6 Best Espresso Machines Under $100 – Buying Guide

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best espresso machine under 100

Let’s be honest: coffee connoisseur culture can be costly for the average consumer. How can you, the espresso lover, get the best-tasting espresso from home and on a budget? 

We’ve scoured the market to find the best espresso machines under $100, with the Hamilton Beach 40715 standing out as our best overall. Drinking premium, fresh espresso can now be done on any budget, and that’s where our exciting top picks come in. 

Make no mistake, these are entry-level machines, and at the end of the day, you get what you pay for, but there is still value to be had. Machines like this just go to show that there is no reason for anyone not to have coffee. Let’s dive right in and take a closer look: 

Our Top Picks 

Image
Product
Details
Price
Best Overall

Hamilton Beach 40715 Espresso
  • Powerful pump for a strong, flavorful espresso
  • Double shots, with easy, single-button operation
  • Compatible with espresso pods or espresso ground coffee
Best Single-Use

Bella Pro Series Espresso Machine
  • Large cup capacity for 4 espressos
  • Steam pressurized safety cap prevents leakage
  • Stylish and sleek design
Best Value

Mr. Coffee Espresso & Cappuccino Maker
  • XL Portafilter brews up to 4 shots
  • Powerful steam pump brewing for rich, dark espresso
  • Removable frothing arm for easy cleaning
Easiest to use

Mixpresso Single Serve Espresso Maker
  • 5 cup sizes of 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 ounces of espresso
  • Compatible with K cups or espresso grounds
  • Compact design with durability in mind
Best Stove-Top

Bialetti Express Moka Pot
  • Manual operation and classic design
  • Performs with little to no maintenance required
  • Available in a wide range of cup sizes
Best portable

WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
  • No battery or electricity is needed
  • Capable of reaching 18 bars of pressure
  • Compact design and lightweight body

1. Hamilton Beach 40715 — Best Overall

At A Glance
  • Material: High-quality plastics
  • Size: 8.2″ D. 13″ L. 12.3″ W.
  • Weight: 9.22 lbs.
  • Frother: Yes

SUMMARY: The bar none espresso maker is under $100 with all the features and feel of a higher-ticket machine.

While the 40715 sounds like a new and improved Sky-Net Terminator, the only thing it’s terminating is the reputation that more money equates to better coffee.

Starting off with the design, the Hamilton Beach maker is made from high-quality plastics that give it a familiar, traditional design. This espresso machine belongs in a Cafe Italiano as much as your kitchen counter, with an enduring, classic design. 

Featuring a double shot drip, you get a decadent taste of real espresso with a high ground extraction rate for a rich, complex flavor that unlocks the subtle tasting notes. 

This is a maker that works with not only pre-ground coffee but also espresso pods: perfect for the indecisive coffee lover with an eclectic palate. You can have it all with the Hamilton Beach, while both the pod and ground-style brewing make for excellent espresso flavor. 

Attention To Detail  

It’s important to regularly clean and descale your espresso maker for the purest, undiluted coffee taste. For maintenance, the removable drip tray and water tank make this coffee machine easy to clean for better-tasting espresso.

One of my favorite things about the Hamilton Beach 40715 is the meticulous attention to detail in its design. A great example of this is the built-in heating elements in the drip tray. Warm your mug, so your coffee stays piping hot.

The 40715 features a swiveling steam wand, which you can use to effortlessly froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes.

While this is added bonus to the Hamilton Beach, online reviewers claim that the froth quality of 2% milk is inconsistent in texture, and there is no layer of added crema to shots. While we live in the age of oat milk and dairy alternatives, this may be off-putting for the cappuccino traditionalist. 

Pros
  • Powerful pump 
  • Dual shots of espresso; faster output for multiple cups 
  • Compatible with ground espresso coffee or pods 
  • Removable drip tray with a built-in cup warmer 
  • Easy to fill 50-ounce water reservoir 
Cons
  • Froth quality with 2% milk is inconsistent; could make your milk frothier 
  • No crema 

2. Bella Pro Series Espresso Machine — Best Single-Use

At A Glance
  • Material: Glass and high-quality plastics
  • Size: 9.5″ D. 9.5″ L. 11.25″ H.
  • Weight: 4.75 lbs.
  • Frother: Yes

SUMMARY: The best single-use espresso machine at an excellent price is the Bella Pro Series: with attention to less mess, stress, and more delicious cups of espresso.

