People underestimate the power a good cup of espresso has. It brightens your day, lifts up your mood, and gives you a much-needed dose of energy. That’s why it’s a great idea to buy an espresso machine. The problem is that the high-quality ones are usually very expensive. But that’s also a pretty common misconception. Who said you couldn’t find the best espresso machine under 500? In this day and age, the market is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered and taken home.
Top Five Recommended Espresso Machine Under $500
If you don’t want to wait in line every day for that perfect cup of espresso, then you should definitely look into this espresso machine further. It gives you a perfect shot every morning and starts your day just right.
This is the best espresso machine under 500 for any skilled individual. The machine has automatic pre-infusion time which helps in achieving that ideal note of flavor. The infusion is completely controlled by the machine, which explains its perfection every time you make a cup.
The user has control over the brew or steam thanks to the handy dial, and they can also select the button for steam or hot water. Though that may seem limited, it allows for users of lesser skill to use the machine without a problem, too.
The controls have been kept simple so that everyone could use the machine, but all the features you’d expect from a machine of this caliber are there.
This is a single boiler machine, which means you can’t brew and steam at the same time. On the other hand, it has an automatic purge, which isn’t common for a machine in this price range. The temperature is also automatically regulated, so you won’t need to worry about that between steaming and brewing.
Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer
Thanks to the through work the manufacturers did, this espresso machine is a breeze to use. Even people who haven’t used espresso machines before will be able to use it without any problems. What’s more, to aid new learners, the machine also has a safety button, which gives the user a sense of security.
There’s a flat cover on the top of the machine, and it’s easy to remove. Underneath, you’ll find a wide opening which makes it easy to pour the water in. The tank is also labeled, so you always know how much liters or cups you’re making. It’s all very straightforward.
The consistency of the brew is also very satisfactory. The machine is able to brew up to 10 cups at the time, and they’re all equal in flavor. It doesn’t take long for it to brew, either. We’re talking about 5 minutes.
As far as the maintenance is concerned, it’s not very hard as all the parts are easily movable. You can just take apart the machine and clean it, then put it back together. In fact, you can put the parts in the dishwasher and let it to the job for you.
Saeco X-Small Vapore Automatic Espresso Machine
Anyone who hasn’t used a coffee machine before should give this one a try. Though, those with some experience and those passionate about coffee will also highly benefit from owning this machine. It offers everything an entry-level machine does and will always provide a tasty cup of coffee.
It’s just the best espresso machine under 500 if you want to get acquainted with the world of novelty coffee properly.
The machine is fairly easy to use and requires some hands-on work, but that’s only because of the array of features lets you play and practice. It lets you figure out how you like your coffee and lets you experiment with different options, while not being too expensive.
This espresso maker is fairly small, as is stated in its name. It’s good for everyday needs and will save a lot of space in the kitchen, but it might not be so ideal for company. What’s more, the maker is very lightweight and will not be a hassle to move.
It also has a very nice look to it, resembling a 90s retro style. Though it’s made of plastic, it’s actually quite durable. The machine also features a drip tray for more convenience.
Nespresso Creatista Plus Espresso and Coffee Beverages Maker
Nespresso is that brand you buy if you want great espressos and black coffee. If you don’t look for something else. That being said, this particular machine is ideal for more than just those two types of coffee because Nespresso partnered up with Breville and created something wonderful.
Unarguably, the first thing anyone notices about this espresso machine is its design. The machine Is slick and elegant, giving you the authentic barista look. You have two options for the machine- stainless steel and plastic. Both are valid choices and depend on your preference.
There are also a lot of features to play with, but this wouldn’t be the best espresso machine under 500 if it didn’t have an excellent steam wand. Though the milk frother is automatic, it creates the perfect foam. It’s not bubbly or forthy.
The foam texture is important for coffees other than espressos, and this steam wand allows you to dabble with all sorts of different lattes.
In fact, it’s even suitable for creating latte art. The only thing which can be a problem with this coffee maker is that it the cups come out warm instead of hot. Some people prefer that, and others don’t. In any case, just make sure you set up everything correctly and call support if there’s still a problem.
Breville BES840XL/A the Infuser Espresso Machine
For those who love espresso but don’t want a cheap machine, this is a great option. After all, it’s the best espresso machine under 500, how could it not be? Paying a little extra for a machine like this pays off in the long run as you won’t have to worry about getting another machine for a very long while.
One of the top features of this machine is that it uses the thermo-coil system. That means that it uses one boiler to steam and extract espresso. You can alter between the modes by turning the selector.
Thanks to this system, the water boils very quickly, and you get your coffee in a jiffy.
Another great thing is the pre-infusion. This ensures the beans are soaked a little before their full extraction. That makes the coffee taste better, and that is how the perfect cup is achieved every time. What’s great is that the pre-infusion feature is characteristic for more expensive machines, so it’s a great addition to this one.
The milk steamer is also a nice addition to this machine. It’s manual and gives you the control, but it’s nothing special. Steamers of the higher caliber give better results, though this one still does its job properly. In other words- it’s standard. That being said, the steam wand is ideal for making latte art.
