Do you want an espresso machine that will stay within your budget? The right amount to spend is $500. At this price, you can get a machine that will last and make good espresso.
This is how much I could spend on my first coffee machine. It’s great for people who are just starting out because $500 can get you good parts and new features without breaking the bank. But there are a lot of choices, and I remember spending hours doing research to pick a machine.
I’ve chosen the best espresso machine under 500. The choices came down to which one had the best insides and the most features for the price. The Bambino Plus is my favorite because it has a Thermojet heating system and froths milk on its own. I’d recommend the Gaggia Classic Pro second because of how easy it is to use and how good the boiler is.
I’ll also give you a complete buying guide, so you’ll know everything you need to know to pick the right espresso machine for you.
Our Recommendations Best Espresso Machine Under 500
|Breville Infuser Espresso Machine – Best Overall||Programmable controls
The dry puck trait
Has a hot water
|Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine – Best Quality||Superb build quality
Portafilter for businesses, size commercial
A steam wand for business use
Makes great espresso
|Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine – Best Value||Excellent features
The footprint’s small
3 seconds to get heated
|Flair Espresso Maker PRO – Best Budget||Good construction
Can make a great shot
Includes a pressure gauge
|De’Longhi EC680M Espresso:||The most portable device on the list
Elegant design Programmable shot volume
|Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine||Easy to use
|Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine||Warming tray for cups
Pitcher made of stainless steel
Single and dual filters
|De’Longhi 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker:||1 to 2 shots
|Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine||Ground or Pods Coffee
One Year Warranty
|Instant Pod, 3-in-1 Espresso, K-Cup Pod and Ground Coffee Maker||Grounds, Nespresso, and K-Cup
2 – 6 shots
1 Year warranty
Top 10 Best Espresso Machine Under 500:
1) Breville Infuser Espresso Machine – Best Overall:
In this price range, the Breville Infuser espresso machine stands out from the rest. It works well, stays the same, has high-end espresso features, and, most importantly, makes a tasty shot of coffee. When we first heard about this machine, we went out and bought one and haven’t looked back since.
What makes this espresso machine stand out are a few top-of-the-line features that make a big difference in how good the coffee is. There is an adjustable PID controller, which is basically an instrument that carefully controls the water temperature and can be changed in 2F increments.
There is also an auto-purge function that adjusts the water temperature after steaming for the best extraction, and most importantly, there is a pre-infusion function, which is where this machine gets its name.
With the pre-infusion function, the ground coffee is first soaked in water at low pressure, and then the pressure is raised to make a shot with lots of crema. The low-pressure pre-infusion lets the ground coffee expand and makes sure that the infusion is consistent so that the brew is well-balanced. It also has buttons that are already set to fire a single or double shot, with a manual override for more control.
It’s important to note that if you think this machine is good, you should at least think about the Breville Barista Express. Even though it costs a little more than $500, it’s basically the same as the Infuser, but it has a ceramic burr grinder built in so you can grind fresh coffee beans.
We think the Breville BES840XL Infuser is the best espresso maker that costs less than $500, and we’re sure you’ll love it as much as we do.
2) Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine – Best Quality:
The Gaggia Classic Pro has been around for almost 30 years and is a classic Italian espresso machine. It’s strong and reliable, so you can count on it to make a great shot of espresso. Gaggia has been making coffee machines for more than 70 years, and you can tell. This machine stands out because of its commercial-grade quality and the fact that it is built to last. Simply put, the Gaggia is a workhorse that will last for a long time and keep its value.
Key features include a 58mm commercial-sized portafilter, a 72 oz. water reservoir, a 17.5 bar boiler, and a solenoid valve that lets you quickly switch between shots. The Gaggia Classic Pro isn’t as customizable as some of the newer machines on this list, but that’s not what it’s made for.
The Gaggia Classic Pro is made to make delicious espresso in a simple way. It only has three switches: one for power, one for brewing, and one for steaming. The machine does have a few oddities, though. The pressure for brewing is set to 15 bars instead of the usual 9 bars.
