Making high quality espresso in your home can be very rewarding, and it saves you times and money in the long run. It can is so satisfying when you find that perfect grind of espresso, water volume, and froth your own milk to perfection. While the coffee house is good, doing it yourself just gives you a new level of appreciation and satisfaction for the coffee in your hand.
Espresso machines under $1,000 normally come in super automatic and semi-automatic types, as manuals tend to be in the higher price range. Once you are in this price range, you have a lot more options to choose from when compare to the under $500 range. These machines can also be full size or compact, depending on what your preference is. This guide will aid you choose the best espresso machine for you.
Our Top Pick
The Rancilio HSD Silvia is our top pick when it comes to the best espresso machine under $1,000. This is a solid machine built with high quality products and comes at a good price. Compared to the other machines in its class, this one comes out a step ahead. The commercial grade steam wand is a feature that most people love. It creates the perfect milk froth for your cappuccinos and lattes.
The Silvia is a semi-automatic espresso maker, so if you are looking to upgrade or get into the semi-automatic class, then this machine is a good first choice. Both the interior and exterior of the machine are made with high quality and/or commercial grade materials. The heating element can easily be removed for cleaning or repairs so your machine will last longer. In addition, in case the heating element does need to be repaired, you do not have to send the entire machine in, which is nice.
The Rancilio HSD Silvia is a dependable, simple to use machine. It is perfect for a two person household and making coffee drinks on a regular basis. The espresso machine comes at a good price as it is in the middle price point when compared to its competitors. It does has a single boiler and with a two quart water tank. In addition, a coffee school, plastic tamper, and filter baskets come with this machine.
The semi-automatic espresso machine make consistent coffee house style drinks. Furthermore, its sleek and stylish design is made of stainless steel and iron, so it will look nice on your countertop as well. The machine is built for baristas and aspiring baristas alike.
Various Types of Espresso Machines
Before you start shopping, there are some things to know about the various types of espresso machines that are available in the under $1,000 price range. Once you understand the different types of machines, you will be better able to choose the one that will fit your personal style. Some espresso machines you are able to use right out of the box without any problems, where others may take a little time, practice, and reading the instructions if you have never used certain types before. This is an important aspect to think about because it will affect how much you will use the machine.
Manual/Piston Espresso Machines
Also known as piston espresso machines, manual espresso machines are stylish and put out delicious espresso. They give you total control over each and every espresso shoe you make. Manual espresso machines do not normally come in around under $1,000 as they are higher end machines. Yet, it is good to know the difference between the various machines.
The manual espresso machine includes a piston, level, boiler, grouphead, and a portafilter. Once the boiler reaches the right temperature, you lift the lever up. After you raise the lever, the piston pushes the water into the boiler and into the coffee grounds, which are located in the portafilter. Once through the portafilter, the espresso drips out of the machine and into your cup.
The piston espresso machines take a while to figure out as they are not as easy to use as semi-automatic or super automatic espresso machines. If you have never used one before, try to not give up right away and just keep practicing. It will take some repetition but it will be worth it in the end. If you have used manual espresso machines before, then you understand how much control you have over the espresso shots.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
If you do not want to do as much work as a manual espresso machine, but still want some control over your espresso shots, then semi-automatic machines are a good option. They are a middle ground between the piston machines and the super automatic espresso machines. The semi-automatic machines were invented by a bariasta named Gaggia in the 1940s. Baristas and most other people consider these “real” espresso machines.
For this type of machine, you will need ground coffee. To complement this machine, you will need a good coffee grinder that has various grind types. This will help with the quality of espresso the machine puts out. Besides a grinder, you will also need a tamper. The tamper will push the grounds into the basket so it fits into the protafilter. After this process, you should have a good amount of resistance to complete the brewing process properly.
After the grounds are in the portafilter, the machine takes over and pushes hot water into the portafilter and over the coffee grounds. The espresso makes it through the machine and into your cup.
A semi-automatic espresso machine takes a little practice to make the perfect shot, especially if you have never used one before. If you get frustrated easily, a semi-automatic machine may not be right to start out with. Yet, if you are going from a super automatic machine to something that gives you more control, then this is a good option.
