14 Best Budget Espresso Machine Reviews & Buying Guide in 2020

Sometimes, the price can get in the way of enjoying a good shot of espresso. Guess what? We have compiled a list of espresso machines that is budget-friendly and incredible in taste!

Last updated:
John Bird

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.

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!

Comparison Table for the Best Budget Espresso Machine

Product

Power

Pressure

Compatible With

HiBrew 2-in-1 Mini Espresso Machine

1,450 watts

 

19 bar

 

 

Nespresso capsules and coffee grounds

Mueller Espresso Machine

1,400 watts

 

20 bar

Nespresso capsules

 

STX International Caffe Brio

1,200 watts

20 bar

Nespresso OriginalLine Capsule

Lavazza BLUE Classy Mini Single Serve Espresso Coffee Machine

1, 250 watts

18 bar

Lavassa BLUE Capsules

ChefWave Kava Espresso Machine

1, 400 watts

20 bar

Nespresso capsules

Mr. Coffee Pump Espresso Maker

1, 250 watts

15 bar

Ground coffee

Capresso EC50

1, 050 watts

15 bar

Ground coffee

Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine 40715

1, 050 watts

15 bar

Nespresso capsules and coffee grounds

SOWTECH Steam Espresso Machine

800 watts

3.5 bar

Ground coffee

Aicook Espresso Machine, 6816

800 watts

3.5 bar

Ground coffee

Brentwood GA-125 Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

800 watts

3.5 bar

Ground coffee

Yabano Espresso Machine

800 watts

3.5 bar

Ground coffee

Miho CM-01A Espresso Machine

800 watts

3.5 bar

Ground coffee

The Original Bialetti Moka Express

n/a

n/a

Ground coffee

A Review of the Best Budget Espresso Machine

We know how difficult it is to find the best espresso machine that won’t break the bank. Fortunately, we have rounded up 14 of the best budget models that you can use at home. Whether you want a semi-automatic or a capsule machine, we have the perfect budget espresso machine for you below.

01. HiBrew 2-in-1 Mini Espresso Machine

Whether you want to use Nespresso capsules or taste your own ground coffee, the HiBrew Mini Espresso Machine allows you to do both. The package includes two adapters so you can easily switch between Nespresso capsule and ground coffee. Expect to have high-quality espresso in as fast as 25 seconds.

Operation is very easy with its one-touch button and removable drip tray. You need not worry about electricity costs because this machine turns itself off after 15 minutes of being idle.

This mini espresso machine is available in two colors: black and purple. It’s suitable for limited spaces because it’s only 4.3 inches wide.

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine/ Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Power: 1,450 watts
  • Pressure: 19 bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel, BPA-free Plastic
  • Capacity: 3 cups
  • Brew Time: 25 seconds
  • Special Feature: One-touch Button
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

What We Liked:

Two Color Options: We like the purple option because it brings an aesthetic accent to your boring kitchen. You can also go black for that classic look.

Compact Size: This espresso machine is small which doesn’t take up much space in your counter space. If you like to bring an espresso machine while travelling, you can use HiBrew.

Two Brew Options: You can use Nespresso capsules or ground coffee. This brings more versatility to the unit.

What We Didn’t Like:

You Can’t Customize the Brew Size: Unfortunately, you can’t program the brew size in this machine.

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02. Mueller Espresso Machine

This Mueller Espresso Machine offers a barista-style like result with its 20-bar pressure pump. It delivers your favorite espresso in as fast as 25 seconds and turns itself off after 10 minutes to save energy. It’s so easy to use with its one-touch buttons, automatic capsule ejection, and programmable settings to custom volumes.

The water tank has a capacity to hold 24 oz or 3 cups of water. It’s great that we can remove the drip tray to fit a large mug. As for the build quality, the plastic body seems solid and durable. This espresso machine is compatible with Nespresso capsules.

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 10.7 x 14.6 inches
  • Weight:  2.2 lbs
  • Power: 1,400 watts
  • Pressure: 20 bar
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Capacity: 3 cups
  • Brew Time: 25 seconds
  • Special Feature: Intelligent Power Saving Function
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

What We Liked:

Small Footprint: This machine has a slim design to fit all spaces. The water tank is set at the back so it takes less space in your counter.

