The 7 Best Espresso Machines Under $1000

A stainless steel espresso machine under a $1000 for you to be able to save money from buying cafe quaity espresso drinks.

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Picking out the best espresso machine under 1000 dollars is the perfect price range for a high-end machine that offers you the control and programmability you need without spending two to three thousand.

We narrowed our list down to seven espresso machines that include semi-automatic, fully automatic, manual, and super-automatic.

With so many choices in the market, it’s challenging to understand which one is the best for you.

Not to worry, we have concluded their exclusive features, pros, cons, and why they would look and brew the perfect cup of coffee! 

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. Breville Barista Express

I’m partial to the Breville espresso machine since this is the brand I chose to start my day with. (as you can see below, my wife took this picture before I had my morning cup of coffee, so I don’t look too happy).

Me standing next to my Breville oracle fully automatic espressomachine.

The Breville Barista Express is semi-automatic with an integrated conical burr grinder that drops freshly ground coffee directly into your portafilter and a sizing dial that allows you to customize the grind.

It incorporates PID technology to prevent temperature changes and enables a single or double shot as well as micro-foam milk texturing.

It’s not a self-explanatory machine, so if you’re new to the barista world of espresso, you’ll want to read the manual thoroughly.

If you want to experiment with the process, it comes with interchangeable filters so you can utilize the auto or manual mode. Although it includes a water filter, new filters are costly, so utilizing pre-filtered water may be a better option.

The big reason we put it number one is because it’s the finest value for the amount of money. This machine’s price is around $800, but it comes with more advanced features than models that cost hundreds more.

The learning curve required to master it is really its only fault. Overall, we believe coffee lovers will feel that it is the greatest espresso machine under 1000.

Pros

  • Breville barista offers many accessories to go with the machine. These include a stainless steel pitcher, tamper, water filter, pressurized/non-pressurized baskets (four in total), cleaning kit, etc.
  • The water tank has 2 liter of capacity; the coffee bean hopper holds 250gms of beans with a vacuum seal at the top.
  • Two-year warranty.
  • Manual tamper and stainless steel razor. 
  • The grinder cradle allows hand-free dosing directly in the portafilter.
  • PID controller to maintain temperature stability. 

Cons 

  • The machine has a larger footprint than other brands
  • It doesn’t offer automatic steaming of the milk. So, you will need to froth it manually.
  • The learning curve is a little high, you will need to read the manual and practice.

2. De’Longhi Dinamica

There are a lot of bells and whistles on the Dinamica, which makes it a good alternative to an expensive espresso machine. We have included it because it is one of the most consistent automatic machines in this price range. 

The Dinamica heats up in less than a minute, has an Italian pump that gives you a consistent 15 bars of pressure, a stainless steel burr grinder with 13 settings, a steam wand, a detachable tray for ease of cleaning, and a simplified but intelligent programmable touch-screen display panel.

Since it is a super automatic it is hands-off, requiring no tamping skills or even the attachment of the portafilter to the group head. Everything is done internally with a push of a button.

It also features De’Longhi’s breakthrough true-brew method, which prepares your coffee at a lower temperature and infuses it atop ice to provide the perfect iced coffee experience.

Since  it can take cold brew 16 to 20 hours to infuse its flavor you can use this option to prepare iced lattes quicker.

This is a clever, adaptable machine that is ideal for the coffee consumer who prefers to be hands-off.

Pros 

  • The grinder has stainless steel burrs for a better, more consistent grind. Along with the grinder, it also has a bypasser. 
  • The grinder offers 13 grind size settings
  • The hopper is integrated, holds 285 grams, has an air tight seal and doesn’t increase the height of the machine. 
  • The machine is compact and sits beautifully on any countertop. 
  • The auto-rinse option allows for easy cleaning. 
  • The machine heats up in 40 seconds.
  • Adjustable coffee spout for bigger cups
  • You can program your drinks, their temperature, and the strength of the coffee
  • It’s easier to clean this machine with a dishwasher-safe drip tray and a removable group unit. 

Cons

  • The machine is completely automated, so if you enjoy being more envolved when it comes to brewing your coffee look for an automatic or manual home espresso maker.

3. Rancilio Silvia

The name “Silvia” comes from the Latin word “forest,” and the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine may be the greenest tree in your kitchen’s forest. (I admit that wasn’t my best effort but I’m not deleting it).

From the thermally stable group-head to the portafilter, this attractive semi-automatic is made as a home espresso machine but built with a commercial-grade interior.