Super Automatic Espresso Machines
If you want espresso at the touch of a button, choose a super automatic espresso machine. They are simple to use, even if you have never used these types of machines before. Basically, all you have to do is depress a button and the perfect shot of espresso is made for you. Super automatic espresso machines are convenient and have similar components as the semi-automatic machines, but with more extras. Most features come standard, such as a burr coffee grinder, so you will not need to purchase a separate grinder unless the machine does not have the grind you want.
The super automatic espresso machine still gives you choices, even though it is automatic. You can choose how strong or weak your espresso is while making different drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and café crema. These machines are perfect for beginners are those who want consistent espresso on demand every time they make a drink.
How to Pick the Best Espresso Machine
Picking an espresso machine can be a little hard at first because there are so many to choose from. This guide will make choosing an espresso machine easier. Before you go to the store, think about the type of machine you want. Will you feel more comfortable with a manual, semi-automatic, or super automatic machine? Picking one will narrow down your choices a lot, then you can go on from there.
The first thing to think about when choosing an espresso machine is where it will sit on the countertop and the size of it. It is a good idea to measure the countertop space and compare it to the dimensions of the machine before buying it. This way, you can be 100 percent sure the machine will fit on the counter, because getting a brand new espresso machine home and finding it doesn’t fit is very disappointing. If you are going to purchase accessories take that into consideration as well.
The boiler type is an important feature in the espresso machine. Normally, there are three different types which include a heat exchanger, single boiler, and double boiler. A double boiler will allow you to steam and brew at the same time, where a single boiler does not. Double boilers are usually in higher end machines, so that is something to think about when considering your budget.
Points to Look for in an Espresso Machine
Since espresso machines have a variety of features, you will want to think about the following when looking at the various models available. Everyone has difference preferences, so the following should help you narrow it down in the features category.
Super automatic espresso machines are preprogrammed to end the shot at the perfect time. This way, you have consistent quality without having to do much work. Yet, with this the shot is liable to end too soon, or go to long, which can give you subpar espresso. To prevent this from happening, you can adjust the settings. It may take some trial and error to find the perfect setting for you, but it should stay consistent after that.
A semi-automatic espresso machine works differently in that you can control how much water comes out with each espresso shot you create. The semi-automatic part may take some trial and error as well, as you will need to know when to release the level to stop the flow of water. The level controls the flow of water, so if it is pouring too slowly, you can let the water run longer to finish the shop.
Espresso machines come with either non-pressurized or pressurized portafilters. In some cases, the machine has the option of going from pressurized to non-pressurized. These are normally more expensive, but they give you an option of expanding in the future. The benefit of non-pressurized portafilters is to give more temperature stability because they are made of either chrome, or chrome plated brass. When using non-pressurized portafilters, keep in mind that you will need a precise grind and tamp. It can get pretty technical, but it is worth it.
The difference with pressurized portafilters is they do not let water through until the perfect temperature has been reached. This is so in case there is an imperfect grind or an uneven tamp, the pressurized portafilter compensates for that. Pressurized portafilters are made for beginners, where the non-pressurized are more for advanced baristas.
Super automatic machines come with a built-in grinder where semi-automatic machines do not. These can be either pros or cons, depending on your preference. Purchasing a grinder separate may allow you more control over the grind, but the built-in grinder is more convenient. With a super automatic machine, all you have to do is dump the beans in and the machine grinds them for you. You can program how course or fine of a grind you want, but it may not have as many options as a separate grinder.
Whether you want to froth and brew at the same time will depend on the type of boiler you purchase. There are very few machines under $1,000 that come with dual boilers and they tend to be closer to the higher end. A dual boiler allows you to make many drinks at once and much faster than if you had to wait to with a single boiler.
Advantages of an Espresso Machine Under $1,000
Espresso machines under $1,000 are mid-range machines. This means you will get more features, such as a dual boilers and built-in grinders. While not all of these machines have these features, there are more than you will find in the under $500 category. In addition, the espresso machines in this price range are built with commercial grade parts and tend to be more durable. These machines tend to come with warranties as well because of the higher price. This is a good thing because if anything does go wrong within the warranty time period, it can be replaced quickly and at no cost to you.
