Best Espresso Machines Under $500

Best Espresso Machines Under $500 in 2021

Gossiping grinder might spill the beans but don’t you stop yourself from getting an espresso machine that does more than just grinding and making espresso.

And if you think money is your concern, then HAKUNA MATATA! We have come with the list that will never ask you to break the bank.

So, prep yourself, because you will be meeting 8 best espresso machines under 500 that have impressed us and made us go wow!

They have almost all the features that are required to make you a pro barista besides giving you a good kick start.

Our Favorite product:

Before we talk about the all 8 best espresso machines under 500, let’s just highlight the product that we felt best of the best. And that is the model BES870XL by Breville. It happens to be a very old model but it has all the qualities to lead and dominate the market. The machine features built in grinder that grinds beans freshly for you so you can get to enjoy its taste and aroma. Plus, you will also be impressed by its performance and quality that are what impress you the most. Not just that, the brand also offers a lot of essentials that are required for the machine to give you the ultimate feel of convenience. And that’s budget friendly gevi 20 bar espresso machine review is for you!

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Here are 8 best espresso machines under 500 reviews:

Breville BES870XL Expresso Machine

Do you know how the best espresso machines under 500 look like? If not then you haven’t met this BES870XL by Breville yet which is so great that even words can’t espresso.

This model will give you an in-built burr grinder so it can grind the beans for you. Plus, there will also be a dial that will enable you to adjust the preferred amount and size of the beans.

That’s not the end! The highlight of the unit is its single or double filter basket that lets the grinder adjust automatically so that you get the right amount of coffee grounds for your shot.

Besides, you will also have a 54mm porta-filter that will take the fresh grounds into the filter right after you push it into the grinding cradle.

The best part is that the grinder will get shut off automatically after it is done. So, you don’t have to sweat the improper amount. The bigger benefit is that you will also have 54mm tamper with the unit so you can ensure evenly pressed grounds for the best result.

BES870XL uses a 1600W Thermocoil heating system that helps in maintaining the temperature of water. It also features 15 bar Italian Pump that provides you with consistent brewing to give you the best flavor while delivering absolute volumetric control.

Not just that, you will also have an option to choose between two presets for volumes of 1 or 2 cups. To add more, you will be able to control the settings manually so you can get the amount of shot you prefer.

There will be a removable water tank that comes in 2 liter. You might not find yourself satiated with the tank volume as it requires frequent refill indicating your inconvenience.

However, the unit will provide you with a water filter as well so it can help in reducing impurities and scale. To add more, you will also get a 360-degree swivel steam wand that will add frothy milk to the top of espresso to bring a change.

Furthermore, the machine comes with a half-pound bean hopper which is removable through a lock system. The drip tray that it comes with is also removable and helps a lot in catching leftover to keep you away from a mess. Although the brand boasts that the machine does not make any mess but as per some users, it does, to some extent. And all of them hated cleaning the machine which they felt time consuming.

Some of the users also did not like the plastic top and bottom claiming them to be cheaply made.

Pros

  • Grinder helps grind the fresh beans for you evenly and consistently.
  • Features manual and automatic settings.
  • Dial helps in adjustment of bean’s amount and size.
  • Able to make coffee of any type.
  • Includes essential accessories.
  • Offers consistent brewing.
  • Easy to assemble and use.
  • Hopper holds enough beans.

Cons

  • Water tank requires frequent refill.
  • Makes a lot of mess.
  • Plastic top and bottom.

Breville BES840BSXL Espresso Machine

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Wanna see a miracle of chemistry in a cup? Then you will have to get this BES840BSXL by Breville which is ‘yet again’ one of their best espresso machines under 500.

The first thing that gets your attention is its pre-infusion function which is basically a process of soaking the grounds for a few seconds in porta-filter with low water pressure before extraction. As a result, it expands the grounds gently before getting to high pressure so you can get the most even extraction and the best espresso flavor to enjoy.

Speaking more of the infuser, it uses PID technology which is a digital temperature control system that helps in detecting the fluctuation during extraction so it can minimize the issue and make sure that the temperature is kept at an ideal range.

In addition to this, you will find a steam wand with the infuser that enables you to try for a latte art by turning your milk into a smooth and silky foam.  

Moreover, you will also have 1650W thermocoil heating system that comes with water coil so it can control the temperature of water precisely and maintain it. Plus, there will be full volumetric control that you can attain through its 15 bar Italian Pump.

Unlike most other machines, this BES840BSXL promises to dose 19g to 22g of ground coffee which is pretty enough to give you the taste you wish for.

