Even though some people may not believe that they need the best espresso machine available, the truth of the matter is that to make a great espresso the consumer needs to purchase a great machine. Only true espresso machines can brew the coffee using the perfect combination of pressure and temperature. Using any other method for brewing espresso is to accept less than perfection. That’s why we’ve decided to review the best machines for making espresso. Now all of our readers can brew the perfect espresso or make any of the other great coffee drinks that can only be made with these machines.
Quick Summary of the Best Espresso Machines Under $500
- Editor’s Choice: Breville Duo-Temp Pro Espresso Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Also Recommended: Espresso Works Barista-Series Espresso Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider: Delonghi Dedica 15-Bar Espresso Machine (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Breville Duo-Temp Pro Espresso Machine
The first thing that we’d like to mention about this machine is that it’s a really nice looking machine. It has a classic stainless steel design that really complements just about anyone’s kitchen decor. It looks like a machine that doesn’t belong in the home kitchen but instead belongs in a high-end restaurant or coffee house. It’s not often that the consumer can purchase an espresso machine in the under $500 price range and end up getting such a nice looking machine. Of course, it’s visual style and appeal isn’t the only great things about this machine. It also has other great features that are worth mentioning and we’re going to mention them here.
This machine has a 15-bar Italian-made pump that starts off with low pressure to properly bloom the coffee grounds, and then gradually increases the pressure needed for extraction. This allows the consumer to pull the perfect shot every single time they use the machine. The user of this machine can extract one or two shots of espresso and they have manual control of the shot’s volume. This model also features a steam wand for steaming and frothing the milk needed for the shot. Also included on this device are single and dual wall filter baskets, a 61-ounce water tank capacity, and easy-to-use controls.
This machine is 10x11x13-inches and weighs under 20-pounds. This espresso machine features a 1,600-watts element that ensures that the consumer has enough steam to enhance the flavor of the brew and to adequately create a micro-foam. Other features that can be found on this machine include maintenance indicators that alert the consumer to the fact that the machine needs a little bit of attention, including drip-tray and cleaning alerts. This model also features an auto-purge that’s capable of purging the entire heat system to make sure that the shot is pulled at the precise temperature needed. All of this comes together to create a great machine for crafting the perfect coffee drink.
Also Recommended: Espresso Works Barista-Series Espresso Machine
This espresso machine gives the consumer everything they need to pull a great shot. It comes with 10-pieces all together including the machine itself, two espresso and cappuccino cups, a coffee bean grinder, a spoon/tamper, a porta-filter with single and double shot filter baskets, and 16 art stencil templates. Although we didn’t feel like the coffee bean grinder was up to our standards, most people who are buying this set aren’t going to worry about the grinder, because more than likely they’ll have their own. In other words, anyone who’s buying this set for just the coffee bean grinder is better off looking elsewhere. However, anyone else who is just looking for a quality machine for making espresso, and isn’t too worried about the grinder should appreciate this set.
This Thermoblock Espresso machine produces 19-bars of pressure, has a 1.4-liter detachable water tank, and a 500ml reservoir. This set also features a built-in milk frother with an adjustable control knob that allows the home barista to heat and froth milk so they can enjoy creamy cappuccinos and lattes from the comfort of their own home. Thanks to the dual Porta-filter baskets, the consumer can pull a single or a double shot quickly and easily, just like professional baristas do at coffee houses. It also has a precise control panel that makes it easy for consumers to select and make their drinks.
This espresso maker also has a sleek design that allows it to fit in well in any kitchen, and do it without taking up a whole lot of counter space. Another thing that’s attractive about this machine is that it doesn’t cost as much as some of the other professional models available. It’s almost half the price of other models, so consumers can spend less money on their espresso maker and more money on the things that matter in their life. In our opinion, that makes this machine one of the better ones available and one that’s sure to provide the home barista with the tools they need to make some great coffee drinks.
Also Consider: Delonghi Dedica 15-Bar Espresso Machine
There are quite a few things to like about this machine including its brilliant red color. This machine looks good on just about any countertop, and thanks to its small footprint, it’s capable of actually fitting on just about any counter. It has a slim 6-inch design, yet is still capable of pulling a great shot. Although it doesn’t get as hot as we would’ve liked it to, it does do a pretty decent job. And it’s available at a price that’s a fraction of many of the fancy espresso machines available. It might not be the best espresso machine but it’s still capable of servicing the needs of most consumers.
