Best Budget Espresso Machines

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Top Budget Espresso Machines

Espresso is one of the most distinctive and enjoyable types of coffee. However, an espresso machine often doesn’t come cheap. Compared with other ways of brewing coffee, an espresso machine can get really expensive.

However, you can get one on a good budget. An espresso machine is a complex bit of kit, so making one that works well on a budget can be difficult. You’ve got to find a budget espresso machine that doesn’t compromise on quality.

Easier said than done, so here’s the good bit. These are the best espresso machines on the market at the moment, that you can get for a decent budget without sacrificing quality:

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This De’Longhi espresso machine is a great choice if you’re looking for quality on a budget. This is a compact machine that limits what it offers you. It doesn’t claim to be able to do all of the functions of a high-powered automatic espresso machine.

This is better since you get higher quality on a budget for the basics than trying to do everything on the cheap.

The machine comes with three different portafilters. One can make double espresso, one can make single espresso shots, and the last portafilter doubles up to function with pods for coffee machines. It also has a milk frother to create texture hot milk. With this, you can make lattes, cappuccinos, or flat whites.

This machine has some nice additions, like a removable drip tray to allow for bigger cups. This simplifies brewing coffee but also makes clean up easier. If you’re looking for a budget espresso machine that looks sleek in your kitchen, then this De’Longhi machine is a great choice.

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This Breville pick is definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum. You’re paying a bit more, but considering what you get it still qualifies as budget. This is a fully automatic espresso machine, so you’re getting everything that you need. These machines are typically high in price, so this is a more budget-friendly option for a fully automatic machine.

You get complete control of the espresso with the Breville Barista espresso. You can control the grind of your coffee, then the temperature of the water that pulls over your espresso, and even the extraction. You can make espresso exactly to your taste using this. If you’re not into tinkering though, you can still get automatic espresso easily with just a button.

This machine has a milk frother for different drinks, with separate controls to keep everything at the right temperature. This is a complete bean to cup machine. It isn’t as cheap as some of these other budget models, but it is a really good machine.

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This SOWTECH espresso machine is no thrills, but it is great value if you’re after a good espresso. This is a simple machine, but you get good coffee out it and can froth milk for lattes and cappuccinos.

This espresso machine can make up to two shots at once using a pressurized portafilter. You’ll have to grind your own coffee. However, you save money on those extra features to get a better cup in the end. This is a fairly simple machine, but if you know what you’re doing you can make top quality lattes with it.

The SOWTECH is also a compact espresso machine so cleaning is really simple. The water pressure is decent enough considering the price, so you’re going to be able to pump great espresso with the right beans. If you’re looking for great value, then this is one of the best budget espresso machines for you.

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This De’Longhi machine works great for making espresso, drinks with milk, and even pod systems. This one is similar to the De’Longhi Dedica machine on this list. However, it does have a few differences and extra features.

The milk frother on this machine is built with an add-on element. This makes it really easy to froth cappuccino milk. If you don’t fancy spending a lot of time learning about frothing milk, then this is a great solution.

The machine can keep itself at the optimal brewing temperature right after you’ve pulled a cup. This is convenient if you like to drink a lot of coffee or want a higher-powered machine on a budget.

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This is one of the budget models available from Breville. They typically make more high-end machines, so this one comes in higher on the price scale. Like with their other machines though, you’re getting a lot of quality for your money.

The key feature of this one is the pre-infuser, it is even named the infuser after it. This system pre-infuses your coffee. It applies water with low pressure at the beginning of the brew. This gently expands the grinds to ensure an even extraction when the coffee pulls, which helps you to get a great coffee each time.

The machine also has an auto-purge system. With this, the water temperature is purged to hit the right one for espresso right after steaming. This can all be automated with control presets. On the other hand, you can control all of this manually if you’d like! You get the option of both here.

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This EspressoWorks machine is a great budget model if you’re looking for an all in one espresso machine. This machine comes with a grinder, espresso, milk frother, and just about everything else you’re going to need.

