|1. Mr Coffee||2. Delonghi Essenza||3. Delonghi ECP3420|
Few things in life can compare to the feeling of sipping hot coffee in the morning, awakening your senses at the whiff of the aroma as it wafts-in and fills your nose. It is the perfect way to start your day.
Let’s say you’re a bit tired of having to rush over to the nearest Starbucks or the local coffee shop every morning to get the perfect brew. Getting the coffee extract for your espresso and foamy cream layer of your cappuccino just right, can be tedious if done by unprofessionals, like yourself.
This is why getting a coffee espresso machine is a great idea. There are several affordable options for you to choose from.
However, before we get into our top 15 choices for the best espresso machine under 200, let’s have a walk through a few factors that you need to look for when buying this coffee gear.
Factors To Consider Before Buying the Best Espresso Machine under $200
1) Storage Capacity
The first thing you need to consider is the storage capacity of the water tank provided with the machine. Depending on whether you plan on buying a coffee machine for domestic use or for fitting it in the office, your needs may vary. Most espresso machines allow you to store enough water to make up to 7-9 cups of coffee each day.
You will also want to consider the volume of coffee grounds that the portafilter can accommodate. This will determine how much coffee you can make in a single round before it needs to be emptied and refilled.
2) Ease Of Operation
If the buttons are too complicated to figure out, you might end up getting a cup that’s a lot more bitter or sweeter than you’d like in the first few tries. While this is tolerable as a random occurrence, you definitely wouldn’t want to have a hard time figuring out how to get your coffee right every time you make a cup.
It would be best if you also made sure that the drip/spout is placed conveniently enough to make it easy for you to dispense the coffee into your cup without spilling it anywhere on the drip tray.
As you can imagine, you will have to clean your espresso machine regularly. Many things can go wrong if you don’t. For instance, the grounded coffee beans could clog the machine, and it could end up damaging the coffee maker.
So for this, you will have to look for an espresso machine that can be easily disassembled, so that you can thoroughly wash and dry the water tank, the grinder and all the other parts such as the frother and the cups as well.
For beginners, getting a coffee machine that is low-maintenance and easy to clean would be a great place to start.
4) Grinding Capacity
Espresso machines either have a built-in grinder (expensive ) or an external grinder. If you’re buying the espresso machine for office use, it would be natural to assume that you’re expecting a lot of people to be brewing coffee. Perhaps your family’s daily coffee intake is a bit high and to satisfy it, you need a machine. In either case, you would need a high capacity coffee grinder.
This is because if it is a low capacity grinder then exceeding the optimum number of grinds per day can cause the machine to overheat or break down.
However, many coffee machines allow the use of coffee pods, which spare you the trouble of grinding the coffee beans, although it is worth noting that some of these machines might only work with their particular brand of coffee pod.
If you’re going to be using ground coffee for your espresso, make sure that the espresso machine has a good tamping tool for compressing the grounds. This is essential to to extract the flavor and aroma better, and to produce a rich and thick layer of espresso, complete with crema on top.
Some of the machines might even have a built-in tamper that automatically compresses the grounds, saving you the trouble of tamping it yourself.
If you’re looking for a machine that can also make lattes or cappuccinos along with regular espresso, you will need one that comes equipped with a frother to induce steam and air into the milk.
Some machines have built-in frothers that are automated so all you would need to do is place your cup of espresso below the steam nozzle and the machine does the rest. Manually controlled steam wands, on the other hand, it also gives you more control over the level of foam you want in your cappuccino.
There are espresso machines that feature a steam tube and an air tube that can be used together to induce a thicker layer of froth in the cup for cappuccinos. When it comes to making a latte, you can withdraw the air tube and use the steam tube alone.
Top 15 Best Espresso Machines Under $200 in 2020
1. Mr Coffee Cafe Barista
The Cafe Barista brews a decent cup of espresso with almost robotic precision. At the mere touch of a button, you get to pour yourself a shot of cafe-grade coffee complete with milk and cream in a matter of seconds.
Like any standard espresso machine, it features a portafilter into which the ground coffee is poured. This is then attached to the coffee maker below its brew head.
The button layout is relatively simple. There is a power switch and three vertically aligned buttons (for preset Espresso, cappuccino, latte) one on top of the other. Press the Espresso button once, and you get a single shot. Press it twice, you get a double shot. Press and hold on it for three seconds and you get the custom-brewing mode. In the same way, the cappuccino button can activate the froth mode, whereas the latte button allows you to trigger the cleaning mode if either of the keys are pushed in a similar manner.
You can adjust the level of foam you want in your milk using a dial on the frother. One end is for lattes while the other is for cappuccinos. Additionally, The milk reservoir attached to the machine can be easily removed and stored in the fridge if there’s any leftover milk.
There are also drip trays that slide into place, and are capable of carrying cups and glasses.
While It is great for brewing shots of regular coffee, it isn’t as consistent as you’d expect it to be under varying brewing temperatures.
It also doesn’t brew well with lightly roasted coffee beans, as plenty of reviewers have noted. In the case of such grounds, It fails to extract and mix some of the more delicate flavors so instead of a balanced sweet texture, you get a shot that’s a bit sour. However, much of the weak taste is covered up by the steamed milk.
The portafilter does gets clogged at times if very fine grounds are used, something you might also want to take note of.
If all you’re looking for is a decent coffee maker that can pull potent shots of coffee and frothed milk with extreme ease, the Cafe Barista is more than capable.
