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6 Best Espresso Machines under $500 to Buy in 2020

For coffee lovers, it all begins with a drip filter, a French press – until eventually settling down with their very own espresso machine. After all, it’s not that difficult to fall in love with the essence of an aromatic cup of coffee distilled into a perfect cup.

Finding the chosen one, the crème de la crème of espresso machine begins when you start asking yourself the right question. What do you want and what do you need? So, to narrow your search, we’re here to help find the best espresso machine under 500 to fit your kitchen style and taste.

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Best Overall
De'Longhi EC680M Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
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Espresso Machines 15 Bar Espresso Coffee Machine with Milk Frother Wand for Espresso, Cappacino,...
De'Longhi ECP3120 15 Bar Espresso Machine with Advanced Cappuccino System, 9.6 x 7.2 x 11.9 Inches,...
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Best Overall
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De'Longhi EC680M Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
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Runner Up
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Espresso Machines 15 Bar Espresso Coffee Machine with Milk Frother Wand for Espresso, Cappacino,...
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De'Longhi ECP3120 15 Bar Espresso Machine with Advanced Cappuccino System, 9.6 x 7.2 x 11.9 Inches,...
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Best Espresso Machine under 500 Reviews

Taking into consideration durability, design, price and overall performance, we’ve compiled 6 of the best espresso machines under 500. Check it out!

1. DeLonghiDedica Espresso Maker – Best Overall Espresso Machine

The De’LonghiDedica is a superb choice for those interested in trying out the coffee shop barista home experience. Made with stainless steel, it is beautifully crafted and holds a sturdy frame while the sleek metallic finish provides the perfect aesthetic piece for your kitchen.

It’s got easy controls to help navigate your espressos, cappuccinos, and more. And to get a café like beverages, you get to foam your way with the manual frother. Every drink needs water and this one features a removable water tank, making cleaning just as easy as brewing.

The unit comes with a power of 1300 W that’s powerful enough to create delicious drinks throughout the day as you entertain you and your guest. Sizing issues? Don’t worry, this beast of an espresso maker has got your back with its adjustable bottom tray that fits both small and tall cups.

This is a machine that’s well thought out and not just in terms of its compact design but also due to its sharp performance. Despite some minor setbacks, it’s a great modern machine for the modern kitchen and honestly, we’re not surprised as to why it’s the best on the list and we hope you won’t be as well.

Pros

  • Quick heating
  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Compact

Cons

  • Average steam wand
  • Light base unit

See This Espresso Maker in Action!

2. Barsetto Espresso Machine – The Runner Up

This espresso machine from Barsetto certainly sets the bar high for products with user-friendly design and impressive brew performance. It’s semi-automatic and to make things even better, it’s a 2-in-1 espresso machine. Pretty impressive, right? But that’s not all!

From brewing a classic cup of espresso to lattes, you can easily choose any strength to complement your preferred drink. Additionally, it features a milk and steam wand to assist in creating hot beverages like chocolate, tea, or just plain warm water to soothe your throat.

Now, let’s talk about pressure. We all love a good, consistent pressure when it comes to perfecting our drinks and this one comes equipped with the standard 15 bar pressure gauge. So, expect nothing less than a high-quality drink created from a pressurized pump going through a cushion of aromatic coffee powder.

The machine also comes with other features like adjustable milk foam and water temperature along with a double volume boiler to create sizzling hot water and steaming milk. Finally, the 1.8L capacity water tank completes the set.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Supports temperature control
  • Double volume boiler

Cons

  • No automatic turn-off
  • Not ideal for heavy use

3. De’Longhi ECP3120 Espresso Machine – Best Home Espresso Maker

The De’Longhi ECP3120 comes with a minimalistic profile in a black finish. The design supports a compact structure and a narrow footprint to fit perfectly into any kitchen counter space. Its performance is just as impressive supporting a variety of drinks without minimizing flavor quality.

Taking a closer look into the specs, we get the professional 15 bar bump. The adjustable controls look pretty sharp and offer modifications to suit your palate while a manual frother keeps any creamy froth cravings in check.

Whether it’s 1 or 2 shots of espresso, you can easily get on with instant brew and switch between cups, thanks to its advanced cappuccino system that maintains optimal brewing temperature. The filter holder easily accommodates up to three shots along with an easy-serve pod for espresso.

Finally, the bottom unit comes with an adjustable tray to support a versatile switch between larger and smaller sized beverages. This espresso maker is great if you want a reliable starter machine plus the affordable price tag makes it even better.

Pros

  • Visible water level
  • Consistent froth
  • Easy clean-up

Cons

  • Average life-span
  • Short Frother

4. Calphalon Temp iQ

This entry level espresso machine from Calphalon is a great pick for those interested in a device that’s easy to use with the combined aesthetic of smart functionality. The controls are visibly outlined and the stainless accent gives the machine a sleek, modern look.

In terms of power, the device features 15 bars of pressure pump to ensure maximum flavor extraction while producing beautiful layers of cream on top of your espresso. For selecting steam and hot water, you get a dial interface along with pre-programmed single shots as well as double. The 58mm portafilter enables sizeable ground holding and keeps consistent dispersion and extraction.

A simple yet technologically advanced at its core, this espresso maker comes with the thermoblock heating technology alongside PID temperature control. This offers a more consistent espresso flavor through even heat delivery and pre-infusion with the coffee grounds optimally extracted.

Additionally, the machine is backed by several perks including a cup warming tray, a steam wand that supports creamy frothing, a tamper, a milk pitcher, and a cleaning pin. Finally, it is accompanied by a 2.0L water reservoir with an easy refill.

