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The 10 Best Espresso Machines Under $500 (for Your Home) 2021

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Best Espresso Machines

Here is a list of the best espresso machines under $500.

IN THIS GUIDE

Espresso machines in this price range will allow you to move past the entry-level equipment into a good quality machine. Ultimately, getting you closer to making barista-level espressos and lattes at home.

Reduce trips to the coffee shop and save money while becoming your very own barista. It won’t take long to pay for one of these espresso makers when the cost of a daily espresso or latte is close to $5 or more.

Let’s get brewing.

Our Pick

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Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine

The Breville Duo Temp Pro brings commercial quality and ease of use to making specialty coffee at home at an excellent price. Read on for more details.

*Price at the time of publishing August 2021.

The Top 10 Espresso Machines Under $500

If you’ve been looking for the best espresso makers with a budget of 500 dollars or under, our comprehensive list will make quick work of your research. Here, we narrowed down the best of the best to bring you some of the finest espresso machines in this price range.

Quick Summary

Short on time? Here is a quick list of our top 10 picks. Then read on for our detailed reviews.

Sale
Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Duo Temp Pro lets you create third wave specialty coffee at home; This espresso machine ensures balanced flavors from even extraction using low pressure pre-fusion, managing sweetness, acidity and bitterness for the perfect cup every time
Sale
De'Longhi Dedica 5-Bar Pump Espresso Machine, Black
  • Sleek design takes up only 6 inches of counter space, while still having a 35oz water tank
Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand, Stainless
  • 15-Bar Italian pump delivers the right amount of pressure for maximum flavor extraction and produces a beautiful layer of crema for your Espresso
Philips 1200-Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/Milk Frother (EP1220/04)
  • Easily make 2 delicious coffee drinks from fresh beans, exactly the way you like it with a touch of a button
Sale
Nespresso Lattissima One Coffee and Espresso Maker by De'Longhi, Shadow Black
  • One capsule. One touch. One perfect latte. Automatic Coffee & Espresso Machine only by De’Longhi.
Ninja CM407 Specialty Coffee Maker, with 50 oz. Thermal Carafe, Black and Stainless Steel Finish
  • Specialty brew: brew super-rich Coffee concentrate that you can use to create delicious lattes, macchiato, cappuccinos, and other coffeehouse-style drinks.
Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Maker and Cappuccino Machine
  • 19 Bar Italian pump delivers ideal pressure to extract robust coffee flavors
Sale
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker by De'Longhi, Piano Black with Aeroccino Milk Frother
  • AUTOMATIC COFFEE/ESPRESSO MACHINE: Create barista grade brewed single serve coffee or espresso cups at the touch of a single button. Designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules only
Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee, Latte and Cappuccino Maker, Comes with Dishwasher Safe Milk Frother, Shot Capability, Nickel
  • Special edition: Complement your kitchen with the premium nickel colored finish, metal handle and drip tray

1. Breville Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine (BES810BSS)

At a glance:

  • Semi-automatic
  • Hands-on like a barista
  • Low-pressure pre-infusion
  • Auto heat system purge
  • Razor dose trimming tool
  • Milk steam wand
  • Stainless steel milk jug
  • 9 bar extraction 
  • 15 bar Italian pump
  • Maintenance indicator
  • 1-year limited product warranty
  • Coffee grinder
  • Cup warmer

The Breville Duo Temp Pro is our top pick for espresso makers in the ‘$500 or under’ budget. We’re impressed with the quality of the Breville brand and the features included at this price. Using low-pressure pre-infusion, just like a commercial machine, you can easily get a cafe-quality taste at home with little effort.

What is low-pressure pre-infusion? The machine gradually soaks water into the puck of coffee before applying full pressure. This allows for a balanced flavor.

Breville continues to innovate the coffee and espresso market. Where Breville’s Barista Express provided a comprehensive experience, the Duo Temp Pro scales back the presentation just a tad. Even so, it delivers an equally impressive unit. 

Missing is the built-in grinder found among the Barista Express’ many options. But if you can live without that component, this machine will serve you well. 

What We Love

What stands out to us the most is the flavoring of the shots. Yes, it’s true that the unit itself is well designed and conveniently laid out. But everything else is secondary to the quality of the coffee. 

