Our Top 3 Best Cheap Espresso Machines
Our Top Pick
Before I started making my espresso, I had this belief that it was almost impossible to get a budget-friendly espresso machine. I assumed that to enjoy that great tasting espresso shot; I needed to dig deeper into the pocket to find a machine that could make java-grade espresso that only professional baristas could hack. Like very many other people today that believe all espresso machines are expensive, I was wrong.
A few years ago, it could have been a challenge finding a cheap espresso machine, but today, we are fortunate enough to enjoy great and affordable home-brewed espresso with the best cheap espresso machines in the market. The FlatWhiteCafe team set to research and review the best affordable espresso machines in the coffee making industry and came up with the following products that you can afford to brew the best espresso and other espresso-based coffee brews in the comfort of your home.
- Our Top Picks Cheap Espresso Machine At A Glance
- 1. De'longhi EC155 15-Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker-Best Over All
- 2. Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker-Best For Home
- 3. AmazonBasics 5-Cup Coffeemaker -Best Cheapest Espresso Machine
- 4. KRUPS Simply Brew Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker- Best Compact Machine
- 5. Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker
- 6. Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
- 7. Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker-Best For Price
- 8. Steam Espresso Machine, SOWTECH 3.5 bar 4-Cup Espresso Maker
- 9. Yabano Best Steam Espresso Machine
- 10. Nespresso by De'Longhi VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine
- Difference Between A $100 Espresso Machine And A $1000 Espresso Machine
- Do I Need An Expensive Espresso Machine?
- Best Cheap Espresso Machine Buying Guide
- Wrapping it up
Our Top Picks Cheap Espresso Machine At A Glance
1. De'longhi EC155 15-Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker-Best Over All
One of the best inexpensive espresso machines in the market is the De'Longhi EC155, especially for those starting their home espresso-brewing journey. The pocket-friendly espresso machine is not only affordable, but it comes with features that match those of other expensive espresso makers. Some of the most admirable features of the machine include two filter baskets and separate thermostats for steaming and brewing.
It comes with a removable water reservoir that makes cleaning and maintenance easy. It has a durable and compact design that does not take too much of your countertop space. The machine also comes with a 15-bar pump that assures you of quality coffee at all times. The controls are adjustable, which provides you with the opportunity to make espresso that suits your preferences.
An on/off switch eliminates tedious start-up operation of the machine, while the patented dual-function filter holder allows you to use ground coffee beans or pods. You can also use the machine to brew perfect tasting cappuccino and latte. The only downside to this affordable espresso machine is noisy during the espresso brewing process.
2. Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker-Best For Home
Another reliable best cheap espresso machine for home use that you can trust is the Mr. Coffee 12-cup coffee maker. Like other Mr. Coffee products, the 12-cup coffee maker helps to ensure that you achieve a great-tasting and smooth espresso without going overboard with your budget. Though the coffee maker does not come with some of the features that you find in other high-end brands, it has a straightforward flip-top design that is easy to operate even for first-time users.
The construction of the coffee maker is also as durable as other Mr. Coffee brands. It comes with an auto-pause that allows you to stop the brewing process for a quick cup of coffee. A dual water window provides you with a clear vision of the reservoirs water level, which helps in getting the right strength of your coffee and saves you from the need to measure the water before adding to the reservoir.
The affordable espresso maker is dishwasher safe, and the filter basket is easily removable for filling and cleaning. The machine also comes with convenient cord storage at the back to help prevent any possible tripping. The filter basket is wide and comes with a water filtration system. The brewing process using the affordable espresso maker is quiet, it comes with an on/off button that saves you the agony of staring and switching on and off each time you are brewing your coffee.
3. AmazonBasics 5-Cup Coffeemaker -Best Cheapest Espresso Machine
If you are on a budget and want to enjoy the best tasting espresso that feels just as good as that brewed by a professional barista, you should buy the inexpensive AmazonBasics 5-Cup Coffeemaker. The espresso maker has a beautiful glass carafe design that goes well with your kitchen décor and compliments your other kitchen equipment. Besides being affordable, the machine also comes with easy to use and to clean features.
It comes with a reusable filter that saves you the agony of using paper filters. The filter basket is easily removable, which makes cleaning easier and it comes with a pause function that provides you with the option of stopping the brewing process halfway to enjoy a tasty cup of Joe or espresso. The maker takes only ten minutes to make coffee with all the right flavors and tastes. The construction of the espresso maker is durable, and you can trust it to provide you with value for money.
