If you’re looking to indulge your inner barista from the comfort of your own kitchen, then finding the ideal espresso machine is one of the most important steps to take. One of the few important factors many home baristas consider is the budget. We’ve put together this roundup of the best espresso machine under 1000 to help you find the crema of the crop espresso machine that’s perfect for you.
At A Glance:
What’s The Best Espresso Machine Under 1000?
Finding the espresso mahcine perfect for your needs is tricky enough. Finding one for a specific budget is even harder. That’s why we’ve come to rescue and pilled up our top pick for the best espresso machines under 1000 this year.
|Breville The Barista Express||
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|De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica||
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|Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine||
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- 67-oz water tank
- 360-degree swivel wand
- 40-oz water tank
- Panarello wand
- 60-oz water tank
- Froth-assist wand
- 67-oz water tank
- Professional wand
- 36.8-oz water tank
- No milk frother
- 63.6-oz water tank
- Semi-automatic tube
Let’s have a look!
It’s hard to pick which feature is our favorite from Breville’s Barista Express because it has pretty much everything you could want from an espresso machine in a compact, attractive, and reliable package. With stylish coffee-shop looks and the ability to easily match the greatest espresso you could buy, this semi-automatic espresso machine is a jack of all trades in the best of ways.
The integrated conical burr grinder automatically activates when you press the button, meaning you get the freshest possible grind directly into the portafilter. It has a higher than average dose size, which will give you a more robust brew. However, you can change the size of the dose and how coarse or fine the grind is.
This espresso machine is fantastic. We’ve used it 3-4 times a day for over 4 years. It’s easy to use and makes delicious espresso every time.Emma, reviewing on breville.com
Once you’ve fine-tuned your grind and dose the way you like it, the low-pressure pre-infusion ensures that the coffee is equally soaked and expanded and the PID controller will get it ready for the temperature-controlled extraction via a stainless steel ThermoCoil. This means you’ll get a well-balanced and creamy espresso extraction that can satisfy even the most demanding of coffee snobs every time.
Other highlights include the pressure gauge, so that you can be sure that your coffee is being made under the ideal conditions. There’s also a manual steam wand for foaming milk for lattes and cappuccinos. (By the way, you can check out our list of best cappuccino makers and latte machines here.) Plus, it comes with almost any accessory you could possibly need, including a tamper, trimming tool, milk jug, cleaning kit, and more.
Have a look at these tips and tricks to get an idea of how to get the best out of the Barista Express.
Best suited for: Coffee lovers who want precise control over their brew, newer home-grown baristas, and everyone in between.
Italy has a reputation for creating great coffee makers (it’s the home of espresso, after all), so to find a machine from a brand like Gaggia under $1000 might seem too good to be true. But trust us, it’s even better than you might think – this is actually a super-automatic.
The Gaggia Brera offers a pared-back design that makes it simple to use, while still retaining incredible versatility. The control features just four buttons, where you can choose the Optiaroma strength setting (light, medium, or strong), and the volume of coffee (espresso or lungo). We love that hitting the espresso button twice will get the machine to grind and extract two full shots, rather than just adding more water.
As a bean-to-cup machine, the Brera has a built-in grinder, so there’s no need to fork out for extra kit. You have the choice of 5 grind settings so you can adjust the fineness to suit your beans, plus there’s a bypass doser for your favorite ground coffee.
The milk frothing system isn’t automated, but you’d be hard-pressed to find that on a machine at this price. What you have is a Panarello wand – a standard piece of equipment on many home machines. It’s designed to be easier to use, so even beginners can enjoy a latte.
Best suited for: Anyone wanting to try out the world of super-automatics before spending up big.
3. De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Automatic Espresso Machine and Cappuccino Maker – Amazon Best Seller
Type of machine: Super-automatic
- Water reservoir: 60 oz
- Dimensions: 11 x 15.3 x 14.4 inches
- Milk frothing: Froth-assist wand
Italy has a well-deserved reputation for being the home of good coffee. They were one of the first importers of coffee in Europe, invented most of the ways to drink it, and almost all of the terms we use today are from the Italian language (1). Italian brand DeLonghi has been around for over a century, and their espresso machines are some of the best on the market.
The push buttons and dials on the Magnifica ESAM3300 Automatic allow you to choose the size and strength of your coffee. Powered with a built-in burr grinder, you can adjust the coarseness of your beans’ grind. The coffee spigot is adjustable, being able to fit tall and short cups.
It’s also a breeze to maintain, thanks to the various removable parts and the automated descaling mode. It also has a handy automatic shut-off function, so if you leave it on by accident it will save on your electric bill.
