A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide for Espresso Machines Under $200

best_espresso_machine_under_200_dollarsThat perfect cup of rich, dark coffee that starts our mornings can make a huge difference in how your day unfolds.

With so much on the line, doesn’t it make sense to make sure it’s one heck of a cup? Rather than waiting in line, rushed and hoping the barista gets your drink right, why not make sure it’s done right?

To help the beginner home barista, we’ve found the best home espresso machine under $200.

We’ve included brands you know with a Nespresso Pixie review and a Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium review, and one brand you may not be as familiar with by including a review of the DeLonghi EC702 and the DeLonghi EC155.

    TypeWater CapacityElementCappuccino
#1DeLonghi EC702Great ValueSemi-Auto44 oz.BoilerManual Frother
#2Mr. CoffeeTop SellerSemi-Auto55 oz.BoilerAuto Frother
#3Nespresso PixieTiny & Simple to UseAuto24 oz.ThermoblockAdd-on Accessory
#4DeLonghi EC155Bargain PriceSemi-Auto35 oz.BoilerManual Frother

#1. – DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker

Self-priming to do away with the hassle of waiting for the machine to heat up

Pros:

  • The patented steaming wand makes you feel like a seasoned barista as you create the perfect creamy foam for every cup
  • Users can choose between pods or ground coffee to get the taste they desire

Cons:

  • Users have reported that it takes about 5-6 cups before the machine is broken in and the acidic taste goes away
  • The steaming wand is a little close to the body of the unit

We can’t leave out the De’Longhi EC702 review, considering it’s such an incredible machine. The EC702 is easy to use and very versatile. The top shelf of the unit acts as a cup warmer. The electric 15-bar pressure pump ensures a quality drink every time, and adjustable controls let you modify your espresso or cappuccino.

The EC702 has two separate thermostats, so water and steam pressure to be controlled separately. Its dual filter holder, one for ground coffee and the other for the Easy Serving Espresso pods allow you to customize your espresso, cappuccino or latte. The EC702 has a removable 44-ounce water tank and drip tray, so clean-up is quick and painless.

The larger water reservoir and Rapid Cappuccino System maintains optimal temperature to craft multiple cups. Weighing 13.4 pounds, this is the heaviest machine of the group.


#2. – Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker

One of the best things about the Pixie is the variety of pods available from Nespresso to create that rich, flavorful espresso that will make everything better.

Pros:

  • Its streamlined design is small enough to fit on even the most compact kitchen’s countertop
  • For those that don’t want to hassle with too many different options and who want their espresso at the push of a button, operation is very simple and straightforward

Cons:

  • Some users have reported that the machine is a bit noisy
  • The cost of using pods on a regular basis may add up and become expensive

Part of Nespresso’s OriginalLine, the Pixie is the most ergonomic and compact of its home espresso machines. Heating up in just 25 seconds, the Pixie will alert you when its water reservoir gets too low.

Eco-friendly, it shuts off after 9 minutes and is made of recycled materials. It can hold up to 10 used capsules and has a folding drip tray for a Latte Macchiato glass. Weighing in at only 6.6 lbs, the Pixie also has a 24-ounce water reservoir that can be removed for easy cleaning and is available in a wide range of colors and 2 different finishes.

Nespresso offers a variety of flavor capsules, including 25 different varieties and limited edition flavors from which to choose. Programmable buttons allow you to easily choose between an espresso and lungo.


#3. – Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso/Cappuccino System

Espressos, Cappuccinos, and Lattes, oh my!

Pros:

  • Clean-up is quick and easy with a removable drip catcher, water reservoir, and removable milk reservoir
  • Easy operation with one-touch panel

Cons:

  • The temperature can be inconsistent, so drinks are not as hot as other units
  • The frother creates a thin layer of tougher foam that rests on top and can be spooned off

With the sleek Café Barista, the one-touch control panel allows you to choose from single- or double-shots of espresso, cappuccino or lattes depending on where you are in your caffeine intake for the day. The 15-bar pump system makes brewing consistent as you choose between 12 and 16 ounces.

The included recipe guide shows you how to create rich, aromatic beverages like espresso martinis, caramel cappuccinos or café mochas by adding just a few more ingredients. The milk frother automatically froths your milk as your drink is being made making this one of the most all-inclusive machines of the group. It also automatically shuts off after a few minutes.