4. KRUPS Simply Brew Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker- Best Compact Machine
Besides being one of the best cheap espresso machines in the market, the KRUPS Simply Brew Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker, is also one of the most top rated coffee makers. The device comes with an on/off easy to use operation and the ability to make up to 5 cups of coffee at a time. It also comes with a permanent filter that saves you the agony of using paper filters.
The sleek and modern design of the espresso machine makes it stand out on your kitchen countertop. The build and construction of the coffee maker are durable, compact, and small enough to provide you with ease of storage. The glass carafe of this inexpensive machine has a no-drip spout that helps to minimize coffee drips. It also comes with the option of pouring your coffee mid-way through the brewing process and continues to keep the remaining coffee at the perfect temperature. All the parts of the coffee maker are dishwasher friendly.
5. Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker
You can enjoy making great tasting coffee for yourself, a group of few friends or family or a larger crowd of friends even at a low budget. The Hamilton beach programmable coffee maker makes it possible to have exciting and fun times brewing coffee at an affordable price without spending a fortune on buying a coffee maker. The attractive and highly functional coffee maker comes with many other features that include beautiful design, adjustable coffee brewing settings, and brew-pause options.
It comes with a programmable clock that automatically shuts the machine if it is not in use after two hours. The adjustable brewing settings allow you to choose between regular and bold strong coffee. It also allows you to choose the number of cups you want to brew with the option of going all the way to the maximum of twelve cups.
The brew basket of the coffee maker opens easily with just the touch of a button, and the water reservoir comes with easy filling options. You can stop the machine midway through the brewing process, to enjoy a cup of espresso especially if you cannot wait for the culmination of the complete process. Three temperature options allow you to keep coffee at your allowed heat preferences.
6. Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
When you see the Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker for the first time, you may assume that the price is on the same range as some of the other high-end espresso makers in the market. However, the ninja 12-cup coffee maker is a budget-friendly product that comes with an amazing design and brew settings that make brewing coffee both fun and worthwhile. One of the features that make the coffee maker great is the large and removable water reservoir that provides you with the capacity to brew up to 12 cups of coffee.
It also comes with programmable features that allow you to set the brewing process at night to wake up to the aroma of coffee in a cup in the morning. Another unique feature of the coffee maker is the agitator that helps to circulate the coffee evenly through the pot to ensure that the bottom and top of the coffee have the same temperature. The agitator also prevents the coffee from getting cold or burning.
7. Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker-Best For Price
The Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp is another inexpensive coffee maker that comes with programmable features that allow you to wake up to a steaming cup of coffee in the morning. The 14-cup capacity coffee maker is also the best budget choice if you are looking for a high-quality product with large capacity. It comes with an intuitive user interface that allows you to adjust the coffee brew intensity.
The Cuisinart 3200 also comes with a self-cleaning system that ensures that all the internal mechanisms stay clean at all times. The carafe also comes with better insulation than that of other standard coffee makers, making it highly energy efficient. The sleek and silver aesthetics of the coffee maker add to the beauty and decor of the room. It has a durable construction that comes with easy cleaning options.
8. Steam Espresso Machine, SOWTECH 3.5 bar 4-Cup Espresso Maker
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The SOWTECH 4-cup is another programmable best cheap espresso machinethat provides you with the privilege of enjoying a steaming cup of coffee in the morning without going through the brewing process. The programmable features allow you to set the clock at night to allow ease of brewing in the morning, especially if you are a person that is always on a rush to get out of the house. The 3.5 bar with a steam milk frother makes a rich tasting espresso without having you lift a finger to help with the process.
Besides the affordability and steam frother, the coffee maker also comes with an easy to operate knob that makes it convenient for even first-time users. A removable drip-tray makes cleaning easy, and the durable carafe keeps your coffee hot when you need it. You can make up to 4 cups of espresso at one go within the shortest time possible. The stainless steel and plastic construction are durable, and the design looks elegant on any countertop.
The coffee maker comes with a measuring spoon with a built-in tamper for the frothiest espresso-based coffee blends such as the latte, cappuccino, and macchiato among others. The coffee maker is ideal for people with small kitchen and countertop spaces. It uses one control for all its functions, making it one of the easiest best budget espresso makers in the market.
