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Introduction 

 

Do you want to bring the rich and bold flavors of coffee from your favorite café to your home? The best espresso machine is a way to get your cappuccino or latte fixed right in your kitchen. Espresso machines tend to get costlier, but most of the time, even the in-budget machines work just as good as the high-costing fancy machines. But how do you figure out which one is the best out of the hundreds of options you have? For that, we are here to help you, and here are the top 10 best espresso machines under $500.

 

The amount of water required to make espresso is way less than what is used in traditional drip coffee. It also requires a pressure of at least nine bars and finer grounds; this reduces the entire process to 30 seconds or less. Therefore, the espresso is creamier, thicker, and it tastes stronger than normal drip coffee. As compared to a traditional drip coffee, espresso has more caffeine per fluid ounce.

 

Espresso can be made in several ways using automatic, semi-automatic, fully automatic, or super-automatic pod machines. An espresso machine is an investment, making it even more important to invest in the right product that will last you for a long time. You must consider all the features it has.

 

If you have been a coffee lover for a long time now, you would know that we all start from the basic filters then to the French press, and gradually we come to the full-on espresso machines with all the fancy features. If you have now reached that stage, we will help you to make the right choice.

 

Before you start buying and brewing, the first decision you need to make is what type of machine will best suit your needs. Here are the types to be aware of:

Best Espresso Machines under $500

 

  • Manual Machines: These require fine ground coffee beans. These are scooped inside a portafilter which is tamped down. This machine is the most customizable and yet the most difficult one to master.
  • Semi-automatic machine: This is similar to a manual machine in some ways. The operative factors are quite similar. With this, however, the size of the coffee-drink or the espresso can be controlled.
  • Automatic machine: This machine uses a button and not a lever to brew the espresso. The size of the espresso can be programmed and is often automated too. This machine provides more consistency than other kinds. These are super easy to manage and use.
  • Super-automatic machine: This is one step above the automatic machine. This machine can also grind coffee beans besides the programmable coffee size feature. This one is the favorite choice in most lab testings.
  • Capsule machine: This machine uses pods or capsules filled with already measured coffee needed to brew espresso. This one provides the maximum consistency out of all the machines.

 

This will help you decide which machine is the right choice for you, which takes you one step closer to making espresso that is coffee shop level. We have picked out the best picks from these categories, so you don’t have to spend hours’ worth of time on research. We have done all parts of the research to bring you everything you need to know before buying a shiny brand-new espresso machine. Each of our reviews contains every detail you need to know. Let us now jump straight into the top 10 best espresso machines under $500.

 

Best Espresso Machines under $500

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Product Overview:

This product allows you to unleash that barista in you. This is a compact espresso machine with an automatic flow stop. It delivers exactly one or two shots of espresso at one touch of a button. It comes with a steam wand that makes it easier to froth milk for lattes, cappuccinos, etc. The cup height can be adjusted up to 4”. The control panels come with illuminated buttons. It is great for small spaces.

Product Features:

  • 15-bar pressure: Espresso requires a minimum of 9 bar pressure, and this comes with 15 bar pressure which ensures quality results.
  • Manual milk frothing: The frothing wand allows you to customize your milk-based drinks and experiment with your espresso shots.
  • Small space: It is a compact machine that is great for tight spaces.
  • Accommodates taller cups: If you like a larger cup, you can adjust the height.
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  • Compact
  • Comes with frother
  • Adjustable height
  • Easy to use
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  • Small water reservoir
  • It doesn’t come with a built-in grinder
  • The tamper quality isn’t great
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Bottom Line

You will probably go through a learning curve with this one, but it won’t take too long to get comfortable with the machine. Overall, this is a versatile espresso machine and is a great option for households and small spaces and affordable and worth the price. For all these reasons, this is our top choice for the best espresso machines under $500.

Product Overview

This espresso machine provides balanced flavors with even extraction. It uses low pressure and pre-infusion, just like the process used in commercial machines. A great espresso is the right balance between sweetness, bitterness, and acidity. With this duo-tempo, you can enjoy café quality espresso at home.

