In the world of coffee, the true king is always the espresso.
This flavorful beverage with a rich crema is loved by countless coffee drinkers.
And many of them want to be able to brew espresso at home.
So, if you are one of them, I’ve got good news for you. Today, I’ve prepared my review of the best espresso machines under $1,000. Let’s see which model will win you over!
|Best Overall –Editor’s Choice – Breville the Barista Express||9.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1,000 – Philips 3200||9||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Under $1,000 – Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker||8.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Value for Money – EspressoWorks All-in-One Espresso Machine||8||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best High-Grade Espresso Machine – Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine||8||Check current price on Amazon|
Our Reviews of the Best Espresso Machines Under $ 1,000
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice
Breville the Barista Express
- integrated burr grinder;
- grind size controls;
- stainless steel steaming wand;
- single and double shots available;
- cleaning time indicator.
The first model I want to mention in my review of the best espresso machines under $1,000 is the Barista Express by Breville. And trust me, this machine can really make you feel like a skilled barista. It allows for customization and comes with everything you might need to make a perfect shot of espresso.
“While brewing at the optimal temperature, the Barista Express allows users to adjust the temperature by 4 degrees Fahrenheit (plus or minus). This gives you the freedom to experiment with your coffee extraction but still keeps the temperature within the optimal range not to ruin your espresso taste.”
Now, the Barista Express includes multiple handy features. It comes with an integrated burr grinder and allows users to control the grind size. You can brew single and double espresso shots and use the steaming wand to make milk beverages. Plus, this machine feels very sturdy and reliable. Chances are, it will serve you for years.
|Great value for money||Requires a learning curve and experimenting with the settings, which may annoy some users|
|Brews at an optimal temperature||Some users note that the steaming wand takes too much time to heat up and doesn’t always show consistent performance|
|Adjustable grind size and temperature|
|Sturdy and durable stainless steel construction|
|Easy to maintain|
|Comes with a steaming wand for coffee-based milk beverages|
I have to say, the Barista Express is an excellent choice for many coffee lovers. It might be tricky to use it at first, but once you get through the learning curve, you will enjoy rich, bold espressos.
Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine Under $ 1,000
- ceramic grinder;
- built-in water filter;
- adjustable temperature;
- steaming wand;
- plastic exterior.
Looking for a machine that will allow you to brew espressos with only a touch of a button? Then you will love this section of my review of the best espresso machines under $1,000. Philips offers a user-friendly model that brews delicious beverages while requiring minimal effort on your part.
“Using fully ceramic grinders, this machine allows for 12 grind adjustments. This means you can get pretty much any grind size, from fine powder to coarse sand-like grounds.”
The Philips 3200 can brew espresso, Americano, espresso lungo, and coffee (similar to drip). You can control the brew strength and the temperature if you want to experiment with flavors. When the brewing is done, the machine dumps the used grounds into a special compartment. The only thing you need to do is clean it regularly. And since the brew group is removable, you aren’t likely to have issues with that.
|Super easy to use||The steaming wand may be a bit tricky to clean|
|Brews delicious espressos||Some users note that the instructions are not clear enough|
|Includes a steaming wand||The plastic exterior makes it look cheaper|
|Works with pre-ground coffee|
Overall, this machine is a great find. It might not look extremely high-grade, but it does its job perfectly. The Philips 3200 can satisfy users of different skill levels and requirements.
Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Under $ 1,000
Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- 15-bar pump system;
- stainless steel construction with plastic parts;
- 3 beverages types with size adjustments;
- automatic milk frother.
The next item I want to mention in my review of the best espresso machines under $1,000 is this semi-automatic model by Mr. Coffee. Offering great value for money, this machine combines all the necessities needed for a good cup of coffee.
“What makes this coffee maker a great choice for all experience levels is its user-friendly interface. It even froths milk automatically, so you don’t have to go through the learning curve with the steam wand.”
Now, this model can brew different types of beverages, but we’re here for espressos. The good news is, this machine makes them bold and rich, just the way we all like. The steel portafilter does not affect the flavor and is pretty easy to get the hang of. You can even brew double espressos when you feel like you need more boost.
|Rather easy to use||The frothing tends to be inconsistent sometimes, which may annoy users who love lattes and cappuccinos|
|Multiple beverage options||May be a bit finicky to clean|
|Comes with an automatic milk frother for versatility||The milk frother is quite noisy|
|15-bar pump for rich crema|
|Affordable and offers great value for money|
To sum up, this espresso machine has a chance of becoming your favorite device. It’s quite versatile in use and doesn’t require much effort on your part thanks to its semi-automatic brewing system.
