Are you looking for an espresso machine under $500? With this budget, you can get a machine far better than a machine under $200. The machine will give you a perfect taste and it will be made of metal. Plastic parts will not be a small part of it, so it is durable. You can extract the best part of the ground coffee bean with ease.
However, you will be lost when facing so many machines in the market. That’s why we write this guide. It is to save your time and give you the best recommendation as we can. We researched and give you the conclusion.
Now let’s dive in.
Quick Overview of Our Favorites
|Breville BES840XL/A the Infuser Espresso Machine||Check Price||4.80/5||1 Year|
|Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine||Check Price||4.60/5||1 years|
|Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine||Check Price||4.60/5||1 year|
|KitchenAid KES0504OB Nespresso Bundle||Check Price||4.40/5||1 year|
|BREVILLE BES810BSSUSC BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine||Check Price||4.60/5||1 year|
|Nespresso EN550B Lattissima Touch Original Espresso Machine with Milk Frother by De'Longhi||Check Price||4.60/5||1 year|
|Saeco HD8645/47 Vapore Automatic Espresso Machine||Check Price||4.30/5||1 year|
Espresso Machines under $500
Breville BES840XL/A the Infuser Espresso Machine
The Breville BES840XL/A the Infuser Espresso Machine is a semi-automatic espresso machine. It features a 15 bar Italian pump which provides complete volumetric control preset so that you can have set the volume you want for each shot. Besides, it also has a pressure gauge which you can tune the pressure to generate the espresso. As you know from our espresso guide, 9 bar of pressure will give you a soft and rich taste. While many machines could only maintain a fixed pressure, this machine could let you change it. Also, it embraces a 1600 watts thermocoil heating system and a PID temperature system. That means it could control the temperature of the water better. Not too hot but the best temperature to brew the espresso.
The pre-infusion function of it is also a plus. This function drives low water pressure at the start of the extraction to make the extraction evenly. A 61-ounce water tank is far enough for daily use. You don’t need to refill it every time. This machine also has an auto shut-off mode to save power. It will put to sleep mode after one hour of no use and three hours to auto shut-off. It also features a milk-frother for you to make the latte and cappuccino.
The only problem we found for this machine is its steam ring. You will need to replace it after some time, however, it is cheap, cost around $2.99.
Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine
This is a budget option for one who just has a budget of over $300. If you have already read our article about the espresso machine under $200, you shall know at this price range, you will have a semi-automatic machine with basic functionality. A 15 bar pressure pump will be an essential part of this kind of machine. However, just because of a little more budget, you will have a stainless steel model with a compact design which, if you don’t waste too much room of your kitchen, this one will be feasible.
This machine also features a milk frother. You can use it for a latte or cappuccino. Moreover, it could brew into a taller cup by removing the drip tray.
However, the warranty and quality of this machine may be questionable. You may need to cover the shipping cost yourself and ship it to them. And it may leak after a long time usage. Despite this, it is a good machine for its compact design.
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine
If you want a super-automatic espresso machine, you shall consider the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine. It features a burr grinder so that you can store the coffee bean in the container. And brew it while you need a cup of coffee without grinding yourself. However, if you feel that the grinder of it does not grind the fineness you like, you can grind yourself and pour the ground coffee into the bypass doser. It has a 5 grinder setting which will be sufficient for most people.
The machine also features a Gaggia Adapting System to learn about which the fineness of your coffee beans will give you the best taste. Besides, it also has a rapid steam system, you can make your latte and cappuccino as quick as possible without waiting. It is easy to use with a simple interface, i.e. dedicated buttons and an LCD screen.
This machine is also easy to clean. With everything you can pull from the front, you save your time going around the machine to clean it. All the parts needed to be clean like the tray, water reservoir, brew group and etc. are removable.
However, this machine only has one boiler, so you can’t brew and steam at the same time. Besides, it is of high maintenance. You need to refill the water every few days since it has only a 20-ounce water tank. And the puck drawer holds only 5 pucks. The water may leak some time after usage. The warranty for it may cost you some money for the shipping cost.
KitchenAid KES0504OB Nespresso Bundle
This is a Nespresso system that mainly focuses on making espresso. You can use it for latte and cappuccino because it has milk-frother. But, however, it does not have the milk tank. It has a brew strength selector which 6 pre-programmed strength. The heat start-up only takes 30 seconds. It is all metal which gives you a feeling of durable. It is compact so you can put it into your kitchen easily. The adjustable cup shelf could be used for different sizes of cups.
There are some problems with this machine. The first problem is the water reservoir. It is hard to remove for clean. Secondly, it only uses Nespresso pods. Adds the cost for a cup of espresso.
BREVILLE BES810BSSUSC BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine
This one is more affordable than the one BREVILLE BES840XL/A we have introduced. The main difference between these two models is the pressure gauge. If you are not that into tuning the pressure for a different taste of espresso, this one will meet your needs and save your money.
