Best Espresso Machine Under $500

best espresso machine under $500
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Hi there! Welcome to our best espresso machine under $500 review for 2022.

We know that your espresso machine is the centerpiece of your kitchen. That’s why we spent hours researching and testing espresso machines. To find and our top espresso machines under $500 with you. 

These machines are proven to offer performance, performance, and endurance. They have thousands of positive customer reviews, amazing value and consistent results.

We discovered that the Breville Duo Tamp is the best espresso machine unde $500. It produces quality, flavorful espresso conveniently at your home.

Pairing features of commercial machines with the ease and simplicity of home models. It makes the best coffee available in less than 5 minutes. It’s also extremely easy to clean and maintain.

For espresso enthusiasts who are on the hunt for an affordable machine, $500 is a sweet spot. You can find any good espresso machines that will fit your specific needs. Do you want to see some top alternatives? I yes, you’re at the right place.

Let’s begin this roundup for espresso makers under $500.

BEST OVERALL
9.5
Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine
Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine
  • Quality microfoam
  • Compact footprint
  • Dial control interface
  • Stainless steel housing
  • Maintenance indicators
  • Weight: 5.9 kg
EDITOR'S CHOICE
9.1
Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
  • Great value for money
  • Stainless steel housing
  • Commercial 3-way solenoid valve
  • Commercial grade steam wand
  • Easy to clean
BEST BUDGET
7.2
De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso Machine
De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso Machine
  • 15 bar pressure
  • Second tier drip tray for larger cups 
  • Removable 37 oz water tank
  • Stainless steel boiler

Our Best Espresso Machine Under $500 At A Glance

  1. Breville Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine
  2. Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
  3. De’Longhi ECP3420 Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
  4. Gaggia Brera Super-automatic Espresso Machine
  5. Calphalon Espresso Machine
  6. Breville Bambino Plus
  7. Philips 1200 Fully-Automatic Espresso Machine

Best Espresso Machines Under $500 Reviewed

#1 Breville Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine

BEST OVERALL
Breville Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine
  • Low pressure pre-infusion for balanced flavor
  • Fast warm up time <2 minutes 
  • Auto purge function
  • Powerful steam wand of 1600W
  • Maintenance indicator
  • Water full indicator for the drip tray

When you’re on a budget you need the best espresso maker for your money. Under the barrier of $500, Breville Duo Temp is the best choice you can make. First, it makes perfect shots of espresso and in a consistent way.

The machine is made to last for years and it’s packed with some commercial grade features. I’ve been using Breville Duo Temp espresso machine for over a year now, and I can say it changed my life.

The features that make this stylish espresso machine unique are the following:

  • PID temperature
  • Pre-infusion
  • Auto purge
  • Stainless steel thermocoil

These unique features make the machine easier to use and get consistent results at home.

PID temperature

If you’re into making espresso, then you know that precision is key. And the PID temperature control is a big part of that. That’s what’s used on high-end prosumer and commercial machines. Getting the ultra precise temperatures is so critical in producing excellent espresso.

PID wasn’t available to espresso machine at this price range. But now there’s a new option: the Breville Duo Temp!

Pre-infusion technology

The machine adds water slowly to the bed of coffee grounds. Water starts entering to the chamber in lower pressure (2-3 bars). The result is an even saturation before the pump forces the extraction at a higher pressure.

Even distribution of water to espresso grounds is important. This means that you’ll get the best flavor profile out of your espresso.

Auto purge

To steam milk in a single boiler machine you need to increase temperature from 200 F to 260 degrees. Then to brew a new espresso shot, you have to bring this temperature down to brewing temperature of 200 F.

In traditional machines, you do this manually. With the Breville Duo Temp Pro, when you finish milk frothing, it automatically purges steam to bring down the temperature.

It’s a very convenient feature for a single-boiler espresso machine.

