Searching for a good but not-so-expensive espresso machine is a really, really difficult thing. The market has become flooded by newcomers that nobody trusts, and the internet is full of people having very strong opinions about every machine which makes you more confused the more you read. Is it awesome or is it a nightmare? It’s hard to tell.
That’s why we’ve brought you our own list of machines that we know are going to be useful to you, ones we’ve inspected personally and can assure you will make you a good espresso.
Our top picks for good, cheap espresso machines:
De’Longhi ECP3220W 15 Bar Espresso Machine with Advanced Cappuccino System
4 out of 5 stars
De’Longhi breaks out of the traditional design for an espresso machine and gives us an eye treat: A beautiful white, plastic body combined with a sophisticated metallic finish on top.
The most attractive feature on this machine is, as it says in its name, the pressure indicator. It goes up to 15 bars, and this is a feature that’s found in most commercial, professional espresso machines.
This feature will let you extract your espresso when the pressure is just correct, not to mention that you can experiment and adjust your coffee more than you could with a one-button machine. Customization is invaluable when it comes to coffee.
While not technically a steam wand, this milk frother is great for beginners (because the steam wand can really be a nightmare) since it is very easy to use and makes great foam, particularly for drinks like cappuccino and mochaccino.
Double drip tray
Double meaning it has two bottoms. The first one is ideal for espresso and coffee cups in general, while the second one is more suited to tall mugs and such. This makes it tempting to make too much coffee when at home, which we absolutely love.
Auto shut off
The espresso machine will shut off about 20 seconds after the last brew if you leave it alone. The benefit of this is that your machine won’t ever get too hot (which is a problem with commercial machines) and, of course, that you’ll save money on electricity!
This machine is suitable for ESE pods, which is appropriate for an entry-level such as this. We celebrate this because even if by buying this machine you’d want to –ideally- learn how to make espresso the traditional way, being able to use ESE pods is a great plan B for any cases. And, truth be told, it can save a lot of time.
- Every cup to your liking: 15-bar professional pressure assures quality results every time, and adjustable controls allow you to make modifications for your personal taste...
- Brew like a Pro: whatever your preference ? single or double Espresso, cappuccino or latte ? the machine brews authentic barista-quality beverages just like you enjoy at your...
- Your foam, your way: a manual frother mixes steam and milk to create a rich, creamy froth for evenly textured drinks ? just the way you like them.
Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso/Cappuccino System
4 out of 5 stars
A chunky, adorable machine that would be a great fit even in a coffee shop, Mr. Coffee’s Automatic Dual Shot has caught our attention.
The main feature on this machine is (spoiler) its ability to make two separate shots of espresso at the same time. This feature is definitely found in other machines, but this machine really specializes in making a consistently good quality dual shot: Its water heating system ensures that the brewing water never loses temperature, which can happen when brewing two espressos simultaneously. The result is a dual shot that you won’t find in any machine with this price, or even double this price range.
Large water tank
While the machine is chunky, this is mostly because of its impressive water tank. One big, annoying thing about small espresso makers is that you can only make a few cups and then you have to refill the water tank. Well, this machine’s tank can hold up to 40 ounces of water, so we can’t help but love it.
15 bar pressure system
This is a very important feature. A 15 bar pressure system is practically the standard for all decent espresso machines. It means that your machine won’t lack in power when extracting coffee.
The buttons are quite simple to understand and the machine, in general, easy to operate. No risk of messing up an order.
For a machine of this range, it brews coffee quite fast. It’s a very good machine for brewing coffee fast, and often. You won’t need to either wait for the water to heat up nor refill the water tank too often. Great for making lots of coffee.
