For coffee lovers wanting to brew quality coffee at home without breaking the bank, there are a variety of great options available in Australia.
While there are many budget coffee makers out there, not all of them brew consistently or have the build quality to stand the test of time. To help narrow your search, below we’ve compiled a list of our favourite affordable coffee machines.
Best for Espresso: Breville Compact Cafe Espresso Machine
The Breville Compact Cafe Espresso machine packs a variety of quality features into space-saving dimensions. This coffee machine includes a dual-action selector dial to control espresso extraction and milk texturing. The Breville Compact cafe espresso machine comes equipped with three stainless steel filters for single, double shot, and coffee capsule sizes.
Along with the versatility the Breville Compact Cafe provides with espresso extraction, this machine gives users access to 15 bar pump pressure and a cafe-quality steam wand.
The unique dual wall crema technology allows users to maximize the flavour profile in each shot of espresso. The built-in Thermocoil heating system allows for a fast heat-up time and a consistency with temperature control for espresso and steaming features. This machine does, however, require additional heat-up time between pulling espresso and steaming milk (as it only has a single heating system).
It includes additional features like a cup warming tray that can heat up to six espresso cups and a purge function that adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction.
Some users do find this machine noisier than other home coffee machines, which is a consideration if you’re making coffee early in the morning while others are asleep. There can also be a time delay for the machine when users switch the dial from the espresso setting to the steaming option.
Also, the appliance requires some time to produce steam hot enough to create milk froth. Furthermore, without regular cleaning and maintenance, this coffee machine can leak excess water after brewing.
- 15 Bar pump pressure
- 2.75-litre removable water tank
- Thermocoil heating system
- Purge function
- Slower heat-up time for the steam wand
- Water leaks from the machine after brewing
- Louder than other machines
Best for Drip Coffee: Sunbeam 12 Cup Drip Filter Coffee Machine
The Sunbeam 12-cup drip filter coffee machine is a simply-designed device that brews a large amount of quality drip coffee. With a modern stainless steel finish, this device fits well in any kitchen space. This coffee machine provides programmable options, allowing users to have complete control of their coffee at home.
Equipped with an easy-to-navigate display screen and a handful of buttons, this Sunbeam coffeemaker is a great fit for coffee drinkers who like to keep the brewing process simple.
The interface provides options for users that include setting the timer and auto-brew, and programming their desired brew strength. This Sunbeam drip coffee maker includes a carafe warming plate that keeps coffee warm after brewing for up to two hours.
While users love this coffee machine for its simplicity, many have mentioned the water reservoir is difficult to fill because of its location. Likewise, it makes for a trickier cleaning process.
When the auto-brew feature is active on this machine, users see a flashing light until the programmed brew time, which can be distracting. Some users have also found this Sunbeam drip coffee maker to be inconsistent with producing the full 12-cup coffee capacity.
- 12-cup carafe capacity
- Programmable auto-brew
- Carafe warming plate
- Built-in removable filter basket
- Inconsistent coffee quantities while brewing
- Flashing light while auto-brew is in action
- Water reservoir locations make for a difficult filling
Best Capsule Coffee: Lavazza A Modo Tiny Capsule Coffee Machine
The Lavazza A Modo is a compact capsule coffee machine. As one of the smallest Lavazza models available, this modern coffee maker prepares quality coffee with the press of a single button.
While small in dimension, this product contains features such as a 0.75 litre water tank capacity, a fast heat-up time of 25 seconds, and a removable cup rest. Likewise, the Lavazza A Modo includes an adjustable cup rack with two heights, allowing most coffee cup sizes to work with this machine.
All parts of this coffee machine are dishwasher safe, making the cleaning process seamless for all users.
The Lavazza A Modo Tiny Capsule coffee machine is compatible with Lavazza a Mod Mio coffee capsules. This coffee machine does require manual removal of used capsules after brewing. The single button on this machine functions as both the on/off switch and the button to prepare fresh espresso, making it more practical than other machines in its price range.
The Lavazza A Modo coffee machine only works to prepare espresso from coffee capsules, it does not froth or steam milk. Users will have to purchase a separate milk frother with this device in order to prepare milky coffees. Likewise, the capsule machine is not compatible with other coffee capsules on the market. This compact coffee maker is also fairly noisy during the brewing process.
