Best and cheap rarely make good partners when used in the same sentence. But since there is always an exception to every rule, you can get high-quality espresso machines at extremely affordable rates. This does not qualify them to be cheap, but under just $100, you will have a whole world of quality espresso machines to choose from.
Consequently, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank or visit a classy restaurant for great espresso. We will be dissecting the best cheap espresso machines that you can easily afford if your budget is south of $100. We will also give a detailed buyer’s guide so that you know the specific factors to consider when shopping for one.
Once you are done with this simple read, you will feel like a real barista when it comes to hunting the best value espresso machine.
How Was This List Made?
After over 72 hours of scouring coffee blogs and coffee vendors online and after downing about 100 cups of coffee, we finally had the list of the best cheap espresso machines. Ours was a detailed approach that involved going with a fine-tooth comb through hundreds of blogs and review sites to check and compare the plenty of machines we had.
We also checked the manufacturer’s websites, read reviews by past buyers, and interviewed a few homeowners and restaurants who used these machines. This was to get a firsthand perspective from those who interact with the machines daily.
Ultimately, what you find here is a detailed, accurate and comprehensive review of the best espresso machines you will ever get below 100. Hopefully, if this was the budget range you were hoping to work with, your search ends here.
Best Cheap Espresso Machines
Nespresso by De’Longhi EN80S Original Espresso Machine
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It is not every day that you will bump into an espresso machine with thousands of five-star reviews. The Nespresso by De’Longhi EN80S Original Espresso Machine is one such machine, and this is a subtle indication of its quality. It is a barista-grade espresso maker designed by an ever-reputable manufacturer. It gives you the pleasure of enjoying impeccable single-serve espressos all the time without having to break the bank for them.
You may not find this machine in the list of the most beautiful espresso machines, but still, you will fall in love with its range of features. It comes with a patented extraction system that can deliver up to 19 bars of pressure. This is a sure sign of the quality of the content you will finally have in your cup.
It comes with a 24-ounce tank giving you the versatility you need to make up to nine single-serve cups without the need to refill the tank. Also, since it is programmable, the liberty is always yours to choose between espresso or Lungo buttons to determine what you will be finally drowning down your throat.
In addition to these and other features, the machine also comes with an energy-saving mode that will kick into action after nine minutes of inactivity. The last thing you want is to save money when buying an espresso machine, only for you to lose it in terms of high energy bills.
- Comes in a colorful and compact design
- It is programmable with options for espresso and Lungo
- Has a high-pressure pump that can sustain up to 19 bars – which means better extraction and flavors.
- Energy-saving mode
- The tank is relatively small. Limits the capacity of its use
Verdict: If all you have to spend on a coffee machine is $100, and you don’t want to compromise on the quality, this is one of the best cheap espresso machines you will find in the market today. It won’t impress you with any sleek features or advanced technology, but it can and will get the job done. Feel free to use it as an introduction to the coffee world, then upgrade to more sophisticated versions later on.
Sowtech Espresso Machine with Milk Frother
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Sowtech Espresso Machine with Milk Frother is what you need to be your barista. It comes with the aesthetics and functionalities you will need to churn out high-quality espresso all the time. A glance at its set of features will make you wonder if you truly need to spend hundreds of dollars on an espresso maker.
The compact design will not only save you lots of valuable space in your kitchen, but also its stainless steel construction comes with the longevity you desire to use it for years to come. Apart from the compact design, the machine is also easy to use.
It comes with a single switch knob that is easy to operate. Also included is an accurate temperature control to help you get the best flavors from your brewing. Still, on the design, the machine features a removable drip catcher, which will help to keep your brewing space tidy.
If you love creamy froths on top of your cappuccinos and lattes, then you just got another reason to pick this Sowtech Espresso Machine with Milk Frother. This is how you get velvety smooth espressos to help you get your mornings started in the best possible ways.
- Lightweight, compact design, and durable
- Comes with a removable and washable drip catcher
- Fitted with a swivel jet frother
- Easy to use
- Past buyers have complained of durability problems.
Verdict: The Sowtech Espresso Machine with Milk Frother is a solid espresso machine that will give you barista-grade coffee without breaking the bank. If you are just starting your exploration of the coffee world, and you want a decent machine that will get the job done without you spending a ton of money, then this will be a highly recommended option.
Yabano Espresso Machine
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Yabano Espresso Machine boasts a simple design with easy operations. It promises a decent espresso experience with nearly every functionality you may need for a good, strong shot. It may not come with lots of advanced features, but the few that are present will get the job done satisfyingly.
It features a very compact design – not only lightweight but also a good space economizer. This implies that you don’t need a lot of space on your countertop to accommodate it. It is also easy to clean. Components such as the drip tray, nozzle, and portafilter can always be removed and cleaned with a lot of ease.
Of its many features, you will not help but fall in love with the steam wand. It features a built-in steam wand that you can use to get the creamy and rich foam that usually makes your coffee look more gorgeous.
- Compact design: lightweight and small on the space requirement
- Fitted with the steam wand feature
- It is easy to clean
- Comes with a measuring scoop
- Not the best at frothing milk
Verdict: This Yabano Steam Espresso Machine is highly suited for beginners with limited techniques and coffee skills. It is a great entry-level machine that has the perfect blend between cost and functionality. With its price, it is a real steal for its value.
Nespresso by De’Longhi EN85L
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This is the second product by the same manufacturer that makes it to our list of the best cheap espresso machines. This simply means that it is another reliable option at your disposal if you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on an espresso machine.
It comes with a simple design – the one you would dismiss for not being pretty. However, it comes with all you need to create a barista-style espresso. With a one-touch operation and extraction system with the ability to deliver up to 19 bars, you are assured of a rich and tasty drink every time you want coffee.