This is for coffee that has already been ground. If you use freshly ground coffee, you will need to change this. There is also no PID temperature control built into the boiler. Because of this, it’s hard to keep the brewing temperature stable, and you have to do some “temperature surfing” to fix this. Most users choose to install mods to fix these two problems.
The Gaggia Pro also has a steam wand that looks like one used in a commercial setting. This lets you make good steamed milk. The only bad thing about this machine is that it only has one boiler, so you can’t make espresso and steam milk at the same time.
The Gaggia Classic Pro is only good for making one thing: a great shot of espresso. It’s a very popular machine among barista hobbyists who want an easy-to-use machine. This model is a good choice if you want a high-quality machine that will last, is easy to use and makes great shots. But keep in mind that it does need a little tweaking to work at its best.
3) Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine – Best Value:
Breville has made another good product with the Bambino Plus. This small machine has a lot of features packed into it. The idea behind this model seems to have been to spend less money on quality construction so that more money could be spent on features. And it does have some really cool things about it.
These include pre-infusion, PID temperature control, and a thermojet heating system that lets it heat up in 3 seconds and switch between steaming and brewing with almost no wait time.
But the steam wand that can be used automatically and without your hands on it is the most interesting thing about it (a feature that is unheard of at this price point). The user can choose from three different kinds of milk, each with a different temperature and feel. Then, all they have to do is put the steam wand into the milk pitcher and let the Bambino Plus do its thing.
The Breville Bambino Plus has both a single-shot basket and a double-shot basket. It also has a 54mm portafilter. But it only comes with baskets with two walls. These are great for beginners because they are easy to mess up, but espresso fans won’t like them.
Overall, we like the Bambino Plus a lot. It makes good espresso and great milk. This espresso machine is good for people who want good coffee but don’t want to learn how to make it.
4) Flair Espresso Maker PRO – Best Budget:
This is the only manual espresso maker on this list, and MOST people probably won’t like it. But this would be a great choice for someone who really likes espresso. All of the espresso machines in the Flair line are lever machines that have been used and trusted for a long time.
As with most manual machines, they can be a little tricky to use to pull a shot, but they can make delicious espresso. The Flair Pro 2 is gorgeous and comes with a pressure gauge, a heavy-duty frame, and a drip tray. It can also hold more than a lot of other Flair models.
All manual espresso machines have the same drawback: they take more work and don’t have a wand for steaming. So, if you want to make drinks with milk, you will need to buy a separate milk frother, like the Nanofoamer.
But this machine is great in terms of its quality and beauty. The Flair Pro 2 is not for everyone, but if you are at all interested in manual espresso machines, you should give it some thought. Check out our article on Flair espresso machines to learn more about this kind of machine.
5) De’Longhi EC680M Espresso:
The Delonghi Dedica espresso machine is all about being small and stylish while making good coffee. Like Gaggia, Delonghi has been making espresso machines for a long time and knows how to make good ones.
At the lowest price on this list, the Delonghi Dedica is great for home brewers on a budget who care about the quality of the coffee but not as much about other bells and whistles. Even though the quality is more important than looks, it is important to remember that looks do count for something. This machine looks great and looks good on any benchtop.
And the Dedica is not just pretty to look at. Even though it doesn’t have as many options as some other machines, it can still make a good shot of espresso. The espresso doesn’t have as much flavor as espresso made with a Gaggia or an Infuser. It has buttons that can be set to make a single shot or a double shot. It also has portafilter baskets for both ground coffee and ESE pods.
The Delonghi Dedica comes with a steam wand in the style of a Pinarello. This is easy for a beginner to use and makes frothy milk, but not the silky micro-foam that you want.
The build quality isn’t as good as some of the other machines on this list, and it’s made mostly of plastic, but that’s to be expected for the price. Because it has a small footprint, the drip tray is also very small, and there isn’t much space between the portafilter and the drip tray.
