The 10 Best Budget Espresso Machine Reviews & Buying Guide in 2021

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Do you want to be your own barista at home and create a cafe-quality espresso every time? If so, you’ll need a good espresso machine. Regardless, even though these machines are nice and all, the price can be a turnoff.

Best Budget Espresso Machine

Hence, in this article, we’ll help you find the best budget espresso machine that can brew barista-quality coffees for cheap. All of them cost below $100, so you can browse through the category in peace. Find out which brands and models made it to our list!

Best Budget Espresso Machine: A Shortlist

Best Budget Espresso Maker: A Quick Summary

After hours of careful research and comparison, I have selected these ten products in terms of budget, performance, flavor, and quality. If you want a quick overview of the top three, check out his section before getting into the actual reviews. 

Lavazza BLUE Classy Mini Espresso Machine: 

The reason why Lavazza stays at the top of our list is due to its practical design, convenience, and affordability. As most of us are looking for a coffee machine for home or office, we can not have anything too bulky or complicated. Yes, we want high-quality coffee but none of us are baristas. Lavazza makes the brewing process very simple yet you get very flavorful espresso every single time. Why won’t I love this Blue Classy Mini?

ChefWave Mini Espresso Machine:

You’ll see this espresso machine everywhere. It’s super popular because you can make a delicious cup of espresso or lungo within a few minutes. It is compatible with Nespresso pods as well. As Chefwave delivers 20 bar pressure, your brew will turn rich, flavorful, and have a barista-style taste.  The whole construction and design are very lightweight and powerful so it fits anywhere you want it to fit. The energy-saving mode has a 2-hour auto-shutoff feature as well! 

Mr. Coffee Pump Espresso Maker:

This is a semi-automatic espresso maker. Mr. Coffee comes with a 15 bar pump system that can create a rich-tasting brew each time. You can make espresso, cappuccino, and latte all in this simple device. Just because it has a milk frother does not mean it’s complex to use. The automatic frother comes with a one-touch control panel so you can just select your preferred drink and it will make it for you!

Comparison Table for the Best Budget Espresso Machine

Rank
Picture
Name
Shops

#1

Lavazza BLUE Classy Mini Single Serve Espresso Coffee Machine

  • Brand: Lavazza
  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine
  • Dimensions: 5.3 X 13 X 10.2 Inches
  • Weight: 7.7 Lbs
  • Power: 1, 250 Watts
  • Pressure: 18 Bar
  • Power Supply: 110V
  • Material: Ab Plastic
  • Capacity: 3 Cups
  • Brew Time: 28 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Visual Alerts
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

 

It makes two types of coffee- espresso and lungo. The reason why people prefer this over many others is for the efficiency and convenience it brings. It has intuitive controls and visual alerts.

#2

ChefWave Mini Espresso Machine

  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine
  • Dimensions: 5.9 X 12.8 X 0.9 Inches
  • Weight: 9.15 lbs
  • Power: 1,400 Watts
  • Pressure: 20 Bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 3 Cups
  • Brew Time: 30 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Pod Holder
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

This mini espresso machine can make a rich cup of espresso and lungo every time you feel like it. It’s also compatible with Nespresso capsules so you get a wide range of flavor options too. The taste is really great due to the Nespresso capsules.

#3

Mr. Coffee Pump Espresso Maker

  • Type: Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 9.45 X 10.63 X 11.42 Inches
  • Weight: 8.94 Lbs
  • Power:  1, 250 Watts
  • Pressure: 15 Bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 5 Cups
  • Brew Time: 30 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Dual Shot Brewing
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

This is one of the most affordable yet useful coffee makers out there. It can make multiple different types of coffee and handles both coffee grounds and milk. It comes with a frother for your milk.

#4

Capresso Stainless Steel Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

Capresso Stainless Steel Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

  • Type: Semi-automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 7.25 X 10.25 X 11.5 Inches
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Power: 1,050 Watts
  • Pressure: 15 Bar
  • Material: Aluminum, Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 5 Cups
  • Brew Time: 30-35 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Automatic Rinsing Cycle
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

This coffee machine includes one sieve to filter both single or double shot espresso. The stainless steel body is very durable. The Capresso EC50 is built with a 15-bar pump Thermoblock that makes the lightest crema ever.