Fast Heating: Mueller has 1,400 watts of power to make your beverage ready in seconds.

Energy Saving: This machine automatically shuts itself off after 10 minutes, cutting your electricity cost.

20-Bar Pressure Pump: With this amount of pressure, you can unlock the delicate flavor and high-quality aroma of espresso that you can only taste in coffee shops.

What We Didn’t Like:

Loud: Yes, like most budget espresso machines, Mueller is loud when making coffee.

No Crema: Unlike the original Nespresso machine, Mueller has no Crema, hence the coffee tastes bitter.

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03. STX International Caffe Brio

Caffe Brio is another affordable espresso machine designed to accommodate Nespresso OriginalLine Capsule. It brews fast for 30 seconds and automatically shuts off after 15 minutes of idle use. You can decide whether to make a single shot, double shot, or create your own timer to suit your preferred volume.

It’s very convenient to use. The Automatic Ejection Capsule System throws away the used capsule into the Spent Capsule Container.

Together with the Spillage Container, it maximizes all spaces of the machine. The resulting cup of this sleek machine is good and the build quality is sturdy.

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Pod or Capsule Machine
  • Dimensions: 3.75 x 9 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 8.29 lbs
  • Power: 1,200 watts
  • Pressure: 20 bar
  • Material: BPA-free Plastic
  • Capacity: 2.5 cups
  • Brew Time: 30 seconds
  • Special Feature: VTC Dispensing
  • Warranty: 3-year warranty

What We Liked:

Beautiful Design: The shiny black appearance really suits the Caffe Brio. We place the water tank at the back to look neat on the counter space.

VTC Dispensing: This innovative feature allows you to use a timer to control the volume dispensing.

Convenient to Use: You need not take out the used capsule from the machine because the automatic ejection system will take care of it.

Long Warranty: You’ll get 3 years of warranty to get your machine fixed, plus it comes with a 30-day money-back warranty for full refund.

What We Didn’t Like:

Diluted Double Shot: The single shot of espresso is good enough but the double shot seems to be a little diluted.

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04. Lavazza BLUE Classy Mini Single Serve Espresso Coffee Machine

The Classy Mini is a compact espresso coffee machine designed to make two types of coffee- espresso and lungo. It’s efficient and convenient to use with its intuitive controls and visual alerts. Removable cup support allows you to fit any cup from espresso cups to large mugs.

As for the design, this single serve espresso coffee machine impresses us with its chrome details and sleek Italian design. This machine works only with Lavassa BLUE Capsules, which offer lots of pod flavors.

Product Specifications:

  • 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
  • Material: AB plastic
  • Capacity: 3 cups
  • Brew Time: 28 seconds
  • Special Feature: Visual Alerts
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

What We Liked:

Sleek Modern Design: The chrome details of this machine adds elegance to any space. We love the smooth line embellishment because it makes the machine look neat.

Intuitive Controls: Operation is made easy with the intuitive touch controls at the front. You’ll know when the water tank is empty as the visual indicator will inform you.

Space Saver: This machine is 5.3 inches wide, so it only needs a little space in your counter. The rounded lines make it more adaptable to any area, including hotel rooms.

What We Didn’t Like:

Difficult to Buy the Pods: The LAVASSA Blue Capsules are hard to find. To ensure a constant supply of coffee, buy pods in bulk.

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05. ChefWave Mini Espresso Machine

Design your kitchen with the ChefWave Espresso Machine, available in red, black, and white colors. This machine can make a rich cup of Espresso and Lungo every time you feel like it. This Nespresso capsule compatible machine can rival the popular coffee shops with its 20-bar pump performance.

This one-touch espresso maker is built with a 27-oz water tank, a 2-hour automatic shut off, and standby mode for great energy savings. The ChefWave espresso machine has everything you need! It includes a side rack to store up to 40 pods and two double wall glass espresso cups.