Overall, the Delonghi Dedica is a stylish and inexpensive coffee maker for people who want to make coffee at home but are on a budget. If you can afford to spend a little more, we recommend buying a machine that will make better espresso and milk and will last longer.
6) Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine:
The Gaggia Brera is the only super-automatic espresso machine on this list. This makes it a bit different from the other machines. Most good super-automatics are expensive, which is why this is the case. But the Gaggia Brera is a great exception to this rule.
With just a couple of buttons, this machine makes a great cup of coffee. You put in whole beans, and the machine will grind, measure, tamp, and pull a shot of espresso for you. It also comes with a Pannarello milk frother so you can make frothy milk. The milk frother will make the milk foamy, but not tiny bubbles. The Brera also lets users change the grind size, the amount of ground coffee, and the size of the cup.
The Gaggia Brera has a ceramic burr grinder built in, but it only has five settings, which is not very many. There is also a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee, which is a good choice if you want to use decaf coffee.
The Gaggia Brera is a great choice if you want a machine that does everything for you and makes good espresso without all the work of semi-automatics.
7) Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine:
Calphalon Temp IQ is available with and without a grinder. If you want to spend less than $500, you’ll have to choose the model without a grinder built-in. The 58mm portafilter on this best espresso machine under $500 is 2.5 inches deep. As I said, this is a commercial-grade portafilter, so the water will spread evenly and you’ll get the most out of your coffee.
This espresso machine, the Calphalon Temp IQ, comes with both a single-wall and a double-wall filter basket, so you can use it to improve your skills. If you’re new to making coffee, start with a pressurized (dual-wall) machine. There is more flexibility with grind sizes, and then you can move on to non-pressured (single wall).
Thermoblock heating technology is used by Temp IQ, and PID makes sure that oils are extracted best at a consistent water temperature. Overall, your espresso will always taste good and have good crema.
This espresso machine comes with a steam wand that is good enough for a business. I found that it can reach high pressure and make good microfoam for latte art and thick foam for cappuccinos in only 30 seconds. This is a ballpoint wand that can be turned easily, so you can put the milk jug wherever you want.
With this machine, you can pull a single shot or a double shot. Volumetric shot control pours just the right amount of water for your shot and then turns off by itself. This means you won’t have to dial in and will have less work to do.
8) De’Longhi 15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker:
With the De’Longhi espresso 15-bar machine, you can make coffee like a pro. So, you can make a single shot, a double shot, or a latte with this machine. You get a manual frother to steam milk and make froth for your drinks that is rich and creamy.
The high pressure of the espresso machine lets you make each cup just the way you like it. It has controls that you can change to suit your tastes. We also like the three-in-one filter holder, which lets you make one espresso shot, two espresso shots, or use an espresso pod.
You can make coffee at the right temperature because water and steam pressure can be controlled by two separate thermostats. You don’t have to wait between cups because the machine keeps the right temperature to keep making espressos.
The water tank can be taken out to be filled, and there is a way to tell how much water is in it, so you don’t have to guess. All of the parts of the coffee machine can go in the dishwasher, so you don’t have to worry about having to spend hours cleaning it.
The machine is very impressive to look at, and it also works very well. You can also use pods or grounds, which gives you a lot of options.
9) Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine:
Mr. Coffee is another great brand that makes it easy for you to make espressos at home. This machine can make drinks that taste as they came from a coffee shop. With an Italian 19-bar pump and a thermocouple heating system that heats the water evenly, the rich flavors are pulled out.
This model’s standout feature is its pump, which makes it great for people who want to get more flavor out of strong coffee beans, which is hard for less powerful machines to do. This Mr. Coffee machine makes it look easy to get the coffee out.
The automatic frother, which whips up milk in seconds, is another great thing. So, you can put some foam in your coffee or make a latte with it. With just one button, the coffee machine does everything for you, so you don’t have to guess.