And it’s here that the Duo Temp Pro shines. You’ve likely bought into “café-quality” hype before, only to be let down. Well, that’s not an issue here, as Breville holds true to its word by bringing you professional espressos in the comfort of your kitchen.

You get a high-quality milk steam wand, too. And as any espresso connoisseur will tell you, this is an essential component to making top-shelf milk-based drinks.

What Could Be Better

Given that this machine can make café-quality beverages, there are some caveats. The most notable is that you’ll need to get past its learning curve before you can truly take advantage of its benefits. 

This is due to the Duo Temp Pro being a semi-automatic unit. This essentially means that you need to do some of the work to bring your espressos to life. If you want a machine that does all the heavy lifting for you, it’s probably best to look to a fully automatic coffee machine.

Another downside is the daily cleaning (on top of regular upkeep). For each use, you are using the portafilter and manually packing the ground coffee beans with the trimming tool, in addition to using the milk steam wand, which will require more daily clean-up than a one-button automatic machine option.

Still, given its price and quality espressos, Breville’s Duo Temp Pro handily takes the top spot as the best espresso machine under 500 bucks.

Have a bit more room in your budget? Look at upgrading to the Breville BES870XL Barista Express with a built-in coffee grinder. Or Breville Maker Barista Touch for faster heat-up time, touch screen, and adjust milk temperature automatically.

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Material: brushed stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 10 x 11 x 13 inches
  • Capacity: 61 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 18.9 pounds

2. De’Longhi Dedica Pump Espresso Machine

At a glance:

  • Semi-automatic
  • Manual frother
  • 15 bar professional pressure
  • 34-ounce water tank
  • Twin brewing cycle
  • Thermoblock technology
  • Button interface
  • Built-in cup warmer
  • Coffee grinder

As much as we love Breville’s Duo Temp Pro, it is admittedly a bit on the large side. As such, it tends to hog up counter space, especially if you have a separate grinder next to it. De’Longhi aims to solve this problem by offering a compact espresso machine.

The Dedica is a decidedly attractive unit that delivers delicious espressos. But is it the perfect machine to meet your needs? Let’s find out.

What We Love

Right out of the gate, the Dedica excels in its espressos. You will be impressed with how well shots taste, as you don’t always get café-tier coffee in the comfort of your own home. What you do get is exceptional flavor every time and without fail (given the right grounds – more on that in a moment).

De’Longhi keeps things clean during operation with a drip tray. This rests just below the portafilter and catches any liquids spilled during preparation. And if the tray gets too full, a little built-in indicator lets you know it’s time to dump it.

On top of the Dedica is a handy cup warmer. If you’re tending to household chores, for example, you can make sure your espresso doesn’t lose its heat, which is a nice touch.

What Could Be Better

The Dedica struggles with finely ground coffee. In fact, it can get clogged easily if the grounds are too fine. You need to stick with anything above extra-fine if you want to avoid this problem.

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Material: stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 16.54 x 5.9 x 12.99 inches
  • Capacity: 34 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 9.26 pounds

3. Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine (RI9380/46)

At a glance:

  • Semi-automatic
  • Commercial steam wand
  • Commerical style portafilter
  • Rocker switch controls
  • Double shot baskets
  • 72-ounce water reservoir
  • Coffee grinder
  • Cup warmer

Gaggia delivers quality and a compact commercial style with its Classic Pro espresso machine. And although the Classic Pro is rather boxy in its design, it doesn’t take up much countertop space. In fact, the design is very efficient, leaving you with just the right amount of options to make espresso.

What We Love

If you’re an espresso lover who appreciates rich and robust flavor, the Classic Pro will likely serve you well. The included milk frother pumps out some very nice crema, and you’ll probably find it to be more than adequate.

Brewing is a breeze, even if you don’t get quite as many control options as other units. We appreciate that the included filter basket can handle any pre-ground espresso you throw at it. As a result, you needn’t worry about clogged grounds while you’re brewing.

What Could Be Better

As designed, the Classic Pro leaves limited space for your espresso cup. It leaves about 3 inches of room, and you may need to brew in a smaller cup and transfer it to your coffee or latte mug.

Being semi-automatic, it can take a few tries to get your espresso just right. A pressure gauge could help but, unfortunately, is not included in this particular model.

