How much do I need to spend?
How much do I need to spend? Let me change the question to "How much would I need to spend to get an Italian coffee machine I could honestly enjoy every single day?" The answer is around $1.5k.
Ready for a surprise? Spending more that $1.5k won't get a better coffee into my cup. So, why spend more?
The reason for spending more is about quality of the coffee machine. A higher quality coffee machine will last longer, cost you less to maintain and have higher re-sale value. Quality gear is also something you will be proud to own and something that you will really enjoy. There's something magical about making amazing coffee in your own home with a premium coffee machine. The home barista experience is just that - an experience. It’s not just about the “drink.” Quality is the key reason to choose a high end Italian espresso machine.
So if I change the question from “how much do I need to spend?” to “how much would I like to spend?” my answer is just below $3k for a high end heat exchanger Italian coffee machine.
The upfront cost may seem high but there is an excellent business case for a domestic Italian espresso machine. If you replace coffee shop coffees with your own home coffees the typical payback period for your home espresso gear is 6-12 months, with savings of up to $50k over 10 years. You can read more about this and see the calculations in my Business Case for Italian Coffee Machines Blog