#5

Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine

Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine 40715

  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine/ Semi-automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 8.7 X 11 X 11.5 Inches
  • Weight: 8 Lbs
  • Power: 1,050 Watts
  • Pressure: 15 Bar
  • Material: Aluminum and Plastic
  • Capacity: 6 Cups
  • Brew Time: 46 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Steam Wand
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

This semi-automatic espresso machine is compatible with both espresso pods and ground coffee. It is packed with convenient features, such as indicator lights and tamping tools. The removable water tank is clear so you can clearly see the amount of water left.

#6

BELLA (13683) Personal Espresso Maker

BELLA (13683) Personal Espresso Maker

  • Material: Steel
  • Brand: BELLA
  • Color: Black
  • Human Interface Input: Buttons
  • Product Dimensions: 9.45 x 9.45 x 11.22 Inches
  • Weight: 4.76 Lbs

This is a great coffee maker to feel like a barista at home. It’s a very low maintenance coffee maker and very affordable as well.

#7

IMUSA USA 4 Cup Epic Electric Espresso

IMUSA USA 4 Cup Epic Electric Espresso/Cappuccino Maker

  • Material: Plastic Construction
  • Brand: Imusa
  • Color: Red
  • Capacity: 4 Cups
  • Package Dimensions: 12.5 x 12 x 9 Inches
  • Weight: 5.6 Lbs
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Watt: 800 Watt

This is a great coffee machine for the home as it is designed to fit into any kitchen counter seamlessly without taking too much space.

#8

Bene Casa - Black Espresso Coffee Maker

Bene Casa - Black Espresso Coffee Maker

  • Brand: Bene Casa
  • Material: Aluminum Boiler
  • Output : 400W
  • Color: Black
  • Item Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 8 Inches
  • Weight: 2 Lbs
  • Capacity: 3 Cups
  • Human Interface Input: Touchscreen

This coffee maker is great for making coffee on the go. It’s super fast so you will need only a few minutes

#9

Bialetti Moka Express Export Espresso Maker

Bialetti Moka Express Export Espresso Maker

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Silver
  • Brand: Bialetti
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.53 x 8.66 Inches
  • Weight: 1.75 Lbs
  • Capacity: 6 Cups

Made with high-quality aluminum, Bialetti Moka Express will serve you for years and even decades with proper care. The handle is designed to be ergonomic and very comfortable to hold. 

#10

Brentwood Electric Moka Pot Espresso Machine

Brentwood Electric Moka Pot Espresso Machine

  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: Brentwood
  • Color: Black
  • Capacity: 6 Cups
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 6.9 x 5.9 Inches
  • Weight: 2.43 Lbs

This is a very useful and compact gadget for office desks. The handle is ergonomic so you can easily grab it and carry it around. Even though it’s small, don’t underestimate it as it has a powerful 550 watt base. So it creates a super frothy simmer in just minutes.

A Review of the Best Budget Espresso Machine

01. Lavazza BLUE Classy Mini Single Serve Espresso Coffee Machine

FEATURES

  • Brand: Lavazza
  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 13 x 10.2  Inches
  • Weight: 7.7 Lbs
  • Power: 1, 250 Watts
  • Pressure: 18 Bar
  • Power supply: 110V
  • Material: AB Plastic
  • Capacity: 3 Cups
  • Brew Time: 28 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Visual Alerts
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

I just love this coffee machine for its design, convenience, and practicality. The Classy Mini is a lightweight and compact espresso machine that can fit into any kitchen or office. 

It makes two types of coffee- espresso and lungo. The reason why people prefer this over many others is for the efficiency and convenience it brings. It has intuitive controls and visual alerts. The removable cup support is perfect to fit any cup from espresso to mugs. 

When it comes to the design, this coffee machine is single-serve meaning you can only make one cup of coffee at a time. It has chrome details with a sleek Italian finish. Lavazza Classy Mini works only with their Lavazza BLUE Capsules. The great thing is, they come in a wide range of flavors! 

The chrome details are very elegant and modern. I love the smooth line embellishment because it looks very neat. With its minimalist features. Making a cup of coffee is very easy. It has intuitive touch controls at the front. 

Another great thing about this espresso machine is the visual indicator. It will inform you when the water tank is empty. So you never run out of coffee. 

The machine is 5.3 inches wide so it takes very little space at your counter. The rounded edges make it more child-safe and adaptable to any area. It’s a great value for money as well!  

