The reason that so many people love and adore espresso is that the process of making it creates a complex array of flavors, a very precise dose of caffeine and an aroma that can’t be found in coffees produced by automatic drip or French press machines. Unfortunately, because a precise brewing method is needed, the consumer usually has to spend a good deal of money to make it. And anyone who has shopped around for an espresso machine knows, some of them can be extremely pricey.
However, just because the home barista needs a machine that’s capable of performing a precise number of steps to make a great espresso doesn’t mean that that machine has to be expensive. We’ve found several more inexpensive machines that are capable of producing great espressos. So without further ado, we’d like to introduce to all of our readers the best espresso machines for under $200. Any of the following machines are capable of making an espresso the consumer won’t soon forget.
Quick Summary of the Best Espresso Machines Under $200
- Editor’s Choice: Nespresso by De’Longhi Mini-Espresso Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Also Recommended: Mr. Coffee Epresso & Cappuccino Maker (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider: DeLonghi Bar Pump Espresso Machine (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Nespresso by De’Longhi Mini-Espresso Machine
Even though we must admit that not everyone believes that a machine that uses Nespresso capsules can churn out a great espresso, including us at first, we have to say that this machine will change everyone’s mind as it did ours. It’s a machine that can easily crank out a great bodied espresso and do so with little consumer intervention. It’s also a machine that has a small footprint so that it can be placed just about anywhere in the kitchen. Thanks to this espresso machine, no one has to do without a hot espresso or spend a lot of money to make one for themselves and their family.
The first thing that we’d like to mention about this is the ease of use when it comes to making a cup of espresso. All the consumer has to do is follow the manufacturer’s instructions, fill the unit up with water, and use an espresso capsule. When that’s been done, they can just choose a cup size and set the machine in motion. The two programmable cup sizes available on this machine are 1.35-ounce espresso and 5-ounce Lungo. Within 30-seconds, the machine will reach the ideal serving temperature for the perfect extraction of coffee from the capsule. And since it uses 19-bars of pressure, that extraction is highly efficient.
Another thing that we liked about this model was that it had an energy-saving mode that helps to save the consumer money. This energy-saving mode automatically turns the machine off after 9-minutes of use. This 8.1×12.8×4.3-inch machine also comes with a waste receptacle that can hold 5 used capsules before it has to be emptied.
It also has a removable water tank that makes the unit easy to fill up. And it also should be mentioned that this machine comes with a complimentary gift of espresso capsules so that the consumer can get a feel for how the machine works and the broad range of espresso products they have available.
Also Recommended: Mr. Coffee Epresso & Cappuccino Maker
Although we’re sure that some coffee baristas would upturn their noses at the thought of using a machine by Mr. Coffee to make espresso, we found this device to be quite up to the task at hand. It not only made a great shot of espresso, but it was also easy to set up and use. It’s a semi-automatic model that’s not exactly hands-free but isn’t nearly as complicated as the more expensive espresso machines on the market today. And it’s also a machine that’s quite flexible, meaning that it can be used to not only make espressos but can also be used to make lattes and cappuccinos as well.
This machine delivers 15-bars of pressure, so it does an amazing job of expressing the essence from coffee grounds. It’s also equipped with an automatic milk frother that’s easy to use and takes all of the guesswork out of the entire process. Other features that can be found on this machine include a one-touch control panel that allows the consumer to adjust the drink selections accordingly, a removable water reservoir that’s easy to fill-up and a removable milk reservoir that’s easy to fill and easy to clean. This model also has a 26-inch power cord, so the consumer has more options as to where it can be plugged in.
If there was one complaint we had about this model, it was simply that it was a little bit louder than we would’ve liked. It’s not quite as loud as most commercial espresso machines, but it’s certainly louder than most machines that use capsules or pods. Even with that slight flaw, however, we still think that most consumers are going to love using this machine.
It’s simple to operate, simple to clean and above all else, it produces a great cup of espresso, latte, or cappuccino. Now the home barista can create a coffee drink that rivals the ones produced by coffee shops and do it with just one touch.
Also Consider: DeLonghi Bar Pump Espresso Machine
The very first thing that needs to be mentioned about this espresso machine is that it allows even beginners to craft a perfect cup of espresso. Yes, the consumer requires no experience to make a masterful single or double espresso, or craft a perfect latte or cappuccino. And it’s capable of doing all of this without the consumer having to spend a lot of money on machines that are twice the cost of this one. Now that we’ve gone over the reason why a home barista might want to give this machine a try, let’s take a closer look at some of its actual features.