The Drip Catcher is removable, so it’s easy to clean, as is the removable water reservoir.


#4. – De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

As the most affordable of the group, the EC155 can craft multiple espressos or cappuccinos with no downtime in between.

Pros:

  • The built-in manual frother makes it easy to create the thick crema that tops off your creation to perfection.
  • Users can use ground coffee or pods depending on their preference

Cons:

  • Some espresso or cappuccino machines come with cup warmers located right on top of the unit itself. The EC155 does not have this feature.
  • The device has been reported to vibrate when it’s in use.

Let’s start with the De’Longhi EC155 review. This semi-automatic espresso machine can craft the perfect single or double espresso, cappuccino, or latte. The swivel jet manual frother mixes steam and milk to craft creamy foam for cappuccinos.

This machine comes with a three-in-one filter holder for one espresso shot, two shots, and another for use with single-use pods. De’Longhi’s Rapid Cappuccino System maintains optimal temperature between cups to make sure you can brew one cup right after another.

The 35-ounce water reservoir and folding drip tray are easy to remove, refill, and re-install so clean-up and preparation are quick. At only 6.7 pounds, the EC155 is portable and its self-priming feature means you get your beverage faster.


Comparision – DeLonghi EC155 vs. EC702

Stainless Steel vs. Plastic Casing

The De’Longhi EC702 includes a sleek stainless steel case with cup warmer functionality. Not only can you store your favorite espresso cups on top of your machine but they’ll be nice and warm by the time your ready to brew each morning. In comparison, the EC155 unit is made from plastic casing, so the higher end De’Longhi EC702 has greater durability.

Display Panel – More Organized and Push Buttons vs. Dial

De’Longhi have included a three button display panel on the higher priced EC702 with LED status lights indicating when water temperature is ready to brew, and when the streamer operation is ready to make cappuccino and hot chocolates. Their budget-friendly EC155 has a plastic dial on the EC155.

Dimensions:

  • (W x D x H inches):
  • EC702: Wider than its cheaper cousin by 4 inches (11.25 x 8.19 x 12.50, 11.10 pounds)
  • EC155: Deeper than the EC702 (7.5 x 13.25 x 11.50, 7.15 pounds)

Weight

The EC702 is approximately 4 pounds heavier than EC155 due to the stainless steel casing. Overall this gives the machine a more robust build quality and more stability on the countertop.

Water Tank

EC702 is equipped with a larger water tank of 44 oz. vs. the 35 oz. in the EC155 model. The larger the tank is, the less frequently you’ll have to fill the tank. The water tank location is also moved to the right-hand side which is more readily available than the top location in the previous model.

Cappuccino System Frother

The De’Longhi designers have included an upgraded Cappuccino System Frother on the EC702 unit. Many buyers have reviewed the latest frother design favourability because of the way that it steams your milk to aerate and swirl, creating a frothy & creamy texture. Speaking of frothing, the frothing wand has been moved from the left side to right in the EC702 model.

Video guide showing the EC702 in action


The Features You Love and What You Can Expect

When you’re looking to find the best espresso maker under $200, it’s smart to be aware of what you can expect in this price range. Whether you’re a novice or looking for a second machine for the office or your vacation getaway, we’ve broken down the most common features and what to expect when you are ready to invest in a higher range machine.

The beauty of these units is that they’re all fairly compact and designed to fit on your kitchen countertop. Rather than waiting minutes for your coffee to brew, these home espresso machines are ready to dispense some seriously hot java after about 25 seconds.

Choose between automatic machines, which do it all for you, including frothing the milk and have readily preset options, or semi-automatic that still require you to put in a little effort by packing the grounds filter and engaging the pump on and off.

Although these are the top-rated espresso machines under $200, there are some features that you just won’t find. One con of most of these machines is that because they are so compact and portable, they have a tendency to vibrate loudly. A more expensive machine ($500 price bracket) will be heavier and though not as compact, will be sturdier in construction and less likely to vibrate.

Also available on the higher-end of home espresso machines are built-in, hands-free grinders, multiple filters that regulate pressure, and features that remove the excess water from the filter baskets after the coffee has been extracted.

Some units include hidden compartments for storing filters and cleaning kits.  Some machines also allow you to go beyond espresso and introduce variety by allowing you to create your own latte or cappuccino drinks.

