There is an old Italian saying – home is where the espresso is. This can sound to the rest of the world like “home is the place where you can have tasty and delicious coffee”. But how much should you spend on an espresso machine?
You are looking to buy a machine for your home, and you’re on a budget. But, you’re attracted by the advanced functions of a top-notch espresso machine. If you’re in this position and don’t know what to buy, then you’re in the right place.
In this article, we will take a look on how much money you need to spend to get a quality espresso machine. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to spend a fortune to enjoy quality shots of espresso.
Before We Start: What Is a True Espresso
Espresso is a coffee style. It’s a short volume (1-2oz.) of brewed under pressure coffee. To extract espresso the barista utilizes a tablespoon of fine grounds of coffee (6.5 – 7.5 grams).
You can make true espresso only with a good espresso machine. The outcome should have robust taste and thick golden brown cream on top.
Serving espresso is also important. Coffee snobs serve espresso in a porcelain demitasse with a small spoon for adding sugar. True espresso making and drinking is something like a ritual.
Espresso machines force hot water under pressure through fine grounds of coffee beans. This produces a concentrated liquid called espresso shot. This coffee style has a unique flavor and aroma that is highly prized by coffee lovers.
Steam was the initial driving force to prepare espresso. Nowadays espresso machines come with pumps to create the proper pressure. Still, this kind of driving force is the cause of espresso crema.
It is still possible for some home espresso machines to use steam. But it takes much longer to brew and does not always produce the desired result. The preferred method today is to use pump-driven machines. Commercial and home espresso machines use this method for brewing espresso.
How Much Is A Beginner’s Espresso Machine?
Buying an espresso machine can be a daunting task, especially for the newbie. We’ve had a lot of questions over the years and many of them are around pricing.
We’ll try to answer this question, and you some tips on buying an espresso machine when you’re just getting started.
You can find a home espresso machine for anywhere between $200 and $1300 dollars. But, I wouldn’t recommend buying a machine for less than $500. If you want something that will last and make good shots of espresso you need to at least reach this price point.
If you’re a newbie to espresso, then the Breville Bambino Plus is an excellent choice. It’s easy to use and produces great results with minimal fuss and cleaning.
If you just want to make espresso, and don’t want to progress up the coffee ladder, then this is a good choice. But, if you are thinking about making drinks for lots of people at once, this machine can’t handle it.
Recommended reading >> Best espresso machines under $1000
How Much Is An Espresso Machine for Home Baristas?
Coffee lovers have a wide range of espresso machines to choose from. Most people buy an espresso machine that is convenient. The want an easy to use machine that produces a good cup of coffee.
Experienced coffee snobs use either a quality manual espresso machine for better control. Or they look for a very good automatic espresso machine for great taste coffee without the work. If you’re looking for a brief description of these types of espresso machine, here’s what you need to know.
Manual Espresso Machines
A manual machine has a lot of fun. Especially if you love coffee and want to learn how to make the perfect cup.
“You can make espresso at home, just as delicious as the one you get in coffee shops. But you will need to invest in an espresso machine and a few other accessories to do this.
A manual machine is more complicated to use compared to automatic ones. And it’s a less expensive machine compares to an automatic espresso machine. You have to use pre-ground coffee since they do don’t come with a built-in espresso grinder. Pre-ground coffee has to be fresh to get the best outcome.
Automatic Espresso Machines
The best automatic machines have impressive automation features. They have pre-heating, grinders, adjustable shot volume, steaming & frothing milk, and so on.
These features will save time while you’re making your coffee at home. Also they take out much of the guess-work.
I always suggest people to buy a high end espresso machine when they go out shopping for one. If you plan on making your own coffee at home often then it’s better to spend more money upfront.
At any case don’t try to save money by purchasing low quality machines that won’t last.
Recommended reading >> Best espresso machines under $1500
How Much Is A Commercial Espresso Machine?
When it comes to purchasing commercial espresso machines, the price range is endless. It all depends on what qualities you’re looking for. How much coffee your establishment serves, and of course how much you’re willing to spend.
With so many factors, shopping for a commercial espresso machine can be daunting. So below we will break down the different types of machines and their prices. We hope this will help making your decision easier.
Heat Exchange Espresso Machines
Good quality, entry level heat exchange espresso machines range from $4,000 up to $10,000. These machines work great if you’re going through a few pounds of coffee a day and are perfect for most small cafes.
One drawback to these machines is that you can only brew one espresso shot at a time. If you’re serving many customers, this could be frustrating for both customer and barista.
Most heat exchange espresso machines come with a steam wand. But if you plan on steaming in bulk, you may want to look into getting a separate milk steamer. This will save the barista from having to steam milk back-to-back during rush hour.
Multi-Boiler Espresso Machines
A multi-boiler commercial espresso machine ranges from $10.000 and up to $35.000. These machines can extract many shots of espresso at once.
Opening a coffee shop where serving high volume of espresso is key to your business’s success? Then investing in a high end multi-boiler machine makes sense. But, if you’re starting out with limited resources, an entry level would be better.
Do Expensive Espresso Machines Worth The Money?
Should you spend more money on a piece of equipment such as a quality espresso machine? The answer is yes, investing in a quality espresso machine is worth it.
A quality machine will maintain consistent temperature and pressure during the extraction. This means you are guaranteed to have a delicious cup of coffee every time.
Consistency is vital when brewing espresso. If the temperature or pressure drops, you may be left with an underextracted brew. Your coffee will taste sour and weak.
If the temperature or pressure rises too much, you run the risk of overextracting your beans. Ending up with an overlybitter cup of coffee.
Now, you could get away with using a Moka pot (Italian stovetop brewer) for your daily shot of espresso. But there’s no way it would be able to maintain consistency in temperature and pressure for each pull.
That’s why it’s important to invest in a good espresso machine to enjoy delicious cups of coffee every day. Also, these devices are built to last for years.
An espresso machine can save you a lot of money in the long run. Instead of buying from a coffee shop, you can prepare your espresso at home using your machine.
High-end machines have features that make specialty coffee an easy task. They come with coffee grinder, frothers, and coffee automation adjustments. They have the features to help you create great coffee without needing barista skills.
Can You Rent An Espresso Maker?
This answer is yes, you can rent only commercial espresso makers. Espresso machines are expensive, and this is the main reason to rent one instead of buying.
If you’re a small business or startup, you may not have the upfront capital to spend on a commercial machine. By renting, you can save up your money for other business expenses, such as furniture or marketing.
Renting requires a smaller upfront cost followed by a plan of monthly payments. You could spend $10,000 to get an espresso machine or around $300 per month on a payment plan.
Or, renting a machine costs about $150 a month or maybe less (depends on the rental company).
Renting Offers Flexibility
If your business expands and need to upgrade your machine, you can do so through your leasing company. If you own your equipment, you must go through the hassle of selling it and purchasing new ones.
It’s The Most Cost-Effective Option
Planning to operate in one location for less than four years? Then renting is more cost-effective than purchasing. Or if you plan to run your business at the same location for more than four years, then buying is more cost effective.
When it comes on how much should you spend on an espresso machine, your caffeine budget is generally not under control. It’s easy to quickly waste money on coffee. That’s where having an espresso machine in your house becomes a necessity.
If you don’t like spending too much money on something you really love, you should go for cheaper models. But, with medium quality that can nonetheless make you a cup of coffee in your own home.