Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 31, 2021
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Enjoying a short shot of strong coffee can help you move forward with your day and can be the push of energy you need to make it through work. So whether you work at an at-home office or need a small, affordable machine for your work kitchen, the best espresso machine under $100 can be the saving grace of your whole office.
In this guide, we’re going to introduce you to the top espresso machines you can get for just under $100. Especially if you want a more affordable machine, having an espresso maker can be inexpensive and a worthy investment for your household. If you pick a machine that has a high-quality material and reputation, it can last you and your family (or workmates) years. Although these budget espresso machines generally have fewer features, they still have enough features to create a tasty, powerful espresso.
If you’re looking into buying an affordable espresso machine, in our in-depth reviews we’ve highlighted the features we considered in our review we think are important when it comes to picking the right machine—like the water tank and bean hopper capacity, dimensions, pressure, and important warranty information. From our comparison table down to our buying guide, we hope that this guide article helps you choose the best product—for you and your inner coffee lover.
The KRUPS XP3208 Opio is our Editor’s Choice for the best espresso machine that is priced under $100. The reason for this high accolade is not only based on the various features available with this machine but also because of its durability in its foundation.
The KRUPS XP3208 Opio makes it possible for you to make espressos the way you or your customers like them—no matter what style it is. This machine’s specialties are included but not limited to coffee, espressos, and cappuccinos.
Using a simple coffee filling of ground coffee, the KRUPS XP3208 Opio also uses the milk frothing method of a steam wand, which is pretty standard for most cafés and is generally preferred with most coffee drinkers.
Backed with a warranty of 2 years, the KRUPS XP3208 Opio can be easily operated by beginners and expert coffee makers alike. Using a large round dial, the settings are easy to read and use, even for first-time coffee or espresso makers.
From switching on the steaming function to easily refilling the removable water tank under your kitchen’s faucet, you can easily maneuver around the machine.
The KRUPS XP3208 Opio also comes equipped to make two cups of coffee at once, which makes it a perfect machine for an at-home kitchen or a small café.
With the style of a lever machine that comes powered by 1140 watts, the KRUPS XP3208 Opio can also stand its own, with a water capacity of 1.5 liters.
What are its best features?
It can make two cups of coffee at once
As we discussed on the guide, it can preheat the cups, which make for a tasty espresso
What could be improved?
It doesn’t have a hot water function
The stainless-steel interior is less resistant to lime buildup
The ChefWave Kava Mini Espresso Machine is our runner-up for the best espresso machine under $100.
From features like having an energy-saving mode if you forget it on as you leave the house to its dishwasher safe capability with the parts being detachable and easy to clean, making clean up easy, this machine is a great addition to any home or small café.
The ChefWave Kava Mini Espresso Machine is not only quick and easy to learn how to use, but it can also give you an affordable, yet a high-quality cup of Espresso or Lungo.
What sets this machine apart from other affordable machines on the market is the fact that it is compatible with Nespresso pods—and even comes with espresso cups and a capsule holder. You can also take advantage of the side rack, which gives you ample storage space for your capsules.
The ChefWave Kava Mini Espresso Machine boasts pretty powerful performance, with up to 20 bar pressure, which is the same amount of power generally used in a bar, restaurant, or high-class café.
It is also safe in the home, with a 2-hour automatic shutoff feature and a compact design that doesn’t take up too much counter space in your (maybe already small) kitchen. The ChefWave Kava Mini Espresso Machine also has a 0.7 FL oz. water tank so you don’t need to refill too often.
Why is it special?
Works with 1400W of power
Lightweight and compact, only weighing 6.6 lbs
Café quality with a 20 bar pressure pump
Energy-saving mode with automatic shut-off feature
What are the flaws?
Takes up more time to heat up than other espresso machines
Backed by a 3-year warranty, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 uses state-of-the-art technology so that, whether you‘re serving family members, house guests, or café customers, you‘ll always be serving hotter coffee—and ensuring quality flavor.
No matter if you have like your coffee strong or weak, you can actually take full control of the strength by selecting the degree of regular or bold coffee.
You can also enjoy features like being fully automatic with 24-hour programmability, an option to be able to self-clean, a 1-4 cup setting and auto-shutoff (0-4 hours). These features make the Cuisinart DCC-3200 truly functionally optimal and set it apart with unique details.
You can even adjust the temperature control!
With a commercial-style permanent filter, you can get a professional style of coffee at a home environment. The manufacturers of the Cuisinart DCC-3200 use cutting-edge coffee technology to deliver the various settings and make sure that this 14-cup coffeemaker can bring a simple espresso into the modern time—without sacrificing traditional flavor.
From its LCD, easy-to-read display to its indicator light signals for maintenance, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 is very user-friendly. Whether you’re concerned with coffee making or with maintenance, this machine will be a great fit for everyone.