If you’re ready to re-create your café experience at home, then your next step is to find the best machine for you. Let’s take a look at four of the best home espresso machines on the market.

Find the Best Espresso Machine under $300

There’s no doubt spending an extra $100 goes a long way when you’re buying an espresso machine in the entry-level range. We’ve reviewed three great espresso machines for buyers with budgets that extended to the sub-$300 price point. These machines make great coffee and include an excellent range of features compared to their competitors.

Find below our three selections for the Best Espresso Machine under $300.

 ProductSuitable forOur RatingPrice Guide
De'Longhi Dedica EC680 Best Espresso Machine under $300De’Longhi EC680Small, easy to use and makes great coffee (4.8 / 5)***
nespresso_pixie_espresso_maker_electric_titanNespresso PixiePerfect for owners who need an auto-pilot machine (4.5 / 5)**
Capresso 118.05 EC PRO Espresso and Cappuccino MachineCapresso 118.05Great choice for advanced Coffee lovers (4.4 / 5)**

1. De’Longhi EC680 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine

Best Budget Espresso Machine

An amazing small espresso machine which produces beautiful coffee

De'Longhi Dedica EC680 Best Espresso Machine under $300
De’Longhi EC680D

Pros:

  • Reaches brewing temperature in about 30 seconds.
  • The machine feels very well built and well designed. In fact, it feels higher quality than many espresso makers that are much larger and more expensive.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • The steam wand produces excellent foam. (basically, all of the steam wand complaints on Amazon are from people who aren’t properly priming it per the instructions). We’ve included a YouTube video guide below.

Cons:

  • By no means deal-breakers, but a few suggestions for improvement by DeLonghi
  • I wish there were a way to perform a manual pull without reprogramming the buttons!
  • Can’t attach and remove the portafilter one-handed without causing the machine to tip/rock, due to the small case size.
  • The water reservoir is very ‘tricky’ with its seating. At times the reservoir will sometimes lift just enough that the machine will stop pumping water mid-pull or mid-steam.

Some of the cool features for this espresso machine:

  • Sleek Design provides outstanding espresso while only taking up 6 Inch of space
  • Thermo block technology allows the machine to heat up to the ideal temperature in a quick 40 seconds
  • Cappuccino Frothing system provides Barista quality foam
  • Automatic Flow Stop
  • Stainless Steel Construction

The new De’Longhi Dedica Espresso Maker produces the perfect espresso, latte, or cappuccino at home, all while only taking up 6 Inch of your kitchen countertop. It also features thermo block technology which allows the machine to heat up quickly and be ready within 35 seconds. It has sturdy stainless steel construction and buttons for automatic flow stop. The new Cappuccino Frother provides Barista quality foam for your favorite milk based espresso drinks.

Just make sure to clean the nozzle and push the button for steam before turning the steam knob to avoid the nozzle being clogged by milk.

Do yourself a favor and buy the generic stainless steel tamper accessory for under $15. The standard tamper included is quite short in length and makes usage difficult.

I’ve read reports from buyers that complained about a lack of crema. After using this machine myself, I can only assume that these reviewers are using old or improperly prepared beans.

2. Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, Electric Titan

Perfect for owners who need an auto-pilot machine

nespresso_pixie_espresso_maker_electric_titan
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker

Pros:

  • Small footprint makes this machine well suited for smaller kitchens that don’t have a lot of counter space.
  • Heats up very quickly, so your coffee is ready in seconds.
  • The attractive design which makes the machine a stylish addition to any kitchen counter-top.
  • Produces very good coffee, with excellent crema.

Cons:

  • Smaller water reservoir means refills are frequently required.
  • The water tank can be difficult to remove.
  • Coffee spray during operation.

I quite often speak with friends who would like an espresso machine but can’t be bothered with the hassle that comes with operating a machine designed for advanced owners. Our second selection for espresso machines in the sub-$300 price point is one of the most popular Nespresso models, perfect for buyers who seek the simplicity of an automatic machine. The most complicated task with this machine is buying more coffee pods from the grocery store! Just hit a button and have your steaming hot espresso ready in under a minute.

What do you get with the Nespresso Pixie package? You get a true espresso with a lovely, brown crema on top. One of the best features is that you don’t have to spend time tamping grounds and cleaning them from your machine. The only maintenance required is occasional descaling and emptying the internal bin of used capsules.