Product Specifications:

  • 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

What We Liked:

Multiple Color Options: ChefWave offers three colors for you to choose. Our favorite is the red one because it stands out and adds a nice accent to the room.

Comes with Extra Goodies: Besides the espresso machine, the package also includes a sturdy capsule holder and two espresso cups. You get all you need to enjoy your first cup of espresso at home.

Easy to Use: It doesn’t take a genius to operate this machine. All you need to do is to load the capsule and select the size (espresso or lungo). Also, the energy saving auto-shut off function makes the operation hassle-free.

Fast and Powerful: This machine can make delicious espresso for about 30 seconds in 20 bar pump.

What We Didn’t Like:

Loud: This machine makes loud noises when making coffee. This is a disadvantage if you have light sleepers at home.

Difficult to Open or Close: You have to use force when opening or closing this machine.

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06. Mr. Coffee Pump Espresso Maker

When we are talking about the best budget espresso machines, Mr. Coffee will always be a part of that list. It’s user friendly, and it comes with all the essentials to make a perfect espresso shot.

This espresso maker comes with a tamper to pack the grounds down hard. Sure, the quality isn’t coffee shop level, but it’s decent enough to make a good layer of delicious crema.

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

Product Specifications:

  • 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

What We Liked:

It Doesn’t Need K-cups or Pods: With this machine, you need not use k-cups or pods. You can use your favorite coffee grounds to make your own cup of espresso.

Includes a Frothing Arm: With this feature, you can make other types of coffee such as lattes, mocha, and cappuccino.

Simple Controls: The one-touch controls and indicator lights make this machine easy to operate. There are separate buttons for brewing coffee and steaming milk.

What We Didn’t Like:

It Can’t Brew Coffee and Steam Milk Simultaneously: Mr. Coffee would have been perfect if it allowed you to brew coffee and steam milk at the same time.

Manual Shut Off: This machine won’t automatically stop the flow of espresso, hence you need to turn off the dial.

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07. Capresso EC50

If you want a perfect froth, look no further. Capresso EC50 is built with a 15-bar pump Thermoblock that prepares the lightest Crema. The aluminum warming platform ensures that coffees remain at the optimum temperature when served.

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.

Product Specifications:

  • 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

What We Liked:

Durable Construction: The stainless steel housing is strong, whereas the aluminum parts are solid and sturdy.

Makes a Nice Froth: This machine comes with a dual swivel frother that adds a light, airy froth to every cup.

Cups Stay Warm: Thanks to the aluminum warming tray, the cups maintain an ideal temperature while serving.

What We Didn’t Like:

No Tamper and Measuring Tool: This machine uses steam pressure to make espresso. However, it doesn’t include a tamper and measuring, so you need to purchase them separately.

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08. Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine 40715

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.

Product Specifications:

  • 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, Plastic
  • Capacity: 6.cups
  • Brew Time: 46 seconds
  • Special Feature: Steam Wand
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

What We Liked:

Versatile: 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.

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

Fast and Large Capacity: 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.

What We Didn’t Like:

Short Cord: We don’t like that the cord is short because it increases your risk of getting burned.

Portafilter Leaks: The portafilter is small, so it leaks when it’s packed with too much coffee grounds.

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09. SOWTECH Steam Espresso Machine

The SOWTECH Steam Espresso Machine is all you’ll ever need if you want to make quick espresso in minutes. It’s 3.5 steam pressure is enough to create a rich, smooth Crema and 1-4 cups of espresso coffee. The taste of the espresso comes out strong and delicious, which we really love!

As for the construction, the stainless steel body feels solid and durable. The operation is also very easy with the indicator lights and accurate temperature control. The package comes with all you need for making espresso, including a filter, spoon, and carafe.

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Semi-Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 9 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 4.95 lbs
  • Power: 800 watts
  • Pressure: 3.5 bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 4 cups
  • Brew Time: 2-3 minutes
  • Special Feature: Built-in Frother
  • Warranty: 12-month warranty

What We Liked:

Built-in Milk Frother: We love the frothing arm in this espresso machine because it can easily transform your espresso into a cappuccino or latte.

