There’s nothing like the balanced taste and foamy goodness of a well-made espresso. If only you could have that in your own home. Well, you could, but is it worth a fancy $1000 machine? Or are there really any espresso makers under $100 that aren’t just glorified coffee pots?
It turns out there are, so the only thing keeping you back from treating yourself to a warm cup of espresso in the comfort of your abode is deciding which model is just right for you.
5. Mr. Coffee ECMP50 – The Bargain Deal
This model seems to be a great starter option for people that are serious about their drink but not too sure about the next step to take. Priced under $100 and frequently on sale, this make is not a big commitment and the result is an easy to use machine that reliably produces great espresso and cappuccinos.
Good for people that aren’t necessarily looking to invest too much time and energy into this hobby, the Mr. Coffee is notably user-friendly and quick to clean.
Worried about its durability? Many reviews report that by simply following the directions provided, users are able to get years of use out of this machine.
Mr. Coffee is a great option for people on a budget who still want to save themselves that coffee run in the morning or enjoy a specialty treat at any time.
4. Breville BES870XL Barista Express – The Professional
So what about those of you that are ready to take the plunge for something a little pricier and even better quality? The Breville Barista Express is the most expensive option on this list (at about $600) but for that you get some of the best espresso possible.
Sure the machine comes with plenty of preset options, but it also comes with a manual and to really get your money’s worth requires taking the time to experiment and find the options that are perfect for your perfect espresso. This model requires a serious aficionado or at least someone who is willing to make the effort to learn.
The Barista Express is a machine of precision. It includes a great adjustable grinder that has the capacity to produce very fine results. In addition to controlling your grind, a “pre-infusion” stage and plenty of manual options allow you to make subtle adjustments in water temperature and amount to end up with your ideal shot.
3. Nespresso Essenza C91 – The Instant Cup
Just like the Mr. Coffee, the Nespresso is a comparatively cheap option that seems like a great marriage of taste, quality, and efficiency.
Don’t have time to grind your own beans? Pop in one of the 16 provided capsules to find your ideal flavor and you’ll soon be consuming a satisfying beverage in almost no time-seriously this option takes almost no time at all to heat up.
Small, lightweight, and great at what it does, the Nespresso is a wonderful all-around and convenience option. One of the best ‘automatic’ espresso machines.
2. DeLonghi EC702 –The Best of Both Worlds
Convenience is nice but so is the ability to be a little more precise and take control of your cup. Save yourself the trouble of buying two machines and give this DeLonghi a try, one of the best machines under $200 you will find.
Reasonably priced and able to make a great cup from a convenient pod, this machine will do more than just replace your average drip pot. Have a little more time (but not too much?) Start the machines self-priming option, grind your own beans, and set a cup on the clever warming tray that guarantees a warm and cozy cup in your hands.
You can get even more control by buying simple add-ons like an external tamper. But on its own, this machine touts convenience and control along with the same great taste and attractive design of many already pricier models.
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1. Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine – The Standard
Here’s the home espresso machine that sets the bar. With great manual control options that are still easy to understand and manage, you are sure to be producing the perfect cup in no time. Or rather make that two cups as the Gaggia comes with a unique double filter basket.
Other notable features that come with it include a tamper, an easily removed and prepped portafilter, and a smart three-way valve that makes for better pressure control.
Great – and consistently so – the espresso produced by the Gaggia is consistently rated as among the best, and if you give it a try you’re sure to see why.