Have you been caffeinating lately? And are you considering buying an espresso machine? Then this article is specially for you.
Whenever we desire to purchase something, the first thing that comes to our minds is the budget and the assumed price, ain’t it? This is especially true in case of heavy investments.
And no doubt, buying an espresso machine does involve a hefty sum to some extent, specifically when you choose to buy a top-notch espresso machine.
But the choice of an espresso machine will greatly depend on your taste buds’ sensitivity and also on your espresso-making experience.
And we are here to help you choose a better espresso machine that falls within your budget and best-suits your preferences.
So in this article, you will have a deep understanding of what price range is best for you as a brewer and we will let you know how much you should spend on your espresso machine.
What is an espresso?
As you already know what an espresso is, I won’t tell you the usual definition of an espresso. But do you know why is espresso fancied by many, and envied by some?
It’s because espresso brings out the original coffee flavor and aroma from the coffee beans, which, when mixed with milk or so will lose its intensity.
And people who love an intense caffeine kick are hardcore fans of espresso. It gets the robust taste due to its high-pressurized brewing process that forces hot water into finely ground coffee beans, giving the resulting espresso a warm honey like consistency, reddish-brown hue, and a thick golden crema on top.
So you see, espresso requires a certain amount of pressure to make it the ideal one. And espressos made on stovetop appliances don’t give you the bold and rich espresso that you wanted. So it’s the one and only espresso machine that can give you a cafe-like espresso to start your day with.
And choosing an espresso machine with plenty of differences in the price and variation in the features is a difficult decision. Yet, there are some considerations that help you make the best espresso buying decision and leave you with no regrets.
How Much Should I Spend On An Espresso Machine?
What requires an espresso shot to be the perfect one? A temperature of 85°-95° Celsius, coffee grounds of 14-17 grams, brewing time of 20-30 seconds? Yes, these are essential for an espresso shot, but the espresso machine also contributes evenly to the espresso shot’s perfection.
So let’s find out the cost that you should incur on an espresso machine:
BEST FOR A NOVICE HOME BREWER:
If you are a novice home coffee brewer and have just started out the journey of making espresso, then an entry-level espresso machine costing less than $200 would do.
At this price range, you get an espresso machine that brews decent espresso and gives you more control over it.
You can find much better espresso machine in the upper end of this price range. And make sure, you purchase a manual espresso machine when you go for a low price tag, because they usually have a pressurized filter basket that helps in extracting more flavours from the coffee beans.
Choosing an automatic espresso machine under $200 would not be a smart decision on your part, as its manual counterparts work more efficiently.
Also, try to avoid cheap espresso machines with a grinder, as the resulting coffee grounds may be inconsistent and therefore hamper the brewing process.
So better go for a manual espresso machine which also has a steam wand to help you froth and steam milk. And now you can satisfy your craving for a milk coffee drink under a low budget within the comfort of your home.
BEST FOR INTERMEDIATE HOME BREWERS:
As an intermediate home brewer, you’re well aware of how to use an espresso machine, and moreover, your tastebuds may also demand something more from your espresso.
So at this point, you should look for an espresso machine within the price range of $400-$800.
The machines under this price tag, have a decent grinder and a quite good built quality. The features are also improvised along with many customisable options.
Furthermore, you also observe a vast difference in the quality of espresso. No doubt, your espresso’s taste is directly proportional to the price of the espresso machine.
Espresso machine under this price category also allows you to make latte art, as they can produce microfoam and have commendable steam wands.
However, the manual espresso machines under this category, probably do not have a grinder, so I suppose you have to buy fresh pre-ground beans.
At the upper end of this price range, you get pretty good automatic espresso machines with grinders, tampers, steam wands and some also with a one-touch espresso or cappuccino drink.
FOR PROFESSIONAL HOME BARISTAS:
Are you a barista at your home? And love crafting beautiful, aromatic espresso shots and coffee beverages? Then the espresso machines within the price range of $800-$2000 are the ideal ones for you.
