Our Top Choice
Want a machine that will turn your kitchen into your own personal coffee shop? Allow me to introduce you to this beauty from Breville.
This machine is great at making any novice feel like a professional barista thanks to a balance of hands-on opportunities and automated features. It is sturdy, VERY easy on the eyes and delivers a quality that other models in the same price range simply can’t compare too — although the other two on this list come close.
When you have time, come back to this article and learn about what specifics make this machine OH SO wonderful.
Shopping for espresso machines under $500 is a pretty great place to be in.
You can start to enjoy some of the lovely bells and whistles that come with semi-automatic machines or dressed up pod machines without blowing your budget.
In this article, I’m going to go through three of the ABSOLUTELY BEST espresso machines under $500. These machines are going to deliver you quality espresso and milk-based beverages, and a couple can even help you unlock your inner barista.
Top Espresso Machines Under $500 Review
- Dimensions: 13.2 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches
- Weight: 30.4 lbs.
True story: I worked at Starbucks for four months (yes, ONLY four months) when I was 18. I discovered the job was not for me — this was not because the company was bad or that the staff wasn’t awesome. Everyone was great, it just turns out that I much prefer drinking coffee (lots and LOTS of coffee) instead of serving it.
But the process of actually pulling my own espresso shots, frothing the milk and smelling the beans as they were ground was still appealing to me.
Enter the Breville Infuser Espresso Machine. The Infuser allows you to unlock your inner barista and serve in a cafe with only one customer — YOU.
One of my favorite things about this machine is the automatic purge function. This feature automatically adjusts the temperature of the water used for extracting espresso and steaming milk.
By regulating the temperature, your milk and espresso shots always end up as PERFECTION. I love seeing every single shot I pull to come out rich and chocolatey in color, topped with a perfect layer of crema. And they always taste AMAZING.
Other Things We Love
- A removable water tank with handle makes it easy to clean and refill. This is great for when you’re entertaining guests and want to make heaps of espresso!
- The stainless steel steam wand is extremely easy to use and works great! I ESPECIALLY liked that the wand was ball-mounted so that you can have fun experimenting with latte art. It’s a great way to impress your friends or to simply give yourself the full cafe experience from the comfort of your home.
- Although cleanup is easy in most area, grinds will occasionally accumulate in the drip tray, which adds a little extra maintenance time.
This is another EXTREMELY affordable semi-automatic espresso maker that feels pretty much as far away from a bargain as you can get.
The Gaggia Classic includes a pannarello wand that really hits it out of the park when it comes to getting froth the way YOU want it — whether that’s for the driest of dry cappuccinos or a wet latte that is practically foamless.
One thing I particularly love about this machine (a thing that can be really hard to come by with a semi-automatic that runs at this low of a price) is that you have the option to do single OR double espresso shots. And my fellow coffee lovers, I think we all know how NEEDED that double espresso is needed on certain days.
Other Things We Love
- The Cafe Roma’s froth enhancer ensures that you get beautiful crema with each espresso shots. Shots also have a smooth, aromatic flavor, which can be hard to find with low-price espresso machines. I will admit that the shots aren’t as smooth as the Nespresso Inissia, but they come pretty darn close.
- One area where this machine has a bit of an edge over the Inissia is when it comes to espresso options. You can choose to use ground espresso or capsules with this machine — it’s the best of both worlds!
- It’s not quite as itty bitty as the Inissia, but at 13 lbs, the Cafe Roma boasts a small footprint and can easily fit into your kitchen.
- Steam wand can be a bit ornery at times
- You don’t have an option to adjust for more than one cup size
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 6.6 x 10.2 inches
- Weight: 11.4 lbs.
I’ve always been a big fan of pod espresso machines because — HELLO — convenience.
The Lattissima Plus from Delonghi is no different from other nespresso machines, in that all it requires you to do to get your delicious espresso or cup of coffee is pop in a capsule and push a button. BOOM.
What makes this model stand out among other pod espresso machines is that it has an integrated single-touch milk system. If you’re looking for a cappuccino or macchiato with a foam that will knock your socks off, look no further than the Latissima Plus.
SERIOUSLY, guys, they are NOT messing around when it comes to foam.
The foam you get is dense, rich, and lasts. One thing that can really grind my gears is when I get a cappuccino (I like mine dry, being that I am a foam fanatic) and the foam basically dissipates before I am even halfway through my drink — I ordered it dry for a REASON!
You won’t have to worry about being disappointed with this machine. With just one touch of a button, it delivers excellent foam for lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, or any other milk-based concoction you desire.
Moreover, the 19 bars of pressure this machine boasts makes sure that you get barista-quality espresso shots each and every time.
Other Things We Love
- Accommodate different cup sizes in case you wanna GO BIG while at home
- Heats up FAST so you can enjoy your java ASAP
- System maintains optimal temperature so you don’t have to wait in between cups
Best Overall Espresso Machine Under $500
Along with the aforementioned reasons that the Infuser is the best of the best under $500, one thing I really love about this machine is the low-pressure, pre-infusion system.
This system uses water pressure to gently expand grinds, which is one thing that really makes the aromatic flavor profiles of each espresso shot outshine competitors.
Lastly, the Infuser’s automated standby mode can help you SAVE MONEY on your energy bills. The machine automatically goes into standby mode after one hour of non-use and turns off after three hours.
It just doesn’t get any better!