If you’re looking to get your hands on a semi automatic espresso machine that you can use at home, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve tested, analyzed, and ranked the top-selling semi-automatic espresso machines on the market today so that you can make the best decision possible.
Before we get started, it’s important to understand the difference between semi automatic espresso machines and fully automatic espresso machines. While it may seem like they’re the same, there are a few key differences that will set them apart.
Semi automatic espresso machines have a few different components that are not present in a fully automatic machine. The main difference is the fact that a semi-automatic machine is only semi-automatic; it does not have all the features of a fully automatic machine.
Read on to find out more about the top Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1000 on the market today so that you can make the best decision possible.
Table of Contents
What Is a Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine?
A semi-automatic espresso machine is a machine that is designed to produce espresso coffee but is not fully automatic. You will notice that there are only two knobs on the machine: one for adjusting the grind setting and one for adjusting the dose.
Semi-automatic espresso machines usually have a lever that controls the dose and a dial that controls the grind. Some machines even have a single lever that controls both the dose and the grind.
There are a few different types of semi-automatic espresso machines, each with its own unique features. We’ve put together a list of the top-selling semi-automatic espresso machines on the market today so that you can make the best decision possible.
Our Recommendations Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1000
|Breville Barista Express
||Manual steam wand
Single or double shot
Easy to clean
|Rancilio Silvia||Mid-range price
Large water reservoir
Single or double shot
|DeLonghi Cappuccino & Espresso Machine||Easy to use
Easy to clean
Single and double shot
|Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic||Makes excellent espresso
Easy to Clean
easy to use
|DeLonghi Magnifica||Built-in grinder
Single and double shot
Easy to use
Top 5 Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1000offee Makers
1. Breville BES870XL Espresso Machine – Best Value
The Breville Barista Express is a semi-automatic that includes a conical burr grinder with a size dial, giving you control of the grind. It allows for single or double shots and micro-foam milk texturing and has PID technology to ensure that there are no temperature fluctuations.
It is not a self-explanatory machine, so you might need to immerse yourself in the manual if you are still adjusting to this world of espresso. It comes with interchangeable filters for automatic or manual operation, so it can be an exciting opportunity for those who want to dabble with their method. One downside is that water replacements and filter replacements can be expensive, while using pre-filtered water may be your best option instead.
While this machine isn’t our number one pick, it is still a great value. The price of this machine lands on the lower end of the spectrum and offers more advanced options for the money- but it falls short because mastering skills required to conquer this product are too difficult.
The Barista Express is the perfect machine for anyone who wants to experience café quality espresso right in their own home. It comes with a built-in grinder, digital temperature control system and steam wand, giving you both convenience and flexibility. If it’s entertaining guests that are your priority, however – not making espresso – then this might not be the best investment as there are features lacking when compared to similarly priced machines like it.
2. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine – Best Overall
The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is a semi-automatic coffee machine that’s environmentally friendly. It comes with an elegant design and commercial grade interior from the thermally stable group head to its portafilter size. You can also control steaming pressure using the flexible wand on this machine, which allows you to practice your latte art for when it matters most.
As a compact machine, this choice does have its shortcomings. The drip tray is smaller than many might prefer and it doesn’t come with a low water indicator which can be problematic if you don’t own one already. It also doesn’t have an inbuilt grinder so you’ll need to purchase that separately if you don’t already own one.
Overall, we think the Rancilio Silvia is the best espresso machine under $1000.
3. DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Cappuccino & Espresso Machine
The DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic Cappuccino, Latte, and Espresso Machine is a practical and compact super-automatic that’s recognized for its ease of use. With a built-in grinder with 13 grind settings to choose from (a hidden treasure!), it also has what some consider the fastest heat up time around. To save you even more time in the mornings, this machine doesn’t wait between making coffee!
On the other hand, many users have highlighted how difficult the steam wand is to clean. It may not be unique to this machine but it does happen a lot in this type of unit. Disappointingly for some, the grinder isn’t ceramic – usually found on super-automatics – but stainless steel and therefore heats up as you use it with coffee beans not flowing smoothly into it and having to manually push them down yourself.
It’s important to note that in general, super-automatic espresso machines, including this one, do not handle oily beans well.
4. Gaggia 14101 Classic Semi-Automatic
The Gaggia Classic Prestige is an upgraded version of the Classic Pro semi-automatic espresso machine. It bundles official Gaggia accessories and precision brewing components from IMS. This improvement over the classic pro makes it even more incredible value, while still being a high performing coffee maker!
