Barista Recommends the Best Espresso Machine Under 400

This professional publication reviews the best espresso machine under 400 bucks. You would not be getting a commercial espresso. However, this review saves you the stress of picking the best under $400 in the market.

The best espresso would feature a 15-20 bar pump system, separate thermostats for separate espresso extraction temperature and the milk frothing, and about 1350W big power thermoblock. A powerful milk wand, 212 ℉ steam wand, large water tank, and detachable filter are other major features to look for.

However, when you are ready for the next-level espresso, buy a non-pressurized/single wall filter basket and an espresso grinder to make your espresso café standard.

Does an expensive espresso machine make a difference?

An espresso machine makes a difference, and the first espresso machine is attributed to Angelo Moriondo, an Italian.

First, you want to obtain the equipment from specialty roasters required for high-quality coffee. Quite expensive but worth it though.

Meanwhile, you may want to know that the espresso machine is not the most important equipment for your good tasting coffee – the grinder is.

It is even extremely challenging to make great espresso, even with high-quality beans. This is the case with using cheap grinders unable to produce a consistent grind. You would have to spend more to get a reliable entry-level grinder for preparing espresso.

After you pick your quality grinder, you then pick your espresso machine based on temperature stability and convenience. Some espressos under 400 would be able to stabilize temperature or consistently produce the target temperature when the proper procedure is followed.

The features of an espresso machine typically come down to convenience. For instance, a single-boiler requires you to wait for the boiler to reach steaming temperature while a double-boiler is able to produce espresso and steamed milk at once.

Note that the aspect of convenience does not affect the taste of your coffee. It only makes it easier for you to focus on serving the best-tasting coffee.

Best Espresso Machine under 400

The machines we have selected for review are so selected based on convenience and performance. The selections are intended to ensure that you have the best espresso result.

Consider any of the following espresso machines below 400:

  1. De’Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine, 1, Metallic

Without exaggerating, De’Longhi EC685M is the espresso machine you need for the convenience and great espresso. We picked this machine due to:

Bar pump system

It has up to 15-bar pressure for quality results all the time. The controls are adjustable, allowing you to modify your taste preferences. We could brew authentic barista-quality beverages similar to what coffeehouses make using this machine.

Adjustable frother

Its frother is adjustable, which allows you to adjust the levels of the foam and steam for a variety of delicious espresso effortlessly.

Auto flow stop

This feature is what every espresso maker craves. With the automatic flow stop function, this espresso machine under 400 is able to dispense the correct amount of espresso.

Double drip tray

It arrives with an adjustable and removable double drip tray. When the tray is removed, you can fit taller cups like your latte glasses.

Warranties

Buying from the correct source as indicated here will come with warranties. Obviously, this is not the case when you buy from an unauthorized retailer.

What we like

Fast heating

Our experiment shows that it heats in 40 seconds.

Two espressos at once

It is a double boiler, so we could make two espressos at the same time.

Automatic shut off

We did not manually turn off this espresso machine to see if it goes off on its own – well, it did, it has an auto off function.

Hot water function

This espresso machine can dispense hot water.

What we don’t

Descaling

We have had this espresso machine for just a month before we already had to descale it. We do not use tap water, and the water type used for the test is hard water.

Transitioning

Sure, the coffee tastes great but this machine does not easily transition from making coffee to steaming milk and then moving to a different cup.

 

  1. Calphalon Espresso Machine with Tamper, Milk Frothing Pitcher, and Steam Wand, Temp iQ 15-Bar Pump, Stainless Steel

Our tested Calphalon espresso machine provided us with the reason to think you do not have to spend so much for a high-quality espresso maker. The features it arrives with include:

Bar pump

Arrives with a 15-bar pump for the correct pressure to ensure maximum flavor extraction and a beautiful crema layer for your espresso.

Design

Features a dial interface, allowing you to select hot water, steam, and pre-programmed single and double shots. You would also love its 58mm café-sized portafilter capable of holding more grounds to evenly disperse water and extraction.

Thermoblock heating technology and PID temperature control

The thermoblock heating technology and PID temperature control ensure even heat for a consistent espresso.

Water reservoir

A removable 2-liter water reservoir with a hinged lid.

Cup warming tray

This tray is designed for your espresso-ready cups and the steam wand froths milk to create lattes, cappuccinos, etc. like you see in coffee shops.

What we like

NSF approved

100% NSF approved and certified.

Auto-shot control

The auto shot control dispenses the right water amount for 1 or 2 espresso shots.

What we don’t

Messy grinder

We noticed that the grinder makes a bit of a mess but is quite easy to clean and fill with water. We suggest you put it near the left of your sink to be able to brush the grinds that fly away into the sink if your model has a grinder.

No cups

This espresso machine does not arrive with espresso cups.

 

  1. Nespresso Citiz Coffee and Espresso Machine by DeLonghi with Aeroccino, Black

Nespresso Citiz offers an espresso machine that makes your espresso the way you want the barista to. The attractive features making it one of the best espresso machines under 400 are:

Bar pump system

Features a 19-bar pump system with barista-style single-serve espresso to perfectly extract the delicate flavor capsule.

Speed and energy saving

This machine quickly heats to the ideal temperature in about 25 seconds. On the other hand, the auto energy saving feature turns off the machine if it is inactive after 9 minutes. You can extend it up to 30 minutes.