The BREVILLE BES810BSSUSC BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine also features a PID water temperature controller which will ensure the exact water temperature for extraction. It also has the pre-infusion system to pre-wetting the ground coffee bean for even extraction. Besides, the 61-ounce water tank will let you get away from refilling every day. You can also make one or two-shot at the same time.
However, the problem with this model will be the same as the BREVILLE BES840XL/A. The cost of repairing it after the warranty will be expensive.
Nespresso EN550B Lattissima Touch Original Espresso Machine with Milk Frother by De’Longhi
The De’Longhi Nespresso system could drive most of the aroma part of the Nespresso pods. It features 19 bars pump pressure which is ideal for the capsule. The speed-up technology from De’Longhi also makes it heat up quickly.
If you are a latte or cappuccino lover, this machine will be your favorite. It comes with a milk tank for a dedicated purpose: hot milk and foam. First, it has 6 tactile pre-programmed beverage buttons for different drinks: ristretto, espresso, lungo, hot milk, cappuccino, and latte macchiato. Secondly, it has an automatic cappuccino system that creates layered espresso and coffee drinks with a dense and rich foam. You will be surprised by its ability with milk and foam making.
However, it can only use the Nespresso pods which is expensive. And you can change the brew setting. If you are not that into latte or cappuccino, this one is not for you.
Saeco HD8645/47 Vapore Automatic Espresso Machine
The Saeco HD8645/47 Vapore Automatic Espresso Machine is a super-automatic machine. It features a 5-steps adjustable grinder which you can tune your fineness for the espresso. You can also adjust the coffee length. But despite these, you have no other control for your espresso. However, if you just want a cup of espresso with ease, this one is for you.
It also features a 15 bar pressure pump and a milk frother, so you won’t be disappointed at the coffee quality and you can make latte or cappuccino from it.
However, this machine is totally made of plastic. So it makes not be durable. The removable brew group is not that easy for cleaning. The drip tray may leak sometime. It is of high maintenance.
You will need to adjust your need for the price you can offer. Some machines have some advanced features like quick heat startup, but these features may add cost to you. So before you make a choice, you shall see if these features are needed. Say if you are an espresso lover but you are not that into the latte or cappuccino, then the advanced milk frother feature shall be removed from your needs.
Besides, you shall also take the warranty into consideration. Some machines will cost you a lot of repairing when the warranty expires. If the quality of the machine is bad, don’t buy it.
You shall also consider the cost of coffee. If you prefer the Nespresso machine, try to find one that can use other pods. The Nespresso pods are expensive.
Bars of Pressure
Today, most of the machine falls in this price range will provide at least 15 bars of pressure by default. If you happened to find one with low bar pressure, don’t even take a look at it since it is useless. However, for Nespresso, the optimal pressure would be 19 bars. For better extraction, you shall find one with 19 bars. For other kinds of the espresso machine, 15 bars is enough.
Semi-Automatic or Super-Automatic
The difference between semi-automatic and super-automatic machines is that whether you like to control the brewing process to make a cup of espresso you like. For someone who wants to experiment with the beans, pump pressure and pre-infusion, the semi-automatic one will be of a better choice. If you just want the machine to do all the things you need by one keypress to do the grinding and brewing, you shall choose the super-automatic one.
Ease of use
Some machines will be easy to use and some don’t. The design of the user interface shall be taken into consideration. Making up a coffee will be the talk between you and the brewing process but not the hard-to-use interface. Some machines use one key for multiple functionalities, you have to look up the user manual to know when to press for seconds and when to just press once. This will be hard for you to interact with.
Ease of cleaning
Washing an espresso machine could be easy or hard. Some espresso machines feature removable brewing groups, the water tank, drip tray, and the milk tank. You can take them out easily to clean. However, some don’t. You need to make sure the machine is easy to clean. My experience with some super-automatic espresso machines is bad. Why? The grounds will be stuck at the brewing groups and hard to clean them out. And some drip tray, you will need to brush it hard to clean the stain. So now every time I choose a machine, I will see if it is easy to clean.
If you are fond of latte and cappuccino, you shall find one with better milk frother functionality. Not milk frothers are the same. Some machines have made special designs for the milk frothers to make drinks easily. Some don’t even have a milk tank.
If you are always in a rush in the morning, you shall find a machine will quick heat-up time. Some machines have the ability to heat-up in a minute but some take longer.
Our best choice would be Breville BES840XL/A the Infuser Espresso Machine at this price range. It is semi-automatic and grants you the ability to control your coffee. If you are looking for a super-automatic one, our choice will be Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine. For Nespresso one, it will be Nespresso EN550B Lattissima Touch Original Espresso Machine with Milk Frother by De’Longhi.