If you’re tired of old, overpriced coffee at coffee shops, you might want to get a barista machine and start making coffee at home. Perhaps you want to open a coffee shop. The kind of machine you’ll get in each instance will vary, but it is good to have a baseline idea of what such products cost.
Coffee machines cost $350 on average, with the simple espresso makers being sold for as little as $99. The machine’s functionality can increase its price, but the brewing precision makes certain machines much more expensive. Machines used by professional baristas can cost up to $2,200.
In this article, you will learn how to get your coffee machine at the best price. You will also find out what kind of coffee machines exist on the market and which one is the best for your budget. But first, let’s explore the factors affecting coffee machine prices.
A coffee machine used to be a commodity back when coffee making wasn’t as accessible as it is now. Since becoming less of a B2B product and more of a direct-to-consumer product, coffee machines have started embracing the brand game. New companies charge less, while the ones that have built a reputation for providing coffee machines to big coffee chains charge a lot more.
There is some vertical integration going on as well since brands that started off as coffee grounds and even instant coffee providers have acquired machine-making ventures and offer branded coffee machines.
From the Nescafe Allegria to the Maxwell House airpot brewer, different coffee mix brands have their own coffee machines. Even coffee chains like Starbucks and Lavazza market direct-to-consumer machines.
Seeing different segments of the coffee market venture in machine-making shows that the coffee machine business is profitable. For such profits to persist, a product needs to be cheap to manufacture and must have a higher market price.
When coffee machines were hard to manufacture and were made on smaller assembly lines within the US, the price of coffee machines used to be high. As time passed, a majority of the work was outsourced to countries with cheaper labor and rent. However, the higher prices have remained the standard. On average, a coffee machine is marked-up by 1200%, which means that big brands can easily charge 12 times the kitchen cost of the product.
Coffee machines that do not have an established name behind them can’t be marked up that high as easily. You can get such coffee machines for half the price and enjoy the same quality. Even among brands, opting for the most wallet-friendly option can be prudent because a coffee machine has very little say in how your coffee tastes, at least in comparison to the beans, the grind level, and the roast.
Country of origin
While coffee beans can be judged by the country of origin, coffee machines can’t. There is no point in comparing countries in which coffee machines are made unless you want to make the patriotic point of purchasing goods made in the US only.
Countries with a lower cost of living can afford to make cheaper coffee machines. But since most big brands outsource their manufacturing to factories in China and India, there’s little left to compare. Still, it needs to be said that coffee machines made in western countries cost more simply because their cost of manufacturing is higher.
This ties back to brands because the general demand for coffee machines is relatively stable. The demand for a specific brand of the coffee machine varies, which is why the ones that have comparatively elastic demand and higher consumption appetite cost more.
These brands also advertise to maintain their demand, which requires money. This business cost burden shifts towards the consumers, who in turn have to pay more to purchase the machine. In other words, you’ll get a better deal buying a coffee machine you’ve never heard of or seen on TV.
Type of machine
While the brand, demand, and country of production play a major role in a coffee machine’s pricing, the type of coffee machine plays the most crucial role in deciding the price. Most coffee machines are variations of the same product, but there are broadly three different types of coffee makers that can be acquired at appropriately diverse price points.
Manual Coffee Machines
These coffee machines are the most labor-intensive and are not even seen as machines by most consumers. However, going by the traditional definition of machines, these are technically machines, albeit simple ones.
- French Press – This is a steep-and-dive coffeemaker that involves hand-plunging to extract the essence from the coffee grounds.
- Aeropress – This tool makes one cup at a time and involves manual labor as well.
- Cold-brew pot – This is a filtered soaker that allows you to brew your coffee grounds overnight.
- Vietnamese Coffee Maker – A Russian doll of a coffeemaker, this machine is ideal for making sweet milky coffee beverages.
stovetop coffeemakers are differently shaped pots, variations of the same tool. These, too, aren’t seen as coffee machines and are merely tools that assist you in making coffee.
- Moka Pot – Not to be confused with mocha coffee, this pot has its own fanbase. Learn more about Moka coffee by reading this article.
- Turkish coffee pot – This uses the same working principle as a Moka pot but has a different origin. It is ideal for strong filter coffee.
Electric Coffee Machines
This is the most expensive coffee machine category and is the only one people think of when they hear of coffee machines. Here are the different types of electric coffeemakers.
- Drip Coffee Maker – This is one of the most popular coffee machines and is the most affordable one. It is often referred to as a “coffee maker.” It allows you to brew black coffee.
- Thermal Coffee Maker – This is a drip coffee maker with a thermos-like carafe that preserves the coffee’s temperature.
- Percolators – These are stovetop coffeemakers with an electric stove attached at the base of the pot.
- Siphon Coffee Makers – These are the rarest ones in terms of consumer adoption, as they consist of fragile parts that are hard to ship and safeguard.
- Espresso Machine – These are referred to as “coffee machines” or “barista machines” and are the most expensive coffeemakers in the market. They often allow you to make lattes, cappuccinos, and mocha.
- Coffee Pod Machines – These are the cheapest truly automatic coffee makers that offer different types of coffee. Brands make more money selling you coffee pods than they do selling the machines.
Coffee machines can cost $2000+ if you’re investing in precision, but for the average household, a $350 coffee machine is sufficient. Getting an espresso maker is best for your finances in the long run though you can get similar quality coffee more easily and at a lower up-front price if you invest in a coffee pod machine.