Aldi vs Kmart coffee machines: Which cheap machine is better?

Anula Wiwatowska
May 23, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read
// Beans on a budget

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As a coffee loving nation in the midst of a cost of living crisis, cheap coffee machines are hot property. Aldi and Kmart are both well known for cheap electronics and homewares, so it is unsurprising that both have coffee machines for under $100.

The machines are very different, Kmart has gone down the manual machine rabbit hole, while Aldi is standing firm on its Expressi pod machine. While it is hard to compare apples to oranges, we can take a look at the pros and cons of each machine and how they stack up against what you should look for in a coffee machine.

Cheap coffee machines under $100 compared

Kmart has two manual coffee machines while Aldi has the singular Expressi pod machine. We have pulled customer ratings from Product Review for the Aldi pod machine, but since Kmart's range is quite new we are limited to only considering customer ratings on the Kmart website itself. These tend to trend higher than independent review sites, so take them with a grain of salt.
Machine
Type
Milk Frothing
Bar Pressure
Customer Rating
Price
Retailers
Compact Espresso Machine KmartKmart Compact Espresso MachineManual
pro
15
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3
$79
Espresso Coffee Machine KmartKmart Espresso MachineManual
pro
15
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8
$99
Aldi expressi coffee machineAldi Expressi Coffee Capsule MachinePod
con
19
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
$78.99

What to look for in a coffee machine

Pin
Bar pressure

Bar pressure refers to the speed that water is pressed through the coffee. While 15 - 19 bars is said to be optimal, you want to be towards that upper end if the spec singles out pump pressure. Pump pressure indicates the pressure at the beginning of the water pump, and not when it actually presses through the coffee. It will lose speed within the time it takes to get through the machine.

Price Tag
Milk frother

Does it have one? Or do you need to buy one separately?

Light Bulb
Wattage

Higher wattage machines bring the water to temperature quicker, making the overall brewing process faster. 

Heads Up
Coffee options

Arguably the most important part of a coffee machine is the coffee you choose to have with it. Pod machines can have you locked in to certain brews and price points, while manual coffee machines leave it much more open ended. Of course manual machines come with more work, mess, and potentially more costly accessories too.

Aldi vs Kmart coffee machines: Specs

TLDR: Kmart has the higher grade filter
Machine
Bar pressure
Wattage
Milk frothing
Kmart Compact Espresso Machine151100WSteaming nozzle
Kmart Espresso Machine151100WSteaming nozzle
Aldi Expressi Coffee Capsule Machine191455WN/A

As it to be expected, none of these machines have specs that will blow you out of the water. They are however perfectly within the acceptable range in both bar pressure and wattage.

Sitting at either 15 or 19 bars of pressure, the three machines from Aldi and Kmart are either at the low or high end of optimal. However it is worth noting that these bar measurements indicate the pressure at the beginning of the pumping process and not exactly what hits your beans. Ideally the bar should be between 7-11 when they get to your coffee, with a minimum of 7 bars to produce a rich crema on top of your espresso shot. Here Aldi has the upper hand simply from having a higher starting point. Even if it were to loose half the pressure it would still sit above that minimum, while Kmart's range has less room for error.

We see a similar story for wattage, with Kmart sitting below average and Aldi just on it. Most manual coffee machines with similar features liek the Breville Bambino have 1300-1600W, whereas the Kmart espresso machines have just 1100W. This means these will take longer to heat up, and may brew cooler coffee. The Expressi on the other hand sits at 1455W which is around the same as high end Nespresso pod machines like the Vertuo Creatista.

Both Kmart machines come with a steaming wand, but the wattage issue may mean you'll need to spend more time getting that velvety consistency. Comparitively Aldi's machine has no in-built frothing options so you'll need to buy an external frother.

Aldi vs Kmart coffee machines: Coffee options

Coffee machines are only as good as the coffee you put in them, so it pays to have options. Pod coffee machines tend to be more limited as you need to consider what types of pods are compatible with the machine, while manual machines require more messing around but allow for infinite possibilities. Both have their pros and cons, and which one is better for you will depend on how much you're looking to work for a cuppa.