- Fast heat-up time
- Easy to use and clean
- One button control
- Noisier than larger coffee machines
- Not compatible with other capsules outside of the Lavazza brand
Best Nespresso: Nespresso Essenza Mini Solo Capsule Machine
The Nespresso Essenza Mini Solo pod machine is the smallest Nespresso model on the market. This machine’s modern design and compact footprint make it a great fit for small apartments and kitchens.
Despite its dimensions, this coffee machine packs a punch. With a 19-bar pressure pump and a heat-up time under 30 seconds, the Nespresso Essenza can provide a precise and flavourful cup of coffee with rich crema in every cup.
Users can choose from either an espresso or lungo brewing option with the Essenza Mini Solo. While this machine is only compatible with Nespresso pods, users have the ability to recycle their used coffee capsules and order in bulk on Nespresso’s website.
The Essenza Mini Solo incorporates many energy-saving features other pod machines lack. Some of these include the machine going into ECO mode after three minutes post-brew. The machine will also automatically turn off after nine minutes after brewing.
While pod machines are easier to clean than other semi-automatic coffee machines, the Essenza Mini Solo is only compatible with Nespresso capsules. Some users have also observed the coffee being slightly cooler than their ideal temperature. Likewise, this coffee machine works well with 1-2 person households and is not suitable for brewing large quantities of coffee at once.
- Energy-saving options
- Under 30-second heat-up time
- 19 bar pump pressure
- Only compatible with Nespresso coffee pods
- Not suitable for larger families
- Potential temperature inconsistency
Best Semi-Automatic: Sunbeam Cafe Barista Semi Auto Coffee Machine
The Sunbeam Cafe Barista Semi-Automatic coffee maker is a quality espresso machine that gives users a sampling of automatic coffee machine features. With innovations like a removable milk reservoir and one-touch navigation, this machine is easy to clean and easy to use. Users can program this semi-automatic coffee machine to brew espresso or specialty drinks like cappuccinos and lattes.
With its Thermoblock heating technology, the Sunbeam Cafe Barista espresso machine offers users a fast heat-up time and a short wait time between brewing espresso and steaming milk. The automatic steam wand feature is a big plus and is usually only found on higher-end automatic coffee machines. Instead of manually steaming milk to the desired texture for your drink, simply turn the dial to select the desired milk amount for your beverage, and the frother will take care of the rest.
The Sunbeam Cafe Barista espresso coffee machine can struggle with extremely fine grinds. A medium-fine grind size is recommended for optimal extraction on this machine. Users do not have the ability to adjust the temperature settings on this coffee machine, nor does the automatic milk wand thrive with non-dairy milk options.
- Thermoblock heating technology
- Removable milk reservoir
- One-touch controls
- Cannot adjust temperature settings
- The milk system doesn’t accommodate non-dairy options
- Struggles with fine grinds
Upgrade Pick: Sunbeam Mini Barista Espresso Machine
The Sunbeam Mini Barista espresso machine is praised for having commercial-grade features despite its compact dimensions. The 58mm group head and full-size steam wand allow users to get the most out of their coffee grounds for a great price.
This at-home coffee machine is great value for money when comparing it to other coffee machines with similar features, however it is one of the more expensive on this list.
The navigation on this machine is another point of praise for the Sunbeam Mini Barista espresso machine. Users love the minimalist approach to espresso brewing with two simple controls. For those who are easily overwhelmed by too many buttons, this machine does a great job of keeping coffee brewing simple.
Users get the best of both worlds in having a sampling of automated features, while still having the chance to participate in the coffee-making process each morning. The descaling programs allow this coffee machine to be as easy to clean as it is to use.
The noise level while brewing on this machine can be louder than other semi-automatic espresso machines. Since the machine uses Sunbeam’s Thermoblock to heat the water, this causes the device to be noisier than machines with boiler systems.
Without regular maintenance, excess water is known to leak from the machine. If the machine isn’t descaled regularly, foreign particles and blockage can create overflow or leaks in valves or connectors.
- 2 Litre water tank capacity
- Commercial-sized steam wand and group head
- Great value for money
- 12-month warranty
- Noisy while brewing
- Lack of control over milk frother
- Excess water can leak from the machine
Most Versatile: DeLonghi Dedica Espresso Machine
The Delonghi Dedica is similar in size and price to the Sunbeam Mini espresso maker. While it is more narrow in appearance, it offers users similar fire-power with its pressure pump and features for temperature control and navigation.
The Dedica offers ESE coffee pod compatibility. Users are able to interchange removable filters to brew with ground coffee or coffee capsules.
There are a variety of features that make the Delonghi Dedica pump espresso maker stand out from its competition. Some of these include 15 bar pump pressure, Thermoblock heating technology, and an adjustable cappuccino system.
This coffee machine does struggle with extremely fine grinds. If coffee beans are ground too finely, the machine tends to completely clog, preventing water from leaving the portafilter while brewing. The Delonghi Dedica also has a tendency to be finicky when it comes to the control panel.
Users have observed the machine overheating after brewing multiple cups of coffee. The Delonghi Dedica also struggles to maintain the proper temperature while brewing.
- Compact design and dimensions
- Thermablock temperature control
- Adjustable milk frother, espresso shots, and metal filter options
- ESE coffee pod compatible
- More expensive than entry-level espresso machines
- Struggles with extremely fine grinds
- Overheats after nonstop use
What to Consider when Buying a Budget Coffee Machine
When investing in any new coffee maker, the type of coffee you prefer to drink is the most important thing to consider. Whether you’re looking for an espresso coffee machine, capsule coffee maker, or a quality drip coffee device, there are important things to know about each model.
If you’re looking for an affordable espresso machine, you will most likely be searching for a semi-automatic or manual coffee machine. Since fully automated espresso machines come with a hefty price tag, the more manual control needed to operate the coffee machine, the more affordable the device will be.
In order to ensure your coffee machine is capable of providing the optimal temperature and pressure for coffee extraction, it is essential that your espresso machine can achieve at least 9 bars of pressure.
While an affordable at-home espresso machine may not include a dual boiler, PID temperature control, or a ton of bells and whistles in terms of programmable or display settings, they may give you access to specialty drink options and milk steaming.
Pod and capsule machines
Capsule coffee machines are an affordable alternative to home espresso machines. They are a convenient and cleaner alternative to machines that use fresh coffee grounds. With commercial-quality pump pressure and compact dimensions, these coffee machines pack a lot of power into their brewed coffee.
One of the only pitfalls to capsule machines is that they are often not compatible with coffee capsules outside of their brand. So when considering a pod machine, it’s important that you have a way of replenishing capsules compatible with the device. The most reliable capsule machines are compact and simple to use.
As most do not come with a steam wand, users may have to purchase a milk frother separately from their coffee machine.
Drip and filter machines
Drip and filter coffee machines are often the most affordable option. They are also great for brewing larger quantities of coffee at once.
Quality drip coffee machines include features such as a warming plate for the brewing carafe and programmable brewing options. Having features like auto-brew or a brewing timer allows users to set up their coffee maker to brew at a certain time, allowing them to wake up to freshly-made coffee.
Likewise, drip coffee makers that have an auto shut-off option that helps users save energy.
While brewing cafe-quality coffee at home with an affordable device is possible, there are a few features that may not fit into the budget.
More often than not, coffee machines with features like a built-in grinder and steam wand are more expensive than coffee makers that just brew coffee. If users want to enjoy freshly ground coffee and have the option to steam milk, they may have to purchase these devices separately.
More affordable coffee machines may not include elegant digital displays or include programmable settings. Likewise, they may not include the same number of brew settings as more expensive devices.
Is the Kmart coffee machine good?
Kmart is known for its budget products, and they offer users a variety of coffee makers ranging from automatic to manual coffee machines. The Kmart manual coffee machines have outperformed more expensive models in blind taste tests. However, some may find their capsule machines and semi-automatic machines fall short of creating a quality flavour profile. All in all, certain Kmart coffee makers could be worthwhile investments if you’re on a tight budget.
Does JB Hifi sell coffee machines?
JB Hifi has a wide range of coffee machines available for sale, as well as other essential brewing accessories like coffee grinders and milk frothers. Users can find a range of semi-automatic, capsule coffee machines, and fully automatic coffee machines available on their website.
Are cheap espresso machines any good?
It is possible to brew quality espresso without a high-end espresso machine. While more affordable espresso machines are typically made with less expensive materials and fewer brew settings and features, the core essentials for brewing quality coffee is present. As long as the device has 9-bar pump pressure, the machine should be capable of making espresso.