High End: Espresso Maker Under $1000

So, you’ve probably come to this post wondering what bean to cup espresso makers I am likely to suggest are the best? Well yes, three of the machines in this review are bean to cup. These machines do have a place, and the prices have come down from when they were the reserve of offices. But, does the fact still remain that these machines are for offices? Well let’s look at them in detail, and maybe I will throw in a curve ball that could be the perfect solution to your home coffee maker conundrum.

My fast recommendation? The professional grade but easy to use: Rancilio Silvia espresso machine, will easily cater for dinner or just coffee for 6 to 8 people comfortably. Yes, it is not bean to cup like the other machines, but when it comes to the best espresso machine PACKAGE under $1000 it is hard to argue against this, which at $715, comes in well under budget. So much so, you can buy a high end Baratza 586 Virtuoso coffee bean grinder (around $235), which gives you the added benefit that you will have fresh ground coffee each and every time, and you will get change… To buy coffee beans!


Let’s start with the bean to cup machines that you’re expecting then. Starting with the Krups EA8808. Don’t get me wrong, I know bean to cup does have a place, and this isn’t a bad place to start. Sleek looks make this machine, as you can see if you look at its Amazon rating… 57% of people gave it 5*… 20% gave it 1*… So when it works, it works, but when it doesn’t it’s a resounding no! There is little in the way of middle ground.

So what does it feature? Well, it is a super automatic, you don’t even need to froth the milk, instead inserting a small tube into a jug of milk. When it works, a great solution, but when it doesn’t? Well, customer service has been questioned by some. The automatic burr grinder is also a benefit, but again, problems have been reported with particularly oily beans seeming to clog it. Benefits though include: fully customizable espresso making, auto rinsing and cleaning, a high capacity bean hopper at 9.5 Oz, and a sensibly sized 57 Oz water tank.


A big player in coffee machines is Gaggia, so perhaps their Anima Deluxe model could be the solution you’re looking for? Well, it gets VERY mediocre reports… The general consensus is that this coffee machine is like a classic car… It’s temperamental, difficult to use, and unreliable. Features wise, 60 Oz water tank, an 8.8 Oz bean hopper, and it taking up to 15 spent coffee pucks are all plus points. The looks don’t particularly grab me though, and with severe reliability concerns in the back of my mind, I just can’t bring myself to see anything particularly good about this machine, save your money…


Fractionally better than the Gaggia is the Saeco HD8911/47 Incanto Classic, but again an average Amazon rating of 3* leaves a lot to be desired… Looks wise, much better than the Gaggia, this coffee maker is sleek, black and gorgeous. It has an 8.8 Oz bean hopper, just shy of a 61 Oz water tank and takes up to 15 coffee ground pucks. It’s ceramic burr grinders alone are probably worth the extra $50 you would spend on the Saeco Incanto Classic over the Gaggia Anima Deluxe. But, with the Krups coming in at the same price currently and enjoying better reviews, would you want to do that?

The Saeco’s sleek design and looks promise much. But again, reliability issues raise their ugly head, with a small number of defective machines having been reported. Putting this in perspective… 78% of respondents gave it 3* or more, and 22% gave it 1*. Remember earlier when I was talking about the Krups? 20% gave that 1*. So, all in all, there isn’t much to choose from in terms or reliability and general happiness with these two super automatic espresso machines.


Now for my curve ball… Do you really want a super automatic? Or are you willing to spend significantly less, and grind your own beans? The Rancilio Silvia espresso machine, which will easily cater for a dinner for 6 to 8 people COMFORTABLY, could be a great example of what you could have. Combine it with a top end burr grinder like a Baratza and you are on your way to a great coffee machine package, and still under $1000…

At $715, the Rancilio Silvia comes in well under $1000, and with 81% of respondents scoring it 4* or more, it’s difficult to argue. These guys know exactly what they are doing in the coffee machine market. Benefits? Commercial grade: porta filter, articulating steam wand and controls give you ultimate control, to allow you to fully customize each cup individually! The chrome plated brass boiler, at a capacity of 12 Oz, gives this machine an incredible speed figure in terms of shots per minute, perfect when you have a house full. It was also built in Italy, arguably the home of espresso, with great expertise, so the build quality is second to none. Finally the machine looks as good as it produces espresso, so for me this is what I would buy.