Espresso machines are like most things in life: you get what you pay for. You can get a $90 "espresso" machine from Wal-Mart or Costco, and it will probably make a coffee concentrate, but we here at Sweet Maria's would be hard-pressed to call that espresso.

If you want to make espresso at home, you need a decent machine that has the pump pressure necessary to push hot water through a compressed puck of coffee. In our experience, you need to spend upwards of $400 to even get close. That is a lot of money!  And it does not include a decent grinder, which is absolutely a must if you are trying to make espresso at home. We have always advised folks that if you need to skimp, spend more to get a really good grinder, and maybe less on the espresso machine; the other way round and you are just shooting yourself in the foot (or cup maybe?)

 We sell only semi-automatic machines that require a separate grinder.