It also comes with a flexible steaming wand that allows you to manage the steaming pressure while practicing latte art.

This model has some drawbacks. The drip tray is a little smaller than some people would like. It has a detachable water reservoir but no warning of low water.

If you don’t have a grinder, you’ll have to buy one separately since it doesn’t have a built in grinder.

Pros

  • The machine is easy to use and easy to clean. 
  • Rancilio Silvia offers a 2-liter water tank and a 12-ounce water boiler. 
  • It’s a compact machine both horizontally and vertically; It can easily fit in your kitchen. 
  • Commercial-style portafilter, group head, and boiler cannot be found in other domestic semi-automatic espresso machine. 
  • The commercial group head provides temperature and pressure stability. 
  • You control the steam’s pressure with a knob. 
  • It comes with two non-pressurized baskets.

Cons

  • No programmability. As stated, the machine only ever allows you to turn it on and off. It doesn’t let you try additional barista techniques. (some peoplemay find this easier)
  • The drip tray is too small for many actions. 
  • You cannot pull back-to-back shots or a double shot with this machine. It needs a break to regulate the temperature back to normal for another shot. 

4. Gaggia Classic Pro

Were you looking for the best espresso machine under 1000 dollars when you realized you also needed a machine that grinds coffee beans in that price range?

If that’s the case, then allow me to introduce you to another timeless model: the Gaggia Classic.

In many aspects, these machines are similar to the Rancilio Silvia. It’s a classic Italian design that hasn’t been updated since 1991. That’s a long time, which indicates that the company is doing something well!

The Gaggia is a simple gadget with a legitimate commercial-style 58 mm portafilter, despite its modest size. It’s well-made, weighing in about 20 pounds.

It’s a terrific choice for one or two people who want superb espresso. If you’re planning on entertaining large groups or making a lot of cappuccinos, you should probably seek elsewhere because the capacity is limited.

Pros

  • The machine has a very compact size and can fit in your kitchen easily. 
  • A three-way solenoid valve system allows you a drier puck after brewing. 
  • It has a dual heating-up system. It heats up in about 30 seconds. 
  • Stainless steel casing and a three switch control panel.
  • You can adjust the steam and its power with a knob .  
  • The drip tray is an optimal size with enough space to cover different size coffee mugs. (just not too big)

Cons

  • Gaggia Classic pro is a small machine with not enough space for big cups and not enough space on the cup warmer. 
  • Gaggia offers plastic tamper and plastic scoop, which is never good for tamping. So, you will need to invest in a stainless steel tamper. 

5. Jura A1

Despite its small size, the Jura A1 Automatic Coffee Maker is built to last. It’s a 20-pound machine with a built-in grinder and spout large enough to take even a tall mug, despite its small size and light weight.

Three cup sizes, two levels of aroma, three strength settings, and three water amounts are included so you can make your favorite coffee drink with this machine.

The downside is that it’s a single-serve machine, so it’s not ideal for a home with a lot of coffee drinkers. If you’re searching for a device that can make a variety of coffee drinks, this isn’t the item for you. Because there is no frother or steamer, if you enjoy straight espresso, ristretto, or Americano it is a great option.

You could also buy a stand-alone milk frother if you wanted the option to make milk and espresso-based drink once in a while.

In a word, if you’re looking for a simple, basic way to make fresh espresso, this ultra-compact, easy-to-use coffee machine might be perfect for you.

If you want to know more about the Jura A1 read my review here.

Pros

  • You don’t need to worry about grinding or tamping. The machine does it all inside the system for a hand-free operation. 
  • It has an auto-off switch to save energy and electricity. 
  • It has a touch screen panel for added modernization along with the sleek-black model. 
  • Comes with a water filter for less descaling cycle than other machines. 
  • Hopper is hidden inside the machine, and that doesn’t increase the overall height or size. The hopper has a black sealed cap to keep the beans fresh. 

Cons

  • The water reservoir has a 1-liter capacity, which is ample for espresso but never enough for regular coffee. 
  • Small hopper of 4.4 oz (124gms) 
  • It has an even smaller drip tray to hold spills. 

6. La Pavoni 

This is a lever espresso machine, which is also known as a manual espresso machine. This isn’t the best option for most individuals because it necessitates a lot of effort from the user.

If you like vintage cars and ancient Swiss timepieces, though, La Pavoni should be on your radar.

When it comes to style, I believe this machine destroys any other espresso machine. It’s also not far off in terms of substance.