A Short Buying Guide for The Best Espresso Machine Under 500
It’s important to get acquainted with the features of the espresso machine before buying one. This way, you’ll be guaranteed to know what you’re looking for. You’ll be able to understand how your machine works and thereby you’ll know whether it’s worth investing in.
What to look for in Espresso Machines
Before we get into the types of espresso machines, you should know what features to look for in your machine. Though most of them look the same, they’re not. It’s important to know what you’re actually paying for. The two main things to look for are:
By usability, it’s implied that you opt for your desired model and then make sure it has all the features you’re looking for. And all the features which are standard for that type of machine and that price range.
For example, if you’re going to buy a semi-automatic espresso machine, you should look into what features most of them have. That way you’ll be sure you’re getting the most usable machine out there.
The next piece of advice may seem irrelevant, but you should really look at the drip tray. It needs to be big enough. It should also be adjustable and removable. This is a very practical way to find out if your espresso machine is more user-friendly, as a convenient drip tray allows you to avoid messes.
- Build Quality
The build quality is a sure fire sign if the machine is of high quality or not. What’s the point of spending any amount of money on a machine if it breaks almost as soon as you bring it home?
The materials the machine is made of are very important. The most common materials used for making espresso machines are plastic and stainless steel.
The price usually corresponds with the quality build, but that doesn’t need to be the case. It’s always good to see what’s recommended for your price range. The plastic isn’t always cheap, and machines made from it can prove to be quite durable.
Some other machines offer a mixture of stainless steel and plastic, too. A good rule of thumb is: if the machine looks like it will break, it most probably will. If nothing else, you’ll know its quality as soon as you touch it.
Types of Espresso Machines
There are various types of espresso machines. Being informed will help you decide which the right one for you is. And with all those types, these are the three main ones:
- Super Automatic Espresso Machines
These are the easiest machines to use out there. They’re suitable for anyone who hasn’t come across a coffee machine and doesn’t really feel like learning how to get around one. The machine operates at the press of a button.
The user isn’t part of the brewing process because of this. The machine is very complicated on the inside as it has built-in brewing mechanisms.
You can program the volume, water temperature, and fineness. Then you press the button, and the machine brews the coffee itself. It then takes into account your preferences and spits out your ideal cup of coffee. It will also dump the used beans into its built-in container.
The quality of the espresso can’t be expected to be the same as the quality in semi-automatic or even manual lever machines. This is because super automatic espresso machines use pre-ground beans. Though, some new models also have the option of using whole beans.
They’re also very suitable for making cappuccinos and lattes. That’s because the machine often has a built-in automatic steam wand or a milk frother. The quality of the frothed milk depends on the model of the machine, but it’s generally pretty good.
Another great thing about this type of espresso machines is that they take only a couple of minutes to prepare your coffee, and you can repeat the process easily.
Overall, it’s a decent investment, but maybe not so suitable for a true coffee lover after that authentic espresso taste.
- Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
This is the type of machine you’ll come across most often. That’s because of their durability, versatile nature, and simple use. Anyone can operate this machine, regardless of the fact that it needs some manual intervention.
The pump is electric, and that leaves out the most difficult part of the process, but the rest is all up to you. With these machines, you can personalize your coffee like with none before. You can fiddle with the ground fineness, the volume, and the pressure. That means there’s nothing stopping you from creating that ideal cup of coffee for you.
You can choose between different beans too. All of this is part of the simple brewing process which requires you just fill up the tank with water and remove the portafilter. Then you’ll need to put in your preferred beans and reinstall the portafilter.
After that, all that’s left to do is press the brewing button and wait for your perfect cup of coffee. It can be a bit messy to start with, but with a lot of practice, you’ll be able to create rich and thick crema for your espresso.
Finally, these machines don’t take up a lot of counter space and can be bought for a steal. That leaves you room to experiment and learn before you move up to something more challenging.
- Manual Lever Espresso Machines
Anyone looking for an authentic machine that delivers the best espresso shot should look into this type of machine. It’s very old-timey and elegant, yet you get state of the art service every time. You should be aware that this machine isn’t suitable for those who don’t have a higher skill set, though.
This is one of those machines where the user is part of the brewing process, and that requires a lot of effort. Learning to use this machine will take time, but it will pay off in the long run. That’s why it’s perfect for any true coffee lover.
You won’t struggle much with the process itself, though. All you need to do is make sure the tank is filled up with water, then remove the portafilter. This will allow you to pour in the coffee.
Then you need to close the portafilter and start brewing. That’s the tricky part. You’ll need to press down on the lever slowly but determinately. In time, this process will be perfected, and you’ll get the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
These machines use fine ground beans which is another reason why you’re part of the process. You need to grind your own espresso before you drink it. Can’t get much more authentic than that. The design is also convenient for its size, as it won’t take up a lot of room in the kitchen.
All in all, finding the best espresso machine under 500 isn’t as hard as it may seem. The buying guide provided should be more than enough to help you make the right decision for you. Whichever espresso maker you choose, we’re confident it’ll be the right one for you. Here’s to waking up refreshed with a fine cup of coffee!
Budget-Friendly Espresso Machine Reviews