If you’re a cappuccino lover, the Aeroccino Plus accessory pack is an optional extra, which means cappuccino and lattes are just minutes away. You can make two cup sizes with the Pixie, espresso, and lungo, which is approximate twice the volume of espresso but, of course, also weaker. Not weak, mind you, but not as strong as espresso.

Overall a very easy to use espresso machine that will last for years.

3. Capresso 118.05 EC PRO Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

The perfect choice for advanced Coffee drinkers

Capresso 118.05 EC PRO Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
Capresso 118.05 EC PRO Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

Designed for the true espresso aficionados the Capresso Pro is a great buy, especially now that it’s available for $300. One it’s most appealing features is the ‘bottomless’ espresso filter. Designed with connoisseurs in mind, the unique filter generates pressure according to the ground coffee bean size and the way they were tamped. The pressure can be adjusted by changing the bean’s size, how they were tamped, or even the age of the beans themselves.

Some of the cool features of the espresso machine:

  • Includes two espresso filters, one for convenience, one for control
  • Brews 1 or 2 espressos at a time
  • Lets you brew barista style and perfect your technique
  • Advanced pump boiler maintains a reservoir of hot water at the perfect
  • 15 bar pump provides optimal pressure for rich crema

The EC Pro gives advanced users more control than coffeemakers they’ve used before. But if you aren’t a coffeemaker whiz, we trust you’ll love its double spout espresso filters and ‘advanced’ pump boiler. One espresso filter was designed for convenience and the other was designed for control. You may use the one you’d prefer. Its advanced pump boiler maintains a reservoir of hot water at the optimal temperature for brewing. Always having water for brewing enables it to prepare coffee faster and more consistently than most of the other commercial-grade coffee makers currently available in the market.

It’s worth highlighting that the Capresso isn’t as easy to use as a Semi Automatic Breville BES840XL. You’ll need to put a little work into each espresso rather than simply pressing a button and letting the machine run on auto pilot. If you want to make coffee easily, don’t buy this machine. It’s an entry level machine for connoisseurs who want total control over each brew.

Capresso’s build quality on the Pro is of high enough quality build, design and output to use every day. The handles are well sized and a nice heavy weight! Two filters are included, both the bottomless filter and two cups/beginner filter. It is useful to have two handles, especially because it is suggested you prime the machine each time you use it to bring it up to temperature. You can prime the machine with one handle while you load and tamp with the other handle.

Pros

  • Unlike most espresso machines sold currently it comes with a good instruction booklet to help you get accustomed to all the features.
  • Water tank in the back is very nicely designed, cleanable..and movable.
  • Build quality is very nice, a good looking machine.
  • The foaming wand makes VERY fluffy foam. Probably easier to use, and more productive, than even the pro espresso machines.
  • The quality of the espresso is excellent and it rivals but does not quite live up to a pro machine. It is rich and not bitter and it is a good temperature.
  • The porta filters are high quality as well – the espresso shots taste amazing.
  • I like this machine, it gets four stars because of that—but I would have got 5 if the espresso were just a little thicker. I do recommend this machine–because I would not be surprised if it were the best in its price range. I like its simplicity.

Cons

  • Could have been designed with sturdiness in mind. If it weighed a little more, you wouldn’t need to brace the machines while putting on the handle.
  • Even when well packed, it’s tough to obtain solid crema on the espresso. Perhaps if you experiment with grind variation crema might be possible.

For the price, you really can’t find a better machine. No other machine on the market in this price point comes with a naked portafilter, stainless steel construction (instead of chrome plated brass), and an articulating steam wand. The water comes out nice and hot, and the machine heats up quickly. Not to mention, it uses a single boiler instead of a thermoblock, so you can always experiment with changing the brew temperature by flipping it onto the steam setting for a few seconds before you extract. There is not much I can say other than this machine is fantastic.

Capresso has produced a machine that makes delicious espresso and steams milk very well with a solid case construction. Isn’t this all that matters?

Appendix

De’Longhi EC680 Guide

Buyer Guide: Best Espresso Machine under $1000

If you’re serious about making your own cafe quality coffee this is the best price range to find a quality espresso machine. This is the price bracket which I paid for my espresso machine, because I wanted the ability to make the prefect espresso. I want the best shot of espresso possible, every time.

