The mechanism used for making espresso involves consistent precision. This is what makes espresso machines expensive. Normally, an espresso machine which is considered good, will cost you anywhere above $500. However, you will still be able to find cheap espresso machines, they might not cope up with getting you the best espresso but they still make espresso, which is what you really need.
Here, we have brought together 5 of the best espresso machines under 150. These are good if you are constrained on budget. So, these espresso machines listed below will be good for home use or most preferable for those who live alone. There are several things which you might miss in a cheap espresso machine, but no worries, we will be taking you some important things to know which will make you realize what a 150 dollars espresso machines will actually offer.
5 Best Espresso Machines under 150 2020
|Espresso Machine||Steam Wand||Price|
|De’Longhi BAR32 Retro||Yes|
|Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine||Yes|
|Capresso Pump Espresso Machine||Yes|
What an Espresso Machine worth $150 Actually Offers?
This section here is specially included to make you understand that what will 150 dollars espresso machine gives you and what it will not. Also, more or less, it is a guide towards buying yourself the best budget espresso machine.
Espresso Machines are of three different types. First is the super-automatic espresso machine, in this type everything starting from grinding the beans and ending at frothing the milk, is done by the machine itself. This type frees you from any prior knowledge about making espresso. But this type is most expensive among espresso machines, you won’t be able to get it in 150 dollars budget.
Next type is the semi-automatic espresso machine, almost all budget-friendly espresso machines come from this type. They come with an internal automatic system for putting pressure through the grounds and pouring over a nice espresso shot, but they mostly skip a beans grinder and milk frother. This type can be expensive as well, but a higher price ensures consistent performance and brew temperature.
And lastly, the third type is a manual espresso machine. It basically is a lever machine in which you have to add hot boiling water and coffee grounds, then you will have to use the lever yourself and apply pressure to the grounds. This type is not widely used, it involves a lot of hard work but there is no doubt about the quality of espresso it makes.
In short, for a $150 budget, you will be able to get a semi-automatic espresso machine but the quality and precision of the internal mechanism will still won’t be as good as those having a higher price.
Steam / Pump
An espresso machine would either use a pump or steam to force water through the compressed coffee grounds. But they are different in quality and price. A steam espresso machine will cost you less but the final espresso shot isn’t really worth it. Whereas, on the other hand, a pump espresso machine uses a motor for pressure, the final espresso shot it gets you is the real crema type. But those with pumps are expensive, however, they are not so expensive to jump over 150 dollars range, most of the machines reviewed below are best pump espresso machines under 150.
ESE refers to Easy Serve Espresso, these actually are small bags having a certain amount of coffee grounds which you can directly use within an espresso machine instead of coffee grounds. In no way, an ESE pod can beat the taste of freshly ground coffee. But for quickly making espresso, they are the best option. Many people rely on these capsules for making espresso in the morning. Now not all, but some cheap espresso machines can take them in their portafilters, they come with a separate cap for this. If you go too down below $150, you may miss this feature.
Espresso actually becomes a good one when you add freshly frothed milk having nice foam to it. Normal espresso machines come with a steam wand or sometimes a proper milk frother. But if you go down on budget, then this feature is not present in all of the machines. However, some espresso makers reviewed below have these wands in them, you will be able to enjoy a nicely foamed milk.
Best coffee and espresso can only be achieved if you use freshly ground coffee. Unfortunately, grinders do not come with cheap espresso machines. You could only get a grinder with it if you spend more, But this should not be much of a worry, you could use pre-ground coffee or you could get yourself a cheap manual or electric grinder. Manual grinders are usually cheap and they are good at grinding but they require sweat work.
Best Espresso Machine under 150 (Reviews)
1. De’Longhi BAR32 Retro
CONS: All Plastic
If you are really looking for some automation in the process of making espresso but you are tight on budget, this is one good option. It is a semi-automatic espresso machine under 150, it comes with almost everything but a beans grinder. You get an espresso brewer, steam wand, tamper and 1-liter water reservoir. Everything is there but the final results are those what you will get for 150 dollars. More, there is a lot of plastic in the build of this machine.
The water reservoir lies on the back of this espresso machine, it can take up to 1 liter of water. On the front you will see a steam wand, then the brewer itself where you fit in the portafilter and next to is a built-in tamper. Both, the steam wand and the tamper are not really good at what they do, but they are there at least. On top of this best home espresso machine under 150 is a knob to adjust the pressure of the steam wand. And on the front is the button where you can switch between ON/OFF, steam, hot water or espresso.
