When most people think about espresso, they also think about big and bulky machines taking up half of the kitchen counter. If that sounds like less than ideal, you’ll like the small Cafflano Kompresso.
It makes excellent espresso. It’s portable. It uses a legit, non-pressurized basket. And it’s cheap!
The primary drawback is also very apparent: First of all, it’s manual so you’ll have to do everything by yourself. It also doesn’t do anything related to milk.
However, if you just want the occasional fun, espresso shot without breaking the bank, this is a great option. Check out my in-depth review if you want to know more.
I will never consider Nespresso to be real espresso. The whole experience is just a bit too easy and hands-off. But maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, this type of coffee has its upsides, too. It’s a very consistent way to get pretty decent (though not epic) espresso shots, and it doesn’t require much in terms of cleaning and preparation.
Now that serious coffee roasters have started to produce capsules, it’s actually become a more fun option.
Delonghi makes this machine in collaboration with Nestlé. It’s a cute, little machine and the cost is ideal. One thing to keep in mind with Nespresso, though, is that while the devices are cheap, in the long run, that extra cost is added to the capsules.
You want it cheap? Look no further. This model is so cheap it’s almost suspicious. Is Capresso part of a money laundering scheme or what is going on?
Anyway, this espresso machine does the basics and in fact, has many of the same functions as the Delonghi Bar EC155. However, many customers complain that the espresso isn’t quite hot enough. All things considered, at an item this cost you can’t expect a ton. It’s also not suitable for ESE pods. For these reasons, I recommend going for something like the Delonghi instead.
Let me be straight with you: espresso isnot a cheap hobby. If you want to do it right, you’d have to spend a lot more than $100.
If you’re in a period of your life, however, where the wallet only allows for a less than an ideal machine, then I’m not going to judge you. To be honest, I have been there myself not that long time ago.
Go for quality: With inexpensive espresso machines, one of your primary concerns should be durability. Espresso makers are by default fragile products that need a lot of care and maintenance. The cheaper models are even more so. For that reason, I recommend that you get one with a good track record and a 1-year warranty.
The Grinder: Normally, you will also have to invest in an expensive grinder when getting into espresso.
The good thing is that these super affordable espresso machines are that they typically come with a pressurized portafilter which doesn’t require the same kind of precision. You can get away with using an entry-level grinder, pre-ground, or ESE pods in this scenario.
Consider manual espresso: It’s not really the topic of this article, but if you really are serious about making top-notch espresso without spending a lot of money, I think you seriously have to consider a portable, manual espresso machine. For instance, you have the Picopresso, Kompresso, or Flair – all are very capable budget options!
To be honest, most regular grinders just won’t make the cut when it comes to “legit” espresso.
A practical alternative is to go for an espresso machine that can accommodate the so-called ESE pods.
These pods are small, pre-ground pucks of coffee wrapped in a thin filter. It’s easier than grinding your own coffee, and better in terms of freshness compared to a bag of preground.
No, these pods aren’t going to impress your most judgemental hipster friends, but they will make your life easier when you realize that your grinder doesn’t perform that well in the ultrafine spectrum of things.
Also, they tend to be quite a bit cheaper than Nespresso capsules and have more of a ‘genuine’ espresso feeling, since you insert the puck in the portafilter.
Hello, and welcome! I'm the editor & founder of this site. I have been a coffee geek since I started home roasting more than a decade ago. Since then, coffee has taken me on countless adventures: From ancient coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia to the volcanos of Sumatra. My background is in journalism, and today I'm also a licensed Q Grader under the Coffee Quality Institute.
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