Best Espresso Machines That You Can Get For Under $500

These are the top rated espresso machines under $500

With a $500 budget, you can get a really good espresso machine.

​Our first choice is an excellent machine with A LOT of features for the price. If you love coffee, you will love this machine.

Best Espresso Machines Under $500

Top Espresso Machines

Power

Portafilter Baskets

Temperature Control (PID)

Price​

Breville the Infuser

Breville the Infuser is the best espresso machine under $500

1600W

2 Single Wall (Commercial)

2 Double Wall (Pressurized)

Yes

Gaggia 14101 Classic

#2 - Gaggia 14101 Classic

1370W

2 Single Wall (Commercial)

2 Double Wall (Pressurized)

No

Breville 800ESXL

#3 - Breville 800ESXL

1500W

2 Double Wall (Pressurized)

No


Top Rated Espresso Machines For Under $500

  1. Breville BES840XL the Infuser
  2. Gaggia 14101 Classic
  3. Breville 800ESXL

1. Breville BES840XL the Infuser

Breville the Infuser, the best espresso machine under $500

This is by far the best espresso machine under $500. ​The Infuser has a lot of features for this price point.

​It has a 15 bar Italian pump and a 1600W thermocoil heating system. This is a really nice upgrade from the 830XL that had a thermoblock system.

The main difference is that the thermocoil is a one solid piece system that will never leak and the thermoblock is a two pieces system that can eventually leak. Also, the thermocoil system has a much better temperature consistency than the thermoblock.

For better temperature control, the Infuser has a PID temperature control technology, wich guarantees that the temperature of the water is very stable.​

​The 54mm portafilter is made of stainless steel and has two commercial style spouts. The Infuser comes with a 54mm tamper wich is stored magnetically on the machine, really convenient.

The Breville BES840XL is well suited for coffee enthusiast, (who wants to play around with different coffee doses, tamp pressures and grind sizes) and for those who don't want to spend a lot of time and effort to get a tasty cup of espresso.

And why is that?

Because it comes with single wall and double wall filters! (Also know as Non-Pressurized and Pressurized).

Single Wall Filter Espresso Machine

Single wall filter is what the commercial espresso machines uses. You have to be precise with the tamp pressure, grind size and dose to get a well-extracted espresso.

Double Wall Filter Espresso Machine

The double wall filter is much more "forgiving" than the single wall and you don't need to be that precise to get a nice shot of espresso.

The Infuser comes with a stainless steel steam wand that swivels 360 degrees to accommodate different size frothing jugs.

​It also has a dedicated water outlet for hot water. This is a good feature for making americanos or for pre-heating your cup for example.

​Another really cool feature is the auto purge function. At this price range, all the espresso machines have a single boiler. This means that they use the same boiler to heat water for coffee and to produce steam for frothing.

When you finish steaming your milk, the temperature of the boiler will be very high and it will burn your coffee.

With the auto purge function, you don't have to worry about this, because after using the steam wand, the machine automatically begins to cool the boiler to the optimal temperature for espresso extraction.

Detailed information about the Breville Infuser

The Infuser owes his name to the pre-infusion feature that gradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction before increasing to full pressure.

The espresso pressure gauge helps you monitor espresso extraction pressure.

​The solid grey zone of the gauge indicates ideal espresso extraction. If the needle is in the lower zone during extraction indicates that espresso has been under-extracted and if the needle is in the upper zone during extraction it means that the espresso has been over-extracted. ​This helps a lot to fine-tune your espresso making techniques.

The Infuser has two preset buttons: 1 CUP and 2 CUP:

  • 1 CUP: A single shot of espresso at the preset volume (approx. 1oz / 30ml). The extraction will start using the low-pressure pre-infusion. The machine will stop after the preset volume has been extracted.
  • 2 CUP: A double shot of espresso at the preset volume (approx. 2oz / 60ml). The extraction will start using the low-pressure pre-infusion. The machine will stop after the preset volume has been extracted.

You can also re-program those presets to the volume that you like. It's very easy to do.

​If you want full control over the extraction, you can do it without the presets too! Just press and hold the 1CUP or 2CUP button and the machine will enter low-pressure pre-infusion mode until the button is released.

When the button is released extraction will continue at full pressure. Once the desired volume of espresso is in your cup, press the button again and the extraction will stop.​

Another nice feature of the infuser is the "dry puck feature" that removes excess water from the ground coffee in the filter basket for easy disposal of the coffee puck.​

Last but not least, the Infuser has a 61 fl. oz. (1.8 L) removable water tank that comes with a replaceable water filter to reduce impurities and scale. And of course, a removable drip tray.​


2. Gaggia 14101 Classic

Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine Under $500

The Gaggia is a good option if you want a great espresso machine but you can't afford the Breville. Is approx $100 cheaper.

​It has a commercial style portafilter with both single and double-shot stainless-steel filter baskets.

​The Classsic comes with a 58mm tamper and a 7g measuring scoop.

​It has a three-way solenoid valve that provides immediate pressure release from the grouphead once an espresso pull is completed, allowing the portafilter to be removed and the next shot to be prepared instantly. This also makes the coffee pucks very dry and easy to come out.

​It also has a hot water dispenser and a frothing wand for easily frothing milk. Although if you want good quality steamed milk I recommend that you take out the sleeve to steam. It takes a little more practice but the end result worth it.

The Gaggia has a 72 fl. oz. (2,13 L) removable water reservoir and a removable drip tray.​


3. Breville 800ESXL

Breville 800ESXL Espresso Maker

Our last review is on another Breville espresso machine.

This is a cheaper option (around $150 cheaper) and it doesn't have as many features as the Infuser, but is a great choice for the price.

It has a thermoblock heating system and a 15 bar italian pump.​

The 50mm portafilter comes with two double wall baskets. It doesn't come with single wall filter as the Infuser, but you can buy them separately if you want. A measuring/tamping spoon is also included.

​The 800ESXL comes with a stainless steel steam wand that swivels 360 degrees to accommodate different size frothing jugs (a stainless steel frothing jug is also included!). The hot water feature is also included in this machine. Is a good option for americanos or for pre-heating cups.

​The Breville 800ESXL also has a pre-infusion function that prior to full extraction releases three bursts of hot water to moisten the ground coffee in the portafilter. The ground coffee expands resulting in greater pressure build-up to extract all the oils and fullest flavor from the ground coffee.

​As with the Infuser, the 800ESXL has a purge function that automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature​

​It has a 75 Fl.oz (2.2L) removable front-fill water tank and a removable drip tray.

It may not be the best espresso machine under $500, but if you can't afford "the infuser"​ or the Gaggia, you can't go wrong with this one.



Leave a Comment:

Beate says March 15, 2016

The Gaggia Classic used to be a great machine. But a few years ago the company was sold and the latest model isn’t as good as they used to be. Very sad.

I’m glad I have the old version, it’s in use for nearly 13 years and still going strong.

Reply
    Little Coffee Place says March 15, 2016

    Hi Beate!
    I think that the Gaggia is still a good option but there’s a big difference between the breville infuser and the others. It has so many features!. And Breville is a great brand.

    Reply
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