Features are the name of the game for espresso machines in the under $1,000 range.
What you’ll find with machines at this price point is that most of the manual tasks of the lower-priced options are handled seamlessly in the process.
You will also notice a difference in construction quality and ease of maintenance of the machine itself.
You’re probably thinking, what’s the big deal about a grinder? Honestly? It was absolutely worth it. I’ll tell you why.
I was originally considering the Breville Infuser, which is priced around $500, but I really value convenience as well as quality and the perfect combination of those two fell in the under $1,000 price point.
My favorite machine from this group is the Breville BES870XL Barista Express. First and foremost, it makes really really good espresso, every time. I can say that with certainty because this is the machine I own and use everyday. You know, the one with the magical built-in bean grinder.
Basically, every morning, I whip my wife up the most delicious latté she’s ever had, and I enjoy doing it. I’m actually excited to use the Breville every day.
And about that grinder…I can’t tell you enough how nice it is having the added convenience. You push a button and the perfect amount of grounds are measured and drop into the portafilter for a single or double shot. This really beats using a separate grinder and measuring on my own. The consistency of the grounds is key and the measuring is also more precise when automated. It was a pretty easy choice.
Breville’s the Barista Express Coffee Machine is the best automatic espresso machine listed in my guides and has one of the highest overall ratings. Currently being sold through Amazon for $599.94, the Barista Express Coffee Machine is the least expensive coffee machine on this list, but like the other options we share, it comes with a wide array of useful and luxurious features for a dream espresso experience at home. If you want to be your own home barista and tinker with some different settings without the full-on lever action experience of a coffee shop barista, this is a great option for you.
To start, the Barista Express weighs in at 23 lbs and 13.2” x 12.5” x 15.8”, making it similar in size to most other coffee machines currently being sold commercially. I can tell you from experience, it is well-designed to fit comfortably on a kitchen counter without dominating the space.
Some of my favorite and most notable features of this machine that really characterize the $500-1,000 group are: an integrated conical burr grinder with stainless-steel conical burrs, enabling the machine to fully extract flavor from every coffee granule, a locking 1/2 lb hopper for convenient bean storage, a 54 mm stainless-steel portafilter with commercial-style spouts, a pressure gauge monitoring the pressure generated during flavor extraction, a Thermocoil heating system, which controls the temperature of the water with a great deal of accuracy, and an auto-purge function, which adjusts the temperature of the water after steaming automatically to the optimal temperature for full flavor extraction.
You are also able to select filter size, which indicates whether you’re using a single or double-wall filter basket for single or double shots, which tells the grinder to dispense the desired amount of ground coffee beans. The machine also has easily removable drip and dreg trays, which I know from personal experience are super easy to clean and pop back in.
Not surprisingly, the Barista Express received a stellar rating of 4 and a half stars out of 5 on Amazon. I’m a huge fan, and my personal rating would be a solid 5 of 5.
Currently being sold through Amazon for $685.00, the Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Silvia Espresso Machine is one of the mid-range options for this price point. It is also one of our favorite overall machines and is listed as one of the best super automatic espresso machine and great for smaller scale commercial use. We love all the features this powerhouse comes equipped with and that is was inspired by Rancilio’s line of large-scale commercial machines used widely in coffee shops and restaurants.
Weighing 34 lbs and measuring 9.2” x 11.4” x 13.3” inches in dimensions, the silvia is luxurious in size and meant to accommodate the needs of the serious home espresso brewer. It’s housing is made of an iron frame and stainless-steel side panels for a really stylish look and long-lasting durability.
Rancilio offers some great, top-quality features that really put this machine in the stratosphere for quality coffee brewing. Most notably are Rancilio’s commercial-grade grouphead, which ensures that the heat generated during brewing remains stable and that full extraction is achieved, the 58 mm patented, ergonomic portafilter, which is also optimized to achieve full extraction, the single boiler of the Silvia also has the largest volume capacity of any home espresso machine in its class. Holding 0.3 liters (12oz) the Silvia’s chrome plated brass boiler produces outstanding steaming power and remarkable recovery time between shots for quick, timely production, great for parties and for multiple espresso drinker households.
This machine also comes with an articulating, stainless-steel steamer, which allows for a complete range of motion for producing perfectly steamed milk. The steam knob is also of commercial grade and allows a range of adjustment for power. The rest of the espresso maker’s features include: a 7 g coffee scoop, a plastic tamper, and filter baskets (single and double), all of which enable you to brew with precision.
The espresso machine received a stellar rating of 4 and a half stars out of 5 on Amazon.
The De’Longhi is the most expensive espresso machine on this list. It is currently being sold through Amazon for $799.95 and it meets every expectation you could possibly have for an $800+ espresso machine.
Let’s start by assessing the De’Longhi with its weight and dimensions. It comes in at 28 lbs and 15” x 11” x 14” inches. It is also beautifully designed with a clean, modern aesthetic and quality materials, ensuring its long-term durability.
Simply, the De’Longhi is a powerhouse. It is equipped with all the best features and is made from all the best materials. This model comes with a unique beans-to-brew system that, like the Rancilio and Breville, grinds coffee beans right before brewing, enabling the machine to make espresso with a heady aroma and ultimate freshness, it also uses 2 stainless-steel boilers to distribute heat evenly, an instant reheat function, which maintains the espresso/coffee machine at an ideal temperature, a quiet burr grinder that not only grinds coffee beans automatically, but can also be set to a specific grinding level of fineness, De’Longhi’s patented “Cappuccino System” frother that carefully mixes steam and milk to produce an especially rich, creamy froth, and an easy-to-use rotary and push-button control panel with programmable menu settings.
The rest of the espresso/coffee machine’s features include: a sizable and easily refillable water tank and coffee bean container, Magnifica’s coffee spigots, with height adjustment to accommodate cups of different sizes; a cappuccino system that rotates 180 degrees to accommodate a milk container of virtually any size; a cup warming tray similar those you would find at cafés that let you leave your cup on it for several minutes to keep it toasty warm; and a stylish, intuitive front panel, making use of the espresso/coffee machine pretty hassle-free.
Consumer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with the De’Longhi being a star appliance for most, receiving a solid rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.
Keep in mind, an espresso machine’s hefty price tag isn’t a guarantee of quality. Use our guide to understand the features you should expect for the amount of money you are paying and benefit from the experience we offer and that of other consumers who have also enjoyed these machines.
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!