Hi, there.

I’m Elizabeth Harris, and I’m an espresso addict. Several years ago, I moved to a college town for grad school. Other than the library and our local dive bar, the main place people hung out was one of three local coffee shops within mere feet of campus. Thanks to endless all-nighters and the social aspect of the coffee shops, I developed quite the caffeine habit. Espresso, cappuccino, and fabulous vanilla lattes became essential parts of my daily routine. Unfortunately, at $3-ish each, that wasn’t sustainable.

Like most grad students, I had a limited budget that meant I couldn’t swing by for my espresso drinks of choice as often as I wanted to. Being a teaching assistant and tutor isn’t exactly a high paying gig. So I had to come up with something that would let me have my daily coffee and meet my financial needs. My love for the good stuff won out, and I decided to invest in an espresso machine of my own.

When I started looking for the best espresso machine for me, I was surprised to see how many options there were. The question isn’t just semi-automatic, fully automatic, or super automatic. It’s also about finding a machine with a good water reservoir size and the optimal pressure. And don’t get me started on needing to find an espresso maker that’s easy to clean. That’s a pet peeve of mine. And then there’s budget. So many machines cost thousands of dollars. I knew there had to be something good and relatively affordable. That’s why you won’t see those super high-priced machines on this site.

Finding one of the best espresso machines for the money takes some research. Since I did all the legwork, I thought I should share it here with my fellow addicts.