Who doesn’t love a shot of espresso as a pick me up in the morning?
I’m a certified espresso lover, but I admit that reaching this position wasn’t all smooth-sailing. Before I found my passion for espresso, I was using my trusty old coffee maker. It goes without saying that I was anything but a coffee connoisseur at the time.
I thought I was doing things right until I tasted a cup of good espresso. From that moment, I knew I had to own an espresso machine. But after pricing several, I had to ask “why are Espresso machines so expensive?”
Espresso Machines and their High Price Tags
If you’ve tried shopping around for an espresso machine, then I’m sure you can relate to what I’m about to say next. Espresso machines are incredibly expensive! I was taken aback by the high price tags of each espresso machine I came across. I got my coffee maker for less than $100. But for an espresso machine, it looked like I couldn’t get anything decent under $300.
I was close to throwing my hands up, ready to forget about drinking a good cup of espresso every morning.
“Maybe another time,” I told myself.
But I’m a pretty stubborn individual. I went on to do my research in an attempt to figure out exactly why are espresso machines so expensive.
I’m here to share with you my findings to help you understand the cost of espresso machines and the different things that influence their price.
How Does an Espresso Machine Work?
First of all, it’s essential to learn how a traditional espresso machine works. This allows you to get an idea of why it can get so expensive.
An espresso machine is a device specifically designed for preparing espresso coffee. It works by pushing hot water through a tight layer of ground coffee at high pressure. Because of the pressure involved, the hot water passes through the ground coffee layer in a matter of seconds.
This explains why an espresso machine takes only 10 to 15 seconds to make a good cup, whereas a French Press, for example, takes 4 to 5 minutes.
Several factors also play critical roles in making the best espresso coffee. The temperature must be set in the right range and remain stable. The pressure shouldn’t exceed certain limits as well. How can the machine do all this? By using high-quality parts and advanced technology.
An espresso machine creates the perfect storm for brewing espresso, so to speak. It regulates the temperature and pressure levels to ensure that everything’s just right. Remember that when making a cup of espresso, get only one thing wrong and you’re going to mess up everything.
Factors That Affect the Price of Espresso Machines
The best espresso machines come with steep price tags because they’re often made from high-quality materials, including stainless steel, brass, and metal. These are the most common materials used in espresso machines because they help in stabilizing brewing temperatures.
Some manufacturers use lower-quality materials such as industrial plastics in the frame and interior parts of the espresso machine. While this might not directly influence the quality of the espresso, remember that using low quality materials presents durability problems.
2) Adjustable Brewing Temperature
You’d want an espresso machine that enables you to adjust the brewing temperature. Most modern models come with both a temperature regulator and a boiler regulator. These help avoid temperature fluctuations, thus resulting in higher quality espresso.
3) Temperature Adjustment
If you want to take things up a notch, then look for an espresso machine that comes with advanced temperature control. This is perfect for brewing multiple espressos at the same time from a single machine. Advanced temperature control makes it possible to control brewing temperature, make coffee across different groups, and profile coffee.
Espresso machines with this feature often standout because of their design. They’re made from the best materials and come with barista controls as well as a digital display that make them look fancy and expensive.
4) Constant Pressure and Profiling
This is a relatively new feature found in modern and expensive models of espresso machines. Essentially, it lets you set a constant pressure for the brewing process and also create pressure profiles for easier operation.
5) Digital Display
A digital display makes an espresso machine so much easier to use. It displays a range of useful functions, including shot timers, water temperature adjustment, filter placement, and equipment diagnostics.
6) Brand Name
Of course, the brand name also has a massive impact on the selling price of espresso machines. Popular brands usually cost more money, and many people don’t even think twice about buying their products because of the trust that comes with their name.
The Times They Are A Changin!
Technology has evolved and it is true. Home and even some portable espresso machines, will produce the same (or close to it) professional quality and taste as the espresso you receive at your favorite coffee shop.
And at a fraction of the cost! Of course, some models are better than others. But you do have choices.
Now you can even buy espresso and coffee combo machines making this an even more affordable purchase. This is my favorite option, and you can find out more in my article “The Best Coffee and Espresso Maker Combos.”
Summing It Up
By now, you should have a better understanding of why espresso machines can be so expensive. Espresso machines have come a long way since Luigi Bezzera invented it in 1901. The use of high-quality materials and addition of features that provide excellent control over the brewing process have skyrocketed prices.
But if you’re like me and looking for the taste, but not the price tag, shop around. We have done a lot of the work for you here at Sweet Lucys with our reviews. “Our Best Budget Espresso Machine Under 200 – Taste But Not The Price” review gives even more ideas on cheaper espresso machines so you won’t have to ask the question “why are espresso machines so expensive?”