Moreover, it also runs an Auto Purge function after you use the steam function so it adjusts water temperature automatically and you can extract the espresso instantly. It is a great feature to make you know that the water at target temperature is getting used for extraction.

Just like the previous one, you will also get single and dual wall filter basket that provides you with the right amount of shot through automatic adjustments. There will be stainless steel jug, coffee scoop, water filter holder, cleaning desk and tables as well as cleaning tool coming with the unit.

More importantly, you will get a 1.8L water tank that is yet again very inconvenient because of constant refill. Other than this, you might get to face to two more downsides. One is that the steam takes ‘forever’ to get hot and come out and that you cannot steam and brew at one fell swoop. Secondly, users found it very difficult to take the coffee filter out of the handle part for cleaning it up properly.

Pros

  • Pre-infusion function helps you get even and balanced extraction.
  • PID technology helps detect and fix temperature fluctuation issues.
  • Comes with steam wand for discovering latte art.
  • Warrants you to dose 19g to 22g of ground coffee.
  • Auto Purge function uses target water temperature for espresso.
  • Includes essential accessories.
  • Offers great tasting coffee regardless the type.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • Small water tank, so there will be frequent refilling factor.
  • Takes time to make the hot steam come out.
  • Removing coffee filter can be a hassle.

Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine

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Brera espresso machine by Gaggia surely does not make your heart skip a bean. Besides being one of their best espresso machines under 500, it does a lot more than you expect.

One of the best features of this best quality espresso machine is that it has rapid steam technology. With this, you will be able to enjoy rapid heat up times which is as quick as 10 seconds while providing you with other steaming and brewing operations. Not only you can use ground coffee but also it lets you use whole coffee beans.

Moreover, there will be Pannarello steam wand which is an intake hole that draws off air right into the milk to get you a rich foam for lattes and cappuccino. The wand can also be used as hot water dispenser for tea and other beverages.

Coming with a burr grinder and bypass doser will be a great privilege to have since it will grind the whole bean and brew to present you the rich espresso flavor.

Moreover, the way it has been engineered has made all the reach accessible that made the machine easier to use. All you will need to do is that pull the water tank and the dreg box from the front and get the easy access.

Plus, you will also love its compact design that makes it slide beneath the kitchen cabinet easily just at 12.4 inches while leaving  a lot space free.

The icing on the top is its LED display that contains all the controls backed by illuminated icons to make the machine user friendly.

The water tank can be a pain although since it comes in just 1.2L which is way smaller than many of the other tanks. Speaking more of the downsides, it requires a lot of care and maintenance if you want to run it properly. Not only that, you will not be getting any water filter with the unit but you can buy it separately.

Pros

  • Rapid steam technology offers rapid heat up time.
  • Comes with burr grinder and doser to complement the unit.
  • Pannarello steam wand for getting you silk and smooth foam.
  • User friendly design for easy access.
  • User friendly display with backlit LED.
  • Compact design for easy accommodation.
  • Offers great tasting coffee regardless the type.

Cons

  • Water tank is small.
  • Requires a lot of maintenance.

DeLonghi America Inc. EC685M

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Even DeLonghi owns a lot of the best espresso machines under 500 and you can reward yourself one in the form of EC685M.

The machine features 15 bar pressure so it can make sure you get fine and flavorful result every time. Meanwhile, you will have adjustable control to let you personalize the flavor that will suit your taste. No matter what you wish for, be it latte or cappuccino, single or double, this unit will brew the kind of beverage so you can enjoy sipping it inside your home.

There will  be a frother that you can use to adjust the steam and foam levels for customizing different beverages and relish it. The weak link is that it creates forth more than necessary in a short span. However, that issue is still manageable.

The Auto Flow Stop function is a big plus since it just dispenses the right amount and stops overflowing. But that is all for little cups. If you prefer to have beverage in bigger mugs, you can adjust or take out the drip tray easy to fit them and fill them.

The 40 seconds heat up time is a big relief since you don’t have to wait much to get your espresso.

You will get a 1.03L water tank that helps fill up 5 to 6 cups for a whole day before you refill it.

Although some of you might hate the flashing lights while using the control but this is a minor complaint. The bigger gripe you might find is that the unit will require you to get under the holder and pull the basket to get it out of the latter. Because, users seriously felt that a hassle.

Pros

  • Adjustable control for customized flavor.
  • Frother offers  adjustment as well.
  • Auto Flow Stop stops unit from overflowing.
  • Drip tray can be adjusted or removed for fitting bigger mugs.
  • Quick heat up time.
  • User friendly design for easy access.
  • Makes great tasting espresso or other beverage.

Cons

  • Frother might create too much froth.
  • Removing the basket is hassle.