For those who want the ultimate espresso experience without the hassle, investing in an espresso machine is key. Lucky for you, below are three machines that are the best espresso machines under $1000, providing the ultimate espresso experience without draining your bank account.

 ProductSuitable forOur RatingPrice Guide
rancilio_hsd-silvia_review Best Espresso Machine under $1000Rancilio HSD-SILVIABest value for money semi-automatic espresso maker (4.8 / 5)*****
delonghi-esam3300-magnifica-super-automatic-espresso_reviewDeLonghi ESAM3300Advanced “cappuccino system” frother will offer you the creamiest latte (4.8 / 5)***
breville_bes920xl_dual_boiler_espresso_machine_reviewBreville BES920XLExtremely simple to use for a high end espresso maker (4.8 / 5)***

1. Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine

rancilio_hsd-silvia_review Best Espresso Machine under $1000
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Rated by experts as the best value for money semi-automatic espresso maker

Our first choice is the Rancilio HSD-Silva espresso machine, which has a sleek and elegant design fitting of a device in the upper price bracket. It features the same ergonomic portafilter handle as its more expensive counterparts, commercial grade group head to expedite heat stability, and articulating steam wand.

The machine has a linear design, allowing it to fit appropriately within any stylish kitchen decor. Rancilio’s single boiler is 0.3 liters (12 ounces), offering one of the largest volume capacities on the market.

Pros:
The articulating steam wand allows for optimal range of motion for when you want to steam milk. This is ideal for making sure that your milk is heated quickly and allows for control over foam preference, so you can switch between lattes and cappuccinos easily.

The ergonomic portafilter handle also allows for optimal extraction, so you can ensure you are getting the perfect, most aromatic shot of espresso each and every time.

How to Make a Cappuccino using the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA

Cons:
We’ve rated this machine number one for a reason, the reviews are stellar. However, there have been some complaints of a “finicky” grinder. For those that want the ideal grind, we recommended using a separate burr grinder. For help finding the best coffee grinder check our guide.


2. DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine

delonghi-esam3300-magnifica-super-automatic-espresso_review
De’Longhi ESAM3300

One of the few super-automatic espresso makers under $1,000

Delonghi is weightier than several other espresso machines, but the heavy lifting that may ensue in placing this machine in your kitchen is due to the vast features this monster of a machine offers its recipients.

DeLonghi features include a “cappuccino system” frother that blends steam and milk for a creamy texture, modernized control panel with menu options, “direct-to-brew” system which grinds beans before brewing, double boiler system, and low-volume burr grinder.

Pros:
One of the best features of this machine is its burr grinder, which not only grinds beans and readies for brewing at lightning speed — it also allows users to select the type of grind so that their coffee and espresso can perfectly match their palate.

The double boiler system ensures that coffee, espresso, and milk will always be at the perfect temperature, while the advanced “cappuccino system” frother will offer you the creamiest latte or cappuccino you’ve ever tasted. There is also a cup warming tray, so you don’t have to fret about your coffee getting cold if a sudden call pulls you away from your morning latte.

Take heed, though: once your friends learn of this machine’s inimitable feature, you may have a line for use that rivals Starbucks’ busiest hours.

Descaling with the De’Longhi ESAM3300

Cons:
The machine is very heavy, so those who aren’t a fan of heavy lifting may get agitated when first loading the machine onto their respective counters. Other than that, DeLonghi espresso machine reviews are excellent.


3. Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

breville_bes920xl_dual_boiler_espresso_machine_review
Breville BES920XL Espresso Machine

Dual stainless steel boilers and Italian pumps for simultaneous shot extraction, milk frothing and optimal pressure

The machine’s features include dual stainless steel boilers which guarantee the best extraction possible for the perfect shot.

The pressure of extraction is monitored shrewdly by an over-pressure valve, temperatures are kept under control by an electronic PID and backlit LCD, and Breville also contains a water hardness test strip.

Pros:
The elegant features of this machine will allow you to channel your inner barista, as its look and features are worthy of becoming a fixture in the most high-end bistros the world has to offer.

At the same time, the machine is extremely simple to use, so you won’t have to spend time poring over the manual and tinkering to enjoy your perfect espresso.

