An espresso machine is a device that brews strong espresso coffee. In many instances, the machine has additional capabilities like having a wand to create a cappuccino with steamed milk.
The most common units are powered by steam pressure to push the liquid through the coffee, but the better versions have a pump that gives a steady pressure to extract the delicate essence of the ground coffee. Note that you should use an espresso grind for the best tasting coffee and to extract the maximum oils and flavors. You can use regular drip grinds but you'd be missing out on the true goodness of the coffee beans.
The cheaper machines work for a while but tend to break easily. Breville makes a decent machine with a built-in grinder and a steamer wand for around $500 and it's built like a tank. I'd recommend it if you're a coffee fanatic.
Iron Noder 2017