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 upwards of $1000. You can indeed find good espresso machines for less than $500.
We’ve done the hard work for you and listed our 6 picks for the best espresso machine under $500, which you can read more about below.
Best Espresso Machine Under $500: Our top 6 choices
1. Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine
This espresso machine is among the top rated espresso machines under $500. If you are an avid espresso drinker, this machine is for you. The machine, which has a list of notable features with the ability to entrance any user, is built to compliment just about any kitchen.
Instead of starting with bursts of high pressure, this machine starts by applying steady, low pressure so as to expand the grinds gently. This helps in filling in any irregularities or cracks that are present in the coffee puck before the application of full pressure.
By applying even pressure to all the parts of the coffee puck, an optimal flavour is extracted. This is how the machine manages to make that excellent espresso with a well-balanced flavour. For a well-balanced flavour to be achieved, the flavour has to be drawn evenly from all the coffee grinds.
For optimal espresso extraction, there is an auto purge which automatically adjusts the temperature of the water after steaming.
Also, for even extraction, the pre-infusion function applies a low water pressure at the beginning of the extraction so that the grinds are gently expanded for the even extraction.
The 1600w thermo coil heating system that features an integrated stainless steel water coil accurately controls the temperature of the water. This espresso machine comes with the following accessories:
- Single and dual wall filter baskets
- Stainless steel jug
- Easy cleaning accessories (cleaning disc and tablets)
- Coffee scoop
- Water filter with holder
There is a ‘Black Plastic’ insert inside the portafilter bowl whose purpose is to reduce the heat loss that is usually experienced when the espresso hits the cold metal.
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We’ve reviewed a cousin of this machine, the Breville BES870, which you can read more about here.
Key features of this espresso machine
- PID temperature control which delivers water with the right temperature which is adjustable in increments of 2 degree Celsius.
- A pre-infusion feature which applies low water pressure at the beginning of the process of brewing. By doing this, this feature helps in ensuring that the best flavours are extracted from the coffee beans to make a great cup of coffee
- Auto-purge which automatically fixes the water temperature after the completion of the steaming process
- 54mm portafilter
- Pressure gauges that let you monitor the espresso’s pressure
- A 1600w thermo coil heating system for controlling and monitoring the temperature s that the temperature range stays between 195 and 200 degrees
- A cup warmer located at the top of the machine as well as a feature which gets rid of excess water from the filter basket after the process of coffee extraction
- An extra tall cup clearance that is used to brew coffee which goes directly into a travel mug
- Sleep mode. The machine goes to sleep after an hour and automatically shuts down after three hours
- An ‘Empty Me!’ indicator which notifies you once the removable drip tray is full
- A ‘Clean Me!’ cleaning alert which notifies you when it’s time to clean
- Makes consistently great espresso
- Well-built and reliable
- Takes less space
- Impressive design
- Comes with everything except the grinder, coffee and a cup
- Good quality
- Cumbersome and has a learning curve
- The water reservoir has to be frequently refilled
2. Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Maker
The Gaggia 14101 might look meek and compact but don’t let that fool you into believing that you can’t get a great cup of coffee from this machine. The primary focus of this machine is to produce excellent espresso.
Furthermore, its compact size of 14.2 x 8 x 9.5 is an ideral size for any kitchen.
Designed in Italy by Gaggia, one of the most trusted brands in the espresso industry, the Gaggia 14101 is a semi-automatic single boiler espresso machine.
Since it is a single boiler, you cannot use the steam wand and extract espresso at the same time. You have to flip the button so that you change between the functions. Nevertheless, the brewing process can be hastened by the aluminium boiler which conducts heat very effectively, resulting in swift and powerful pressure necessary for extracting a good shot.
It features a commercial grade 58mm group head, the same size found in commercial machines at your local coffee shop, as well as a 72 oz. water reservoir. Its shell is made of stainless steel with plastic handles, knobs, and buttons.
Combining classic design and advanced technology, this espresso machine has all the benefits that a commercial coffee machine has. One of the convenient features of this machine is that it is designed to make two cups at once. This is a huge plus considering it is so compact!
Also, it has a hot-water dispenser that you can use when you want to have a cup of tea instead of coffee, a cup warmer and a frothing wand for the creation of the perfect crema.
For easy filling and cleaning, the water reservoir which has a 72-ounce capacity can be removed. Nevertheless, keeping this machine is not difficult; you wipe it down using a damp cloth. The Gaggia Classic can put you on your way to becoming a home barista.
- Rugged construction using heavy duty materials for durability
- Forged brass components which stabilizes the temperature
- Two filter baskets
- Coffee tamper and a 7g measuring spoon(use two scoops per cup for best results)
- High voltage boiler for the quick warm-ups
- An independent expansion valve
- Frothing for milk beverages
- A wand that doubles as a hot water dispenser for tea and americanos
- A one-year warranty that is directly handled by Gaggia
- Easy to use
- Makes great espresso
- One-year warranty
- Easy to set up
- Easy to clean
- Perfect for beginners
- Very convenient
- An adjustable bar pressure
- A large water reservoir
- Can only fit short cups because it sits very low
- The steam wand is inconvenient
- Slow heating
3. Breville ESP8XL Café Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Also known as Breville Café Roma Espresso Maker, the ESP8XL lets you make your favourite espresso from the comfort of your home.
