Best Espresso Machines Under $100 - 2021 Review
When Italian Luigi Bezzera filed a patent in the early 1900's for a machine that forced boiling water and steam through coffee grinds into a cup, he probably had no idea what would come from that. Or, maybe he did.
The word 'espresso' (not ex-press-o, please) is an Italian word, no surprise there, that is the past participle of the word esprimere. It means "to express" or "to press out". So our term, caffé espresso literally means "pressed-out coffee".
If you were to be brewing a caffé espresso in Italy it would be defined by "the four Ms":
- Miscela ~ the coffee bean blend
- Macinazione ~ the grinding process
- Macchina ~ the machine
- Mano ~ the person making the espresso
Flash forward to today, and the goal of discovering the best espresso machine under $100 that will create, for you, the caffé espresso with the taste, texture, and crema of your java dreams, the strong coffee you're yearning for. That's our mission, my friend.
If you happen to click on a link and then make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Best Espresso Machines Under $100 - Our Recommendations & List for 2021
Here's the quick version and list, with much more detail for each machine recommended below. By the way, our recommendations are not ranked. Any one of these espresso machines under $100 could be the right choice for you. Because...we're all unique coffee-drinkers with personal preferences!
How do we come up with our 'best of' list? Honestly, with time, and attention to detail. We scour the internet world, discover what's available, and filter out the machines that don't make the cut. Then, we study the features and benefits individually for those that look promising, comb through the reviews and actually read them, to identify the pros and cons of each model as identified by real-life users. From there, we identify the top...the best...the most consistently rated higher...and present them to you.
Why Invest in an Inexpensive Espresso Machine?
Searching for the best espresso machine on a budget explains the reasoning for many of us. It's simple. We can only afford to spend so much money, and if $100 is the limit, it's the limit.
Or, you might be quite curious about creating your espresso drinks at home, to save the time and expense of having to get in your car and go for a ride to the coffee shop to enjoy one. Keeping the cost relatively low will give you the experience without a huge investment.
And, some of us just don't want to spend our money. We like to save our money. So the thought of investing more than $100 is just not palatable. We want a cheap espresso maker. Nothin' wrong with that.
The bottom line? Just realize that it's a machine with working parts, and by purchasing a budget model there may be a higher chance of less than perfect performance.
All that said, there are a number of highly-rated inexpensive espresso machines available, most of them advertised as automatic or semi-automatic. And we've identified them for you right here.
What Should You Look for in a Budget Espresso Machine? BUYING GUIDE
Of course, the operative word here is ‘budget’, as the goal is to discover the best espresso machine under $100. The age-old (yet still very true) adage, “you get what you pay for”, should be stamped on our foreheads as we go over this section. 🙂
Can you find an espresso maker for less than $100? Absolutely. There are quite a few models available and in this article we’ve researched and are recommending those that are the most highly rated overall.
Can you spend thousands of dollars on an espresso machine? Yep. And anywhere in-between, too.
If you can, consider all of these factors and determine what is most important to you. In the end, you might decide to spend a little more (or a lot more) than a hundred bucks to get what you really want. Or, opt for a cheap espresso machine with your eyes open and expectations at a realistic level.
Bars of pressure
One of the essential parts of the successful espresso brewing equation is pressure; bars of pressure specifically. The industry standard is 9 bars PSI, but that doesn’t guarantee a better quality shot of espresso.
What else makes up this equation? Well, the coffee that you choose for sure, as well as the grind, which is really, really fine. And, if you’re working with an espresso machine that involves some manual effort, guess what? Your espresso-making skills can make, or break, the result.
It’s possible to create an enjoyable shot of espresso with a machine that produces 3.5 bars of pressure. Some feel that 15 bars of pressure is needed for a high quality shot of espresso.
Bottom line? It’s personal preference as well as what your budget can tolerate.