Finally, you get a lot for your money with this excellent espresso maker, as. it offers many of the features normally reserved for more expensive machines. Just make sure to not use excessively oily beans, as this can cause issues with the grinder.
If you want to see it in action for yourself, you can watch this video.
Best suited for: Small kitchens and coffee lovers who don’t need to do everything by hand to enjoy their espresso.
The Rancilio Silvia has been around since 2001, and it’s still a very popular choice today. It’s seen a number of improvements over the years, from the addition of an ergonomic handle to the portafilter, to the recently upgraded stainless steel tubing in the single boiler. The extra care shown to it has paid off, as it is a great little machine with a lot going for it.
If you’re a budding barista who wants a more hands on approach, then the Silvia could be the one for you. It is a semi-automatic espresso machine, which means you’ll need to play around to work out your perfect cup. It’s not overly complex, but there’s still a knack to it, so you’ll need to experiment.
It doesn’t have all the fancy extras of some of the other options on this list, but what it does have is an excellent build quality and it is fun to use. The Silvia is built to last, and should reliably work for years to come (which should give you time to perfect foaming your milk). Plus, it looks great, and won’t take up much of your counter space.
For a look at how the Silvia works, take a peek at this guide.
Best suited for: Style- and space-conscious coffee aficionados who want to get more involved in the process.
While it’s easy to get drawn in by tech-heavy machines, you have to consider how much of it you actually need. If you drink your coffee black (or already have a decent stand-alone milk frother), then there’s no need to buy something with a milk system.
Enter the Jura A1. It’s a compact super-automatic that offers just three one-touch drinks: espresso, ristretto, and a larger cup of coffee. You also have the choice of two brew strengths, using either 6g or 10g of coffee, and the ability to save your settings. Considering the price, you might be surprised at the limited options the machine offers, but it’s a matter of quality over quantity.
The Jura A1 replaces the brand’s popular Micro Ena 1, keeping the same exterior but with a few nice upgrades on the inside. One is the AromaG3 grinder, a conical built-in burr grinder that keeps excess beans fresher for longer. The other is the integration of Jura’s Pulse Extraction Process (PEP). Designed especially for short coffees, it uses multiple bursts of hot water to get the perfect extraction time and barista-quality espresso.
Best suited for: Anyone who just wants a fuss-free espresso.
Swiss brand Jura has a reputation for high quality (but often high priced) super-automatic machines. The D6 might be at the cheaper end of their line-up but it benefits from some of the great features and reliability of their more expensive models.
The D6 is great for those who want a wide range of drinks without needing any barista skills. You can have espresso (using the brands PEP system), longer coffees and cappuccinos, as well as hot water or a standalone portion of milk foam. But with all of the options for tweaking your drink, you’ve got access to almost any kind of coffee you want. Choose brewing temperature, milk volume and brewing strength, with the option to use up to 16g of coffee. The cup height is adjustable to 4.3 inches to accommodate your creation.
The stand-out user feature of the machine is the system for milk-based drinks. You will have to connect a tube to a separate milk container, but once that’s done the process is entirely automatic. The fact that you don’t have to move your cup between extracting and milk frothing is a rarity at this price point.
To really take the work out of things, the machine is comaptible with Jura’s JOE bluetooth system, so you can control it from your smartphone.
Best suited for: Those who want it all! Espressos, lungos, and cappuccinos are all available at your fingertips.
How to Choose An Espresso Machine
With so many different features to check out, and a huge range of machines on the market, it can be a bit hard to know what to look for in an espresso machine. Our guide will teach you what to look out for, and help you get the machine that you want.
A Quick Primer on the Lingo
First, let’s go over a few terms that novice baristas should know when picking out an espresso machine.
- Dosing – this is how much dry ground coffee goes into making the espresso, which can vary from 5 to 30 grams (2) 1. If you want more coffee, go for a larger dose.
- PID – a PID (short for Proportional Integral Derivative) is a digital temperature controlling device which ensures that the brewing process takes place at the ideal temperature (3).
- Portafilter – This is where you put the coffee grounds before water is run through them. It looks like a small round metal cup with a long handle.
- Group Head – The group head is the part of the espresso machine that you attach the portafilter to, and is where the hot water comes out from.
Now you know the basic lingo. Here are some of the main factors you should consider when choosing the best espresso machine under 1000 that’s perfect for you.
What Is It Made from?
The materials that the machine is made from affect both how long it will last, as well as how easy it is to clean and maintain. Plus, it can make or break how good it looks. Of course, budget choices can look less appealing than middle-end and higher end models. A stainless-steel casing will look better than plastic almost every time.
