot of great lever machines that come at lower prices, but there are some quality ones that have prices exceeding $1,000. Make sure that you think about your budget and decide how much you are willing to spend on the machine before hitting the stores.

Go with a Quality Machine

I recommend that you go with a machine with quality build and quality parts. That means the machine should be made from predominantly metal materials. At the same time, make sure that the machine is easy to use and easy to maintain or you will have to spend quite a while trying to master the controls on it.

FAQs About Lever Espresso Makers

As a final note, I want to mention a couple of the most frequently asked questions regarding this type of machine. I hope that this extra information will come in handy once you get your first lever espresso machine!

Are manual espresso machines worth it?

Manual espresso machines are worth it if you are someone who likes to be involved in the brewing process. This type of machine lets you generate as much pressure as you would like, and you also get to use the lever to generate it. The total involvement in the brewing process from start to finish will make you appreciate your espresso so much more, which is a fact that makes this machine worth it!

How do you clean a lever espresso machine?

The best way to clean a lever espresso machine is to focus on the brew head, removing all parts and rinsing them thoroughly before you reattach them. If there is a drip tray, water reservoir, or steam wand on your machine, you will need to rinse and wipe those parts as well. As for the construction, simply wiping it down will do the trick!

Level Up Skills with a Lever Machine

Thank you for sticking with me as I reviewed my list of the six best manual lever espresso machines. I would like to remind you to check out the Flair PRO 2 Lever Espresso Machine as it is the best machine of this kind currently available on the market. You can also look into the Flair NEO Lever Espresso Machine if you are on a tighter budget but still want to get a quality machine.

All of the machines in this guide are great, so I encourage you to give them a second look. Let me know in the comments below if you know any other great lever machines that I should know about. I will make sure to check them out as soon as possible!