I recently read an article on CNBC where the journalist was spending upwards of $2,300 a year on expensive coffee drinks. For himself! You could spend a fraction of that by making your espresso at home.

My team and I tested out all the best cheap espresso machines before purchasing one for our office. Here are our top picks.

The 5 Best Budget Espresso Machines

1

Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Espresso Machine

In my opinion, Mr Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is the preferred among the other espresso machines. This is the same one I have in my residence and the office. It’s a great coffee maker and you can get a lot of useful functions from it.

This coffee appliance lets you tamp your grounds, and it froths milk automatically. That does the whole foaming job for you; plus, you can adjust the amount of foam it adds to your cup.

The H20 capacity of the detachable tank is just enough, too. You can brew about 14 small cappuccinos or get seven large ones before having to refill it. The retractable cup tray also makes room for taller mugs.

If you’re in the mood for straight espresso shots, it gives you the option of using one decent espresso shot or double-shot basket.

This machine is foolproof, yet offers a lot of variety and value for the coffee lovers. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, you should also give it a try.

Key Features:

  • Best Feature: Frothing Arm for Creamy Cappuccinos and Lattes
  • One-Touch Control Panel
  • Serves up to Four Shots
  • Simple to Clean
2

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine

The next cheap espresso maker on my list is Nespresso. One of the key characteristic that make it stand out is its use of ESE pods. That alone makes it fast, simple to clean up, and super convenient to have in your kitchen. Nespresso ESE pods comes with excellent flavors as well.

The detachable water tank is one of its wonderful touch, as well as the foldable tray to brew larger cups.

You can even get a good amount 24 single or 12 dual espresso shots out of this low cost machine.

I could easily finish a cup of good espresso with creamy foam and would love it even more. Nespresso does make a stand-alone froth canister, called the Aeroccino.

It is an add-on you can get but you don't need to pay that much. Or if you like, you can also get a hand-held steaming wand for even less.

You might want to think about picking one of those up if you get this pump espresso maker. Then you can craft many sorts of delights.

Key Features:

  • Best Feature: Smart Energy-Saving Mode
  • Convenient to Insert and Get the Nespresso Capsules
  • Produces Hot Water in 25 Seconds
  • Programmable Buttons
3

De’Longhi EC685M Espresso Machine

Are you looking for the right espresso maker with a pro-style look and, at the same time, does not cost much? Take a look at this product.

This sleek stainless steel boiler has a little footprint, but it packs a lot of power. It offers more manual controls that you cannot get from any other cheap espresso machines on this list.

If you’re also an aspiring home-barista, you’ll fall in love with this affordable espresso maker.

My favorite feature of this product and probably yours too, is the easy brewing steps. Home brewing is now a craft that everyone can try.

It accepts both ground beans and ESE pods. Don’t fuss about a coffee grinder because you can easily buy coffee grind.

The steam wand on the side lets you steam milk to your exact liking. The H20 container can also be removed and has enough capacity to brew up to a decent amount of 32 single or 16 dual shots.

The final and pretty cool feature is that the top of the machine acts as a warming container for pre-heating your cups. What more could you want?

Key Features:

  • Best Feature: Patented “Cappuccino System”
  • Compact Size and Simple to Use
  • Thermoblock Technology
  • Comes with Ground Beans and ESE Pods Feature
4

De’Longhi EC155 15 Espresso Machine

model of a ec155 with portafilter

If you’re looking for a machine that has just about the right frothing, check this out. Next on my recommended picks of a budget espresso machine is De Longhi EC155 15 bar pump.

At the same time, you can also enjoy both ground coffee and ESE pods. A wand for frothing the milk is also included for you to brew up real coffee-based beverages.

The detachable H20 container makes refilling and cleaning pretty easy. De Longhi EC155 gives you a decent amount of 35 single and 17 double shots to sip on.

The only clunky thing about this machine is the little profile. Yes, the drip container is detachable to allow larger cups. But lets take into consideration that it’s also hard to get them in and out because of the design.

This machine was designed to enjoy a great espresso experience. However, it can not fill American size mugs with lattes. Since it's designed this way, lets also keep that mind when making a purchase.

Key Features:

  • Best Feature: Self-Priming Operation
  • Semi-Automatic
  • 3-In-1 Filter Basket
  • Comes with ESE Pods and Grounded Coffee Bean Compartment
5

Hamilton Beach 40715 Espresso Machine

My final recommendation for a budget espresso maker is the Hamilton Beach 40715. This great coffee machine has a removable water container and brews one or two shots of real espresso.

It can also accommodate ESE pods and fine grind beans. It also includes a wand to froth milk so you can craft cappuccinos, mochas, and lattes.

This budget espresso machine has the right characteristics for those who like to save time in brewing. The most significant advantage, however, is that the removable drip tray has enough room to produce two cups. This means you can also brew two drinks at once.

None of the other cheap espresso machines within its price range offer that option. I want to let you know that it’s quite convenient. I think its a pretty cool feature that makes it a good choice.

Key Features:

  • Easy-Fill Detachable Water Reservoir
  • Uses Ese Pods and Coffee Grounds
  • Easy to Use
  • Easy to Clean

How to Pick an Affordable Espresso Machine?

In the past, there wasn’t much you could do to satisfy those caffeinated cravings at home. The home espresso coffee maker just didn’t exist.

