Hey you – on the lookout for the best espresso machine under 500? Well, your search is going to stop here, because we have just what you need to get started making those amazing doses of espresso right in your own kitchen.
After you get through reading about our best espresso machines under 500, you are going to want to run right out and buy one ASAP.
After all, there’s nothing like an authentic espresso to make any coffee lovers’ day that much better. And it is great to know that amazing coffee doesn’t have to be a faraway luxury item reserved only for special occasions.
The only thing you will be worrying about after you get done choosing the one that suits you best is where to find yourself a set of espresso cups, and also where you will be buying your favorite beans to grind up and use for the best tasting espresso and coffee drinks you could ever want. We did all the heavy lifting for you!
Why Own an Espresso Maker?
This is no doubt a big purchase for you, and you’re probably wondering why in the heck you should even consider getting one of these. Well, why not? I know you love coffee, why else would you have clicked upon this article?
The good news is that there are plenty of good reasons you should consider picking one of these up. First off, it will save you loads of money in the long run if you are a huge espresso fanatic.
I know I am-I was so excited to test these out! Now that I have one, I do not have to wait in line at the coffee shop, spend $5 or more, and risk being late to work over it. I just love having espresso on demand when I have to stay up late to finish a project for work, too.
Secondly, you are going to become more knowledgeable and appreciative of the art of coffee. You can test out different grind styles, different beans, and adjustments to make your drink taste just like you want it to.
You will love the different tastes you come up with!
And third, you are going to be the most popular person on your block. If you hand a chilly neighbor who is shoveling snow a small Americano, hand the postman a paper cup of espresso, or even make your partner a cup in the morning, you are going to be a person everybody admires.
Okay, maybe this one is a little weird, but think of it that way – if you love hosting parties and showing off your culinary skills, this is a great tool to have in your kitchen arsenal.
Mostly, it’s great to have because if you LOVE coffee, you can get what you want without having to spend your valuable time and money at the coffee shop!
Our Best Home Espresso Machines Under 500
Without further ado, let’s get into the products. Testing these out was a fun experience, and they all have great qualities that are sure to make it hard to choose just the right one. No matter which one you end up with, your family and household will be much happier as a result of all the tasty espresso that you will find in your home.
* De’Longhi ECAM22110B Super Automatic Espresso Machine
I think if there was a such thing as a luxury coffee maker this would be the one, I would envision. It is cute and compact and is a very nice espresso machine. It has a sleek and streamlined construction, and you might think it looks way too beautiful to perform well.
Think again! This features a control panel that is so easy to learn, and the professional quality parts will make you into a barista that rivals the ones at your local coffee shops.
You can just put in your fresh beans, like I did, (picked some up at my local market) and grind them, then tamp and pressurize the grounds, brew them and BOOM! This automatic espresso machine under 500 pumps out some great brew. You will create drinks that taste like they were made in Italy with this machine oh so easily.
Just use the cappuccino frother – all you have to do is place a container that has milk in it underneath the nozzle and you will get a rich and creamy froth. There are plenty of settings on this machine to make it as strong as you like, so everybody will be happy. I liked the fact that there was a bean saver on this machine, too.
The darkened lid had a special seal made of rubber that kept it right in place. The tinted lid filters out any UV rays that might come in to steal the flavor from your precious beans.
The stainless-steel boiler is another wonderful feature here – the thermoblock technology makes sure the water does not get stale sitting around in the boiler for a long period of time. The stainless-steel lining will keep your fresh water from ever tasting like a metallic substance.
And the frothing-holy moly, is this a winner or what. It is a manual steam wand- making this manual espresso machine under 500 really worth your time. Steam and milk come together to make a froth that you will look forward to consuming every time.
Cleaning the machine and doing the descaling on this project is super easy. It will tell you when you need to descale it, which is so handy. I did not need to clean it during my testing phase, but users reported it being easy to do.
I think what I liked most about this great machine is the fact that it had a hardened steel conical burr grinder that that 13 different settings on it. They rotate at a low speed with little to no noise and it produces consistent, fresh and aroma-filled espresso and coffee that keeps true to the grind’s flavor.
- You can preheat the cups using the warmer!
- The water filter is just built right into the reservoir.
- You don’t need to buy jugs of filtered water as the filtration system makes the water nice and pure.