Why I Like This:

It’s a very simple, modern, and efficient coffee machine that does exactly what it promises. It fits into any kitchen or office space effortlessly and makes single-serve coffee within 28 seconds!

Pros:
Cons:

02. ChefWave Mini Espresso Machine

FEATURES

  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine
  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 12.8 x 0.9 Inches
  • Weight: 9.15 Lbs
  • Power:  1,400 Watts
  • Pressure: 20 Bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 3 Cups
  • Brew Time: 30 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Pod Holder
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

ChefWave Mini Espresso Machine comes in red, black and white so you can pick whichever suits your kitchen the most. I love this flexibility as we get to design our own kitchen!

This mini espresso machine can make a rich cup of espresso and lungo every time you feel like it. It’s also compatible with Nespresso capsules so you get a wide range of flavor options too. The taste is really great due to the Nespresso capsules. It can rival any popular coffee shop with its 20bar pump performance. 

This is a one-touch espresso maker with a built-in 27oz water tank. So it does not run out of water after each cup. You also get a 2-hour automatic shutoff and a standby mode to save energy. So if you accidentally forget to turn it off, the machine won’t consume electricity all day! 

The ChefWave espresso machine has basically everything you need. It comes with a side rack to store up to 40 pods and two double wall glass espresso cups. 

As I have mentioned before, ChefWave comes in three different colors. My personal favorite is the red one because it stands out no matter where you put it. 

It also works as a nice accent piece for any kitchen. The package also includes a sturdy capsule holder and two espresso puls. So you get everything to enjoy your first cup of espresso at home! 

It doesn’t take a genius to operate this machine! It’s so easy and user-friendly. All you have to do is load the capsule and select the size/type of coffee you want. So either pick espresso or lungo. 

The energy-saving mode makes it a hassle-free process too. From start to finish, it only takes around -40 seconds to make a delicious espresso! 

Why I Like This:

I like ChefWave because it’s convenient, easy and mess-free. As you use coffee pods, you need no skills to make great coffee each time. It uses Nespresso capsules which is another advantage.

Pros:
Cons:

03. Mr. Coffee Pump Espresso Maker

FEATURES

  • Type: Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 9.45 x 10.63 x 11.42 Inches
  • Weight: 8.94 Lbs
  • Power: 1,250 Watts
  • Pressure: 15 Bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 5 Cups
  • Brew Time: 30 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Dual Shot Brewing
  • Warranty: 1-Year warranty

Mr. Coffee is probably one of the most popular brands for a quality espresso machine. This model is their pump espresso maker. When we are talking about the best budget espresso machines, Mr. Coffee will always be a part of my list. It’s simple, user-friendly, and comes with all the essentials to make the perfect espresso shot!

This espresso maker has a tamper to pack the grounds down hard. Yes, I admit the quality is not at the coffee shop level, but it’s decent enough to cheer you up. You can add a layer of delicious cream to make it taste even better.

Mr. Coffee is built with a frothing arm to create a creamy froth on cappuccinos and lattes. It can create two single shots of espresso at once and saves both time and energy for you. In fact, this machine is perfect for couples who need coffee every morning. 

You don’t need to use any k-cups or pods with this machine. You can use your favorite coffee grounds to make your own cup of espresso. 

Mr. Coffee would have been perfect only if it brewed coffee and steam milk at the same time. This is however the only criticism I have. But for its price range, this is a great gadget! 

The one-touch controls and indicator lights make it very easy to operate. There are also a few create buttons for brewing coffee and steaming milk. Overall, I can not think of a better budget espresso maker than this one!

Why I Like This:

This is one of the most affordable yet useful coffee makers out there. It can make multiple different types of coffee and handles both coffee grounds and milk. It comes with a frother for your milk. Overall, this is a great pick for anyone who doesn’t like pod/capsule coffee makers.

Pros:
Cons:

04. Capresso Stainless Steel Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

FEATURES

  • Type: Semi-Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 7.25 x 10.25 x 11.5 Inches
  • Weight: 8 Lbs
  • Power: 1,050 Watts
  • Pressure: 15 Bar
  • Material: Aluminum and Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 5 Cups
  • Brew Time: 30-35 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Automatic Rinsing Cycle
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

For the froth lovers, this is your holy grail, coffee maker! If you want a perfect froth, look no further. 

The Capresso EC50 is built with a 15-bar pump Thermoblock that makes the lightest crema ever. The aluminum warning platform is ingenious as it ensures the coffee will remain at a steady and optimum temperature when served. 

