Best Espresso Machine Under $100: Top Picks for Budget Coffee Lovers

espresso machines under 100

Are you a coffee enthusiast on a budget? Do you crave the rich and intense flavor of espresso but don’t want to break the bank? Look no further! In this article, we’ll explore the world of espresso machines and help you find the best espresso machine under $100. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned coffee lover, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your favorite mug, sit back, and let’s dive into the aromatic realm of affordable espresso machines!

Espresso, with its bold taste and velvety texture, has become a staple in the lives of coffee aficionados. The secret behind this delightful beverage lies in the brewing process and the quality of the espresso machine. However, finding an espresso machine that fits your budget can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the top 5 best espresso machines under $100 to simplify your decision-making process.

types of espresso machines under 100

Types of Budget Espresso Machines

As you search for the best espresso machine under $100, you’ll come across various types of machines. Each type has distinct features and advantages that match different preferences and needs. Here’s a closer look at four main types:

Steam Espresso Machines

Steam espresso machines use steam to create pressure that forces hot water through coffee grounds. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, making them ideal for beginners. These machines typically come with a steam wand for milk frothing, allowing you to make cappuccinos and lattes. However, steam espresso machines may produce less consistent espresso compared to other types due to fluctuations in pressure and temperature.

Stovetop Espresso Makers

Stovetop espresso makers, also known as Moka pots, are a classic and budget-friendly option. They work by heating water in a bottom chamber, which then creates pressure, forcing the hot water through coffee grounds into the top chamber. Stovetop espresso makers don’t require electricity and are generally simple to use, clean, and maintain. Keep in mind that you’ll need a stovetop, microwave, or an appliance to heat them. While they may not yield traditional espresso, Moka pots can still produce a strong, flavorful cup of coffee.

Portable Espresso Machines

For those who enjoy espresso on-the-go or have limited space, portable espresso machines can be a great choice. They’re compact, lightweight, and require no electricity. Most portable espresso machines use manual pressure or a pump system to force hot water through coffee grounds. However, you’ll need to preheat your water and grind your coffee separately. They are perfect for outdoor adventures or if you want to take your espresso-making hobby to new places.

Semi-Automatic Machines

Semi-automatic machines offer a balance between control over the brewing process and ease of use. With these machines, you can manually start and stop the flow of water. While some semi-automatic machines may be more expensive, there are budget-friendly options available. They provide consistent pressure and temperature, allowing you to produce a quality espresso. Note that you’ll need to invest some time and effort in practicing your barista skills to get the most out of these machines.

Key Features to Look for in Budget Espresso Machines


When looking for an espresso machine under $100, pay attention to the pressure. The ideal pressure for brewing espresso is 9 bars. However, budget machines may offer lower pressure rates, around 3 to 6 bars. Although not perfect, models within this range can still produce a decent cup of espresso. Remember, pressure is essential for extracting rich, robust flavors from your coffee grounds.

Water Tank

A good espresso machine should have a reasonably-sized water tank. A larger capacity allows you to brew multiple cups of espresso without the need to constantly refill the tank. On the other hand, you don’t want a water tank that’s too big, as it can make the machine bulky and take up valuable counter space. Look for machines with removable water tanks, as they’re easier to fill and clean.

Easy to Clean and Maintain

Your espresso machine should be easy to clean and maintain so you can save time and effort. Look for features like a removable drip tray, which makes it simple to clean up spills and messes. Additionally, consider machines with accessible components and easy-to-disassemble parts, making the cleaning process more manageable.

For maintenance, examine the machine’s warranty. A longer warranty period is an indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Also, check whether replacement parts, such as filters and steam wands, are readily available and affordable, to ensure you can keep your machine running in top condition.

Top Espresso Machines Under $100

In this section, we will discuss four top espresso machines under $100 that offer great value and performance. These machines have been selected based on their features, durability, ease of use, and customer reviews.

De’Longhi Stilosa

The De’Longhi Stilosa Espresso Machine is a sleek and compact option for your espresso needs. Its modern design, combined with its functionality, makes it a popular choice among users. Some of its key features include:

  • 15-bar pump for optimal extraction
  • Manual milk frother for making lattes and cappuccinos
  • Removable 1-liter water tank for easy filling and cleaning

Customers praise the De’Longhi Stilosa for its ease of use, decent shot quality, and overall value for the price.

Hamilton Beach 15 Bar Espresso Machine

The Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker offers flexibility and convenience at an affordable price point. This machine has received positive reviews for its performance and user-friendly design. Key features of the Hamilton Beach machine include:

  • Compatible with both ground espresso and ESE pods
  • 15-bar Italian pump for excellent pressure and flavor extraction
  • Simple push-button controls for ease of use

Users appreciate the Hamilton Beach’s ability to produce good-quality espresso and the versatility it offers in terms of espresso preparation methods.

