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Cheap VS Expensive Coffee Makers

If you drink coffee every day or have multiple people drinking coffee then it’s definitely worth it to invest in a high-quality coffee maker from known brands such as De’Longhi. Premium coffee makers have a longer lifespan and offer serviceability whereas cheap coffee makers aren’t meant to last long, but they are good if you drink coffee once in a while.

Coffee machines are a fantastic way to make great coffee but their price range can differentiate immensely. There are actually a lot of reasons for that, but does that make premium machines worth getting?

It depends on what you’re looking for in a coffee maker, from quality to value, and its features.

Let’s get started.

What Makes Good Coffee?

Before we get into the differences between coffee makers, I want to talk about the key features that make coffee actually flavorful. The reason I want to mention this first is that it’s more in the technique rather than having the most expensive equipment available.

There are 4 keys to good coffee: grind, proportion, quality water, and quality beans.

If you get all 4 keys right, you will get very rich and flavorful coffee, but how do you get that?

Grind: You want to grind the beans so that they retain some moisture but that most of the water passes through. If the grind is too fine, it will clog your filter and overflow, if it’s too coarse then it won’t retain the flavor and just pass through. The finer the grind, the better the flavor.

Proportion: The proportion should allow for a full-bodied cup without being muddy or thick, this is why it’s recommended to have 1 tablespoon of ground coffee in your cup, 2 can work as well but is a bit much.

Water: The real kick to quality coffee is quality water. Distilled water is usually recommended as it gets rid of 2 essential minerals: calcium & magnesium. This means if you use distilled water in a coffee maker there will be less build-up of minerals and prevents scaling, which would cause damage to your appliance. Your water should also be between 195°F – 205°F (90°C – 96°C) if you want to get the most out of your beans. Be below the temperature and you will get less flavorful coffee, go above it and you’re burning the beans.

Beans: The main difference between fresh and “bad” coffee beans is their texture. Fresh beans should be plump, shiny, and have a smooth surface on the outside. If they smell musty or sour then that’s a good indicator that they’re not as fresh anymore.

In general, it’s the quality beans and quality water that makes up most good coffee.

What Are The Differences Between Cheap and Expensive Coffee Makers?

Now that you know what makes good coffee, it’s time to look at the differences between a cheap and expensive coffee maker.


Depending on what you’re looking to get out of your coffee maker, the price can drastically go up. Here are some average price ranges to help you decide what suits you.

Coffee Maker TypeAverage Price Range
Drip Coffee$40 – $300
French Press$15 – $250
Single Serve$60 – $250
Espresso$110 – $3300
Full Automatic Espresso$300 – $3000

Quality of Coffee Maker Materials

There are only a few things you need to know about the quality of materials for coffee makers. Cheap ones are usually built out of plastic, while more expensive ones use metals such as stainless steel.

What does that mean? Well, plastic in general is less durable. This means the more high-quality parts are used in your coffee maker, the more reliable it is. But there is another reason why you would want to invest in a more expensive coffee maker…

Blade vs Burr Grinder

You might’ve heard about Burr & Blade grinders, but what are they and how are they different from each other?

Burr grinders use two revolving abrasive surfaces to grind up coffee beans while Blade grinders use a propeller-like blade, similar to a blender.

This has a massive impact on your ground beans. Burr Grinders can be found in more expensive coffee makers but give you more finely ground beans than Blade Grinders do, which can be found in cheaper coffee makers.

Here is a table to help you pick what’s right for you:

Burr GrinderBlade Grinder

This means that Burr grinders produce better coffee as they can grind much finer and consistent. Burr grinders make more flavorful coffee and can be found in more expensive coffee makers.

Serviceability and Maintenance of Coffee Makers

Now that you know the differences between cheap and expensive coffee makers, you should know that high-quality coffee makers offer serviceability. A cheap coffee maker is made to use till it stops working, and then it’s time to get a new one. It’s not worth it to fix or restore it as it’s not cheap enough for that, that’s why it’s recommended to get a new cheap one instead.

With more premium coffee makers, the parts and materials can be found at machine service providers. This gives a level of serviceability that can’t be found with cheaper machines.

That’s why some coffee machine brands like De’Longhi and Breville (Also known as Sage in some countries) are built with serviceability in mind. So when the time comes when you need it serviced, you can get it repaired easily at your local coffee machine repair.

Do Quality Coffee Makers Make Better Coffee?

Yes and no. A quality coffee maker that uses a burr grinder will produce much tastier coffee than a cheap one that uses a blade grinder. The finer and more consistent the grind, the more flavors that you can get out of the bean.

However, you can’t make cheap coffee taste good with a premium machine. A machine is only as good as the quality of the beans you run through it.

Is It Worth It To Get a Premium Coffee Maker?

It depends, are you passionate about coffee or only having it once in a while? For most coffee drinkers that drink it every day, it’s totally worth it to get a more expensive premium machine. It’s also definitely worth it if you have multiple people drinking coffee during the day.

The Bottom Line

Cheaper coffee machines aren’t meant to last long. Premium machines have a much longer lifespan as well as serviceability for repairs. If you do go for a premium brand then I recommend De’Longhi and Breville (Also known as Sage in some countries) so you can have repairs done in no time when the time arrives.

On average, premium machines that make a massive difference compared to cheap machines tend to be between $300 – $500. This is usually the sweet spot for most people, anything above $1000 isn’t going to change much.

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