Need Help - Espresso Machine $500-$1000 Budget

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

Postby correarc1 » Jul 11, 2018, 2:18 pm


I've been making espresso based drinks with a Cafe Roma for a few years, and I'm ready to upgrade. I have already done a grinder upgrade, so I really just want to focus my budget towards a machine. Unfortunately, I don't think I can afford a HX machine so right now I'm looking at:

Rancilio Silvia
Lelit Anna

My needs:

Quality/consistent espresso
Powerful steamer
Stay in budget

I'm not particularly concerned about the warmup time, though time between shots/steaming function would be nice the faster possible... (this is a "nice to have").

My question is:

Which of these you would recommend, and why. Also, if there is a machine that you would recommend but is not one of the listed here/why.

Thank you for all your help!


Postby Scott_G » Jul 11, 2018, 2:27 pm

Used Nuova Simonelli Oscar? It's a HX with excellent steam capacity. If your new machine is only going to be used for 2-3 per session, you may also want to consider a lever like a Pavoni.


Postby Blacktip » Jul 11, 2018, 3:07 pm

1st line is selling Lelit right now for $999. I don't have any experience with this machine, but the price is very good for an HX machine. ECM Casa is < 1K. If you can stretch your budget a bit, you may want to consider Expobar Lever. A Lever machine, as mentioned in the previous post, is a very good option, if you are the manual-type person.


Postby Capac » Jul 11, 2018, 3:16 pm

Get a HX.


Postby Kryptonicspb » Jul 11, 2018, 4:47 pm

Get a Lelit Diana from 1st line they have a coupon that makes it $1080. On paper and in multiple reviews, it's one of the best options out there for the cost. Double boiler with a ring group that is PID controlled. Very cool


Postby correarc1 » Jul 11, 2018, 5:04 pm

Thank you for all of the replies!

I'm going to ask the fiance if she is cool staying on the top end of the budget (Mara) or stretching it a little (Diana). Not going to lie, I dig the look of the Mara... But I do need to ask...

That being said... What would be some solid options on the middle/bottom of the price range?


Postby Kryptonicspb » Jul 11, 2018, 5:10 pm

Actually, a HB member Randyr5 is selling his Diana so you could get one at a used price which would help a lot!


Postby correarc1 » replying to Kryptonicspb » Jul 11, 2018, 5:13 pm

Thanks!!! Messaging him now.

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Postby sweaner » Jul 11, 2018, 5:35 pm

Don't rule-out the Breville Dual Boiler. Great capability for the price.

Many are able to order one thru Bed Bath and Beyond and use the 20% coupon.
LMWDP #248


Postby HH » Jul 11, 2018, 5:39 pm

What Scott said.

BDB all the way. It is a more capable machine than the ones you have listed with more room to tweak and adjust things, play with preinfusion, low pressure extraction options etc. it is very temperature stable, heats up quickly and is a dual boiler. I have one, and can't imagine changing it for anything else. In terms of what you get for the money I think it's amazing.