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 8 x 14.2 inches
  • Capacity: 72 fluid ounces
  • Weight: 20 pounds

4. Calphalon Temp iQ Espresso Machine (BVCLECMP1)

At a glance:

  • Semi-automatic
  • Coffee grinder
  • Dual-wall 1 and 2 cup filters
  • Stainless steel milk pitcher
  • Tamper
  • 67.83-ounce removable water tank
  • Cleaning pin
  • Cup warmer

For espresso lovers who are limited on counter space and want a unit that has it all, Calphalon’s Temp iQ is sure to fulfill your needs. Considering everything you get, the Temp iQ is relatively compact. 

Included with the espresso machine are both a steam wand and a coffee grinder. Now it’s easier than ever to produce café-quality espressos in your kitchen. 

What We Love

The crema that this machine makes stands out from the rest. And thanks to its microfoam capabilities, you can whip up flavorful lattes with little effort. This makes the Temp iQ one of the more versatile espresso machines on our list.

Another big plus is the built-in grinder. No longer do you need a separate device taking up space on your countertop. It’s all here in a compact design. 

The control knob on the front of the unit is intuitive and easy to use. Simply make your selection using the dial, and you’re ready. It’s unnecessary to have a lot of espresso know-how to prepare quality shots.

We’re also big fans of the cleaning process. Even though it’s a semi-automatic machine, Calphalon’s design simplifies things for a user-friendly experience.

What Could Be Better

The milk pitcher provided is a bit on the small side. You may end up investing in a larger milk frothing cup to make lattes and cappuccinos.

Given that it’s a semi-automatic espresso machine, there is a mild learning curve involved. But it’s more than reasonable, and you will be making espressos with a little practice.

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 13.9 x 11.6 x 15.3 inches
  • Weight: 13.46 pounds
  • Capacity: 67.83 fluid ounces

5. Philips 1200-Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/Milk Frother (EP1220/04)

At a glance:

  • Fully automatic
  • Button interface
  • Coffee grinder, ceramic
  • Temperature control
  • 2 cup option
  • 60.87-ounce water tank
  • Cup warmer

With its sleek user interface and compact construction, Philips’ 1200 Series is just the ticket for anyone who prefers their espresso machine to do all the work. As a super-automatic espresso machine, the 1200 Series grinds coffee and delivers drinks quickly.

What We Love

We love that the 1200 Series handles all aspects of espresso preparation at the touch of a button. And with the included milk frother, you can whip up your favorite cappuccino or latte with minimal effort.

As mentioned, the user interface is another high point of the 1200 Series. It features clear icons and LEDs for an effective and easy-to-understand setup. 

Cleaning the espresso machine is equally easy. This is often the case with fully automatic units, and the 1200 Series is no exception. The milk frother comprises just two parts, for example. So you don’t have to spend any time at all getting the system clean.

What Could Be Better

One notable concern is the machine can be noisy, especially while grounding. A small price to pay for a super-automatic all-in-one unit.

Second, the Philips espresso machines are made with plastic. It feels flimsy by comparison (at this price point), leaving us a bit concerned about the lifespan of this unit. 

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Material: 100% ceramic grinder
  • Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 12.5 inches
  • Weight: 22.5 pounds
  • Capacity: 60.87 fluid ounces

6. De’Longhi Nespresso Lattissima One Coffee and Espresso Maker

At a glance:

  • Fully automatic
  • One-touch interface
  • Milk container
  • One-touch milk system
  • 33.8-ounce water tank
  • 19 bar pump
  • Clean & descale alert
  • Coffee grinder
  • Cup warmer
  • Multiple cups at once

Here’s yet another entry by De’Longhi, this time with the Lattissima One. If you’re keen on finding a compact espresso machine, this may be the perfect unit. It’s incredibly small, making it ideal for any kitchen.

What We Love

Small as it is, we’re still rather fond of its design. The Lattissima One features an attractive backlit interface and a chrome lever. These come together to give this espresso machine a balanced appearance of classic and modern.

As a single-serve unit, there are minimal controls. All you really need to concern yourself with is selecting the proper cup size at the top of the unit. 

As its name implies, the Lattissima One was designed with a one-touch functionality in mind. And in operation, that holds true. Even the included milk system requires only a single touch to use. 

What Could Be Better

Of course, this machine is made with single-use operation in mind. But anyone looking for multiple cups at a time is better off looking elsewhere. There’s no arguing that the Lattissima One is easy to use. 

