Home Espresso Machine?

I’m looking for the cheapest home machine that can pull quality shots with a good grinder. I don’t have the budget to spend more than 500 dollars. I was given an old Cunill Brasil espresso grinder from an old coffee shop to go with whatever I buy.

I am a barista so I’m used to using a nice machine and grinder, getting delicious thick shots. I just want better home espresso than I’m getting now with my Gaggia Brera. Does anyone know if the Gaggia Classic is better capable?

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I suggest to go with Gaggia Classic along with a grinder Baratza Encore as a good grinder is crucial for a good cup of Joe.
Classic will cost around $200 and the Encore around $150 so both under $500. Then buy a knock box and some good coffee beans to start your coffee journey.

Sorry for interrupting, but it seems like I’m in similar (yet slightly different) situation as OP. The problem is that I’m choosing an espresso machine for my grandparents. Since I can’t find any Gaggia distributors near them, I’m looking for a good alternative. They will get soon a grinder from Baratza, so 450$ is a budget for an espresso machine only.

As for now we have two options: semi-automatic from Breville (like Breville BES840XL or BES810BSS) or semi-automatic Sunbeam EM7000. I have not used a Sunbeam - it was highly recommended by our family friend - so cannot compare machines but I did own a Breville before. Though I found several topics where those machines were compared and Sunbeam definitely have some surprisingly good feedback from its users.

I’d like to hear your thoughts as well. The only requirement - it should be an entry-level device.
Thanks in advance!

ps - if it’s prohibited to add a question in existing topic, please, let me know

Breville has another option as BES870xl. It’s slightly above your budget of $450 but not much far and you may consider it over bes840xl.
Another brand I would like you to suggest is Rancilio Silvia. It’s a good option and even many small cafes consider it. It will cost above $700, but will be definitely a good investment.

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You could always go super simple and use a Nespresso machine :joy::joy:

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Okey guys coffee looks realy good.
Im not an expert and truly i can say which coffee beans are better, but is it worth it to buy very expensive esspreso coffee machine ( for example Elektra) and coffee will taste better than Nespresso machine?
Or the biggest impact makes coffee beans?
My husband want to buy Elektra and i dont know if it is just whim or it is realy reasonable thing.

It looks realy good(https://www.thecoffeemate.co.uk/p/coffee-machine-elektra-nivola-w-2/ ), but does espresso realy taste better?

Well, it depends. I believe if you’re just an amateur there won’t be a great difference. But if you’re a geek, then switching to a better equipment is a necessity.
Like, if you’re talking about espresso like the really good cafes (not Starbucks!), then it takes a good machine and, more importantly, a good grinder. The grinder is in fact more important than the machine, but well, you won’t get a really good setup under 1500$.
So if I were you, I’d invest in a grinder first (some good options were discussed here) and try it with a basic machine.

But if you’re looking for “passable” but not spectacular, then stay with one of those Nespresso machines with the pods. I don’t have anything against them, as my mom has one - Chulux I believe - and it’s idiot-proof (one button solution, “press 1 to get your morning cup”) and drinkable (at least for both of us). But it’s not even close to the good espresso, but to me it’s probably better than anything you’d get at a Starbucks.

p.s. if you like Starbucks, then please, no offense! This post is just my personal thoughts, and I don’t mean to criticize you and your preferences. Peace :dove:

you can try MR.coffee one touch machine.