If you have the ability, the Europiccola can produce excellent espresso. Rather than relying on a pump, this machine relies on you pressing the lever down to force the water through the grounds. When it comes to extraction, this gives you a lot more alternatives.

You may also brew lattes with the help of a steam wand.

Just looking at these devices makes me want to raise my hand in the Mediterranean fashion and yell “Bellissimo!”

If you’re interested in other manual espresso machine options read my review of the top models here.

Pros

  • The machine comes with a side cylindrical glass to display the water level inside the boiler. 
  • It offers an automatic cappuccino fine foam frother if you don’t want to froth the milk manually. 
  • La Pavoni has a tremandous warranty. 
  • The boiler comes with safety valves to protect you from severe burns. 
  • It’s a direct lever machine and is more affordable than any other spring-piston manual espresso machine. 
  • La Pavoni has a small footprint compared to other machines. 

Cons

  • A manual espresso machine requires physical effort to work and has the largest learning curve of any machine.
  • The drip grill, handle, knobs are all made of plastic. 
  • The boiler can only store 0.5 liters of water. 
  • You will need to turn off the machine completely to reduce the temperature for the next extraction. 

7. Jura D6

I love the Jura brand, there are so many models made by Jura but at this price point, the Jura D6 is hard to beat.

For the quality and overall simplicity of brewing, the D6 is an excellent choice. Because this is a super-automatic machine, the user’s involvement is minimal; Jura takes care of everything.

The simplistic operation, the tray is adjustable for bigger coffee cups, and a micro frother for textured milk is standard.

This machine isn’t like the lower-end Keurigs and Nespresso; instead, think of the Jura as a barista at your favorite specialty coffee shop.

If you do decide to buy one, take in mind that super-automatics like the Jura work best when they aren’t partnered with a particularly oily bean. The Lavazza Super Crema comes highly recommended.

Pros

  • The machine has an optimal size water tank-60ounces
  • It grinds, doses, tamps, brews, and steams for you directly in the container. It’s a hand-free operation. 
  • An easily read LED screen.
  • The two spouts are adjustable and can accommodate a 5 inch cup between the spouts and the drip tray easily! 
  • You can select the strength and temperature of the coffee.
  • The unit comes with a water filter to avoid constant descaling. 
  • It has an auto-shut-off

Cons

  • It has a rather simpler interface compared to other Juras. 
  • The drip tray and hopper are small, given its massive size.
  • The machine is pretty big for smaller kitchens.  
A barista pushing down on a manual espresso machine which is one of the 3 most popular espresso machine's under a 1000 dollars
Barista makes coffee with a manual espresso maker machine

The Most Popular Types Of Espresso Machines

There’s a wild variety of options on the market. The four categories of espresso machines under 1000 are- manual, semi-automatic, fully-automatic, and super-automatic. 

These categories are divided by the level of automation each one has. 

Every individual has specific demands of their espresso machine since they will have a different budget and flavor profile.

Thus manufacturers produce multi-styled, multi-functioning machines with different features to please different users. 

So, despite being semi-automatics, two different machines from different companies can have a completely different system. 

For instance, Sage’s semi-automatic espresso machine has a built-in grinder which isn’t common for semi-automatic espresso machines. La Pavoni’s manual espresso machine has an automatic cappuccino frothing apparatus. 

Some might have a portafilter, while others have internal spouts to extract your espresso. 

Here is a little more detail on each type.

Manual Or lever Action Machines 

Pulling single or double shots with a lever-driven mechanism necessitates physical power. Manual and spring-loaded are the two types.

When the handle of a manual machine is raised, a hole in the brewing chamber lets pre-heated water into the chamber, saturating the grounds. When the barista lowers the lever, they can manage the length of the pre-infusion, the flow rate, and the pressure.

When the internal spring of a spring-driven machine is relaxed, the lever points up. When you pull the lever down, the spring compresses and the piston rises. This makes room for water to enter the brewing chamber.

As the spring releases its tension, the lever returns to its original position. As a result, the piston pushes the water down, extracting the espresso.

The barista has complete control over lever machines. It’s simple to accomplish this if a certain coffee requires a longer pre-infusion or extracts more flavor with a specific pressure profile. They encourage you to practice and change your technique until you find that sweet spot.

Lever machines are visually beautiful, and the lack of electrical components may appeal to some. They aren’t commonly used nowadays, and they aren’t perfect for a busy coffee shop, but if you want to make coffee in a steampunk style, this is the machine for you.