This coffee machine includes one sieve to filter both single or double-shot espresso. The stainless steel body is very durable. The aluminum drip tray makes it really easy to clean. This is a very basic machine that can name all types of coffee from single-serve to drip and of course, espresso. 

What makes this one so special? It’s one of the most durable coffee makers you can find. And why won’t it be? It is made from stainless steel with all aluminum parts. 

The EC50 includes one sieve to filter single or double shot espresso. The stainless steel body seems durable while the aluminum removable drip tray makes cleaning easy. This is a basic machine that makes all types of coffee, including single-serve, drip, and espresso. 

Why I Like This:

The stainless steel housing is strong, whereas the aluminum parts are solid and sturdy. This machine comes with a dual swivel frother that adds a light, airy froth to every cup. Thanks to the aluminum warming tray, the cups maintain an ideal temperature while serving.

Pros:
Cons:

05. Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine

FEATURES

  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine/ Semi-Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 11 x 11.5 Inches
  • Weight: 8 Lbs
  • Power:  1,050 Watts
  • Pressure: 15 Bar
  • Material: Aluminum and Plastic
  • Capacity: 6 Cups
  • Brew Time: 46 Seconds
  • Special Feature: Steam Wand
  • Warranty: 1-Year Warranty

The Hamilton Beach 40715 is another budget espresso machine that allows you to brew espresso pods and your own coffee grounds. It also comes with a steam wand to make a nice froth on the espresso, adding more versatility to the unit. The package includes a measuring and tamping tool to measure and choose the espresso you want.

This machine is made mostly of plastic with a few aluminum parts. The silver and black combination brings a nice accent to your home or office. All the control buttons are placed at the front of the machine so operating it is easy even if you place it in a cabinet.

This semi-automatic espresso machine is compatible with both espresso pods and ground coffee. You can even make a delicious cup of cappuccino or latte by adding a froth on top of your espresso.

This machine is user-friendly because it’s packed with convenient features, such as indicator lights and tamping tools. The removable water tank is clear so you can clearly see the amount of water left.

The water tank can hold about six cups of water and produce four shots of espresso at a time. The heating time can be as quick as 46 seconds.

Why I Like This:

You can make café quality espresso right from the comfort of our home with the Hamilton Beach coffee maker. The milk frother is great for making perfect lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos without creating a mess! Plus, It’s really easy to clean with all removable parts. 

The thing that I like most about Hamilton Beach is how authentic the taste of our coffee is. It can be prepared from both freshly ground coffee and pre-measured soft pods! So this makes it very versatile for all types of consumers!

Pros:
Cons:

06. BELLA (13683) Personal Espresso Maker

FEATURES

  • Material: Steel
  • Brand: BELLA
  • Color: Black
  • Human Interface Input: Buttons
  • Product Dimensions: 9.45 x 9.45 x 11.22 Inches
  • Weight: 4.76 Lbs

Whether you want to make americano, lattes, or cappuccinos, this personal espresso maker by BELLA will let you do it all! It comes with an easy-pour glass decanter, a frothing steam wand, and a detachable permanent filter basket. All these features are really useful for mankind in a range of different drinks. 

Bella espresso maker makes me feel like a barista at home. The key thing is, it creates no mess. The steam pressurized safety cap and removable drip tray will help you prevent any accidental leaks or spillage.

The steam wand is great as it warms up and froths your milk quickly. So within 30 seconds, you can turn your plain boring espresso into a fancy latte. 

Cleaning a BELLA personal espresso maker is very easy too. The permanent filter basket is detachable so you can remove it for deep cleaning. 

Why I Like This:

This is a great coffee maker to feel like a barista at home. It’s a very low-maintenance coffee maker and very affordable as well.

Pros:
Cons:

07. IMUSA USA 4 Cup Epic Electric/Cappuccino Maker

FEATURES

  • Material: Plastic Construction
  • Brand: Imusa
  • Color: Red
  • Capacity: 4 Cups
  • Package Dimensions: 12.5 x 12 x 9 Inches
  • Weight: 5.6 Lbs
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Watt: 800 Watt

IMUSA 4 Cup Electric coffee maker is built with 5 bar working pressure so you get rich-tasting perfect espresso every single time. This is a great coffee machine for the home as it is designed to fit into any kitchen counter seamlessly without taking too much space. 

