Best Espresso Machine Under $500

two white ceramic mugs on coffeemaker

Are you willing to buy a good espresso machine but your pocket is limiting you to those available under $500? Need help to find a suitable one in this particular price range? Then you have to the right place. In this piece, we have listed five decent espresso machines up for grabs. Here is the list:

Breville The Infuser Espresso Machine

Breville BES840XL/A The Infuser Espresso Machine

The Infuser delivers optimal espresso flavor in every cup. It pre-infuses ground coffee with low, steady water pressure before extraction, gently expanding the grinds before stepping up to high pressure. The result is a more even extraction, which produces balanced espresso flavor.

Featuring a special volumetric and programmable mode, this machine lets you comfortably override factory settings to prepare the brew you are craving for. It first wets the ground without brewing and utilizes 15 bar pressure to pull the shots. 

The built-in PID thermometer further makes sure you always brew your coffee at the right temperature. It also features a “dry puck” mode that bangs out the used grounds of the portafilter. That means you don’t have to get your hands and sink all the messy. Besides, it is also BPA free.

Key features

  • A pre-infusion function that applies low water pressure at the beginning of the extraction to gently expand grinds for a uniform extraction
  • Auto purge function that automatically regulates water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature
  • A1600w thermocoil heating system with an integrated stainless steel water coil that accurately controls water temperature
  • Accessories: coffee scoop, single & dual wall filter baskets, stainless steel jug, cleaning disc & tablets, cleaning tool, and water filter with holder.
  • A 15-bar Italian pump that provides complete volumetric control – preset, manual over-ride or re-programmable volumes

Pros

  • Super easy to use and the water filter is easy to change
  • Machine produces great coffee quality
  • Makes espresso with thick crema

Cons

  • Pressure gauge stops working after some time
  • Espresso is not hot; cups need to be pre-warmed
Breville Duo Temp Pro Coffee Machine

Breville BES810BSSUSC Duo Temp Pro Coffee Machine

15 bar Italian made pump starts with low pressure to bloom coffee grounds, then gradually increases pressure for extraction. Extract one or two espresso shots at a time; Manual control of espresso shot volume

This is yet another budget coffee machine from Breville that has a special place in your house. It is packed with cool features such as cutting edge PID temperate technology that allows you to pull shots consistently all the time and a unique pre-fusion that slowly increases the pressures. Overall, the Breville Duo Temp Pro Coffee Machine is worth the dollars you will drop to own it.

Pros

  • Create micro-foam for your drinks with its manual steam wand
  • Has digital temperature control (PID) technology that keeps the brewing temperature stable
  • Automatic purging to prepare the system for the next use

Cons

  • Quite hard to familiarize how to operate this machine
  • You need to be watchful and turn it off manually
Gaggia Classic Espresso Maker

Gaggia Classic Espresso Maker

The heavy duty chrome plated brass commercial-style 58 mm portability Includes a commercial single and double shot filter basket for pulling expert espresso, and a pressurized basket for use with pre-ground Coffee or ESE pods. 

Do you still think the 90’s espresso makers were the best? If yes, then this unit might be the one you have been looking for. Its design hasn’t changed since 1991 though now it features some cool technologies that make it more appealing and efficient. 

It is compact enough to fit even small places in your kitchen, has a commercial 58 mm portafilter made from chrome-plated brass, and importantly, it won’t let you down if looking forward to making your espresso the Italian way.

Pros

  • Can use either coffee pods or coffee grounds
  • Has commercial-grade portafilter for a more consistent espresso
  • 55-watt pump for steaming and brewing with less recovery time

Cons

  • Pump is awfully loud 
  • Takes much longer to steam milk, the steam wand is short
  • Blunt design and color, not captivating

Any intermediate brewer will love this unit. It measures 9.5″ x 8″ x 14.2″, weighs 210lbs, and utilizes 17-1/2-bar pressure plus a three-way solenoid and high-voltage boiler to make more tasteful coffee. So, if brewing more than just for yourself, this unit won’t disappoint.

