If you’re looking to up your home barista game but don’t have the expertise or budget to shell out for prosumer-level equipment, all hope is not lost.
There’s a plethora of entry-level espresso machines available that brew quality coffee at a reasonable price—many of them even have parts and features designed for much higher-end products. In fact, there are so many excellent entry-level espresso machines on the market, choosing the right one for you might be a bit daunting.
To make your life a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best espresso machines for beginners as of 2023. Check it out!
(Alternatively, if you'd rather watch a video with all this information, you can do that here.)
Breville Bambino Plus
Breville’s Bambino Plus espresso machine offers convenience at a price point that is anything but prohibitive. For less than you’d spend on many commercial-grade coffee grinders, the Bambino espresso machine has automatic features that make brewing cafe-quality espresso as easy as pushing one of its three programmable buttons.
You can auto-brew single shots or double shots, or manually pull shots to practice your own extractions.
The automatic frother makes milk drinks with the push of a button as well, and, for those who want to begin honing their frothing skills, manual steaming is also available.
The Bambino Plus is the perfect introduction to making specialty coffee drinks at home, and at a price point you simply won’t find in higher-end coffee machines. With a 4.6 average customer review, it’s the perfect machine for anyone just getting started on their home-barista journey.
Take a closer look at the Bambino Plus.
Gaggia Classic Evo Pro
If you want to learn to pull good espresso shots like a pro, the Gaggia Classic Evo Pro is the perfect place to start. With a price tag just barely above the Bambino Plus, the Gaggia Classic Evo Pro offers a build quality that far surpasses that of the Bambino.
The Gaggia Classic Pro has been a best-selling entry-level espresso machine for the past 25 years, and 2023’s Evo Pro offers several significant upgrades to the gold-standard.
From 9 bar brewing pressure to a new scale-resistant boiler and commercial-grade portafilter, the Evo Pro will have you brewing espresso like a professional barista in no-time. Plus, with industry-standard sizing and construction throughout, it’s easy to upgrade your machine with new filter baskets or wood knobs and handles.
Perhaps the best part of the Evo Pro, however, is its longevity. With care, this machine will not only retain its value, but last decades. It’s no wonder it earned an average 4.8 star rating from thousands of verified buyers.
Customize your Evo Pro today!
The Rancilio Silvia espresso machine has been in production for 20 years—and for good reason.
Internally, the Silvia has a similar design to that of the Evo Pro, but offers a larger boiler that steams milk faster and in greater quantities, making it a better option if you’ll be wanting to make multiple larger drinks at a time.
The Silvia certainly has a utilitarian look to it, but comes with excellent build features, like a solid gripped portafilter that sits flat for easy tamping of coffee grounds.
While it won’t be winning any awards for exterior design, the Silvia is a solid machine that will last if well taken care of, as evidenced by its 4.7 star average with over 400 verified buyer reviews.
Learn more about the Rancilio Silvia.
ECM Casa V
ECM is known for building some of the best prosumers known to humankind, and that quality has made its way into the Casa V.
Like the Evo Pro and the Silvia, the Casa V is built at a commercial-grade size and weight, so all of its parts can be easily swapped out and upgraded.
Unlike other machines mentioned above, however, the Casa V features an exterior pressure gauge and external pressure adjustment, so you can fine-tune your extractions with ease.
The larger 13 oz boiler also offers increased steam power, and the dedicated pump switch makes it the perfect machine for making Americanos.
The Casa V has an average rating of 4.8 stars. It’s an excellent choice for a household of 1 or 2 users that, when well-maintained, is sure to last.
Take a closer look at the Casa V.
Profitec is a sister company to ECM, so you’ll see the same design excellence in their machines that you’re accustomed to in ECM’s. In fact, the Profitec Go is based on the same design as the Casa V.
Profitec gave their Go a more updated look compared to the Casa V, however: it’s available in 4 different colors and custom wood trim.
More importantly, the Profitec Go is the only machine on this list with PID temperature control. Not only does this give you extremely accurate brew temperatures, the PID display also acts as a shot timer. The Profitec Go also has an external pressure gauge and adjustment knob, so you can perfect the art of pulling a shot with ease.
This compact, attractive machine heats up quickly and is extremely user friendly. Earning 4.8 stars from verified buyer reviews, it’s the perfect mix of entry-level ease of use and professional-grade features to get you started on your journey towards barista excellence.
Explore all the customization options available with the Profitec Go.
The Best Entry-Level Home Espresso Machines
You really can’t go wrong choosing from amongst these entry-level home espresso machines. While the specific features and perks of each might differ slightly, they all have one important thing in common: quality.
If brewing cafe-quality espresso beverages from the comfort of your own home is your goal, any of these five machines will serve you well.
Learn more, explore other machines, or get help from a coffee pro at wholelattelove.com. Or, schedule a coffee cast, where one of our experts will perform a live product demonstration of the machine of your choice!
What is the most reliable home espresso machine?
ECM’s machines are renowned for their incredible reliability. If you’re looking for an entry-level machine that will last a long time, ECM’s Casa V is probably your best bet. The Profitec Go, however, is another solid option. They’re owned by ECM and are also known to produce quality machines that are extremely reliable.
Can a cheap espresso machine make good coffee?
Absolutely. A Moka Pot brews espresso most people would be happy to drink, especially if you plan on mixing it with milk, and you can get one of those for under $100.
If, however, you’re on a journey to become an espresso connoisseur, you’ll want to invest a bit more in a machine that allows you to pull technically precise espresso shots. The Gaggia Classic Evo Pro is the cheapest machine that does this.
Which coffee machine is best for beginners?
If you’re the kind of beginner who is looking to begin their journey as a home barista and learn how to pull shots and froth milk like a pro, the Profitec Go is probably your best bet—its PID display means you can precisely adjust boiler temperatures and the build quality means you’ll feel like you’re using a professional-grade machine.
If, however, you simply want to push a button and have espresso brewed for you, the Bambino Plus is the way to go. It’s the only machine on this list with automatic shot timing and milk frothing, so you won’t have to do much work to get great espresso. You also won’t learn all that much about the professional brewing process by using it though.