If the cost of your coffee addiction is mounting up and you don’t want to shell out on an expensive brewer, there is another option. Yes, that’s right, you can make a decent brew right at home with a relatively cheap espresso machine.
Below we give you the low down on the top choices for the best budget espresso machine, starting with our top picks for espresso and milky coffee:
Alternative Cheap Espresso Makers 2021
The 8 Best Budget Espresso Machines 2021
When researching which cheap espresso machine is right for you, it’s often a good idea to narrow down if you want an all-rounder, perfect single and double espresso, or a full-on cappuccino maker.
Whatever your preferences, below you’ll find 8 easy to use cheap espresso machines which will fit the bill.
While they have some similarities, such as applying at least 9 bars in pressure, they also all present their own unique advantages. Pay specific attention to the product tags to see which fits your preferences depending on what you enjoy!
When it comes down to pure single and double espresso shots, the De Longhi EC7202 shines as our top pick.
With dual functionality for grounds or pods and enhanced temperature controls, you can brew the best wallet friendly espresso right at home.
- Pressurized portafilter
- High-quality foam is easy to make
- Possible to use ESE pods + grounds
- Dual cup capacity
- Slightly more complicated to use than other machines
- The steam wand is a little short
This espresso machine has plenty of features that you don’t often find in other cheap espresso machines, never mind features that work as seamlessly as they do in this brewer.
Create milky coffee via a manual wand, which allows you to create foam exactly how you wish. It also captures any overflow into its drip tray for easy disposal.
There are also two separate thermostats to control water temperature and milk temperature. This feature is perfect if you are particular about the temperature of your cup of espresso.
It also has a pressurized filter basket. Which helps maintain pressure on the coffee grounds for an extended period, resulting in a better and more balanced shot for newbie brewers.
The filter holder has options for brewing one or two shots at a time. It also can accommodate an easy-brew espresso pod, which is a functionality that many at-home machines don’t have.
Unlike most other brewers, the EC702 also maintains an optimal temperature. Letting you brew one cup then another back-to-back without having to wait for the device to warm up.
Overall, one of the best cheap espresso machines available if you’re looking for the best, enjoy having more brew control and prioritizing espresso of a higher standard.
Related read: Full DeLonghi EC702 review
When it comes to budget espresso machines, this pick is ideal for those who want to brew milky coffee without guesswork and have aren’t super particular about shot quality.
- A full-on cappuccino machine
- Easily removable water tank
- The push-button operation takes the guesswork out
- Comes with a recipe book to help you get started
- Not made from stainless steel
- Not the best for the highest quality espresso
If you have experience or interest in making more advanced milky drinks, this cappuccino brewer might be for you. Especially if you want an automated option.
The Cafe Barista has a milk pitcher that automatically adds a layer of creamy froth to your drink. There’s also an adjustable knob that lets you adjust the air bubbles in the foam topping.
Regardless of which type of milky coffee you enjoy, you can select your choice of latte or a cappuccino, and the machine will froth your drink to your liking.
When you make each drink, an easy push-button control lets you choose whether you want a single or double shot.
After making each drink, you have the option to remove the pitcher and store any unused milk in the fridge.
Of course, espresso quality matters when making coffee. The Cafe Barista brews decent enough tasting coffee, perfect for adding steamed milk to but don’t expect it to kick the ball out the park based on its coffee quality alone.
Overall, a decent budget espresso machine choice if you enjoy milky coffee with little work.
Often, any espresso machine designed for use at home will have many plastic parts. These parts are prone to breaking. However, the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma is made of stainless steel, which both looks nice in any decor scheme and is less prone to damage.
- Stainless-steel espresso machine
- Thermal coil for consistent water temperature
- Comes with several accessories and has a built-in cup warmer
- Filter system delivers decent crema
- It can be challenging to assess if the water tank is empty without disassembly
- Lack of adjustable temperature controls
Like most higher-end machines, it has a 15-bar thermoblock pump that produces excellent espresso shots. But it also has a built-in dual-wall filter system that creates a thick crema.
The Breville also comes with more tools than most machines. You get a tamping tool, a measuring tool, a cleaning tool, and a stainless steel frothing pitcher.
While there is no precise temperature or flow control for the attached steam wand, this machine can still create quality foam and a cup of espresso to rival any of the other choices on this list.
Related Read: Semi Auto Espresso Machines
When it comes down to super cheap espresso machines, the De Longhi EC155 is a dependable brewer that delivers.
- Super cheap espresso machine
- Delivers decent espresso with little work
- Removable drip tray
- Drink temperature isn’t consistent
- Can’t fit a typical coffee mug under the nozzle
- Complete plastic exterior
When it comes to espresso machines under $100, there isn’t much that’ll rival the EC155 for value. Pair the fact the De Longhi comes packed with a wand for steam. You’re looking at some of the most affordable espresso at home available today.