But to get it this way, a lot of options had to be nixed. Thus, you’re at the mercy of the unit’s ability to make your drinks, as you can’t control much else.

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 6.1 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 11.97 pounds
  • Capacity: 33.8 liquid ounces

7. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM407

At a glance:

  • Fully automatic
  • 6 brew sizes
  • Built-in fold-away milk frother
  • Programmable delay-brew
  • No pods needed
  • 50-ounce removable water tank
  • Coffee grinder
  • Cup warmer
  • Multiple cups at once

Ninja’s CM407 Specialty Espresso Machine easily wins the coolest-looking unit we reviewed. But does its appearance reflect its performance? We’re happy to report that it does. The CM407 does its job well, consistently crafting a fine cup of joe.

What We Love

The build quality of the CM407 is some of the best around. It’s radically different from traditional espresso machines, but that’s part of this unit’s appeal. Also, Ninja gives you plenty to do with controls. 

Of course, of paramount import is the taste, and the CM407 delivers coffees expertly using grounds, no cups or pods. Even better, you can make a wide variety of drinks, thanks to the many options.

What Could Be Better

The only real problem with Ninja’s design is that it can be a counter hog. It’s big, bulky, and boxy (yet lightweight). But if you have the space to spare, the CM407 is definitely worthy of your attention.

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Dimensions: 11.99 x 8.75 x 15.04 inches
  • Weight: 3.13 pounds
  • Capacity: 50 liquid ounces

8. Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Maker and Cappuccino Machine

At a glance:

  • Fully automatic
  • One button functionality
  • Automatic milk frother
  • Removable milk tank
  • Adjustable cup trays
  • 19 bar pump
  • Single or double shot
  • Coffee grinder
  • Cup warmer

Mr. Coffee impresses us with the One-Touch CoffeeHouse. Here you have quality taste with a relatively inexpensive espresso machine. Yet, it features commendable options and controls.

What We Love

This is an attractive unit, which isn’t always something you get with budget-friendly hardware. Sure, it’s made of plastic rather than stainless steel. But they clearly did this to reduce costs. 

Alongside the milk frother, the milk container is a unique feature. The unit is removable and easy to refill when needed.

What Could Be Better

Cleaning the milk frother and the rest of the unit, however, isn’t nearly as easy. In fact, it can be a pain. 

Another issue we discovered is that not all cups of coffee come out consistently. Sometimes you’ll get more or less than the previous cup. The difference is usually negligible, but it’s still worth mentioning. 

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Material: plastic
  • Dimensions: 13 x 10.6 x 14.3 inches
  • Weight: 15.27 pounds
  • Capacity: 2 (espresso) cups

9. De’Longhi Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine

At a glance:

  • Fully automatic
  • Capsule barcode reader
  • Built-in capsule storage
  • Aeroccino milk frother
  • 54-ounce water tank
  • Coffee grinder
  • Cup warmer
  • Multiple cups at once

If you’re on a budget but craving espresso, De’Longhi has you covered. For a fraction of what the higher-end entries on our list cost, you can pick up the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo. Could this be the ultimate solution for affordable espresso?

What We Love

De’Longhi deserves praise for producing a budget-friendly espresso machine. It’s lightweight, simplistic in design, yet effective in form and function. You can quickly and easily whip up your choice of drink: either 7.7-ounce coffee or 1.35-ounce espresso.

For such an affordable machine, the taste is impressive. And depending on the type of capsule you use in the machine, the Vertuo Evoluo reads it and adjusts its brewing parameters to deliver the best taste possible.

You also get a large, 54-ounce water tank. We appreciate this feature, as it ensures you don’t have to run back and forth to fill up your tank. Even with the bigger water tank, the Vertuo Evoluo is impressively compact.

What Could Be Better

Some of the build quality leaves a lot to be desired. The water tank plug, for example, is prone to breaking and leaking. Given the lower price point, cuts were bound to be made. But you’ll want to ensure extra care around this unit.

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Material: plastic
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12.2 x 12.3 inches
  • Weight: 10.96 pounds
  • Capacity: 54 fluid ounces

10. Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee and Espresso Maker

At a glance:

  • Fully automatic
  • K-cup pods
  • Multiple serving sizes
  • Milk frother
  • Milk cup
  • 60-ounce water tank
  • Coffee grinder
  • Cup warmer
  • Multiple cups at once

Is a coffee or espresso machine guide complete without a Keurig? The K-Café Special Edition serves up flavorful blends with ease. And it’s relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of the competition. 

