Best espresso machine for around $500 budget

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
bwales

#1: Post by bwales »

Is there such a thing? I use an Isomac Rituale, but I'd like to get a less expensive machine for a young man starting out. Suggestions?
Thanks,
Bruce

User avatar
HB
Admin

#2: Post by HB »

The FAQ points to threads like Basic inexpensive espresso machine recommendations. Although I don't speak from experience, the entry level Gaggia espresso machines are frequently mentioned for their good cost/value (e.g., Gaggia Coffee).
Dan Kehn

User avatar
Rybolt

#3: Post by Rybolt »

bwales wrote:Is there such a thing? I use an Isomac Rituale, but I'd like to get a less expensive machine for a young man starting out. Suggestions?
Thanks,
Bruce
There is a Gaggia Espresso de Luxe, same model I have over at 1st-line for about $240. Pretty reliable in my few years with it.

Beezer

#4: Post by Beezer »

I'd also cast my vote for a Gaggia Coffee or Carezza. Good little machines for the money.

The Lelit PL 041 is also supposed to be quite nice, with a bigger brass boiler compared to the Gaggia's tiny aluminum one, and a three-way valve. I think the Lelit is still under $500. You can get them at 1st Line.

http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/lelitpl041

Don't forget to save $300 - $600 for a nice burr grinder.
Lock and load!

hartwell

#5: Post by hartwell »

I am a newbie to this list so this may have been asked many times.
I have a Briel thats about 5 years old and I want to get some thing new.
Want to spend some were between $300 and $500. What should I be looking at? :oops:

User avatar
HB
Admin

#6: Post by HB »

hartwell wrote:I am a newbie to this list so this may have been asked many times.
Indeed, I merged your question with the latest one I found by searching on 'inexpensive espresso machine'. Please elaborate on your selection criteria if the above suggestions are not helpful.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
TUS172

#7: Post by TUS172 »

Partial:
Beezer wrote:I'd also cast my vote for a Gaggia Coffee or Carezza. Good little machines for the money.
I started with a Gaggia "Coffee" espresso machine... Hey for the money they are great. I got my 1st one from WLL. That with a Nemox Lux and you still under a 5 'C' bench mark... :D
Bob C.
(No longer a lever purist!)
LMWDP #012

hperry

#8: Post by hperry »

In this price range if I was just looking for straight espresso shots I'd keep my eye open for a used Caravel ($350 or so reconditioned). I keep being amazed by the shots I'm getting from it. My son, who had never made espresso before, consistently pulls great shots with it.

If I liked milk drinks and was willing to put up with a stovetop steamer and an espresso machine, I'd still do the Caravel - however, it would be less convenient at that point.
Hal Perry

weasel

#9: Post by weasel »

It looks like 1st-line still has the screamin deal on the Rancilio Silvia - $499. I myself ordered one. Go to the Marketplace section of this site, there you should find the offer.

You might also do research on the Silvia, known as a finicky machine. She requires a very good grinder, and a learning curve.

For general research purposes:
An article I found useful is 'How to buy an espresso machine' on Coffeegeek.
There is also the Espressomyespresso website by Randy Glass.

IMAWriter
Supporter

#10: Post by IMAWriter »

TUS172 wrote:I started with a Gaggia "Coffee" espresso machine... Hey for the money they are great. I got my 1st one from WLL. That with a Nemox Lux and you still under a 5 'C' bench mark... :D
This is a good suggestion here, as the grinder mentioned is certainly of good enough quality to get the young man on his way.
To the OP...whatever you do, make sure your budget has room for not only the grinder, but a decent tamper, milk pitcher, and a few cleaning supplies (about $50-$75 realistically.)
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com