Nonetheless, it lacks the temperature control and consistency you’ll find with other brewers on this list, and the pump doesn’t do well when using lighter roasted beans.
Overall, you can’t complain given its price point. It’s undoubtedly the best budget espresso machine under 100 bucks!
As one of the more affordable devices on the list, this device is relatively simple to use.
- Highly affordable espresso machine
- Compact size is easy to fit on almost any countertop
- The thermal block heating system warms up water very quickly
- Includes steam wand for cappuccinos and lattes
- It doesn’t have precise temperature controls
- Only a 40oz water reservoir
It’s probably not the best choice for people who are very picky about the quality of their shot of espresso. But, its smooth push-button operation lets you brew a shot of single and double espresso fast.
You can choose to brew one or two shots at a time, and for making lattes or cappuccinos, the attached manual steam wand lets you create creamy steamed milk.
Unfortunately, It doesn’t have isolated thermostats or all the controls that some more expensive espresso machines have.
On the flip side, it’s reliable enough and is straightforward if you’re new to brewing espresso.
Despite its affordable price, It comes equipped with a 15-bar pump for a rich taste. While it doesn’t mirror the standard of higher-priced devices on this list, it’s decent still.
The thermal block heating system also brings the water in the 40-ounce reservoir up to the necessary temperature almost instantly. This means you’ll spend less time waiting for the machine to be ready, and you can a brew decent tasting double shot of espresso quickly.
It’s also fast and easy to clean, so you can keep your coffee drinks tasting great with little aftercare.
If you’re looking for an espresso maker that’s a lot like an upgraded Keurig, this unique machine is worth a look. It’s essentially an automatic espresso machine that uses Nespresso pods vs whole beans.
- Easy to use
- Steamer included
- Has a sleek, modern aesthetic
- The most hands-off option
- Limited brewing options
- Some plastic components are prone to breaking
Making the perfect shot you can is often challenging, especially if you are new to it. However, this Nespresso is easy to use and takes the guesswork out of making lattes, cappuccinos, and more.
It is a significant departure from many coffee makers on the list given its pod system, but it’s worth discussing if you value affordable espresso with ease. Instead of using ground coffee beans to make espresso, this brewer uses Nespresso Vertuo capsules.
It also comes with a sampler pack of capsules, so you can sample them and discover which ones you like and want to buy more of. Although, It’s essential to note that this machine can only be used with brand-specific coffee capsules, thus limiting your options.
The capsules are used to make different coffee drinks, but it can be hard to make steamed milk using a capsule. That’s why the espresso machine comes with a standalone frother called the Aeroccino 3, perfect for milky brews.
Each capsule also comes imprinted with a barcode, which the device reads and uses to systematically adjust brewing parameters.
To be clear, this Nespresso isn’t a traditional espresso maker. But, when it comes to picking the best cheap espresso single serve brewer via an easy, one-touch operation, the Nespresso delivers. Double shot or single…You decide!
Related Read: Single Serve Brewers
This espresso machine is similar to the one mentioned above. It’s compatible with Vertuo coffee capsules and comes packed with the Aeroccino 3 milk frother included. However, it’s a slightly more affordable model due to its brewing capacity.
- Easy to use
- Brewing adjusts automatically
- Sleek black aesthetic
- This machine is somewhat prone to leaks
- Replacement Vertuo capsules are expensive
- You can’t use coffee grounds
The main difference is the water reservoir. The water tank is an attached cylinder, while the other Nespresso has a water reservoir integrated into the body of the machine.
Functionally speaking, they work almost identically. Both machines heat the water in 15 seconds, meaning you won’t have long to wait before drinking your cup of coffee.
With this device, you also receive a gift set of Vertuo capsules so you can try different flavors. There’s also a container for used capsules so you can discreetly dispose of them.
Even though you can brew your drinks with the simple touch of a button, it can make five different cup sizes. Like other Nespresso coffee makers, this machine can read the codes embossed on each capsule and adjust brewing parameters accordingly.
This budget machine from Krups is a compact and budget espresso machine. While being a smaller option, it still has many of the features of larger and pricier espresso machines.
- It’s one of the most affordable espresso machines
- Simple controls make it easy to operate and an ideal starter espresso machine
- Small, narrow machine fits easily on most countertops
- Build quality is not as durable as higher-end machines
- If you like your espresso shots sharp, this device might not be for you
When it comes to the best budget espresso machines, the Krups is one of the more affordable options on the list.
Like many branded machines, this one gives you some of the best and most versatile options. You can choose a one-shot or two-shot operation and use the wand to froth your milk and brew cappuccinos or lattes.
The 15-bar pump extracts the most flavor possible from ground coffee, and the manual steam wand lets you custom froth milk to combine with espresso.
