Have you ever questioned yourself: “Why are espresso machines so expensive?” You are so coffee addicted that you cannot concentrate on anything without a cup of espresso every morning.
You want to save some pence by making your espresso at home, but you chicken out when you search for an espresso machine. It is expensive and hurts your budget!
People often say that you get what you pay for. However, is it always true in the case of espresso makers? And are they worth the price?
Keep reading to find your answers!
Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive?
The main function of espresso machines is to demonstrate the taste and flavor of coffee beans, which requires proper equipment, pump, pressure, and other specifications. Unfortunately, these advanced technologies are not cheap, which increases the machines’ price as well.
But one thing can be sure: The more money you pay for the machines, the better the espresso you make. We guarantee that if you are a coffee lover, it will be a wise investment. That is why espresso machines naturally fit with the saying: “You get what you pay for.”
Here are 5 reasons for their eye-opening price:
1. High-quality Materials And Components
One of the main reasons for the espresso machine’s exorbitant cost is its high-end materials. For instance, the internal parts are quite pricey just by adding up the cost of brass, metal, stainless steel, etc.
They are extremely significant in ensuring stable and perfect brewing temperature and thus, can push the espresso’s flavor.
The price will certainly increase with the amount of money spent on the raw materials alone. Nevertheless, though expensive, these espresso machines are of the best quality.
Thoroughly understanding customers’ psychology, many manufacturers try to lower the overall cost by using cheaper materials for some parts, including frames, cases, or even interior parts.
Even though industrial plastic frames do not affect your espresso cup’s flavor, poor durability can be a serious problem. No one wants their machines to break after several times of use.
2. Advanced Features
The digital display is an outstanding feature, making the brewing process much easier than ever. It includes many helpful functions like pre-infusion delay, on/off programming, shot timers, water temperature adjustment, filter placement tips, equipment diagnostics, cleaning programs, etc.
Some espresso machines come with up-to-date temperature control in this day and age, allowing you to brew coffee in individual groups. So with only one machine, you can create multiple espressos at one time.
Anyone who wants to serve more than one kind of coffee or wants to have full control over brewing temperature cannot ignore this advanced feature.
These functional espresso machines normally have a special design with many barista controls, a digital display, and premium materials.
Stable Pressure And Profiling
When it comes to espresso machines, not many people seem familiar with stable pressure and profiling. However, it is one of the key features that will bring your espresso quality to another level. Some regular low-cost espresso machines still have these features, but some do not.
But there is one thing that conventional, cheap machines will never include is self-adjustment pressure profiles. That means besides the available options in the machine, users can customize their own.
With the increasing requirements of users, espresso machines are becoming more and more expensive as they are equipped with modern technologies.
For example, its complex internal construction, both mechanical and electronic, will surprise anyone enjoying espresso coffee by its flavor.
3. Research And Development
Before being sold on the market, espresso machines have to overcome many processes to ensure that everything will follow the safety procedures.
Many customers may have no idea that espresso machines have gone through a long process of research to gain the standard development as of now, which increases the cost of the product.
Not only the lengthy process, the staff who participate in making these machines itself add a huge cost to its overall price as well. Therefore, having undergone more research and development is also one reason to make these machines pretty expensive.
4. Brand Name
You might know well that a brand is of great importance to the product’s value, but you will be astonished at the significant difference it makes in an item’s cost.
Some branded products are labeled exclusively; therefore, no wonder why they come with such ridiculously exorbitant prices. High-cost espresso machines usually go with a big brand name.
These branded products, though quite expensive, live up to the promising image they bring up and will exceed your expectations.
5. Heavy Demand
We have to admit that the great demand for espresso machines also contributes to its pricey cost. On these busy days, people tend to have a coffee maker at home for instant serving rather than waiting in line at coffee shops.
A small fortune is a trade-off for their precious time. The higher the demand is, the more pricey an espresso machine becomes.
Introduction Of An Espresso Machine
As the name suggests, an espresso machine is designed to make espresso. It operates by pumping water at high pressure through a portafilter of ground coffee. Some modern machines even have a streamer to froth milk or similar liquids to make cappuccinos and lattes.
There are 3 types of espresso machines, including manual, semi-automatic, and automatic ones. All of them are almost similar, except for some features which allow you to control and adjust the espresso-making process.
Some people still refer to a Moka pot or a stovetop espresso maker as a traditional espresso machine, as it also brews coffee with pressure. However, they are still different from the standard espresso machine we want to mention in this article.
History Of An Espresso Machine
Angelo Moriondo invented the very first espresso machine in Turin, Italy, in 1884. Since then, the machine had been improved and patented by Luigi Bezzer – a Milanese engineer, in April 1903.
The La Pavoni founder – Desiderio Pavoni purchased the patent in 1905 and started to manufacture Bezzera espresso machines on a small commercial scale in Milan.
In the 1920s, Victoria Arduino and Pavoni espresso machines became a signature of Italian coffee and spread the espresso culture to America and Europe.
In 1947, the Milan inventor and bartender – Achille Gaggia developed semi-automatic espresso machines. The machines were convenient as they allowed users to achieve the preferred pressure with only water.
Such espresso machines became popular and accounted for 90% of the global market.
Until 1961 did Faema begin producing espresso machines where water passed through ground coffee thanks to an electric pump. Many contemporary models still keep this design, which heats cold water in a boiler, then drives it through the ground coffee while milk is frothed.
The Cost Of An Espresso Machine
The price of an espresso machine ranges from $100 to over $20,000. However, the reasonably good espresso machine for entry-level use would cost you around $300 and $600.
If you are considering an espresso machine for home use, a model of $500 could be considered high quality. However, for commercial use, like in a coffee shop or restaurant, you might spend more than $1000.
Read more: Best espresso machine under $300 – Top 10 picks from experts
Advice On Buying An Espresso Machine
Due to the extraordinarily high price, people usually make common mistakes when purchasing an espresso machine, either underpay or overpay it. Therefore, you should answer these few questions to avoid those silly mistakes.
What is your budget? What is it used for? Is it for commercial use or home use? What are must-have features for an espresso machine?
Buying an espresso machine is similar to getting a car. Never purchase a Ferrari when your budget only allows a Ford.
Sometimes, the most expensive machine does not mean it is the most suitable. Depending on the amount of money you are willing to invest, and what results you expect, you might have different options to consider.
For beginners who wish to make fine coffee shots at home, a machine around $200 or lower will be preferable. Nevertheless, a coffee enthusiast or professional barista might be in two minds of options ranging from $600 to $20,000.
The Bottom Line
It is undeniable that espresso machines cost an arm and a leg. But that does not mean the companies are doing the trick on you. Indeed, espresso machines take lots of money and effort to make.
Though it might hurt your pocket when purchasing an espresso maker, the investment is worthwhile with what you got. Why are espresso machines so expensive? That is because of the high-quality materials, a bunch of advanced features, branding, and research behind them.
Luckily, you do not need to spend all your savings on the most pricey espresso machine. List down your criteria for a good model and narrow down your options to find the most suitable option for you.
A machine for around $500 is still great enough to make fragrant and tasty coffee to start your day.
Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).