Overall, it is an entry-level espresso maker. You should not be expecting a lot from it, but yes it brews your espresso shots and then even lets you froth the milk. All this together at such a low price should be considered good. So if you want something below 150, this is what you should be going for.
2. Nespresso ENV150GY VertuoPlus
CONS: Only works with capsules
VertuoPlus is one of the best budget espresso machines which makes things super easy. It is very slim, won’t occupy space at all, but is tall. So you need to make sure that it will easily fit wherever you want to place it. Design wise it is super good, you just see the water reservoir and the front of the machine with an adjustable cup holder. Everything else is automatic, you only have to place nespresso capsule in it and that’s it.
OK, so the water reservoir takes about 1.7 liters of water which is good enough. Next, there is a soft button which you touch and the head of it opens, inside you have to place a capsule. It can be of two different sizes, a small one for espresso and the big one for coffee. On the back of these capsules, there is a bar code which the machine reads for itself and gets know if you want an espresso shot or a cup of coffee.
As always, it involves the unique method of Nespresso which gets you a perfect espresso shot. The espresso you get is crema rich and brewed at the optimal temperature. All this and you still get it for a very good price. The only thing is that if you are OK with Nespresso and its capsules, then you are good to go.
3. Hamilton Beach Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino Machine
CONS: Occupies Space
This espresso maker by Hamilton beach is the semi-automatic type. It is very easy to use and the final results are good too. The only thing on the downside is the size and dimensions of it. It is a big and tall one, you really would need to make some space for it on the countertop. OK speaking of the machine itself, it uses ground coffee to brew espresso. You’ll have to place your coffee grounds into the portafilter and then slide it into its position. There is a handle on the left of the machine, it is used to lock the portafilter into it.
On the front, you’ll see the power button and a knob. After you switch the machine ON, you’ll see an orange light, this is when the machine is getting itself ready. After a while, you’ll see a green light. Just below the power button is the knob which can go both left or right ways. On the right, it turns to steam mode, so yes you have a steam wand in it. And on the left, it switches to brew mode, this is when the espresso maker starts making espresso.
Overall, it is a pretty basic espresso machine and the brew results are good. The steam wand is not pretty much up to the mark, but yeah it still is a wand. One good thing here is the cup warm area on the top, this is where you place your cups and they are nicely warm when you use them for espresso shots. It can be a good option for home use or even at the office.
4. Nespresso EN80SAE Espresso Machine
CONS: Only takes capsules
Nespresso Inissia is one best small espresso machine under 150. It is not tall at all, not heavy too and occupies very little space. Despite this, it automatically gives you a real nice cup of espresso. You can get it in either black or silver color, both of which look pretty good. More, it comes with a separate milk frother which is actually good at getting a nice foam.
The stand here is an adjustable one so you can place short or tall cups. On the inside, it takes capsules for brewing, and the process for adding these espresso capsules is pretty easy. You also get to choose between espresso or lungo. Espresso button will give you what is a normal espresso shot. And the lungo button gives you a nice tall cup with more water and a bitter taste. The water tank can take up to 24 ounces in it, this is enough for around 9 espresso shots.
This espresso maker takes around 25 seconds initially to heat up, once this is done, making espresso shot is pretty fast. The final taste and texture of the espresso you get is pretty amazing, of course, this is because of the unique method for brewing used inside. Last but not least, it can be a good option for even carrying, if you are moving somewhere else for a long time.
5. Capresso 116.04 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
CONS: Occupies Space
If you are looking for a best home espresso machine with a steam wand under 150, this is a nice option. It brings all the things with it, except a grinder but the quality of espresso you get is really good. OK, it is big in size, there is no doubt about this, but it works well. Some parts of the machine are stainless-steel, even the drip tray. And on the top, you also get a cup warmer.
The water tank of it lies on the back, it is easily removable and can accommodate up to 46 ounces of water at once. The steam wand here is a good one, you easily get a good amount of foam. Capresso 116.04 easily heats up in under a minute and is ready to make your espresso, this actually is good timing for an affordable espresso machine.
More, on the front, there is a knob which on the left, switches to brew mode and on the right, it gets the steam wand working. The portafilter of it can take in both, either coffee grounds or an ESE pod. All this and the price of it stays below 100 bucks which is amazing.
As stated earlier, espresso machines are normally expensive, this is because of the process which happens on the inside. However, you can still get some best cheap espresso machines, in this case under 150 dollars. There is no doubt about the fact that they will work good and will actually get you a nice espresso shot. But this espresso is nowhere near the quality and taste of those from real proper espresso makers. Good Luck!