If you are in the market for a cost-effective espresso machine than this article is for you! It’s more than likely that during one’s search for an espresso maker they often find machines that cost between $1000-$6000. In that, don’t be discouraged. While those machines are phenomenal, one can also find espresso makers for less than $500 that are impressive as well.
What Can You Expect?
Buying an espresso maker is one of the most exciting experiences for the coffee-lover, especially with a budget of $500. There is such a thrill in buying a high-quality and caliber espresso maker. At this point in the espresso machine industry, these machines come provided with everything you need for the perfect cup of coffee and espresso.
With that being said, it is important to know the differences in the variation of prices and features to know what you are actually buying. In comparison to other products, espresso machines that are under $500 are considerably different than those more expensive.
First and foremost, when it comes to these kinds of espresso machines, what you’re purchasing is a machine that can produce a high-quality espresso shot, without all of the bells and whistles that more expensive machines can provide. In fact, many espresso-loves refer to this budget as the “sweet-spot” of espresso machines.
In that, each machine comes with just enough features to create the perfect espresso shot but also not too many features where the machine becomes complex. For an example, machines that are above $500 will come with features such as: touch-screen LCD displays and fingerprint identification.
In the $500 bracket, you can expect machines that come with manual frothing and steaming wands, cup warming features, between 15-17 ½ bar pumps and compact and light-weight sizes. In unique machines, one might find a machine that comes with a built-in grinder feature. If this is not the case, it is imperative the user buys a market-grade grinder for their espresso. Moreover, it will be rare to find any super automatic espresso machines in this bracket; however, there are a few and you will see one of them in this article.
Reflecting on the price tags and features, one of the gravest differences in the technology advancement and features. The espresso shot will be nearly the same. Many of the pressure systems that produce high quality or barista style shots will be featured in this budgeted price. With that being said, if you are seeking a machine purely for the art of a shot of espresso these are the best machines for you.
The Top-Rated Espresso Machines Under $500
Breville BES840XL The Infuser Espresso Machine (B0089SSOR6)
One of the most impressive top-rated espresso machines under $500 is the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine. Among the favorite of espresso lovers, this is the perfect machine for the avid espresso drinker. Built to compliment any kitchen, this machine will entrance any user with its list of notable features.
Here is a run-down of the features of the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine:
- Equipped with a pre-infusion feature. This feature applies low water pressure at the start of the brewing process, which assists in ensuring the perfect extracted shot of espresso.
- A 1600W thermocoil heating system that monitors and control the temperature between the desired temperatures between 195-200 degrees.
- Equipped with an auto purge feature. This feature automatically will adjust the water temperature after the process of steaming.
- Numerous accessories that every espresso-lover would enjoy including: single and dual wall filter baskets, coffee coops, stainless steel mug, easy cleaning accessories, and water filters.
- The Brevil Infuser Espresso Machines comes built with an impressive 54 mm stainless-steel portafilter.
- One of the most important facets of an espresso machine is the pressure. With this machine, it comes built with pressure gauges, which allow the user to monitor the pressure of the espresso.
Philips Saeco RI9737/21 Vienna Plus Automatic Espresso Machine (BOO2y3BFUo)
Out of the machines on this list, the Philips Vienna Plus is easily one of the most unique. It is a super automatic espresso maker with the features of espresso makers well beyond this budget. With the Philips name tag on it and the list of features, this is one of the highest top-rated espresso machines in the market.
- If you are seeking a durable and compact machine that is built to last, this one of the top-rated espresso machines of 2017 under $500.
- Many espresso lovers have pinpointed that one of the biggest features of this machine is its aesthetically pleasing matte black exterior.
- This machine was created with YOU in mind. With intense customizability features, this allow the user to determine the strength and consistency of every shot.
- Built with the Philips “Aroma System”. This feature is the process of hot water being injected into the grounds prior to extraction. This assist in providing a full-bodied shot of espresso.
