I tested 15 products and found the Breville Barista Express to be the best espresso machine for under $1000 overall.
In your pursuit to find the best perfect home-brewed espresso, you might be wondering, “Lauren, what’s the best espresso machine I can nab without breaking the bank?” That’s exactly why I’m here.
As someone with a deep-rooted love for coffee and years of experience working as a barista behind the bar, you can trust me to guide you right.
If you’re ready to kickstart your day with barista-style espresso, right in your kitchen, my top choice is the Breville Barista Expres for its fantastic value and quality.
But it’s not one-size-fits-all — we’ve got different machines for different coffee lovers’ priorities. So, keep reading to take a dive with me into the world of sub-$1000 espresso machines.
Our list of the best espresso machines under 1000
- Built-in automatic grinder and doser
- 16 precision grind settings
- Semi automatic machine with the perfect mix of manual features
- Includes professional burr grinder with 13 settings
- Creates thick, viscous cappuccino foam
- 3-year warranty
- Commercial steam wand
- Made in Italy
- Solid steel construction
- Built-in pressure gauge
- Pre-infusion for low pressure extraction
- 1-year limited warranty
Top picks for the best espresso machine under $1000
So, let’s talk about the Breville Barista Express, the absolute best espresso machine you can get without breaking the bank. Out of all the espresso machines we tested here at Coffee Hex, the Breville Barista Express strikes the best balance across the board.
How? And what sets it apart?
Well, it’s a semi-automatic espresso maker with the right mix of manual machine features. Take the in-built grinder, for example. It grinds the perfect amount for your portafilter on demand. Quick and fresh from bean to cup, it saves you time while grinding and measuring out your favorite espresso consistently.
And the steam wand is manual, so you can froth up your milk exactly how your coffee drinks call for (and practice those latte art skills).
But some things are just better automatic, like temp control. The Breville Barista Express’ precise temperature control (PID) makes sure every shot of espresso is spot on.
This baby goes the extra mile for a café-quality cuppa right in your own kitchen. It’s perfect for any coffee lover looking to level up their home brewing experience, or frankly, anyone who appreciates a top-notch espresso.
As far as drawbacks go, it takes up a sizable amount of counter space and needs frequent cleaning to keep it working at its best. Still, if you ask me, totally worth it.
The De’Longhi Magnifica XS is the best automatic espresso machine for under a grand. It ups the ante on home brewing like nothing else. It’s a fully automatic espresso machine, compact, and just perfect for those tiny kitchens.
Yet it delivers a level of coffee that’d make a caffeine junkie happy. You’ve got controls allowing you to customize every sip, from the strength to the temperature, not forgetting the automatic stainless steel burr grinder for that fresh-ground taste.
And it also has a manual cappuccino system. This comes into play with the steaming wand, which is less great for latte art practice and more for automatic milk frothing to create a single type of fine foam.
Now who is this for, you ask? It’s designed for anyone tired of those bland, pre-ground coffee—and you don’t need to be a professional barista to operate it. If you love fresh, flavorful coffee and have got the bucks to spend, this is the one for you.
With its built-in grinder and water filtration system, this machine is all-in-one for the perfect brew. It’s user-friendly and easy to clean, which is always a huge plus. And did I mention it also has an energy-saving switch? Which is a great nod to the environment.
A few cons to mention: While still under $1000, it’s a bit pricey, so not for everyone’s pocket. Also, the grinder can be a bit loud, which might put a dampener on those quiet, early-morning coffee moments.
But all in all, I’d give the De’Longhi Magnifica XS a strong thumbs-up. It’s truly a beast in a compact package.
- Low RPM doesn’t burn off creamy coffee oils.
- The Cappuccino tip helps you create microfoam pretty well.
- Makes consistently good espresso shots.
- Awesome entry machine at this price point.
- Only a single boiler machine so you have to wait between switching from steam to water for milk frothing.
- Doesn’t offer the range of features you need to really hone in on more advanced techniques.
If you’re serious about your coffee, you gotta check out the Gaggia Classic Pro. This is not your average coffee maker – it’s a thing of beauty.