Stainless steel Thermocoil

The Breville Duo Temp is faster than traditional espresso machines due to the way heats up water. The machine is ready for brewing in less than 2 minutes.

Some traditional espresso makers need over 15 minutes to warm up and be ready to brew some coffee. This powerful Thermocoil boiler produces endless steam of constant pressure. Regular espresso makers drop in pressure over time as they use off the steam in the boiler.

The unit of the machine doesn’t have a three-way solenoid valve to remove excess water after brewing. So, coffee pucks tend to be a little sloppy after brewing. But most users should be able to deal with this.

Breville Duo Temp Pro is a semi-automatic espresso machine that’s easy to use and ready to go after minutes you turn it on. It needs less skills to handle than traditional single-boiler espresso makers. Also, it’s well-equipped with tamper, filter baskets, milk pitcher, and more.

#2 Gaggia Classic Pro

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine, Solid, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Commercial 3-way solenoid valve
  • Water Rez. - 2,1 liter
  • Commercial-grade 58mm portafilter
  • Commercial-grade  steam wand
  • Simple to use

The Gaggia Classic is one of the most popular home espresso machines, and it’s easy to see why. Its reputation for producing great-tasting shots of espresso is legendary.

Also its reliability and ease of repair make it a great choice for anyone who’s just getting started with their home barista adventures.

The machine packs some commercial-grade features in the interior and it comes with a large water tank of 2.1L.

This is a traditional espresso machine that doesn’t have the advanced features of Breville Duo Temp. It comes though with a 3-way solenoid valve that removes the excess water from the portafilter.

If you’re a traditional espresso drinker who want true espresso, this is the one. But you’ll have to wait a bit more for the machine to warm up. Also it doesn’t have the auto purge feature. So after steaming milk you have to do it manually.

I would buy Gaggia ClassiC Pro if I was Italian to be honest. But if you want an easy to use, consistent, reliable, and ready to go after a few minutes, I would go for Breville Duo Temp.

Not to say that Gaggia Classic Pro doesn’t make great coffee. You can pull excellent shots of espresso if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

#3 DeLonghi Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

BEST BUDGET
De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, 15
  • 15 bar pressure
  • 2nd tier drip tray for larger cups
  • Convenient filter storage
  • Stainless steel boiler system
  • Fast warm up

For an espresso maker, the DeLonghi ECP3420 provides excellent value. Although the quality of these espresso makers usually matches their price, but this one is better.

This espresso machine by DeLonghi is ideal if you start now and don’t want to commit to espresso drinking. You need just a machine to see if you like the ritual of espresso making at home. But if you stick to espresso, then bear in mind that really soon you’ll have to upgrade.

The Delonghi Panarello wand has a unique design that helps you froth smooth, creamy foam. And without the skills of a professional barista. We also like this machine for the quick reheating between drinks. Because it reduces time waiting until you can craft another latte.

#4 Gaggia Brera Super-automatic Espresso Machine

BEAN TO CUP
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine in Silver. Pannarello Wand Frothing for Latte and Cappuccino Drinks. Espresso from Pre-Ground or Whole Bean Coffee.
  • Single boiler
  • 15-bar pressure
  • 5 grinding settings
  • Stainless steel housing
  • Pannarello steaming wand
  • Removable group

Gaggia is an Italian brand that produces its machines in Gaggio Montano (Bologna).

The Gaggia Brera is a fantastic bean-to-cup coffee maker. It’s incredibly easy to use and adjust to your preferences. This makes it a great fit for anyone who’s just starting out with home espresso making.

The Brera’s design is sleek and modern. With a brushed stainless steel housing that allows for easy cleaning.

The Gaggia Brera is a very good choice if you’re looking for an espresso machine with a built-in grinder. But, if you want quality coffee over convenience, then you should pair Gaggia Classic with a good grinder for better results.

