why are espresso machines so expensive

The most expensive espresso machine could cost around $20,000, but do you really need to spend that much to perfect the master of espresso? Probably not.

Also, the best is not always the most expensive, so you have to factor in the quality and other factors to make sure that your espresso machine suits your needs. And just to be clear, we are going to address why home espresso machines are expensive. We will not be touching on the topic of commercial machines.

So, when it comes to home espresso brewers, there are three types: fully automatic, semi-automatic, and manual. Let’s dive in and see why their price ranges differ so much.

Quick Answer

  • The higher cost of materials – components that go into quality espresso machines are not cheap.
  • Low demand – there is not much demand for high-quality espresso machines. Most people try to spend around $100. Higher demand will create more competition and allow more players to come on board. This will drive the quantity of quality material being sold, and lower the price.
  • Research and Branding – Each machine goes through various levels of research before it is placed on the market. And then, just like with anything else, you have brand names that keep the prices high because people associate this with quality.

NOTE: At Coffee Dorks we have tested pretty much all espresso makers out there – new, old, cheap, expensive, you name it, we’ve made espresso with it. As a result, we have more or less concluded that a good home espresso machine can be purchased for under $500.

Quality Of Materials

The components of an espresso machine determine its cost.  Automatic espresso machines have many components. The main components include the grinder, the brew group or the group head, portafilters, and the thermoblock.

These internal parts are already costly once the expenses of the materials are added up. Then, there’s the external components used for finishing, the stainless steel, the brushed chrome, steam wand, etc.

Prices are bound to rise up with the amount spent on the materials of the machine alone. High-cost coffee machines often use materials that are high end and expensive. Although expensive, these kinds of espresso machines have the best quality- thus, the reason they are costly.

Cheaper coffee machines use affordable materials. This is the reason why they are often of low quality. Although these cheap ones exist, some prefer buying the expensive ones. Sure, they’re more affordable, but when it comes to buying a coffee machine, you should look at it in a quality-based perspective.

What good could a cheap one be if it has the possibility to stop working after a week of usage? After all, these cheap machines still cost a lot; they’re just less expensive than the high-quality ones. You don’t have to buy the extra-expensive ones. A few dollars may just be the difference made between the two.


These machines go through multiple processes. Customers aren’t aware of this fact. Every espresso machine in existence has or had to go through research and development for a long time which makes the product itself more costly as the processes get longer. This is the reason why some espresso machines are highly expensive- they have gone through more research and development.

The staffs that are responsible for making the machine itself also add a significant cost to the item. Although it may be a bit pricey, it is better than buying a cheap one and having to worry about the product exploding in your face when you use it.

Brand Name

Brands make a huge difference in a product’s cost. These branded products have an exclusivity attached to the label. The ridiculously high prices make up for the brand name being brought around. High priced espresso machines often come with a huge brand. These branded items, although costly, live up to the image they bring out.

A huge brand also comes with good quality. The cheaper espresso brewers often don’t come with a brand label attached to their boxes. Espresso machines go well with the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” But there are reliable manufacturers that offer good quality products at an affordable price.

Frequently Asked Questions
Are espresso machines worth it?

Yes, if you have money to spare and you make quite a lot of espresso. For one or two shots per week, owning an espresso maker isn’t worth it. If you just love being a barista and are passionate about coffee, or you need to make espresso for multiple people every day, then a home espresso machine may be worth it.

How much does a good espresso machine cost?

Home espresso makers can run from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. The more you pay, the more features you should expect – whether it’s a fully customizable espresso maker that would put Starbucks to shame or a new-tech automatic espresso maker that does it all to perfection. How much a good one costs depends on how much you want from your espresso maker.