The Bella Pro Series Espresso Machine is our pick for the best single-use maker, especially for households with more than one espresso lover. With a wide range of makers from Bella Pro, this is the one that really stands apart from the pack. 

The cup capacity of this brewer is 4 cups or servings of espresso, making it a great addition to the routine of coffee lovers who enjoy double espressos. 

It also features a glass carafe and detachable espresso filter to ensure you have easy pouring and the dense complexity of your cups of espresso remains intact. For other high-quality espresso drinks, use the steam pump located on the side of the brewer for frothed milk. 

This is an espresso coffee machine with a steam pressurized safety cap, and along with the removable drip machine tray, you can avoid accidental leaks or spillage. 

The overall design of the Bella Pro Series is in a sleek, jet-black color with glass accents. It’s a stylish brewer with an ergonomic design that doesn’t look like an affordable machine. 

For decent espresso, descaling and cleaning your water reservoir is a must; the Bella Pro’s water tank is non-removable, and the inconvenience of getting into the nooks and crannies of the tank is a bit of a put-off during maintenance. 

The other drawback would be the rather low bar pressure of the Bella Pro. Around 9 bars of pressure is what it usually takes for an unforgettable espresso taste; 5 bars of pressure will brew a decidedly less flavorful and strong espresso. 

Pros
  • Stylish overhead cup tray and sleek design 
  • Glass carafe decanter and detachable permanent espresso filter 
  • Steam pressurized safety cap 
  • Easy to use steam pump 
  • Greater cup capacity and can make four espressos at one time
Cons
  • Non-removable water reservoir 
  • Low bar pressure

3. Mr. Coffee Espresso & Cappuccino Maker — Best Value

At A Glance
  • Material: Plastic
  • Size: 9.84″ D. 10.63″ L. 12.4″ H.
  • Weight: 5.74 lbs.
  • Frother: Yes

SUMMARY: A great first espresso machine for coffee aficionados, the Mr. Coffee Espresso & Cappuccino Maker has everything you need to make fresh espresso, all at an affordable price.

The Mr. Coffee Espresso & Cappuccino Maker is an affordable espresso machine that can still give you barista-quality espresso right from home. 

This coffee maker features an extra large portafilter capable of brewing four shots of espresso at a time. Perfect for us coffee lovers who need all the kick we can to get out of bed. 

The brewing process involves high levels of steam pressure emanating from the steam pump. This style of brewing helps to highlight and pronounce the earthy, woody aromatics of dark roast espresso. Steam brewing is even better paired with Arabica beans from Cuba or Costa Rica. 

This coffee maker also comes with a water pitcher with measurement markings for consistent water levels and even more consistent brewing; it makes an excellent espresso shot that you can depend on. 

The removable frothing nozzle and included stainless steel milk frothing pitcher make for painless lattes, as they are both easy to clean. 

The downside here is that while the Mr. Coffee Espresso & Cappuccino Maker is an inexpensive espresso machine, it also looks like an inexpensive espresso machine. The all-plastic design is not made from the highest quality materials and looks a tad cheap; the plastic tamper is a major step down from traditional stainless steel. 

Pros
  • XL Portafilter brews up to 4 shots of espresso at a time 
  • Powerful steam pump brewing
  • Removable frothing nozzle makes for easy cleaning 
  • Stainless steel milk frother container 
  • Includes water pitcher with measurement markings
Cons
  • Cheap plastic design will not be turning heads 
  • Plastic tamper

4. Mixpresso Single Serve Espresso Maker — Easiest To Use

At A Glance
  • Material: Stainless steel meets high-quality plastics
  • Size: 6″ D. 10″ L. 15″ H.
  • Weight: 5.6 lbs.
  • Frother: No

SUMMARY: The perfect inexpensive espresso maker for beginners, the Mixpresso is an easy-to-use maker with highly programmable features that still makes an excellent cup of espresso.

The Mixpresso Single Serve Espresso Maker is a user-friendly, highly customizable machine that will turn any at-home coffee lover into a barista. 

It boasts five potential cup sizes for your espresso pour via digital features and the ability to use K-cups or espresso coffee grounds. This is perfect to toy around with your machine until you find the brewing that’s just right for you and your preferred brew strength.

What’s more, you’ll have your espresso ready in under 3 minutes with the patented quick brewing process. Fast and easy, just like coffee should be, with one-touch espresso. This maker also features an auto-shut-off feature, saving the forgetful coffee lover 1000 watts at a time.  

The lightweight body and compact design don’t negate from a certain level of polish, as there are stainless steel touches to the removable drip tray and coffee insertion lid. 

Some online reviewers claim hit-or-miss manufacturing in that some Mixpresso’s are faulty and can only brew 6 ounces or less. This is the case of few and far between, and while the chances of you receiving a defective brewer are slim, it’s important to note here. There is also no included frothing nozzle or milk frother. 

Pros
  • Range of sizes for cup capacity  
  • Compatible with K Cups and/or espresso coffee grounds 
  • Compact design with a lightweight body 
  • Stainless steel finishes 
  • Fast espresso coffee in just 3 minutes
Cons
  • At times defective in manufacturing and will not exceed 6-ounce brew size 
  • Does not include a frothing nozzle or milk frother

5. Bialetti Express Moka Pot — Best Stove-Top

At A Glance
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 4″ D. 4″ W. 9″ H. 
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs.
  • Frother: No

SUMMARY: A new and improved upon twist to a time-honored classic: meet the Bialetti Express Moka Pot.

Using a stove to heat water with the slow drip of espresso has been a staple in brewing espresso since before your Nonno gave you that first sip. In keeping with tradition, the Bialetti Express Moka Pot stands out as the best stove-top espresso maker

It’s worth mentioning that this is not “real” espresso. There are not enough bars of pressure here to force the water through the coffee. However, it’s as close as you can get at this price, and it surely produces a delicious espresso-like drink.

The storied charm of manual operation in espresso brewing makes me feel like I’m back in the old country; you can, too, with this improved twist on a familiar brew style. 

Bialetti has been enjoyed by Italians since 1933, with its classic Italian design and Aluminum frame, though aluminum is not as strong as stainless steel. To brew,  fill the single boiler up to the safety valve, the espresso filter with ground coffee, close the Moka Pot, and place it on the stove.

As soon as your Express begins gurgling hot water, turn off your stove and fill your espresso cups. You may require separate thermostats to ensure your coffee has reached your preferred temp. 

The ergonomic, heat-resistant handle makes operating your Express a breeze, and with the patented safety valve, measuring your grounds for consistent cup sizes is easy and fast as well.

This is a maker that brews real espresso with little to no maintenance required, as manually operated makers are the tried-and-true favorites of many coffee fanatics. The Express will last you years, although the only downside is it requires hand-wash cleaning after every use.  

Pros
  • Manual operation and classic design make you part of the larger tradition 
  • Performs with little to no maintenance required
  • Available in a wide range of cup sizes
  • Ergonomic design in the handle; also heat resistant 
  • Rich espresso at its most affordable price
Cons
  • Hand-wash only and after every use 
  • Aluminum frame is not as strong as stainless steel

6. WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker — Best Portable

At A Glance
  • Material: High-quality plastics
  • Size: 2.75″ D. 2.5″ L. 6″ H. 
  • Weight: Less than 1 lb.
  • Frother: No

SUMMARY: The perfect traveling brewer for the on-the-go coffee drinker; this is the WACACO Nanopresso portable espresso machine. 

The WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker is exactly that: an entirely portable brewer for the coffee drinker with places to be and people to see.  

The WACACO’s mini design weighs in at less than a pound and can easily be tucked into a carry-on or backpack to go.

This is a brewer whose manual operation requires no electricity or battery pack; all you need is a little elbow grease. Espresso, quite literally, everywhere and anywhere you are. 