Philips Saeco HD8645/47

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May your espresso kick in before reality does with this great Philips Saeco that happens to another best espresso machines under 500.

Coming with ceramic grinder, the unit offers high quality performance with freshly ground coffee beans to give you a good morning start.

Not just that, the grinder features 5 settings to let you personalize the grind according to your taste for presenting you the kind of beverage you want.

The machine also features milk frother which is a wand to steam the milk and provide you with smooth and creamy textured foam.

Although the machine comes in ABS plastic, yet you will find it very high quality to last long and perform strong.

The best thing is that the unit features heating boiler technology so that it brews the coffee cup super-fast and lets you have the taste of it one after another without waiting. But don’t drink it too much mate!

Plus, the machine comes equipped with Vapore that has been designed so it can clean the circuit with water automatically by turning on or off the unit. This helps make a lot of difference in the taste since it focuses on giving you a fresh cup.

Let’s not also forget about customization feature that it offers through memo function that lets you adjust the length of coffee with just press of a button.

Although it comes in compact design, the unit can fit easily into any space in your kitchen. You might not like the fact that it does not accommodate a big coffee cup under the dispenser due to the design but that it should not be a big deal any way.

The issue is with the water tank that comes less than a liter in volume and requires to be refilled pretty often. Besides, it will also need you to hold the froth cup while steaming that can make you consider it an extra effort.

Pros

  • Ceramic grinder offers even and fresh ground beans.
  • Comes with five grinder settings for the strength of espresso.
  • Milk frother offers creamy foam.
  • Heating boiler technology provides quick heat time.
  • Vapore helps clean the circuit automatically.
  • Memo function helps adjust the length of coffee.
  • Able to fit in any space.
  • Offers great and rich taste.

Cons

  • Might not fit a big cup beneath the dispenser.
  • Holding the froth cup feels a hassle.
  • Water tank needs to be refilled frequently.

Nespresso Citiz C111

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Behind every active person is sufficient amount of espresso, and behind every perfect espresso is a great machine that produces it. And that unit can be this Citiz C111 by Nespresso.

The brand offers two backlit buttons that you can reprogram to adjust volumes for both espresso and lungo. Coming with a folding or pivoting drip tray, it makes the machine more welcoming for taller mugs to accommodate.

You will also love its Aeroccino Plus milk frother that will just take one tap to prepare milk foam be it hot or cold for your favorite coffee beverage.

Additionally, there will be 19 bar pump letting it extract flavorful espresso while forming a dense and smooth crema and diffusing a strong aroma. It will just take 25 seconds, yes that much fast to heat up the system and reach the target range of temperature. Although some of you might think that it does not make coffee ‘too hot’, but that is a minor weak link.

Plus, you will also be welcomed with a set of 16 capsules possessing different aromas. You can also try each till you find your favorite. Speaking of the capsules, they have been prepared with high quality coffee and sealed hermetically to give you the greatest enjoyment. The machine is eligible to hold 10 used capsules with easy inserting and ejection feature.

Besides, the unit is equipped with 1L water tank that is sufficient enough for the size. However, it is essential to align water container properly or else you will be facing leaks from it.

That said, the design of the unit makes it very impressive to grab for home use. There is no shut off button but it manages to go off after 9 minutes if not used. So, there is indeed an energy saving function to save you from uplifting the bill.

The big plus is that the unit is able to grant you the kind of espresso you want. Albeit it makes noise but you can forgive that.

Pros

  • Comes with two backlit buttons for adjusting volumes.
  • Pivot the drip tray for accommodating taller mugs.
  • Able to make dense and smooth crema.
  • Takes 25 seconds to heat up the system.
  • Comes with a set of 16 capsules.
  • Compact design so can be fit anywhere.
  • Features energy saving function with auto shut off.

Cons

  • Loud.
  • Container leaks easily if not aligned properly.

Espresso Works AEW1000

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It might not be easy for you to espresso yourself unless you are consuming the beverage. For this, you will surely need one of the best espresso machines under 500 and that you can get from EspressoWorks.

With just 45 seconds, the system will be all ready to be used. Coming with advanced 15 bar Thermo-block technology, the machine is able to get heated up at ideal temperature.

The unit will give you stainless steel frothing cup so you can prepare your favorite drink easily with creamy and smooth foam.

The big plus is that the brand brags about its ease of maintenance and you get enjoy the advantage through removable frothing device and drip tray that ensures hassle-free cleanup. Speaking of the frother, you might find the wand a tad flimsy, but it does bring out the best version of milk and creamy coffee.

Not just that, its included porta-filter baskets are another great essentials that let you pull a single or double shot during extraction.