Best Value for Money
EspressoWorks All-in-One Espresso Machine
- 15-bar pump system;
- stainless steel heating tray;
- removable water tank;
- removable drip tray;
- built-in milk steamer.
If you’re looking for a real bargain, then this part of my review of the best espresso machines under $1,000 could be useful to you. The EspressoWorks combines all the necessary tools and features with a very attractive price, which makes it quite popular among coffee lovers.
“This coffee machine comes with a grinder, 2 cups, a milk frothing cup, and 2 baskets for the portafilter. This means with only one purchase, you will get everything you may need to make delicious coffee.”
The EspressoWorks uses 15-bar pump pressure, which results in great-tasting espressos. It heats up rather fast, so you don’t have to wait long to brew yourself a cup. Using mostly stainless steel, this model feels solid and reliable.
|All-in-one machine that offers great value for money||The filter handle is plastic and may break if you’re not careful enough|
|Optimal bar pressure for delicious espressos||Some users note that the espressos aren’t hot enough for them|
|Comes with a grinder||Might require a learning curve if you want stronger espressos|
|Built-in milk frother|
|The cup rest adjusts to travel mugs up to 8” high|
Frankly, this model by EspressoWorks is a real steal for the money. It comes with a set of tools and extra features that can help you brew delicious beverages every day.
Best High-Grade Espresso Machine
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine
- iron frame and stainless steel construction;
- 12-oz. single boiler;
- commercially designed steaming wand;
- single and double filter baskets;
- removable water reservoir.
If you are looking for a reliable, heavy-duty machine, the Rancilio Silvia may be perfect for you. It comes without fancy bells and whistles but offers high-grade materials and makes impressively delicious espressos.
“The Rancilio’s water reservoir can be removed for easy filling. However, you can also fill it from the top while the machine is working, so you don’t have to waste precious time when brewing.”
Now, what makes the Rancilio stand out from the competitors is the build quality. The manufacturer uses commercial-grade materials to ensure their product’s durability. The frame is made of iron, while the side panels are stainless steel. This makes the Rancilio feel very sturdy (and heavy, for that matter). Additionally, it brews high-quality espressos that taste like they were made by a professional barista.
|Very nicely built and durable||Requires a learning curve, which makes it not the most user-friendly model|
|Ergonomic portafilter handle||Heavy and bulky|
|Articulating steaming wand|
|Two filter basket sizes|
|The water tank can be removed|
|Heats up fast|
Overall, this machine would be perfect for those who are serious about their coffee. The Rancilio Silvia does require you to practice persistently, but once you polish your skill, you will have no regrets.
Types of Espresso Machines
To understand what you need, you first should figure out what you are dealing with.
I’m talking about the world of espresso makers and all the different types you can come across when searching for a top-notch espresso machine under $1,000.
So, let’s see what options you have to choose from.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
Being one of the most popular types of espresso machines, semi-automatic models require some manual work from you but do most of the job automatically. They have an electric brewing pump that can be turned on manually by the user (1). You need to stuff (or tamp, to be more exact) the grounds into the portafilter and insert it into the machine. Then, press the brew button and wait until you get the needed amount of espresso.
Semi-automatic models are relatively easy to use, but they do require a learning curve. However, once you master the process, you will be able to enjoy delicious beverages. Many of them come with milk frothers or steaming wands, which makes this type a popular choice for the best latte machines.
Keep in mind that this type can also be quite bulky and may take a lot of your counter space. Semi-automatic espresso machines are a great middle-ground for user’s control and versatility while remaining rather reasonably priced and offering great espresso quality.
If you want your coffee to go straight from beans into your cup without any effort, a super-automatic espresso machine would be ideal for you. These bad boys do all the work. The only thing you will have to do is pour some water in (unless your machine has a connection for the water supply).
These machines grind the beans, fill the portafilter and tamp the grounds, brew a specific volume of coffee that you choose, and even dump the used grounds into a special container. Offering a hands-free operation, they don’t require you to have any coffee-making skills, which makes them ideal for beginner coffee lovers.
Manual Lever Machines
Now, you may think that “manual” means the simplest.
Hate to disappoint you, but these machines require a lot of practice to master that perfect brew. Yes, the whole system is pretty simple: you add your grounds to the portafilter, tamp them, wait for the water to heat up, and press down the lever, forcing the water through the grounds. Sounds simple, but you need to master that perfect tamp pressure, find a suitable grind size, and even experiment with the speed you move the lever at.
