If you are looking for the absolute best, buy-it-once, own-it-forever espresso machine for small spaces, then the Olympia Cremina is the clear pick here. This machine uses a classic design that is almost unchanged since the 1960s and is incredibly compact, thanks largely to it’s incredible simplicity and lever design. And it’s silent too, since it doesn’t have a loud pump like most espresso machines.
The Olympia Cremina is a masterpiece, but it’s not at all cheap. If tou are looking for something a bit more reasonably priced than the Rancilio Silvia is (and for over a decade has been) a fan favorite. It’s not quite as compact as the Silvia, but it’s still very small — almost Nespresso small — and can make barista-level espresso.