Pump driven machines

Pump-driven espresso machines have dominated the market since the 1960s. These function by pushing pressurized heated water through the brew chamber into the coffee puck. It is simple to create steady high pressure with an electrical pump.

Pump-driven machines are now divided into three categories: semi, fully, and super-automatic.

There are differences within each, such as the type of pump, the number of boilers, and the use of computer-aided programming. But first, let’s define the various categories before moving on to the mechanisms.

Semi-automatic espresso machine 

This is the most popular machine. The water is driven through the group head using an automated system. With semi-automatic machines, the barista is in charge of grinding, tamping, and extraction time control.

They strike a decent balance between human control and automated consistency. You are in charge of the shot, but the water pressure and temperature are controlled, making it more difficult to make a mistake.

Who is a semi-automatic espresso machine for?

  • Someone who’d enjoy the barista-feel while brewing and pulling espresso shots. 
  • Can afford to spend time while brewing?
  • Semi-automatic machines require skills to pull off good espresso shots. 

Fully-automatic espresso machine

These devices are similar to semi-automatic machines, but they halt the flow of water automatically. This ensures that each shot has the same volume and eliminates the need to stand over each espresso to prevent overflow.

Who are these machines for

  • Someone who has enough space for the wide features of the fully automatic. 
  • Individuals who prefer programmability between the automation. 
  • The machine allows people automation along with programmability. You can switch between the two at any given time. 
  • Fully automatics are pretty expensive. If your budget does allow for such an expense, go for it! 

Super Automatic machines

Super-automatics do everything for you with a push of a button, all you have to do is fill the hopper with beans and the reservoir with water.

The machine grinds the beans, measures the dose, fills the inner basket, and stamps the grounds, and pulls the exact volume needed for a single or double shot. Simply press a button to receive a quality shot every time.

Some machines allow you can alter the grind size and time, but there isn’t much area for experimentation. They are more commonly found in homes and businesses than at coffee shops.

A Nespresso kiosk selling machines and pods at a local mall. These are very convenient and affordable which makes them one of the best espresso machine under 1000

Capsule/Pod espresso machines

Capsules machines can be considered the more affordable approach to super-automatic machines.

These machines will brew for you instantly without a lot of effort from you. Unlike super-automatics, these use pre-ground capsules and pods to brew coffee instead of freshly ground coffee. 

Capsules are sealed aluminum pods that have flavored pre-ground coffee inside of them. Nespresso invented the capsule espresso machine to provide coffee with complete automation. 

If you are someone who doesn’t mind pre-ground coffee, these machines are more affordable, easy to use, and of smaller compared to other technical machines. 

ESE Pods are paper-sealed flat circular bags of coffee and can be used in almost any espresso machine, including manual and semi-automatics. 

These pods can easily fit in your portafilter if the portafilter has an additional pod basket. These pod baskets are flatter with less depth because ESE pods are usually thin! ESE pods stand for easy-serve espresso coffee. 

Meanwhile, capsules can only go with a machine that’s specifically designed for capsules.

Pods can go in almost all the machines. Capsule machines are smarter; they also come with milk frothing options and more programmability. Many capsule machines offer a variety of espresso-based and milk-based beverages. 

Who are these machines for: 

  • Someone who’d want automation without spending too much money. 
  • Individuals who enjoy pre-ground coffee and don’t want to invest in a grinder.
  • Capsules do have a variety of flavors. 
  • Capsule coffee machines have a small footprint compared to other massive machines. They can fit beautifully in your kitchen without much hassle. 
  • Capsule machines offer automatic steaming wands at a cheaper rate.

Questions To Ask Before Buying These Machines: 

Getting the right machine for your home and family is as easy as asking the right questions, read below to help narrow your search.

What type of portafilter does it have?

Now, you might wonder if a portafilter is the same for every machine, but there are variations. Before we continue, let’s go over what a portafilter is. 

The portafilter is a basket molded with a handle to carry ground coffee for the brewing process. When you attach the portafilter to the group head, pressurized water is able to go through the coffee grounds and extract your espresso.

You can select a single, double, or pod basket to put in the portafilter, this will determine the volume of your shot or allow you to use an ESE pod instead of loose coffee grinds.

Many machines with built-in grinders come with a portafilter cradle to hold the ground or come with an enclosed system. You can attach the portafilter and allow auto-dosing and auto-tamping in an enclosed system.

There are many types of portafilter depending on their size, handle, open/closed, locked/.unlocked. 

