Luxury espresso is our weakness. Just imagine this: a hot, thick shot of espresso. Heaven, right? Totally. If you're going to plan on making espresso at home for the foreseeable future, you may get to the point where you want to make a significant investment in a machine. I know I did once I stopped going to the chain coffee shop! In order to kick that expensive daily latte habit, I bought myself a good espresso machine which paid for itself quite fast.
Now you may not have gone to the pits of the coffee machine market, and you probably don't want to, but we have. This is why we bought you the best five espresso machines under 1000, with a detailed comparison between the models as well!
Best Espresso Machine Under $1000
We all know the market can be all sorts of confusing. There are too many gimmicky products. That’s why we’re here, after all. Kick back, relax, and read on.
Now, let's take a closer look at our favorite espresso machines under 1000.
Breville The Barista Express Coffee Machine
- The Breville Barista Express delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Barista Series that offers all in one espresso machines with integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
- Dose Control Grinding: Integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean
- Optimal Water Pressure: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup. Grind Settings: 16 precision grind settings
With this coffee machine, it’s hard to forget about the purge function. This is a built-in function that adjusts water temperature after steam.
Why is that important? Well, to make the optimal espresso you need the optimal espresso extraction temperature.
You see, being precise is important. A difference as small as 1°F can leave a huge impact. The digital temperature control (PID) technology works on managing any changes in temperature when extracting.
This is hands down my favorite espresso machine under 1000, and the one I own.
- Features hands-free grinding cradle
- Manages espresso extraction pressure and temperature
- Features the purge function
- Extraction needs improvement; doesn’t produce enough crema.
Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker
- The Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine helps you create third wave specialty coffee with ease with intuitive touch screen display with pre-programmed cafe drinks in 3 easy steps Grind Brew and Milk; You can easily adjust the coffee strength, milk texture and temperature to suit your taste.
- Precise Espresso Extraction: Digital Temperature Control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature ensuring optimal espresso extraction
- Faster Heat Up Time: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds; Ready to make your best coffee without the wait
On the run? Don’t worry, your coffee will be ready in a minute. This espresso maker is supplied with a ThermoJet heating system. This system reaches the ideal extraction temperature in 3 seconds.
This coffee machine, much like the other Breville, is equipped with digital temperature control (PID) technology. With it, the extraction process goes smoothly.
Trying to kickstart your home barista career? Say no more. The grinding cradle lets you grind coffee right into the portafilter. Soon after, you’ll enjoy the velvety smooth mouthfeel.
- Heat up time is 3 seconds
- Grouphead is inconvenient to clean
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine
- Ergonomic porta filter handle same as the proven design of Rancilio commercial machines
- Commercial grade group head for superb heat stability and extraction quality
- Articulating steam wand offers complete range of motion and professional steaming knob precisely controls steaming pressure
One thing’s for sure: this machine will last for a long time. It’s built out of an iron frame, which is paired with stainless steel side panels. This is one solid coffee machine.
Here’s what you’ll notice with this espresso machine. It has a pretty big boiler. It can accomplish up to 12 oz, all the while maintaining lighting-quick recovery time between shots.
Hey, you don’t have to be an espresso connoisseur to use this machine. There’s no need to spend hours perfecting the temperature. Just pick up the instruction manual, push some buttons, and drink your cup of espresso.
- Features 12 oz boiler
- Has high-grade group head for good heat stability
- Needs constant maintenance
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
- Enjoy 5 coffees
- Intuitive touch display
- 12-step grinder adjustment
Buckle in, friends. This is a fully-automatic espresso machine that gives variety when it comes to beans. Yes, it has a 12-step adjustable grinder.
Wondering what that means? It means that this grinder can be adjusted through 12 steps to give you freedom with your beans: anything from super-fine coffee powder to coarse crumbs.
There’s also the Aroma Extract system. It’s what causes this coffee machine to get the perfect balance of temperature. It settles between 90 and 98°C to ensure a perfect cup of espresso.
- Features the Aroma Extract system
- Has the AquaClean filter
- Affordable considering it’s a fully-automatic coffee machine
- Filter removes scaling
- Takes a few cups for the flavor to break-in
Philips 2200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
- Easy selection of your coffee with intuitive touch display, makes espresso, hot water and coffee
- From fine to coarse thanks to the 12 step grinder adjustment
- 20,000 cups of finest coffee with durable ceramic grinders
Can you imagine making 20,000 cups of espresso-tasting heaven? Well, imagine no more. The 100% ceramic grinders will make your dreams come true. And you get to have 5000 cups before descaling!
Here’s the thing. A fresh cup of coffee isn’t made from ten-day-old beans. You need fresh beans. But with this machine, we weren’t really worried about that. The aroma seal in this espresso maker keeps your beans for a long time.
Also, we can’t really forget about this little detail: the automatic descaling! Here’s the thing. No one likes descaling. Neither do we. Well, this coffee machine has an automatic descaling feature. Maintenance won’t be that hard anymore.