Disadvantages of an Espresso Machine Under $1,000
The price point on some of these machines may put some people off, however; it is important to remember that these espresso machines are an investment and will last for many years. Another disadvantage as they are mid-range, meaning they still have some problems, although not as much as the $500 machines. Some machines are known for certain issues, so it is important to take that into consideration when purchasing a machine. Even if a machine does have problems, chances are the warranty will cover any issues that may arise. Be sure to keep all of the documentation needed until the warranty expires.
Why I’m Trustworthy
I have completed hours of research to find the best value and high quality espresso machine under $1,000, along with having owned and used my own espresso machines. While doing my research, I looked at features, customer reviews, price points, and usability. My goal is to give you the latest information on espresso machines so you can create your own delicious espresso shots and coffee drinks right in your home.
How I Chose the Best Espresso Machines
To find the best espresso machines under $1,000, I searched the latest websites for the most up to date information. I started by taking into consideration the criteria for the list. I then compared espresso machines against each other to see how they performed. The machines that did well went up on the list as did the machines that had better features and options. Another thing that was taken into consideration was durability and if the machines had warranties. Most espresso machines come with a warranty, so if this is important to you check to see how long the warranty lasts.
The Best Espresso Machines Under $1,000
There are many options to choose from when it comes to purchasing an espresso machine under $1,000. You will find both super automatic and semi-automatic on this list to help you decide which is right for you.
The Rancilio HSD Silvia espresso machine is the best pick for espresso machines under $1,000. It has a chrome plated brass brew group to ensure the heat and water distribution are even as your espresso shot is extracted. A 67 ounce water tank can be easily removed and refilled for your convenience. There are many other features, which are listed below, that make this machine our top pick.
The Silvia has a 15 bar pump to push water through the grounds so you get the richest flavor of espresso possible. It features a 12 ounce brass boiler that evenly distributes heat and reaches the optimal temperature quickly. The temperature will be maintained because it is monitored by three thermostats to ensure equal and even temperature. The espresso machine has a rust resistant steel frame along with stainless steel screws, bolts, and heating elements. It has a commercial grade brass portafilter along with two stainless steel filter baskets. To top it off, the cup warmer on top will keep your espresso at the perfect temperature while you drink it.
The Silvia espresso machine needs a very precise grind to get the perfect espresso shot. It does not have a built-in grinder so you will need to purchase your own. The espresso machine does well with a high end grinder and you will need to really perfect your grinds. In addition, you cannot program your preferences for espresso shots. There is an optional install PID, but it does not come standard with the Rancilio Silvia.
Why It’s Worth It
The heating element can be removed in case it needs to be repaired. This is nice because you won’t have to send your whole machine in. The Silvia is simple to use right out of the box. Furthermore, for the price of this machine, reliability, and the features it offers, there is no better value on the market.
Who It’s For
The Rancilio Silvia is great for both beginners and advanced baristas alike. Beginners may need to practice to get the correct grind, but once that is dialed in you will have consistent, high quality espresso every time.
What People Are Saying
When going through our research, we found that people really liked the durability of this machine. Some said there is a learning curve with this machine, but the majority of them like learning the different techniques to use with this espresso machine. People use this machine every day for a year and say it is still going strong. Others have noted the milk frother is not the best. Overall, those who used this machine were very happy with the quality of espresso it produced.
The Breville BES920XL is our runner up for the best espresso machines under $1,000. It is one of the only espresso machines under $1,000 that has a dual boiler so you can steam and brew at the same time. This machine has a modern design that will bring you traditional Italian style espresso.
The Breville espresso machine has a 15 bar pump along with pre-infusion. Your grinds will be soaked to extract the full flavor of the espresso before it is extracted. There are programmable options, which is extremely nice when you find that perfect combination of grinds and extraction. The advanced options allow you to customize steam temperature, pre-infusion time, and clean cycle. Furthermore, steaming and brewing at the same time will allow you to make many coffee drinks right in a row without having to wait.