The Bean Grinder is a great addition that grinds the bean freshly for you to get yourself a flavorful taste using 135W. Albeit some of the users were not found very pleased with the grinder, but it does a satiating job.

The unit comes with a water tank that is removable and transparent. It comes in 1.25L capacity that will definitely make you refill it almost every day.

It also includes other essential items such as measuring spoon and tamper and two espresso cups. So, you will get almost everything in a package with such a cool tool. However, the unit will not be very user-friendly at first, but once you start using it, you will get the hang of it.

Pros

  • Quick heat up time.
  • Comes with stainless steel frothing cup.
  • Includes grinder for freshly ground beans.
  • Includes porta-filter baskets and espresso cups.
  • Transparent water tank helps you check the capacity.
  • Able to make rich and flavorful espresso.
  • Comes with Measuring spoon and tamper.

Cons

  • Flimsy wand.
  • Grinder is a disappointment.
  • Takes time to get the hang of it.

Nespresso C122-US-CH-NE Citiz

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Espresso is a kind of drink that has the power to put you sleep if not drank. So, if you wanna avoid oversleeping, then get this C122-US-CH-NE Citiz which Nespresso boasts to be their best espresso machines under 500.

Besides offering rich and flavorful espresso, this unit provides you with 19 bar high pressure pump to get you that desired result. The system will take as quick as 25 seconds just to heat up.

For saving you from hiked bills, the machine will turn itself off automatically that boasts much about its energy saving function.

There will be two buttons for espresso and lungo that you can program to adjust the size of both the beverage. The buttons might confuse you at first since both look the same. But if you take a closer look, you will realize that the espresso button has this smaller icon of cup than that of lungos. So, this disappointed some users a little.

However, you will love Aeroccino milk frother that helps in preparing both espresso and milk froth simultineousle no matter the baverage is hot or cold. The only upsetting part is that the lid of frother is flimsy and it can wear out too soon. And you also need to check the flow of frother since it does overrun sometimes.

Nonetheless, the machine comes with foldable drip tray that you can adjust to fit different sized cups. There will also be removable capsule container that can hold about 11 used capsules. Moreover, the unit also lets you insert and eject the capsules easily. Talking about capsules, they are sealed hermetically and recyclable so you can get the most unique taste from your beverage.

Pros

  • Quick heat up time.
  • Energy saving function.
  • Lungo and espresso buttons for programming size.
  • Aeroccino milk frother helps prepare espresso and froth simultaneously.
  • Foldable drip tray to fit different sized cup.
  • Offers great tasting espresso.
  • Easy to use and maintain.

Cons

  • Flimsy frother lid.
  • Frother overruns sometimes.
  • Buttons for espresso and Lungo can confuse you.

THE BUYING GUIDE:

Things to consider:

Design and Dimensions:

You might want to grab a gorgeous espresso machine but this should not be something to be given full attention. Because the main factor does not lie in the look, but in the design and size of the unit. So, if you look for the espresso machine, make sure you get the one that can fit well in your kitchen cabinet or other area easily. You will get a lot of compact machines under 500 bucks that do not occupy that much space rather free it with its design.

However, talking about the size, if the machine has grinder then you do will need extra room in the space to get it fit into it.

Temperature:

One of the essential factors of getting a rich tasting espresso is the maintenance of a consistent temperature while brewing or steaming. Although, you will get a water heater with most of the units under 500 bucks, however, it will let the machine do one task at a time. So, you can either extract your espresso or heat the milk.

And since both the operations require two separate temperature ranges, different machines deal with task differently. If you have single thermometer equipped with the unit, it will help in managing the temperature. Meanwhile, the dual thermometer will help in offering more consistent temperature be it for extraction or steaming. 

You can also look for PID technology which is stated to be an advanced mechanism that helps in controlling thermo-block temperature around a certain range.

Grinder:

While some of the machines come with a built in grinder, some don’t. But, this factor should not affect you so much if you think you are getting a better unit without the grinder. However, this part of the machine still can be of a great help if it’s incorporated because this makes the espresso very balanced and rich by creating the most consistent grounds with a few settings. If you want such flavorful taste, then you will need a unit with grinder.

Albeit under 500 bucks, you won’t get grinder if you look for semi-automatic units. But there are many super-automatic models that do come with a grinder.

As for the type of the grinder, the two mainstream types to speak about are Burr grinder and blade grinder. The burr grinder helps in producing evenly sized granules so you can get a flavorful extraction. And the blade one does the opposite by chopping the pods unevenly and because of this, you can get to feel inconsistency in taste. Hence, if you want a rich espresso, you will need a burr grinder unit.