How to Use the Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Cons:
Obviously, you have to wait for a discount if you don’t want to purchase this for over $1000.00, but keep an eye out — the machine is frequently put on sale at prices that can be less than $600.00. One of the few complaints about the machine is that it can sometimes be a bit messy after brewing, so have your paper towels and Windex ready.


Conclusion

This guide offers the best espresso machine under $1000, so that you don’t have to loosen your purse strings for something that will ultimately disappoint and land you right back in line to purchase an overpriced latte each morning.

Take time to research, and get ready to become your own barista!


Discover the Best Espresso Machine Under $500

Discover the Best Espresso Machine Under 500 dollarsWhether you are tired of expensive trips to the local coffee house or you just want to be able to enjoy a terrific cup of espresso whenever you want it, getting your espresso machine can make a lot of sense.

If you’re looking to buy a high-quality espresso machine, the under $500 price point has some fantastic machines to choose from.

To save you some headache-inducing research we have studied hundreds of models and found three that we believe would easily make a great investment. We’ve listed the three espresso machines below by price.

Our Top 3 Espresso Machines Under $500

 ProductSuitable forOur RatingPrice Guide
Best Espresso Machine under $500 breville_bes840xl_reviewBreville BES840XLEspresso lovers who enjoy the subtle difference of a quality home brew (4.9 / 5)*****
100-gaggia-classic-14101Gaggia ClassicBuyers seeking an authentic Italian espresso experience without a trip to a cafe (4.5 / 5)****
Philips Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine reviewPhilips SaecoAn affordable machine capable of making quality espresso every time (4.5 / 5)***

Machine number one is under $500, machine number two’s usually cheaper and machine number three has the lowest price on the list.

All three espresso machines are high quality and come with unique features. Please read the descriptions below and decide which feature set and the price is best for you.


1. Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine Review

This is a fantastic home espresso machine

breville_bes840xl_review
Breville BES840XL the Infuser

Breville has gained a well-deserved reputation for producing high-quality espresso machines, and when taking price into consideration, this machine may be its best yet.

The Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine first uses steady low pressure to gently expand coffee grinds before using high pressure to extract maximum flavor.

This espresso machine boasts a myriad of special features including automatic temperature settings and programmable volumetric control.
It also has a pre-infusion technology, a thermocoil heating system, and PID temperature control technology. Check out the Breville Youtube video which we’ve included below for a great guide on how to use the 840XL to its full potential.

Other features include a cup warmer, a feature that removes excess water from the filter basket after coffee extraction, sleep mode, automatic shut off and extra tall cup clearance.

If you are looking for the best espresso machine under $500, you can’t go wrong with this choice.


2. Gaggia Classic Review

Modern espresso technology is built into a classic design and chassis for the perfect balance between aesthetics and espresso making prowess

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine review
Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel

Another high-quality espresso machine is this model from Gaggia, one of the most respected names in the espresso industry.

This machine combines classic design with some attention-grabbing features, including:

  • Forged brass components to stabilize temperature with a three-way solenoid valve and independent expansion valve
  • Two stainless steel filter baskets (single and double shot), coffee tamper and 7g measuring scoop
  • A high-power 17-1/2-bar pump with a high-voltage boiler for quick warm-up times
  • Works with coffee pods and is designed to deliver two cups at once.
  • Hot water dispenser for tea
  • A frothing wand for crema
  • A cup warmer

Gaggia’s Classic machine can turn anyone into a ‘Barista’ in their home. That’s why this machine is also in the running for the title of best espresso machine in the sub $500 range. We’ve reviewed the Gaggia Classic here.


3. Philips Saeco HD8325-47 Via Venezia Espresso Machine Review

Perfect for making espresso or a nice cappuccino

Philips Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine review
Philips Saeco Via Venezia Espresso Machine

Priced around $300, this high-quality espresso machine can quickly make trips to the coffee house a thing of the past.

  • A pressurized portafilter to ensure excellent coffee extraction
  • An ESE pod adapter so you can use pre-packaged, single-serve shots at your convenience.
  • Buttons with clear control lights show when your Via Venezia is ready to brew or ready to steam
  • A warming surface with six-cup capacity on top of the machine ensures that your cup will be ready for coffee whenever you are.
  • An integrated Pannarello steam wand means you can froth your milk exactly as you wish and provides hot water for tea, hot chocolate, and other beverages.

