10 Best Budget Espresso Machines USA 2022 (Espresso Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank)

Espresso machines are renowned for being very pricey. Although they brew coffee that’s bold in flavor and thick in texture, they do this by using high-pressure systems and these are not cheap to make.

Generally speaking, you get what you pay for when it comes to coffee machines so many people are put off from even considering a budget espresso machine. This may sound like good advice but the truth is, there is actually a whole range of espresso makers that work really well whilst being designed for a lower budget.

Where you would usually spend anywhere from $500-$2000 on the latest Breville espresso machines, we have compiled a list where none of these options exceeds $200. We even have an option for under $50!

To help you quickly compare our ten top picks, we have an easy comparison chart showing all the basic features of each machine as well as the price range it falls into. Low being $50-100, medium being $100-150, and high being $150-200.

Now it’s time to dive straight in and look at our top five best budget espresso machines for your home or office.

Best Affordable Espresso Machines Reviewed

1. Top Choice – DeLonghi EC155 15 Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

DeLonghi EC155 15 Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine Black

Brand: De’Longhi

Type: Semi-Automatic

Water Pressure: 15 Bars of Pressure

Extras: Built-In Tamper

Price Range: Low ($50-100)

Steam Wand: Yes

Price & Reviews

Our top pick today is the De’Longhi EC155 thanks to its compact design, ease of use, and quality espresso it produces. It’s the best cheap espresso machine as it’s also extremely affordable. For under $100 you get a high-pressure, professional pump, 3-in-1 portafilter, removable water tank, and high-quality frothing wand.

The downside with this machine is you do need to invest in all the accessories to really use it at its fullest potential. A stainless steel jug, good quality tamper, decent beans, and a coffee grinder will allow you to really develop your barista skills. It’s worth noting that even the best espresso machines often need additional tools and the quality of coffee you brew simply comes down to practice, practice, and even more practice.

2. Runner Up – Mr. Coffee Espresso Latte and Cappuccino Maker

Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Cappuccino and Latte Maker Black

Brand: Mr. Coffee

Type: Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine

Water Pressure: 15 Bar Pump

Extras: Measuring Scoop, Water Pitcher, Milk Jug

Price Range: Low ($50 – $100)

Steam Wand: Yes

Price & Reviews

Next up, we have Mr. Coffee and their compact espresso machine. It’s sleek and simple in design and can brew up to 4 cups of espresso (or two double shots). This option is only a touch little more expensive than our top choice but you get a whole range of accessories included which more than make up for this.

Similar to the top choice, it does take a lot of practice to get decent espresso shots and to get good at steaming milk. The extra-large filter basket means you can brew two, double shots of espresso at once which is a major plus if you need to serve several espresso drinks at once.

This is a great budget espresso maker for making delicious coffee drinks at home. The build of the machine is a little lower quality than the De’Longhi option so that’s the main reason this one has taken second place.

3. Best For Beginners – Coffee Gator Espresso Machine

Coffee Gator Espresso Machine Quick-Brew Espresso Maker with Milk Frother and 1.3 Liter Removable Water Tank

Brand: Coffee Gator

Type: Semi-Automatic

Water Pressure: 20 Bars

Extras: Scoop/Tamp

Price Range: Medium ($100-150)

Steam Wand: Yes

Price & Reviews

If you’re new to brewing espresso then this machine is a great option. It’s designed to be user-friendly and straightforward but can still make a coffee shop-quality cup of coffee. It’s equipped with a high-pressure pump that can extract all those delicious coffee flavors.

The drip tray is removable for easy cleaning as well as allowing it to accommodate taller glasses. The steam wand can be used to dispense hot water as well as frothing milk to make any type of coffee you enjoy best.

This machine has a really attractive design with sleek, modern edges. It can brew quality coffee with a rich crema. It can brew coffee using fresh grounds or you can even use ESE espresso pods for an even easier brew method. It’s perfect for beginners and cafe baristas alike.

