Updated: March 13, 2022 by Owen Richardson
You’ve probably seen or experienced all the great things an espresso machine does. Such a masterpiece can’t be cheap, right? So how much is an espresso machine really?
Unfortunately, there’s no short precise answer for that. For as low as $50, you could get one, but as you might have guessed, that’s just a basic model for home use. It still does the job, but the brew won’t taste like the one you get from your favorite coffee shop.
But things begin to change as you ascend the price ladder. Premium home espresso machines make barista-quality brews, but the prices are a bit steep. Set aside at least $500 and up to $2,000 for a proper unit.
Great commercial-grade espresso makers, on the other hand, will set you back anywhere between $2,000 and $40,000.
Is that all? The answer is no! There’s more to learn about these price ranges, from what to expect at different price levels to what makes these machines so expensive. I will talk about it all in this guide.
Maybe you are wondering if owning these pricey coffee makers is worth it. I would confidently say yes, but that’s a discussion for later. For now, let’s talk more about prices.
How Much Is an Espresso Machine for Home Use?
A quick random search for an espresso machine for home use will yield models that cost as low as $50. Very tempting, I must say. But as any coffeeholic will tell you, stovetop coffee makers can barely make real espresso.
Just to put this into perspective, there are lots of aspects you or your unit have to get right before the espresso shots come out perfect, from pressure and temperature to brewing time. Most cheaper espresso makers, much less 200-dollar models, may not have the capability to nail these factors.
But as you scale the price ladder, the quality gets better. I have seen decent semi-automatic models that cost $100 only and really good ones that go for between $150 and $300. The big advantage such appliances provide is that you get a bit of control over the brewing process.
I know you wouldn’t mind some examples, so I’ll name the few that have not only won my heart but also that of other coffee connoisseurs:
- EspressoWorks Espresso Machine & Cappuccino Maker with Milk Steamer
- Gaggia Carezza De LUXE Espresso Machine
Automatic and super-automatic models are less hands-on, but they cost higher than their semi-automatic counterparts. They will cost you anywhere between $500 and $2,000. What’s so special about them, you may ask?
To begin with, they make great-tasting espresso, like the one from your best coffee shop. Top-of-the-line units will do so in less than a minute, saving you both time and effort. The best part? Some come fitted with in-built grinders and milk frothers, making the brewing experience even more convenient.
In this premium category, I would vouch for:
- BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine by Breville
- America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine by De’Longhi
- CM 6350 Coffee System by Miele
- La Specialista Espresso Machine, also by De’Longhi
How Much Is Commercial Espresso Machine?
Commercial-grade espresso makers are perfect where the demand for coffee is high. The first place that probably comes to your mind is a coffee shop. But they are also perfect for offices and related set-ups.
Tough and built to endure frequent use, these espresso machines cost more than the ones made for home use. Basic models from top brands such as De’Loghni and Nuova retail at around $2,000.
Can they pull decent shots? Absolutely, yes! But be careful not to use them in a super busy environment because they may not keep up.
Here’s my advice: Always check the cup and bean capacity before settling down on a commercial espresso machine. You do not want a 50-cup capacity unit in your coffee shop when you serve an average of 200 orders a day. The good news is there are models that can make up to 500 cups a day.
Here’s a classification you could use when shopping based on volume:
- Low volume: 50 cups/day
- Medium volume: 200 cups/day
- High volume: 500 cups/day
The price for commercial-grade brewers can be as high as $30,000. It all depends on the brand, cup capacity, and what your specific needs are. Higher cup capacity models with more than one hopper, portafilter, frother, an in-built grinder, and advanced settings will set you back anywhere between $3,000 and $30,000.
Some great brands you might want to consider include:
- La Marzocco
- La Spaziale
A common question around this topic that I get asked a lot is whether you can use the espresso makers made for home use in a commercial environment. The short answer is no! However great it is at making espresso, the home brewer may not be able to put up with the demands of a busy place such as a restaurant.
What If I Can’t Afford an Espresso Machine?
Don’t give up yet if you feel that the price for a decent commercial or home-use espresso machine is beyond your budget. There’s another way out: renting.
In recent years, several businesses have emerged that specialize in this. Simply search for one near you. Prices vary from one rental company to another and are mostly based on the brand and type of unit you want. A high-volume brewer can set you back upwards of $100 per week.
You can also enter into an arrangement with your supplier to pay the espresso machine cost in installments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive?
As you have noticed in this guide, espresso machines are so expensive, justifiably so. To begin with, this is not your typical coffee maker. There’s plenty of research involved in coming up with one. Look keenly and you will see that a lot of engineering and science was applied in the building process.
Also, these coffee makers are made from quality materials, mostly top-grade stainless steel. This is not only to make them durable but also to be able to keep the brewing temperature stable.
Then there are advanced features, like LCD displays, pressure and temperature control mechanisms, and more, all of which help to perfect the brewing experience.
All these factors combined make the espresso machine price way higher than that of other coffee makers.
Is An Espresso Machine Worth Buying?
An espresso machine for home use has its benefits. You may pay more for a decent unit, but think about the following advantages:
- Being able to brew barista-quality shots from the comfort of your kitchen
- Not having to spend $3-$4 every morning and evening at a coffee shop for a cup of joe
- Making espresso or lattes and cappuccinos whenever you feel like it
Yet that’s not all; there’s more to be enjoyed when you have a proper espresso maker, which makes it absolutely worth it to have one.
What’s the Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Espresso Machines?
The major difference between cheap and expensive espresso machines is that the former use steam to force water through the ground coffee beans while the latter use a pump to ensure the right pressure is delivered for maximum extraction. This sort of explains why higher-priced models make better-tasting coffee than their lower-priced counterparts.
In addition, most of the top-of-the-line units are also better designed, able to brew more cups, easy to maintain and clean, equipped with a built-in grinder and/or frother, plus other added features that make the brewing experience better.
What Should I Look For When Buying an Espresso Machine?
Looking at how expensive they are, the last thing you will want to have is a good espresso maker that can’t satisfy your needs. Even as you compare the prices, don’t forget to also consider the following aspects (besides cup capacity):
- The different types of espresso drinks it can make
- Level of brewing control
- Ease of use
- Ease of cleaning and maintenance
- Grinding capacity
- Frothing capability
- How it operates (manual, automatic, semi-automatic, or super-automatic)
With all these factors in mind, it will be easier to narrow your options down and settle on a unit that perfectly suits your needs and budget.
How Much Does an Espresso Machine Cost? Final Thoughts
My guess is that by now, you already have an idea about the average cost of an espresso machine, both for home and commercial use.
Just to sum up, set aside at least $100 and up to $2,000 if you plan to get yourself a great brewer for use at home. The market is full of options designed for our unique needs, so be guided by your wants and preferences when deciding which model to go for.
Commercial-grade units generally cost thousands of dollars. They will set you back anywhere between $2,000 and $30,000. List your needs and preferences as well before you go shopping. Remember to also do proper due diligence because this is a huge investment you do not want to go wrong with.
All the best as you set out to find the espresso machine of your dreams!