With the Via Venezia, you’ll be able to create true Italian espresso with signature dark color, rich layer of crema, fragrant taste and intense aroma.

That’s why this espresso machine is another that deserves strong consideration.


Now the Decision is Yours …

In the end, only you can decide which espresso machine is truly the best for your personal preference. To do that you will need to carefully consider the five areas we discussed at the beginning of this article and determine which are most important to you.

Unfortunately, to get some features that are more important to you, you may have to give up certain other features.

You may also have to miss out on certain features due to price.

Honestly, however, with the three models that we have listed in this article, we believe you can’t make a wrong choice. All three will allow you to get great-tasting coffee right in the comfort of your home.

Appendix

Breville BES840XL – How to Guides

Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine Review: A Classic Design

The Gaggia 14101 Classic espresso maker is a stainless steel machine that whips up an excellent espresso in no time. While it has a couple of quirks, judging from our Gaggia Classic review it still maintains that classic presence and poise, all while being incredibly easy to clean.

Let’s examine the 14101’s pros and cons, high points, and quirks to see what makes it one of the unique espresso machines on the market today.

Gaggia Classic Review: The Pros and Cons

The best way to see if an espresso machine is ideal for you is to take a close look at its pros and cons. What does it do right? What does it do wrong? Let’s answer these two critical questions now.

The Pros:

  • Modern espresso technology is built straight into a classic design and chassis for the optimal balance between aesthetics and espresso making prowess
  • Maximum temperature stability is made possible by brass portafilters and group head to ensure a consistent experience every time
  • 17-1/2-bar pump with a high-voltage boiler provides fast warm-up times – no matter what
  • The espresso tastes great! (The most important pro an espresso machine could have, we think)

The Cons:

  • If you’re not the type that wants authentic, high-quality espresso from a manufacturer based in Italy, then the Gaggia 14101 Classic may not be the right choice for you
  • On a more serious note, the milk wand is a bit of a downer. However, given the robust feature set of this particular machine, it’s easy to ignore this slight issue
  • Lastly, you’re going to drastically increase your caffeine levels with this product, so be sure to keep that in mind!

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine review

The Importance of a Quality Portafilter Basket

One thing to bear in mind if you decide to invest in your very own Gaggia 14101 is that you’ll want to additionally purchase a high-quality portafilter basket.

It’s not entirely necessary to invest in one, but it’s certainly a very good idea given that it will improve the quality of your final product and give you a backup basket to use in the event you encounter issues with the stock one that comes with the unit.

Does the Gaggia Classic Produce Good Espresso?

The ultimate question, of course, is this one: Does the Gaggia make a great espresso? The answer is a resounding yes!

We found the Gaggia 14101 Classic produces a fantastic espresso in a time-tested, classic design, and we couldn’t be more impressed.

While the machine won’t instantly transport you to Italy, it will give you an authentic Italian espresso experience. All in all, it’s a great espresso machine that does what it sets out to do, and for that reason, we give it top marks.

Cleaning the Gaggia Classic

But, if there is one thing that all espresso machines share in common, it’s the necessity of doing basic maintenance and cleaning after repeated use. Fortunately for us, the Gaggia 14101 is a breeze to clean and keep clean.

It’s easy to disassemble, and even easier to scrub clean. Overall, it’s one of the most easily maintainable espresso machines with which we’ve had the pleasure of dealing, and it completes the experience not to have to worry about routine maintenance being a pain.

What about the Milk Wand?

One minor complaint we have with the Gaggia 14101 is its less than stellar milk wand. It’s a bit of let down because it is plastic.

You would expect that a stainless steel espresso machine of this caliber would incorporate brass and steel parts throughout the entire design, but unfortunately, uses a plastic wand. We were unimpressed with this section of the machine, but otherwise very satisfied with the product.

How to Guide: Make a flat white or latte with the Gaggia Classic:

Our Final Thoughts: A Great Buy, but Invest in a Portafilter Basket!

In summary, we were very impressed with the Gaggia 14101 Classic for its commitment to maintaining that time-tested espresso machine design while simultaneously using modern technology to produce a quality espresso shot no matter what.

We particularly enjoyed the 14101’s consistent quality and easy to clean interior, as well as its classic but modern looks.

One downside was the plastic wand, but this is a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things. Overall, we enjoyed the Gaggia 14101, and it comes highly recommended!