4. Best Automatic Espresso Maker – Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee and Espresso Machine by DeLonghi

Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee and Espresso Machine by DeLonghi Black

Brand: Nespresso

Type: Pod/Capsule Machine

Water Pressure: 19 Bars

Extras: Nespresso Original Capsule Welcome Pack

Price Range: Medium ($100-150)

Steam Wand: No

Price & Reviews

Not all coffee lovers enjoy spending time perfecting espresso making. If you like your coffee quickly and without any fuss then Nespresso is perfect. These machines use special, aluminum Nespresso capsules that keep the finely ground coffee fresh and help create a very high pressure of 19 bars.

All you need to do is choose your favorite capsule, top up the water reservoir and choose your cup size. The machine heats up in as little as 30 seconds and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to brew espresso coffee at home.

It’s compact in design, energy-saving, and very lightweight. The one downside is that it doesn’t brew milk-based coffees but you can always purchase the Aeroccino milk frother alongside this machine to make your favorite specialty coffee.

5. Best Value – Yabano Espresso Machine

Yabano Espresso Machine 15 Bar Expresso Coffee Machine with Milk Frother Wand for Cappuccino

Brand: Yabano

Type: Semi-Automatic

Water Pressure: 15 Bars

Extras: None

Price Range: High ($150-200)

Steam Wand: Yes

Price & Reviews

If you’re looking to get more for your money then look no further. This espresso machine by Yabano is a really professional build but without the price tag. It has a 15-bar, Italian-style pump to ensure optimal coffee extraction. The water tank is removable so easy to fill and clean and holes a huge 37 ounces. It also has a removable drip tray to accommodate larger mugs.

One, really great feature that sets this machine apart from the rest is the pressure gauge on the front. This allows you to really control the extraction of espresso and you can even incorporate low-pressure pre-infusion to make espresso that will blow you away.

A cup warmer on top is a nice extra touch and this machine will leave you wanting for nothing when it comes to brewing high-quality espresso.

Espresso Brewing, A Barista’s Guide

Coffee Beans vs Pre-Ground Coffee

The number one best thing you can do to ensure you’re making the best possible coffee is to use whole beans rather than pre-ground coffee. As soon as coffee is ground up it starts to lose a lot of its rich flavor and aroma, even if it’s stored correctly.

Espresso beans are ideal, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but you can also get great results with all sorts of medium and dark roasted options. If possible, source your beans fresh from a local coffee roaster and your coffee brewing game will reach new heights.

The Grinder

To grind up your coffee beans fine enough to brew good quality espresso you absolutely need a good quality burr grinder. These ensure a cool and even grind that gives you the richest, fullest extraction possible.

Filtered Water

Great tasting water brews great tasting coffee. If you’re using tap water that tastes a bit funny then this will translate into the coffee you brew. Hard water also contains minerals and other impurities that affect the extraction and can cause limescale damage to your coffee machine. Avoid these issues by using filtered water or installing a water filter into your machine if it is compatible.

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on descaling your coffee maker and use the recommended product. Failure to do so can invalidate your warranty.

Preparing Your Home Espresso Machine

Before you start anything else, the first step you need to take towards brewing coffee is to switch on your coffee maker so it can warm up. This is best done in advance so you can prepare the coffee whilst it’s heating up and then you don’t have to wait to start brewing.

Once the machine is warm, flush some hot water through the group head and into an empty mug or the drip tray. This will pre-heat the system, flush out any stale water, and allow you to see if there are any water flow issues.

Loading Up The Portafilter

Grind the coffee to a medium-fine grind setting. The exact setting depends heavily on the machine you use as well as the kind of coffee you’re brewing with. It often comes down to practice to really get to know your machine.

You’ll need around 7g of coffee for a single shot and 14g for a double shot. Again, the exact amount can vary with the machine so try a few different values and see what you find.