Both its portafilter and group head are made of marine-grade, heavy-duty brass with chrome plating, hence ensuring the temperature generated during the brewing process remains stable.

Additionally, it has a cup warmer, a combined hot-water and frother dispenser, and a coffee tamper. Not only that but it also has a 7-gram measuring scoop, a 72 oz removable water tank, and a single and double-shot stainless-steel filter basket. 

It doesn’t allow much customization of your brew hence ideal for coffee lovers who prefer a more automated experience. It earned itself a rating of 4.6/5 on amazon plus a ton of positive reviews.

Key features

  • Commercial three-way solenoid valve. Capacity water tank – 2,1 liter
  • Rugged Brushed Stainless Steel housing
  • Commercial-style 58mm chrome-plated brass portability and brew group
  • Easy-to-use rocker switch controls 
  • Commercial steam wand. Rotating steam want movement type
Breville Bes500bss Bambino Plus

Breville Bes500bss Bambino Plus

While other Coffee Makers only use a Dosage of 11-13 Grams of Ground Coffee, The Breville Bambino Plus makes use of the Proper Café Quality Dosage Amount, 19-22 Grams of Coffee for Perfect Professional Flavor

Most coffee makers are designed to use a dosage of 11-13 grams of ground coffee; this one makes use of 19-22 grams of coffee for perfect professional flavor. It utilizes its lower pressure pre-infusion and 9 bar extraction pressure to get that rich flavor for you. Not only that, but its automatic milk frother also gets you exactly that micro-foam you want in your cup. Besides, with its auto steam wand, you can prepare great latte arts, while enhancing the flavor of your coffee.

This unit also uses a thermojet heating system to start brewing in 3 seconds and to prepare your coffee in half a minute or less. Plus, it has a digital temperature control (PID) that makes sure you always brew at the right temperature.

Pros

  • 3-second heat up and fast brewing
  • Has 64oz removable water reservoir
  • Small footprint with beautiful design, great for every kitchen

Cons

  • Smaller drip tray means you still need a few trips from the machine to the sink
  • Lacking in features, given its price
  • Doesn’t have ‘hot water dispensing’ capacity

What to consider in an espresso machine under $500

black coffeemaker

Type of machine

There are three types of espresso machine: manual, semi-automatic, and super-automatic, and it is worth buying the right one. A manual one gives you total control over the brewing process, from grinding and pre-wetting to pulling the shot.

Semi-automatic ones are more advanced and do something things for you as you watch, including creating the right pressure. Basically, semi-automatic limit your control over the brewing process.

Super automatic units, on the other hand, do everything as you watch once you hit the start button. These machines don’t require you to grind, tamp, or pull the shot. 

Tamper

Proper tampering increases the chance of sipping a perfect brew. It is therefore crucial to make sure your machine comes with a unit that will do a decent job in pressing down on grounds in the portafilter to remove any air that may spoil the fun. 

Steam wand

Foaming milk with espresso machines is very easy.

Most espresso machines under 500 have a steam pipe that hangs to the side. This attached arm simply let’s steam in the milk, gently heating it under pressure. At the same time, it adds air to the milk that causes it to foam.

Replaceable water filter

Water filters are installed in the water compartment to soften and purify water in almost all espresso machines. When purchasing, make sure the attached filters fit well so that no water leaks into the rest of the unit.

Programmable volume

Most espresso machines have the ability to use cups of different sizes, which is essential if you like lattes or cappuccinos, as you will need a bigger cup to hold the milk foam.

Built-in coffee grinder

Some espresso machine comes with built-in grinders. With such a machine you don’t need to budget for a separate grinder. We enjoin you to consider units with built-in burr grinders because they ensure maximum aroma extraction, and are also relatively noiseless than blades.   

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Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.