Bialetti Moka Express

The Bialetti Moka Express is a classic Italian stovetop espresso maker that has been a favorite among coffee enthusiasts for years. This aluminum pot is known for its durability, affordability, and simplicity. Some noteworthy features of this iconic espresso maker are:

  • Available in various sizes to suit your needs (from 1 to 12 cups)
  • Easy to use and clean, making it ideal for daily use
  • Consistent and rich espresso flavor, thanks to its unique design

The Bialetti Moka Express has garnered favorable reviews for its reliability, ease of use, and the quality of espresso it produces.

Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

For those who want to enjoy espresso on the go, the Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker is an excellent choice. This lightweight and compact espresso maker has gained popularity for its travel-friendly design, ease of use, and quality espresso output. Some of its main features include:

  • Manual operation, requiring no electricity or batteries
  • 18 bars of pressure for a smooth and rich espresso
  • Compatible with NS (Nespresso) capsules with the optional NS adapter

We absolutely love the Wacaco Nanopresso’s portability and performance, making it a top choice for coffee lovers who are always on the move traveling, camping, or just don’t want to sacrifice the counter space for a full espresso machine.

Brewing Espresso Drinks with a Budget Machine

Creating the Perfect Crema

To create the perfect crema with an affordable espresso machine, you need to ensure your machine is clean and well-maintained. Clean it regularly, especially the steam wand and group head. Freshly grind coffee beans to ensure optimal flavor. Use a consistent, fine grind size for your espresso. Lightly tamp the coffee grounds in the portafilter to achieve consistent brewing pressure. After brewing, you should have a rich, golden layer on top of your espresso, which is your crema.

Steaming Milk for Lattes and Cappuccinos

For steaming milk, start with cold milk, preferably in a stainless steel pitcher. When steaming, your goal is to create a smooth, velvety texture. To do this, slightly immerse the steam wand at an angle into the milk and turn it on. Slowly lower the pitcher as the milk begins to froth and expand. Ensure the steam wand doesn’t create big bubbles or become too close to the milk’s surface, as this can lead to splattering and uneven frothing. Continue steaming until the milk reaches the desired temperature and consistency for your lattes and cappuccinos.

Making Specialty Drinks

With budget espresso machines, you can still experiment with various specialty drinks:

  • Aeropress: Although not a true espresso, you can create an Aeropress coffee with a rich, concentrated flavor. It requires an Aeropress device and fine ground coffee. The Aeropress brewing method involves steeping, plunging, and filtering, resulting in a unique coffee experience.
  • Iced Latte: Prepare a shot of espresso and pour it over a glass filled with ice. Add cold milk to fill the glass, and sweeten as desired.
  • Mocha: Make a chocolate syrup by combining cocoa powder, sugar, and water. Pour it into your cup, followed by a shot of espresso. Top with steamed milk and enjoy.

Remember, even with a budget machine, you can still explore the world of espresso drinks. Just focus on using the best possible techniques and ingredients to achieve flavorful and satisfying results.

Affordable Alternatives to Espresso Machines

affordable espresso machines under 100

While you may be looking for the best espresso machine under $100, it’s essential to consider some affordable alternatives that can still produce high-quality coffee. In this section, we’ll explore three popular options: the Bialetti Moka Pot, the AeroPress, and the French Press.

Bialetti Moka Pot

The Bialetti Moka Pot is a classic stovetop espresso maker that’s been around since the 1930s. Although it doesn’t create traditional espresso, the Moka Pot brews a strong, concentrated coffee that’s similar in taste and intensity. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Affordability: The Moka Pot is typically priced between $20 and $40, making it a budget-friendly option.
  • Ease of use: With a simple design, you can quickly learn how to brew with a Moka Pot. Just fill the bottom chamber with water, add ground coffee to the filter basket, and place it on the stove.
  • Rich and bold flavor: This stovetop espresso maker is known for producing a robust, full-bodied coffee that can satisfy your espresso cravings.


The AeroPress is another affordable and versatile alternative to an espresso machine. Although not specifically designed for making espresso, the AeroPress can create a strong, concentrated coffee that’s comparable to espresso. Here’s why you might like it:

  • Affordability: You can find an AeroPress for around $30, making it a budget-friendly option.
  • Portability: The compact and lightweight design makes it perfect for travel or small kitchens.
  • Fast brewing time: The AeroPress can make a cup of concentrated coffee in just a few minutes.

French Press

Finally, the French Press is a well-known manual coffee maker that can provide an alternative to espresso machines. While it doesn’t produce the same level of pressure and crema as an espresso machine, the French Press can still make strong, flavorful coffee. Consider the following:

  • Affordability: A French Press is typically priced between $15 and $50, depending on the size and materials.
  • Easy to use: Simply add coarsely ground coffee, pour hot water, and let it steep for 4 minutes before pressing the plunger.
  • Customizable strength: You can adjust the coffee-to-water ratio and steeping time to achieve your desired coffee strength.

Each of these alternatives has its own unique characteristics, but they all offer a more affordable way to enjoy rich, flavorful coffee without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, you don’t need to empty your wallet to enjoy a delicious cup of espresso at home. With the best espresso machines under $100, you can savor the rich flavors and aromas without exceeding your budget. Consider the factors discussed in this article, explore our top 5 picks, and take your coffee brewing experience to new heights. Cheers to affordable and satisfying espresso!

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