The Gaggia Classic Prestige has a 58mm chrome plated brass portafilter and an IMS 18g basket to pull shots on par with specialty coffee shops. The high quality ashwood handle attached to the portafilter is serious upgrade, while it also comes paired with an ashwood handled 58mm tamper. The commercial style brew group improves temperature stability and relieves pressure after brewing for easy knocking out of espresso pucks.
Internally, the Classic Prestige brewer employs thick rubber mounts to reduce noise and heats up in roughly one minute. Externally mounted heating elements make it less likely for a burner to burn out as well.
To operate the machine, a suite of high quality rocker switches are used to power the machine on and off or make it brew. There is also a thermostat that regulates this for both brewing and steam temperature. The LEDs let you know when it’s up to temp in your selected mode: either Brew or Steam Mode.
The commercial-style steam wand takes a bit of practice to produce latte art quality milk foam when used with the proper technique. Final touches include the one-piece steel housing which encompasses the entire machine with a timeless brushed finish and curved elements to match the contours of your drip tray.
5. DELONGHI ESAM3300 Espresso Machine
The DeLonghi ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine is a super-automatic system that provides easy settings and has a programmable menu. It also has an energy saving mode with three hours of shut off time. The patented cappuccino system frother creates rich, creamy foam every time! In addition to this, the coffee spout can be adjusted in height for any cups you might want (even extra large), and there’s even hot water on demand as well!
If you’re a coffee master who prefers using water filters, this model isn’t compatible with those so you’ll need to use pre-filtered water. It’s also on the noisy side, so that morning cup may come at a cost in your household.
This DeLonghi is small but fierce with an array of features, making it easy to use and taking up little space.
Finding the Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1000
When shopping for an espresso machine to take your skills up a notch, there are a few things to consider, such as cost, size, cleaning, number of users, and machine features.
When it comes to making the decision, you want to be sure that you are getting a good value for your money. It makes sense then, when thinking of an investment instead of something which is just being purchased. Comparing dollars to with dollars- how much we spend in coffee shops every day and how much our machine will save us over time -will help make this decision easier on ourselves as well as give us a budget range.
In order to find the perfect espresso machine for your kitchen, measure the space you have available. Once you know how much room is there, pay attention to where beans and water gets loaded into a specific model of machine. Espresso machines vary in size among compact models; some are wider than others with shorter stature or taller but smaller footprints.
Ultimately, no one wants to spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning anything. If you enjoy the process of spending more time with your beloved espresso machine, some options require a more meticulous approach to cleaning. There are also self-cleaning options, and those will cost extra.
Number of users
If you are a single-person household and don’t need to make your day brighter with espresso, there are options for you. If though, like most people in North America (who use coffee), have a large household that needs lots of caffeine then take into consideration how often the machine will be used. You’ll want to consider one that can handle the amount of use AND meet demand.
There are so many features available when it comes to water temperature, bean grind and alerts, programming alert lights. There is semi-automatic and super-automatic brewing options as well which involves extraction control. If you’re looking for a fancy choice that does everything but refill the bean hopper, it will come at a higher price tag than those with just basic controls. Make a list of what features are important to you and seek them out!
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when using your machine. For semi-automatic and super-automatics, oily beans can clog the grinder so it’s best to use non-oily beans for optimal performance. If you don’t or can’t use filtered water with your coffee maker, hard tap water will cause maintenance issues if descaling isn’t performed regularly and it may also affect the flavor of coffee.
The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is our number one choice because of its distinguished presence and commercial grade interior. The best value for your money is the Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine, which gives you a wide range of control at a mid-range price.
We hope this list of the 5 Best Semi Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1000 helps you find your perfect model. These reviews and a buyer’s guide should get you started on your next step in crafting delicious espressos!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a semi-automatic espresso machine worth it?
We personally recommend getting a semi-automatic machine if you have a taste for the nuances in your espresso. They give you the greatest amount of control over your brew.
Is a 15 or 20 bar espresso machine better?
A 15 bar espresso machine would only be able to force heated water through coffee up to 15x the present atmospheric pressure of the earth. A 20 bar espresso machine, on the other hand, should technically be capable of forcing heated water through coffee at and up to 20x this same present atmospheric pressure.
What is the number one espresso machine?
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine and Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine