Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: March 05, 2021
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Are you one of those who needs a freshly brewed coffee to start the day right? The problem is always time, right? With today’s hectic pace of life, few people have the time to prepare a good breakfast at home before starting their daily tasks. Luckily, the espresso machines are great inventions for this and can be your best morning ally. Previously, the use of espresso machines was exclusive to coffee shops and bars. However, today, these types of coffee makers have reached many homes, and they are here to stay. The good news, however, is that you can find the best espresso machine for under $100 on the market.
With an espresso machine, you can make a high-quality coffee every morning and in record time. Also, they are easier to use than everyone thinks, and with them, many different types of coffee can be made. When choosing the espresso machine that will make you happy every morning, it is important to take into account factors such as type, pressure, capacity, or dimensions. By considering these and knowing what works best for you, your purchase will be a sure hit.
Looking for a small coffee pot? If so, your best option will be the CM6811 from Sowtech. This machine has dimensions of 10.6 x 7.7 x 13.8 inches, as well as a weight of 5 pounds. The set is easy to use with a single switch knob with indicator light. Also, it has precise temperature control and operates at 3.5 bars, and can give you one to four cups. The Sowtech 3.5 Bar 4 Cup Espresso Machine comes with all the tools you need for a perfect cup of coffee. This includes carafe, spoon, filter, and funnel. A user manual is also included to reduce stress for new users. Latte coffee machines are not easy to use, but you won’t be very surprised by this product. It has a single switch button and an indicator light, which simplifies the process of brewing latte while delivering quality infusions with every operation.
What we liked: It’s a top-notch product with a heated arm that lets you fill your cup of coffee with smooth, delicious milk and start the day right.
What could be better: It could be more robust. It’s a lightweight machine that wouldn’t allow hard coffee packing. But little pressure bar is sufficient.
One of the best pump espresso machine under 100 on the market is the Delonghi Stilosa. This model has quite a lot of features: a 15 bar pressure pump, steel broiler, milk frother, and two-level cup holder, but yes, it has a quality detail. This model has a stainless steel boiler (much better than aluminum ones) with a double thermostat to control the temperature of the water, ideal for making coffee or for expelling steam, independently. It’s our best steam espresso machine for under 100. The same Delonghi Stilosa coffee maker can be found in any store in three finishes: Standard, Advanced, and Premium. Each of them has a different nomenclature: the Delonghi Stilosa Standard is the EC230, the Advance is the EC235 and the Premium is the EC260. The differences between them are purely aesthetic, not functional (for example, the premium has a stainless steel front panel finish, while the others have the entire plastic bodywork) and for this reason, also the price difference between the 3 finishes is pretty sparse.
What we liked: We like the fact that the boiler is made of stainless steel and not aluminum. We also like its value for money (especially if we take into account the prestige of the brand).
What could be better: The water tank could be bigger. The look of the machine seems like it hasn’t been renewed since the primitive Delonghi arm coffee makers of 20 or 25 years ago.
Mr. Coffee’s range of products goes beyond the usual standard types of manual espresso makers. The manufacturer is offering us a professional milk frothing nozzle, a large removable water tank with a capacity of 40 ounces, and a 2-cup function. With Mr. Coffee, we have an automatic espresso machine that prepares delicious espresso at 15 bar high pressure. Mr. Coffee is made of sturdy stainless steel that is easy to clean. Automatic temperature control and powerful pumps last long enough without losing their aroma. The manufacturer gives a 1-year guarantee on its Mr. Coffee. At just under 9 lbs, the device is a bit more compact but has a 2-cup function. Measuring 11.45 x 10.63 x 9.45 inches, it can still be easily placed in the kitchen. The water tank saves you from having to refill it frequently and boils a few cups of espresso until it calls for more. It’s our best home espresso machine under 100. In principle, all you have to do is fill the Mr. Coffee espresso machine with water, put the coffee powder in the portafilter, and then let it click into place. What stands out in the cup is an excellent cream – a quality feature for original espresso.
What we liked: Investing in the Mr. Coffee espresso machine makes sense, especially in larger households and families, as it can cook a lot of espressos in a very short time.
What could be better: It could be more lightweight. Using outside the home can be a burden because of the lack of portability.
The Staresso SP200 is a manual, portable espresso maker that you can use at home, in the office, or while camping. The small and handy device combines elegant design and ease of use with a good grip. At the same time, it creates an appealing appearance. You can use coffee capsules and ground coffee with the Staresso SP200 to make delicious espresso. Thanks to a unique valve design that ensures good pressure maintenance, you can achieve a pressure between 15 and 20 bar when pumping. This is how you get a creamy, velvety soft espresso with a great crema. You can take the portable espresso maker with you and use it wherever you go because it does not need a socket or power connection. You can easily take apart a Staresso and then easily clean it. The device can be used for a classic espresso, a double espresso, or American coffee.