  • Portafilter size: Domestic portafilters usually offer a 54mm diameter. Commercial-style portafilters come with 58mm diameter. 
  • Handle: Manufacturers usually put their mark and unique design over the handle to show brand name and pattern. Handles are usually made of plastic or wood. 
  • Open/close: Domestic portafilters usually have a sealed bottom, but bottomless portafilters come with an exposed rear. This open bottom allows you to visualize the saturation process. You can actually notice water mixing in with ground coffee with a bottomless portafilter. 

Open portafilters are usually for professionals who can brew without making a mess. Open bases of portafilter can cause a mess since the coffee can sprew out anywhere if not saturated properly. 

Closed portafilters have spout bases. You will find two spouts with most of the domestic portafilters for separate double shots. 

Does it have a dual boiler?

As stated, dual boilers are the most expensive addition to an espresso machine, and it isn’t easy to land one under $1000. Dual boilers can brew and steam simultaneously, which is not possible for a single boiler (that’s responsible for brewing and steaming both). 

It’s no secret that espresso gets sour when it gets cold, and unfortunately, you might cool down your espresso shots with a single boiler.

A single boiler takes a lot of time to adjust its temperature from brewing to steaming milk. 

You will need to wait to increase the temperature to pull another shot unless your single-boiler is equipped with a PID controller. 

The PID controller maintains the machine’s temperature between 190-204, optimal for pulling shots. PID controllers are an expensive addition if your machine doesn’t come with one (Sage/Breville offer PID controllers with every machine of theirs for free)

With a single boiler, you will need to steam the milk before pulling the shot. This will prepare the milk without cooling down the espresso shots. If you are fine with steaming first and pulling the shot later, single boilers can save you a lot of money! 

If you choose a single boiler machine, make sure to choose a strong boiler like brass/chrome plated to brew hotter espresso shots! 

A clear cappuccino glass sitting on a wooden table with chocolate frothed milk on top

Can it froth milk?

The bigger question is do you want to froth milk?

Many people avoid consuming milk-based beverages because they want to enjoy the espresso shots pure without dilution. If this is the case you don’t want to pay for a feature that you’re not going to use.

Fortunately, manufacturers have started to create and develop machines without a steaming wand to reduce additional costs! Jura A1 is one such machine that doesn’t have a milk frother. 

Another great machine is the capsule espresso machine. Most of these machines offer you an optional choice to buy or not buy the milk frother. It’s not part of the machine’s build. 

If you enjoy milk-based espresso beverages, buy an espresso machine that comes with either a manual steaming wand, automatic wand, or a cappuccino outlet.

Is it compatible with ESE pods?

ESE pods stand for Easy-serve-espresso. These pods are small circular flat paper discs filled with pre-ground espresso coffee. This pre-ground can be decaf, flavored, or any roast you would typically buy. 

ESE pods are circular and specially designed to fit into pod portafilter baskets. A lot of brands offer ESE compatibility but you need to make sure

Usually, an espresso machine that comes with a portafilter has pressurized, non-pressurized, and ESE pod baskets. These baskets have low depth and are meant only for pod use only. 

If your machine doesn’t offer an ESE pod, you cannot use it in the baskets! Fortunately, most companies do offer ESE pods.

Please note: Different manufacturers will produce different-sized pod baskets to adjust their ESE pods only. Like the Tassimo or dolce gusto pods, these pods will only fit in their own branded coffee machine. 

Similarly, Nespresso will only accept Nespresso capsules rather than other brands. A Portafilter-less espresso machine cannot use ESE pods, but they do have a bypass doser to allow pre-ground coffee brewing.

How big is it?

An espresso machine can be pretty big and eat up a lot of your counter space

If you’re placing your machine under a cabinet make sure to measure from the bottom of your counter to the bottom of the trim on your cabinet.

Keep in mind that you will have to turn the machine around or pull it out to access the water reservoir, This is a big factor that I see a lot of people not take into consideration before making a purchase.

Manual espresso machines are tall cylindrical with heightened piston levers. These machines don’t consume much surface area on the counter but require a tall height to adjust properly. If you are planning to buy a manual espresso machine, check its height with your counter space.

Semi-automatic is the smallest machine. They are easy-to-use, minimal machines with the least amount of add ons other than the brewing head and the steaming wand. A semi-automatic espresso machine is the easiest to fit into any kitchen space. 