Gently spoon the coffee into the filter basket and press it down firmly and evenly using a tamper. Fix the portafilter to the brew head and you’re ready to get brewing.

Drawing the Shot of Espresso

Manual espresso machines give you full control over this step and fully automated ones do it all for you. The most common at-home espresso makers are semi-automatic so we will focus on these for this step.

You can start by turning on the hot water for around 5 seconds before switching it off again. This allows some water to enter the coffee puck but the coffee should not be flowing yet. Let it sit for 15-20 seconds and this allows that water to diffuse through the puck and evenly soak it. This prevents the water from channeling and allows an even flow when you start the brewing process.

Switch the water on again and time it for 25-30 seconds. At this time you should have 1 ounce (25ml) of coffee for a single shot or 2 ounces (50ml) for a double. The coffee should be thick, with a consistency like melted honey, and it should have an even layer of crema on top. If you break the crema with a spoon it should reform immediately.

If things don’t go right the first time, don’t panic. It can take a long time to brew really good quality espresso as there are so many factors that need to be considered. Just tweak it, try again and soon you’ll have it perfected.

Steam Wand vs Automatic Milk Frother

Steam wands work by sending out a jet of steam so that when you submerge this in cold milk it will heat the milk up and incorporate tiny air bubbles. This allows the milk to expand and the texture gets thick and creamy.

Frothing jugs tend to work a bit like a food processor to swirl the milk with rotating blades and physically incorporate air this way. They tend to produce more airy milk with a lighter texture due to larger air bubbles.

Steam wands are more tricky to get the hang of but absolutely make the better quality milk with a thick microfoam texture. If you want cafe-quality cappuccino or lattes then go for a steam wand.

some espresso being pulled from a budget espresso machine


What is a good inexpensive espresso machine?

The De’Longhi EC155 is the best value espresso machine for under $100. It’s not as streamlined as the top-of-the-range models but once you get the hang of it, it can brew very good espresso. The steam wand means you can make all sorts of specialty coffee as well.

Can you make good espresso with a cheap machine?

It is possible to make good quality espresso with a cheap machine but the results you get always come down to practice. It takes time and effort to get really good at brewing espresso and it’s not always intuitive. You will need a good quality burr grinder, decent tamper, and stainless steel milk jug to get the best results.

What are the best budget espresso machines?

Our top two choices for the best budget espresso machines are the DeLonghi EC155 and the Mr. Coffee Espresso Latte and Cappuccino Maker.

Is it worth it to get a cheap espresso machine?

If you love espresso coffee and are looking to enjoy it every day without breaking the bank then yes, a cheap espresso machine is worth it. As always, you get what you pay for and a more expensive option will give a better user experience but if you have a tight budget and you’re willing to practice then you can get a lot out of a budget coffee maker.

More Affordable Espresso Machines Reviews

De’Longhi Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine 15 Black

Brand: De’Longhi

Type: Semi-Automatic

Water Pressure: 15 Bars

Extras: Plastic Tamper

Price Range: Medium ($100-$150)

Steam Wand: Yes

Price & Reviews

De’Longhi has made our list again with this professional, 15 bar espresso maker. It has easy-to-use dials and indicator lights on the front allows you to quickly see if it’s on and also when it has warmed up ready for coffee brewing.

The portafilter has a 3-in-1 design so it can accommodate a basket for one or two shots or even ESE espresso pods. This option is well designed for taller cups and mugs and the drip tray is easily removed to make even more space.

The water tank is a roomy, 37 ounces, and is removable for easy refilling. This option comes in the medium price range but it retains a build quality that matches much more high-end options. It’s a perfect choice for coffee newbies and advanced baristas alike.