Compact Design: This machine is 7.2 inches wide, which doesn’t take up much space on the countertop. It’s also light, making it easier for you to carry around.

Easy to Use: The single switch knob makes this machine easy to operate. The measuring scoop has measurement lines for accuracy, plus the drip tray is removable for easy cleaning.

No Temperature Loss: This machine can keep the temperature of the coffee at 176 F.

What We Didn’t Like:

No Auto Shut-Off Function: We wish it could turn itself off to save energy.

Hot-to-Touch Exterior: This machine can get too hot when in operation. Therefore, don’t touch it immediately. Touch it after a few minutes.

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10. AICOOK Espresso Machine

AICOOK Espresso Machine is designed to make espresso, latte, cappuccino, iced coffee, and many more. It’s built with a milk steamer to froth the milk manually and a single-switch knob to make the operation easy. This 3.5-bar machine includes a 4-cup glass pot and a permanent filter basket.

The design of this machine is very modern with black and silver accents. The boiler cap is built with a sealed ring to ensure that no water leaks out. This semi-automatic machine makes espresso within three minutes and another 30 seconds for the rich, creamy foam.

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Semi-Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 10.7 x 13.4 inches
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs
  • Power:  800 watts
  • Pressure: 3.5 bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic
  • Capacity: 4 cups
  • Brew Time: 3 minutes
  • Special Feature: Permanent Filter Basket
  • Warranty: 24-month warranty

What We Liked:

Fast and Convenient: This espresso maker only takes three minutes to make espresso and 30 seconds for the foam. The one-switch knob takes out the guesswork in using this machine.

Easy to Clean: Thanks to its removable drip tray and frother nozzle, cleaning is very easy.

Decent Warranty: AICOOK offers a 2-year warranty, which is more than adequate for this budget espresso maker.

Scale Markings on the Glass Pot: We appreciate that the glass pot has a scale because you can easily adjust the strength of your coffee.

What We Didn’t Like:

Lacks Pressure: This model only delivers 3.5 bar of pressure, hence it can’t produce the Crema-effect.

Flimsy Control Dial: The control knob is flimsy, so turn it carefully.

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11. Brentwood GA-125 Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

The Brentwood GA-125 is a good choice for those who want to enjoy different types of coffee drinks from espresso to cappuccino and latte. Cut cost with the reusable stainless steel portafilter which allows you to use your favorite ground coffee.

This machine includes a 2-in-1 scoop and a tamp tool to create a nice puck. With the removable drip tray, power indicator light, and switch knob, the operation is easy even for beginners. Compared to other cheap espresso machines, the GA-125 is less noisy and causes no leakage.

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Semi-Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 10.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Weight: 5.47 lbs
  • Power: 800 watts
  • Pressure: 3.5 bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic
  • Capacity: 4 cups
  • Brew Time: 5 minutes
  • Special Feature: Cool Touch
  • Warranty: 12-month warranty

What We Liked:

Powerful Steamer: The built-in steamer of this machine can create a nice foam on your espresso.

Cool Exterior: The exterior doesn’t get too hot when in use. This makes this machine safe to use even with children around.

Relatively Quiet: This Brentwood espresso machine produces e making it suitable for families with children.

Cheap Construction: The plastic parts are cheap. However, it’s not a deal breaker because knobs and controls are easy to operate.

Weak Pressure: This machine only delivers 3.5 bar pressure pump, which is quite weak.

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12. Yabano Espresso Machine

The Yabano Espresso Machine is great for beginners, because the operation is simple. You simply need to turn the operation button clockwise to get the machine going. This semi-automatic machine produces up to 4 cups of espresso at a time.

The water reservoir comes with a cap to prevent any leaks due to pressure. The funnel device, drip tray, and milk tube are all removable so cleaning is easy. Aside from espresso, you can also make your favorite cappuccino and latte with the built-in steam wand!

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Semi-Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 13.4 inches
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs
  • Power: 800 watts
  • Pressure: 3.5 bar
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 4 cups
  • Brew Time: 5 minutes
  • Special Feature: Steam Wand
  • Warranty: 24-month warranty

What We Liked:

Removable Parts: This affordable espresso machine is easy to clean because the drip tray, portafilter, and nozzle are removable.