An espresso machine that includes a frother is convenient and kind of fun, but remember that it’s one more piece of equipment that could possibly become a problem. And, it needs to be cleaned regularly. There is typically a learning curve to using the frother, too, so it would be helpful to take a look at reviewer comments about it for the machine you're considering. Many reviewers will give great detail about the pros and cons of milk frothers!
A simple solution is to invest a small amount of money into an aeroccino milk frother. Easy to use, easy to clean. No worries.
Single or Double Shot
Think about how you're going to use your espresso machine, and how many people will want to enjoy a fresh espresso at the same time. If you're going to efficiency and quicker delivery, consider an espresso machine with a double shot capacity.
And, the double shot machine is pretty awesome looking as it reposes on your counter.
Ease of use
Do you want to push a button (well, almost), stand back and wait for the magic, or are you willing to put some effort into producing your espresso?
It’s really an important consideration, especially since you’re searching for an affordable espresso machine. Chances are you’ll have to do some type of preparation and/or in-process work in return for the lower cost.
It’s always wise to spend a few minutes of your time to learn the details about an espresso machine, particularly when it comes to the cleaning process. A dirty machine won’t give you what you want in taste and enjoyment, so it’s best to find out before you buy, how much time you’ll spend cleaning the machine.
In general, the more features and components it has, the longer you’ll spend keeping it clean.
Warranty and Customer Service
Just like with cleaning, you’ll want to know what type of warranty, if any, is offered with the espresso machine you’re considering.
By the way, our recommendations include this information whenever we can obtain it.
What Types of Espresso Machines are There?
There are four main types of espresso machines, and it's really important to understand what you're buying. They can function and perform quite differently. Some require a lot of human intervention (barista style) and with others it can be as simple as pushing a button. Well, almost.
If you don’t mind putting some work into creating your espresso this could be the choice for you. It gives you more control over the process (although that’s a good/bad thing...more opportunity to mess things up!) to create a very personalized espresso experience.
You’ll pay more for this type of machine so prepare the budget. But it looks very attractive and may impress your friends.
If you’ve got the know-how or are willing to put in the time to learn, can afford the investment, a manual espresso machine could be very cool.
The most popular model is the semi-automatic espresso machine. It’s easier to use than the manual type of machine although it still gives you some control over the process and can result in a very tasty shot of espresso.
The cost may be more affordable, with some models in the several hundred dollar range, some less, although you can also pay thousands for this type of espresso machine.
There is still a learning curve, though, and it’s not as easy to use at the automatic espresso maker.
The fully automatic espresso machine is available in a wide variety of price ranges, from a couple hundred dollars to thousands.
They offer the simplest form of making espresso, with the automated delivery of the amount of water used in the process. If you’re super particular about how you want your espresso it may be a problem. But, if you want ease of preparation this could be the ticket.
So, if you want to push a button and magically create a shot of espresso, pay attention. Most of the time, all you need to do is add the coffee grounds and hit that magic button. Some models also offer built-in coffee grinders and other bells and whistles.
Your espresso is quick and easy. If this works for you (maybe you like to enjoy several espressos during the day), this all-in-one espresso machine may be the perfect solution.
They can be pricey for sure, but you may be able to find one that satisfies you for a couple hundred bucks.
Best Espresso Machines Under $100
Shop with Amazon
for the budding home Barista
This model was introduced in June, 2020, and as of this update it has a 4 out of 5 star rating. If you're looking for a semi-automatic espresso system (you push the buttons at the appropriate time, and the frother requires very simple steps) that includes a milk frother and can produce espresso, cappuccino or lattes, this is definitely worth a close look.
- ✔【15 BAR PRESSURE SYSTEM】15 Bar high-pressure Italian ODM pump with 1100W big power can provide fast and stable extraction，makes espresso more fragrant and rich in crema.
- ✔【ACTIVE TEMPERATURE CONTROL】Visual thermometer can help you control the best temperature for optimal coffee extraction. 2 Separate thermostats adjust the temperature of the water and milk foam separately so that the taste of coffee can reach the ideal state, and the milk foam is rich and creamy.
