Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive?

Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive

Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by Timothy Byron Smith

A commercial espresso machine might cost approximately $20,000. Yet, is that really necessary to pay such an amount if you are just starting out?

However, espresso machines are pricy for a reason. You must consider the performance and other characteristics to ensure that the machine model meets your demands because the best option is not necessarily the most expensive.

Their price tag increases the importance of research and review before buying an espresso machine!

Curious to know why you’re spending so much to buy that espresso machine? Let’s find out! Here we’ll talk about the cost of domestic espresso machines, just to be clear.

So, what makes espresso machines so expensive?

When you pay a high price for a commodity, you’re paying for exceptional quality and fine features. The higher the price the grander the condition. With an espresso machine, you’re obviously paying more for good quality. But there are other things that make it so expensive too.

Espresso machines are often costly for three principal reasons the high prices of components, their low demand, the high costs of R&D, and the upfront cost of branding.

what makes espresso machines so expensive

On the face of it, you may not see much. But there is a lot being contributed to a commodity before it sits on a shelf in a store waiting for you to buy it. So, here is what makes espresso machines so expensive you think twice before purchasing them.

Brand Reputation

The brand name can make all the difference in the purchase price of a product. And with espresso machines, brands are all the rage. A top-quality and trusted brand will provide you with a fantastic espresso machine whereas a mediocre brand could be a huge risk in terms of quality.

However, this also means that a well-known brand will charge you greatly as well! You will not be paying as much for the machine but rather for the brand that makes it. Now, you will definitely get what you pay more, but this is just one of the reasons why espresso machines are so expensive.

Material and Expensive Parts

Espresso machines require certain specific components that are essential to their function. These components can be very expensive and in turn, drive up the prices of espresso machines. The most expensive of these parts are the brew group and thermoblock which are internal components of the machine.

Apart from the internal and external components that come costly, the overall material used for the machine can also contribute to its high prices. If the machine is made from high-quality and durable metal material it will obviously cost A LOT! This is why commercial espresso machines cost so much.

If you purchase espresso machines made from more average quality material it will be very cheap. However, what is the point of buying a cheap espresso machine only to end up constantly having to fix its parts?

Type of Machine

The type of espresso machine you buy also matters. If it is a top-quality advanced espresso machine then you cannot expect to buy it for peanuts, can you? A manual espresso machine will not cost you as much at all. But then, it will be manual.

However, the prices of more sleek, automatic, semi-automatic, or super-automatic increase in the order. They only grow more and more expensive. That is because they offer greater and grander features in coffee making.

The Demand Factor

This works as a kind of loop. Espresso machines are extremely expensive which is why people cannot easily buy them. And since people cannot buy them, they do not have as great demand and are, therefore, expensive.

Basically, only so many people can afford to buy, keep, and maintain espresso machines. Other than that, espresso machines are mostly bought by big or small coffee shops and businesses, maybe even offices. This makes the purchasing party a minority. While the large majority is unable to buy them.

If there was a huge majority trying to buy espresso machines the competition to sell more would reduce prices. However, the lower demand instead chalks up the prices more.

High Labour Cost

The espresso machines that have gotten you head over heels for them are a result of certain people’s sweat and blood. The precision with which they work, the accuracy, quality, and finishing of all of this are accomplished by a team of diligent workers. This educated personnel has a high labor cost.

When you buy that expensive and fabulously working espresso machine, your purchase price also compensates the individuals who created the machine.

Extra Features

Depending on the features you desire in your espresso machine, the cost will rise or fall. The most expensive espresso machines are the ones that have all the bells and whistles and every cool feature you can think of!
Some machines come with a steaming wand, others have a digital display for temperature readings. Some have cool automatic features, self-cleaning mechanisms, and whatnot. All these features that make you fall to your knees come at a price.

Different Models of Espresso Machines Cost Differently?

While espresso machines tend to cost a lot generally, they do have price differences depending on the model. Some models are more expensive than others. If you are looking for extra features they will come with an advanced model that will obviously cost a lot.

Here are two examples:

Automatic Espresso Machine Cost

As the name suggests, super-automatic espresso machines are advanced espresso machines. Their function is to give you a good hands-free experience and so they include a number of features to ensure that. It comes with a grinder, often a steam wind, and automatic settings to prepare your coffee!

All these features mean it has a high price. While you can get a decent automatic espresso machine for around $200. However, you can clearly tell the difference between a $200 and let’s say an $800 or more espresso machine.

Manual Espresso Machine Cost

In a manual espresso machine, it is not the espresso machine but YOU who do the groundwork. It is a lever machine that you pull to create the pressure that brews your coffee. Since this kind of espresso machine does not require all those fancy mechanical parts, it is extremely cheap!

However, with a manual espresso machine, you will need to put in a lot of effort. Espresso is produced at high pressure and you will be creating that pressure manually using the lever. It will require much strength. Plus, it will take some time for you to adjust to the machine to produce a good cup of coffee.

In any case, coffee lovers do claim that a manual espresso machine makes authentic coffee. However, it could easily just be a way to justify all the labor you have to put in. Or fantasize about it. Or maybe you could get one try for yourself! Again, they do come cheap.

Are the High Prices Even Worth It?

The answer to that question is both a yes and a no. Frankly, if you are really pushing your budget to squeeze in an espresso machine then they are not worth it. There are a number of other options like the Moka pots or drip machines that make great coffee too!

However, if you are really willing to invest in espresso machines then the high prices are not only worth it but probably the right way to go. Remember, the higher the price the better quality and more features you are getting. If you have decided to spend, then you want to make sure you get nothing but the best.

And the best will not come cheap. What is super risky about buying cheap espresso machines is that they will not work as much as they will require to be repaired. You do not want to be constantly calling on customer service or bringing it in for repairs. That costs a lot too you know!


1. What is the best price for an espresso machine?
You can get good quality and reasonable espresso machine in the range of $400 to $700. It may sound expensive but it saves you the future troubles of constantly fixing broken parts of a cheap machine.
2. Is it worth buying expensive espresso machines?
An expensive espresso machine means it is a brand product. This means you will be guaranteed great quality, warranty, the best components, and great customer service! What makes expensive espresso machines worth it is that they are a solid and reliable one-time investment.
3. How much does a professional espresso machine cost?
A professional espresso machine can cost between $5000 and $30,000. Heart missed a beat, right? Professional espresso machines are extremely advanced machines with extra features. This makes them very expensive and they are usually bought for commercial use.
4. How much do Starbucks espresso machines cost?
Starbucks typically uses automatic espresso machines. They can cost about $18,000. These Starbucks machines are equipped with advanced features like built-in grinders, steaming wand, computerized display and menu, and much more. All this makes the coffee-making process easy and the machine expensive.


Now you know why are espresso machines so expensive. Plus, if you really think about it, it does make sense. Espresso machines can be cheap as well. They are only expensive when you want exceptional quality and reliability and a trusted brand to buy from.

And who are we kidding? All these facilities are bound to cost us. But, it does not have to be so bad. Because once you make that investment, you get amazing coffee every day whenever you want! Now, that is worth something.

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