Easy to Set Up: Before turning the operation button clockwise, you need to fill the filter basket with coffee grounds and the glass pot with cold water.

Built-in Milk Frother: This feature is very helpful if you want to drink more than just espresso. You can add froth to make cappuccino, latte, and mocha.

What We Didn’t Like:

Low Pressure: This machine has only a 3.5 bar design pump, meaning that the espresso may taste weak.

Cheap Plastic Construction: Most of the parts are made of plastic.

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13. Miho CM-01A Espresso Machine

This Miho CM-01A is a semi-automatic machine that can make rich espresso, frothy cappuccino, and latte. The CM-01A can produce four cups of espresso at a time. With its single-switch knob and indicator light, the operation is smooth.

This compact espresso machine delivers 3.5 bar pressure from steam. The package includes a glass carafe, metal funnel, stainless steel filter, and measuring spoon. Although this machine costs less, it does a perfect job of making a good cup of espresso!

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Semi-Automatic Machine
  • Dimensions:  6.7 x 12.8 x 12.8 inches
  • Weight: 3.68 lbs
  • Power:  800 watts
  • Pressure: 3.5 bar
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic
  • Capacity: 4 cups
  • Brew Time: 4 minutes
  • Special Feature: Milk Frother
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

What We Liked:

Scale Markings on the Carafe and Filter: The glass carafe has water level markings to help you adjust the coffee strength. Likewise, the filter has a coffee grounds volume gauge to help you achieve accurate measurements.

Nice Froth: The froth made by the wand steamer can make creamy cappuccinos and lattes.

Comes with Many Accessories: You get everything you need to make espresso at home. The package includes a measuring spoon, glass carafe, and metal funnel.

What We Didn’t Like:

No Auto Shut-Off: Like all the other cheaper models in this list, the CM-01A has no auto shut-off function to save energy.

Smells Like Plastic: The dispenser is made of plastic, and the hot water it produces smells like plastic. The odor may fade over time though.

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14. The Original Bialetti Moka Express

This stovetop espresso maker can make rich Italian espresso in a matter of five minutes. It’s made of aluminum and shaped like an octagon, giving you that classic look. The handle and knob remain cool on the stovetop, so it’s safe to use around kids.

The Bialetti Moka Express is available in five sizes: 1 cup, 3 cup, 6 cup, 9 cup and 12 cup. This device was made to ensure that you really enjoy your delicious espresso. Because you can brew on the stovetop, it saves you utility bills.

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Stovetop
  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 6 inches
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Capacity: 1-12 cups
  • Brew Time: 5 minutes
  • Special Feature: Safety Valve
  • Warranty: Manufacturer’s Lifetime Limited Warranty

What We Like:

Easy to Clean: You can wash this pot with warm water.

Compact and Portable: This device is tiny and fits inside bags easily.

Unique Design: The aluminum body is nicely polished and the octagon shape brings an aesthetic touch to the pot.

What We Didn’t Like:

Aluminum Taste: High heat may impart some metal taste in the espresso. Although it’s safe for human consumption, it affects the taste negatively.

No Pressure Consistency: Unlike espresso machines, this Moka pot has no pressure consistency, which can lead to watery mixture.

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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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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. 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 on 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 on 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.

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.

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.

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.

Is Moka An Espresso?

Moka is a simple 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.

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:

All things considered, we pick the HiBrew 2-in-1 Mini as the best budget espresso machine, because it has the best features for its price. We like that this semi-automatic machine is compatible with both ground coffee and Nespresso capsules.

If you have no Nespresso capsule in your home, you can use your own ground coffee to make instant espresso. The machine is compact size, hence you leave a small footprint on your limited counter space.

The pressure can reach up to 19 bar, which is more than enough to unlock the sophisticated flavor of every coffee capsule and coffee grounds. Best of all, it heats up quickly, is less noisy, and has an auto shut-off function for safety.

If you’ve tried any of these espresso machines, let us know your experiences below. You can also recommend other good budget espresso machines to us.

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