Product Features:

  • Even espresso extraction with the help of low pressure. Flavors are drawn into the cup evenly for a balanced taste.
  • Auto-purge heat system ensures that every espresso shot is extracted at the correct temperature.
  • It comes with a high-power element that ensures sufficient steam is produced that creates micro-foam. The micro-foam boosts flavors and allows you to create latte art.
  • It comes with maintenance indicators that will let you know when the espresso requires cleaning.
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  • Great taste
  • Auto-purge
  • PID temperature system
  • Great milk steaming
  • Two-cup filter basket
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  • Requires a bit of a learning curve
  • No grinder
  • It does not come with a pressure gauge
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Bottom Line

If you are looking for great flavors, this machine will pull out the most delicious and rich shots with great texture. It is fairly easy to use as a semi-automatic machine, although you will have to purchase a grinder separately, or you can buy pre-ground espresso coffee.

Product Overview

The Calphalon Temp iQ machine comes with a precise heating technology that generates even heat for a delicious shot of espresso. It also comes with the PID temperature control and thermoblock feature for perfect extraction and robust flavor. The machine is featured with a strong steam wand that generates micro-foam milk and creamy froth for other drinks.

Product Features:

  • Enlarged portafilter ensures that the grounds are evenly wet, which extracts maximum flavor.
  • Auto-shot control feature dispenses the right amount of water required for one or two shots.
  • The cup warming tray gently keeps the espresso cups warm.
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  • 15-bar Italian pressure
  • Creamy layer on espresso
  • Dial interface for easy selection of programs
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  • Average controls
  • Complex instructions
  • Poor service
  • Creates noise
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Bottom Line

If you want to create good quality espresso shots at home, you cannot go wrong with this machine. Even after weeks of use, the machine will deliver consistent and flavorful results. Just like every other machine, this isn’t perfect either. It tends to be noisy, especially on the steam mode. The warming tray isn’t very effective. If you are a beginner, you might want to consider some other option as this can be complicated to handle, although it is a great option if you want to move ahead with your espresso-making skills and at this price. These features make it a great choice and worthy of being placed at the third position in our list of the best espresso machines under $500.

Product Overview

The Gaggia Brera is a super-compact espresso machine. This machine is capable of making any drink from an espresso to a cappuccino. It comes with a Pannarello wand to steam and foam milk for a velvety finish and a great topping for lattes and hot cocoa. This compact espresso machine can easily fit in your kitchen cabinets and leave enough space on your counter.

Product Features:

  • The brewed cup can be removed for regular rinsing.
  • It has a simple interface with a few buttons, which helps you brew and list your basic and custom drinks.
  • Both the dreg box and water reservoir are easily accessible and can be pulled out from the machine’s front.
  • It can heat up to steam temperatures in just under ten seconds.
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  • Intuitive operation
  • Programmable brewing
  • Versatile
  • Stainless-steel front panel
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  • The steaming wand can be flimsy
  • Plastic components reduce the lifespan
  • The grinder is too loud
  • The water tank is small in size
[/joomdev-wpc-cons][/joomdev-wpc-pros-cons]
Bottom Line

Test out your skills and enjoy all kinds of drinks from Americano, espresso, and milk-based drinks with the Gaggia Brera super-automatic espresso machine. It’s an amazing choice for coffee lovers. If you love espresso but also want to enjoy milk-based drinks, then you will love this machine. That is what makes this one of the Best Espresso Machines under $500.

Product Overview

The Gaggia Classic Pro is one of the best semi-automatic espresso machines on an entry-level. It comes with a commercial steam wand and produces the most velvety micro-foam to create latte art.

Features:

  • Commercial steam wand
  • Easy-to-use switch controls
  • Stainless steel housing
  • Three-way commercial solenoid valve
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  • Compact
  • Commercial-grade
  • Powerful
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  • Too sharp edges
  • Misuse can cause harm to the machine
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Bottom Line

As compared to the Breville espresso machine, this one is a bit temperamental. It needs extra care, so once you understand the way around the machine, it will be smooth sailing. That is what makes this one of the Best Espresso Machines under $500.

 

But this is one compact and powerful machine that will last you a long time.

Product Overview

Enjoy a perfectly brewed creamy latte in just a few seconds. The advanced frothing system helps produce rich cups of latte. It comes with the ‘must-have’ one-touch Lattissima system for all latte lovers. You get easy one-touch access to six different recipes and enjoy the pleasure of café quality drinks with the capsule convenience.

