In this article I will cover the best espresso machines fo beginners on a budget.
As a barista, I have been working with espresso machines my entire life. From super expensive professional models to cheaper amateur ones.
So I decided to do some research into the subject of affordable espresso machines for beginners so that you know where to look to find the perfect espresso machine to get you started.
Keep in mind that “budget” is a relative term so some of these might be on the more expensive side for some, but that’s to be expected.
Hamilton Beach – Top Pick
|D: 12, W: 9.6 H: 11.6 in
Hamilton Beach’s espresso maker is a fantastic choice for beginners seeking a budget-friendly option, offering essential features for crafting espresso.
This espresso maker boasts an expansive water reservoir, the convenience of brewing 2 cups simultaneously, an included milk frother, and a user-friendly interface, making it a perfect fit for newcomers to espresso making.
The ability to brew two cups simultaneously is particularly welcomed if your partner is in just as much of a hurry as yourself. The second person can brew their drink without waiting for the first one to finish and for the machine to reheat.
Thanks to the dual spouts, you can effortlessly pour two shots at once. If you prefer a stronger coffee experience, you can use the dual spouts to prepare a doppio (double shot) beverage if you’re enjoying your espresso solo.
The Hamiliton Beach may not win any beauty contests, but its practicality more than compensates.
With 15 bars of pressure, removable components for effortless cleaning, and a built-in frother for crafting milk-based drinks, it checks all the right boxes for a budget-friendly espresso maker.
Considering the cost savings on the espresso maker, you can allocate the funds you would have spent on a pricier model towards investing in a high-quality coffee bean grinder.
Gevi 20 Bar – Runner Up
|D: 11.3 W: 1.6 H: 12.3 in
The Gevi 20 bar Espresso machine is a great espresso machine for any beginner on a budget.
It is packed with features that are great for that daily use and It is one of the most widely used machines, with great reviews.
The value for money is important for anyone when buying their first espresso machine. You don’t want to throw away your hard earned cash on a machine that will just leave you wanting.
Fortunately the Gevi 20 bar gives you what you need and then some at a very reasonable price. Can’t complain about that deal..
I mentioned that this machine is perfect for that daily use and this is the main reason. Thanks to the thermoblock heating system this thing gets hot fast. No more waiting 15 min for a cup of espresso when you are running late for work.
If you put the Gevi into manual mode you can actually control the amount of water and espresso that the machine will make. Perfect for beginners that want to sharpen your skills and tinker a bit with your espresso to get it just right.
Klarstein Passionata Rosa – Best Automatic
|D: 14.57 W: 11.02 H: 14.96 in
The Passionata Rossa has some impressive reviews from customers, particularly among those venturing into the world of espresso machines for the first time.
Its straightforward elegance and excellent value make it an ideal choice for beginners.
Its elegant design sets it apart, offering a simplicity and beauty typically associated with higher-end machines.
One notable feature is the inclusion of a two-cup filter, which is perfect for couples or households with multiple espresso enthusiasts. Say goodbye to any arguments over who gets to brew first.
Setting up and operating this machine is a breeze. You don’t need extensive experience; it’s more of a plug-and-play experience, making it a perfect fit for beginners.
One minor drawback could be the size of the water tank, which some may find a bit small. However, for first-time machine owners, especially considering its affordable price, this is a relatively minor concern.
Laekerrt 20 Bar Espresso Machine – Best For Home
|D. 12.26 W: 5.49 H: 11.79 in
Larkerrt’s espresso machine is an excellent choice for those seeking a compact, space-saving design and are willing to invest a bit more for added comfort features, including a cup warmer.
This espresso maker from Larkerrt is tailor-made for small kitchens or coffee nooks, thanks to its compact size. Despite its small footprint, it manages to retain essential features like a removable water tank, which simplifies the cleaning process, and a milk frother, perfect for crafting lattes.
Now, let’s talk about its convenience-enhancing features.
The cup warmer is a handy addition, ensuring that your cups are preheated to facilitate a smoother espresso pour.
With just 30 seconds required to warm up the machine, this complements the dual-spout portafilter exceptionally well. This feature is particularly useful when there are more than two espresso enthusiasts in your household.
The dual spouts come into play here, as they can either produce two shots for a single individual or one shot for two people to share.
However, it’s worth noting that anyone desiring an espresso after the initial use will need to wait for about half a minute until it’s their turn to use the Larkerrt machine.
Nespresso Essenza Mini – Best Small
|D. 8.1 W: 4.3 H: 12.8 in
I know I might ruffle some feathers by adding this one to the list. A lot of people don’t consider Nespresso to be real espresso.
They feel that the process is to easy and that the capsules feels like cheating.
Nevertheless, there are advantages to this type of coffee. It offers a consistent way to obtain fairly decent espresso shots, and it doesn’t demand extensive cleaning or preparation.
Recently, notable coffee roasters have started producing their own capsules, which has added a more enjoyable dimension to the Nespresso experience.
You can even get your hands on reusable capsules, these things let you add your own bea grind straight into your nespresso. Great for the wallet as well as the environment since there is no need for the single use capsules.
The Essenza Mini is a charming little device, but it’s worth noting that while Nespresso machines are inexpensive upfront, the long-term costs can add up due to the expense of the capsules.
Espresso Machine Buying Guide For Beginners On A Budget
What should you look for in your espresso machine?
Bang for your buck
Espresso machines can be very expensive. Prices start at around 100 dollars and can go up to ridiculous levels. But more expensive does not always mean better.
So pick a price point that fits you and go from there. Around 200 dollars would be my recommendation for an espresso machine for a beginner on a budget. But there are great machines from about 100 bucks and up.
If you are looking for more ideas for espresso machines at lower prices, check out my article about Espresso Machines Under $200. If you want to take it up a notch be sure to check out my list of espresso machines bellow $ 1000.
Ease of use
To the beginner with an untrained eye an espresso machine can look quite daunting. Even though it is a lot simpler than it first looks, I would suggest starting out with a machine that is simple to useand then work yourself up from there.
If you feel intimidated by traditional espresso making then machines that use capsulescan be a great starting point.
Grinder selection over machine selection
The most important part is often forgotten when choosing your espresso making setup. The grinder. There is no simple answer here since what type of grinder you should use depends on your taste.
So do your own research into what grinder suits you, you can check online or just ask your local coffee shop what they use. When you know the burr size and shape you have the most important information.
If you are into lattes and cappuccinos you need a machine that can do the frothing. I would suggest going for espresso machines that have a built-in stem or automatic frother. In this case your best friend is a powerful boiler since that will determine how well the machine handles frothing.
Preparation time and quantity
How much coffee do you want to make? When do you need it? How often?
These are questions you should be asking yourself before making a choice. I would say that most people will be satisfied with a single boiler or at maximum a small dual boiler. ‘
This all depends on lifestyle and purpose so as long as you have that down you are good to go.
Wether or not your budget ends at $100 or $300 you are sure to find something in on this list.
Remember that the hardest part of getting started with espresso making is taking that first step of buying a machine and learning the basics. The rest will come naturally and you’ll have a blast while doing it.
So what are you waiting for? Choose one of these awesome machines and get brewing!
What Kind Of Espresso Machine Should A Beginner Get?
These models offer a good balance between control and ease of use, making them ideal for learning the basics of espresso making.
Pair it with a quality burr grinder, and you’ll have a solid setup to start your espresso journey.
What is a good cheap espresso machine?
Do Cheap Espresso Machines Make Good Espresso?
Yes, if you choose the right machine they can make very good espresso for the price. Just be sure to buy from a reputable brand with good reviews.