One of the biggest things people have had issues with is the portafilter is a little difficult to get into place. This can be a little frustrating but if you practice and use your muscles, it gets easier as you go along.
Why It’s Worth It
The dual boiler gives you low pressure pre-infusion, limits the maximum extraction process, froths and extracts, and gives you consistent temperature. The Breville espresso machine comes with a two year limited warranty. This is an upgrade from the previous model that had a one year warranty.
Who It’s For
The Breville BES920XL can be used by baristas as well as those just getting into espresso machines. This is also a good machine for those who are picky about their espresso shots and coffee drinks.
What People Are Saying
People who have bought this machine said it is one of the best purchases they have made for their kitchen because of how high quality the espresso is. Some do note it takes a while to heat up in the morning, which can be a downside. Yet, people use this machine on a regular basis, such as every day for years, and the machine is still going strong. If anyone did have problems, they said customer service helped them out right away and honored the warranty.
The DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica is one of the few super automatic espresso machines under $1,000 and it is worth it. It has a double boiler so you can steam and brew at once, which is one of the many reasons this machine has made our list. The DeLonghi Magnifica is a realiable and durable machine that will last you a few years while giving you consistent espresso shots each time you use it.
The DeLonghi Magnifica fits nicely in your kitchen because of its compact size and brew group, while still giving you an even heat distribution. The stainless steel double boiler is simple to clean and should be descaled every two to three months. This will ensure your machine keeps performing at optimal level. The Magnifica comes with a built-in burr grinder but the machine can also be used with ground coffee. It also has a wand that rotates 180 degrees to make cappuccino. Furthermore, your coffee can be customized by adjusting the amount of ground coffee and water to your personal taste. It can be weak, strong, short, or long.
The DeLonghi Magnifica is known for being pretty noisy when it grinds coffee beans. It is louder than other machines in this category, so keep that in mind when comparing espresso machines. Furthermore, this super automatic espresso machine does not do well with oily beans. Try to stay with a medium espresso roast for the best results.
Why It’s Worth It
The Magnifica is one of the most reliable machines in this category. The controls on the machines are manual dials, which do not fail like their digital competitors. It may not happen often, but it is less likely to happen with manual dials. This super automatic machine has a bypass doser, meaning you can add different types of grounds if you want something different than that is already inside the machine.
Who It’s For
The DeLonghi Magnifica is good for those who are looking for a high quality super automatic espresso machine for under $1,000. It can be used by beginners and seasoned baristas. This machine is perfect for those who want to press a couple buttons and have the perfect shot of espresso in a couple minutes.
What People Are Saying
People who have used this machine say it is a good investment and is very durable. Some have used this machine up to 20 times a day for over a year and it still works fine. Another thing people love is the size of the machine, it fits perfectly on their counter because of how compact it is. Some did note that the machine is loud when it grinds the coffee beans, but otherwise the machine puts out high quality espresso consistently.
The Saeco Intelia Deluxe super automatic espresso machine is another one to consider that is under $1,000. It has a nice LED display that is bright and easy to read. The machine itself is simple to operate even if you have never used an espresso machine before.
The ceramic grinder will precisely grind your beans to extract the most aroma. The brew group is removable so you can rinse it out weekly to keep everything moving through smoothly. The pre-infusion will moistened the grounds to extract the most amount of flavor. The Saeco Intelia is an energy efficient machine as it will go into stand-by mode after 30 seconds. In addition, this machine has a bypass doser that ground coffee can be poured into for when you want something different than what is already in your machine.
Like other super automatic machines, this one does not do well with oily beans, so try to stay away from them as they will clog the grinder over time. The machine does not allow you to choose the length of time before it goes into stand-by mode. This can be a little annoying if you are waiting one hour to have another coffee drink.
Why It’s Worth It
The machine is simple to use and has a variety of features that stand out among others in its class. Even when it goes into standby mode, it will only take 25 seconds to make a coffee drink or brew a fresh shot of espresso. The stainless steel model does have a programmable option, but the other does not, so keep that in mind when shopping between the various models.