Features:

  • Easy-access one-touch six recipes for all coffee and milk lovers.
  • It comes with 19 bars of pressure and creates milk-based drinks in less than 60 seconds. Automatic piercing, easy insertion, and brewing capsules.
  • Easy clean-up. The used capsules are automatically ejected into a built-in storage container.
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  • User-friendly
  • One-touch control
  • Fast warming time
  • Fresh milk foam
  • Good value
  • One-touch multiple drinks
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  • Water tank tricky to fill
  • Restricted to compatible pods
  • Milk unit needs to be cleaned every day
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Bottom Line

If this fits your budget, then this should be on the top of your espresso machines list. This will expand your professional horizon and experience with coffee. The Lattissima Touch is the best feature for every single coffee lover out there. That is what makes this one of the Best Espresso Machines under $500.

Product Overview

This Nespresso espresso machine has a retro-modern design with an included milk frother with a modern design. This machine is the best union between inspiration from modern and retro designs and functionality.

Features:

  • The welcome pack comes with 16 capsules
  • Automatic pump refilling
  • Folding cup support
  • Automatic flow stop
  • Capsule container
  • It comes with a power-saver mode
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  • One-touch quick cold and hot frother
  • Holds up to 10 used capsules
  • Auto power-off
  • High-pressure pump
[/joomdev-wpc-pros][joomdev-wpc-cons]
  • Parts are not long-lasting
  • Old model
  • The machine can be loud sometimes
[/joomdev-wpc-cons][/joomdev-wpc-pros-cons]
Bottom Line

If you are looking for a cost-effective espresso machine, this is a good contender and a must-have appliance for kitchens for good-tasting coffee. That is what makes this one of the Best Espresso Machines under $500.

Product Overview

This model is refurbished, certified, and tested to work better than ever and look better too. The functionality, inspection, repackaging, and basic cleaning are all included in the refurbishing. The product comes with all the necessary accessories.

Features:

  • Compact design and occupies only six inches of space and has a 35 oz. water tank capacity.
  • It comes with thermoblock technology, which heats up to the right temperature for the espresso.
  • Automatic flow top.
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  • Great design
  • Compact
  • Reliable
[/joomdev-wpc-pros][joomdev-wpc-cons]
  • Complicated to use
  • Not very easy to clean
  • Learning curve necessary
[/joomdev-wpc-cons][/joomdev-wpc-pros-cons]
Bottom Line

If you want to up your game with homemade espressos, this espresso machine is worth the money. But you will have to spend a lot of time with this one to understand how it works and pull out the perfect espresso shots.

Product Overview

With a revamped look, the CitiZ espresso machine continues to be the perfect blend of retro-modern design and functionality. This one has a touch of elegance added to the coffee rituals.

Product Features:

  • 19 bars pressure pump
  • Shuts off automatically after nine minutes. It can be programmed for up to 3o minutes.
  • Adjustable folding tray
  • 25-second preheat time
  • Removable water reservoir with a capacity of 34 oz.
  • Custom size setting available
  • It can contain ten capsules
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  • Easy to clean
  • Takes minimal space
  • Sleek design
  • Produces good tasting espresso in seconds
  • Good value for money
[/joomdev-wpc-pros][joomdev-wpc-cons]
  • Using the milk frother can be tricky
  • It makes a lot of noise
  • Only accepts certain brands’ capsules
[/joomdev-wpc-cons][/joomdev-wpc-pros-cons]
Bottom Line

This espresso machine does its job but can be a bit limiting. If you are looking more for a gets-the-job-done machine, then this could be it. It comes with a milk frother that will allow you to experiment to a certain extent, but it only accepts a few brands’ capsules. That is what makes this one of the Best Espresso Machines under $500.

Product Overview

The Nespresso Expert comes with a wide range of settings and is compatible with four cup sizes. It gives three temperature choices and includes the new Nespresso Americano.