This machine is capable of making single or double espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. It also features a manual fother that mixes milk and steam to create a rich froth that’s perfect for textured drinks. Using this machine, consumers can make drinks like a pro and it’s 15-bars of pressure assures that each shot is consistent every single time. This machine is also extremely easy to clean thanks to its detachable water tank. Regardless of whether the home barista wants to make themselves some nice coffee drinks or are looking to make great drinks for their friends and family, this machine is ready to deliver.
It’s also worth mentioning that this product features a 3-in-1 filter holder that’s designed to handle single or double shots and espresso pods. And thanks to its Thermoblock technology, this machine can approach brewing temperature in approximately 40-seconds. All of these features come together to make this a quality machine that’s at least worth a look. It’s a unit that people on a budget are going to want to think about.
Buying An Espresso Machine Under $500
Let’s face facts: some espresso machines are insanely expensive. We’ve seen these machines cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. Now, we’re sure that these are high-quality machines, but the average consumer doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a new espresso machine—and in fact, many consumers can’t even afford to spend that kind of money for their morning hit of caffeine. That’s why we’ve decided to do some extensive research and not only find out which machines are the best ones under $500 but also how the consumer can find machines in this price range. It’s with that intention that this guide was written. Anyone interested in finding the best espresso machine under $500 is going to want to probably want to read this guide.
Think About Size
When the consumer is looking at new espresso machines, they are going to want to make sure that the machine will fit on their counter or wherever else they intend on placing it in their kitchen. Even though most of the machines in this price range are smaller than more expensive models, some of them can still be pretty big. No one wants to buy a big behemoth of a machine that they can’t find room for, so consumers need to seriously think about it.
Think About Bars Of Pressure
Before a machine can even be considered to be an espresso machine, it has to be able to push water through the coffee grounds with at least 9-bars of pressure. Bars of pressure is the amount of force that the machine can push water through the grounds. The higher the number, the faster the coffee connoisseur can pull a shot. Most of the machines in this price range are capable of delivering 15-19 bars of pressure, so consumers can make their espressos extremely quickly and efficiently.
How The Machine Is Made Matters
In this price range, none of the important parts of the machine should be made of plastic. Sure, it’s okay to have cosmetic parts or parts such as the basket made out of plastic, but the important components of the machine should be made out of metal. This includes not only the heating coil but also the pressure pump. If the consumer is going to spend several hundred dollars on a machine, then it better be built to exacting standards and with quality components.
Think About Whether Automatic, Manual Or Semi-Automatic Models Are Needed
The consumer is also going to want to consider whether they need an automatic or semi-automatic model. If the consumer isn’t too sure how to properly pull a shot or are completely new to espresso-making, then they should probably purchase an automatic model. On the other hand, if the consumer wants control over every area of the brewing process, then they’re going to want to choose a semi-automatic or manual model. Some people like to grind their own beans, tamp them down, adjust the brew strength and control every area of the process, while other people just want the machine to do the majority of the work.
Think About How Easy It Is To Clean
The consumer is going to want to make sure that the machine they choose is easy to clean. In this price range, most of them are, but the consumer should still make the effort to check. The consumer can determine how easy a machine can be cleaned by simply looking for features such as removable water tanks and/or automatic cleaning cycles. Some machines can be a real pain to clean, so making sure that the machine is easier to clean is probably a good idea.
Think About Adjustable Cup Sizes
The coffee drinker is also going to want to consider whether the machine is capable of providing them with more than just size. There are some machines that only deliver a single shot and other machines that can deliver both single and double shots. Whether or not the consumer needs one of these models over the other is up to them and how much espresso they plan on consuming. If the consumer isn’t going to drink more than one shot of espresso at a time, then there’s no need for them to purchase a machine that can deliver a double shot.
Other Features To Consider
Before concluding this guide, we would like to talk about some of the other features that consumers might want to think about. Features that either extends the usefulness of the machine, allow it to create a variety of different drinks or just make it easier to use. Let’s look at some of these features, so all of our readers can determine for themselves whether or not they’re useful to them.
- Milk Frother
- Hot Water Faucet
- Milk Froth Stencils
- Added Cups
- Steam Wand