- ✔【ADJUSTABLE MILK FROTHING】Allows you to adjust the foam and steam levels to customize a variety of delicious espresso-based coffee. 360°rotating stainless steel frothing wand is more convenient to use.
- ✔【2 SPOON FOR FULL FLAVOR】Achieve a consistent and balanced espresso using the right amount of ground coffee. Using 2 spoons of coffee powder to make 2 ounces of espresso can get the full flavor and better taste.
- ✔【PROMISE& SERVICE】: Consumers will get a 1-YEAR Promise of this Espresso Coffee Machine. If you have any problem with this machine, please feel free to contact us, we will give you the best solution as soon as possible.
ground coffee or pods, your choice
Over 9,000 reviewers have given this inexpensive espresso machine 4.2 stars overall. It offers the flexibility of ground coffee or pods, has a 15 bar pump, is not difficult to clean, and offers a twin brewing cycle.
There's a lot to like about this espresso machine for less than $100.
- Not For use in USA & Canada
- Use convenient pods or ground coffee with the patented dual function filter holder
- Easily prepares latte and cappuccino with the swivel jet frother, for perfect drinks every time
- Eliminate annoying start-up preparation with the self-priming operation
- Always brew espresso at the perfect temperature with two separate thermostats, which allow for water and steam pressure to be controlled separately
Shop with Bed Bath & Beyond
sold exclusively at BBB
Mr. Coffee's version of the affordable espresso machine has many satisfied espresso drinkers singing its praises. 19-bar pressure provides a crema-topped espresso with this automatic machine.
many repeat purchasers of this affordable espresso machine
Semi-automatic and pump driven, this espresso machine receives many high ratings from reviewers. For the price, they say, it produces a very tasty espresso!
- Stainless-steel lined thermo block ensures water does not come in contact with aluminum
- High-pressure frothing
- Patented, dual stainless steel filter makes impeccable crema
- 42-oz. removable water tank for easy filling
- Detachable frothing cover and stainless steel cup warming tray for easy cleaning
- Easy-to-use swivel frother with separate frothing positions for steamed milk (latte) and frothed milk (cappuccino) allows you to froth directly in a tall glass or frothing pitcher
- Warming tray keeps cups at ideal temperature for serving
- Automatic rinsing cycle ensures no wait time between brewing espresso and steaming milk
Shop with Wayfair
affordable and reliable
It was not easy to find flaws with this affordable espresso machine. Reviewers are very pleased with the espresso produced and state it is not difficult to learn how to use.
- 15-bar professional pressure for rich tasting espresso
- Stainless steel steam wand
- Removable drip tray for easy clean
- 51 Oz large capacity removable tank
- 2 Shot dual stainless steel filter
- Coffee scoop for easy measuring
- 1050 watt high power heater
compact machine at a great price
Well priced (currently less than $70) and many 5-star ratings for this compact semi-automatic espresso/cappuccino machine. If price is the driving factor and you don't need lots of bells and whistles, take a close look at this machine.
Shop with Walmart
brews up to 20 oz. of espresso coffee
Your search for the best espresso machine under 100 dollars might come to an end here, with the positive reviews and the incredible price...currently less than $45.
simple, affordable, compact
Many happy reviewers of this compact and very affordable espresso machine. As of this writing, less than $40. For the money it looks like a great buy for the ability to make your own espresso coffee at home.
Discovering the best espresso machine under 100 dollars for you and your lifestyle may take a little bit of time. Even though the price point is considered 'budget', you want the most reliable and affordable espresso machine. Because the bottom line is, we want to brew our espresso coffee at home and enjoy it whenever we want!
Candi Randolph is a coffee lover, blogger, and content creator who loves to share her knowledge with the coffee-drinking world. You'll often find her tending to her coffee bar at home, deciding which method to use to brew her next cup of java. Life is full of important decisions.