You can start your day with a single shot or a double shot. It’s great that it’s a semi-automatic coffee machine. It’s also one of the more affordable models on our list, so it’s great for people who want something on the cheaper side.
10) Instant Pod, 3-in-1 Espresso, K-Cup Pod and Ground Coffee Maker:
This Instant Dual Pod and Coffee Maker is what you need if you want a cheap espresso maker. Nothing is easier to use, and you can enjoy espresso in addition to coffee. It can be used with K-Cup pods or with Nespresso capsules.
The interesting thing is that you can use the different pods through two different holes. Still, it doesn’t work with capsules from the Vertuo line. So, you can make coffee one minute and then switch to making espresso the next.
The great thing about the pods is that you can use them again and again. You can even put your own coffee grounds in them, which gives you a lot of brewing options. You can change the strength of your brew to make a stronger cup of coffee. It is easy to use because you can choose the temperature and pressure of your brew.
The water reservoir can hold 68 fluid ounces of water, and it has two indicators: one for when the water is low and one for when it needs to be cleaned. So, you can choose to brew from 2 ounces to 12 ounces to make different coffee drinks.
A milk frother is the only thing it doesn’t have. This is a great choice if you want to bring a travel mug with you to work so you can drink your coffee on the way.
Buying Guide: What to Consider When Buying the Best Espresso Machine Under 500?
Since the point is to buy an espresso machine that you will use often (we use ours at least once a day), it is important to get one that is easy to use and keep up.
Some of the things that go into this decision are the size of the water tank and drip tray (who wants to fill up the water tank with every other cup of coffee? ), how easy it is to use the buttons or interface, how easy it is to clean, and how long you may have to wait between pulling the shot and steaming the milk. Find a machine that fits your needs and helps you enjoy good coffee instead of getting in the way.
One of the most important parts of making good espresso is the heating system. If the water is not heated to the best brewing temperature (195-204F) and kept there, the espresso will either not be extracted enough and taste sour or will be extracted too much and taste bitter. There are many different ways to heat your home on the market.
PID Temperature Control:
PID, which stands for “Proportional-Integral-Derivative” for those who like acronyms, is a digital temperature control that carefully and very precisely controls the water temperature. This makes sure that the water is heated to the right temperature and stays there for the best espresso extraction.
The Breville models’ Pre-Infusion feature is especially interesting because it puts a small amount of water under low pressure into the coffee puck to wet the grounds. This helps prevent channeling and makes the extraction more even. The whole point is that this feature will help you make better espresso, which is why it’s there.
It’s important to know that a Pinarello steam wand/milk frother is used in some espresso machines, like the Gaggia below. This is an attachment for the steam wand that automatically mixes air into the milk to get the most foam out of boilers that aren’t big enough.
The good thing about this milk frother is that it is easy to use and a gentle way to start steaming milk. Panarello wands can be good for people who are just starting to make coffee at home, but they aren’t as good for people who are more experienced. For latte art, you also need a good milk frother/steam wand like the ones used in coffee shops.
If you want to buy a good espresso machine for around $500, you have a few options, depending on what you need. The Breville BES840XL Infuser is our pick for the best espresso machine under 500. It has a lot of high-end features and makes an excellent cup of espresso.
On the other hand, the Gaggia Classic Pro is the best choice for espresso lovers because it is built and has parts that are of commercial quality.
And finally, the Breville Bambino Plus is a great machine for people just starting out. It makes coffee quickly and automatically steams milk.
So, whether you are new to coffee or have been making it for a long time, an espresso machine that costs less than $500 could be a great next step on your coffee journey.
What is the Best Espresso Machine Under 500?
The Flair Pro 2 is gorgeous and comes with a pressure gauge, a heavy-duty frame, and a drip tray. It can also hold more than a lot of other Flair models.
All manual espresso machines have the same drawback: they take more work and don’t have a wand for steaming. This would be the best option for you if you’re on a tight budget.
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