To make it easy to operate for everyone, this comes with a 3-way selector knob and light indicators. The stainless steel removable drip tray makes cleaning super easy. 

I find IMUSA Epic Espresso and Cappuccino maker to be a great appliance for most modern kitchens. You can brew up to four servings at the same time. The glass carafe adds a nice touch to the overall sleek exterior. 

I like how shiny and sleek the design is. The craft-slim design is perfect for smaller kitchens and offices too. 

Why I Like This:

IMUSA is a very sleek and stylish-looking coffee maker that can make a range of different coffee-based beverages. It’s a good balance between budget and performance.

Pros:
Cons:

08. Bene Casa - Black Espresso Coffee Maker

FEATURES

  • Brand: Bene Casa
  • Material: Aluminum Boiler
  • Output: 400W
  • Color: Black
  • Item Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 8 Inches
  • Weight: 2 Lbs
  • Capacity: 3 Cups
  • Human Interface Input: Touchscreen

If you need more than two cups of espresso as fast as possible, try going to the Bene Casa Black espresso coffee maker. Most coffee machines tend to burn the coffee ground in the process. We don’t even realize it because we have grown accustomed to the burnt taste. Once you try a cuppa from this gadget, you will understand the difference. 

With its transparent carafe, you will be able to see the entire brewing process. It looks cool and fantastic in any kitchen. 

The functions in the Bene Casa Black coffee maker are pretty simple and straightforward. It has a choice of automatic settings delivering either 1 or 3 cups. This makes it very versatile for a busy household or office space. 

As Bene Casa comes with an automatic shut-off feature, your espresso will never burn. Instead, it has a 30 minutes warm facility that keeps your coffee warm for a long time. The detachable base also gives the convenience of a cordless serving. 

Why I Like This:

This coffee maker is great for making coffee on the go. It’s super fast so you will need only a few minutes. On top of that, the automatic shut-off feature means you will never have to experience burnt coffee again!

Pros:
Cons:

09. Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Coffee Maker

Bialetti Moka Express Export Espresso Maker

Classic Italian Style

FEATURES

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Silver
  • Brand: Bialetti
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.53 x 8.66 Inches
  • Weight: 1.75 Lbs
  • Capacity: 6 Cups

What if you don’t want to get into modern gadgets? Why not pick a classic that’s a staple in most coffee connoisseurs’ homes? The Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Coffee Maker was invented in 133 by Alfonso Bialetti. It’s been almost a century and still, it’s more popular than ever. 

There are so many reasons to own this handy little coffee maker. For starters, if you are a fan of authentic Italian coffee, this is a must. 

Made with high-quality aluminum, Bialetti Moka Express will serve you for years and even decades with proper care. The handle is designed to be ergonomic and very comfortable to hold. 

As the bottom is flat, you can use this stovetop coffee maker for any type of hobs except induction ones. It has maximum safety features with a patented safety valve. On top of this, it’s super easy to clean. 

This Italy-made gadget is perfect for a rich, flavorful brew. I think every coffee lover should have a Bialetti Stovetop Coffee Maker. 

Why I Like This:

There is honestly nothing like a classic Bialetti coffee maker. It lasts years and even decades if you take proper care. In addition, the flavor you get from this kind of coffee maker is not even comparable to modern machines. Bialetti Moka Express provides a proper classic Italian coffee experience. 

Pros:
Cons:

10. Brentwood Electric Moka Pot Espresso Machine

FEATURES

  • Material: Plastic
  • Brand: Brentwood
  • Color: Black
  • Capacity: 6 Cups
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 6.9 x 5.9 Inches
  • Weight: 2.43 Lbs

For those who want to have a handy coffee maker at the office, this is a great choice. If you work long hours or night shifts, it’s nice to have coffee ready on your table all the time. This compact little espresso machine does exactly that. 

Even though it’s small, don’t underestimate it as it has a powerful 550-watt base. So it creates a super frothy simmer in just minutes. You can make up to 6 cups of coffee at once and then keep it hot for a long time. 

The handle is ergonomic so you can easily grab it and carry it around. The design is pretty simple and straightforward. So you won’t need to press too many buttons to make one cup of coffee. The downside is, you can only make espresso in this thing. 

The top is a flip-up one and pours the coffee in a straight stream. This makes it very easy to keep at the desk. You can enjoy a one-hand operation as the power switch is very conveniently placed for you to reach easily!