This set comes with the tools you need to make great coffee. You’ve got the machine with a milk frother. There’s also a grinder included, so you can always get fresh-tasting coffee. The package has a milk jug, spoon, two espresso cups for the coffee, a tamper to tamp down the espresso, and a stainless steel jug to get evenly steamed milk.

This is a great package if you’re looking to make espresso on a budget. It comes with everything you need to make great coffee.

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This Calphalon coffee machine works great at doing the basics well. It is a great price, but that usually means lower pressure. This machine still gets 15-bars of pressure. This is enough to compete with most high-end machines.

That extra pressure also helps out the steam wand. You can use this high-quality wand to froth milk for lattes, cappuccinos, and any other hot milk-based drink.

This machine has a thermoblock that heats the water. This allows you to get much better temperature control. You can even pre-infuse the coffee grounds to experiment a little with your espresso. This is a great espresso machine, especially on a budget since it has the power that you usually only get with high-end machines.

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This automatic Mr. Coffee machine is great if you want to make café quality drinks, without devoting a whole lot of time to learning how every intricate process works. If you’re looking for the best budget espresso machine then this is a great choice, since you save money on features that aren’t always necessary.

This is an automatic machine, so you’re not going to need to learn a lot about the extraction process to get a good drink. The frothing arm is also pretty easy to use, so you can get great drinks with hot milk too. The machine uses a thermal block heating system. This keeps your water at the perfect temperature. With this, you can brew great coffee quite a bit quicker, no more waiting for the water to heat back up.

The machine itself also has a removable drip tray, to make things easier to clean. This is a great overall package and it has a low price, so you’re getting great value.

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This Jassy Espresso machine is a polished and well-made piece of equipment. It features 19-bars of pressure, which is huge for a device at this price point. With this, you can get great quality espresso and high pressure to steam milk quickly. The machine can also adjust for various cup sizes, and pull different amounts of espresso.

This machine has a milk frother on the side which you can make hot drinks with. Something which this machine really excels with is the speed. You can get this up to temperature in about 20 seconds, which isn’t long to wait for a cup of coffee.

Cleaning is pretty simple with this coffee machine. It has a built-in cleaning and descaling function. This helps you purge the machine, and descale it without too much fuss or expensive chemicals. This is one of the best budget espresso machines if you want something fast and with less upkeep.

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This Capresso coffee machine is a great programmable espresso maker, and it comes in at a great price if you’re on a budget. This one isn’t fully automatic, but it does offer the benefits from programming that you’ll find with a more automatic machine.

This espresso machine is great if you’re looking for something a bit smarter. It is programmed to run for one shot, two, and to pump out hot water to make Americanos and tea. This is great if you want espresso, but you’re not interested in timing the doses for your coffee by yourself.

The machine is compact and nicely designed too. It’s got a milk frother to add in a bit of variety too. This is a great little machine if you’re looking for an espresso machine on a budget.

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This is another Capresso machine, this one though comes in at an even lower price point. You might not get the same programmable features, but you’ll get great coffee at a great price.

The machine itself is pretty simple and easy to clean. This machine has a removable water tank and removable drip tray. They detach for easy cleaning which helps to speed things along. Making coffee is similarly easy with a self-locking holder for the portafilter. This eliminates the possibility of not connecting things properly. If you’ve never had that experience, it is a whole mess of ground coffee and running water, at scalding hot temperatures. You can avoid that with this machine.

This Capresso pump machine is pretty simple to operate, which is great if you just want an easy device. This is one of the best budget espresso machines out there.

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This is a small and stylish device that can make great coffee. This device is great for those on a budget, especially if you still want something that looks good while making espresso.

The espresso itself is pulled with 15 bar pressure. This is good considering the price. You also have double temperature controls, one for coffee and one for the milk. This means you can extract your coffee at the perfect temperature without affecting the taste of your coffee.

This machine has all the features you’d want, but it’s compact. It is quite small compared to the majority of other espresso machines. If this is what you’re looking for, then this is the best budget espresso machine for you.