9. Yabano Best Steam Espresso Machine
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You can enjoy great espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and other espresso-based brews without having to worry about investing in an expensive coffee maker. The Yabano 3.5 bar espresso machine is a cheap espresso machine that comes with quality and reliable features that make brewing espresso both fun and satisfying. It comes with an easy operation that even a beginner adapts to within the shortest time possible.
The espresso maker brews up to 4 cups of coffee at a go. An in-built steam wand provides you with the ability to brew rich and creamy espressos from the comfort of your home. It also comes with a small compact design that does not take much of the counter space. The easy and compact size also makes storage convenient. All the parts of the espresso maker such as the portafilter, drip tray, and nozzle are easily removable, which makes cleaning easy.
10. Nespresso by De'Longhi VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine
Nespresso by De'Longhi VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine is the perfect choice for busy coffee lovers with a limited budget. The user-friendly design of the espresso maker comes with easy to use options that even a novice masters within the shortest time possible. It heats up fast and uses capsules that make coffee preparation faster.
The smart pod-style and single-serve coffee machine extract espresso according to the coffee capsules barcodes. Each new espresso machine comes with a complimentary gift of Vertuo capsules with varying aroma profiles. You can brew different espresso-based coffees with just a touch of a button depending on your preference.
The machines swivel features provide it with wider options of fitting in different size countertops. It also comes with an automatic shutoff option that turns the machine off after 9 minutes and a fast heat-up time of between 20 and 25 seconds.
Difference Between A $100 Espresso Machine And A $1000 Espresso Machine
One of the things that make one coffee machine different from the next one is the price variation. You can even have two espresso machines from the same brand with one costing $100, while the other goes for $1000. The price variations beg the question; does the more expensive model come with better features?
In many instances, buying a more expensive machine does not entirely mean that you get better features. It also does not mean that you do not get good features with an inexpensive model. Some of the most notable differences between an expense and a budget espresso machine include;
$1000 espresso machines have better plumbing than $100 machines. Some of the plumbing features the more expensive machines have included the following.
- Larger boilers that allow you to make more shots of espresso
- Two boilers that allow you to brew and froth your espresso simultaneously
- A pre-infusion system that helps to puck or soak ground coffee beans in the portafilter before they pass through the brewing system
- Three-way valves that enable the evacuation of back-built pressure
- Direct connection to the water line and drain to prevent manual water filling and draining
- Customizable buttons and functions that allow you to control temperature, pressure, and timing to suit your espresso strength preferences
- Quieter brewing operations
- Wider portafilters that help to increase the flavor of the espresso
- Real steam wands that help to improve the taste of the espresso
- Boilers that come with better construction materials guarantee the stability of temperature
- Better looking deigns that complement the décor of the room
- Ability to make different types of espresso-based brews such as cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiato among others
The difference between the more expensive espresso machine and the less expensive one does not mean that you cannot get a good tasting espresso from the latter. You will probably need to add other extra machines for frothing and steaming. You also do not expect to brew many cups of coffee with the cheaper brands. They are, however, good for people starting their brewing journey and those on a budget.
Do I Need An Expensive Espresso Machine?
Espresso is synonymous with high costs, which makes some people fear to venture into buying the machines because of their prices. Professional baristas and those that are passionate about espresso will advise anyone venturing into espresso brewing to invest in a quality machine if they want to capture the authentic taste of their coffee.
Some people may assume that high quality comes with high cost, which puts one-off from even trying to brew their espresso at home. On the contrary, you do not have to buy an expensive espresso machine to enjoy a great espresso. Some brands have products that inexpensive, with great espresso-making quality. All you need to do is to ensure that your best inexpensive espresso machine comes with the basic features to make espresso.
Best Cheap Espresso Machine Buying Guide
When you are shopping for the best cheap espresso machine, you have to compromise on some features that come with high-end devices. However, if you know what to look for, you will end up with the best budget espresso machine that can still provide you with a tasty espresso shot each morning. A budget espresso machine is the best choice for novice baristas and those that love their espresso fresh but do not have enough money to buy a more expensive advanced espresso machine. You should check out for some features when buying the best cheap espresso machine.
A portafilter is one of the most vital parts of an espresso machine. It holds the coffee grounds in a filter basket and locks everything in place before the start of the brewing process. Portafilters comes in sizes ranging between forty and sixty millimeters. Some of the cheap espresso machines come with portafilters with no filter baskets, which means you will have to buy spare ones for the grounds.
