Coffee lovers, listen up. If you're ready to start crafting your own espresso shots at home, but you don't have the budget for a $2,000 machine, you need not fear. In this article, I'm going to teach you where you can find a high-quality, coffee-shop-level espresso machine for $500 or less.
You’re well aware that an espresso machine is going to be a big-ticket investment. Just how big of a ticket that investment has to be is up to you.
In this article, I will help you find the best espresso machines on the market that are under $500.
Best Espresso Machines Under $500 in 2020
I love espresso, and a great espresso machine that won't break the bank is a coffee lovers dream. These are the best espresso machines you can buy under $500:
What To Look For In A Home Espresso Machine
Some of the machines I reviewed are stainless steel, and some have a fully equipped steam wand function. All of them are at or under the $500 price point.
I added these options because they have the best style and innovation for that price.
Cheap and efficient are the basics that you should look for in the best less-than-$500 espresso machine.
Other things to check for in an espresso machine (even affordable ones) include:
- automatic refill
- volumetric control
- a great water filter
- a sturdy spout
- good tamping
- great PID temperature control
- and a sturdy pressure pump
You also want to check on the customizable options that an experienced barista would look for. Things like: a removable water tank, auto-purge function, easy cleaning, and good water pressure.
Want to learn how to know how you have the right grind size for espresso? You have to tamp it! Watch this video to learn how your grind, tamp and dose work together:
If you are a new barista, then you're going to definitely want to look for ease of use in your new espresso machine. And while most experienced coffee lovers wouldn't recommend super automatic espresso machines, you'll want to get an espresso machine for your home you'll actually use.
What Is The Best Espresso Machine Brand?
Citing the Business Insider, among the best affordable espresso machine brands out there is the Breville brand. Breville creates units that are just under the $500 mark and often have promotions. In late November 2019, the typically pricier Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine was priced at the $480 dollar range.
You'll notice that I haven't added some of the usual favorite brands or pod espresso machines like Nespresso. I wanted to share true espresso machines that aren't going to give you a fully automated experience in that less-than-$500 price point.
If you're looking for a wider range of affordable espresso machines, click here.
Coupons For Espresso Machines
Most elite espresso brands don't offer coupons. Be cautious of too-good-to-be-true deals. There are plenty of sites out there that promise to get you a top-of-the-line espresso machine that normally sells for $2,000 for 50% off. Before you make a purchase decision, make certain that the promo codes you found check out on the manufacturer's website or Amazon. Stick only to major provider sites that are well-known and rank high on Google rankings.
Be wary of a site that offers you a free gift or major discount code.
Where To Buy The Best Espresso Machine for Less?
Other than the espresso machines that I recommend to you here, you can try and shop around via retail to find good deals. Here are a few tips:
DeLonghi via retail
DeLonghi sells its machines via Amazon, Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Blooming Dale's, Sam's Club, Crate and Barrel, Home Depot, Zola, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Kohl's, Lowes, Macy's, P.C. Richard & Son, Sylvane, Target, Everything Kitchens, and ABT, to name a few retailers.
Oftentimes, in this day of "retail apocalypse", brick and mortar stores have special deals and discounts. Some of them are available only in-store. Be sure to visit these retailers to find what they have in-house marked down on clearance.
My mouth dropped when Target's site listed a DeLonghi Combination Drip espresso machine in the $200 dollar price range around the holidays. Plus, with Target, you can become a reward card member through their Red Card program, saving an additional 5%.
Among the best espresso machines that are less-than $500, I like these best for durability and coffee taste at that price point, plus available features.
Breville's Duo-Temp Pro Espresso Machine is affordable, but provides a great espresso experience for its owners. Semi-automatic, this machine is a great starter machine to practice pulling your own espresso like a barista. While it doesn't have a built-in grinder, it does have a wand so you can create that delicious microfoam for your homemade cafe. It's a low-volume machine, but is easy to clean with auto alerts and an internal indicator for cleaning.
The 15 bar Italian made pump starts with low pressure to bloom coffee grounds, then gradually increases pressure for extraction. You can choose from 1 or 2 cup single or dual wall filter baskets depending on the number of shots you're pulling and whether beans are freshly ground or pre ground.
This Delonghi is super easy to use, and relatively mess free. Be warned, it is noisy, but a lot of espresso machines are. For this price point, the fact that it pulls consistently with crema is awesome. The milk frother seems to work with most types of milk. While the electric pump would make a lot of experienced espresso drinkers/makers nervous, it seems to be powerful enough and works hard. The warming plate gets a little too hot on this machine, so be mindful. And you'll need to wash the wand with every use.
At just 6" wide, this Delonghi is great for small spaces or limited countertop space. Despite its small size, it has similar features as its larger counterparts in this espresso machine category: 15-bar pump pressure, manual frothing wand, and 1-2 shot automatic espresso pull capability. And it heats up quickly (within 3 seconds you're ready to brew).
The brim is "lighter" than the other machines in this category, and while customers claim it's not as heavy duty, I think this Chinese (yes, Chinese-made) espresso machine is a strong contender on this list. The 19-bar Italian pump and pull takes some getting used to, but those who work with this machine pull great espresso and learn the process of espresso pulls. If you're wanting to learn how to pull espresso on your own, this is a great machine, but you'll have to practice.
Looking for more espresso machines to consider?