Pros

  • Great aesthetic
  • Space-saving
  • Features hot water setting

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Plastic parts

5. DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Bar Machine – Best Espresso and Coffee Machine

When it comes to quality espresso machines, the brand De’Longhi is quite synonymous and the EC702 is yet another reliable model from the brand. Constructed from durable stainless steel with a metallic finish, it looks great on the counter and serves delicious drinks in an instant.

Equipped with adjustable controls, it allows easy modifications to set according to your preference. The 15 bar pressure ensures you get a quality brew with any type of drink while the separate thermostat makes sure you get to brew espresso or your cappuccino with the perfect temperature.

It also features Rapid Cappuccino System, this makes brewing cup after cup much easier due to optimal temperature maintenance. Included in the unit is the filter holder that holds an espresso shot along with two other shots and an espresso pod.

Thanks to its patented filter holder, you can use both ground coffee and pods to meet your beverage needs. In addition to this, it supports a 1.3L water tank that’s easy to remove and refill with a water level indicator.

Pros

  • Large water tank
  • Quick heating
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Average steam wand
  • Plastic tamper

6. Mr. Coffee Home Espresso Maker

This is a great espresso maker that undeniably goes easy on the budget with minimal effort on your end. It has a pretty solid structure constructed from stainless steel along with semi-automatic functionality that entertains not one but three types of drinks – latte, cappuccino, and espresso.

It features a 15-bar pump system with a one-touch panel that activates drink selection and optimization. The unit also includes tamper along with an interchangeable portafilter. And it comes with removable and easy refill reservoirs for both water and milk.

Froth customization is available using the featured cappuccino override button. The milk frother is an automatic one, so, that pretty much removes the need for guesswork. Just make sure the frothing tube is routinely cleaned after each use.

To wrap things up, simply dial and set the machine in clean mode and you’re good to go. It may not be a professional machine but it’s a great home machine with excellent performance. Plus the stainless panel and LED buttons make it an attractive buy.

Pros

  • Easy maintenance
  • Easy set-up
  • High-quality tamper

Cons

  • Warm-up takes time
  • Noisy

Best Espresso Machine under 500 Buying Guide

Semi Automatic Espresso Machine

Here are some features to keep in mind when looking for an espresso machine to make the purchase worth every penny invested.

Milk Frothing

For creating delicious lattes or cappuccinos, a frother is a must-have on any home espresso maker. While most machines provide a frother, the main difference lies in what kind of quality frother it provides. Frothing pressurized milk was never easy and it continues to require great skill.

Hence, high-quality frother can help enhance your skill. The quality of any frother typically depends on how expensive or cheap your machine maybe. So, make sure if your preferred drinks require frothed milk and always keep high-quality in mind.

Easy Cleaning

Espresso machines are known to have a reputation in terms of maintenance and cleaning. Meaning they’re quite difficult to clean, so, finding a machine that’s on the easier end of the spectrum would be a huge bonus.

With complicated machines, it will not only take a lot of time but it will also be really difficult to clean. Plus, regularly cleaning the espresso machine is crucial if you want to extend the longevity of the machine. So, to make things easier, look for a machine that’s easy to disassemble with easy access to water tanks.

Design Quality

Material wise, it mostly comes down to brass and stainless steel. Both are quite durable but have their own distinct characteristics that separate the two. Brass can resist corrosion and prevent heat damage well. While stainless steel can match the durability of brass and effectively remove bacteria and other residues.

Stainless steel is considered as the most common material but it does tend to crack easily when in contact with a heavy object. Design and material quality are really important in a machine so make sure you go for high-class, durable materials rather than cheap ones.

Espresso Machine FAQs

Here are some common queries frequently visited by people regarding espresso machines.

What is the Best Pressure for Espresso Machines?

For an espresso, nine bar pressure is usually known and taken as the optimal pressure for extracting the best espresso. The exact duration of the process may vary but it typically takes around 25-30 seconds in order to pull a 9 bar espresso shot.

There are certain people that like to vary the pressure pump. Usually starting off with a lower pressure right before setting in the nine bar pump and then decreasing the pressure towards the end again. However, the 9 bar pressure still remains the standard benchmark.

Which is the Best Espresso Machine for Home Use?

Every machine differs performance or design-wise so it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific product as the winner. But, rounding upon certain features may help find the best espresso machine suited for home use.

Most of the top and best espresso machines will have a lightweight and attractive design with simple control panels. High-quality machines will also feature low power consumption and consistent temperature control. But in the end, the best machine would depend on which best suits your home environment and needs. Definitely check out super automatic espresso machines if you’re wanting to upgrade your device!

What is the Best Coffee for Espresso Machines?

While the type of roast, grind size or coffee used in an espresso machine is subjective, you tend to get better results with French, dark, or espresso roast for your cappuccinos and lattes. These are the roasts that provide the taste and consistency typically expected from an espresso.

After the roast comes the coffee, which heavily depends on your personal flavor profile. If you want something aggressive with cream on top then the Ethiopian coffees are highly recommended. For earthy and strong coffee without the bitterness, Indonesian espresso offers a top-quality taste. Finally, for sharp and sweet taste, the Colombian coffee takes the win.

Find the Best Inexpensive Espresso Machine That’s Right for You

With an espresso machine, you can pretty much expect to get the quality flavor that outshines regular coffee brewers. But it’s important to purchase one that fits well with your needs – whether it’s the aesthetic flair or the overall performance.

If you’re not so sure about what to get or expect out of an espresso machine, you can always get started with a simpler model and eventually make your way up. Whatever it may be, these machines don’t come cheap so pour your thoughts out and not just your money into the purchase.

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