Ground beans or pods
Majority of the espresso machines in the market use ground beans for coffee brewing. Some of the machines, however, only use ESE pods while others come with the option of using either grounds or pods. Using grounds does not make it hard to use the espresso machine, but you need to learn the process thoroughly first.
Pods, on the hand, provide you with easier and faster brewing. Using pods is especially good for people that do not have time to go through the whole brewing process that takes a while with grounds. The process is also not as messy as the one for using pods. One of our best budget espresso machines that use both pods and grounds is the De'longhi EC155 15-Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker.
You should also look for the best cheap espresso machine that comes with a milk frother if you want to enjoy a variety of espresso-based coffees such as lattes and cappuccinos. Some of the best espresso machines come with a built-in frother that helps to streamline the espresso-brewing process.
Many of the high-quality espresso machines come with 15 and above pressure bars. Pressure bars help to push water through the grounds in the portafilter at a high-pressure level to get the best out of the grounds. Some of the cheap espresso machines may not come with the 15 pressure bars, but if they have 9 bars, then you are good to go. Some tiny and cheap espresso machines also come with 3 to 4 pressure bars, which is also ideal if you want to brew just a shot or two of espresso.
Before you consider the capacity of the water tank, you have to be sure about the number of espresso shots you want to brew each day. If you have several people that need espresso in the morning, you will need a large capacity water reservoir. If you need two to four shots each day, you could do well with a small reservoir, which you will find in many of the cheaper models. You should also look for a removable water tank that makes filling and cleaning easy.
Size of an espresso machine is important. The size will depend on your countertop space and the number of people in the family or office that need daily espresso shots. If you have a small or crowded kitchen space, go for a small unit. Luckily, for you, many of the cheap models come with small, compact designs that fit effortlessly on limited spaces.
Semi-Automatic, manual, or super-automatic (type of espresso machine)
If you want to brew your espresso shots like a true barista, you should opt for a hands-free espresso machine. If you want to have control over the brewing process, you should opt for manual espresso machines. If you know nothing about using an espresso machine but still want to enjoy tasty shots, you should opt for a super-automatic or pod espresso machine.
Another vital factor to consider when choosing a cheap espresso machine is a temperature control feature. Water temperature plays one of the major roles in ensuring you get the best tasting espresso. Some of the machines in the market come with dual controls to provide precise control by using separate thermostats for steaming and brewing. Others come with heating elements with enough potency to heat faster, providing a quicker brewing process.
What is the lifespan of a cheap espresso machine?
If you clean and maintain your espresso machine regularly, it will give you a long service of ten years and more irrespective of the cost. Majority of the espresso machines come with durable constructions, making them the perfect long-term investments. It is important to keep the machine off when not in use to prevent the wear and tear of the motor, which in turn extends the lifespan. If you start to notice signs such as water flow problems or inconsistent water temperatures, then you should upgrade your device.
Are espresso machines that use pods more expensive than ground beans espresso machines?
The use of pod capsules instead of ground beans makes the brewing process much easier. Pod machines are also more convenient to use as compared to ground beans espresso machines. In terms of quality, espresso from ground beans is more superior to that from the pods. When it comes to cost, pod machines are cheaper than ground beans espresso machine depending on the brand.
Does the number of bar pressures affect the quality of espresso?
The average pressures bars that make the best tasting espresso are nine. However, you can opt to use espresso machines with fewer bars and still get yourself a tasty and flavorful espresso shot. Even though you get flavorful coffee with fewer pressure bars, you get more quality espresso with the authentic caffeine flavor and taste with more pressure bars. Therefore, to answer the question, yes, the number of pressure bars affects the espresso shot quality.
Wrapping it up
You do not have to strain to enjoy a good tasting espresso shot, especially if you are on a low budget. You can opt to go for any of the above best inexpensive and affordable espresso machines that come with many of the features that you find inexpensive units. The best cheap espresso machines also come with attractive designs that will compliment your kitchen.
We hope that the article will help in choosing the best cheap espresso machine that will make you fall in love with your espresso shots daily. For any comments, or questions, reach out to us by filling the form below and we will respond.
- Espresso machine buying guide – https://www.espressozone.com/learning-center/espresso-machine
- The rise of the coffee pod machines – https://www.theguardian.com/rise-coffee-pod-machines-nespresso
- How the number of pressure bars affects the quality of an espresso shot – https://perfectdailygrind.com/how-does-pressure-affect-espresso-quality/