- 15-bar pump system uses powerful pressure to extract a dark, rich espresso brew
- Frothing arm makes creamy froth to top off your cappuccinos and lattes
- Make 2 single shots at once with dual-shot brewing. Watts: 1250
AICOK Espresso Machine
3 out of 5 stars
A stranger strolls into coffee town and, it turns out, we’re impressed with the results. The AICOK is the best first-time espresso machine that we’ve seen yet but it doesn’t think of itself as just an entry-level machine. It has 15 bar pressure and its stainless steel surface gives it a very serious, professional appearance.
The AICOK counts rapid water heating as one of its major features, but we were a little less impressed by this feature (it works, but definitely not as efficiently as advertised) and more impressed with both its frother and its water tank. The frother picks up temperature very fast and makes excellent foam while the water is the largest we’ve ever seen in entry-level espresso makers and, as they say, size matters.
This machine can make you two separate shots of espresso at the same time. You don’t even need a company to put this feature to good use: Make yourself two espressos because we all know you’re going to have another one.
Buying coffee machines can seem like tossing a coin. The best part about the AICOK is, hands-down, its two-year warranty that’ll make you feel safer when purchasing.
Enough said. For all of you who want to try making cappuccino at home, this is your best pick. Have at it.
- Brew variety of coffee: 2-In-1 Espresso maker with milk frother, make excellent Espresso, cappuccino, latte and mocha.
- Rich taste Espresso: with 15 bar high-pressure pump, It brews rich-tasting Espresso, extraction of creamy and silky Coffee, It will let you enjoy every drop of pure Espresso.
- Efficient and fast: 1050W high power heater, It takes less time to get of fresh Espresso. Cord length 26 inches.
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma
5 out 5 stars
Breville, synonymous with professional quality espresso and therefore with very, very expensive machines, has gifted us with this affordable home espresso machine.
This machine will give you more than just a taste of professional quality; you can set up your own barista station with this machine at its core. With a large water tank and a lot of heating power, the Café Roma makes top-notch espresso as fast as can be.
The steam wand on this machine is the real deal. You can make coffee shop quality foam with this wand and, bonus, it comes with a stainless steel milk pitcher.
Like all professional machines, it comes with a heating tray on top of the machine. This heating tray –made of aluminum- is there for you to place up to six coffee cups so they can heat up before you use them. This temperature is necessary so your coffee doesn’t lose any heat when pouring it into the cup.
Ease of use
There’s really nothing to think about when using this espresso machine. On/off, steam wand or coffee. A rock could pull it off.
For such good quality, this machine is very small. Especially when taking into account its 1.2-liter water tank (which we really like), the Café Roma’s compactness is a very attractive feature, since most espresso makers with similar features tend to be bigger, chunkier.
- Stainless-steel espresso machine with 15-bar thermoblock pump
- Dual-wall filter system for excellent crema; froth enhancer, cup-warming plate
- Accesories: Stainless steel frothing pitcher Tamping tool/measuring spoon/cleaning tool
Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine (40715)
3 ½ out of 5 stars
Hamilton Beach doesn’t really make any promises except for one: quality espresso. And that, it does. No machine so small has given us such a quality espresso with a rich aroma and cream like this one yet.
This machine will make you doubt the importance of size. An ideal pick for your home since it barely takes up any space, the HB espresso maker also comes with a frother wand (no steam, sadly) which will help you make espresso-based drinks that require a special touch, such as a latte or a cappuccino.
Dual shot function
The HB can make you two coffees at the same time.
15 bar pressure system
As we said before, a good standard. And it’s surprising for such a small, cheap machine to puck such a punch. So don’t underestimate this one!
Easy to clean
Its many parts are very easy to take apart, which makes it a lot easier for us to get in there and clean the machine. Espresso makers are very delicate machines, and one ought to clean them often for them to last as long as they should.
- Cafe quality results
- No-fuss milk frother lets you enjoy cappuccino too
- Powerful 15-bar Italian pump.Make sure that the coffee grounds are not overpacked in the filter
Sowtech’s 3.5 Bar Espresso Machine
4 ½ out of 5
The Sowtech is, by most standards, a weird machine. It only packs 3.5 bars of pressure to make your espresso, yet it makes a very strong coffee and, despite being an espresso machine, it comes with a carafe as though it were a drip coffee machine.
