Why are espresso machines so expensive?
We know. Espresso machines, and espresso prosumer machines like this one, can retail for as high as $10,000! Don't worry, not all with cost you 5 figures. There are plenty of economically priced machines out there.
But why are they so expensive?
Does more expensive translate to better coffee?
Not always and in most cases, no.
I know, as a retailer of high end prosumer espresso machines you'd think we just shot ourselves in the foot, right? Well, we aren't your normal espresso machine retailer that just puts out nothing but positive content about their products and blasts products we don't sell. We don't just make product review videos that do nothing but tell you how great everything we sell is. We aren't a blog that simply writes reviews without actually having the product in hand. No, that isn't what we do.
The truth is, you can make great espresso on machines in the $100 to $400 range. You really can.
The question then becomes, is the coffee comparable on a smaller priced machine to that of a prosumer machine in the $1,500 to $3,500 range? The honest answer is no, it won't be as good but still, it can get pretty darn close in our opinion.
1. Price vs. longevity
This is the question so many come to face when in the espresso machine marketplace.
"Do I want to sacrifice quality for price?"
"Do I want to invest in, yes, a much more expensive machine, but have it for much, much longer?"
The reason prosumer machines cost so much more is due to higher production and materials cost.
Prosumer machines use higher quality materials and virtually zero plastic. If you open a cheaper machine, what you're going to find is a whole lot of plastic tubing. Compare that to a prosumer machine, and you'll find a whole lot more copper and stainless steel tubing. Obviously, the tubing in the prosumer costs more from a manufacturing standpoint so it's reasonable to say the prosumer machine will last you much longer.
2. Niche Market
Espresso is still a relatively unknown concept to many - especially in the United States. It's a tiny speck when compared to the drip coffee market. The average price of a coffee maker in a US household is under $100 so it's no wonder espresso machines are a bit pricier as there aren't as many options to choose from.
This is even more true in the prosumer market. Limited options unfortunately leads to higher price tags on the bigger boys.
3. Cost of materials
As mentioned above, it costs a lot to manufacture an espresso machine, especially prosumer machines. Compared to grinders, which are essentially a motor and two burrs, espresso machines contain many more parts. The cost of which can be extensive.
The difference between a $300 machine and a $10,000 is the quality of those materials. Prosumer brands use much higher quality materials that increase the lifespan of the machine. Sure, a Breville will save you some cash but will most likely break down more often or even entirely within a year or two.