Wirsh Home Barista Plus review: an affordable way to latté up your morning

You don’t have to splurge for a good morning espresso or latté

Wirsh Home Barista Plus
(Image: © Future / James Holland)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Wirsh Home Barista Plus fulfills its purpose wonderfully, offering an affordable way to make good espresso and lattés. It is a bit light on accessories, most notably the lack of a frothing pitcher, and has a little bit of a learning curve. However, if you want to elevate your morning coffee routine for not much money, it’s worth serious consideration.


  • +

    Good espresso with crema

  • +

    Very affordable for an espresso machine

  • +

    Does a good job frothing milk


  • -

    Doesn’t come with a frothing pitcher

  • -

    A little bit of a learning curve

  • -

    Warm cup function underwhelming

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The Wirsh Home Barista Plus is a solid espresso machine, capable of doing what you need to end up with a nice shot of espresso or smooth-tasting latté. Like any espresso machine, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Unlike some of the more premium models, it’s a bit light on included accessories – there’s no milk frother, for instance.

That said, if you’re a bit low on cash but still want the kind of results that the best espresso machines can offer, the Wirsh Home Barista Plus is more than capable. You don’t have to drop the same kind of money that premium models require as some can get over a thousand dollars.

Of course, you need to consider how involved you want to be in making your morning coffee as it takes a little more work than many of the best coffee makers. You’re making a single shot of espresso at a time, after all. But, if you like a more elevated coffee drink, then this might be right for you. Read on to find out.

James Holland
James Holland

James Holland has spent the last three years testing, reviewing, and writing about all sorts of tech, whether it be computers and related peripherals to smart home devices, robot vacuums, and kitchen appliances.

His work has been published in TopTenReviews, TechRadar, T3.com, and Android Police. When he’s not working, he’s playing music or at least pretending to. He also likes to eat questionable fusion-type foods.

James tested the Wirsh Home Barista Plus over the course of a few weeks, using it regularly to get a caffeine fix from both espresso shots and lattés.

Wirsh Home Barista Plus: Price and availability

The Wirsh Home Barista Plus has a list price of $299.99 and is available to buy direct from Wirsh or from Amazon.

Paying $299.99 for an espresso machine might seem pricey if you haven’t considered the competition. In fact, you can spend over a grand on some more premium models. However, this is an entry-level model so that price tag is on par.

That said, it is regularly discounted. At the time of writing it was available to buy for $159.99, shown as a saving of 46% on the Wirsh website whereas it didn't appear to be discounted on Amazon.

Score: 4 out of 5

Wirsh Home Barista Plus: First impressions

The Wirsh Home Barista Plus comes in a cardboard box not much bigger than the unit itself. There’s just enough space for the two pieces of styrofoam packing to keep the unit safe. The actual espresso machine is also wrapped in plastic. Getting it and its handful of accessories out of the box and onto the counter took maybe five minutes.

When I first unpacked the Wirsh Home Barista Plus, I was surprised by its slim profile. It didn’t require too much counter space, so I didn’t have to make a bunch of room in an already crowded kitchen for it.

On a similar note, going from box to countertop was easy as setup was about as simple as one could expect. There weren’t too many things to pull out of the box so it was just a matter of transferring the espresso machine and then washing the reservoir before use.

The gauge on the front above the controls gave me pause so I did take a look at the manual instead of diving right into use. And, if you end up with one of these, I encourage you to do the same. As I’ll discuss, there’s a small learning curve. However, this espresso machine is pretty straight forward and falls into the “what you see is what you get” camp.

Wirsh Home Barista Plus: Key specs

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Model no:Wirsh Home Barista Plus
Water tank42 ounces
Bean hopperNone
Dimensions13.0 x 6.5 x 12.1 in
Weight9.0 pounds
Accessories2-in-1 tamper, portafilter, single shot filter basket, double shot filter basket

Wirsh Home Barista Plus: Design

The Wirsh Home Barista Plus is an elegant looking piece of kit. It’s slim so it doesn’t take up a lot of space on the counter, and its stainless steel and black colorway, complemented by a pressure gauge makes for an attractive addition to any kitchen.

Wirsh Home Barista Plus

attachment opened (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

More specifically on its slim profile, Wirsh has placed the water reservoir in the back of the product to keep it to its 6.5-inch width. I also appreciate that that reservoir holds 42 ounces, so you can make quite a few shots of espresso before filling up.

Wirsh Home Barista Plus

Removable water tank (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

As this is an espresso machine, it also has a steam wand with an adjustable pressure dial for frothing milk. As far as the controls go, they all sit below that pressure gauge. There’s the power button, single shot, double shot, and steam. The pressure gauge is more than just for aesthetics as it will tell you if there’s too much or not enough pressure when making shots of espresso (which is related to the coarseness and amount of coffee ground used).

Wirsh Home Barista Plus

Pressure gauge and control panel (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Some other things to note: the top of the unit is of a cheaper plastic that automatically warms up whatever sits on top. This is meant to keep cups warm. Also, the drip tray lifts completely out so you can easily empty any spillover.

The Wirsh Home Barista Plus comes with a plastic free portafilter, a single shot filter basket, a double shot filter basket, and a 2-in-1 tamper to scoop coffee grounds and tamp them in properly into the portafilter. I do wish that you didn’t have to buy a frothing pitcher or espresso shot glasses separately.