What we liked: The Staresso has a compact and innovative design and is attractive. Easy to use, it’s suitable for coffee capsules and coffee powder. It’s our best small espresso machine under 100.
What could be better: Physical strength is required for the right pressure. Too little pressure affects the quality of the espresso.
Klarstein is one of the well-known manufacturers when it comes to high-quality coffee machines and household appliances. This elegant model is an espresso machine as it is on paper. Its 1350 W, the water tank with a volume of 1.3 quartz, and the automatic pressure release have everything that a traditional portafilter should do. The device is not only available in fine silver, but also red. The espresso maker fits in the kitchen and the office. A highlight in the direct comparison of espresso machines is the steam nozzle on the side. Here you can collect froth milk to make a cappuccino out of an espresso. 1.25 liters of water are sufficient for 6 cups of espresso. Also, you can make not just one cup, but 2 cups of espresso at once. The effort they put into making a cup of espresso is worth it. The Passionata Rossa 15 makes coffees of an excellent taste. It is recommended that the cups be heated on the cup warmer. In this way, the espresso can never lose its taste. The cups will stay warm on top of the stainless steel tray.
What we liked: With the Passionata Rossa 15, Klarstein is bringing a classic and at the same time an entry-level device onto the market, which impresses us with its practical and stylish design. It’s our best espresso machine with frother under 100.
What could be better: Admittedly: This espresso machine is made of a lot of plastic, but this in no way affects the taste.
The Barista Express is one of the classic portafilter machines. With this machine, a cup of espresso is created step by step by hand. This is one of the narrowest portafilters from this manufacturer. You wouldn’t have to do without comfort and the usual functions. On the side, there is a milk frother attachment for creamy, fluffy milk foam. This makes this espresso machine an all-round espresso maker that can also prepare cafe crema, Mocca, cappuccino, milky coffee, and latte macchiato. The cup stands on a removable drip tray. Cups up to 12 cm high fit under the spout. You have the option of brewing your espresso according to the classic tradition or operating the portafilter machines with ESE espresso pods. After switching on, the espresso machine takes a few seconds to be ready for use.
What we liked: The 1.6 kg weight with an output of 800 watts offers comfortable preparation and aromatic espresso.
What could be better: The water reservoir could be bigger. It can only take 0.6 liters of water.
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve taken a look at today’s most popular budget espresso machines, let’s get down to what really matters: why are they so hot? Should I really buy one? In this section, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about this type of coffee maker.
Advantages of an espresso machine under $100?
Yes, the main advantage is that they are inexpensive. But what are the practical advantages of an espresso machine under $100?
One of their advantages is that they produce coffee that is very concentrated in caffeine and has a very dense texture in a short time. So, the advantages include:
Despite the small capacity, the caffeine content and the aromas are more concentrated.
The flavor of the espresso brewed in them is still significantly better than that of traditional coffee.
They allow you to use the ground coffee you like the most, from the brand you want.
The quality of the coffee that is obtained with them is high and has an exquisite aroma and flavor.
With them, many different types of coffee can be prepared.
They make coffee in no time and most of them are lightweight, compact, portable, and suitable for travels.
Features to consider before you buy an espresso machine under $100
We still have some last tips to give you for the moment of your purchase. If you want to make the best decision, take into account the criteria that we show you below:
There are three categories of espresso machines:
The espresso machine with pods and capsules
This is the most used category of machines. This device works with a percolator which extracts the espresso very quickly. It makes great coffee and is relatively easy to maintain.
The machine has a high speed. Top models take less than 3 minutes to craft a cup of coffee. The taste of the espresso produced is pronounced and very pleasant. The pod machine is the fastest and easiest to use. This type of device can also be used to prepare hot chocolate, tea, or other varieties of coffee.
This machine not very environmentally friendly because of the poor recycling process. Users are “prisoners” of one type of capsule. There are go-anywhere pods, but these are expensive to buy.
The espresso machine with integrated grinder
This machine is the favorite of true connoisseurs and coffee lovers. It works on the same principle as the pod machine, but it incorporates a grinder. Before getting the espresso, you must first place the coffee beans in the compartment provided for this purpose to grind them. The ground grains are then infused in water heated at high pressure. This category of machine is also called “automatic machine” or “robot grinder”. They have two production phases: grinding and infusion.
