The commercial world of coffee seems to have suddenly exploded in recent years, with more coffee machines than ever before being sold. There are machines for making lattes, Americanos, cappuccinos and espressos, which can now be achieved in the comfort of your own home. There also seems to be a coffee machine to suit every need and budget. However, choosing a cheap espresso machine may prove a little more challenging than you expected, as you need to know what machines are good at a budget price, and those that are simply cheap.
One of the benefits of having your very own machine is that you will save a lot of money in the long run, as you will be able to enjoy your coffee at home, rather than paying out upwards of $4 on a cup at your local coffee bar.
What is most important to remember, is that you don’t need to buy an expensive coffee machine in order to enjoy a good cup of coffee at home.
Here we share with you what to look out for when buying a cheap espresso machine
Obviously you will be looking at the lower end of the market, but there is a big difference in the quality of machine when you spend under a $100 compared to $300. These are still cheap coffee machines, as people can and do spend thousands of dollars. But stretching your budget a little further will usually get you a machine with more accessories and with a larger water capacity. However, the quality of espresso is not always compromised, just because of elevated price.
Pods Or Ground Coffee
Coffee machines at the lower end of the market will be those with an automatic pump that can be used for both ground and pod coffee systems. There are pros and cons to both, but it very much depends on what you want to get from your coffee machine. Coffee pod systems are usually more expensive but they are more convenient and create less waste. Once you have made and drank your coffee, there is only the pod to get rid of. These machines usually make a variety of speciality coffees, including espresso. But if all you want is an espresso, then you are better off sticking with a coffee ground maker, as it will cost you less.
Espresso, Latte Or Cappuccino
The question here is what function do you need from your coffee machine? Do you simply want a cup of espresso or do you often drink lattes and Americanos? The choice of drink will influence your choice of machine. If you do drink milk based coffee, then you will need a machine with a milk frother attachment. If you do not drink milk based drinks, then you can opt for simplicity, less gadgets and ultimately get more for your money.
Pressure is everything when it comes down to making the perfect cup of coffee. Pressure is measured in ‘bars’ and this is what you need to look for when choosing your machine. What this refers to is the amount of water pressure that is exerted onto the coffee. Generally speaking, the greater the bar pressure, the better quality of coffee, but ultimately it will cost you more. Most domestic coffee machines have a bar pressure of between 9 to 15, and many cheaper espresso machines can be bought with a 15 bar pressure rating. You only really get a higher bar pressure with commercial machines that are used by your local barista such as in Starbucks.
Espresso machines come in all different sizes and weights. Some are incredibly compact and can fit into the smallest spaces, while others are all-singing-all-dancing machines, that should take center stage in your kitchen. The amount of space you have in your kitchen will influence your choice of machine, as well as where you want to use it. You need to carefully read up on the size of the machine you have found before you buy.
How Often Will It Be Used?
Will you be an occasional coffee drinker, only having one cup first thing of a morning? Or will you have several throughout the day? Do you do a lot of socializing and have friends round for coffee? How often you plan to use your machine will influence what type to buy. This really comes down to the machine’s water capacity, as this can vary greatly from machine to machine. The bigger the water reservoir, the larger the quantity of coffee can be brewed. This is beneficial if you drink a lot of coffee or entertain. However, a larger water reservoir is unnecessary if you only want to make one cup of coffee a day. So do check the machine’s water capacity so that it matches your needs.
Even though you are buying at the budget end of the market, you can still get accessories with your machine. Many come with measuring spoons and even coffee cups and grinders. So keep an eye out to see what bargains can be had.
Ease Of Use
Depending on how technical you are, you need to consider how easy the machine will be to use. Some are pretty basic with an on and off button, while others will have buttons for delayed starts; programmable buttons and those for desired strength. Again, this all very much depends upon what you want to get from your machine. A simple espresso or something a little more elaborate? So do check the additional features of the machine and its ease of use.
A good tip when choosing a cheap machine is to go for a popular brand that is tried and tested and well loved. This way you are more likely to get a good quality machine. However, you can still not discount newer brands or those less known. You just need to do a little more research and digging to find out if it really does make a great cup of coffee. Read up on the latest coffee machine news websites, as they usually review new brands and those that are discounted.
Some famous brands:
Finally, you really can’t discount the importance of customer reviews. These can really help you in making your final decision. There are so many cheap espresso machines out there to choose from. Hopefully this guide will have made your search that little bit easier.