Why are espresso machines so expensive?

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If you’re a diehard coffee lover like the rest of us at Bushy Beard, then you’ll probably have tried out all the different types of coffee from your favorite coffee house. You may even have a coffee maker, coffee grinder, coffee roaster, coffee creamer, some artisan coffee beans, or a professional coffee machine at home so you can learn to make the best coffee for yourself.

Perhaps you’re just starting your coffee journey, dipping your toe in, and getting to grips with the coffee making essentials. Like the kind of coffee machines, equipment, and gadgets that are available on the market. Well, join the coffee club. At Bushy Beard, we are always looking for interesting coffee brewing techniques and the latest coffee makers.

Along the way you may have noticed that a lot of the high-end coffee machines, and equipment can be super pricey. Not too surprising, considering that many purchasers will be coffee houses and coffee businesses with a bigger budget to blow.

For an independent, home coffee brewer it can be tricky to find the best coffee machine for your home without breaking the bank. One of the more expensive coffee machines is the espresso maker. Pitty if your diehard espresso drinker. So, why are espresso machines so expensive? Let’s take a look at just why espresso machines cost so damn much.

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History of Espresso Machines

The first manual espresso machine was invented by Italian engineer, Luigi Bezzera, in 1901. His invention was named the ‘caffeine hero’ and required manual pressure to press water through coffee grounds to create the espresso. The word ‘espresso’ is Italian for ‘express’.

Later, in 1903, the Italian industrialist, Desiderio Pavoni began licensed production of the Bezzera coffee machine and founded the La Pavoni company which manufactured coffee makers and espresso machines.

Coffee houses were springing up all over Italy and across Europe and were increasing in popularity with the urbanization and industrialization of European regions. Coffee houses, espresso bars, and cafes became common places for people to socialize and enjoy a hot cup of joe. Pavoni and Victoria Arduino coffee were vital in contributing to the growing popularity of the coffee and coffee houses in 1920 Italy.

To find out more about the history of coffee beans and how the popularity of coffee spread across Europe, check out our blog: A brief history of coffee.

What are the Espresso Machine Types?

Lets take a quick look at some of the different types of espresso machines avaiable on the market. Each style presents certain advantages.

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Single Boiler

The name here gives you an indication of this espresso machines functionality. The single water boiler allows you to both steam milk with the wand and extract the beans using its portafilter. Steaming requires a much higher temperature than brewing does. This means pulling shots on a single boiler won’t be as swift as the other ones.

With this style of espresso machine, you’ll find that making the best coffee at home may just be easy after all, as this machine is a lot cheaper than its rivals. If you’re looking to make excellent espressos at home then look for a single boiler espresso machine. It may not be as quick to make multiple espresso shots but its perfect for home use.

Double Boiler

Wild guess, does this espresso machine have two boilers? Spot on. The cryptically names double-boiler espresso machine features two water boilers. One boiler is used to heat the steam wand while the other is used to extract the ground coffee beans. Using a double-boiler espresso machine will allow you to brew multiple espresso shots a lot quicker than a single boiler would.

You can modify the temperature of each boiler to suit the style of coffee you want to make. Ultimately an espresso shot is used as the base for most professional coffee styles, the coffee latte, cappuccino, flat white, etc.

Automatic Espresso Machine

Automatic espresso machines are incredibly simple to operate and require minimum skill level. The coffee machine starts brewing automatically at the touch of a button. The machine controls the water supply, so there are very few ways that you could go wrong when using this type of coffee machine.

This coffee machine does all the heavy lifting, it even prevents you from overfilling your coffee cup and ensures a constant volume in each serving. These are particularly useful if you are running a business where coffee isn’t your main seller but you would like to be able to offer your customers, diners, or clients with a professional level beverage without the highering or training a barista.

Expect to pay quite a bit more for this kind of coffee machine.

Super-automatic espresso machine

The super-automatic espresso machine is pretty self explanitory. This coffee machine is probably the best espresso machine on the market. Push the start button and this coffee machine will it grind your coffee beans measures out the coffee grounds, and puts water into the machine. This machine can brew every type of coffee you could ever think of.

Super-automatic ones are a bit costly, but this expensive espresso machine is worth every penny. These are ideal for coffee houses, cafes and restaurants. With all the funtions and possibilities avaibale from this kind of coffee machine, its no wonder why they are so expensive.

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How much does an espresso machine cost?

Owning a good quality espresso machine is the ultimate dream of every coffee lover.

espresso machine pouring coffee into cups


Sadly these coffee machines are not the most affordable option. If you really want to make espressos at home without investing in an espresso machine, it is possible. Check out our blog: How to make espresso without an espresso machine.

The cost of an espresso machine will vary depending on the number of functions included, the speed and quality of the coffee machine. The higher quality of the machine, the higher the price tag will be. So make sure your coffee brewing needs are compatible with the coffee machine before you buy it.

If you’re looking for a coffee machine for professional use, it will be a bit of an investment. These are generally pretty bulky machines and can cost a lot. But if you are shopping for a personal use coffee machine, you can find something more economical.

Economical Espresso Machine

The cheaper espresso machines will come in at around $200. This is the best option for coffee lovers on a budget. They can provide you up with up to 15 shots at a time and an average water capacity of 48 ounces. This is ideal for amateur coffee brewers who are new to the coffee club.

Decent Espresso Machine

You can get a more advanced espresso machine on a budget of around $400-$700. This is ideal for the more advanced barista who is prepared to splash out on their coffee maker. With the higher price tag comes a higher quality of the resulting espresso. These coffee machines are manufactured using better-quality materials and feature more complex and customizable settings allowing you to expand on your barista skills and master your latte-art skills which is something you cant expect to get from an entry-level machine.

High-end Espresso Machine

Espresso machines for commercial use can carry a price tag of up to $2000. Thes machines can pump out an extrodinary amount of coffee per day and produce any style of coffee imaginable with highly customizable settings and a range of useful features. If you are looking for an inexpensive coffee machine to suit your home brewing needs then avoid these giant costly machines.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are cheap espresso machines good?

An expensive coffee machine, doesnt necessarily mean it will produce better coffee. The most important factor you should assess when buying an espresso machine is whether or not is meets your coffee brewing needs.

How much should I spend on an espresso machine?

It really depends on your budget. If you’re new to the coffee club and you’re not exactly barista level just yet, we recommend you go for a cheaper espresso machine for under $200. If you are looking for an espresso machine that can fit into your busy schedule, try getting a hand-held, minipresso coffee machine that is portable and will allow you to make a delicious cup of joe from anywhere. These are only around $50.

How long should an espresso machine last?

Your espresso machine starts extracting bitter substances when it turns a bit yellowish and lighter. That is a time when you should stop using the machine. Make sure you clean your machine properly to prolong its life. Check out: How to clean your coffee maker using baking soda.

Is espresso stronger than coffee?

Espressos taste stronger and have a higher caffeine concentration than ordinary coffee. Espresso shots are used as the base for most coffees includint flat whites, coffee lattes, cappachinos, etc.

To find out more, you may be interested in the following blogs:

  1. What type of coffee has the most caffeine
  2. How to brew strong coffee
  3. Espresso vs latte

What is the best espresso machine for home use?

A single boiler espresso machine is adequate for home use. You dont need to invest in a machine with a millio0n functions unless you really want an automated coffee machine. Otherwise the cheaper models will do the trick just fine.

Is Espresso healthier than coffee?

Yes, Espresso is healthier than regular coffee. It aids weight loss, as does black coffee. Check out our blog on the health benefits of drinking coffee and the best time to drink coffee to find out more.

Final Words

From everyone at Bushy Beard, we hope this will help coffee lovers to understand why en espresso machine is so expensive. Remember, you should assess your own coffee making needs and match your needs as best as possible to the functions of reasonably priced coffee machines to find the best option for you.

Let us know how you make coffee at home and what your favorite coffee maker is in the comments.

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About the author

The more refined, sensible (and slight less hirsute) half of BushyBeard Coffee. Ben loves fine roasts, strong dark coffee and quiet time spent with a good book.

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