With its commercial-style steam wand and professional-grade construction, it’s got all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a top-billed espresso machine. Imagine pulling shots like a pro and steaming milk to that perfect frothy consistency, all from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Plus, it’s built like a tank, so it lasts a good long while. It’s perfect for any caffeine fiend who loves the idea of going hands-on with their brew.
- Heavy-duty construction.
- Commercial-grade steam wand.
- Great value for the quality.
- Allows you total control over your brew.
- It may take a little practice to master.
- The machine might be a bit large for some kitchen counters.
- It’s not exactly pocket change, so the price point could be a con for some.
All in all, the Gaggia Classic Pro is a serious bit of kit – a real door opener for coffee aficionados out there willing to put in the time to learn and who have a love for the craft.
So, if you’re down with the idea of making a cappuccino that would make a barista weep, this could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Alright, let’s talk about the awesome Breville Infuser. The main difference between it and the Breville Barista Express is that the Infuser doesn’t have a built-in grinder. This might be something you care about if you’re looking for a machine without an integrated espresso grinder. Hey, maybe you already have a conical burr grinder you’re in love with.
One of the best features of this little beauty is the pre-infusion function (thus the name, the Infuser) which gently expands the coffee grounds before extraction. This ensures you’re going to get an incredibly balanced, full-flavored shot every time.
Plus, it’s got a charming thermocoil heating system that maintains the perfect temperature throughout the entire brewing process. The Infuser is great for anyone who appreciates top-notch coffee and likes having the ability to control the brewing process.
Now, the pros of this machine are many. Firstly, it’s incredibly user-friendly, so even if you’re a beginner, you won’t have any issues getting to grips with it. Secondly, the auto-purge function is a lifesaver, instantly cooling down the water temperature after steaming – saving you from any potential ‘scorched coffee’ disasters, but also clearing the system for an evenly-extracted espresso shot the next time around.
It also comes with a bunch of handy accessories, like a frothing jug and a coffee scoop.
But no product is perfect, right? The Infuser does have a few cons. It’s a bit pricey, so you might have to save up a bit before you buy it. Additionally, it’s on the larger side, so if your kitchen counter space is limited, you might want to measure up before falling in love with it entirely.
And finally, while it’s not a big deal for everyone, some folks might find cleaning and maintaining this machine a bit tedious. All in all, nonetheless, the Breville Infuser is a solid choice for any true coffee enthusiast.
Let me fill you in on a little secret – if you’re a coffee lover who’s looking to become your own barista, you’d definitely want to check out this Rancilio Silvia espresso machine.
There have been several versions of the Silvia over time, but the Pro model has got a couple of cool upgrades: a double boiler (which means no waiting around when you’re frothing milk) and a PID for ace temperature management. If you’re a coffee nerd, you’d probably have added an after-model PID to an older Silvia, but the Pro model saves you the job. Unfortunately, it’s about double our $1,000 limit for this article.
But I have good news: This Rancilio Silvia V6 is top-notch. It’s compact, stylish, and most importantly, it delivers quality espresso that’s up to par with what you get at a café.
Made mostly of iron and stainless steel, Rancilio Silvia could very well be the sturdiest, most reliable coffee machine you’d come across. This type of machine is all about manual control, letting you have that ‘authentic barista experience’, in the comfort of your home.
So, who’s this mighty machine for? Well, it’s ideal for those no-nonsense coffee enthusiasts who love to have full control over their espresso-making process. It might not be the best fit for someone looking for a quick, push-button coffee, but for true coffee aficionados who don’t mind putting in a little extra effort for that perfect cuppa, this is the one.
Here are some pros you’d appreciate:
- Great espresso quality.
- Easy access to the bean hopper on top of the machine.
- Sturdy and durable build.
- High level of control, so you can really personalize how you make coffee.
However, we have to be fair and mention a few cons:
- It might be tough for beginners to master, it really needs some getting used to.
- There’s no built-in grinder, so you’ll need to get that separately.
- You might find it a tad bit pricey, but trust me, it’s totally worth it.
So there it is, folks! Rancilio Silvia might demand a little more work from you, but believe me, the rewards are worth it with a machine like this.
Why should you buy an espresso machine?
Investing in an espresso machine can be a game-changer for espresso lovers like me. Here’s why.
You’ll save time.