- Built with the “OptiDose” feature. This advancement of technology allows the user to select how many grams of espresso grounds they desire.
- If you are a milk frother or steamer, this machine comes built with a Pannarello steam wand. This is perfect to generate the richest and creamiest foam on top of every shot of espresso.
- Before you can even begin, you will learn there will never be messes! Built with an integrated conical burr grinder, there will no longer be beans jumping around on the kitchen floor.
- 15-bar pressure pump, which is what assist in making the perfect shot of espresso.
- One of the most important questions that many people have when it comes to an espresso machine is how easy it is to clean. This machine was created to save you time cleaning. It is not only easy to clean, it is also very easy to use.
Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine (B0001KOA4Q)
The Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine is the third rated best espresso machine under $500. This is pretty unanimous amongst espresso lovers. It is one of the heaviest and largest machines in the tier and can be considered an ‘espresso beast’. With a beautiful design and a list of impressive features, this machine stands on its own two feet.
- For those who are seeking an espresso maker built with efficiency and speed and mind, this the perfect machine. With a 3-way solenoid valve, the system that triggers the pressure and the grouphead function allow for one of the fastest extraction processes in the market.
- Built with an extremely large 72oz removable water tank. This is the perfect feature for someone who wants to store water and not constantly refill their machine.
- Unlike many others under $500, this machine comes with a powerful 17 ½ bar pump AND one of the highest-grades of boilers. You want a barista shot of espresso, look no further!
- Built with the luxuries of a milk frother and steamer. Every single shot made from the Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine can come with the richest and creamiest foam made just by you.
- High quality and design were essential to the build of this machine. Built from the highest-grade of materials, the grouphead was developed from marine-grade brass to handle the intense levels of pressure and temperature.
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker (Booo2VAFWA)
If you picked up on it, Breville is featured on this list, twice. There is a reason why. Breville is easily one of the best and top-rated brands of espresso machines. In fact, you can’t go wrong with ANY Breville machine. With that being said, this machine comes packed with a beautiful design and great features for the at-home barista.
- One glance at this machine and you will be sold. With a beautiful stainless steel design, this machine will compliment any kitchen.
- The Breville Café Roma comes built with a 15-bar thermoblock pump. This is perfect for the at-home barista seeking a rich and thick shot of espresso.
- Built with an impressive dual-wall filter system. This is perfect to create restaurant worthy crema.
- An award-worthy forth enhancer. If you are a froth lover, look no further!
- Every single shot of espresso will be at the perfect temperature given the cup-warming plate feature.
- Every purchase comes with two stainless steel espresso cups and saucers.
- If you have always dreamt of frothing like a Barista at Starbucks, this is your opportunity. This machine comes with a stainless steel frothing pitcher.
- Top of the line cleaning materials, which create and easy-to-use and clean experience.
- Very compact and lightweight.
De’Longhi EC682 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine (BooKA8YC6A)
Another leader in the industry for espresso machines is De’Longhi. While the machine looks simple, it’s sleek design is unparalleled in features. This machine was built to impress all espresso lovers and provide barista style shots of espresso and froth at an extremely cost-effective price. If you want rich and decadent shots of espresso with a compact machine, this is the way to go.
- This machine is extremely small. In fact, it will only take up 6 inches of space in the kitchen.
- Sleek and modern design that will compliment at kitchen.
- Built with thermos block technology, this machine will heat up to the perfect and desirable temperature in less than 40 seconds. In comparison to other machines, this machine is considerably fast.
- With the impressive De’Longhi manual Cappuccino Frothing system, each shot will come with the tastiest, richest and thickest foam.
- The machine has a built in automatic flow stop.
- The buttons on the display are a built in illuminated control panel. This is perfect for late night or early morning when you can’t see the buttons. It also adds a nice touch to any kitchen.
- If you look on top of the machine, one might notice an interesting feature. It is in fact a built-in cup warmer on top of the machine.