Wirsh Home Barista Plus

Wirsh Home Barista Plus with accessories (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Score: 4 out of 5

Wirsh Home Barista Plus: Performance

Before we get into how well the Wirsh Home Barista Plus performs, it’s important for you to not confuse using this for your morning coffee as being the same as a bean-to-cup coffee maker, a single serve model like a Keurig, or a drip coffee machine. This baby is all manual. The only thing you don’t need to do every time is fill up the water thanks to that large water reservoir.

This means that there’s a little bit more work involved and that there’s a bit of a learning curve. You have to learn to put the proper amount of coffee grounds into the portafilter otherwise it won’t fully or easily close. Or, you’ll end up with a watered down or bitter tasting shot of espresso. You also need to learn the proper placement of the steam wand (and to press the steam button before turning the dial otherwise it will shoot out hot water instead of steam) in your milk to froth it properly.

However, it’s not as hard as I just made it sound. To start, the manual gives you some insight on how to read the pressure gauge to see if you’re putting too much or not enough coffee in the portafilter as well as if you’ve ground it fine enough or too finely. It also tells you how to place the steam wand as well as how to clear it out after each use for the best results.

After spending some time with the manual, it took me only one or two tries before making good tasting espressos and lattés. If you’re okay with the manual process, you’ll give up spending money at Starbucks just for a coffee fix. Once you get it, it’s easy.

The manual will also offer up directions for cleaning, which are easy, but have to be done every time. For instance, you need to use a damp cloth or towel on the steam wand while turning the dial to clear it of build-up. You also need to empty and wash the filter basket after every use. But, that's par for the course with a manual coffee machine like this.

The only real issue I take with how anything performed is the warming element on top. It doesn’t really get warm enough to seem to do much. Outside of that, this is a pretty solid espresso machine.

As far as volume goes, pulling an espresso shot is not particularly loud, coming in around 53 dB. Using the steam wand is not quiet, however, as it gets closer to 80 dB. While that’s a bit annoying, it’s not anything you haven’t experienced if you’ve waited for a latté at a café.

When you turn the Wirsh Home Barista Plus on, it does take a little over half a minute to heat up. The lights behind the buttons will continuously flash while the water heats up, and you’ll only be able to use the espresso machine in any capacity once the buttons stay lit up.

Score: 4 out of 5

Wirsh Home Barista Plus: taste test

Of course, the most important factor is going to be the quality of the beans that you use. However, as long as you use the right amount of coffee grounds and at the right consistency, it will produce a smooth shot of espresso. I also found using the steam wand to steam milk offers consistent results. 

Wirsh Home Barista Plus

Using the steam wand (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

To make myself a latté, I would steam a quarter of a cup of milk in a mug. Then, I would pull a shot of espresso into that same mug, since a frothing pitcher wasn’t included, to finish it off. Even without any sugar or syrup, I would end up with a smooth, rich tasting latté. You might have to play around with the ratio of coffee to milk to meet your preference. But, the Wirsh Home Barista Plus is capable if you’re willing to learn how to use it.

pouring an espresso shot with the Wirsh Home Barista Plus

Pulling a shot of espresso (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Should you buy the Wirsh Home Barista Plus?

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Score Card
PriceThe price is right here for an affordable espresso machine.★★★★
DesignIt’s slim and easy to use, though I wish a frothing pitcher was included.★★★★
PerformanceThe cup warming function is underwhelming, but otherwise this espresso machine performs as expected.★★★★

Buy it if...

You want to make a latté

If you want to start making espressos and lattés at home, the Wirsh Home Barista Plus is worth the consideration. Yes, there’s a learning curve. But, once you get it, you can be your own barista.

You’re on a budget

A lot of espresso machines are pricey. This one is not, so will save you quite a bit of money. And, that’s not even taking into account how much you save by not going to a café.

You don’t want to be overwhelmed

While there is a learning curve, it won’t take long to get the hang of it as this is a pretty straightforward unit. 

 Don’t buy it if…  

You want coffee the easiest way

This is not a bean-to-cup or single serve K-cup style coffee maker. While it’s not that much work to use, it takes more than the press of a button to get a finished drink.

You’re worried about it being generic

Finding this espresso machine on Aliexpress and seeing non-Wirsh models that look similar rings some alarm bells. If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve been able to test it, I might think twice. You might too.

How does the Wirsh Home Barista Plus compare?

If the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is anything to go by, getting a budget espresso machine that does a good job is not hard. It’s not as slim or discreet looking as the Wirsh Home Barista Plus, but it does have a lower starting price of $149.99.

If you want something slightly more automated, you’ll probably have to pay for it. However, if you do, we highly recommend the Breville Barista Express Impress. It not only does a great job making espresso and frothing milk, but it has a built-in burr grinder as well with some automation included.

How I tested the Wirsh Home Barista Plus

To test the Wirsh Home Barista Plus, I made single and double shots of espresso. I also used the milk frother with a few different types of milk. And, I used the two functions in conjunction to make lattés. Everything got a taste test, of course. And, I also tested the cup warming function.

See more about how we test.


James Holland has spent the last three years testing, reviewing, and writing about all sorts of tech, whether it be computers and related peripherals to smart home devices, robot vacuums, and kitchen appliances. His work has been published in Top Ten Reviews, TechRadar, T3.com, and Android Police. When he’s not working, he’s playing music or at least pretending to. He also likes to eat questionable fusion-type foods.