If you want to use it at home, you can look for ceramic burr grinders since they are better at performances. If you want more option, then flat or steel conical will do too.

When looking for grinder, you will also need to take three settings into consideration: fine, medium and coarse. The rule of thumb says that the more the setting, the better the control you can get over the ground texture. As you will be hunting down the machine under 500, you will get about 3 to 5 settings at least in the price range.

Steam wand:

If you are into espresso as well as milk based espresso, then a steam wand can be your favorite feature. So, if you look for such feature, you will need to ensure the quality of the wand which can maintain temperature consistently. Because with such good quality wand, you will get to witness the ASMR of creamy micro-foam which can make you an expert in latte art especially.

However, there are many machines that come with Pannarello attachment which happens to be a great wand type for providing milk based coffee. The micro-foam will not be perfect for the big bubbles produced by the wand, yet you can use it to get your desired coffee style. But we would like to suggest you to check if the wand is removable for your convenience.

Water heater:

Espresso machines under 500 bucks usually come with thermo-block system for heating the water. It although provides less consistency in temperature but if the unit has PID mechanism, it can help in overcoming the problem. However, you should know that thermo-block unit does not let you brew and steam at the same time. You will have to do the task separately.

Auto Purge:

The temperature of thermo-block tends to increase after using the steam function. And it takes time for thermo-block to cool when switching to brew. But having an Auto Purge function can be of a great help as it sends cold water through thermo-block from the tank and speeds up the process. Plus, the function also helps in preheating your espresso cup as well as cleaning the steam wand.

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Benefits:

Barista style shot at home: The first benefit that an espresso machine will give you is that the feeling of barista style coffee right at home. 

You don’t need to visit coffee shops anymore and spend money on them since you can get the privilege close to your hand. These machines are able to produce the kind of coffee you want with some adjustments and customizations that you have control of.

Convenience: When you will have a coffee party at your house and people will come and ask for coffee, you will realize how an espresso machine can be of a great help. You will need to put way less effort in making coffee than making it manually. Not only that, you can make both with rich flavor and aroma at ease. Besides, you can also make barista style coffee right at your home and you don’t have to spend bucks. You will have all the freedom to take the sip of that bliss anytime you want regardless of the number of cups.

Ease of use: You don’t need to have the skill to use the espresso machine. Instead, having a machine will help in improving your skill, and you will get to taste different kinds of espresso-based drinks at different time. And there are many machines that come with frothing wand that incites a skill of latte art besides getting creamy and smooth milk coffee.

Options: You will get exposed to a variety of options when using an espresso machine. Such unit gives you the privilege to let you drink different kinds of coffee, be it espresso, latte, lungo, tea, Americano and what not. You can mix all the coffee ingredients and experiment with them to try different taste.

Health perks:  Drinking espresso can help protect your body from several diseases. It does not only keep your  body safe but also keep the calorie count of your body low. If you consume espresso regularly with some certain limits, you can feel active for all day and this will let you push to work out without getting tired.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: What is the ideal temperature of brewing?

A: The ideal temperature of brewing should be around 190 degree Fahrenheit to 196 degree Fahrenheit. It is controlled by the thermostat of the unit. By the time it gets in your cup, the brew temperature will go down to 160 degree Fahrenheit to !65 degree Fahrenheit because of air, the temp of cup and brew group.

Q: How do coffee grounds impact espresso taste?

A: The size of bean grounds that you used to make the espresso impact the extraction that leads it to influence the flavor eventually.

Extraction is occurred when it’s measured with a quantity of soluble flavors dissolving from grounds in water and the time when water streams right to the drink. It is said that the perfect extraction falls in the range of about 18% to 22%. So, this way, coffee grounds influence the taste of espresso.

Q: What else can you make with espresso machine other than espresso?

A: Other than espresso, you can make a variety of brew using just an espresso machine so it will not limit you to one type. You will be able to make cappuccino. For that, the espresso goes at first and it is followed by milk getting steamed. There will be wand, that will let you have the creamy foam through which you can enjoy your cappuccino.

Same goes for latte albeit it’s a cappuccino in reverse. Here, you froth the milk up while making your espresso and leave the wand in the milk to let it build. After you prepare both the stuff, you first pour the milk and then the espresso right to the center of the beverage on top. You can also make other espresso based baerage such as lungo, Americano and macchiato.

Last shot!

Right after such equipment have appeared in the market, it changed the way and tradition of making the drink just like it brought coffee bar to your home.

But that’s not the only thing that this cool machine did, there are a number of advantages that are yet to be even explored.

So, once you grab a machine for yourself from the list, you can get the chance of exploring them and have different flavored drink from it.