Like other Keurig units, the K-Café SE uses K-Cup pods to make your drinks. It’s straightforward and easy to clean.

What We Love

K-Cups are a breeze to use and clean up after. Of course, that means you’re getting a single-serve espresso machine, which might be a drawback for some consumers.

Still, this machine is a cinch to keep clean and maintain. Shots are full of flavor, and you have the option for stronger brews. A built-in frother (with hot and cold froth options) also provides greater versatility in drink preparation. 

We also appreciate that the K-Café SE can prepare multiple serving sizes. You aren’t as limited as some other units.

What Could Be Better

This machine is loud by comparison. But given that drinks prepare quickly, we didn’t find this to be that big of a deal. Still, it must be noted.

The construction isn’t anywhere near what you’d find in a high-end Breville, for example. The plastic body makes us question its durability, so keep that in mind.

Notable Manufacturer Specs

  • Material: plastic
  • Dimensions: 11.7 x 15.3 x 12.5 inches
  • Weight: 13.8 pounds
  • Capacity: 60 fluid ounces

Best Espresso Machines

Things to Consider When Buying an Espresso Machine

Before you invest in any one espresso machine, there are some essential factors to consider. Here, you’ll find the most important, followed by a brief discussion.

Semi-Automatic vs. Automatic

The best espresso machine in this price range will typically be semi-automatic or automatic. If you want the absolute best ease of use possible, stick with an automated unit. If you’d like a little more control and a barista-style, more hands-on, machine, look at the semi-automatic options.

Bars of Pressure

What are bars of pressure? And what does it have to do with making espresso? One bar is equal to 14.7 psi.

You have bars of pressure at the pump level and the brew head. Therefore, some of the machine stats will include more than one number for bars of pressure.

Ideally, you will have 9 bars of pressure to properly prepare espresso. Between 8 to 10, some say. Too far below or above this level will create weak or too thick or strong espresso, respectively. It also helps create crema which is the major difference between espresso and strong drip coffee.

Some machines have a pressure gauge. And can help guide you to make important adjustments in grounds, dosage, and pressure in order to pull perfect shots every time.

Temperature Control / Heating Features

For optimum extraction results, the water temperature should be between 190°F and 195°F. Many machines can provide the pressure and heat discussed here. But for the very best espresso, they need to maintain these figures during pouring. 

Likewise, many units lose these settings after extraction. You want to be sure that your unit maintains its pressure and temperature through quality heating. Some units will also purge each time to ensure the proper temperature.

Cup Sizes

Pay attention to cup size options while shopping for your ideal machine. The perfect espresso cup sizes are between two and three ounces. And some devices have various cup sizes for you to select. You’ll also want to decide if you want the capability for two cups vs. just one at a time.

Built-In Milk Frother

Most machines will have a built-in milk frother. You’ll need to apply your milk on your own. More expensive units (super-automatics) do this for you. But as stated, you’re going to spend a lot more.

Extra Features and Accessories

Options vary all across the board when you’re researching espresso machines. Most units have a milk frother and come with a steam pot. But most often in this price range, you’ll need to provide your own coffee grinder.

Size of Machine

The best-sized espresso machine all comes down to preference. Is your countertop space limited as it is? Then you should consider a compact unit. It’s important to factor in any existing devices on your counters, such as a coffee grinder or frother. 

And if you need these additional features, it might be best to invest in an espresso machine that includes them out of the box.

Maintenance & Cleaning

All espresso machines require some level of cleaning. Many come with dishwasher-safe parts and are fairly easy to keep clean. You’ll want to read about the amount of cleaning required before you buy. In addition, we suggest looking for units that have maintenance and cleaning indicators.

Warranty

Like any electronic device or machine, espresso makers are prone to failing. Even the best brands can succumb to malfunctions. You should look for those that offer a good warranty with their unit.

Most manufacturers include a limited warranty that’s between 90 days and one year. That said, you can expect most espresso machines to last an average of 10 to 20 years if well cared for.


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Final Thoughts

We hope you found our reviews helpful in your buying decision. In your search for the best espresso machine under 500 dollars, ultimately, you’ll need to decide if the offerings align with the amount of control and ease of use you are looking for.


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