Fortunately, we now live in a time where real espresso lovers can also enjoy that luscious aroma, texture and delicious taste of a hand-crafted macchiato in the comfort of their own house, using their very own coffee machine.

Buying a cheap pump cappuccino maker is good news for espresso enthusiasts. You can now make great espresso right from your countertop that also saves you a fortune from having to go to your local cafe.

However, how do you narrow down the choices of cheap espresso machines? How can you choose a unit that's still good enough to take up valuable kitchen counter space?

Let me help you with that.

I’ve researched and compared more than 30 of the affordable espresso machines available⁠—all for the sake of putting this guide together to help you find the suitable cappuccino and espresso makers for your home. We’ll go over the many important product quality you should consider.

Features to Look for in an Inexpensive Espresso Machine

To finish off the reviews for the budget espresso machines, there are a few things you’ll want to take note of when buying your own.

Paying attention to these will help you find the perfect espresso maker for your needs. It is also important to know what you’re doing. Don’t worry because there is a learning curve when making espresso, and you should start small.

Uses Coffee Beans (Ground) or Ese Pods

ground coffee bean and pod for a better espresso

In the world of espresso makers, you're going to find different types:

  • machines that work with grounds
  • machines that use easy serving espresso (ESE) coffee pods

This one may not seem like a big deal at first, but in the long run, it's going to make a huge difference while you work on quality espresso.

If you like the idea of grinding your coffee beans (or using espresso powder from a can) and tamping the shot filter yourself, then you should get the cheapest espresso machine that allows it. The process of the tamping espresso is not hard, but it does require a bit of preparation and clean up. [1]

If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of espresso grounds, then look for a machine that uses espresso pods, it would be a good fit for you. ESE pods are pre-measured capsules of coffee that you pop into a holder.

No preparation is involved, and cleanup is almost cinch. If you’ve ever used a Keurig machine, it’s the same concept. However, is there a way that you could use both powder and pod machines? Is this possible?

While the design of budget espresso machines accepts only one form or the other, there are a few products out there that can handle both.

Three out of five of the cheap espresso machines I reviewed offer you this convenience.

Includes a Milk Frother

cup of coffee made from semi-automatic espresso machines to make a cappuccino

You can’t make a quality hot cappuccino, latte or Americano without adding milk. And that’s where you're going to introduce a milk frother.

However, not all espresso machines is designed this way, so you’ll want to decide if it matters to you or not before making a purchase.

The froth heats up, it's going to steam, then foams milk so you can produce more than one shot of espresso and it comes in different types:

  • a frothing wand, which you operate by hand and gives you total control over the steaming process
  • a built-in reservoir, which works automatically to froth the milk for you [2]

When comparing cheap espresso machine reviews, you’ll want to keep well those options in mind.

Bar Pressure

one powerful gauge

Unlike almost loose ground beans that you use in a coffee pot, a decent espresso is a finely packed powder. This compactness prevents water from going to flow well through it to make espresso. Water has to be forced through espresso using pressure.

In barista talk, “9 bars” of pressure is the minimum spec you should want to create a perfect cup of espresso. Any lower, and it will be too weak. Any higher, and that’s more crema on top. So it's best to pick just the right specification.

All of the nice espresso machines recommended in this list have at least 15 bars of pressure for the delicious-tasting beverages.

Water Capacity and Removable Tank

water quality for a good cup of coffee

Having to refill the water container after every brew can get annoying, really fast. If you want to avoid this, you need to know how much water can fit in the reservoir.

More water is always better, and a removable tank makes refilling and cleaning a breeze. You'd also want to consider the H20 temperature control of this device when making a purchase.

All of my picks of espresso machines have a generous amount of water capacity so you can produce a great cup after another.

Dimensions

length

I once bought an machine that wouldn’t fit underneath the cabinets above my kitchen counters, so I had to return it.

It wasn’t the manufacturer's fault; it was mine. When I renovated my kitchen, I accidentally hung the wall cabinets an inch too low over the counters. The machine was too tall to slide back into the corner.

If you don't want to experience the same mistake, make sure to take a measurement of the area that you want to place it.

Measure the spot where you want to place the machine (width and height) and then compare it to the dimensions of the budget machine you like to ensure it will fit.

FAQs

Are Espresso Machines Worth It?

Espresso machines are worth it especially when you're a coffee enthusiast and if you want to learn the art of brewing. It's pretty easy to learn when you have one of these machines. It's only a little investment when you love having guests over and you want to impress them by making espresso in your house.

And My Top Choice Is…

Mr Coffee ECMP1000 is my recommended pick as the best espresso machine. It is one of the first automatic drip coffee makers designed so you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee in your house. With this budget machine, you can make a great drink anytime.

This espresso maker produces different latte selections and automatically froths milk like a cappuccino maker. This one has a pocket-friendly price tag and lets you enjoy a great drink like you’re in a coffee shop.

Making a good coffee-based drink is easy with Mr Coffee. Just pick a shot filter, select your coffee grind, fill the milk reservoir, choose your brew, and kick off your day with a delicious caffeine fix.

Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Espresso Machine

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Best Feature: Frothing Arm for Creamy Cappuccinos and Lattes
  • One-Touch Control Panel
  • Serves up to Four Shots
  • Simple to Clean

Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Trusty Joe. Under the guidance of his father, a general contractor, Joe has been involved with a lot of handyman projects from a very young age. He combined this love for building with another passion of his, creative writing. Trusty Joe allows him to merge these two interests and offer the best of both worlds.