Why I Like This:

I find this a very useful and compact gadget for office desks. If you tend to have a lot of late-night studies or work this can be a very useful thing to have around.

Pros:
Cons:

Understanding Different Types of Espresso Machines

Espresso machines all have the same purpose to produce the perfect espresso, but they’re not built the same. Here are the basic types of espresso machines that you should know about –

Pod or Capsule Machine:

This type of espresso machine uses coffee pods or capsules to make your favorite coffee. Although they’re very convenient, they can limit the types of espresso that you can prepare.

You need to find the right pod brand that’s compatible with your machine. The most popular coffee pod brand is Nespresso, which may come in different strengths and blends. Lavazza BLUE Classy Mini is compatible with Nespresso pods. 

Preparing your espresso with this type of machine is quite easy. Simply insert the pod into the machine and wait for a few minutes for it to extract the full flavor. This equipment is perfect for beginners.

Automatic or Semi-Automatic Machine:

Automatic espresso machines can stop the flow of water to ensure consistent volume in every shot. Due to the machine’s automatic features, cafes love to have a bunch of these! IMUSA USA 4 Cup Is a great option for quick and rich coffee. 

The semi-automatic espresso machine uses an automated system to direct the water through the group head. Meanwhile, your job is to grind, tamp, and control the extraction of the coffee. 

This type of coffee machine has a good balance between automation and human control, because you’re in control of the shot, while the machine handles the water pressure and temperature regulations.

Stovetop Espresso Maker:

Also known as Moka Pot, stovetop espresso maker is perhaps the cheapest espresso machine out there. It has a unique shape that can easily sit on your stove. Preparing the espresso doesn’t require pressure either. Bialetti Moka Express is a classic choice for this.

Some Hot Drinks You Can Make with Your Espresso Machine

Yes, the espresso machine is not only designed for espresso shots. They can also make other drinks as long as you have the right ingredients. Here are some of them –

Espresso (Single or Double Shot):

This is mainly what comes out of your espresso machine. This is a rich, aromatic shot of coffee packed with caffeine.

Many coffee enthusiasts love to drink it in its natural state. It’s slightly darker than black coffee.

Macchiato:

Add a little steamed milk on top of your espresso shot to make a delicious cup of macchiato. The steamed milk will create extra foam and tone down the strong flavor.

Cappuccino:

This is macchiato with more milk. A cappuccino is one of the best ways to enjoy your espresso machine with built-in milk frother.

Mocha:

Mocha is the same as a cappuccino, but with chocolate included.

Latte:

Latte is just like a cappuccino, but with extra milk and a thin layer of foam.

Why Should You Own an Espresso Machine?

Having your own espresso machine at home is awesome. Here are a few benefits to convince you to get one now.

Get a Regular Fix of Espresso Anytime:

Instead of going to coffee shops and waiting in line for hours, you can make your own espresso in the comforts of home. You can save money and even get the fix anytime you want.

A Lot of Flavors to Explore:

Pre-ground coffee packets have a narrow selection of flavors. With an espresso machine at home, you can try new coffee roast grounds from different regions and seasons.

Be Your Own Barista at Home:

By owning your own espresso machine, you have full control of the taste and brew size of your coffee. You can gradually learn to make the right adjustments for the perfect espresso as well!

Sustainable:

You can help the environment by using your own mug while drinking espresso at home, instead of buying takeaway paper cups. It’s better to use your own coffee grounds because some pods are made of plastic.

What to Look for in a Good Budget Espresso Machine

There are multiple brands of espresso machines available in the market today. To find the right fit for your needs, here are some factors that you should look for in an espresso machine –

Size:

Some espresso machines are heavy and huge. If you have a small kitchen space, look for compact espresso machines that leave a small footprint. Most affordable espresso machines are compact in size because of their limited features.

Material:

Metals, like stainless steel and aluminum, last longer and retain more heat than their plastic counterparts. However, for most budget espresso machines, the construction is mainly plastic with a few metal parts. You need the construction to feel solid at least to ensure that the plastic material will last long.

Capresso Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine are made out of solid stainless steel which makes it the most durable one on our list. Having something like Capresso means you will have great coffee for years to come. 

Warranty:

Check the warranty of the product to get an idea of what to expect from its quality. Products that offer a higher warranty last longer than those with shorter warranties. The budget espresso machines that we reviewed above have at least a 1-year warranty.

