So you have finally decided to take the plunge and purchase an Espresso Machine for your home, but as this is your first time you want something that isn’t going to break the bank – Enter our Best Cheap Espresso Machine 2018 Guide. We take you through the things you should consider before purchasing, and then review some of the top cheap espresso machines.
When someone says ‘Espresso’ or ‘Cappuccino’ we tent to think of a skilled barista in the local coffee shop rustling up delicious drinks. However, these days a cheap home espresso machine will make your favourite drink at the same quality. You can literally spend thousand of dollars on a home machine, but there is no need to stretch your budget to more than a few hundred if you know exactly what you are looking for.
What to consider when choosing the Best Cheap Home Espresso Machine.
1. Type of Espresso Machine
There is a wide variety of choice when it comes to the type of machine you want. Depending on your preference you could pick a semi-automatic, automatic or super automatic. Each of them their pros and cons, however as you would imagine the more automated the process, usually the higher the price.
2. Design of Espresso Machine
As with the type of machine, there is a lot of choice when it comes to design. Usually, the more expensive machines are larger and make of stainless steal. The cheaper models tend to be smaller and made out of plastic. However it’s important to remember that most Cheap Espresso Machines come with a 1 year manufacturer warranty – so don’t let the cheaper build quality put you off. In fact, I actually prefer the bright coloured plastic designs of the cheaper machines to dull boring steel.
3. Boiler Type
There are 3 different type of boilers: dual boiler, single boiler and heat exchange. You can probably guess that machines with a dual boiler are the most expensive, and machines with a heat exchange are the cheapest. If you are wondering why you need a dual boiler – one boiler is for the coffee extraction and the other is for steaming your milk. If you are new to home brewing and are literally just looking for a Cheap Home Espresso Machine, then a single boiler or even a heat exchange would do.
4. Bar Pressure
Bar pressure is often overlooked when deciding on a machine, however it is actually pretty important. Without going into to much detail on how an Espresso Machine works, steam is forced through coffee grounds to produce your drink. If you don’t have enough pressure then you won’t extract the full flavour leaving you with an underwhelming brew. Almost all machines will come with 15 bars of pressure as a minimum, however be careful of Cheap Espresso Machines that have just 9 – I guarantee you will be disappointed.
5. Water Source
We all know that water is one of the main component of an Espresso, however how that gets into your machine will vary – some will need to be plumped into the water mains, some will need to be hand filled from your tap, and some will have both options. Obviously, the more expensive models will have both options, and the cheaper models will need to be filled via a tap. You should take into consideration the side of the water reservoir – some will require filling up after just a few brews and other will allow you to make 7-10 brews before a refill.
Reviews of the Best Cheap Espresso Machines
Let’s take a look at the most popular models on the market today, all reviews and tested by myself and the rest of our resident coffee experts.
1. The Philips Saeco Poemia Manual Espresso Machine
A design which is usually reserved for higher priced machines.
Great quality espresso every time.
The size is perfect for most kitchens.
The initial setup isn’t as easy as other machines (however there is a decent user manual).
This machine is perfect if you are looking to make a great Italian Espresso at home. It comes with a stainless steel boiler, which typically are only found on more expensive models. Importantly it also comes with a powerful 15-bar pump.
This Cheap Espresso Machine features Poemia which is ideal for creating a rich hazel brown crema – it also helps to fully extract the best flavour from your coffee beans. This means that every brew is strong, and tastes great. The Poemia feature will accept ground coffee or prepackaged single serve shots if that is more convenient.
This machine is designed more like the higher quality, more expensive machines – it’s stainless steel front panel and black ABS housing is ergonomically designed to be both user friendly and nice on the eye. It is designed to allow convenient access to all of the containers, making filling up the water tank a breeze.
Best Suited For:
This cheap Espresso Machine is ideal for first time users who are on a budget. The cheap price tag makes it ideal if you are looking to experiment with home brewing.
2. The De’Longhi 15-Bar Pump Driven Cappuccino and Espresso Maker
Built in tamper isn’t great quality (however you can purchase a separate tamper for quite cheap).
This De’Longhi is probably the Best Cheap Espresso Machine on the market. Your espresso will taste amazing, thanks in part to the the unique patented dual filter holder – this gives you the convenience of either using fresh ground coffee, or the quicker and easier E.S.E pods.
This machine comes with two separate thermostats which make it great for regulating the temperature of your espresso or cappuccino. It has been designed to be really easy to use and even a novice should have no problem making great tasting coffee. If you love a cappuccino, then you will love the easy to use swivel jet frother.
This machine comes with a large 35 ounce water tank meaning that you won’t have to keep filling it after every brew. Most of the features are easily disassembled and it also has a removable drip tray which means you can easily and quickly clean your machine. It’s vital to keep your machine clean to preserve the brew quality.
Best Suited For:
This cheap Espresso Machine is ideal for beginners because it is very easy to use. It is super easy to clean and the quality of coffee is produces is decent.
The machine packs lots of features into a compact housing – and it looks nice too.
Powerful steam feature which is easy to use.
Produces delicious espresso and cappuccino.
Lacks an automatic drip feature.
The ECMP50 is a quality Cheap Espresso Machine. If you are looking to make barista style espresso or cappuccino at home, then it checks all of the boxes. It has some great features which enable you consistently brew high quality drinks. The thermal block heater heats your espresso super quick, while the removable water tank makes getting started really easy.
This machine comes with a decent 15-bar pump, which is important for extracting the full rich flavour from your coffee. As mentioned above, some cheap machines come with just 9-bar, however this is not enough to give you that perfect coffee each time.
A great feature is the frothing arm – it is perfect for making creamy froth to top off your cappuccino or latte. Another great feature is the dual shoot brewing – the machine produces 2 single shots at once, meaning your coffee is powerful and full of flavour. The final great feature is the Thermal Block Heating System, which allows for barista speed brewing – no more waiting around for your daily fix!
Best Suited For:
This cheap Espresso Machine is ideal for anyone who is looking to dip their toe into home brewing. It comes with a lot of features packed into a nice compact housing and produces great tasting coffee.
4. The De’Longhi 15-Bar Pump Driven Espresso Maker
This is one of De’Longhi’s most popular pump driven Cheap Espresso Machines. It has an inbuilt 15-bar pump, which is really important for extracting the full flavour of your coffee. It has a quality stainless steel boiler which produces some decent pressure. With this machine you can create a great creamy froth to top of your drinks.
This machine comes with an inbuilt tamper that makes packing your grounds into the filter easy. It’s important to correctly tamp your coffee to produce the best brew quality – easy with this machine. In addition to the tamper, both the water tank and drip tray are removable which allows for super easy cleaning.
Probably the best feature of the EC220b is the ‘self-priming’ operation – this means the machine is fully ready to brew with the touch of a button.
Best Suited For:
This cheap Espresso Machine is ideal for anyone who is looking for an easy to use machine that makes good quality coffee at speed. It lacks some of the features of the other models, however it makes up for it with its ‘self-priming’ operation.