A Fully automatic espresso machine may or may not have a built-in grinder. If your espresso machine has a built-in grinder, check if the hopper is integrated inside the machine or stands out at the top. This will determine if it is bigger than a semi-automatic.

Super-automatic. These are monsters and really need a designated area like a corner alcove or a coffee bar. Unless you have a lot of counter space you may have a hard time placing it in your kitchen.

Other Things to consider before buying the Best espresso machine under 1000 dollars

  • Does it have a safe electric switch to plug in the device? Does the device have long enough cords to reach the switch? 
  • Is there a sink close to the machine for easy refill and dump? 
  • The space above the machine and beside the machine. 
Barista man cleaning espresso machine after working day

How easy is it to clean?

To help your machine last longer, serve great coffee, and look lavish, you MUST keep your machine clean from stains, scratches, scaling, and coffee residue. 

Smaller machines are more difficult to clean with their small corners, edges, splits, plastic wares, and small internal space.

External cleaning isn’t the only thing that keeps your machine maintained; internal cleaning is more important to ensure coffee grounds and calcium isn’t building up. 

Internal cleaning: 

  • Wash the water reservoir with hot water and refill it every day to clean/rinse the unit with fresh water. (Make sure your machine has a removable water reservoir)
  • Use soft water to avoid descaling. 
  • If you have a portafilter-less espresso machine, empty the puck dust bin every day to dispose of organic waste from the machine.
  • Use a brush to clean the grinder and its burr. 
  • You can wash the hopper with water in the sink. Check if these wares are dishwasher safe. 
  •  Rinse the brewing unit after every use. 

The easiest solution is to buy a machine that has automatic cleaning options.

Please note: Choose a machine that’s split into parts for easier cleaning and is dishwasher safe. Don’t put metallic wares in soapy water or water at all. A damp cloth is fine to wipe the metallic parts clean. 

What features does it have?

Most espresso machines have two main functions: pulling espresso shots and steaming milk, but there’s still so much more these machines can offer.

Every enhanced feature will increase the value of your machine overall. So, ask yourself which feature you’d like in the machine and which ones you can live without. 

Functionality and interface: You can either choose affordable switches to brew and steam with simplicity or use illuminating interfaces or the touch screen for advanced technology.

Operating buttons and touch screens cost more than switches, but both allow you to better program the machine. 

Programmability: Programmable features include changing the temperature of the brew, the density of steaming, shot volume, shot temp, milk temperature, pre-infusion period, brewing period, grind size, tamp pressure, and amount of coffee will all have a role in the flavor of your espresso.

Boiler: Will a single boiler suffice your espresso demands, i.e., brewing and steaming at intervals, or do you want to steam them together? If you want faster beverages, choose the expensive dual boiler machine. 

Pump: Your pump should have max. 15-Bars pressure to last longer and pull consistent shots. Without a good pump, you cannot have the correct amount of extraction. 

Automatic steaming or manual: If you want to steam instantly without learning how to do it manually, an automatic steaming wand will give you more powered steam and save you time. Manual steaming will require you to learn how to aerate the milk for the correct texture. 

Portafilter or no portafilter: Portafilter and the group head are needed for you to have the most control of the amount of crema and the depth of flavor from your espresso.

Big reservoir: If you are a heavy coffee drinker and your machine demands cleaning often, you’ll want bigger reservoirs and a bigger drip tray. 

PID controller: Without these, your machine won’t maintain the temperature for steaming and brewing. It will keep on increasing the temperature and might reach 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

Two hundred ten degrees is way too hot for brewing and will heat your machine’s system. So, buy a PID-equipped machine or buy one with your machine. 

Built-in grinder or no grinder: Grinders are an expensive addition to your machine. So, if you already have a separate grinder, it’s best not to choose a machine with a built-in grinder. Remember, to have a great-tasting espresso you need a high-end grinder that will consistently grind your espresso beans to a fine size.

The machine’s materials: Machines should offer stainless steel tamper, stainless steel razor, milk pitcher, cleaning kit, and cleaning tools. Many brands only offer plastic tampers which are more of a waste, and you’d need to buy separate ones. 

The interior of a corner cafe with brick walls, wooden shelves and a stone countertop

What is your skill level/Is it easy to use

Buying an espresso machine that you cannot easily operate is a scary and expensive bet. I have seen many users who couldn’t get a hold of their machine and never brewed shots they were happy with.

It’s not difficult to learn a new machine and develop better shots, but you need practice, patience, and knowledge. 