Nespresso Vertuo Plus Coffee and Espresso Maker by De’Longhi

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine by De'Longhi

Brand: Nespresso

Type: Capsule Coffee Maker

Water Pressure: N/A – Uses Centrifusion Technology

Extras: Complimentary Starter Pack of Capsules

Price Range: High ($100-$150)

Steam Wand: No

Price & Reviews

The Vertuo Plus Nespresso coffee maker just falls into our medium-price category. This option comes from the Vertuo-line of coffee makers and these are a little different from the original-line machines. They use special, rounded capsules and the machine spins these very fast to create the thickest head of crema possible.

These machines are even easier to use as the capsules have a barcode on them that allows the machine to automatically adjust brew parameters once it reads this. Nespresso has its own capsule recycling program so you can discard your used ones at a local pick-up point or post them back. Check the Nespresso website for more information.

This option does not come with a milk frothing system but there is the option to add the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother onto your order so you can enjoy delicious creamy coffee as well.

SOWTECH Espresso Machine

SOWTECH Espresso Machine Cappuccino Machine with Steam Milk Frother 3.5 Bar Latte Coffee Maker

Brand: Sowtech

Type: Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker

Water Pressure: 3.5 Bar

Extras: Filter & Funnel, Spoon, Stainless Steel Cup

Price Range: Very Low (Under $50)

Steam Wand: Yes

Price & Reviews

The Sowtech espresso maker is the most affordable option on our list at less than $50. It’s a really straightforward setup with a sturdy portafilter and filter basket. It’s a unique option as it has a stainless steel cup that fits under the funnel so it acts as a carafe for brewing into.

It has a frothing wand and this is detachable if you’re looking to save space. It even has a temperature gauge built into the front of the machine so you can ensure your coffee is brewed at the optimal temperature.

The downside with this option is that it only achieves 3.5 bars of pressure which isn’t up to the 9 bars recommended to brew good quality espresso. Although it’s not as high-tech as other options, for the low price tag it’s a great solution.

Lavazza BLUE Classy Mini Single Serve Espresso Coffee Machine

Lavazza BLUE Classy Mini Single Serve Espresso Coffee Machine LB 300

Brand: Lavazza

Type: Capsule Coffee Maker

Water Pressure: N/A

Extras: None

Price Range: Medium ($100-$150)

Steam Wand: No

Price & Reviews

Capsule coffee makers are perfect for beginners as well as for those who need their morning cup of joe in a hurry, without any fuss. The Lavazza Blue Classy can brew espresso or cafe lungo at the touch of a button.

This machine is advertised as having a high pressure system but Lavazza doesn’t actually state what the pressure is. The machine can be a bit tricky to get used to but just follow the instruction manual and you’ll get there in no time.

Lavazza is a brand that is well used in Italy so you know you’re getting the best quality when you brew. The downside is, as with most capsule coffee makers, the capsules can be pricey and the machines are only compatible with Lavazza ones so you can’t mix and match between machines.

Gevi Espresso Machine

Gevi Espresso Machines 20 Bar Fast Heating Automatic Cappuccino Coffee Maker

Brand: Gevi

Type: Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine

Water Pressure: 20 Bars

Extras: Scoop/Tamper

Price Range: Medium ($100-150)

Steam Wand: Yes

Price & Reviews

We’ve saved a good one for last. Gevi may be selling this machine for a small price but they haven’t skipped out any key features. It heats water using an advanced thermoblock heating system which means its fast to heat up and can efficiently switch between espresso brewing and milk steaming.

It can produce an impressive 20 bars of pressure and it has a double temperature control system so it won’t burn your coffee after heating milk. It has an LED display screen and a comfortable dial control as well so it’s very straight forward to use.

Little extras like a cup warmer on top and a buoy in the drip tray (this floats to the surface when the tray is full to avoid spills) make this machine a dream to use.

Final Thoughts

So that’s it for budget espresso makers. You don’t need to break the bank in order to enjoy great coffee, it just takes a bit of research and some practice to really get your technique down. In the end, the perfect coffee machine is one that’s affordable as well as one that gives a great user experience. Happy Brewing.

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