Bar Pressure:

The bar pressure rating is one of the most important features to consider when shopping for the best espresso machine. A bar is a gauge of atmospheric pressure. Five bars mean five times the amount of pressure at sea level.

To make a perfect shot of espresso, nine bars are recommended. Keep in mind that the bar pressure will decline over time as components deteriorate.

To ensure optimum performance, look for a high pressure rating between 15-20. ChefWave Mini Espresso Machine has the best tasting coffee because of its high bar pressure.

Compatibility:

As you may already know, some espresso machines are compatible with coffee pods, coffee grounds, or both. If you want convenience, look for machines that are compatible with certain brands of coffee pods, like Nespresso.

If you find the pods extravagant in the long run, choose a model that works on coffee grounds. To get the best of both worlds, choose a model that accepts both pods and coffee grounds.

Power and Speed:

The power, expressed in wattage, will tell you how fast and efficient the espresso machine will be. It’s safe to say that the higher the wattage, the faster and more efficient the machine will be. Espresso machines with 1,200-1,400 power can deliver coffee in as fast as 20-30 seconds.

Extra Features:

Affordable espresso machines have basic features, but if you can find a model that offers some extra ones, then you’re lucky. A few additional features that you can find are a water filter, a cup warmer, and a frothing wand.

The water filter is very useful if you want to preserve the full flavor of the espresso. Hamilton Beach, for example, has a big water reservoir.  A cup warmer will help keep the optimum temperature of the espresso while the frothing wand is useful in making cappuccinos and lattes.

How to Use an Espresso Machine Properly

Producing a perfect shot of espresso needs skill and proper equipment. Here are the steps in making the best shot of espresso –

  • Preheat your espresso maker. This usually takes up to 25 minutes, so it’s recommended to warm your machine up in advance.
  • Next, put some ground coffee in your portafilter and shave away the extra coffee using your hand. Take note of the product’s capacity and work within the range. Ideally, it’s good to start around 20 grams of ground coffee.
  • Use your tamper to smooth the ground coffee down into the portafilter basket. You may want to tap the side of the portafilter before tamping so that the espresso beans are roughly distributed. To tamp, press down straight using a slight bit of pressure until the grounds cease to settle.
  • Now, you can start brewing. Pull your shot between 20-30 seconds. Take note of the pressure reached so you’ll know how much pressure is needed next time. If your machine has no gauge, taste the espresso.
  • If the taste is too bitter for your taste, choose a coarser grind next time. If it’s sour, select a finer grind.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Other than knowing what to look for in a good espresso machine, you should also be aware of a few common questions customers ask about the espresso machines.

01. Is Espresso Bad For Your Health?

No, it’s not bad for your health. Espresso is rich in antioxidants that can help improve your long-term memory, focus, and mood. It’s also known to minimize the risks of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

02. What Causes Crema In Espresso?

Pressurized hot water that forces through finely-ground coffee creates crema in espresso. The crema in espresso contains micro-bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that are dispersed in water. You’ll see them rising to the top because the bubbles fasten to the coffee’s natural oils and fats.

03. How Many Bars Are Good For An Espresso Machine?

The consensus is to have 9 bars of pressure to make a good espresso. However, many models list higher pressure specifications, such as 15, 19, or 20 pumps.

A 15-bar espresso machine doesn’t do much to the taste of the espresso. But since the machine’s pressure deteriorates over time, it’s better to have a higher pressure machine.

04. Is Moka An Espresso?

Moka is a simple piece of equipment that uses steam pressure to drive water through a strainer to create espresso. The output won’t be exactly like the espresso produced in bars, but it can come close. The Moka pot is a cheaper option to create good coffee.

05. Why Is There No Crema On My Espresso?

When your espresso has no crema, the problem lies with your machine. The machine might have an issue forcing water through the puck of coffee, which is why your espresso has no crema.

Conclusion

The best espresso machines not only provide consistent, rich cuppa, it also makes the whole brewing process very easy. With my list of the top 1 budget espresso machines, you will enjoy cafe-quality coffee without having to learn all the little details of coffee infusion, grind type, or tamping pressure. 

Which espresso maker is best for you depends on your budget, preference, how many espressos you want to make per brew and of course, your effort level. I tried to add a good range from very basic to classic espresso makers. There is something for everyone and I hope you find your desired one!