Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive?

By Evelina •  Updated: 07/25/21 •  11 min read

The Best Answer:

Espresso machines are expensive because of the materials they are made from and the processes used to make them. However, cheaper models can also produce great-tasting espresso with affordable parts since they don’t have as many features to maintain or replace.

A lot of people find it hard to justify spending a lot of money on an espresso machine. Why would you need something that can cost so much when you could just buy coffee at Starbucks?

Espresso machines are expensive for many reasons. The most obvious is the quality and taste that you will get from one.

They also last longer, which means less time spent replacing parts or upgrading your machine with new models every few years like you would if you used a typical drip coffee maker or a French press.

In this article, we are going to take a look at why espresso machines are so expensive and what exactly you get for all that money.

What Is An Espresso Machine?

why are espresso machines so expensive

To really understand why espresso machines are so expensive, we need to know what one actually is.

Basically, an espresso machine creates a concentrated coffee drink by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans.

The drink is usually combined with other ingredients like milk to create a latte or cappuccino and if you prefer something strong and cold like an iced mocha, you can do that as well!

Related Read: Espresso Machine Ultimate Brewing Guide

The Price of Espresso Machines

Starter Models $50 – $100

The cheapest espresso machines cost $50 to get you started in the world of espresso. They are usually very small and compact. The main problem with these is that they don’t have a whole lot of features, which means you won’t be able to make any fancy specialty drinks with them.

The good thing about these, however, is their price. If you just want to try a decent machine before you make any major investment, then these are a great option. You can play around with making different drinks before deciding if this is something worth pursuing or not.

Smaller Models $100 – $250

As you move up the price scale, you’ll find that your options increase significantly.

You’ll find larger models that can make more than one drink at a time and specialty attachments like milk frothers to make your coffee experience even better.

You may also notice that the quality of the materials used in making the coffee is much better than it was in cheaper models.

Espresso quality is even better with these machines, which is a plus if you’re a little more serious about your coffee.

Primary Models $350 – $500

These are the types of machines that are good for day-to-day use. They don’t make quite as rich of a drink compared to the more expensive models, but they still provide good quality coffee that’s easy to clean up afterward.

Perhaps their biggest advantage is that they are quite durable. You’ll be able to enjoy them for a long time before needing to replace them.

Commercial Models $1,000 – $10,000 or even more

These are the machines that will really set you apart from your neighbors. If they still use a drip coffee maker, they will probably think you’re some kind of professional barista when they come over and visit.

Some even have built-in grinders for freshness! The price range is pretty large because of the wide variety of features, quality, and size.

These are mostly for commercial purposes, like in a cafe or restaurant but, if you have enough money then go for it! You can make excellent drinks with these machines.

Related Read: Used Espresso Machines: Should You Buy One?

What Are The Features?

You may have noticed that a $50 machine will not be the same as a $1,000 one. They have many different features ranging from whether or not you can make multiple drinks at once to how much maintenance is required to keep them running.

Many of these features are a matter of personal preference, especially if you’re just starting out. You can always upgrade as you get more experienced and decide what sorts of features would be most beneficial to your overall experience.

When You Should Spend Money on an Expensive Machine

You don’t need to have a super expensive espresso machine to enjoy delicious beverages.

However, if you really love the taste of coffee and want the most out of your experience, then quality really does matter. It’s like going from eating frozen pizzas to fresh ones; the difference is staggering!

If you’re serious about this, then you’ll be glad to have a quality machine to use. It will save time and money in the long run. Let’s take a look at when you should seriously consider investing in one of these expensive machines:

1. It Will Last Longer Than Others

The quality of your machine will determine how long you can use it. In some cases, you’ll be able to use one for a lifetime! If you drink coffee often enough, it’s worth investing in an expensive machine that will last.

Related Read: How Long Do Espresso Machines Last?

2. Extra Attachments

Sometimes you’ll find machines that won’t cost as much as others because they don’t have the advanced features that you really want. For example, maybe they don’t have a built-in grinder or an automatic milk frother to make your drink extra creamy.

If these things are important to you then more expensive machines might be a better fit. They can offer you a lot of convenience and functionality, which is really what you’re paying for.

Note: If you’re only getting into espresso-making, then these are probably non-essential at this point. Save money and get something on the lower end of the price spectrum. When you’re ready for those upgrades, then go right ahead!

3. If You Are a Professional

If you are a professional in the coffee or espresso business, then maybe you want something more advanced than others. Professionals will have to use these machines for long hours at a time and will want something that’s going to save them some time and effort.

For example, they might want to serve multiple drinks at a time or be able to make the perfect drink with just the touch of a button. It’s nice but, in reality, you don’t need any of that if you’re just looking for an enjoyable home experience.

4. If You Have Space

If you have the space for it, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get the biggest machine that hits the market. It’s something to be proud of and can really impress your guests!

5. If You Have a Big Family

If you have a larger family then maybe you need some serious equipment to meet their demands. You’ll want something that will make enough cups in a row and that won’t take too long. A larger machine can make multiple drinks at once!

6. Just Because You Can

If you have money to burn, then go right ahead and get the most expensive one. Why not? There’s no shame in indulging yourself as long as it makes your life more enjoyable!

Read Also: Beginner Espresso Machine Questions Answered

Types of Machines to Consider

types of espresso machines

You have a lot of options when you start looking into these different machines. Not only will they be in different price ranges but also different types as well!

It’s important to know what kind of machine will work best for your needs, so let’s go over them together.

1. Semi-Automatic Machines

These are the most basic espresso machines out there and are usually suited for beginners. They have all the basic features that you generally need to make a drink without any fuss.

The semi-automatic is wonderful because it gives you just enough control while still keeping it simple!

2. Fully-Automatic Machines

These work well for people who want more control but aren’t really coffee experts. They do a lot of the work for you so that you can put your focus on other things!

If you plan on getting into the business of making espresso, then it’s good to start slow and work your way up in terms of complexity. In the beginning, it’s all about getting acclimated to the basics. After you get a hang of that, then it’s time to move on up.

Read Also: Can You Make Espresso With Regular Coffee?

3. Commercial Machines

These are usually made for high-end cafes or other businesses where money is no object. If you’re looking to make a lot of drinks at once while keeping them hot, then these are the machines for you!

These can take any work that comes their way because they are designed for it! If you need something sturdy and reliable to work then you’ll want a commercial machine!

4. Manual Espresso Makers!?

You have to admit, this is a weird option. If you want something as close to the original way of making espresso as possible, then this is the way to go.

You don’t get the ease and convenience of a modern machine, but you do get a rich, natural flavor because it uses no electricity!

You can use the Moka Pot, the French Press, or the AeroPress to make yourself a cup, but it takes longer than an automatic machine and you have to be more careful with how much water you use and the temperature, so go easy on these when you first start.

You don’t get the control that modern machines offer, but if you are willing to put in a little extra effort, they can be a great way to make some tasty espresso!

Related Read: Moka Pot vs Espresso Machine: Which One Makes Better Coffee?

So, Why Espresso Machines Are So Expensive?

When you think about it, the price of an espresso machine isn’t that weird. It’s similar to a nice car or any other big-ticket item. They range in price and complexity, so you get what you pay for.

So when it comes to this important question that’s on everyone’s mind: why are espresso machines so expensive?

Simply put, because you’re paying for quality. Good equipment will usually last a very long time and will give you a lot of value for the money that you’re spending!

That’s why so many people love to have an espresso machine in their home; it gives them a convenient way to make themselves a drink whenever they want while being able to enjoy good coffee.


Are Espresso Machines Worth The Money?

The price of an espresso machine is usually due to its quality and the technology they are using.

So, it really depends on what you want. If you don’t mind spending more money upfront, then I would say that it’s worth the price. Espresso machines can last for a long time!

How Do You Maintain An Espresso Machine?

Espresso machines should always be properly cleaned and maintained to keep them working at their best efficiency.

The cleaning process is pretty simple. You should remove the drip tray and rinse it out with warm water, use a sponge to clean any spills or spots, and use a mild soap if there is any buildup.

After that, you can put some water in the machine and turn it on for about ten seconds to run through the system.

Which Manual Espresso Maker is The Best?

The Moka Pot is the most popular option for making authentic espresso. It’s also very affordable. It uses pressure to force steam through the coffee and into your cup, so it has a great flavor!

The AeroPress is another popular option because it creates an almost espresso-like brew in about a minute. The results aren’t as strong as with the Moka Pot or other similar devices, but it still makes a great drink with a smooth consistency!

Last Thoughts

When you’re deciding on what type of espresso machine to buy, think about your needs and wants.

If you want a top-of-the-line product with all sorts of bells and whistles, be prepared to pay more for it.

But if your budget is tight but you still need something that can produce great-tasting coffee, cheaper models may work just as well without the expensive maintenance costs associated with higher-end machines.

More About Espresso Machines


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.