#5 Calphalon Espresso Machine

BEST VALUE
Calphalon Espresso Machine with Tamper, Milk Frothing Pitcher, and Steam Wand, Temp iQ 15-Bar Pump, Stainless Steel
  • Large water tank
  • PID technology
  • Cup warming tray
  • Compact size
  • 58mm portafilter
  • Well equipped

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, Calphalon’s Temp IQ can help you get the perfect espresso every time. With 58mm brew head and thermoblock, it makes espresso that rivals what you’d get at your local café.

It’s easy to operate, clean, and use—and it’s super affordable! It’s also a little noisy and inserting the portafilter can be tough. But overall this is a great option for home baristas.

The quality of the espresso you get is also dependent on how good your grinder is. This machine doesn’t have a built-in grinder. So you have to buy one if you want to drink quality espresso at home.

#6 Breville Bambino Plus

BEST COMPACT
Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Cafe quality microfoam
  • 3 sec warm up
  • Compact sized
  • Low-pressure pre infusion technology
  • Balanced flavor profile

If you’re looking for a high-quality espresso maker that can make fresh, foamy milk, look no further than the Bambino Plus.

This machine comes with 3 different settings for milk texture and 3 temperature settings. The result: smooth espresso with a thick crema, just like at your favorite coffee shop.

The Breville Bambino Plus is a great little machine for coffee lovers who don’t have a lot of space. It’s small, but it does make a good cup of espresso.

It’s missing some key pieces of gear, though: a built-in grinder and scale, as well as dosing tools. If you don’t have those things, you’ll have to buy them separately to make high-quality espresso at home.

#7 Philips 1200 Fully-Automatic Espresso Machine

BEST AUTOMATIC
Philips 1200-Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
  • Temperature settings
  • Adjustable coffee volume
  • Built-in grinder with 12 settings
  • Intuitive touch display
  • Removable group

The Philips 1200 Espresso Machine is a super-automatic espresso machine. It delivers great espresso with ease.

This is a machine that will win you more for convenience than quality of espresso. It includes three AquaClean filters that make cleaning your machine very easy. You’ll get fresh tasting espresso every time with this coffee maker.

To make things even easier for you, this coffee maker also has an intuitive touch display. It allows you to personalize your drink settings at any time. Just press “start” and choose your favorite drink from the available options! You can also adjust the amount of aroma strength.

How To Choose The Best Espresso Machine For Your Needs

Selecting which espresso machine to buy can be difficult. So, to make your buying decision a little easier, we’ve put together this espresso machine buying guide. We hope that it will help you narrow down what type of espresso machine suits best your needs.

Type Of Espresso Machines

Semi-automatic Espresso Machines

If you’d like to tweak your espresso drinks to suit your taste, a semi-automatic machine might be ideal for you. These machines come with a single boiler for brewing coffee and to steam milk. Also they require some more skill from your side.

One drawback of semi-automatic machines is that you have to grind your own beans, steam your own milk, and tamp the grounds yourself. This can cause inconsistency in drinks. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to make flawless espresso at home!

  • If you’re just getting into espresso, start with a machine that has a pressured portafilter. This is the part of the machine that you attach to the device after you add ground coffee. It’s usually 50–54 millimeters (2.0–2.1 inches) in size and made of aluminum.
  • Make sure the portafilter is not pressured if you want a machine that will last. The most popular size is 58 ml, constructed of more durable materials (2.3 inches). [1]

Super-automatic Espresso Machines

If you want to easily make espresso at home, consider purchasing an automatic machine. These devices automatically grind and steam milk; all you have to do is press a button. Have in mind that not every super-automatic espresso maker makes the same coffee quality.

  • Super-automatic espresso machines are a good option if you want quality espresso with the least amount of effort. They’re also perfect for entertaining guests.
  • Since they come with built-in bean grinders, all you have to do is put some beans in and press start. [2]

Manual Espresso Machines

If you enjoy making things by hand and working with espresso tools, manual espresso machines are a great choice. They require some prep work before use, but that’s part of the coffee-making ritual. 