Yes, Flair isn’t a typical espresso maker, and it runs at a slightly lower PSI. While most espresso machines are automated, the Flair is a sleek and beautiful manual espresso machine. Best of all, it makes a perfect portable espresso!
- It’s an ideal choice if you don’t mind doing some work for your double shot
- It has a uniquely beautiful aesthetic
- Portable espresso brewer
- Makes a perfect gift for a coffee aficionado
- It can be time-consuming to use
- Not for people who enjoy milky coffee
- You’ll need to heat water externally to use it
The Flair creates good and portable espresso shots with the power of elbow grease alone. You simply add ground espresso and hot water before pressing down.
The Flair espresso maker comes with a high-quality pressure gauge that indicates the target pressure range. Simply load your ground beans into the slot, add hot water and push down for your barista espresso!
This helps you create espresso shots with a rich crema. The package also contains a tamper tool to help you apply the right amount of pressure when adding the ground coffee to the press.
When it comes to cleaning, this espresso machine is straightforward to deal with as it can be taken apart to be washed.
If you want to prioritize enjoying portable espresso in a compact design and enjoy your brew black, this invention is a perfect addition to your travel bag. It also comes with a padded carry case, and it creates an artistic statement wherever you take it.
Related read: In-depth Flair review
What Should You Look For When Shopping For A Budget Espresso Machine?
You may or may not already have an idea of what the ideal espresso maker for you looks like.
Before you make a decision, it may help you to ask yourself the following questions:
How Much Do You Know About Budget Espresso Machines?
When reviewing espresso machines, you’ll see a few different types of equipment. They range from a non-electric press to a fully automatic espresso and cappuccino maker.
Budget is often a factor in choosing the type of machine you need. Your level of familiarity with espresso makers and your willingness to learn are essential factors.
If you have any barista experience, you likely won’t have trouble using a machine for coffee featuring this list with a manual wand for steam.
Although, if you have the skills needed to steam milk (or if you’re willing to practice and learn), you can learn to create the perfect foamy topping on your brew.
If you aren’t confident with this, you might prefer a machine with an automatic milk frother for easy and milky home espresso coffee.
Want to make your espresso machine experience as easy as possible? You might consider an espresso maker that’s compatible with capsules or espresso pods.
With this sort of device, all you need to do is load a pod, press a button, and let the machine do the rest. But, remember that capsule-based devices limit the type of coffee you can brew. Also, purists (current company included) would argue that real espresso comes from an espresso machine and not a single-serve brewer.
Do You Also Need Your Espresso Machine To Steam Milk?
Not all budget espresso machines include a way to steam and froth milk.
This could involve a manually-operated wand or an automatic frother instead. Other options, like hand-operated, lever-style espresso makers, do not include an option for frothing milk.
Prefer drinking lattes, cappuccinos, and other milky beverages?
You’ll likely want either a machine with a steam wand or a standalone frother, such as the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma. These sorts of extras can help a budget espresso machine double up as a cappuccino maker.
However, if you want to focus on crafting the best shots and a full barista experience, you don’t need all the bells and whistles. Instead, you might prefer a hand-operated semi-automatic espresso machine.
How Particular Are You About Espresso?
Some people prefer a straightforward espresso maker, which can quickly pull shots vs find the best brewer features and output wise.
Others would rather be able to dial in the right parameters to craft a quality espresso and not focus on a quick and easy option.
Neither choice is necessarily better than the other. But, considering how particular you are when it comes to coffee will help you choose the right espresso machine.
Some higher-end espresso and cappuccino makers let you control both the temperature of the water used and the temperature of your milky coffee froth. Generally, espresso makers with precise controls like this are more expensive, but you can still find them in some cheap espresso machines.
If you’re adamant that your cup of espresso must have a rich, balanced crema, machines with an additional filter might be a good choice when it comes to the best budget coffee maker for you.
Cleaning The Best Espresso Machines
Remember, even the best espresso machines will need aftercare and regular cleaning to avoid your daily espresso shot causing internal build-up.
Depending on how often you use it, this might be weekly or monthly. Nespresso’s will require less aftercare when compared to say a De Longhi espresso machine, but both will need a regular clean nonetheless.
Remember to rinse your water reservoir to avoid any build-up in this subsection.
The Final Verdict
In our search for the best budget espresso machine, our top choice is the Mr. Coffee Barista if you enjoy your lattes and milky drinks.
In our search for the best budget espresso machine, if you prefer focusing solely on quality espresso, the De Longhi EC702 is our favorite. When it comes to picking an inexpensive espresso machine for great espresso alone the De Longhi delivers and then some.
But, if you enjoy your lattes and milky drinks at the press of a single button check out the the Mr. Coffee Barista.