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This Barsetto espresso machine is one of the best out there on a budget. It gives you all of the tools to make great espresso. Everything about the process is transparent and controllable, which is great if you like your coffee brewed up a specific way.

This machine features 15 bars of pressure. This is going to make it easy to pull rich delicious espressos. You can adjust the temperature of the water and the milk separately. This is great for getting the best performance out for both your milk and your coffee. There is a handy dial for pressure and temperature on the machine itself. This makes it easy to see when you’re ready to brew.

This is a great compact machine if you’re looking to make great coffee at home. You get full control over what is going on with the machine, so you can make coffee exactly the way you want it.

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This Yabano espresso machine works a bit differently to most. This device pulls espresso from a normal portafilter handle. However, the filter itself has more of a funnel design. It draws coffee that is a little less intense and needs less pressure. With this, you can pull more than one cup at once.

The resulting coffee here is somewhere between an espresso and filter coffee. You can still brew up one strong cup at once though, resulting in pretty much espresso.

On top of the coffee, you can foam milk with this device. You can use hot frothed milk to make cappuccinos or lattes, so you get a lot of different coffees. This is a great compact coffee machine, especially if you’re looking for a budget espresso machine.

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This Lavazza coffee machine is fantastic if you’re looking for a quality drink on a budget. Specifically, it works with Lavazza Blue capsules. Pods are an alternative to using fresh espresso that some people like because of their convenience.

This machine can take pre-measured and prepared coffees. It can make five of these in a row without having to be emptied. This makes it easy to make coffee while entertaining without a lot of fussing.

A pod machine has a lot of advantages if you want good coffee without having to operate everything manually. This particular machine has a few extra features too. There are visual alerts to let you know when you need to empty the capsules or refill the water tank. The tank is high quality and completely transparent. These little features add up and make this one of the best budget espresso machines.

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This is another pod espresso machine, but this one has some more versatile features. You can use Mixpresso pods here, but also Nespresso capsules. This gives you quite a variety of choices for capsules. You get a lot more options of what blend of coffee you want, with pods even offering different styles.

This machine has some nice additional features too. The drip tray, water tank, and container to put pods into are all removable and simple to clean. The machine will shut itself off after it hasn’t been used to save on energy. It is also compact and easy to store.

The coffee you’re going to get out of this machine can be better than most pods. It is a 19 bar pressure espresso machine. So you’re getting better quality coffee than with most. This is one o the best budget espresso machines if you’re looking to do things simply.

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Buying Guide and FAQ

Those are some of the best budget espresso machines out there at the moment. However, not all of them are going to be for you. If you want to find the exact right budget espresso machine for you, there are some things you’ll need to know. This is everything you need to know about espresso machines, using them, and which is the right one for you.

Advantages of Affordable Espresso Machines

When you’re choosing between different coffee machines, budget espresso machines might not be the first type that spring to mind. These machines can be a bit technical, and even intimidating for those who don’t really know them. However, there are some clear advantages to getting an affordable espresso machine. These are the main ones:

  • You Can Get Quality on a Budget – The best affordable espresso machines can make high-quality coffee without spending a lot on a set-up. You’ve got to prioritize though, finding the best budget machines can still get you great coffee.

  • Variety – With a great espresso machine, you can make a lot of different drinks. Espresso is a base, and on top of that, you can add in foamed milk or hot water to make a lot of different drinks. 

  • Easy to Use – An affordable espresso machine can be really easy to use. Some on this list are automatic and don’t require much more than a button press.

  • Longevity – Espresso machines are built to last over time. You can rely on an espresso machine to make you coffee for quite a while without needing replacing.

  • Choice – There are loads of different espresso machines here that are all different in one way or another. You can choose which one exactly fits your requirements. You can look for the espresso machine that gives you what you need from a machine.