If a great espresso makes is what you are looking for but you cannot afford higher end espresso makers, the Breville Café Roma Espresso maker is all you need.
With this machine, you will be making great espresso just like a professional barista. You’ll just need a little bit of practice to dial in your shots!
The excellent tasting espresso beverages made by this machine will most likely impress any of your guests. Once your guests taste the espresso that you will make them using this machine, they will most likely say goodbye to the long lines that they make almost on a daily basis at the local cafes.
In fact, the long lines might migrate to your kitchen as your friends are likely to frequently visit you so that they can have the great espresso again.
This machine made by Breville features a Thermoblock heating system which extracts espresso at the perfect temperature. Also, it applies a full 15 bars pressure that maximises the crema for a barista-style aroma and taste that is so rich.
In fact, you will be amazed by the superb crema that this machine can consistenly produce. The even, forceful pressure helps extract the thick crema.
The steaming wand lets you steam and froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes. You can prepare the milk using the included steaming jug. Steaming jugs give the best results because they are designed to help you steam and pour more efficiently.
The following are some of the accessories that come with this machine:
- Frothing pitcher
- Cup warming plate
- Special measuring spoon
- Its cleaning tool
- Removable grid and drip tray for easy cleaning
- Removable 40.6-ounce water tank
Key features of this espresso machine
- Included frothing jug
- One-year warranty
- 40.6 oz. the water tank that is removable
- Effortless foaming and frothing
- Measures 12 x 12 x 15 inches
- Great tasting espresso all the time
- Easily fits most kitchens counters
- Great quality for a low price
- Makes lattes and cappuccinos too
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Uses coffee capsules or grounds
- Looks great
- Reasonably priced
- A little noisy
- Some complaints the beverages are not hot enough
- Slightly confusing instructions
4. Breville 800ESXL 5-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso Machine
This futuristic-looking coffee machine will leave you feeling like a trained barista in your kitchen.
Not only does it make amazing espressos, you can also make equally great-tasting lattes and cappuccinos. This is because the Breville 800ESXL has a frothing/steaming wand that you can use to prep milk for specialty drinks.
Also, it allows you to make up to three variations of espresso in addition to the ones that you will come up with on your own.
The 800ESXL is among the most popular espresso machines made by Breville. Not only is its price very affordable, but it also has a sleek design as well as 15-bars of pressure.
It is no wonder most people love this espresso machine!
This machine has an elegance which sets it apart from any other espresso machine. Its stainless steel exterior and its additions which are finely manufactured create a flawless and functional espresso maker.
The stainless steel housing is not only there for the purpose of making the machine look great, but it also makes cleaning the machine very easy and provides additional durability. With all the controls being so easy to locate, making your first espresso shot won’t be a task.
Bear in mind that espresso is an art and a science combined, so you may need to practice a little before you get a good shot. You need to set your expectations properly!
Key features of this espresso maker
- 15 Bar Italian Pump
- Thermoblock heating system
- 75 Fl.oz front-fil water tank that is removable
- Durable stainless steel housing
- Selector dial for steam, hot water or espresso
- Triple Prime Pump that moistens the ground coffee by releasing three bursts of hot water
- Purge function which automatically adjusts the temperature of the water after the steam
- Tamping tool, filters and cleaning tool
- Has frother and steam wand
- Versatile. You can pick between espresso, hot water and steam
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Large water tan that is easy to fill
- Durable housing made of stainless steel
- Brews great espresso in just two minutes or less
- Does not produce a dry puck
- Complaints of the steaming wand dying soon
5. DeLonghi America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine
Creating an authentic Italian espresso has not always been easy. However, you can say goodbye to long queues at the local coffee shop trying to get yourself a decent shot of espresso because the De’Longhi America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine will sort you out.
Creating a great Italian espresso does not get easier than this.
Nespresso capsules are made to take the effort out of traditional espresso brewing and offer easy cleanup. Pod machines generally produce questionable coffee but Nespresso has taken pod coffee to the next level and produces some of the best pod espressos you can ever find, period.
Every shot has a thick layer of crema and the aroma and taste is unparalleled. You also have access to Nespresso’s very wide ecosystem of coffee pods, as well as pods made by other third party manufacturers.
Let me put it this way: a Nespresso shot will easily outshine a poorly pulled shot using another espresso machine.
Also, the Lattisima Pro machine features a sensor touch display with six programmable drinks. The drinks are; ristretto, lungo, espresso, cappuccino, hot milk, latte as well as hot water that you use for the uncomplicated one-touch beverage brewing.