Owning an espresso machine allows you to enjoy the convenience of making great espresso drinks right at home. You can save time and money by avoiding trips to coffee shops and enjoying your favorite espresso-based drinks whenever you want.
It’s more cost-effective to make espresso at home.
Making espresso at home can be more cost-effective in the long run. While the initial investment in an espresso machine may seem high, it can save you money over time compared to buying daily espresso shots from a café. By brewing your own espresso, you have better control over the quality of your coffee and can use high-quality coffee beans that suit your taste preferences.
Make other drinks with an espresso machine.
You can use an espresso machine to make a variety of drinks. Apart from espresso shots, you can make lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and even hot chocolates using an espresso machine. Some machines come with an automatic milk frother, making it even easier to create creamy and frothy milk-based drinks.
How to choose the best home espresso machine under $1000?
With a budget of $1000, you can find a great espresso machine that delivers exceptional performance and quality. From a manual espresso maker to super-automatic divinity, here are some factors to consider when choosing the best espresso machine in this price range:
Choose the best espresso machine type for your needs
There are several types of espresso machines available in the market. The most common types include a manual espresso maker—and then semi-automatic, fully automatic, and super-automatic machines. If you’re intimidated by these terms, you’re not alone. Here’s a great explainer video:
Manual espresso machines are usually a kind of lever machine that requires you to manually control the pressure and extraction time. But they tend to be the most affordable espresso machine type.
Semi-automatic machines have built-in pumps and temperature control, but the rest of the brewing process is manual.
Fully automatic machines usually take care of everything automatically except for grinding, weighing, and tamping the grounds into a portafilter.
The main difference between a fully automatic and semi automatic espresso machine is whether there is a flowmeter, which measures how much water is being distributed through the puck of espresso. Fully automatic coffee machines have flowmeters. Your typical semi-automatic espresso machine does not, so you are in control of the rate of espresso extraction (also known as shot timing).
Super-automatic espresso machines do everything from grinding the coffee beans to frothing the milk with the push of a button and are the most expensive machine type.
How important is it that your home machine also come with a coffee grinder? Do you want a machine with a built-in grinder but already have a standalone one—or is it an essential factor for you?
The ability to grind your beans right before brewing espresso is critical to making the best coffee. So if you don’t already have a high-quality burr grinder, I’d suggest choosing an espresso machine that has one.
Precise temperature control is crucial for brewing a perfect shot of espresso. With a temperature typically ranging from 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, an optimal heat level ensures a well-extracted espresso shot with a rich, balanced taste profile.
Most modern espresso machines come equipped with a temperature control system, either manual or automatic. Some high-end models even allow the user to set specific brew temperatures for different types of beans, thus unlocking unique flavors and textures.
However, consistency is key as dramatic fluctuations in temperature can lead to over or under-extraction, resulting in a less flavorful or bitter shot. Essentially, the art of achieving the perfect espresso largely depends on mastering temperature control.
An espresso machine with programmable settings provides convenience and consistency. They allow you to customize and save preferred settings, such as coffee strength, temperature, and milk froth level. Advanced models even allow settings for pre-infusion times and grinding size.
This technology not only saves time but also removes the guesswork from the process. Whether you prefer a robust, full-bodied coffee or a milder taste, the programmable settings can adapt precisely to personal preferences. These functions, combined with automation and simplicity of operation, make programmable espresso machines a must.
Steam wand for milk frothing
If you want to make milk-based coffee and espresso drinks, make sure your espresso machine comes with a steam wand so you can froth, foam, and steam milk the right way.
Many espresso machines are big and bulky. If you don’t have a ton of room, you should be conscious of measurements. If you have to put the machine away every time you’re done using it, I can almost guarantee you won’t use it as often—especially long-term—and you’re probably better off with a more compact machine.
If you’re looking for the best espresso machine under $1000, I highly recommend the Breville Barista Express.
After a lot of research, firsthand analysis, and many shots of espresso, I found it not only offers superior functionality and outstanding user experience for the price point. But it’s the best balance of both worlds: Control and convenience.
This machine truly stands out as it effectively balances professional-grade features with an everyday person’s need for speed, providing a coffee experience beyond compare.
You can buy it here: