17

Products Tested

research icon

44

Hours of Research

reviews icon

76

Reviews Examined

So, you've decided how much you want to spend on your new espresso machine. Congratulations! This is just the start.

The next thing you need to do is figure out what kind of machine is right for you.

This part is pretty tricky—you need to be very careful with what you choose, or you'll end up flushing money down the drain.

I'm here to help. I've been in the same position as you, and I know that the choices can be very overwhelming.

To help you out, I've brewed, sipped, and savored my way through countless machines to find the best espresso machine under 1500 dollars.

Here’s what I found!

OUR TOP PICK

Breville Barista Touch 

Brew Quality

4.5

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

5.0


Our Score

4.7

CHEAPEST OPTION

De’Longhi Dinamica

Brew Quality

4.0

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

5.0


Our Score

4.5

Most Popular

Nuova Simonelli Oscar II

Brew Quality

5.0

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

4.0


Our Score

4.5

Each model on our list has been carefully selected and offers a unique brewing option.

Below is the main drawing point for each espresso machine in relation to your home brewing preferences.

Top 10 Espresso Machines Under $1500

1. Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine – Editor's Choice

Brew Quality

4.5

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

5.0


Overall Rating

4.7

Type of Machine

Semi-automatic

Dimensions

12.75” x 15.5” x 16”

Boiler Type & Volume

Single boiler

Material

Brushed stainless steel, BPA-free plastic water tank

Cup Clearance

4 Inches

Pressure

15-bar Italian pump

Reservoir Size

1.98 L (67 fl oz)

Warranty

2-year limited warranty

If you haven’t tried using an espresso machine before, the Breville Barista Touch espresso machine can easily bring out the barista in you.

This sleek, stainless steel semi-automatic machine simplifies the complex grind and brew process of making espresso.

First, it comes with a built-in, conical burr grinder, unlike many of the semi-automatic machines on this list. This type of grinder does not only grind beans consistently but is also quieter than other types of grinders.

No need to worry about waking up your neighbors, spouse, or children whenever you grind your beans. You also don't have to find somewhere to grind coffee beans. It's all done for you!

It also has 30 grind settings to pick from, allowing you to choose the grind size that works well with your beans.

Next up, performance. It has a ThermoJet heating system, which achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds.

This means you can pull your shot in just a few seconds after turning on the machine, unlike other machines that use Thermoblock, like the Miele CM5300, which needs some time to heat up.

With other espresso machines, brewing espresso with crema can be very difficult to achieve—you need to control the pressure and time the shot, but that’s not going to be a problem with Breville Barista Touch.

The low-pressure pre-infusions, followed by a high-pressure (9 bar) extraction process, ensure that every shot comes with a delicious crema on top. Something that you would only expect from high-end espresso machines.

What sets it apart is the personalization. With this machine, I could fine-tune my drink settings, including the temperature, froth size, and grind duration.

It even allows me to save up to eight customizable brew profiles. It's like having a personal barista who knows your favorite coffee preferences by heart.[1]

Did I mention it comes with an automatic frother? Just fill the stainless steel pitcher, select your temperature and froth size, and let the machine do its magic.

The frother creates perfect micro-foam milk for latte art.[2] It also auto-purges after use, ensuring cleanliness for the next use.

If you didn't know by now, I'm a huge Dutch Bros fan! I have tried many times to recreate my favorite drinks at home but could never quite get it. 

The Breville Barista Touch espresso machine made enjoying my favorite low-calorie Dutch Bros drinks at home a breeze! 

Who is The Breville Barista Touch Most Suitable For? 

The Breville Barista Touch is the dream machine for beginner to intermediate home baristas who want a machine that’s simple to use and can make consistent quality espresso.

Pros

  • The self-cleaning frother and easy-to-maintain design
  • Allows for extensive customization of your beverages
  • Automatic frothing

Cons

  • Not suitable for kitchens with limited space

2. De’Longhi Dinamica – Best Super Automatic Espresso Machine

Brew Quality

4.0

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

5.0


Overall Rating

4.5

Type of Machine

Super-automatic

Dimensions

16.9 x 9.3 x 13.7 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Dual boiler

Material

Plastic with metal finish

Cup Clearance

Adjustable, up to 5.5 inches

Pressure

15 bar

Reservoir Size

1.3 L (44 fl oz)

Warranty

2 years (depending on the region and seller)

For espresso fans who simply don’t have the patience or time to do the tedious work of pulling a shot, the De’Longhi Dinamica is the best home espresso machine for you.

Since it’s a super-automatic machine, you don’t need to grind, tamp, and time your shot. The machine does it for you—pretty cool, right?

It comes with a built-in grinder that has 13 grind settings to choose from. This grinder also has a bypass setting, allowing you to use pre-ground coffee if that’s the only coffee you have at home.

This feature is especially useful if you have a family member who prefers decaf coffee.

One thing I love most about Delonghi Dinamica is its efficient coffee management system.

It comes with a tubeless grinding chamber, which along with the burr grinder, grinds just the right amount of coffee, ensuring there are few or no leftover grounds for your next cup.

When the brewing is done, the used coffee grounds are collected in a separate, removable container.

This makes it a breeze to clean up and gives you the option to use the grounds for composting.

What makes this espresso machine unique from other machines in this list is the TrueBrew iced coffee function.[3]

This super-automatic machine cleverly brews over ice, tweaking the brewing process a bit to achieve a full-flavored taste that isn't watered down by the ice.

Think of the coffee it makes as a cold brew coffee, minus the long brewing time.

When I first tried this feature, I noticed that it takes a bit more time for the coffee to pour out of the spout due to a lengthier grinding period.

The machine also uses a higher dose of coffee to balance out the ice.

I was actually surprised to find that there's a longer preinfusion phase too, which results in a more robust espresso and a prolonged extraction.

This ensures that the flavor of your iced coffee won’t be compromised. Pretty neat, if you ask me.

There’s just one thing that’s missing—it doesn’t come with an automatic milk frothing system, like the Breville Barista Touch.

This means that you need to learn how to froth milk if you love to drink espresso milk drinks. Nevertheless, it’s still a great super automatic espresso machine under $1500.

Who is The De’Longhi Dinamica Most Suitable For? 

The De’Longhi Dinamica is perfect for coffee lovers who enjoy creating iced espresso-based drinks.

Pros

  • The super-automatic espresso machine brews multiple drinks, including drip and iced coffee.
  • Comes with a water filter
  • Easy disposal of used coffee grounds

Cons

  • The milk frother is not automatic.

3. Nuova Simonelli Oscar II – Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine

Brew Quality

5.0

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

4.0


Overall Rating

4.5

Type of Machine

Semi-automatic

Dimensions

12 x 16 x 16 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Heat Exchanger, 2L

Material

Stainless steel with ABS plastic side panels

Cup Clearance

4 Inches

Pressure

15

Reservoir Size

2.8 L (94.7 fl oz)

Warranty

2-year parts and labor warranty

If you’re serious about learning the ropes of espresso making, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is the equipment you need.

As a semi-automatic espresso machine, it encourages interactive brewing. In other words, there are certain steps of the brewing process that you have to do manually.

One particular process is grinding the beans. Unlike the Breville Barista Touch, which is also a semi-automatic espresso machine, this brewer doesn't come with a built-in grinder.

You'll need to buy a new grinder, which is an additional expense and requires additional counter space.

However, if you’re really invested in your barista training, buying a separate grinder can also be a smart move.

This allows you to fully customize your coffee bar and hone your barista skills even better.

Another step that you’ll be doing in the process is pulling the shot. This means that you need to know when to start and end the brew cycle and ensure you timed the shot correctly.

Otherwise, your brew quality will suffer.

Pulling perfect and consistent shots requires some training and practice, and if you still need a little practice, don’t worry—the Oscar II still can offer some help along the way.

After all, it’s still a semi-automatic espresso machine.

For example, beginners who still struggle to time their shot can take advantage of its programmable dosing functionality.

This feature allows you to program the durations for single and double espresso shots.

Once programmed, all you have to do is press a button when you brew a shot, and the machine will stop at the right time. 

Something that I found very useful when I was still learning how to pull a shot correctly.

On top of that, it also comes with a Soft Infusion System that reduces tamping mistakes that many beginners make.

Basically, the system showers the coffee grounds with a sprinkle of water before the brew cycle, which smooths out the puck and settles the grounds.

As a result, you get a balanced extraction every time you pull a shot, even if you haven't tamped the coffee grounds properly.

Did I mention you can brew and steam milk simultaneously with the Oscar II? This is exceptionally useful when you are making coffee for a group of people.

Who is The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Most Suitable For? 

The Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is ideally suited for those who want more control over their espresso brewing routine.

Pros

  • Features a Soft Infusion System for balanced extraction
  • Fitted with a commercial-grade group head
  • Stainless steel exterior with cup warming shelf

Cons

  • Can be difficult to use for beginners.

4. Gaggia Cadorna Prestige - Best With Intuitive Interface

Brew Quality

4.0

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

5.0


Overall Rating

4.5

Type of Machine

Super-automatic

Dimensions

10.2 x 14.2 x 16.5 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Rapid Steam Technology

Material

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Cup Clearance

Adjustable, up to 6.5 inches

Pressure

5 bars

Reservoir Size

1.8 L (60.8 fl oz)

Warranty

1-year parts and labor warranty

Don't have enough time to learn the intricacies of operating an espresso machine?

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is the machine for you. Just by pressing a few buttons, you can make quality espresso in no time!

This espresso brewer has a very intuitive interface that even someone who hasn't operated an espresso machine can use. It comes with a color display and a clear, easy-to-navigate menu.

Although it's not a touchscreen, the buttons are well-designed, so you can clearly understand their function.

When I first operated this machine, I didn't even read the manual that comes with it, and I was able to brew an espresso right away. It's that simple to use!

On top of that, it comes with a lot of drink options.

You can choose from 14 pre-programmed beverages, such as ristretto, espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino, café au lait, café cortado, and latte.

Each one is fully customizable based on strength, temperature, and volume, depending on your preference. It also has multiple user profiles, allowing different users to save their coffee preferences. 

Because of this, I recommend the Cadorna Prestige for households with members who have different coffee preferences. 

No need to fight over which coffee setting should be the default profile; with this brewer, everyone gets their own personalized profile.

When it comes to its value, this high-end espresso machine is totally worth every penny. It may have a plastic exterior, but its compact design exudes prestige and a distinctly boutique vibe.

It definitely has that aesthetic appeal of a high-end machine that pairs well with any kitchen design.

While it won’t make you iced lattes or iced coffee like the De’longhi Dinamica, it's fully automatic, and you don't have to worry about anything with all—milk froth included!

It comes with an automatic milk frother which consistently makes quality froth every time.

The best part? The integrated milk carafe performs an automatic cleaning cycle after each use. This means you don’t have to manually clean milk residues from the hoses and pipes.

Who is The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Most Suitable For?

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is a shining choice for those who don't have enough time to invest in learning how to make an espresso.

Pros

  • User-friendly color display with easy navigation
  • Rapid Steam technology allows a quick transition from brewing to steaming
  • Up to 4 different user profiles

Cons

  • Can be a bit too loud when operating the machine

5. Miele CM5300 - Best Espresso Machine With Programmable Settings

Brew Quality

4.5

Build Quality

4.0

Ease Of Use

4.5


Overall Rating

4.3

Type of Machine

Super-automatic

Dimensions

14.8 x 9.5 x 16.7 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Stainless Steel Thermoblock

Material

Stainless steel and plastic

Cup Clearance

Adjustable, up to 5.5 inches

Pressure

15 bars

Reservoir Size

1.78 L (60 fl oz)

Warranty

1-year parts and labor warranty

Do you have a specific way of how you want your espresso to be? The Miele CM5300 is a great choice, a super-automatic espresso machine that's as premium as it gets under $1500.

This compact brewer allows you to program your coffee settings down to the T.

Want your latte brewed at a certain temperature? Or maybe you like your latte milky and strong? Whatever your coffee preference is, this espresso brewer can make it for you.

As one of the best espresso machines under $1500, this brewer operates on a Thermoblock heating system similar to many high-end machines, ensuring you get the optimal brew temperature every time.

While it's not as advanced and quick as the Breville Barista Touch ThermoJet system, it can still get the job done in a short amount of time.

It comes equipped with an advanced automatic steam wand to steam milk to your preferred milk temperature. As someone who still struggles with frothing milk, this automatic steaming wand is a life savior.

I simply need to put the end of the milk pipe into a milk carton, and the milky, foamy magic happens.

Effortless latte? The Miele CM5300 is your best bet. My favorite thing to do with this machine was buy some of my favorite Starbucks syrup flavors and whip up a latte with whatever syrup I was feeling that day. I'm partial to Starbucks Toffee Nut but to each their own.

Of course, it just doesn't only brew espressos and lattes.

This coffee machine comes with 10 pre-set coffee profiles, a little less than the Gaggia Cardona Prestige, but you really won’t feel you have fewer coffee options.

When it comes to cleaning, this machine does some of the dirty work for you. It has a self-cleaning setting, allowing you to just make coffee and dash.

If you’re always on the go, this machine is definitely worth considering.

Who is The Miele CM5300 Most Suitable For? 

The Miele CM5300 is great for finicky coffee drinkers who want their coffee made in a very specific manner.

Pros

  • One of the most affordable automatic espresso machines
  • Self-cleaning function
  • No need to learn how to steam or froth milk

Cons

  • Although the front is stainless steel, parts of the machine are made of plastic, which could impact long-term durability.

6. Diletta Mio Espresso Machine – Best With PID Control

Brew Quality

4.5

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

4.0


Overall Rating

4.3

Type of Machine

Semi-automatic

Dimensions

11.8 x 8.7 x 11.8 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Single Boiler

Material

Stainless steel

Cup Clearance

Adjustable

Pressure

15 bars

Reservoir Size

2.5 L (84 fl oz)

Warranty

2-year parts warranty

If you're looking for a good espresso machine that merges commercial-grade components with home brewing, then the Diletta Mio Espresso Machine is the one for you.

This single boiler machine is like having a miniaturized version of commercial espresso machines right on your kitchen counter.

No wonder it’s one of the best semi-automatic espresso machines I’ve ever tried.

What makes the Diletta Mio stand out from the rest is the PID control, a premium feature that allows for precise digital temperature control—a crucial factor in brewing good espresso.

This professional-grade temperature control eliminates the guesswork and ensures that every shot you pull is at the ideal temperature.

On top of that, the machine has a separate Thermoblock steam circuit made specifically for its commercial-grade steam wand.

This means that you can froth milk and pull an espresso shot at the same time. It also comes with a pressure gauge, so you can tell if you're hitting the right pressure when you pull the shot.

Whenever I use this machine, I always feel like I work at a cafe because of all the hands-on work I need to do to pull a shot.

Sure, it’s a bit tedious, but that’s part of the beauty of making espresso, and that’s what this machine allows you to experience.

While there’s no doubt that it's a super performer, it does lack one thing. It doesn’t come with a built-in burr grinder, so you will need to purchase that separately.

Of course, you’ll also need a scale and a tamper to complete your own espresso bar.

However, if you don’t have the budget to invest in other coffee equipment, you’re better off with a Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine.

For those who can, you won’t go wrong with this machine.

Who is The Diletta Mio Most Suitable For? 

The Diletta Mio semi-automatic espresso machine is suitable for those who can also invest in a quality scale, burr grinder, and tamper.

Pros

  • With PID control that ensures precise temperature control for brewing.
  • Doesn't take up a lot of counter space
  • Programmable shot timer

Cons

  • Need to invest in other coffee equipment like a burr grinder and scale.
  • May take some time to get the hang of all the features.

7. Gaggia Accademia Espresso Machine – Best With Dual Boiler

Brew Quality

4.0

Build Quality

5.0

Ease Of Use

4.0


Overall Rating

4.3

Type of Machine

Super-automatic

Dimensions

11 x 16 x 14.6 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Dual Boiler

Material

Stainless steel

Cup Clearance

Adjustable, up to 6.5 inches

Pressure

15 bars

Reservoir Size

1.6 L (54 fl oz)

Warranty

1-year parts and labor warranty

If you want a home espresso machine that can make you feel like a seasoned barista every time, the Gaggia 1003380 Accademia is the brewer you need.

This Italian designed machine feels like it's straight outta the top-tier line of commercial espresso machines, delivering your favorite espresso at cafe quality by just pressing a button.

Unlike most home espresso machines under $1500, this brewer comes with a dual boiler.

No more waiting between brewing and steaming milk, as you can do both simultaneously. However, this feature isn’t only exclusive to dual boilers.

Many single-boiler espresso machines like the Diletta Mio can also do the same thing since they have a separate steam boiler for frothing milk.

What sets this dual boiler machine apart from the other best home espresso machines? It's the price! I'm actually surprised to find a dual boiler machine in this price range.

Ordinarily, you'd have to spend a lot more than $1500 for an automatic coffee machine with two Thermoblocks, so this is definitely a steal!

Wait, that's not all. It comes equipped with 7 pre-set coffee profiles that you can customize to your taste.

Not as comprehensive as the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige pre-set coffee profiles, but still good enough to accommodate some of the most basic espresso drinks.

So, whether you prefer a straight espresso or a creamy latte, just pick your profile, and the machine will do the rest. It's like having your very own barista express service in your kitchen!

Did I mention it also comes with a built-in grinder and automatic milk frother? So, if you only have around $1500 to spare for your coffee bar, this is what I recommend.

Who is The Gaggia 1003380 Accdemia Most Suitable For? 

The Gaggia 1003380 Accademia is ideal for home baristas looking for a dual boiler machine at a steal.

Pros

  • The Dual boiler system allows you to brew and steam simultaneously, reducing wait times.
  • Offers 7 pre-set, customizable coffee profiles
  • Affordable dual boiler espresso machine

Cons

  • It may take some time to master all its features.

8. La Pavoni PC-16 Professional - Best Manual Espresso Machine

Brew Quality

4.5

Build Quality

5.0

Ease Of Use

3.0


Overall Rating

4.2

Type of Machine

Manual

Dimensions

14.6 x 9.8 x 9.8 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Single Boiler

Material

Chrome-plated brass

Cup Clearance

Adjustable

Pressure

Manually controlled

Reservoir Size

1.12 L (38 fl oz)

Warranty

1-year parts warranty

If you want espresso equipment that will challenge you, you’ll never go wrong with the La Pavoni PC-16 Professional.

It has a retro and charming design that exudes a premium feel and screams "Italian espresso heritage." You can whip up your very own Italian coffee drinks the old-fashioned way.

I mean, it looks like it came straight out of a museum—it's like owning a piece of coffee shop history right in your kitchen!

Kidding aside, this single-boiler machine is a celebration of the art of coffee-making, putting you in total control of your espresso.

Unlike the Miele CM5300, which does all the work for you, you’re in charge of every step—from grinding to weighing the grounds and timing the shot.

It features a manual lever operation, meaning you control the pressure every single time you pull a shot. This can be quite challenging, especially if you’re new to espresso brewing.

It also requires a lot of patience, but if you’re dedicated to becoming a home barista, this machine can be a worthwhile investment.

Apart from pulling a shot, steaming milk is also done manually. While frothing and steaming may not be as complicated as pulling a shot, doing so in a manual machine can be quite a test.

That’s why I only recommend this to those who are up for a challenge or anyone who just wants to experience the traditional way of making espresso.

For the inexperienced barista, playing around with this machine is a little frustrating. If you are a newbie, then it will take several days and weeks to master it.

Who is The La Pavoni PC-16 Most Suitable For? 

The La Pavoni PC-16 Professional is perfect for home baristas who want to learn the traditional way of making a great espresso.

Pros

  • Gives you full control over the brewing process.
  • Compact size
  • Heats quickly for steaming or brewing.
  • Chrome-plated brass ensures longevity and heat stability.

Cons

  • Mastering manual lever operation takes time and practice.

9. Quick Mill Silvano Evo – Best Espresso Machine With Stainless Steel Construction

Quick Mill Silvano Evo

Brew Quality

4.0

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

4.0


Overall Rating

4.2

Type of Machine

Semi-automatic, Prosumer

Dimensions

16.5 x 11 x 13.5 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Single Boiler

Material

Stainless steel

Cup Clearance

Adjustable

Pressure

15 bars

Reservoir Size

2 L (67.6 fl oz)

Warranty

2-year parts and labor warranty

Is durability your priority? Then the Quick Mill Silvano Evo is the Prosumer espresso equipment for you. This beast is made entirely of stainless steel, exuding a premium look and feel.

It’s a real bang for your buck if you're looking for a good espresso machine that’s built like a tank!

As one of the best espresso machines under $1500, this features a single boiler and an additional thermal block for steaming, providing a smooth transition between brewing and frothing.

The machine also includes a commercial-grade steam wand that steams milk to perfection for all your latte art creations.

One feature that wins me over every time is its lack of a screen. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but this lack of screen allows me to truly feel like I’m in control of the brewing process.

Of course, there are downsides to this.

For one, you can't save your coffee settings, so you have to manually brew your espresso every single time. You also need to be very focused when you pull a shot.

Otherwise, you might ruin the quality of your espresso. So, if you're a new home barista, it might be very challenging to pull consistent shots.

Despite the lack of a screen, the Silvano Evo is still a semi-automatic, Prosumer espresso machine. You can still get a little help from the machine when you brew a shot.

For example, it has PID control and a digital PID display.

This display shows the temperature of your brew so you can make precise temperature adjustments throughout the process, ensuring optimal extraction for that perfect shot of espresso.

While it’s not as modern as Breville Barista Touch Model or the Oscar II, its durability and stainless steel finish makes it an excellent investment if you’re looking for something that will last for a long time.

Who is The Quick Mill Silvano Evo Most Suitable For? 

The Quick Mill Silvano Evo is an ideal pick for any home barista seeking a durable, high-performing machine with a PID controller.

Pros

  • Stainless steel construction ensures durability and a sleek look.
  • Allows precise temperature control for optimal brewing.
  • Includes a boiler and thermal block, which minimizes the wait time between brewing and steaming.

Cons

  • The pump can be a bit noisy when in operation.

10. Rancilio Silvia M V6 and Grinder – Best Espresso Machine With Integrated Grinder

Brew Quality

4.0

Build Quality

3.5

Ease Of Use

4.5


Overall Rating

4.0

Type of Machine

Semi-automatic

Dimensions

9.2 x 11.4 x 13.3 inches

Boiler Type & Volume

Single Boiler

Material

Iron frame, stainless steel side panels

Cup Clearance

Up to 3.5 inches

Pressure

15 bars

Reservoir Size

2 L (67.6 fl oz)

Warranty

2-year parts warranty

Experienced baristas know that making an espresso isn't just about pulling a perfect shot.

It's also about grinding your beans to perfection and everything that comes in between that and the shot-pulling. If you love all of those steps, then you'll also fall in love with the Silvia M V6.

This bean-to-brew machine operates with a single boiler machine setup that heats pretty quickly.

Yes, there's a bit of a juggling act between brewing and steaming milk, but it’s a small trade-off for the quality of espresso this compact machine delivers.

This semi-automatic espresso machine is a little less tech-heavy compared to some digital divas on the market. No flashy programmability here—it's all manual, and that's part of its charm.

It’s actually why I fell in love with this machine in the first place. It allows me to experiment with pressure and shot timings, helping me understand the science of brewing espresso.

Its all-iron frame and stainless steel side panels make it a robust and resilient choice. Just from the exterior, you know it’s a quality espresso maker that can last a long time.

Although it’s a bit of a chunky monkey, it won’t dominate your counter space.

On top of that, the addition of a built-in burr grinder is a nice upgrade that saves space and ensures freshly ground coffee beans every time, unlike the Quick Mill Silvano Evo, which requires you to buy a separate grinder.

Who is The Rancilio Silvia M V6 Most Suitable For? 

The Rancilio Silvia M V6 and Grinder is an all-in-one espresso machine for seasoned baristas but can be challenging and frustrating to use for beginners.

Pros

  • The integrated grinder ensures the freshest espresso, with beans ground just before brewing.
  • Built to last
  • Great for those who like a hands-on brewing experience.

Cons

  • Getting used to manual brewing and grinding takes time and patience.

Considerations When Buying An Espresso Machine Under $1500

Although I have given you a solid list of the top 10 home espresso machines, I also want you to learn how to evaluate which of those fits your lifestyle and needs.

That’s why I have created this guide, so you know what to look for when purchasing an espresso machine in this price range.

Here are the things you need to consider when buying a machine:

Get The Right Type Of Espresso Machine

To find the perfect espresso machine for you, understanding your coffee preferences and desired level of control during the brewing process is crucial. Let's break it down:

1. Semi-Automatic Machines - For Complete Control:

If you want to have full control over the brewing process and can invest time in learning the craft, semiautomatic machines are for you.

With this type of machine, you can adjust the grind size, tamper pressure, and extraction time to your liking. These variables can drastically affect the flavor of your espresso.

My favorite semi-automatic machine: The Breville Barista Touch Coffee Maker. It's an all-in-one machine with a grinder attached, so it saves space and ensures a fresh grind every time.

You can fine-tune your espresso from bean to cup, and the steam wand performance is impressive for its price.

Breville Barista Touch Espresso Machine Making Cups Of Coffee
2. Super-Automatic Machines - For Convenience:

If you lean towards a more convenient, push-button experience, super-automatic espresso machines could be perfect for you.

With super-automatic machines, every step, from grinding the beans to extracting the coffee and even frothing the milk, is automated.

Some even have advanced features that allow you to customize your drink depending on your coffee preference.

My favorite super-automatic machine: The Gaggia Cardona Prestige. It's fully customizable in terms of volume, strength, and temperature.

It also has an easy-to-use interface and self-cleaning function, making maintenance a breeze. It's definitely a great machine for beginners.

Gaggia Cardona Prestige Compared To Other Models
3. Prosumer Machines - Best of Both Worlds:

For those seeking a balance between automation and manual control, prosumer machines offer an authentic home barista experience.

My favorite prosumer machine: The Rancilio Silvia M V6. Despite its compact size, it delivers professional quality, offering excellent temperature stability and a high-quality build that you can find from commercial machines.

It even comes with a dedicated grinder, making the whole brewing process seamless.

Rancilio Silvia M V6 On Counter
4. Manual Espresso Machines - For the Craft Enthusiasts:

For those committed to mastering the art of espresso-making, a manual espresso machine is an excellent investment.

My favorite manual espresso machine: La Pavoni PC-16 Professional. While there is a learning curve, the control and satisfaction of pulling a perfect shot manually are unparalleled.

La Pavoni PC-16 Professional Side View

Aim For Commercial Level Performance

When you're looking to invest in an espresso machine, you'll definitely want something that can perform at a commercial level, not just something pretty to deck out your countertop.

What really matters is how it brews that beautiful, rich espresso.

One common mistake I see from new at-home baristas is that they prioritize the look of the machine instead of its performance.

As a result, they end up with a machine that they won’t even use at all—such a waste! So, how can you find an affordable machine that performs well?

Here are several factors to consider:

  • Temperature and pressure: For starters, look for one that can achieve the right temperature and pressure to brew an espresso. These two things can have a significant effect on the taste of your espresso, as well as the quality of coffee and a good grinder. The recommended brewing temperature is between 90.5 to 96°C, while the pressure is 8.5 to 9.5 bars.[4]
  • Consistency: You want every shot of espresso you pull to taste as good as the last. To ensure this, look for an espresso machine with excellent temperature stability and precision controls.
  • Steam power: If you're a fan of lattes or cappuccinos, don't overlook the importance of a good steam wand. The best ones turn milk into creamy liquid velvet, not a sudsy bubble bath. It should work quickly and effectively to reach the ideal temperature and texture of your steamed milk.
  • Grinders: A grinder and an espresso machine are like two peas in a pod. You'll want a machine with a built-in grinder that's adjustable and provides a consistent grind. Usually, burr grinders are better than blade ones.
  • Speed: If you plan on making coffee for a lot of people, speed should be something you need to look for in a machine. A machine that can steam and brew, like the Gaggia 1003380 Accademia and Diletta Mio, is what you need.
  • Ease of adjusting settings: Each machine is different, with some offering a more intuitive experience than others when it comes to tweaking the grind size, water temperature, or shot volume. Choose a machine that matches your comfort level with tech and your patience for leafing through the manual.

In a nutshell, it's a sound investment to purchase a home espresso machine that can provide you with commercial-level performance.

This will give the best espresso shots and allow you to hone your barista skill at home.

breville barista home espresso machine

Know The Type of Boiler System

While there are different types of boiler systems available, the most common boiler systems in this price range are Single Boiler and Thermoblock systems.

Machines with Single Boiler use only one boiler for both brewing and steaming. You'll need to switch between functions, which means a short wait.

You can find this type of boiler on La Pavoni PC-16 Professional.

Another boiler system that you’ll encounter in this price range is Thermoblock. Machines with a Thermoblock system rapidly heat water on demand rather than storing it in a boiler.

They offer great speed and convenience and are sometimes used together with a Single Boiler system. 

That’s why you can find some Single Boiler machines, like the Diletta Mio, that can brew and steam simultaneously.

On rare occasions, you can find Dual Boiler systems in a machine. This offers the best temperature control and simultaneous brewing and steaming.

They can usually be found in expensive machines, like the Rocket Espresso, but lucky for you, I found the Gaggia 1003380 Accademia, which is under $1500.

boiler system on espresso machine

Know The Type of Group Head

When it comes to espresso machines, especially within a budget under $1500, one crucial part you should pay attention to is the group head.

This is where the magic happens–it's part of the machine that delivers hot water to your coffee grounds, playing a critical role in extraction and, ultimately, the taste of your espresso.

Unfortunately, espresso machines under $1500 don’t offer as many options as expensive models, so you really don’t have much control over this.

The most common one you’ll find within this price range is the classic E61 group head.[5]

However, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II has strayed from the traditional E61 group head and used a thermosyphon group head instead.[6]

This type of group head continually circulates hot water from the boiler to the group head as opposed to E61, which cycles water through the group head and around the portafilter.

Hand Operating Nuova Simonelli Oscar II

Look For A Temperature Control System

In espresso-making, temperature control is critical. It impacts the taste and quality of your brew significantly.

Too hot, and your espresso can taste burnt; too cool, and it might taste under-extracted and weak.

Many espresso machines under $1500 use either a thermostat or a PID control for temperature regulation.

Basic machines often use a thermostat, which heats the water to a set point and then shuts off until the temperature drops.

Some mid-range machines, like the Breville Barista Touch, Diletta Mio, and Rancilio Silvia M V6, employ a PID temperature control for more precise and stable temperature control, allowing you to dial in your perfect brew.

Best For PID Temperature Control: Diletta Mio