Yet this machine does a great job. Operating it felt to us like operating ¼ of a big espresso machine. The materials are of high quality, and the portafilter too. All in all, this machine feels like the real deal just by being itself instead of going for a “home espresso” look like others in this price range.
The whole thing looks like its lacking something somewhere, but it’s just very cleverly made. The knob on top is actually the water tank’s lid! (water tank is not removable, though) and it takes up very little space.
This frothing wand does a better job than most others. It makes your milk acquire a rich, thick texture that has its own unique charm that you might even like better than steamed milk!
This is kind of a good news/bad news. It can mean that your espresso will lose some temperature and aroma, but it’s also an excellent way of preparing a batch of espresso instead of going one cup at a time.
- EASY TO USE - Single switch knob with indicator light for easy operation with function transform-coffee/steam selector and on/off. Also, accurate temperature control can...
- COMPACT DESIGN - The stainless steel compact design of the espresso coffee machines saves lots of space, smaller and lighter. The removable, washable drip catcher collects...
- YOUR FOAM, YOUR WAY - Coffee espresso machine with frothing arm makes creamy froth to top off your cappuccinos and lattes. Velvety smooth espresso will make mornings so much...
STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine
3 ½ out of 5 stars
The Staresso is, put simply, a manual espresso maker. Its mechanism is essentially the same as other espresso makers except it requires you to provide the force for the water to pass through the ground coffee to make the espresso.
With a similar concept to other manual espresso makers, the Staresso has a much slicker design and lends itself more to portability and ease of use outdoors than others like it. Its design has been highly praised by coffee experts for achieving a great tasting espresso with manual force and it is at the same time compatible with espresso pods.
Since the Staresso is a machine that requires a lot of handling, then naturally it is important that we look at the quality of its materials. The pump and coffee chamber are both made of sturdy stainless steel while the rest of it is made of BPA free materials.
We think that the real strength of the Staresso is that you can make great espresso at home and then pack it up in just a few moments, then make yourself another one at the office if you happen to feel like it. You only need hot water and ground coffee, which is not really hard to get. Drink great espresso no matter where you are!
We sigh out of relief when we see a two-year warranty on coffee equipment. It’s not a secret that machines like these have a small chance of being defective, so a long warranty really makes a difference when taking everything into consideration.
- [RICH & THICK CREMA FOR REAL ESPRESSO] - STARESSO Manual Espresso Maker can give you the rich espresso taste with a thick layer of crema just like the ones you can get from...
- [COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE] - STARESSO Portable Espresso Maker only takes up little space. It weighs 0.97 lb, and it is small and compact (8x2.7 inches), but it can...
- [COMPATIBLE WITH NESPRESSO PODS] - STARESSO Mini Espresso Maker is compatible with both Nespresso pods and ground coffee. Follow the instruction, poke a few holes at the...
4 out of 5 stars
This might be our favorite design. This Krups machine is astonishing, so much so that you might find yourself taking extra steps to avoid making a mess.
What we liked the most about this espresso machine is that it can take a heavy workload. It comes with a cup warmer on top, so you can get some cups ready while you’re making coffee and its water tank holds 1 ½ liter, so it can churn out enough coffee to keep a group of people awake and energized.
15 bar pressure system.
Although not technically a wand, it’s great for frothing milk.
Dual shot function.
- 15 BAR PUMP ESPRESSO for improved flavor extraction with no bitterness
- MANUAL SELECTION for ultimate control over the final results
- STEAM NOZZLE for sumptuous and creamy cappuccinos
Thank you for reading with us today! Enjoyed learning about some affordable espresso machines? Be sure to check out related articles to keep learning about espresso with “Every Espresso Drink Explained (Espresso Chart)” or even “What is Espresso Roast Coffee?“.
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