It’s worth mentioning that this product delivers 15-bars of pressure and possesses 1,100-watts of power. It has a 3-in-1 filter holder that allows the consumer to brew either one or two-shot of espresso at a time, and it has a 37-ounce water tank that can be easily removed to be filled. This model also has a self-priming feature that allows it to start up more quickly than other machines.
This model also has a stainless steel boiler system that does a great job of brewing. Although this model doesn’t feel like it’s as well made as other more expensive models, it does possess a stainless steel boiler which we thought was a good start.
This model can also accommodate a cup height of 3.5 to 5-inches, has a nice design that fits in with just about any kitchen’s decor, and a steel drip tray. Also included with this machine are a tamper, an advanced frother, and a twin brewing cycle. All of these things when considered together make this machine a great one for someone to consider. It’s a great budget espresso machine that should serve any kitchen well. We know that we liked it and thought it made a great cup of espresso or cappuccino.
A Guide To Budget Espresso Machines
Now that we’ve dispelled the myth that espresso machines have to be expensive in order to make a great cup of coffee, we would like to give our readers the information they need to make an informed decision buying a budget model. Below are some things that the reader might want to consider before they purchase their next espresso machine under $200.
Step One: Think About Espresso Machine Size
Probably one of the first things that the consumer is going to want to consider is what size espresso machine they need. Not only do they need to consider the physical size of the machine they’re thinking about purchasing, but they also need to think about the size cups they want to use with the machine. Some machines allow for larger cups than other machines, so if that’s of vital importance, then the consumer should carefully think about it before proceeding with their purchase.
Step Two: What Type Of Espresso Machine Is Needed?
The type of espresso machine needed is also important. Does the consumer need a machine that uses ground coffee or will one that uses pods or capsules work just as well for their needs? There are machines that brew using each one of these different types of coffee, so it’s up to the consumer to consider what suits them the most. Unfortunately, most espresso machines that can automatically grind beans and then brew the coffee are in the above $200 range, so consumers looking for budget espresso machines will probably have to forgo that feature.
Step Three: Consider The Machine’s Pressure
Just because the espresso machine is in the under $200 range doesn’t mean that the consumer can’t get a model that has the pressure they need to brew an excellent cup of espresso. There are plenty of machines in this price range that can brew with 15-bars of pressure, and there are even machines that can deliver a full 19-bars of pressure. All the consumer has to do is look around and they’ll find plenty of models with this kind of pressure. In fact, our #1 model has 19-bars of pressure and the rest of them have 15-bars, so consumers should choose one that fits their needs.
Step Four: Consider Whether The Machine Is Automatic Or Not
It’s also a good idea to keep in mind whether an automatic machine is needed or if the consumer would rather have a machine that allows for a more hands-on approach. Some espresso machines in this price range are close to being fully automatic, but there are machines that allow for a little bit of manual control. Unfortunately, there are few machines in this price range that are fully manual.
Step Five: Other Features To Consider
Once the consumer has determined some of the basic features they need their machine to have, it’s time for them to think about any of the additional features that they might need it to have. Below are a few of the other additional features that can be found on espresso machines in the under $200 price range. Let’s take a look at some of them before we continue.
- Milk Frother
- One-Touch Controls
- Energy-Saving Features
- Ability To Brew Other Coffees
Getting The Most Out Of Your Budget Espresso Machine
Once the consumer has purchased the perfect budget espresso machine and are ready to use it, they are going to want to think about using that machine in a way that promotes the best results. It doesn’t matter how many features the espresso machine has or how good it is if it’s used improperly, then it’s not going to create the best espresso. Below are some things to consider while using a budget espresso machine.
Use Purified Water
The first thing the consumer is going to want to do is to make sure that they use purified water. This is not only because most homes have hard water of some sort—and hard water can absolutely destroy an espresso machine—but it’s also because espresso made with purified water just tastes better. Anyone with any doubts should do an experiment and make an espresso with both purified and water that hasn’t been purified.
Use Quality Coffee
It’s also a good idea that the consumer uses the best coffee possible. For some machines, this means using the best pods or capsules that are usable with their particular espresso machine, and for others, it means using the best quality grounds. And if the consumer uses a machine that uses coffee grounds instead of pods, then the consumer might want to try grinding their own beans right before they brew their espresso. That produces the best results.