Product Features:

  • Aluminum details and anthracite grey
  • Thermoblock system to produce the right amount of heat
  • Separate water and coffee lines
  • Three different temperature levels
  • Makes Americano, Espresso, Ristretto and Lungo
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  • Energy-saving
  • Cutting-edge design
  • Versatile
  • High-tech
  • Intuitive LED alerts
  • Instant enjoyment
  • High-performance
[/joomdev-wpc-pros][joomdev-wpc-cons]
  • It May contain defective pieces
  • Overpriced
  • It doesn’t come with a frother
  • Overly complicated controls
[/joomdev-wpc-cons][/joomdev-wpc-pros-cons]
Bottom Line
This is a single-serve coffee machine, and it allows you to create your version of the perfect cup, and you can finally skip the coffee shop and enjoy the same flavors at home. The benefits and features make it one worthy espresso machine to be included in the list of best espresso machines under $500.

Summary

You can buy the most expensive or the best espresso maker from the best espresso machines under $500, they won’t give the best result if you don’t know how to work with it. For espresso, you should first grind your beans and then tamper them into a portafilter. Espresso can be used to make other drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, and more. If you want these drinks on your menu, too, you will also require a frother or a milk steamer.

 

Here are other things you must know before buying an espresso machine for yourself:

 

  • Budget: An espresso machine is an investment, so whatever amount you invest in this machine should be worth every penny. Are you committed to this coffee machine? If yes, then the next thing that comes to mind is the budget. A basic espresso machine can start from $100 to a better upwards standard of $500 and extra-fancy ones costing $2000 and over. You must also consider the amount you will be spending on ingredients like milk, beans, sweetener, etc., and you may also want to buy accessories like a frother, tamper, grinder, etc. Consider the total amount and your budget and then come to a final decision.
  • Time: You have to consider your schedule and decide how much time you are ready to devote. If you don’t want to spend much time and would rather have a simple and easy way to a single or double shot of espresso, you would want an all-in-one espresso machine that grinds the coffee beans and has a built-in frother. But if you want to expand your repertoire to other drinks, you can invest more time and money into it.
  • Maintenance: Espresso machines require maintenance and have to be cleaned regularly. Parts like built-in grinders, removable drip trays, and portafilters will all require everyday care and cleaning.
  • Usability: Brewing coffee is just an art, and the modern machines come with many programmable features which make it very easy for you to pour a delicious shot of espresso any time. The super-automatic espresso machines deliver some of the best espresso shots. Semi-automatic and automatic are also great choices. By simply pressing a button, you can have a perfectly brewed coffee for yourself.
  • Easy to clean: An elegant-looking espresso machine can grab your attention in a second, but you must remember that it should be cleaned easily. The more elements and parts your machine will have, the more complicated the cleaning process will become. Cleaning can consume a lot of time, especially because coffee stains tend to be stubborn. The filters have to be cleaned every day, or they’ll get clogged. You have to keep your espresso machine clean, or it can affect its performance.
  • Catering your taste bud: If you are buying an espresso machine for your home, you may not care much and opt for a single boiler machine.
    If finding free time is a concern for you, then you should choose the machines with coffee pods which are semi-automatic ones. The advantage of this machine is that you can customize your coffee according to your taste. You can control the brew and the steaming to decide the right strength of the coffee; however, in the end, it will all come down to how well you can operate the machine.
  • Maintenance: Espresso machines require maintenance and have to be cleaned regularly. Parts like built-in grinders, removable drip trays, and portafilters will all require everyday care and cleaning.
  • Customer choice: Espresso machines are nowhere near cheap. Therefore, you should choose models with the best customer service. Learn about the warranty clauses before you purchase the machine. You must also consider the customer reviews, good and bad, which will help you understand all the good aspects and the drawbacks you may face. Go through the pictures as well to know the machine better.
  • Durability: An espresso machine is not something you buy every day or every month. Therefore, it becomes very important to ensure that it lasts a long time. Almost every espresso machine will come with a warranty. The better option for you will be the one that guarantees a long period of time and comes with a warranty. One thing to note is that espresso machines with highly-programmed features may require regular repairs for specific electrical parts.
  • Size of the machine: The size of the espresso machine can be significant. If space is one of your concerns, you cannot choose machines that take up extra space. Consider how much space is available in your kitchen and check the machine’s dimensions before you buy.

 

With this, you should now know every detail before finalizing your choice for an espresso machine. You can now go through our list of the best espresso machines under $500 and make your final decision.