Versatility

Quite versatile with adjustable cups with 2 programmable espresso – 1. 35 oz and 5 oz.

Capsule container

The espresso capsule container is removable. It also features a 34-oz water tanka and drip tray for faster and more convenient cleaning.

What we like

Multitasking

This espresso machine allows you to make coffee and froth milk at the same time.

Capsules in the welcome pack

We received 16 capsules in the package.

Auto off

It features auto off, which enables after 9min to shut off the machine. Adjustable to 30min, if necessary.

What we don’t

Noisy

The noise is pretty normal but ours is a little loud. It sounds like a small air compressor though.

Coffee out of the capsule

We had to continue factory resetting it after holding the button to get a little more coffee from the one capsule. The cream is lovely though.

 

  1. Gevi Espresso Machines 20 Bar Fast Heating Automatic Cappuccino Coffee Maker with Foaming Milk Frother Wand for Espresso, Latte Macchiato, 1.2L Removable Water Tank, 1350W

Gevi espresso machine feels like you are using a thousand buck commercial espresso. We picked it for the following reasons:

Thermoblock Heating system

Uses an advanced thermoblock powered at 1350W to heat quickly for your espresso or milk frothing. We are able to make good coffee in just 45 seconds with this machine.

20 Bar pressure system

Features up to 20 bar high-pressure pump for fast and stable extraction, making espresso fragrant and crema-rich.

3 special functions

Select from the manual, 1 shot-brew or 2 shot-brew. The manual function lets you control your coffee amount yourself, the 1 shot-brew produces about 30ml amount of coffee while the 2 shot-brew produces 60ml of coffee amount.

Temperature control system

Features 2 separate thermostats for controlling the espresso extraction temperature and the milk frothing separately to get the ideal coffee taste and milk foam.

Stable steam control

Its manual steam, with the right steam pressure, creates rich creamy froth and latte art. It rotates 360 degrees for more convenient use.

What we like

Powerful milk wand

The steam wand reaches 212 degrees F when you turn it on. It provides a powerful steam pressure, making the milk into a silky foam.

Holds taller cups

We prefer larger drinks, so the double adjustable and removable drip tray lets us fit taller cups, like latte cups.

Cup warmer

The cup warmer is a heated metallic plate at the top of this espresso machine to warm your cups and keep parts of the coffee flavor from becoming cold.

Auto shut off

It features the automatic shut off function. We figured out it shuts off after 5 minutes of inactivity.

What we don’t

Milk won’t froth same time as brewing

You cannot set this espresso machine to brew and froth milk at the same time. So, you have to set it to brew and then froth separately.

Non-removable stainless steel grinding chamber

The grinding chamber is not removable. Nonetheless, this is the cheapest coffee grinder out there, which also gets the job done.

Dripping pot

We noticed a dripping pot sometimes when pouring. It gets to the point that the coffee runs to the side of the pot, creating a bit of a mess.

It seems the slightest fluid build-up below the pot is responsible, so we have to wipe the pot using a dry towel before pouring – that can be a pain but not the deal breaker. Overall, everything else is okay.

 

  1. Yabano Espresso Machine, 15 Bar Fast Heating Espresso Coffee machine with Milk Frother Wand for Cappuccino, 37oz Large Water Tank, 1350W, Automatic Espresso Latte Maker for Home, Compact Design

If you are going to consider this Yabano espresso machine model, you would be making a decent choice. We thought this is the best espresso machine under 400 due to the following:

15 bar pressure

This is a high-pressure espresso machine at 1350W for your continuous and consistent extraction.

Pressure gauges

It features built-in pressure gauges that tell the accurate espresso coffee machine pressure for your consistent espresso brewing.

Built-in milk frother

This espresso maker under 400 comes with a steam wand. As such, you can experience cappuccino and latte with creamy and rich foam without going to the café.

37oz water tank

At 37oz, it features a large and transparent water tank designed to be detachable. It makes it even easier for you to fill water in your machine. The frothing nozzle and drip tray are also detachable for convenient cleaning.

What we like

Removable water tank

The water tank is not just removable but transparent to aid water filling and cleaning.

Certification

This unit is UL certified.

Steam wand

The steam wand is your solution for making cappuccino and latte with creamy and rich foam from home. You would also get the manual coffeeshop espresso within a short time.

Cleaning

Cleaning is easier due to the removable components of this under-400 espresso maker. After we contacted Yabano, they recommended running the brewing process every 3 months with water only, 2-3 times in a row to clean the espresso maker.

If you use the machine every day, clean it regularly. You may also want to run vinegar or descaler and water to descale properly.

What we don’t

Not dishwasher safe

The detachable parts are not dishwasher-safe but we tossed them in the dishwasher anyway. So far, no problems yet.

Edit: The metal polish came off the espresso filter. Nonetheless, it took a little while to scrub off the remaining polish for the parts to be safe to use again.

Final thoughts on Best Espresso Machine Under 400

Meanwhile, drinks apart, you can use espresso for baked goods in the form of your instant espresso powder – essentially dried up grounds.

Espresso combines well with any brownies, cookies, or cakes. Use a small amount to add pleasant coffee flavors to your baked goods. Using larger amounts will add a stronger taste, which may be excessive. It is all up to you anyways.

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