Spring pistons and direct lever mechanisms are the two options available for espresso brewing. To force the brewing of espresso on direct lever machines, you must pull the lever. 

A calibrated spring is included with the spring piston makers. It’s used to pressurize water through the coffee grounds.

  • This machine is great for people who want a robust espresso rather than a milder, watered-down coffee.
  • The drawback is the consistency in brewing the same shot of espresso. [3]

Single Serving Espresso Makers

If you’re looking for the easiest way to make espresso, a single-serving espresso machine is the best option. These fully automatic espresso makers use a capsule method to brew the espresso. One of the most popular brand is Nespresso.

Because they require the least cleanup and no waiting, they are incredibly convenient. Simply insert one espresso pod into the machine’s top, close the cover, and push the right button.

  • If you want to drink a couple cups of espresso but aren’t a coffee snob, you might want to try them.
  • The cost of a single-use pod is higher than that of ground espresso beans, but it’s still cheaper than visiting a coffee shop.
  • Also they aren’t considered as super friendly for the environment [4]

Double vs Single Boiler Espresso Machines

Single boiler machines are cheaper. But if you’re looking for a machine that can perform like a pro, you’ll have to invest in a dual boiler system. 

You won’t have to wait between brewing and steaming because the machine is calibrated while performing both functions.

Stovetop Espresso Maker

A stovetop espresso maker is a simple, affordable way to make espresso without a machine. They’re also called Moka pots, but they’re the same thing. 

They can be sized from 1 cup to 6 cups (0.24 to 1.42L) and 9 to 12 cups (2.1–2.8L). Cappuccinos and lattes can be made with a Moka pot. 

Fill the lower tank with water before using it; then sprinkle some ground espresso on top of the lower water tank and within the filter. 

Place the strainer on top of your stove after screwing it; you should be able to get flavorful espresso in about ten minutes this way! [5]

Grinder

If you’re looking to get into the world of espresso, you’ll need to have a few key items on hand. First and foremost, you’ll need the right equipment. You can’t just make true espresso with any old grinder—you need a high-quality one.

A built-in grinder is common in super-automatic espresso machines, but it’s not always the highest quality.

  • One of the most important things to consider when you’re shopping for a coffee grinder is whether it fits your budget. It’s crucial to find a grinder that meets your preferences but without breaking the bank. Good grinders can get very pricey.
  • When you’re looking for a quality grinder, it’s important to look for stepless or stepped. Stepped grinders have various grinding settings, and the best results are possible with stepless models because they lack preset settings.

Milk-Based Drinks

You can’t make cappuccinos or lattes if your machine doesn’t have a steam wand. This metal part is usually placed at one side of the coffee device. If you begin now, you won’t find it very easy to craft the best possible micro foam using a manual steam wand. But, keep practicing and soon enough you’ll be creating the best milk foam for your coffee drinks. 

It would be more convenient to create milk-based coffee, with a machine that has an integrated automatic milk frother. You’ll find plenty of options having this milk crafting feature. Warming up and mixing milk is automatic; so you don’t have to do anything for your excellent cappuccino. Just sit back and enjoy! [6]

In case you bought already a machine but it doesn’t have a steam wand, you don’t have to worry at all. There are also plenty of separate milk frothers available for you to buy. These are also simple to use. You just pour some milk in them and press the right button. Usually they come with two options: one for hot cappuccino and another for cold drinks. 

Final Thoughts

If you hate making coffee at home, it could be because you’ve never owned the right espresso machine. But if that’s the case, there’s nothing to worry about.

The Breville Duo Tamp is our top pick under $500. It makes a quality, flavorful espresso conveniently at your home.

Pairing features of commercial machines with the ease and simplicity of home models. It makes the best coffee available in less than 3 minutes. It’s also extremely easy to clean and maintain.

 

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