The biggest lure of this small pod machine is its fresh milk carafe that features an automatic foaming function. This idea is borrowed from the bean-to-cup coffee machine models which are usually bulkier and bigger.
With its premium brushed and sleek body made of stainless steel, it will be very difficult for your guests to miss seeing it when you place it on your kitchen counter.
The only disadvantage with Nespresso machines is that the cost of the pods adds up. Pods are not cheap, at nearly $0.50 per pod, and they also generate a lot of trash.
Some companies make reusable Nespresso pods but most of them only work in OriginalLine machines like this one.
- Sensor touch display that allows you to create the perfect single effortlessly serve coffee drinks
- Thermoblock heating system that speeds up cold-start heating time while maintaining optimal temperature
- Premium finishes and Italian designs
- Six pre-programmed beverages made using Nespresso Original capsules
- Hot water sprout to use when descaling or making tea
- Internal bin for storing used pods
- Water tank with a hinged lid to stop splashes and spills between the machine and the sink
- One-touch drinks
- Fresh milk foam
- Touchscreen for easy use
- Pricy for a pod machine
- Restricted to pods that are compatible
- There’s need for regular cleaning
6. DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Cappuccino Machine
With the Magnifica be De’Longhi, you can become your own personal barista. Having this machine means that you get to enjoy delicious espressos, americanos, lattes, and cappuccinos anytime you crave for them.
Making authentic Italian drinks has never been this easy and fun. The patented cappuccino system frother enables the creation of great Italian beverages.
What you have to do is to place the container that has milk under the nozzle to create a rich, creamy froth. Can you imagine? The Magnifica will do all the work for you.
You can choose between brewing ground coffee or whole beans. Ground coffee goes into the portafilter, and beans go into the top where they’ll be automatically ground and brewed right away.
For freshest espressos, the patented direct-to-brew system grinds beans instantly before brewing. With various coffee-strength settings, everyone can get their ideal flavour.
The choices don’t end there, as you can select from cup-size options to suit your preferred taste. Other highlights include easy-to-use manual controls, as well as a cup warmer and a removable drip tray. Enjoy coffee for years to come with the Magnifica automatic espresso machine.
- Patented Cappuccino System frother which mixes milk steam for a rich and creamy froth
- An easy-to-use rotary and push-button control panel that features programmable menu settings
- Bean container capacity of 8.8 ounces
- Direct-to-brew system that is easy to use
- Compact design
- Manual frother for mixing the milk and steam to create an evenly textured drink the way you like
- Instant reheating
- Removable bean container and water tank
- Very reliable
- Easy to use
- Great espresso all the time
- High performance guaranteed
- Guaranteed perfect aroma
- Integrated Burr Grinder. To customise your espresso, just set the grinding level to your preference
- Easy to clean
- Consistent brewing
- Can be noisy especially at the beginning of its operation
Espresso Machines Under $500: What can you expect?
At this price point in the espresso machine industry, these machines come provided with almost 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, an espresso machine under $500 will be considerably different than those more expensive.
In case your budget is different, we’ve got you covered at either end:
First and foremost, when it comes to this level of espresso machine, what you’re purchasing is an espresso maker that can produce a high-quality espresso shot, but will not have some of the extra bells and whistles that you may find in higher priced machines.
In fact, many espresso-lovers refer to this budget as the “sweet-spot” of espresso machines.
These machines generally come with just enough features to create the perfect espresso shot but also not too many features where the machine becomes complex.
In the $500 bracket, you can expect machines that come with manual frothing and a steam wand, cup warming features, between 15-17 ½ bar pumps, and compact and light-weight sizes.
$500 range machines are a sweet spot between semi automatic and automatic.
Semi automatic vs automatic
Semi automatic machines won’t have built-in grinders. You’ll have to grind the beans yourself. Doing so is the best way to get great coffee. Even an expensive coffee machine can’t make good coffee out of stale ground coffee.
It will be rare to find a super automatic espresso machine in this price bracket; however, there are a few and we’ve listed one of them, the ESAM3300 Magnifica in this article.
As far as the espresso shot goes, automatic machines will be consistent. Since they automatically grind the beans, tamp them, and pull the shot, there is very little room for error.
In semi automatic machines, you have to grind the coffee yourself and tamp it properly. This is good because it affords you a level of control, but if you’re new to espresso, it may take a while to dial in the shot.
As of late, features which were only found in a high-end espresso machine are now being found in mod-range models. The result is that today, there are numerous espresso machines of high quality priced below $500.
- 1 Best Espresso Machine Under $500: Our top 6 choices
- 1.1 1. Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine
- 1.2 2. Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Maker
- 1.3 3. Breville ESP8XL Café Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
- 1.4 4. Breville 800ESXL 5-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso Machine
- 1.5 5. DeLonghi America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine
- 1.6 6. DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Cappuccino Machine
- 2 Espresso Machines Under $500: What can you expect?
- 3 Conclusion
Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API