I get a lot of questions about espresso machines lately, mostly from people who really want to have one in their home, but they don’t really want to spend a fortune on it, or they simply want to know about the best ones regardless of price range, just in case its within their budget.
I’ll be glad to help you by giving you info about my favorite espresso machines that cost less than 1000 dollars, which, in a way, can still be considered inexpensive if we’re talking espresso machines, which can cost thousands of dollars once you get into the commercial models.
I have chosen three really high quality espresso machines that work well, brew delicious espresso, and will not cost you a whole lot of money.
To be honest, I always recommend the following espresso machines from one simple reason – if you don’t have a coffee shop, you do not need a gigantic and ultra expensive espresso machine.
My top three best espresso machines that are under 1000 are excellent for any household. Let’s begin.
My first recommendation is Breville 800ESXL, an espresso machine that has 4 stars on Amazon and is currently priced ridiculously low. It also gets high marks where ever you look.
Here’s what I love about this machine – the Breville 800ESXL poses some serious competition to any big and ultra expensive espresso machine.
First, its much smaller than most of them at 12 x 10 x 12.5 inches but it does excellent work and can fit easier onto your counter.
The Breville 800ESXL comes with a 75 Fl.oz removable front-fill water tank, 4-1/2-inch cup clearance and swivel steam wand with frother.
Besides that, filters and a decent tamping tool is included, as well as a cleaning tool and stainless-steel frothing pitcher.
Here’s a quick video review of this product with some tips and tricks.
Equipped with a 15 bar Italian pump and thermoblock heating system, the Breville has an auto purge system for resetting the temperature accurately for the next beverage to be dispensed. It is semi automatic.
The Triple Prime Pump releases 3 bursts of hot water that moistens the ground coffee which results in greater build-up to extract the fullest flavor. Fifteen minutes of pre-warming is enough before you start the brewing process.
The Breville 800ESXL is an espresso machine that has a hot water dispenser which can also help you make tea or hot chocolates as well other types of coffees (like my personal favorite – the Americano).
With one brew you can get two to five cups. For those that love having the control over the length of time it takes to pull your espresso shots (it is not self-automated).
Semi-automated, this is more of an ‘old school’ which does not make it less useful of good when making an espresso, but automation is something you pay for so that could explain the less costly price tag.
The only problem that I can see with the Breville here is its longevity once the one year warranty has expired. That said, its highly rated so there haven’t been too many instances of people having it conk out of them. Overall, it is not too big, won’t hog all your counter space and makes perfect coffee for the price.
Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine
Second on this list (which is in no particular order I might add) is the Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine.
This machine can range from $300-500 depending where you shop, so its comparable to the Breville above, and still not yet in the realm of extremely costly espresso machines for the home.
Here are the Gaggia Classic’s excellent features – starting with the fact that it’s stainless steel of course. Don’t ever buy an espresso machine that is made of something else.
If you didn’t know, Gaggia is a famous Italian manufacturer that produces manual and super-automatic espresso and cappuccino machines and has done so for a long time.
The overall wattage of all Gaggia machines is kept at 1425 watts.
Gaggia has a unique boiler system incorporated with 2 heating elements.
It has a 58 mm filters that usually is found in models that are a bit more expensive, but now Gaggia offers something more affordable and yet professional equal to any espresso machine you’ll find it your local coffee shop.
The 58 mm diameter helps the water distribute evenly over the entire surface. This way, it helps you to brew better espresso. Its Pannarello steam wand eases the brewing to a point where even an amateur barista can do it.
It comes with a 17 ½ bar pump, a high-voltage boiler and an independent expansion valve.
Gaggia has a 3-way solenoid valve that releases the pressure from the brass group head, making it instantly accessible to the porta-filter for immediate re-shot filling.
You can make two shots of espresso at once. The Gaggia Classic espresso machine does not come with a built-in grinder and tamper, as some of the more expensive models do.
The Gaggia Classic 14101 contains a super-conductive aluminum boiler that gets heated from two exterior elements on either side of the boiler.
This way, the Gaggia espresso machine is provided with heat distribution, even with the low-volume and high-wattage set up. This classic espresso machine has a fast heating time.
This machine comes with a three rocker arm that switches for full control, complete with temperature indication lights and a steam switch.
This way you can know instantly where in the extraction and brewing process your espresso is.
The Gaggia Classic also comes with a cup warmer that is big enough to preheat 5 cups at once (the original Italian espresso is served in a preheated cup). The heater is passive and it doesn’t need any extra power; it uses the residual heat created in the boiler.
And finally, we come to the fabulous Rancilio Silvia espresso machine, which currently has the largest price tag but is also arguably the most class act of all three of these machines.
The Rancilio Silvia is a quality, semi-automatic, entry-level commercial espresso maker. For home use, its almost top of the line.
Rancilio built this machine using internal parts made from copper, steel, and parts like they use in their commercial machines.
The Silvia easily makes eight shots a day without any problem and works perfectly for years.
The boiler of the Silvia is an internally heated, brass, 12 oz capacity 952 watt unit.
If you look at the inside the boiler, the new boiler Rancilio uses has a different heating element, which had a copper heating element.
This boiler is excellent for steaming milk-based beverages. Here’s a detailed video review of this product…
The Rancilio Silvia also has a three-way solenoid valve which takes the excess pressure and moisture off after you put your shot. It makes it easier to get the dry coffee puck out of the porta-filter, and it also reduces stress on other mechanical parts of the unit.
If you reach under the drip tray, you can feel the solenoid valve located there.
Brewing is done at around 200°; steaming is done in about 280°.
Always purge the water in the line first and wait until it turns steam. At this point you will be ready to begin steaming.
This is a durable home espresso machine that costs less than 1000 dollars and works perfectly.
It may be the most expensive on this list, but it is also the most durable based on clients reviews who said that they have been using it for five years.
These are my top three best espresso machines under $1000 that I recommend to anyone who loves espresso like myself, whether a newbie, a coffee enthusiast or a coffee aficionado.
There is no lofty philosophy behind the art of making the best espresso – all you need is a little practice and you will become a home barista.
The investment for any of these espresso machines is minimal (if we compare it to espresso machines that are real beasts and cost more than 2500 dollars) and yet they will do the necessary work for you. You will get your espresso quick and with minimal fuss.
Thanks for reading!