Moreover, if you are a very busy person and don’t have time handling a manual espresso machine, there’s a surprise for you, the super-automatic espresso machine!
Yes, at the upper end of this price tag, you can grab a super-automatic espresso machine that does everything, right from grinding the coffee beans, filling the basket, tamping the grounds to brewing the espresso.
It also steams milk for the milky beverages and empties the used grounds into the refuse tray. So all you have to do is place a cup underneath the brew head and the rest is handled by the espresso machine. Interesting!
However, you also find great manual and automatic espresso machines within this price range, giving you more control over your brewing process.
Yet, the automatic espresso machines still have advanced features such as a touchscreen user-interface, dual-boiler, PID temperature controller, Wi-Fi connectivity, and they are also controllable via your mobile phone. Alongside, the espresso quality is much better and the espresso machines have a durable body.
FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES:
The commercial espresso machines are completely different from the home espresso machines.
They usually are more powerful, heavily built, have more group heads, two steam wands, two bean hoppers, a professional grinder, advanced features, are directly connected to the water line, have a customisation menu, and whatnot.
And a good commercial machine will have a price ranging from $2000 to $35000. The espresso machines at the higher end of this price range are the premium ones, they’re seriously expensive than a mid-sized car.
You can also get the best super-automatic espresso machines at this price tag, making your tasks super easy. Such machines have a good design, a durable built quality, have almost all the features, and most importantly, brew the perfect shot of espresso.
So if you’re happening to buy a commercial espresso machine under this price range, then it’s probably a good decision, as your customers leave happily after tasting your cafe’s espresso and coffee beverages.
Your commercial espresso machine selection will also depend on the volume of your business:
- Low-volume machines serve 50 cups a day.
- Medium-volume machines serve 200 cups a day.
- High-volume machines serve 500 cups a day.
If you’re having an independent coffee shop, then we recommend you buy a high-volume espresso machine that ranges between $13000 to $30000.
The low-volume espresso machines are designed for office spaces, the medium-volume ones may serve a small coffee shop effectively, whereas a high-volume espresso machine may be best for independent large cafes and you can expect a fair sales volume of around 250-300 cups per day.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Which grinder is better? Blade grinder or burr grinder?
When buying a grinder, make sure that you purchase a burr grinder to grind your coffee beans. Because blade grinders only break the coffee beans unevenly, whereas burr grinders ground the coffee beans to the preferred grind size. Baratza coffee grinders are highly recommended due to their high performance.
- Can you rent an espresso machine?
Yes, you can easily rent a commercial espresso machine, but not a home espresso machine. If you’re just starting in the coffee brewing industry and have opened a small cafe, then renting is an option for you. By renting you can save several thousands of bucks and get a high-volume espresso machine for $100 to $300 monthly plan.
- What affects the price of an espresso machine?
The reason espresso machines are priced higher is due to their built-quality, customisation settings, in-built grinders, dual boilers, classy design, ease of use, and their versatility. All these factors tend to increase the price of an espresso machine along with the advanced features that they provide.
- Should I choose manual espresso machine or automatic espresso machine?
The choice between a manual espresso machine and an automatic espresso machine is completely dependent upon you. If you like crafting your espresso cup manually, then manual espresso machine is best for you. But if you prefer little to no control over your espresso machine, then go for an automatic one.
- Is it worth spending on an espresso machine?
Yes, if you want to increase your savings by not spending money on your daily coffee at the expensive cafe, then an espresso machine is what you need. It’s a one-time investment and pays you several times over the cost. Moreover, you can modify your coffee as per your will and desire if your espresso machine allows you for it.
Now you know how much to spend on an espresso machine. Whichever espresso machine you select, make sure that it meets all your requirements so that you don’t feel devastated later. Plan a budget, make a list of the features that you want in an espresso machine, and buy the one that perfectly fits your expectations and brews fantastic espresso.
So have you decided which one to buy?