In addition to having two programmable cup sizes of espresso and Lungo, this machine is not only to use but also features a beautiful minimalist design that will greatly improve the aesthetics of your kitchen.
Other than the high-pressure pump, this espresso machine also features a fast heat-up system. With this, you will hit the ideal temperature in less than 30 seconds. Also, it is the secret ingredient to extracting all the delicate flavors and sweet aromas from your coffee.
If you are conscious about your energy consumption at home, then you will be pleased to learn that this machine comes with very low energy consumption. Apart from the consumption, it also has an automatic energy-saving function that will kick in after nine minutes of inactivity.
And as if the above features are not enough, when you buy Nespresso by De’Longhi EN85L, you will also get a complimentary welcome gift featuring Nespresso capsules with varying aromatic profiles.
- Compact design, hence, saves on space
- Aesthetically appealing
- Energy-efficient, with an automatic energy-saving function
- Versatile – comes with two programmable Espresso and Lungo functionalities
- Some users reported problems with the brewing button after some time.
Verdict: This is considered one of the most compact designs by the manufacturer. It is also good news that it is within the price range that most can afford. If you are looking for an affordable entry-level machine with a barista-grade experience, then this will be a very good option.
bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker
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If you are looking for a little bit of luxury, quality, and affordability infused in one espresso machine, then bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker will be a pure delight to your heart. It is one of the most luxurious and cheapest espresso machines you will find in this price range.
Apart from the stylish looks, it is also easy to use. You don’t need a barista certification to craft quality brews from it. Using it is as simple as filling the lower part with water and putting the ground coffee into the basket. After that, all you have to do is allow the contents to boil.
Once you are done with making your brew, the process of cleaning and caring for it is also very easy. It is recommended that you clean it immediately after use.
You have no reason not to do so because it is so simple to do. Besides, the Moka pot is dishwasher friendly. Hence, you have no reason to let the remains on the filter cause unnecessary discoloration.
- Stylish design
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean and care for
- Compact, hence, saves on space
- Its longevity has been questioned by some past clients.
Verdict: If you mind more about stylish coffee machines but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on high-end models, this will be a great choice. Also, if you are just getting started with preparing home coffee, this will still suffice. It will give you the experience to improve your brewing skills. It will also give you room to graduate to more expensive espresso machines with advanced features.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Cheap Espresso Machine
Not having a lot of money is not a justification for you to forgo your coffee or settle for mediocre quality. With the options discussed above, you have enough to select from if all you had was just one hundred dollars.
However, you are at liberty to choose any brand or model you want. But you need to know how to choose correctly. Not every cheap espresso machine under one hundred dollars will be worth the value.
Here is a brief buyers’ guide on what you to look for when shopping for an affordable espresso machine if all you had was just one hundred dollars.
The bar pressure
Espresso is usually a finely-packed powder that water can’t easily pass through. Additional pressure is necessary to force water to pass through the espresso to make a quality brew. In most cases, the minimum bar pressure recommended for high-quality espresso is usually 9 bars.
The higher the pressure, the better the brew. Consequently, the bar pressure is one of the factors you should consider when choosing an espresso machine.
The water capacity
If you are making just single shots of espresso or single cups of latte, then you don’t have to think too much about the water capacity. However, if you will be making coffee for more people, then you will have to think about the water capacity when choosing your espresso machine.
Also, if you will be taking your espresso more than once a day, then you may opt for larger capacity tanks. This is so that you don’t keep on filling up the reservoir every time you brew. In most cases, choose the tank capacity according to the amount of brewing you will be doing.
A removable tank is not an absolute must when choosing the best inexpensive espresso machine. However, it will come with a lot of conveniences. As usual, part of taking care of your machine is to clean it. With a removable tank, it will not just be a breeze to fill up the tank, but also, you will get very good results during the cleaning process.
The quality of the milk frother
This is a versatile feature you may want to consider when buying any cheap best espresso machine. The reason being you may want to make a cappuccino, a latte, or an Americano, and none of these will be complete without milk. The function of the milk frother is to heat up, steam and foam the milk during the brewing process.
For most espresso machines within this price range, the frother may come in the form of a frothing wand or a special built-in reservoir. The former is operated by hand, and you will have full control over the brewing process. The latter, on the other hand, is automated.
If you want to go the manual way with frothing, go for machines with a frothing wand. However, if you don’t want a lot of involvement in the frothing process, go for machines with a built-in reservoir.
The ease of use
Another consideration you will have to make when buying the best cheap espresso machines is the ease of use. Some models will be easy to start and will save you a lot of time. Others will make it easy for you to tamp down your grounds.
Others will require a nearly perfect fit before you can close them properly. This is also where you should check the level of automation involved in the brewing process. With this consideration, your ideal choice should be something you are most comfortable with.
If you love being handy in the brewing process, then go for the manual machines. However, if you are the kind of guy who loves getting things done fast without necessarily getting involved, then go for the automatic ones.
From our reviews of the best espresso machines under 100 above, our best pick is the Sowtech Espresso Machine – 2nd on the list. It is fairly priced, meaning that it can be afforded by the majority. Most importantly, it comes with a nice set of features. Some of its notable features include a milk frother, a single switch knob for easy operation, and a removable reservoir, among others.
Additionally, using it is a breeze. The same is also the case when it comes to cleaning and caring for it. With the budget range, this is the best blend you will get between quality and value for your money.
James is the owner of North. After working at Nick’s on Broadway, James moved to Red Fez and put his knowledge to the test with hot dog R&D. He assisted in the launch of Momofuku Ko in NYC In 2008. And a year later, James was part of Christina Tosi’s team for Momofuku Milk Bar as their bread baker.