- It is 14 inches high, so it fit right under my kitchen cabinets with ease.
- Looks super great on the counter-very professional
- Made in Italy
- Technology keeps your beans true to flavor with no overheating
- Extended warranty is very expensive
- Some users reported their espresso pulls were too long
- Not a lot of control over the amount you can make
* Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker
Wow…This countertop espresso machine is one of the best choices of entry level espresso machines you can buy.
It is a semi-automatic espresso machine under 500 and you are going to be pulling your own espresso shots like an old pro. The cappuccinos and espressos we pulled out of this machine tasted just great! I used my favorite coffee beans, and they came out tasting just like they should.
Frothing the drink was a very easy ordeal, as all you have to do is use the pannarello wand to do so. I liked the 58 mm portafilter, it is reminiscent of commercial espresso machines. It comes with a commercial basket that gives you an easier shot pull and a nice, thick crema. This is a machine that looks nice but acts like a commercial workhorse.
I really cannot tell you how much I appreciate the heavy-duty quality of this machine. I live with one other person-my college student sister-but not everyone does-some of us have teens or kids, who can be a little rough on appliances.
This one can stand up to the test.
The housing is made of stainless steel, and it’s very durable. You can even heat up your cups before you brew the espresso on the cup warmer! And the heat up time is fast; the boiler is ready in just five minutes and the steam in about 20 seconds. Neat!
Controls are easy, too. Teens and others who love espresso but do not know much about making it will really like the easy control that the rocker switches give you. You can choose to brew, dispense hot water, or steam, the lights turn on when the Classic is heating up.
The machine was made in Europe, and it really shows. It looks very beautiful and is made well. It looks great in the kitchen. Running it did take me a little while before I completely understood what I was doing, but I got it after a few practice-runs. The espresso is really great quality, too!
When you operate this machine, I recommend using the warming feature. This thing gets nice and hot as a result. The cups on the warmer get got, the filter holder gets hot, and the porta filter is hot too.
The 17-bar pump is really strong, and I got a great amount of crema on top after I pull the shot. I did notice this thing was loud while I used it, so perhaps consider using this as far away from others if you use while they are sleeping. The pump feels and sounds strong when it is in use.
One thing I did not find very convenient is the water input. This sits on top of the machine and it is tall, so I have to pull it from under my cupboard and slide it back again while using it.
Also, the portafilter lacks any sort of thumb clip that holds it in place while taking out the old coffee pucks, and it gets hot, so filter refilling gets a little bit uncomfortable. The filter is pretty large, and I put in two scoops from the provided scoop to fill it up. The pucks come out nice and dry, so that’s a plus.
- Easy to use
- 3-way solenoid valve creates dry pucks
- Steam wand does a fantastic job!
- Some users report water leaking when using
- Wand extension can blow off and make a mess
- Machine makes a lot of noise
* Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine
This espresso maker under 500 really looked like one I’d find at the local coffee shop! This one is nice and compact, standing at only about a foot tall, which is great for our smaller-sized kitchen apartment.
For this one, we tried our hand at cappuccinos, and-spoiler alert-they were really great in terms of taste. When it came to making lattes with this machine, we were pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out, too.
The Pannarello wand is a great tool that will have you steaming foaming the milk until it is smooth as silk. I even used it to froth the milk in my nephew’s hot cocoa, which he absolutely loved. I just fell right in love with the versatility of this great machine.
We noticed the value for money on this machine was really great. It looks good and performs well.
The machine is also very quiet, too.
These machines tend to be a little noisy, but this one really kept things quiet as possible. I also liked that you can adjust the grind of the coffee in addition to the strength settings on the front of the machine. You can only do this while it is actually grinding, but it is still a nice feature.
Another thing I liked was the self-rinsing feature of the Brera. It takes a little bit of the clean hot water through its brew system at the starting cycle and also at shutdown and flushes out the remains of your last brew. This is really nice, because without regular cleanings, the taste of your coffee or espresso will be affected.
My bottom line: If seek to find the absolute most competitively priced way to make some great espresso with a super automatic piece of machinery, one that can grind, steam and brew, get this machine and learn how to set it up (it is not hard, I promise!).