The STARESSO is a great machine if you’re looking for a slim, compact design that is easy to transport and store away when not in use.
After choosing and falling in love with your favorite espresso, you can have the STARESSO SP-200 Espresso Machine with you wherever you go—no more watery espressos that simply don‘t suit you!
All you need is access to hot water and milk!
This is a great pick if you’re looking for a compact and portable machine that you can take with you while traveling, if you move often or even if you want to go camping.
Not only does the STARESSO SP-200 provide you with a quality espresso and a way to froth some milk in a package that is about the size of a 20-ounce soda bottle, it is not the highest quality if you’re going to be comparing it to other products on our guide today.
However, the STARESSO SP-200 Espresso Machine definitely has its pros—for example, it is quite relatively easy to clean and fairly easy to use, which are great features if you’re a newbie to the whole coffee scene and you don’t want to get into using all the various settings.
Unfortunately, however, the more you use it, the pump gets more difficult to use—so be aware of that possibility.
What are our favorite features?
Portable and slim in design for storage and compact-ability
Provides high-quality taste
What could be better?
Will have your work cut out for you with the manual brewing process
Although it’s rated as our most affordable, budget pick option, the Sowtech Espresso Machine actually holds our longest warranty on record—with a lifetime limited guarantee.
With features from its 3.5 bar steam pressure to its high-quality frothing function, the Sowtech Espresso Machine is definitely not designed with cheap quality.
This espresso machine has other features that make it pretty optimal for those looking for an affordable, high-quality option. Not only does it keep a constant, accurate temperature with full control, it’s also highly easy to use—with a single knob. No need to fiddle with complicated technology!
The machine also includes a filter, funnel, spoon, carafe, and a 12-month warranty for all parts.
You can also make enough coffee for the entire family, with a four-cup capability. You also can make a variety of different types and styles—from rich to smooth crema to mocha or a caramel macchiato.
Not only will you love the durability of the design, but the stainless steel decoration will also fit in with any kitchen décor. The Sowtech Espresso Machine is also highly easy to clean and maintain—with its removable drip tray for easy cleaning and its powerful milk frother, which is easy to clean.
Although it is our budget call, it still is packed with power—up to 800 watts of it!
Now that you’ve gone through our top picks for the best espresso machine under $100, you might need some help with your final decision.
We know that you take your cup of espresso seriously—and for a tasty shot of espresso, you need a machine that gets the job done—and does it well. To help you pick out the right espresso machine for your taste buds and your budget, we’ve put together this buying guide to help you through the buying process.
Cheap espresso machine – what to expect?
Although the term “cheap” may make you think that you’re not getting quality, that’s simply not the case.
An affordable espresso machine—even as low-priced as our budget pick, the Gevi Espresso Machine 15 Bar—comes with qualities that help keep its high standard and can compete with higher-priced, more expensive espresso machines.
Espresso machine maintenance
Knowing how to take care of your espresso machine is an important piece of information that you need to not only be introduced to but to really take care and follow directions.
Of course, each espresso machine is different and unique when comparing how to care for it and clean it. However, when it comes to the majority of the general espresso machine on the market, maintenance practices don’t deviate that far from one another.
To help you out on some beneficial maintenance practices, here is a well-put-together guide video:
Features to consider while buying the best espresso machine under $100
Before you buy the best, affordable espresso machine on the market, making a decision based on the various features can be quite beneficial.
To help you separate the important features from the less important ones—here are the various features you need to be aware of:
Capacity for beans and water
If you’re planning on serving a ton of coffee to a lot of people at once, you’ll need to pay special attention to the capacity of beans and water in the machine since it directly will dictate how many cups of espresso you can make at once.
For example, if you need a machine that can produce quite a few cups of espresso, you’ll want a machine that has a large water capacity, like the KRUPS XP3208 Opio, with a water tank capacity of 1.5 liters.
The grinding settings can dictate the types of espressos or coffee that can be produced. With espresso machines, however, it’s generally the case that there won’t be that many grinding settings since you’ll just need normal espresso shots from an espresso machine.
Take a look at the description to check out the various types of coffee that can be made with the foundation of these espresso machines.
For example, the Gevi Espresso Machine 15 Bar has the capability to make a variety of coffee drinks, like the caramel macchiato, the expresso con panna, mocha, latte, cappuccino, and an ice cream float coffee—along with many others.
The quality of the espresso isn’t the sole important quality of these machines. You need to have a product that is backed by a high-standard milk frother. This simple characteristic can actually dictate the overall performance of the entire machine.
