Everyone loves a good shot of flavorful, caffeine loaded coffee now and again. More so if you love espresso, a rich burst of flavor that’s sure to get you going in the morning. But hey, it’s not always practical to stop by the local Starbucks for the delight of a cappuccino cup, sometimes there’s no time. Unless, of course, you have your own best espresso machine.
Like coffee, getting the right espresso is something of an art form. The right temperature, tools, and grain are needed for the crema, froth, and enriched flavor of a high-caffeine energy shot. We took some time to look over budget minded choices, considering what was needed to get flavorful taste without requiring the knowledge of a professional barista.
Table: Espresso Machines Under $100
- table is coming soon
If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you might be interested in Espresso Machines For Less Than $200 article. While it’s likely thought of as a luxury, there are plenty of inexpensive espresso machines that deliver the same rich taste topped with frothy crema you come to expect from your brew. While the kind of espresso you want is up to you, you’re sure to get that ideal espresso without setting your wallet on fire. We’ve taken a quick look at some of the best espresso machine under $100, all which maintain savory quality on a budget.
4. Legato Single Serve
The last on the list of three might not have as many options, but manages a good brew with simplicity. Elegant by design, the whole premise is “push button to get a good drink.” It’s ideal for those who aren’t exactly puritans for perfect espresso but still want that hardy, refreshing flavor for the morning.
You can get yourself a nice cup of coffee too, but you’re here for the primo shot of caffeine. As far as functionality, it’s as mentioned, a simple press of the button and you’re good to go. You get frothy crema without issue and the taste is untouched. As an additional bonus, the makers were nice enough to add in 90 capsules for your brewing needs.
Of course, smaller downsides are that the samplers (the capsules) don’t make a full cup of coffee or espresso and might not be your preferred flavor. Additionally, while you only need to touch a button, it takes a bit longer for the water to reach a suitable temperature for boiling, so there’s a little prep time involved.
However, the idea is that you pay for convenience and simplicity. The Legato single serve is beautifully compact and easy to use, ideally for those who just want a decent cup of espresso. You take out all the legwork of, well, legging it to Starbucks to enjoy a tasty brew at home.
3. De’Longhi BAR32 Retro 15
De’Longhi has a fair amount of established machines in the world of coffee and espresso, you might find the name pop up often. Their products are proven quality, so to add to the list is the BAR32 Retro. Like the previous entry, the BAR32 is multi-functional, allowing you to brew up a tasty espresso or quality cappuccino. We simply couldn’t exclude De’Longhi from Top espresso machines under $100 list.
This machine does a few things to get you the rich, flavorful brew many look after. Whether you’re using fine ground espresso or an ESE pod, the Retro uses a dual filter system to create an authentic café-style taste. It also works to make the best cappuccino using a swivel jet frother, utilizing two temperature fields so you get things nice and hot without skewing flavor. The BAR32 is also aimed at those who like their espresso fast, using a self-priming operation for best temperatures versus having to do a lot of waiting.
If you’re taking a gander at this one, it comes down to the basics and personal preference. In other words, the BAR32 performs admirably but does so with different methods. So for example, it creates espresso via pump instead of steam. Making a single shot espresso is simple enough, but others report it takes some fiddling for a smooth double. Essentially, those who love a good espresso can hit that mark, but might need a little extra practice with smaller details, like how the grounds are packed and how much. – Not seeing what you’re looking for? Check out more expensive espresso machines below $300.
2. BELLA 13683
The most affordable out of the bunch, the BELLA espresso maker sports getting you a fine cup of espresso, cappuccino, or latte with ease. This one uses steam power to get the tastiness of an espresso brew, while also using a pressure lever for that desired flavor. It also heats milk for your latte desires, while also pleasantly sized. It doesn’t take much to figure it out either, coming with an instruction manual and power up with a simple button press.
So what’s the catch for such a great price? Nothing really as is, save reviews find a bit of fiddling is necessary to get that premium taste. In other words, while you can get a serviceable brew doing just as is, enthusiasts find a little bit of leg work is needed to get a masterful taste. Otherwise, you’re better off going for pricier models escalating beyond $100.
Some other nice features, the BELLA is backed by a 2-year warranty and uses stainless steel in construction. Like most devices it’s fairly easy to clean with removable parts so you don’t need to fear grain clogs.
1. Mr. Coffee ECMP50
The picks chosen for this quick look will be under $100, so that what you’re not busting out huge levels of cash to get some tasty espresso. Of course, there are still plenty of quality models despite this pricing tier. To start things off with such an example is the Mr. Coffee ECMP50, we believe it’s the best espresso machine under $100.
This handy device is all about getting authentic, café style lattes and espressos within a fraction of the time. It touts a 15-pump bar heating system, another way of saying the water is heated instantly. This means you get a shot of rich espresso quickly, without sacrificing flavor. You get lattes too, as mentioned, since this one can steam/heat milk as well.
The ECMP50 has a host of other nice features too for that authentic “barista-to-me” experience. The frothing arm, for instance, gets you a great topping of crema for your preferred espresso drink. You also get a choice of deep flavor with its single/dual-shot filters for the extra kick of caffeine. But, it’s standout characteristic is the dual-shot brewing, meaning you can make two cups of hot espresso at the same time.
For its price range, which sits at about $60 on Amazon, it’s a decent choice for those who love espresso and lattes but don’t want to break bank. Easy to clean, simple to use, it’s for the beginner barista in all of us.
So what’s to learn from this batch of fairly inexpensive espresso machines? You can get a great quality brew with thick flavors and sweet crema on your own, without too many complications. While the brands listed aren’t the best around, they’re great if you’re just looking for an easy way to make your favorite morning drink without the hassle of stopping by a coffee place. Newcomers to the art of creating that perfect espresso will find easy options to do so, while enthusiasts still get a nice range of options, all while keeping the wallet free from starvation.