It allows you to obtain coffee in large quantities when the bean compartment is full. It makes it possible to obtain an espresso whose taste is closest to that offered in Italy. Coffee beans are more affordable than pods.
Internet users indicate that the machine with the grinder is too noisy. But rest assured, this nuisance is only short-lived. As with the pod machine, energy consumption is high. To keep the machine in excellent condition, regular maintenance is essential. To reduce the maintenance time of the grinder robot, a model equipped with a coffee grounds collector is to be preferred.
The classic espresso machine
This machine does not need a pod or a grinder to produce espresso. The infusion is done instantly by a percolation procedure.
The classic machine is the fastest in this review. The best models only take 2 minutes to produce a cup. The taste of the espresso is excellent. Users are not dependent on any particular brand and pods.
Unfortunately, this machine only produces a small amount of espresso. Some users complain that it only allows you to prepare one or two small cups. Pod espresso machines require regular maintenance: weekly cleaning. The machines’ rapid heating mode consumes a lot of electricity.
Size and weight
Of course, the question of dimensions is also relevant. An espresso machine is an appliance that, in general, does not need to be moved; that is, it is always kept in the same location (on the kitchen counter, for example). Therefore, it is essential that you look at the space you have. If you need a large capacity espresso machine for use at home, choose the Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot. Also, today, we can find espresso makers like the Staresso Portable Espresso Machine that are very compact. These have a manual system and can be taken anywhere. But don’t expect as much as the functionality and capacity which the bigger ones offer. Choose the one that best suits your kitchen, office, or lifestyle to be able to have a comfortable use.
Bean hopper capacity
Just like as important as the water tank capacity is, the same goes for the bean container. This can hold up to 100g to 600g. But, remember that the models which can contain up to 100g is sufficient for 5 people per day. Models with up to 300g bean container can make 25 or even 30 cups of coffee daily.
Water tank capacity
The fourth criterion that we will talk about is the water reservoir capacity. We mustn’t confuse capacity with dimensions (although the bigger the water tank, the highly dimensional the unit will be). The capacity refers to the amount of water that we can put in the tank of the coffee maker. We can find models with tanks with between one and three liters.
What we must take into account when choosing the capacity of the water tank is the number of people who will use the machine.
This consideration is more than convenience. The more people use it, the more water it will use. If the tank has a lot of capacity, you will have to fill it less frequently. Again, the Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot has the largest water tank (40 oz) and is ideal for a large family. Otherwise, if portability is more important or you only need it for individual use or 2-5 persons, choose a model such as the Espresso Machine by SOWTECH.
Admittedly, the number of programs in budget espresso makers are limited. But there are still a few to watch out for. The most important is the function that lets you program the shot size. This allows you to first adjust the coffee grinder to smoothen the grind.
Being an entry-level type of machine, much is not offered on the warranty level. However, 1 to 5 years of warranty is better than nothing.
Using an espresso machine isn’t difficult. After unpacking your device, the first thing to do is to pick the user manual that comes with the device. You have to read and follow the manual because the instructions vary from one model to another. Then, you must first adjust the coffee grinder to get the desired level of grind. Also, you should the device for 20 minutes before use. Put water in the container to heat the device system. Collect the hot water obtained in your cup which will be used to make your coffee. Fill the reservoir. With 5 g of espresso, you can brew a cup of coffee. After placing the filter holder, start your machine with a simple button without forgetting to place your cup underneath. At the end of the operation, don’t forget to switch off your appliance before tasting your delicious espresso.
If you want to maintain the performance of your espresso maker then you are required to clean it after each use. Some items like the water tank and filter are dishwasher safe. This facilitates their cleaning. The fat deposits in your machine can be removed with detergents that you can simply buy in the market. This degreasing can be done on a monthly basis to be able to maintain its speed and proper functioning.
How easy life is when we have the right tools at hand! Think about it for a moment. By buying an espresso machine, the morning rush could be over. These types of coffee machines, whether manual or automatic, are capable of preparing high-quality coffee in a very short time. If you’re yet to decide, check out our final verdict.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Espresso Machine by SOWTECH. The set is easy to use, thanks to a single switch knob and an indicator light. Also, it has precise temperature control and operates at 3.5 bars. It can give you one to four cups. This is our overall best espresso machine under $100.
Our Premium Pick is the De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine. This model has a 15-bar pressure pump, a steel broiler, milk frother, and a two-level cup holder. It has a stainless-steel boiler (much better than aluminum ones) with a double thermostat to control the temperature of the water.
Choose the Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso, if you want the best home espresso machine. With this model, Mr. Coffee is offering you a professional milk frothing nozzle, a large removable water tank with a capacity of 40 ounces, and a 2-cup function.