If your the frother on the machine has a rubber cover on the outside of it, it may be a sign of a poor performing frother. Most of the high-quality machines will have adjustable milk frothers. This gives you the flexibility to work at a comfortable angle that allows you to work from various positions based on the other machines you have on the counter.
Size and weight
The size and the weight of the espresso machine can also make an impact on your decision. If you want a machine that won’t make a dent on your counter and can be brought down and back up again from a cabinet onto your kitchen display, you’ll want something more lightweight.
Although most of the products featured here don’t have the weight specified on their descriptions, they do have their size dimensions, which is an important number to check out to see if it will fit in your kitchen space.
Especially if you’re not a professional barista, you’ll definitely want to invest in a “beginner espresso machine” that will still be able to produce intricate and tasty designs.
This is an important feature that should definitely be checked before you buy. Easy enough to compare, you can do your own research by checking out customer reviews related to the various products or you can look at how quick it is to start up.
There are some models that have the build to make the breakdown of espresso grounds as easy as pushing a button while others might be a bit more complicated to work out.
Number of shots
If you’re buying a machine for your home which only has two to four people or if you’re getting a quality, affordable machine for your small café business, knowing the shot capacity of the espresso machine can also make a huge difference.
From the number of shots—generally measured at single or double capability—to the cup capacity, you’ll need to take that number into account.
If you’re going to already be investing in a professional espresso machine, you’ll want it to be built with durable, quality material. From the build quality of its material to how it actually is built—and if there are replaceable parts available—all of these components are important when taking a look at the durability.
You also might want to consider—if there are replacement parts available—if they are actually cost-effective (or if you would much rather just buy a whole new machine).
For espresso machines, no matter if they are expensively-priced or budget machines, the boiler can be another deciding factor.
Generally speaking, these machines will come with one of three different boilers, designed with either aluminum, brass or stainless steel. What’s the difference from one to the other?
Well, stainless steel is going to be more durable when it comes to corrosion but will be much more susceptible to bacteria!
Aluminum, on the other hand, will be one of the most affordable of all the affordable machines. However, with a cheap price comes low-performance material. From easy corrosion possibility to bacteria susceptibility, aluminum might not be a great idea if you want to invest in a machine that is easy to maintain.
Brass boilers on an espresso machine are going to be the best ones that you can invest in. However, they are generally also the most expensive. When it comes to bacteria and corrosion, they’re going to perform optimally.
A simple maintenance machine is another feature to look into—especially if you’re planning on using the machine quite a lot—you don’t want to stop serving coffee to do maintenance every week or so!
Cleaning and maintenance can be simple if your machine is of high quality. Investing in quality can truly make a difference.
From a 1-year limited warranty with the ChefWave Kava Mini Espresso Machine to a lifetime limited warranty backing our Budget pick, investing in a long-term guarantee can save you money in the long run.
Perfect espresso tips
Regardless if you have one of the best espresso machines, you still have to know how to make a proper cup of coffee.
To help you out, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
You should try your best to keep up with maintenance and cleanliness—with the portafilter, especially.
Preheating the machine and the cup can make a huge difference with the quality of the espresso.
Grind the coffee beans right before making the espresso, which can help pack the freshness.
For some more tips and tricks, check out this video on the Espresso Theory:
Before you buy, you might have a few questions about espresso machines in general.
Here are the answers to some of your most frequently asked questions:
Although this answer can be based highly on opinions of brands, you really cannot go wrong with any type of bean—even getting coffee beans instead of espresso ones! However, when the roasters use a particular method for brewing, beans that have the title “espresso blend” or “drip blend” can make a difference.
Although it’s not one hundred percent necessary, it is highly recommended to descale your espresso machine—at least every few months when you’re using it on a regular basis. However, if you’re using water that contains a high mineral content, you’ll need to do this more often.
To help you out even more, here are some tips from Nespresso:
If you’ve decided to skip over our entire guide, here is the summary of our final verdict:
The KRUPS XP3208 Opio is our Editor’s Choice with its extra, thoughtful features like its steam nozzle, cup warmer, and double shot capability that sets it apart from others on the market. The 15 bar machine is backed by a 2-year limited warranty.
The ChefWave Kava Mini Espresso Machine is our next ranked espresso machine and rated as our second Best Nespresso Machine Under $100. From its 20 bar pressure to its various features like the set it and forget it energy-saving mode, its dishwasher-safe capability, and its beverage quantity setting, as well as its capsule holder and espresso cups included, this 1400 W power machine is high-quality at an affordable price.
The Gevi Espresso Machine 15 Bar is our Budget Pick. Let’s face it—you’re here to save money and get high quality—so how’s a lifetime limited warranty sound? This espresso machine also includes features like its washable drip catcher, glass carafe included, and stainless steel frame.
We hope that this guide has helped you choose the best espresso machine under $100 for you and your home or small café.