Every Kmart machine is manual, and grinderless which means you'll either need to buy pre-ground coffee or get yourself a grinder. Most coffee shops are happy to grind down beans for you, so even if you don't want to invest in other accessories you should have plenty of options to choose from. Of course that does mean you'll need to put in a bit more effort to actually make a good cup of coffee.

Pod coffee machines like Aldi's version are more limited but are also more convinient. Rather than messing about with beans you just snap a capsule in to place and press a button. Aldi has 11 blends in its Expressi collection (and a hot chocolate), which is not an insignificant amount of choice but still far less than every coffee blend to exist. Expressi machines also aren't cross-compatible with any other capsule like classic Nespresso machines are, and therefore there are less environmentally friendly options.

For reference coffee pods are terrible for the environment, contributing 2.4 million pods to landfill in Australia every year. There are more sustainable options like compostible and reuseable pods, but these are difficult to find from Aldi.

Aldi vs Kmart coffee machines: Outright and ongoing costs

Outright every machine sits under $100 making them an absolute bargain, but the costs don't stop there. You'll need to purchase coffee for both pod and manual machines, and you also may need other accessories like milk jugs, tampers, or external frothers and grinders.

Kmart's coffee machines are manual, and quite bare boned. They come with the machine, a funnel handle, and a coffee spoon. At a bare minimum you'll want to buy a tamper, some ground coffee, and a milk jug to be able to make a full cup of coffee. If you want to go all out then you'll need the above, plus a scale and a grinder.

Aldi's machine won't require most of these bells and whistles, but you will need to buy coffee and a milk frother.

Here is an indication of how much these initial set up costs may look;

Coffee machine
Coffee
Tamper
Grinder
Milk Frother or Jug
Scale
Total cost
Kmart Espresso Coffee Machine - $99200g coffee beans - $8$25Kmart coffee grinder - $18Kmart milk jug - $7Digital kitchen scale - $12$169
Kmart Espresso Coffee Machine - $99200g ground coffee - $8$25-Kmart milk jug - $7-$139
Aldi Expressi Pod Coffee Machine - $78.9916pk coffee - $6.99--Expressi milk frother - $31.99-$117.97

Of course these costs will vary. You can cheaper or more expensive equipment and coffee for the Kmart machines, but all up you're looking at a pricier starting point on these manual but cheap coffee machines.

It is also worth considering just how long these machines will last for. The Kmart coffee machines both come with a 12 month warranty, and repair options are unclear through the seller itself. Aldi's Expressi comes with a 24 month warranty, and you can buy spare parts through the machine's manufacturer website. These start as low as $5 for a plastic drip grate, and go up to $16 for a replacement water tank.

Info Box
Does Kmart have a coffee pod machine?

At the time of writing Kmart does not have a pod coffee machine. The coffee machine and maker range from the big box store has two manual espresso machines, a milk frother, two coffee grinders, and two coffee plungers.

So, which is better? Kmart or Aldi coffee machines?

Overall Aldi's pod coffee machine is a better buy than Kmart's Espresso machines. It has better bar pressure, wattage, and is cheaper, and more repairable with a better warranty period. Of course this only matters if you are happy to use pods over a manual machine.

With Aldi's machine you'll be limited to just 11 standard coffee blends to choose from, as opposed to the ellipsis that comes with a manual machine. If you're hell bent on an espresso machine then there are other options that may not be as cheap but will get you better coffee and a longer shelf life.

Coffee machines compared

Product
Our score
Price
Coffee type
More info
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
🔥From $229
$171.75
Pod coffee
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
From
$399
Manual espresso
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
🔥From $649
$499
Manual espresso w/ grinder
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
🔥From $1,499
$1396
Manual espresso w/ grinder
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
🔥From $299
$269
Pod coffee
4 out of 5 stars
4
🔥 From $699
$496
Automatic espresso w/ grinder
4 out of 5 stars
4
🔥 From $899
$528
Automatic espresso w/ grinder
3 out of 5 stars
3
🔥From $299
$199
Manual espresso
Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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