The water temperature should be stable and somewhere between 92-96°C. Choosing the best espresso machine is very important to both water temperature and temperature stability.Coffeeresearch.org
You should also check what the boiler is made from, because a consistent temperature is vital for a perfectly brewed espresso (3). Aluminum heats up fast but it doesn’t have great consistency which can affect the quality of the brew. Copper is great for thermal regulation, but it does leach into the water over time. Stainless-steel is a solid middle ground, with good thermal stability, and the least problems with limescale buildup.
What’s the Capacity of the Water Reservoir?
Simply put, a bigger tank means you’ll have to refill it less often, which means less hassle for you in the long run. A smaller machine, on the other hand, is a good choice if you don’t need to brew large quantities at a time.
How Big Is the Machine?
If you’ve got a massive kitchen with a spacious countertop, the size isn’t much of an issue. But, if you’re working with limited space or have cabinets over where you’re going to place it, the coffee maker’s size can be an important factor.
Does It Look Good and Match Your Décor?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but most of us try to go for a consistent look for our kitchens. Does the design of the machine look good to you, or does it seem a bit tacky?
What Makes It Tick?
What sort of interface does it have? How quickly does it pull each espresso shot? What heating system does it use? Does it make coffee with one button press or are there more steps? Finding an answer to these questions can help you work out if a machine fits your needs.
Aside from the build quality and ease of operation, experience plays an important role in the quality of the espresso.
How Many Built-in Extras Does It Have?
Many high-end espresso machines come with advanced tools to help make the perfect pull. Built-in grinders are great for ensuring you get fresh grounds each time. A steam wand is a must if you’re a fan of lattes and cappuccinos. And the number of available settings can really make a difference. It’s a plus if you can dial in exactly how strong, hot, or big your espresso will be.
What Type of Machine Is It, and How Much Experience Does It Require?
Your previous experience can be a big factor in determining what type of espresso machine is right for you. Here are the options:
- Pod – uses a pre-dosed plastic pod. Not recommended, as they are both bad for the environment and produce a lower quality drink.
- Super-automatic – does pretty much all of the work for you. Usually doesn’t have a portafilter or group head, and is ideal for beginners.
- Automatic – Still fairly simple to use, but often with programmable settings so you can experiment if you want to hone your espresso skills. Good for reliably consistent pulls. Here’s our list of the best automatic espresso machines.
- Semi-automatic – for home baristas who want more control over their brew. They require more input, like manually tamping and trimming the dose in the portafilter. Great for experienced drinkers who want all the options
- Manual – for experienced home baristas. Manual lever espresso machines, like these, have a steep learning curve, which means you will have to spend hours perfecting your espresso making skill.
- Portable – for espresso lovers who are always on the go. Travel espresso makers, like our favorites here, are light and easy to pack, which means you can have shot of espresso wherever you please.
While we can’t help but love Breville’s Barista Express, all of the options on this list will provide you with high-quality espresso. Depending on your skill level, and your personal inclinations, you might want to go more or less complicated, but at least one thing is clear: you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your hands on a quality cup of coffee.
You should avoid pod machines because they are bad for the environment. The plastic that the pods are made of takes 500 years to break down. Used coffee grounds, on the other hand, make excellent compost and can even be put directly into the garden.
Yes, there is a difference between freshly ground and pre-ground coffee. Ground coffee starts losing its flavors and aromas within 15-30 minutes of grinding. Moisture affects the oils in the coffee beans that contribute to the overall flavor. That’s why it’s best to grind your coffee just before brewing it.
How much coffee you use for one shot of espresso can range between 5 and 30 grams, depending on the machine and the size of the portafilter. For comparison, most professional espresso machines brew with a dose ranging from 18 to 22 grams.
- Espresso Recipes: Analyzing Dose. (2019, May 22). Retrieved from https://baristahustle.com/blog/espresso-recipes-analyzing-dose/
- Gutirrez, J. (2007, April 13). Proportional-integral-derivative explained. Retrieved from https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1274042
- Espresso. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.coffeeresearch.org/espresso/potential.htm
- Perfect Daily Grind. (2018, June 13). The History of Italian Espresso: How Well Do You Know your Coffee History? Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2016/04/history-italian-espresso-well-know-coffee-history/
Husband, father and former journalist, I’ve combined my love of writing with my love of coffee to create this site. I love high end products, but write all my content with budget conscious coffee enthusiasts in mind. I prefer light roasts, and my normal brew is some sort of pour over, although my guilty pleasure is the occasional flat white.