Super-automatic, fully automatic, and capsule machines are the easiest because they have a single-touch operation for brewing the shots.

The next following machine is one-switch on/off devices. After stabilizing the temperature, you need to decide the extraction period. These machines also have a learning curve but are easier than a high-end espresso machine. 

A semi-automatic or manual espresso machine will be the most difficult one to master. If you love the beauty and elegance of a manual espresso machine, it’s worth the money if you don’t mind the time it will take to master it. 

How durable is it?

Depending on your budget you should always aim to buy a machine that has as much stainless steel, and metal on it as possible, there is always going to be a little bit of plastic involved but the main concern is what the internal parts are made of.

What could ruin your espresso machine?

  • Not wiping off the milk from the steaming wand: Soon, it will start to clog the steaming holes and build a residue around your wand. It will further ruin your milk’s taste. 
  • Not cleaning the portafilter after brewing: Coffee is organic, and it will easily build up in any crease or lip if you don’t rinse your portafilters, group head shower screen after every brew. This residual coffee will invite germs and bacteria making your machine unhygienic and will hinder the taste of future brews. 
  • Not changing the water reservoir’s water: Stagnant water invites many unwelcomed germs. You will be risking your health if you don’t change it often. 
  • Not wiping the unit will result in awful stains on your expensive device. 
A black and white picture of a coffee bar in a cafe with a barista in the background serving coffee.

Does it have a warranty?

Don’t buy electronic products, especially from online platforms, without a warranty. Most of the known brands will not only offer a warranty but also offer a guarantee and full refund if the product doesn’t meet your demands. 

Companies like Breville usually offer a 2-year repair, replacement, and complete refund guarantee.

If there’s small unintentional damage, you can ask for a free repair. If the machine is very faulty, ask for a replacement, but if it’s completely not what you want, you can ask for a refund of the product. 

Why Are Espresso Machines So Damn Expensive?

An Espresso machine is a combination of design and science. They use a high amount of technology to brew a single shot of espresso. 

All these technologies come together in a small footprint to offer you the most delicious espresso. The science and materials that go behind pulling every shot make these machines such an expensive purchase!

The expensive parts that add $100s to the overall budget: 

  • Dual boiler: Dual boilers are the most expensive addition to an espresso machine. They allow it to brew and froth milk at the same time. Unfortunately, dual boiler cost more than $1000 unless you see them on sale during black Friday. This is the only reason why I’m bringing them up.
  • Built-in grinder: Another expensive addition is the built-in grinder with stainless steel burr. These grinders are crucial and the second-most expensive addition to machines. 
  • Boiler’s material: The boiler’s material can play a significant role while maintaining and building the machine’s temperature. The most expensive material for boilers is brass. After that, it’s copper followed by stainless steel. 
  • Quality of the pump
  • Steaming wand (manual/automatic) 
  • Touch screen, the machine interface, buttons, illumination, water reservoir’s size, etc.! All these add up to the overall cost of the espresso machine. 
  • The material used to build it. 
A Breville oracle Fully automatic espresso machine

What is the most reliable machine?

The most reliable machine will depend on your budget.

I feel that my Breville Oracle is one of the best-made espresso machines available, but it costs $2,200.

Not everyone is going to spend that type of money, so you need to decide what your budget is and what options you want available to you before you can determine what the best machine is for you.

  • Do you wish to experience barista-style brewing? Then I would tell you to start by looking at a semi-automatic . 
  • Would you rather brew with a single click? Then fully or super-automatics are your best bet. 
  • If you want full control over the machine, then a manual espresso machine is your go-to choice.

In terms of quality and flexibility, a super-automatic espresso machine will brew for you the most delicious espressos and milk-based beverages without worrying too much about the details, but fully-/super-automatic machines are going to test your budget. 

Baristas usually recommend a semi-automatic espresso machine for people because these machines allow you to experience the whole brewing process up close with the constant intervention of your skills. 

With a semi-automatic espresso machine, you can optimize your drink with your preferred settings because everything is in your hand. 

But if you don’t want to experience and spend time brewing, super-automatics are the most reliable choice for you! 

However, if you want something more affordable then Nespresso capsule machines will do it for you without a doubt. 

Capsule machines are the easiest and the most affordable choice. They are super-automatic without the grinder.

Capsule machines use pre-ground coffee to avoid the expense of a grinder. You can simply put the capsule inside the container and click buttons and start the brewing process. 

Is 15-Bar Pressure enough?