3 Types of Budget Espresso Machines

There are a lot of different types of budget espresso machines that you can get. If you’re looking for the right espresso machine for you, you’ll need to think about which type you need. These are the major types of budget espresso machines that you’ll have to decide between:

  • Manual Espresso Machines –  Manual espresso machines give you control over the process of pulling coffee. You’ll be able to load the portafilter, tamp it down, and control the extraction. With this type, you can make different espresso drinks pretty quickly. You’ll also be able to experiment with tastes until you find what is right for you.
  • Automatic and Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines – These machines are like manual espresso machines, but they automate a lot of the process. These machines can do everything from grinding the coffee to pulling your espresso in one button touch. Semi-automatics give you more control over the brewing process.
  • Pod Machines – Pod machines make coffee from pre-prepared and packaged pucks of coffee. These machines can make a great variety of drinks just from some hot water and the pods.

How to Choose a Cheap Espresso Machine

All the machines mentioned here are great choices for a budget espresso machine. However, you’ll need to figure out which one is right for you. This is what you need to know, and how to choose which budget espresso machine is right for you:

  • Start with Budget – This is the starting point when you’re choosing a cheap espresso machine. Only look at those in your budget, and decide which is right for you out of them.

  • What Type of Machine? – This is your next decision. Do you want an espresso machine or a pod-based machine? Pod-based machines are pretty shut and dry, but if you’re going for actual espresso you need to look a bit further.

  • Automatic or Manual? – You have a choice between automatic coffee machines or manual ones. A manual machine gives you complete control over the way that you make coffee. However, an automatic can make things simple if you don’t want to spend a long time experimenting.

  • Fully Automatic or Semi? – A fully automatic machine can program the entire process of making your drink. However, a semi gives you a bit more control. You have to decide which is better for you, and the fully automatic is more expensive.

  • Grinder – Some coffee machines come with a grinder, but others will need you to grind your own coffee. Freshly ground coffee is one of the most important parts of making great coffee. If you already have a solid grinder, you don’t have to look for one included in your coffee machine.

How to Use Your Espresso Machine in 6 Steps

All of that covers how you can find the coffee machine that is entirely perfect for you. All that is left then is to actually figure out how to use it! This is what you need to know:

1. Turn on the Machine 

No matter what type of machine you have; this is always going to be the first step! Some machines will need to warm up for longer than others, so keep this in mind.

2. The Beans 

You need to measure the amount of coffee you need for an espresso, and then grind it. This step can be really important, so if you have a grinder and scale make sure you’re being as exact as possible. A lot of portafilters will have a marking for how much coffee to put in. Otherwise, use around 18 grams of coffee. You can experiment with this to get things right, especially if your machine uses more or less normal than is standard. 

3. Tamp 

With the ground coffee in your portafilter, you need to tamp to prepare it to pull shots. The coffee needs to be distributed evenly. To achieve this, use a tamper to lightly press the coffee into position in your portafilter, the resulting coffee should be tightly packed but completely level.

4. The Test Shot 

When the machine is all up and running, running one test shot is going to help you make sure everything is calibrated. Pull the shots, if everything is set up you should get a full dose of double espresso in 20-30 seconds.

5. Make Sure Everything is Pulling Correctly 

If your test shot ran too quickly, you need to make your grind finer. If your espresso is pulling too slowly, you’ll need a courser grind. If your coffee is under-extracted, then you’ll need a finer grind. If your coffee is over-extracted and bitter, then grind it more coarsely. Adjust how your shots pull to make your next pulled espresso just right. 

6. Enjoy 

With the machine entirely set-up to pull espresso that tastes just right, everything is all set for you to start serving some full drinks using espresso and enjoy your new machine.

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Sources

Moka Pot, Machine, Filter, or Instant – Which Produces the Best Coffee?
https://www.theguardian.com/food/shortcuts/2018/oct/29/moka-pot-machine-filter-or-instant-which-produces-the-best-coffee

How to Make Espresso at Home: A Starter Guide
https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/how-to-make-espresso/

Espresso Machine – How Does It Work?
https://www.baristainstitute.com/blog/november-2019/espresso-machine-how-does-it-work

Baristas’ Tips for Making Takeaway-Style Coffee at Home
https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/how_to_brew_coffee