Want to know a secret that took me years to figure out?
You DON’T need an expensive machine to get high quality espresso.
Even in the $100 range you can find a solid machine that will make delicious espresso with a great frothy crema. But how do you separate the well-priced beginner model from the cheap rip-offs? By benefitting from my research and checking out the recommendations in this article, of course.
For $100, you are looking to get an entry level machine. It is not going to automatically grind the beans, tamp, brew, froth the milk and hand you a cappuccino in a tiny italian cup. You will have to do a little bit of the work yourself. BUT, that doesn’t mean you are doomed to get a bad machine because you have a smaller budget to work with.
My favorite in the $100 and under price range is the De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR. This little guy is a beast and produces some truly delightful espresso. De’Longhi is also known for producing high-end models and is a giant in the espresso industry. The EC 155 is a quality machine that just cannot be beat for the price.
If you at all are serious about getting machine for $100 or less, THIS IS THE ONE TO BUY. It has over 4,600+ reviews on Amazon. That is CRAZY. Products are usually lucky to have 100 reviews. You know when that many users are crazy about the machine that it is amazing and something worth owning.
Honestly, you could search all day and compare endless lists of features, but at this price, the EC155 is the clear winner. We also include a couple back-up options worth a look that are similar to the deLonghi and will serve you well if this machine just isn’t speaking to you.
Weighing just 9 lbs and measuring 8” x 11” x 10”, the De’Longhi 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is a great compact espresso and cappuccino maker that will fit comfortably on your kitchen countertop, coffee bar, or breakfast nook for convenient brewing. You can use it in the comfort of your home or at the office. This is one of the top machines from any price range and makes our best espresso machine list, especially for a limited budget.
If you prefer espresso made quickly and with the utmost convenience, the De’Longhi allows you the option of brewing easy-serving espresso (ESE) pods with its patented dual-filter holder. If you prefer cappuccino, this espresso and cappuccino maker comes with an easy-to-use jet frother that swivels, enabling you to make cappuccino topped with deliciously foamy steamed milk every time.
If you loathe tongue-burningly hot coffee, this espresso and cappuccino maker allows you to brew using 2 separate thermostats, ensuring you enjoy espresso shots and cappuccinos at the temperature you’re most happy with.
The other features we really like on this machine include: self-priming operation, which makes start-up preparation easy; a durable, high-quality, stainless steel boiler with 15-bar pump pressure; a 35 oz. removable water tank with indicator light and a removable drip tray, both of which can be cleaned easily; and a bonus cup warmer, which ensures that your cup of espresso or cappuccino stays warm even if you leave it on the tray for several minutes.
Even with all of its useful features, the espresso and cappuccino maker isn’t perfect. There are a few small downsides to it, as pointed out by some especially savvy users. They complained about the grounds basket and the frothing wand. According to their experiences, a broth-like liquid is left in the grounds basket after each cup of espresso is made, producing a wetter puck; the grounds basket is just slightly too close to the tray (2 1/2 inches); and the frothing wand is a little too short, extending only 3 ¼ inches.
In my opinion, these are minor irritations from especially particular brewers, none of which really affect the quality of the espresso and the overall ease of use.
The De’Longhi, not surprisingly, received a stellar rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, with over 4,600 reviews. This is also one of the best seller’s for semi-automatic espresso machines, making this one of the best espresso machines under 100 dollars.
Currently being sold for $99.99 through Amazon, the Philips SAECO Poemia Espresso Machine is not the cheapest espresso machine on this list, but when it comes to variety of features, this espresso machine isn’t one to be overlooked.
Coming in at a compact weight and build of 10.1 lbs and 11.7” x 10.4” x 7.9”, the Philips espresso machine could easily be the shiny centerpiece of your kitchen countertop, island or coffee bar as it is both aesthetically pleasing and wonderfully functional.
If you’re an avid espresso drinker, you can rest assured that this espresso machine comes equipped with Philips’ patented portafilters that enable the espresso machine to use the brewing pressure generated most effectively, resulting in proper, deliciously-brewed espresso every time. These portafilters come with an Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pod adapter with filter basket, which allows you the option to also brew using prepackaged, single-serve shots for a quick and easy experience.
If you are a fan of frothy lattes or even well-balanced cappuccinos prepared in the traditional style, the Philips espresso machine comes with a Pannarello steam wand, which gives you a great deal of control over how the frothed milk turns out, creating seriously delicious beverages for sipping.
Like the De’Longhi, the Philips machine comes with a warming tray that makes sure your cup stays warm, which is a nice bonus feature. I like to warm my cup a bit before I start brewing to make sure my lattes start off extra hot.
The Philips is also a great choice when it comes to ease of clean-up. This machine comes equipped with several features that make cleaning it quick and easy: a removable frothing tip, filter, drip tray, and frothing nozzle.
Have consumers shared any negative comments about this espresso machine? Not much, surprisingly. Most have found it reliable, a joy to use, and especially convenient.
The espresso machine received a solid rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.
Designed to maximize space at 9 lbs and dimensions of 11.4” x 13.7” x 13”, the Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker would be a welcome addition to your countertop that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, ranked not only as top pick under $100, but as a best automatic espresso machine.
If you’re a brewer that is exacting regarding froth and latter-making capability (this is totally my wife!), the Mr Coffee espresso and cappuccino maker comes with a built-in, powerful milk frother that allows great control over how the froth turns out.
The Mr. Coffee also comes with a thermal block heater that enables it to brew quicker than most other espresso and cappuccino machines, making your morning coffee prep quick and easy. I love this feature for espresso drinkers that need a quick, no fuss option.
You also don’t have to worry about whether cleaning the espresso and cappuccino maker is going to be a time-consuming ordeal, because it comes with a removable water tank and drip tray, both of which make maintenance of the machine a cinch.
Last but not the least, this espresso maker comes equipped with the 15-bar pressure pump that ensures it provides you with well balanced and perfectly brewed espresso.
The Mr. Coffee espresso machine received a seriously commendable rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s currently priced at $83.20.
Wading through the endless sea that is the wide variety of espresso products being sold commercially can be a pain for people who just want an affordable, but reliable espresso machine. I hope I have helped you sort through the endless options a little faster to find the best espresso maker for you.
Chatting about coffee is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better.
I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!