Simply add finely ground espresso to the portafilter basket, water to the reservoir, unlock the piston, and slowly pump the Nanopresso 6-8 times. You’ll know your fresh espresso is ready when you meet resistance when pumping. 

The pumping technology can reach up to 18 bars of pressure, making a solid espresso with high extraction levels. An added bonus is the layer of frothy, authentic crema in every cup. 

The WACACO can at times produce an unpredictable, messy pour-over, and this machine does require a decent amount of effort to brew. 

Pros
  • Fully portable espresso machine
  • Good pressure for higher extraction levels and amazing espresso 
  • Compact, lightweight design makes it perfect for traveling 
  • Authentic, frothy crema
Cons
  • Requires a significant amount of effort for an espresso shot
  • Can be a touch too messy

What Are Bars Of Pressure? 

If you’ve ever put air into your tires, you’re familiar with PSI. A bar is simply another unit of measurement used to determine the amount of pressure in coffee extraction. 

1 bar equals the amount of atmospheric pressure at sea level. When we talk about a brewer like the Hamilton Beach 40715 brewing with 15 bars of pressure, the 40715 forces water through the espresso coffee grounds at a rate that is 15 times higher than the natural atmosphere. In theory, at least.

A lot of machines lose pressure between the pump and the group head. So, while you might start off brewing at 15 bars, effectively, you end up at around 9 bars. But, don’t worry, more bars don’t make better espresso. Advertised bars don’t mean all that much, and you’re better off looking for other features such as extraction technology and PID temperature control.

Buyer’s Guide 

Cup Capacity 

It’s important to consider cup capacity in the sense of how much espresso you’ll be drinking in a day and/or the work it will take to brew each cup. 

1 Cup — This is for the casual espresso drinker who prefers only one espresso a day to kick their afternoon crash or the coffee drinker with love affairs for other types of brewing. The WACACO, Mr. Coffee, Bialetti, or Mixpresso will fit in nicely with your routine. 

The downside here is you’ll have to clean and prepare your maker each time you use it; this is an impractical brewing system for households with multiple espresso drinkers. 

2-4 Cups — For the espresso coffee drinkers who love to indulge and for households with more than one coffee drinker. The Hamilton Beach 40715 and the Bella Pro Series are right for you. 

These brewers require little to no cleaning between brew cycles and have a faster output and higher extraction rate than traditional espresso makers meant for 1 cup at a time. 

Frother 

How important are cappuccinos to you? Lattes? If a frother is a must-have for you, look no further than the Hamilton Beach, Bella Pro Series, or the Mr. Coffee. 

Keep in mind that you’re essentially getting what you pay for, and these wands are at times either inconsistent in steam pressure or frother milk quality. Within the less than $100 espresso market, however, these are the best frothers money can buy. 

Ease 

Boiling it down to two things: ease of use and ease of cleaning 

Ease of Use — You have the choice here between purchasing a manually operated drip/Moka Pot style or automatic via K-cup brewer. How much time do you have in the morning? Do you want an espresso machine that can brew on auto-pilot? How much work do you want to put in? 

While manually operated brewers allow for a certain level of control, there is something to be said about a consistent, amazing espresso being brewed without the hassle. It all comes down to how tailored you want your experience to be to you. 

Ease of Cleaning — We are talking about removable water tanks and drip trays here. Also, the ability to use your brewer through multiple cycles without cleaning is a big factor (not to mention whether or not parts of your maker are dishwasher safe). The Hamilton Beach 40715 is a yes in all of the above categories and stands apart as the easiest machine to clean amongst our top picks.

The Verdict 

When it comes to an espresso machine that’s under $100, why settle for a subpar machine that’s going to deteriorate the quality of your coffee and break down over repeated daily use?

The Hamilton Beach 40715 exceeded all of my expectations and then some; the winner of the best of the best espresso machine under $100. This will make a welcomed addition to your coffee routine; happy brewing! 

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Author
Clint's skills as a barista have made it easy for him to transition into writing about coffee. With so much personal experience and passion, he is able to shed light on all aspects of coffee to ensure you can enjoy this delicious beverage as much as he does.

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