Who It’s For
The Saeco Intelia is the perfect machine if you are looking for a professional espresso machine that is easy to use in your home.
What People Are Saying
Those who use the machine on a regular basis say it is easy to use and brews an excellent shot of espresso. People liked they could adjust the temperature and the frother works well. Some have noted the sensors do not always relay the appropriate information, such as the coffee beans needing to be refilled when they are full. Yet, most say this is a solid machine for the price.
The Jura ENA Micro 9 is a compact espresso machine that is under $1,000. It is programmable so you can choose to create an espresso, cappuccino, latte, or coffee. In addition, you can adjust your drink volume, temperature, and strength of your drinks. Along with create tasty drinks, this machine looks sleek on your countertop.
The Jura ENA Micro is the smallest one touch machine that is available. There are four different cup sizes that you can program, such as coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and macchiato. In addition, there are two temperature settings so you can find the right temperature for your drink. The conical burr grinder is built in to the machine and grinds beans to perfection before brewing. The espresso machine has a cappuccino frother to steam milk at higher temperatures than other machines in this class. A bypass doser is also available for when you want decaf grounds or to change up your coffee routine.
The Jura ENA Micro does not have a manual steaming option, you only have to use the automatic option. This can be a downside for those who like to manually steam their drinks, but can be an upside for those who don’t want to learn how to froth their drinks. The frother must be cleaned every day and the milk hose needs to be cleaned after each time you use it. This may be a hassle for some, especially if you forget to clean them regularly.
Why It’s Worth It
The steamed milk comes out at almost 132 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the hottest steamed milk from these machines. The compact machine has a sleek design and fits nicely in any size kitchen. In addition, the cleaning cycle keeps the machine working well.
Who It’s For
If you want espresso fast without having to figure out too many buttons or options, this is the perfect machine for you. It is simple to use right out of the box, even if you have not used an espresso machine before. The compact design is perfect for those in smaller spaces as well.
What People Are Saying
People are saying this is a great machine and it is the perfect size for their kitchen. Some complained it is too small, but keep in mind this is a compact machine. Others have noted the first espresso is not as hot as it should be, so that is something to think about as well. Furthermore, with a compact machine you will be adding water and emptying grounds more often than you would with a larger machine. Some people don’t mind this because it does have a small footprint, but others did not like this aspect.
Other Equipment You Should Purchase
Sometimes it takes a little extra to create the finest tasting espresso in the comfort of your own home, which means purchasing accessories to complement the machine. By buying separate accessories, you can experiment more with espresso and coffee drinks and take them to the next level. These do not need to be purchased with all types of machines, but it just depends on personal preference.
Pretty much any espresso machine you purchase in the store or online will come with a tamper, but these are not necessarily high quality tampers. The ones that come with the machines are normally made out of plastic and may not work properly or last too long. If you want to make your life easier and make better tasting espresso, a high quality tamper can make a big difference.
The tamper needs to fit your machine’s filter basket. The easiest way to do this is to take the filter basket to the store with you or measure it and then compare the two against each other. While searching for tampers, you may find that some are convex and some are flat. The one you choose will be a personal preference, so try them out to see which one you will like best. Take note of how the tamper feels in your hand and how comfortable it is.
Super automatic espresso machines normally come with built-in grinders and semi-automatic machines do not. Some people prefer to purchase a separate grinder even with a super automatic espresso machine because it can give you more control over your grind. Furthermore, a high quality grinder gives you optimal extraction so you can get the most flavor and aroma out of your beans. Grinders vary almost as much as espresso machines, so you will find all price ranges as well as features. Go through the various models and find one to suit your budget and needs.
A high quality espresso machine under $1,000 is simple to find as there are many options to pick from. Each machine comes with their own pros and cons, so you will have to weight them against each other and find what suits your preferences. Furthermore, take into consideration what accessories you want to purchase as well. This will help narrow down your decision when it comes to purchasing an espresso machine. If you already have some accessories, make sure your new machine works with them. This guide should help you narrow down your choices so you can find the best espresso machine under $1,000 that fits your style.