A lot of coffee connoisseurs feel strongly about espresso. You may have really taken to the idea of having an espresso machine in your house, or maybe you have started using a basic beginner machine and are contemplating upgrading, now that your skills as a barista have improved. Perhaps you are keen to have more options available and control over your coffee making routine. Just the decision to embark on this mission has probably sparked that youthful excitement of being given a new thing to play with.
You now have to discover the inner workings of espresso machines. We are at your assistance, as we are also purveyors of coffee – always on the lookout for something captivating. If you want more from your coffee machine or if you would like to select your initial one, we have curated reviews of our top 10 espresso machines that are priced below $1000.
When you are looking to buy an espresso machine to take things to the next level, there are a few points to bear in mind like price, size, maintenance, machine capabilities and the number of people who will be using it.
It goes without saying that you don’t want to spend more than you need to. Therefore, it is practical to think about it as an investment and not just something that you are buying. By comparing the amount of money you spend on frequenting nearby coffee shops, with the amount you will save from having your own coffee machine, it should help you make the decision on whether to buy a machine and how much you can afford to spend on it.
Assess the space in your kitchen and decide on where to position your latest asset. Before you start looking for machines, first measure the area. There are various shapes and sizes of espresso machines, even within the smaller-sized range. Several of the machines may be broader and more deep and not that high; others may take up less space but might be higher in measurement. Once you have assessed your space requirements, think about whether the machine takes water and coffee beans from above, in the front or at the back of the machine.
Keeping it clean
At the end of the day, no one is keen to spend loads of time cleaning things. If you are keen to take the time to use your precious machine – different options require more in-depth cleaning than others. There are machines that clean themselves, but those will be more expensive.
The number of people who will use the machine
If you live alone and don’t need much to brighten up your day, there are sizes available for your needs. However, if you have a big family or many people living with you, then think about how much the machine will need to be used and what the current demand is. You will need a machine that can both meet your current demand and keep up with it.
There are a plethora of available features – from indicator alert lights, different water temperatures, whether and how it grinds the beans, and programming functions. There are also semi-automatic machines and hyper-automatic ones which have extraction control features. If you are keen to find a smart machine that has all features except for refilling the bean hopper, then you will need to have the money for that. If on the other hand you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use machine with only a couple of controls, then you can find those. Draft a list of what you are looking for and then look for those specific features.
There are a few things to bear in mind. Semi-automatic and hyper-automatic machines don’t perform well with oily beans because they get stuck in the grinder. Use drier beans for improved performance and to avoid any future maintenance incidents. If it’s not possible for you to use a water filter in your machine, then rather use water that has already been filtered. If you use water from the tap which is ‘hard’, that will lead to maintenance issues if you don’t descale often. It also impacts the taste of the coffee.
THREE TYPES OF ESPRESSO MACHINES
These days espresso machines are designed in varying shapes, sizes and types. Many of the models do similar things, and the simplest way to see which of the three types of machine it is, is:
The manual machine (or lever machine): This is an old-fashioned type of machine and looks similar to the first large-scale models. These are for true coffee nerds and people who are into old-school!
The semi-automatic machine: This is more like the friendly espresso machine that you would hope for. When you picture an espresso machine, this is probably the type of machine you would think of. If you enjoy the process of making your own coffee, then I recommend this model.
The fully-automatic model: This model typically appears as a dark, square, plastic container. It is also about as charming and refined as an oblong plastic container. However, if you enjoy being comfortable and would like to have a latte made from just the press of a button, this is definitely a more preferable option than a capsule machine in my opinion.
WHETHER OR NOT TO GRIND?
I will elaborate a bit on some of the comments I’ve already made. One of the main distinctions between the semi-automatic and hyper (or fully) automatic machines, is whether or not the grinder is built-in.
To make the most of your machine, you will need a separate grinder that’s suitable for espresso, if you use a semi-automatic machine. You could use coffee that has already been ground, from iconic brands like Illy or Lavazza, but that is not the best thing to do for two reasons:
Despite the fact the coffee has been vacuum sealed, it will not be as flavorful. As you can’t change the size of the grinds, you won’t be able to change the time they are taken out. This may appear to be a tiny detail, but with espresso this makes a world of difference. To make the perfect espresso, it’s essential that you have a grinder that is perfectly attuned to your machine.
Unless you are planning to buy a highly automated machine, when you are selecting a new espresso machine for your house, you include a grinder in the budget.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What should I pay for an espresso machine?
You should expect to pay at least $250 for an average espresso machine. It will cost between $700-800 if you are looking for a more professional machine that has more functions.
What will I get for an espresso machine that costs less than $1000?
For machines priced below $1000, you can buy top-quality espresso machines that make great espressos. Some models offer built-in grinders and have different grind settings. You can make more types of drinks with machines that have an automatic or manual steam wand to foam milk. You can select a model of espresso machine that has a PID digitally-controlled temperature feature which maintains the correct water temperature, to make sure that your espresso has a great smell and doesn’t taste of burn.
Can an espresso machine for less than $1000 be used for a coffee shop?
Yes, for a small coffee shop, an espresso machine that costs less than $1000 may be suitable. But, if you plan to have lots of patrons, then it’s best to consider a more pricey commercial model.
Which coffee beans are best to use if I have an espresso machine that cost less than $1000?
That is dependent on what you prefer and like best. It’s preferable to use coffee beans that are medium and/or dark roasted. If you are buying coffee that has already been ground, then you should opt for a fine grind.
What’s the top espresso machine that costs less than $1000?
The Breville Barista Express is what we would suggest. Without having to pay too much, you receive a built-in grinder that comes with 16 grinder settings, the option to make coffee for two people at a time, the capability to make over 10 espresso shots – one directly after another, and capability to grind the beans straight into a portafilter. You can also foam milk using the built-in steam wand, to create your preferred coffee recipes.