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Espresso Machine Price Guide



When I decided to buy my first espresso machine I was a little intimidated. There are so many different types of espresso makers out there that I didn't really know where to start. And this was before the Internet was like it is today, so I couldn't just jump online and read a bunch of reviews and buying guides!


Probably the most confusing thing for me when I bought that first machine was price. It seemed like espresso machine could vary wildly in price and I didn't understand why there was such a wide range of different prices. And I definitely didn't know what a "good" machine should cost. That's what I'm going to talk about in this buying guide today....everything you ever wanted to know about espresso machine prices.


How Much Should You Spend?


People always ask me how much they should spend. How much you spend will determine how good an espresso machine you get...usually. Sometimes really expensive models are just junk with a high price tag, but for the most part you get what you pay for when it comes to espresso machines.


As far as prices go, I like to categorize machines into these main groups:

  • Semi-Automatic Machines
  • Automatic Machines
  • Specialty Machines


Now, within each of those categories, prices will fluctuate based on different things like quality, features, etc. and I'll get into those differences later. But first it's a good idea to understand those broad categories before we get into specifics.


Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines


Semi-Automatics (sometimes I call them manual) are what most people think of when they think of a home espresso machine. These are usually the machines you see in stores. They consist of a water tank, and arm thing sticking out where you put the espresso grounds, a frother arm, and a drip tray. Very basic.


DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker
With these machines, you grind your coffee beans, put the grounds in the arm, tamp it down, press the button, watch the espresso come out, then press the button to turn it off. Here's a picture of a basic semi-automatic machine, and they all look pretty much like this.


Prices for these types of machines generally start at around a hundred dollars and will spike up to around $300 to $500 for a very high quality (near commercial grade) machine.


If you're just starting out in the world of espresso, then you should aim for the $100-$150 range. If you're a connoisseur of espresso and you want an amazing machine, look for the $300-$500 price range. Prices between those two tend to consist of middle level machines that are not necessarily better than the entry level prices but probably have either a few more bells and whistles or a fancy brand name.


Automatic Machines


Automatic machines are large box-shaped machines that do it all at the touch of a button. They will store your coffee beans, automatically grind the exact amount, make a shot of espresso, and dispose of the used coffee grounds afterwards. These are more like small kitchen appliances and they come with a much larger price tag.


Jura-Capresso Automatic Espresso Machine
Here's a picture of a typical automatic machine. You won't usually see them in stores unless its specifically an espresso machine store. The regular big box stores and department stores usually only carry semi-automatic machines, probably because of their smaller prices (hence mass market appeal).


Prices for these types of automatic machines usually start around $500 and can quickly shoot up to $3,000 or more depending on the brand and the number of bells and whistles.


An entry level automatic usually runs between $500 and $800. Then they shoot right up to between $1,500 and $3,000. There really doesn't seem to be a "middle" range between those two. Of course after that prices just get crazy.


Specialty Espresso Machines


This is my own category of espresso makers. It consists of what I like to call novelty machines. You might see zany designs here, pod powered machines, or big name coffee company machines.


For instance a while back Starbucks decided to build their own espresso machine (hey, why not!). I consider that a specialty machine. Likewise Illy the coffee company started to produce their own machines called FrancisFrancis! (the ! is part of the name - I'm not excited). Those are specialty machines.


Also I lump in those pod/capsule/disc/cup powered machines like the Tassimo Brewbot, Nespresso, Keurig in this category too.


Prices for specialty machines are usually much much higher than regular machines. Sometimes double or triple the costs of a semi-automatic machine. You can usually tell a specialty machine because it has a wild design that looks a lot different then the two types I've shown you today (check my FrancisFrancis! reviews menu-right to see what I mean).


Unless you've got a lot more experience than the average espresso drinker, you probably want to stay away from these types of machines. There's usually nothing inherently "wrong" with them, but you need to know what you're getting yourself into before you shell out the big bucks for them.


It's Not Much More Complicated Then That!


Really that's all there is to it. Expect to see from $100-$500 for an automatic machine and from $500-$3,000 for an automatic; and all kinds of crazy prices in between for specialty machines.


Since espresso machines are so expensive, there's a lot of room for "sale" prices. I spend a lot of time scouring the Internet looking for low prices and then I post them here on the site wherever I find them. So if you're looking for a specific model or brand, always check here before you buy. You can often find hundreds of dollars in discounts that way.


And if you've got a specific model in mind and want to see the average price, check to see if I've written a review on it. If so, you can bet I've spent a good deal of time discussing it's price!







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