Since the beginning of espresso history and to the present date, espresso machines have used 9-Bars of pressure to extract espresso shots.

Machines that comply and increase the overall cost of their product by manifesting 20-Bar pressure or more is simply false.

No pressure above 9-Bar pressure will increase the quality, extraction period, saturation, and collision of the brew. 

I know what you’re thinking.

If they don’t require more than 9-bars of pressure, why do companies advertise 15-bar pressure?  

A 15-Bar pump is used to protect the pump by giving extra withstanding pressure ability.

Some companies advertise more than the 15-Bar pump pressure to falsely confuse people to buy fake products when they are not of any higher quality. If you stumble on a product that costs more and advertise increased pressure pumps without any other promising feature, avoid the machine. 

Manual machines still focus on creating 9-Bar pressure for precision because it’s manual-driven pressure and cannot be controlled. So, they focus on creating a position that can exert 9-bar pressure, not more, not less. 

Lever action machines also allow you to pre-infuse if you use proper techniques. 

On the other hand, the pump pressure can control the amount of pressure exerted while brewing. With these machines, you can decide the pre-infusion time, the pressure applied for pre-infusion, and overall extraction. 

High-end espresso machines allow you to play with pre-infusion time and pressure build-up, but no other machine will allow you to decide the pressure unless it’s a manual machine. 

Delonghi vs. Breville

Delonghi and Breville are both very famous espresso coffee maker companies, and the comparison between them in my opinion is far between.

Delonghi produces goods for the commonwealth and enhances its game with both cheap and expensive technical espresso brewers. Breville, on the other hand, focuses on the quality of the product it produces. 

Delonghi considers the value and affordability of the product, and Breville solely focuses on providing A-grade quality at a price. Both companies have different footprints, interface, design, model height and size, and brand exclusive features. 

Delonghi creates one of the most diverse-looking brands; every model has a unique blend of new technology. On the other hand, Breville sticks to a similar footprint and focuses on changing the internal and interior dynamics and function of the machine rather than the exterior. 

Delonghi Espresso machines

Delonghi’s an Italian coffee company brand and has been established since 1950. With Delonghi, you will find a wide range of espresso machines, from the lowest to the highest of price/technologically advanced espresso makers.

Individuals who wish to continue their espresso journey can start with DeLonghi’s affordable entry-level machines. 

Although these entry-level machines might not match the quality and quantity of your cafe brews, it’s still an inexpensive start. You can upgrade your espresso game with Delonghi with increasing technology and price. 

Delonghi is worldwide famous for its portafilter-less super-automatic espresso machines. Most of DeLonghi’s models don’t include a portafilter, but exceptions do-follow. 

Delonghi’s super-automatic espresso machines are double-spouted, come with a built-in grinder, exclusive bypass doser, and integral hopper design. 

Breville/Sage espresso machines 

Breville has been known for its quality products since 1932. The company first started in Sydney, Australia, and is now worldwide famous for its quality without compromise characteristics. Breville is known as Sage in the U.K. 

Breville is the first company to have come with smart espresso machines. Smart espresso machines include a smart screen and touch interface with fine-colorful beverage options to surf through. The technology is rare in other machines. 

Breville has been famous for its automatic steaming wand’s quality for a long time now. Breville installs PID controllers in every espresso machine despite its expense. PID controller is exclusive to the brand.

These A-grade accessories include their ceramic burr grinder, dual boilers, Thermo coil heating element, Barista-style interface, stainless steel material, easy-to-use buttons/touch screen, illuminators, etc. 

  • If you’d want to settle for something affordable and elegant- Delonghi is the right choice for you. 
  • If you prefer something of quality, elegance, class, barista experience, and technology, then Breville is the winner.

If you’d ask me, I have a biased heart for Breville coffee makers. They create goods for the customers and make sure to provide every quality possible.

For instance, Breville offers free stainless steel tamper and stainless steel razor with every machine they sell; no other espresso machine company does that! 

Conclusion

Quality espresso machines are expensive, and it’s important to choose wisely before investing $1000+ on devices. This list of will give you an idea of the best espresso machines under $1000, their pros, cons, and the idea of the best deal for you. 

If you have time, do read the Q&As before purchasing to be certain of your choices and what you’d like in the machine, and how much you should spend on it.

Expensive espresso machines have a lot of features to stumble upon. The best machines will have built in coffee grinder, push button control panel, a quiet burr grinder, milk steaming capabilities and above all the ability to make a delicious straight espresso or coffee recipes.