However, once you figure out how everything works, you will be able to enjoy incredibly delicious espressos. Additionally, these machines are usually quite compact and don’t require much counter space. But keep in mind that they belong to the pricier category since this type implements some really cool old-style build techniques and quality materials.
Capsule Espresso Machines
Being among the most user-friendly coffee makers, capsule espresso machines offer hassle-free operation and modern design. You can find many of them among the best espresso machines under $200, which makes capsule models a popular choice for people on a budget or novice coffee lovers.
The way capsule espresso machines work is very simple. All you have to do is insert the coffee pod and press the button. Many of these machines support a wide range of coffee pods with the best grounds and blends so that users can enjoy truly delicious espressos without the need to practice making them. Additionally, capsule machines don’t take up much space.
The biggest drawback of this type is limited adjustability. While you can test dozens of brands and coffee blends, you are not likely to experiment with brew temperatures, extraction time, grind sizes, and other brewing techniques. This can be disappointing if you are a demanding coffee lover.
“Investing in an espresso machine may feel like too much. But if you consider how much money you spend in coffee houses, it becomes clear that a home espresso machine can help you save more.”
Factors to Consider When Shopping
When browsing through espresso machines, one may feel lost among all the brands and types. Especially if you are relatively new to the coffee world. So, to make things easier, let me tell you the key factors you need to consider:
- Your skill level. While your new espresso machine would allow you to create various delicious beverages (2), you first need to decide how much you can handle. More advanced models require a learning curve, and many users get annoyed when it takes too much time to practice. So, if you’re not much of a coffee geek, you may want to consider something simple, like a Nespresso machine or a super-automatic espresso maker. However, if you are more experienced (or don’t mind learning and practicing), a semi-automatic or a manual level model would work for you.
- Your budget. Good espresso machines can cost quite a lot, so you need to figure out how much you are willing to invest. As a rule, a high-quality espresso machine would cost around $400-600, but the functionality within this range may be limited to a certain extent. Of course, there are cheaper models, but they tend to use slightly cheaper materials and have a pretty basic set of features. And if you want all the bells and whistles, extra controls, and more versatility in use, expect to pay around $700-900.
- Performance. Firstly, you need to pay attention to the brewing temperature. Since water temperature can greatly affect the flavor of your coffee (3), it’s better to get a model that either brews at the optimal recommended temperature of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (4) or allows you to set the temperature yourself. Additionally, you may want to pay attention to the pump bar pressure, which should be at least 9 bars.
- Steaming wand or frother. If your desired model comes with an integrated steaming wand, it has to be powerful enough to make microfoam. If it includes a milk frother, keep in mind that it probably won’t heat your milk: you’ll have to do that yourself before frothing.
- Size. Good espresso machines under $1,000 come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them can be very bulky and heavy, especially semi and super-automatic ones. So, consider this factor and make sure you have enough counter space for your new device.
- Convenience. Generally speaking, espresso machines are not that easy to use. If you want something super convenient, then you may need to consider a pod machine. Many espresso makers come with a grinder or a milk frother, which makes them more convenient to use.
- Maintenance. While some models have an auto-clean feature, most of them require regular maintenance. If the water in your area is hard, it’s better to invest in a good water filter if you want your machine to serve you longer.
- Durability. Those who want real durability should avoid fully plastic models. Most espresso machines use stainless steel, which is very sturdy and durable. If there are some plastic parts, make sure they don’t interact with coffee directly (for instance, a plastic handle is not such a big deal).
“Keep in mind that your espresso flavor will depend on more than just your machine. You also need to consider grind size, bean quality, freshness, and even water quality.”
ConclusionNow you know that you don’t have to go to coffee houses when you want a nice shot of your favorite espresso. Making this rich beverage at home has never been easier, and we now have 5 awesome devices to help us with that. And I have to admit: my personal favorite is the Barista Express by Breville. This sleek-looking machine comes with a good set of features that can impress even experienced coffee drinkers. It shows consistently good performance and simply brews delicious coffee. Add a few perks (like the steaming wand or the built-in grinder), and you get yourself an ultimate espresso machine for home use! Do you agree? Which machine impressed you the most? Let me know in the comment section below!
- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Espresso machine. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espresso_machine
- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. List of coffee drinks. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_coffee_drinks#Espresso
- Anna Brones (2015, February 17). How Important Is Water Temperature When Brewing Coffee? Retrieved from https://www.thekitchn.com/do-you-need-to-worry-about-water-temperature-when-brewing-coffee-smart-coffee-regular-joes-216229
- National Coffee Association (n/d). How to Brew Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/How-to-Brew-Coffee