The choice of an espresso machine is usually influenced by such factors as the level of autonomy, durability, flexibility and a number of others. While it is normal for anyone to seek a coffee machine with highly advanced features, financial constraints often makes this impossible. But there are some high quality espresso machines that are much more affordable and should be the first choice of those with a slim budget. We shall consider 4 products under $500. BTW, if you are interested in cheaper price, see also best espresso machines less than $200 over here.
1. Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine
Breville BES80XL, commonly called the infuser is an espresso machine that produces a very even extraction and balanced coffee flavor. There are quite a number of features that makes this product stand out. The first of them is the adjustable PID temperature control that helps deliver at the exact, desired temperature. It also comes with a programmable, semi-automatic volume control mechanism that allows the volume of the espresso pour to be suitably controlled by pushing a button. In addition, it is furnished with a 1600W stainless water heater that is optimized for temperature stability.
But that is not all. The auto purge feature helps to adjust the water temperature to the right value after steam in order to yield an optimal temperature for espresso extraction. The 1.8L reservoir ensures that a good number of cups are brewed before having to refilling. Also, the Dry puck feature drains excess water from the filter basket and makes for easy disposal of the coffee puck. Other features are: pressure gauge monitors, drip tray full indicator, cup warming tray, and replaceable water filter. In it comes with accessories such as coffee scoop, cleaning tool, as well as a stainless steel mill plug. Lastly, this machine received 5 star ratings from over 65% of customers on Amazon.
Amazon’s Customer Ratings: 4.2 Stars (376 Customer Review)
- Easy to clean
- Lots of safety devices
- Cleaning alert
- Stable temperature
- Comes with accessories
- 1 year warranty
- Boilers are not made of stainless steel
- Cannot handle different cup sizes
2. Gaggia Brera Super automatic Espresso Machine, Silver
This espresso machine from the stables of Gaggia is truly what the manufacturers say it is: a super coffee maker and we shall see why this description is accurate. First, the machine is built a very simple, digital user interface that makes operating the machine almost like a child`s play. Also, the machine comes with the unique Mavea water filter that has four stages of filtration; this ensures that impurities are totally eliminated. This product is also energy efficient as result of the standby mode that is activated when the machine has been left idle for up to 1 hour.
Furthermore, the need of regular cleaning is almost completely eliminated with the automatic cleaning and descaling feature of this espresso maker. Even if there is a need for manual cleaning, this machine has a cleaning alert system that notifies the user. In addition, it is furnished with a ceramic grinder instead of common metal grinders. Ceramic grinders do not burn the coffee beans while grinding and help retain the flavor and aroma of the coffee. It also has a ground a ground coffee compartment that allows different of coffee to be brewed with the same beans. Above all it is highly durable. On Amazon it received 5 star rating from nearly 50% of customers. Read full review here.
Amazon’s Customer Ratings: 4.0 Stars (178 Customer Review)
- Automatic cleaning
- Energy saving
- Full automation
- Digital interface
- Steel construction
- Pre-brewing feature to enhance flavor
- Complex internal design and hence difficulty in repair
- Only the case is made from stainless steel and not boilers
3. Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
Up for consideration is another coffee maker from the Italian manufacturer Gaggia. Outstanding features of this product include a professional filter holder that provides a very stable coffee temperature. The holder is made from chrome brass and is corrosion resistant. Being a manual] machine, it is equipped with a filter that is suitable for easy serve espresso pods. The coffee filter can also be used for 2 cups of ground coffee. It also has a 15 bar pressure that guarantees a superb taste from your brew. It is also a very flexible espresso machine as it can be used for cappuccino, late macchiato and others. Read full review here.
In addition, it can also be used for tea, while providing water at the optimum temperature. The classic milk frother produces milk froth in just a matter of seconds. The milk frother is also designed to be rotating in order to ensure what has been described as a hassle free frothing. On the other hand, this espresso machine comes with a detachable water reservoir with a 72-ounce capacity, not to forget the stainless steel frame, brass filters and the 17.5 bar high voltage pump. The product has 5 star rating from more than half the customers
Amazon’s Customer Ratings: 3.9 Stars (534 Customer Review)
- Stainless steel hosing
- Removable water reserve
- Temperature stability
- Classic milk froth
- Coffee pods compatible
- It is not automated
- Not so fast
4. Saeco Xsmall Vapore Super Automatic Espresso Machine
Our final product for review is this super automatic espresso maker from Saeco. This versatile coffee maker can be used for espresso, espresso lungo and to produce hot water for tea; all at great speeds. Top features of this product include an automatic rinse mechanism that is activated once the machine is turned on. This feature is also activated when the machine is turned off, ensuring that the machine is always clean. Another attractive feature is the guided de-scaling which alerts the user when de-scaling is needed. It also provides a visual guide on the entire process. Click here to read our full review of Saeco Xssmall.
Also included the Saeco Xsmall espresso machine is a ceramic grinder; and we have discussed the significance of this in a previous product. In addition, it is furnished with a classic milk frother that is sometimes called Pannarello and is utilized in preparing cappuccino. A removable brewing group helps to make cleaning easy. As a plus, the machine has a double cup function and a quick heat boiler that is made from aluminum and stainless steel. One more particularly unique feature in this product is the Gusto Perfetto technology that detects the kind of beans used; and adjusts the opening in the brew chamber, to get a consistent brew. It sells on Amazon and has received 54% 5-star rating.
Amazon’s Customer Ratings: 4.0 Stars (15 Customer Review)
- Quick speed
- Full automation
- Steel casing
- Easy to maintain
- No pre-brew aroma control
- No coffee powder option
Our review of these four products has shown that there some not-so-expensive espresso machines that have truly amazing features. The products we have reviewed are certainly among the best you can find for the stipulated price range. These are products that can also be bought from Amazon. Finally, what we have provided is just a guide; the final decision rests on you.