- Features automatic descaling
- Has the aroma seal
- Removable brew group
- The buttons are like sensors in the sense they require one full second to react to touch
Comparing Espresso Machines Under 1000
Investing in an espresso machine at this price point is HUGE. While we've gotten together the best of the best, you may still have some questions. Now, let's compare and contrast some of these models a bit more.
Breville Barista Express vs Breville Barista Touch
When it comes to the Barista Express and the Barista Touch, there are a few key things to think about.
First is price, the Barista express costs less.
But what does the premium price tag get you when it comes to the Breville Barista Touch?
A faster heat up time, and a fancier control system with one touch controls for your favorite drink.
The insides are very similar, but the difference between the Express and Touch come down to how much effort you need to spend to actually work the machine.
If you're looking for a hands off experience, then the Barista Touch is worth the increased price tag.
Breville Barista Express vs Rancilio Silvia
When it comes to these five great espresso machines on this list, there really are two huge contenders: the Breville Barista Express vs Rancilio Silvia.
We've already talked about the differences among the Breville models, so let's talk about the Rancilio Silvia vs Breville.
The Rancilio Silvia is undoubtably the best espresso machine under 1000 dollars, however one thing we can't ignore is the constant maintenance it requires.
Personally, for me it was a no go when it came down to the Rancilio Siliva vs the Barista Express.
I've been a happy Barista Express owner for well over five years, and I use it at least four times a day. I can tell you it takes next to nothing in the maintenance department other than an occasional cleaning which is easy to do.
For that reason alone, I love my Barista Express. I simply don't have the time the Rancilio Silvia requires to keep it in tip top shape. If I did I would have purchased one.
Breville Barista Express vs Philips 3200
When we're looking at the Philips 3200 vs the Barista Express, it comes down to your personal preference. The Breville Barista Express is more manual than the Philips 3200. You'll need to grind the shot, use the tamper, put it in the machine, then hit a button. The Philips 3200 is a fully automatic espresso machine at a insanely low price point for what you are getting.
If you want a fully automatic espresso machine, get the Philips 3200, if you want to be more involved in the espresso making process, get the Barista Express.
Breville Barista Touch vs Philips 3200
Now, let's look at the Barista Touch vis the Philips 3200. The Barista Touch is only slightly more automatic than the express, you have pre set buttons for how you would like your milk frothed, there's still some effort needed to pull your shot of espresso vs the Philips 3200. Once again, it is preference. If you want fully automatic, go for the Philips 3200. Otherwise, save yourself a bit of money and get a Barista Express anyway!
Picking the Best Espresso Machine Under 1000
Espresso machines have a lot of mind-boggling details that can drive you mad.
Let's take a look at these espresso machines one more time:
We can’t deny that we’re big fans of the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine. It needs some maintenance, sure, but it’s a long-lasting coffee-serving companion. The tradeoff is worth it in many cases.
If the Brevilles or the Rancilio doesn't quite meet your needs, then consider the more automatic Philips models. The Philips 2200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine is a great all around expresso machine, with an automatic descaling feature.
As you can see, when it comes to picking the best espresso machine, both Breville and Philips are major players in the game, and you can't go wrong with a machine made by either of these manufactures. For the truest and most authentic Italian espresso experience, we have the Rancilio Silvia.
Where Did Espresso Come From?
Before you ever laid eyes on a cup of espresso coffee, an Italian man named Angelo Moriondo wondered how to deliver the perfect cup to you many, many years ago. In 1884, he patented an “instantaneous” coffee-making machine.
Look at this first patent of the machine. Hey, we’ve sure come a long way.
Soon enough, the now-improved espresso machine was being produced industrially.
With the widespread phenomenon of espresso bars, coffee machines became pretty big business.
It’s easy to see why: meeting together for a cup of coffee was a great way to socialize and meet new people. Especially in the United Kingdom, where Italian coffee culture became a popular refuge for the Italian diaspora.
But, What Is Espresso?
Here’s the one thing people always get wrong about espresso: It isn’t a kind of coffee like cappuccino or latte. Espresso is a method of coffee-making. An espresso coffee—coffee made through the espresso method—is the essence of coffee.
Wondering how to make espresso coffee? You need two things: pressure and temperature. This is because espresso is made by forcing almost boiling water through a dirt-like layer of ground coffee beans.
Now, let’s assume everything else is constant for a second. If you set a temperature higher than 205°F during extraction, your coffee could taste burnt and ashy. If you set a temperature lower than 195°F, the extraction will be slower and will yield less coffee. The key is to settle in between those two temperatures.
“But what about pressure?” For starters, you need 9 bars of it. Let’s try and put this in perspective.
If you’re pumping your car tire, you need to pump it up to 32 PSI. Put that number next to 9 bars of pressure. You’ll find that nine bars of pressure are over four times as much as a tire.
Remember what we said about almost boiling water forcing its way through ground coffee? Imagine using that much pressure. It’s widely agreed upon that nine bars extract the best kind of espresso: thick, creamy, and heavy.