It is a tough machine, I’d recommend it in a household that sees a lot of wear and tear. It may not look the prettiest, but man, does it work or what!
I found the machine to be a great one. One thing I did notice, however, was that quality of some of the materials was not so great to my personal liking I noticed that the brew group door did not fit very well, for instance, and the drip tray felt like something I could break pretty easily. The actual body of this thing, however reminds me of a fort.
All in all, it makes really great coffee and is pretty darn easy to operate. I tried it out with my favorite beans, the Coffee Bean Direct Italian Espresso beans. They tasted just wonderful and I would proudly make cups for all my friends and family with this machine.
The descaling cycle you can run on this machine makes it a cinch to keep things clean and moving along like a well-oiled machine.
- Movable spout for any size of coffee cup
- Brew group is easy to take out and clean-just behind the door of the puck drawer.
- Great for smaller households and small families
- Users reported high shipping costs when sending the machine away for repair
- Customer service hard to reach, according to one user
- Machine is known to leak water on some occasions
* Breville Infuser Espresso Machine
Immediately upon unboxing this, I wanted to call this entry level espresso machine the Silver Star. You can get it in other colors, but the silver looks so good. This machine looks great and will work in just about any kitchen, definitely does not clash with the decor!
This machine features some great stuff as far as the actual inner workings go. There is a pre-infusion function which applies low water pressure at the beginning of the extraction, which gently expands your grinds to give an even extraction.
The thermocoil heating system has integrated stainless steel and control your water temp like a dream. It clocks in at 1600 watts. You can do a single or double shot. I loved the double shots-my college sister lives with me, and she often needs espresso to keep her awake and studying like a pro.
I also like the auto-purge function, it automatically adjusts the water temp after steam for optimal extraction of your espresso. There is also a 15 bar Italian pump that provides a total volumetric control-you can do preset, a manual override, or reprogram volumes.
Unboxing the machine revealed some pretty nice extras and accessories. You get single and dual wall filter baskets, a coffee scoop, a jug made of stainless steel, some cleaning discs and tablets, as well as a water filter with a holder.
This great product ups the dose of coffee you get.
The reason we sometimes prefer cafe coffee over our home brews is because home machines usually only dose about 11-13 grams of coffee. Meanwhile, this machine does 19-22 g, leading to more flavor. The infuser was another thing I loved, it does a great job regulating flavor.
It uses digital temp control to detect and minimize any fluctuation during the extraction, which ensures the temp is at an optimum range every time it’s used.
Now let’s talk about the steamer – this thing makes the smoothest milk I have ever tasted. The manual steam wand for the infuser is a great tool and helps me draw hearts in the latte foam-cheesy I know, but still a lot of fun! It works really well and gives you a texture that makes you come back for more and more.
Another great thing about this machine is that it does come with a one-year warranty, so you can most certainly buy without a lot of worry. One thing I would advise you as a general tip for good espresso making is to be sure that your beans are not too oily. You can ask a coffee expert about this or research a brand before buying at your local market.
Reason being is that your beans can clog up the machine if it they are too oily, which one user did report. It is also important to ensure your machine gets regular cleanings also. This machine is great for beginners who are just looking to get into the world of espresso and coffee without a lot of fuss-it’s just so easy to use.
- Machine absolutely looks great
- Infuser wand makes foam a breeze, has great texture
- Hot water dispenser for Americanos, drink mixes, or hot chocolate packets
- Product is not made in Italy, where espresso is from
- Users report it is hard to get parts for replacement when broken
- Users indicate customer service is hard to reach
If you are ready to be an at home barista like the pros, I want you to look no further than these best espresso machine under 500. These are going to have all you need to make espresso great, and the frothers that come with each one are just divine! If you are a fan of lattes, cappuccinos, espresso shots and Americano coffees, then you have to have one of these.
Bonus is that they look super cool sitting there on your kitchen counter, and at the price they’re being sold, you can’t go wrong! Chances are you spend that much on espresso drinks anyways down at the cafe, so don’t mess around with that stuff any longer.
Just get one of these expresso machines from our extensive review of Best Espresso Machine Under 500, learn how to use it, and you will be so glad you did! Just beware, everybody will be knocking on your door for that great espresso taste. So, go forth, round up your favorite beans and get cracking on making the espresso of your dreams.