Updated on December 11, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
How much do you love espresso? A sleek, state or the art espresso machine should be a staple in everyone’s household. Eliminate coffee shops and make artisanal espresso in the comfort of your own home. Indulge in the bold, rich and silky-smooth texture of espresso at home when you have the pleasure of owning a machine and make an excuse to have a luxurious experience every day.
Best Espresso Machines Under $500
(Best well-rounded espresso machine)
Why it’s great: If you are looking for barista style espresso in the comfort of your own home, this is the perfect machine for you. Breville’s formula provides a rich, full-bodied coffee by calculating the right dose of ground coffee beans and having a precise water temperature control technology. Creating a perfectly balanced coffee allowing for delicious, natural flavors to be found.
This machine comes with all the accessories and tools to be an at-home barista. The milk container allows you to froth milk into an exquisite experience to add to your brew. This machine is easy to use and will change your life from a simple coffee drinker to an artisanal espresso fanatic.
Keep in mind: This is an easy machine to figure out, but you will have some trial and errors at the start when learning how to make espresso. Once you get used to it, the espresso will be consistent and delicious.
Good for: Avid coffee drinkers who want to take the coffee shop out of the equation and make well-rounded espresso themselves.
Why it’s great: This affordable, reproable espresso machine will have you brewing like a pro in the comfort of your own home. Easily make single, double espresso or lattes with this authentic barista quality machine, designed for enjoying in your home. This professional pressure machine will give you a customized and quality drink in every cup. Easily froth you milk and enjoy cup after cup with it’s rapid cappuccino system.
It’s easy to clean operate and gives you a beautiful crema. This machine is made with you in mind as it has different temperatures for the differing drinks you can be creating. Enjoy this espresso machine for years as it’s made with durable, high-quality materials that are built to last. For this price, you can’t ask for anything better.
Keep in mind: That it’s not fully stainless steel, however the machine is study and built with excellence and great materials for delicious espresso.
Good for: People who want to invest in an espresso machine, but not spend a fortune.
(Best hassle-free machine)
Why it’s great: If you want barista quality espresso but don’t want to do anything for it, then this is the perfect machine for you. Easily insert the flavor capsule of your choosing press a button and it’s yours. Create the perfect beverage with a touch of a button, this machine boasts 6 different buttons to cater to all your espresso needs.
You will always have a consistent, irresistible, and delicious flavor when you choose a Nespresso machine. This truly is simple to use, operate, and has a fast-heating system which makes for a quick brew. You can easily customize the milk and espresso amounts for your personalized, perfect espresso. Have all the perks of bold tasting espresso with no effort.
Keep in mind: You do have to buy the capsules from Nespresso for this machine, when you are done with the capsules send them back to Nespresso and they will recycle them for you.
Good for: People who love rich and flavorful espresso but don’t have time to make it every day and are on the go.
Why it’s great: This might be the most expensive of all the machines, but it’s worth it if you’re willing to get it. This will give you consistent delicious espresso with its automatic design, built in coffee bean grinder and intelligent brewing system. The only thing you have to do to make a personalized espresso in every cup is to use the steaming wand to create a silky-smooth latte or drink of choosing.
This machine also has an aqua clean filter to produce clean water for your espresso and lets you know when it’s’ time to be replaced. With its smart brewing system, you will always get the perfect temperature espresso and have coffee bean aromas in every cup.
Keep in mind: This is the most expensive of the bunch, but it offers so many smart tools that allow you to drink espresso carefree at a touch of a button.
Good for: Espresso lovers who want coffee shop quality at home simply and consistently.
Why it’s great: This might be the coolest espresso machine you will see, as it is a completely human powered, manual machine. Easily make flavorful espresso at home or anywhere, making this perfect for camping or long trips. It’s sustainable beyond belief and is built to last with durable materials and has a long warranty.
This product was designed with espresso being the forefront of love and art, when using this you are taking time to create a delicious hand-crafted espresso. The only things you need once you have this espresso machine is coffee grinds, hot water, and a bit of strength to push down the lever.
Keep in mind: This does not come with anything to steam or froth milk and does not have a coffee bean grinder included.
Good for: People who always on the go, either traveling or camping, and want to have delicious espresso wherever they go.
(Best entry level machine)
Why it’s great: The Gaggia classic pro is one of the best entry level espresso machines in the market. With its commercial steam wand, portafilter and filter baskets you can easily brew consistent and rich espresso. This new model has an updated frame, is much quieter and has an extremely easy control panel. The control panel has three easy switches, for power, to brew espresso and steaming milk.
With its simple yet stunning design, you can easily make single or double shot espresso and design beautiful latte art like a pro in no time. This machine might be pricey but it’s convenient, easy to use, and delivers exceptional silky, bold flavor.
Keep in mind: You will have to buy a few accessories with this machine, like a distributing tool and a coffee grinder, unless you buy beans already ground.
Good for: Entry level espresso makers who want to learn and master their skills with ease.
(Best traditional espresso)
Why it’s great: This compact super-automatic espresso machine is here to bring you bold and crema espresso from single shots to cappuccinos. The steaming wand produces velvety, smooth foam which creates delicious customized drinks. The control panel couldn’t be better with its simple interface and dedicated buttons to make the drink of your dreams.
This stylish and sleek machine can be stored with ease and designed to optimize counter space. Make drinks like an Italian pro and customize each drink to accommodate your preferred espresso bean. This might be on the pricey side, but this machine does all the work for you. Sit back, relax, and enjoy espresso.
Keep in mind: This machine doesn’t work well with all types of coffee beans, so be sure to check if the beans are compatible before using.
Good for: People who thoroughly enjoy espresso and want to experience authentic Italian drinks at their best.
FAQs about espresso machines
1. Is owning an espresso machine more sustainable?
In some ways yes. If you buy an espresso every day from a coffee shop you are eliminating plastic cup waste, but you still need to buy either coffee beans or pods for the machine. Now, most pods aren’t recyclable, but Nespresso pods are, so be sure to look if your pods and coffee bean bags can be recycled.
2. Will I save money owning an espresso machine?
Yes and no. The initial investment will be costly but depending on how much you use it and how much espresso you drink you will save money. If you normally drink two cups a day out at a coffee shop, any one of these machines will be paid off in no time.
3. Are semi-automatic machines good for beginners?
Yes, semi-automatic machines are great for beginners because they take a little work out of the brewing process. They include digital displays, pre-grinding, and are temperature controlled, all you have to do is select which option you want and go. You still get to have fun with the process but it’s harder to mess up.
4. Out of all these machines which is the easiest and minimal machine.
If you want to have consistent espresso with little to no effort, then Nespresso is your best bet. All you have to do is have capsules, a full water tank, milk if you want something extra and enjoy.
5. Can I use regular pre-ground coffee in an espresso machine?
Yes, but to get the best result for your espresso machine see what grounds work best with the machine. Having grounds that match with your machine will have better quality and flavor to your overall espresso.
Espresso machines can be so much fun to make customized coffee in your own home. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned espresso drinker any one of these options will absolutely be a fantastic addition to your home and lifestyle. The important thing is to get one that fits into your life, if you’re always on the move look into capsule or semi-automatic machine as it delivers outstanding flavor, it’s quick to brew and hassle-free. If you want to be an at-home barista look more into a prosumer machine, to dedicate your time to the art of espresso making. However, no matter what machine you chose to purchase your home will be filled with rich aromas and you will be sipping bold and delicious espresso.