Espresso is a highly caffeinated, rich, and flavorful beverage, which has become an unofficial morning symbol.
And of course, you cannot pull a proper espresso shot if you don’t have a coffee machine (1).
But how much does an espresso machine cost?
Or, better say, how much are you willing to spend?
Let’s break down the average espresso machine cost for three scenarios: absolute beginner, home barista, and coffee shop owner, and see what they consist of!
Entry-Level Espresso Machine 101Let’s start with the basics: If you’re an absolute beginner and only starting your journey in the world of great coffee, you don’t need an espresso machine with a million settings. Some of the best espresso machines under $200 are perfectly fine for beginners, and you can expect the following features from them:
- Steam wand. The steam wand allows you to steam milk and create fluffy foam, which you can use for the basic latte art.
- Milk container. Some entry-level espresso machines also feature a milk jug for storing the milk and adding it to your coffee beverages.
- K-Cups holder. Another great feature is that some beginner espresso machines have a holder for pre-ground K-Cups, so you can choose between carefully crafted blends and see which one tastes best.
- Single-serving. As the name implies, these coffee makers can brew a single shot of espresso, which you can turn into Americano by adding hot water into your cup or make a homemade cappuccino. These coffee makers don’t have a water tank and are very compact. Plus, they can work with both k-cups or ground coffee, although we recommend that you use the latter because it’s more eco-friendly (2).
- Carafe pot coffee makers. These allow you to make large batches of coffee for your family. Some models can brew up to 12 cups of coffee in 10-15 minutes, so everyone can enjoy their energy potion.
Coffee Machines for Home Baristas
Having learned how to use an espresso machine and decided that you want to go further on your home barista way, you might consider upgrading your device.
The average price point of a multifunctional coffee machine for home use is between $400 and $700. For this price, you will acquire some functions that will make your home barista experience much better:
- Drip tray. The drip tray collects any residual droplets that can appear after you remove the cup. This makes your coffee maker look cleaner. Plus, some drip trays may work as a heater and keep your espresso warm for some time.
- Built-in grinder. The grinder will consistently measure the exact amount of coffee beans per serving to help you achieve the perfect cup each time. Plus, the grinder can work as a small storage container for freshly ground beans and preserve their aroma.
- More precise pump. Cheaper pumps can sometimes deliver inconsistent pressure, which results in an unpleasant taste of the drink. More professional devices typically have quality-made parts that can serve you for longer.
- Stainless steel gear. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, which is great because coffee machine parts get exposed to water, coffee acids, and oils. Plus, unlike the cheaper plastic and alloys, steel doesn’t alter the taste of your cup.
More professional coffee makers also require less maintenance because of sturdier parts and quality build. With these coffee machines, you can significantly expand your coffee beverage recipes.
How Much Does a Professional Coffee Machine Cost?
If you plan to open a coffee shop, then you need a coffee machine that can quickly make 100 or more cups per day while maintaining quality.
In this case, a semi-automatic or fully automatic coffee machine is your best bet. These devices can do virtually everything for you, and market experts expect a huge rise in popularity of these coffee makers, as the cafeteria and hotel business continues to grow (3).
However, the cost of espresso machines for commercial use is pretty high. For a coffee maker that produces about 250 cups per day — the average amount for a drive-through café — be ready to spend between $3,000 and $5,000.
In case you want to open a small family restaurant, it’s better to purchase a couple of espresso machines under $1,000. They won’t be as productive as their more expensive counterparts, but you can cover the needs of a small shop.
But what can you expect from higher tier coffee machines for a price like that?
- Brewing 2-3 cups of coffee at a time. Commercial coffee machines can brew 2 or 3 completely different beverages at once. They often have a memory function that allows you to save previously programmed settings and use them with a single touch of a button.
- Fully programmed brewing cycle. This option will save you a lot of time: you work with customers, while the coffee maker makes their orders.
- Lots of automatic functions. To make your barista experience even easier, professional coffee machines offer a lot of automatic functions, such as self-cleaning, programmed brew, programmed grind, and so on.
Choosing an espresso machine is a very responsible task, even if you only plan to use it for your home experiments.
Now you know what can impact the price of different coffee machines and can make the right choice, depending on your needs.
What do you require from a coffee machine? Share your feedback below?
- Lindsey Goodwin (2020, March 4). What Is Espresso? Benefits, Uses, & Recipes. Retrieved from https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-espresso-765702
- James Hamblin (2015, March 2). A Brewing Problem: What’s the healthiest way to keep everyone caffeinated? Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/03/the-abominable-k-cup-coffee-pod-environment-problem/386501/
- Future Market Insights (2021, January 9). Automatic Coffee Machines Market. 2021 Analysis and Review: Automatic Coffee Machine Market by Product Type – Fully Automatic, Super Automatic, and Semi-automatic for 2021 – 2031. Retrieved from https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/automatic-coffee-machines-market
My name is Yurii Brown. I am a passionate coffee geek and, concurrently, a certified coffee specialist.
I’ve been learning about coffee for a long time, testing various devices and practicing in home coffee brewing. I like to share my experience and insights with fellow coffee lovers so that my readers could enjoy the real taste of quality-brewed beverages.