2. Delonghi Nespresso Essenza Mini
The 19 bar high-pressure pump it uses, is great at coaxing almost all of the subtle flavors from your ground coffee and delivering a premium cup of coffee in a matter of 30 seconds at best. The fast delivery time makes it perfect for you if you find yourself caught up in a rush to get to work.
It features an energy-saving mode, that can be set to turn off the machine automatically when not in use. Besides, it barely takes up any space and looks appealing enough to blend right in with the rest of your kitchen appliances. It also has a medium-sized water tank, conveniently placed in the back that makes it look less cluttered and more neat.
Some of the parts are choking hazards, so be advised to place it well out of reach of little children.
You can choose to use either grounds or coffee pods. However, the machine only accepts Nespresso coffee capsules, which is a bit of a letdown.
3. Delonghi ECP3420
The ECP3420 is a sleek and visually appealing coffee maker that is compact enough to blend right in with the rest of your kitchen furniture without looking out of place or sticking out like a sore thumb.
The 15 bar pressure pump and the manual frother combined with its 34 ounces water tank allows you to pull shots of excellent cafe beverages for a large number of people. You can brew single and double shots of espresso as you please.
The huge water tank doesn’t warrant frequent removal for refills and cleaning. The storage capacity also makes it perfect for small events and parties.
The portafilter basket has a great pressurizing system that works well with even bigger coffee grinds. The boiler only takes about 30 seconds to get the water heated, which is just enough time for you to grind the coffee, fill the portafilter and brew in case you want a double shot.
However, the more shots you pull, the harder it is for the machine to maintain a consistent brew because of the changing temperatures.
It also isn’t very capable of handling finer coffee grinds, in case you wanted your espresso a touch stronger.
Other than that, It is a very economically priced coffee maker that suits your home coffee needs as long as you make sure to use moderate grinds: a bit coarser than most, but definitely not too fine.
4. Nespresso Essenza Mini with Lungi Pour
The water tank has a 20 ounces storage capacity, perfect for home use. It also features two pour sizes: Espresso and Lungi. A single Espresso takes up about 1.35 ounces whereas a Lungi shot would be 3.73 ounces, more than double the size of an espresso.
You can program the volume of your coffee intake by effortlessly pressing the button, holding it until your required volume is reached, and then releasing it. The machine saves this volume as a default setting for future coffee shots.
The attached capsule wastebasket holds six coffee capsules. You also get a removable drip tray that holds 6-75 ounce coffee cups and glasses. You can swap the tray for a large mug of your own choice if you please.
The 19 bar pressure pump is excellent for dispensing strong shots of quality espresso. The machine heats up to an optimum coffee-making temperature in a matter seconds as soon as you turn it on and stays that way for about 9 seconds before it shuts off. You can extend the time up to 30 minutes if you wish to. However, it takes a longer time to brew if the coffee happens to be finely ground.
The Nespresso capsules are also the only capsules that the machine accepts, just like the Delonghi Mini.
All in all, it is an affordable coffee maker perfect for domestic use, is quite compact and pulls a decent espresso shot well worth its price.
5. DeLonghi EC702
The 15 bar pressure pump is excellent for brewing a decent shot of espresso at home.
What makes it great is the dual-function filter holder that allows you to use capsules/pods or ground coffee, whichever you prefer. You could use a coffee pod and get your espresso shot in no time if you’re in a hurry. If you’d rather spend some time perfecting your coffee grind and tamping it so that you can get the espresso just right, you’re more than welcome to try that too. The filter holder allows for both functions, which is a surprisingly versatile feature for an entry-level coffee machine.
The milk frother barely takes more than a minute to get the steamed milk ready to go with your shot of coffee to make a classic cappuccino.
The self-priming feature gets the coffee maker ready in an instant to brew your shot. The water tank is where the EC702 truly shines. It can hold up to 44 ounces of water. It is also conveniently placed on the side, so all you have to do is pull it out rather than lifting it up from the top when you need to clean it.
The drip tray also has a heating feature that allows you to warm your coffee cup as you prepare coffee.
6. Cuisinart EM-200
What makes it stand out is the inclusion of its frothing cup. Unlike some of the coffee machines that use steam to create the pressure needed to extract coffee flavors, the EM-200, like a lot of high-grade espresso machines uses a bar-pressure pump that allows you to get a better mix of espresso crema.
The buttons are programmable but can be manually controlled also . The steam wand has three modes: frothing, steaming, and foaming.
A transparent water reservoir attached to the back of the machine allows you to see the water level so you can tell when it’s about to run out. It also comes with a drip tray that can be conveniently removed for a quick cleaning.
The EM-200 is more than capable of accommodating both coffee pods and grinds. However, it features a portafilter that is smaller than the tamping accessory used to compact the grinds. This means that it is unlikely that the grinds are to be tamped as uniformly as you’d hope. So unless you don’t mind getting a smaller tamping tool, using a coffee pod would be a more convenient and safer alternative.
In terms of versatility, the Cuisinart is probably the best espresso machine under 200. The steam wand allows you to turn your espresso into a cappuccino by merely changing the steaming mode to frothing milk.
The EM-200 is an affordable and a fully functional coffee maker, considering the provided features. However, while it may blend right in with the rest of your kitchen counter, it’s hefty weight (25 pounds) makes it hard to move around. Even though there is an indicator on the machine that lets you know when it is turned off, it doesn’t automatically power off, which can be a problem in case the machine overheats.
7. Breville ESP8XL
The 15 bar thermo block pump allows you to brew a cafe grade espresso with amazing crema, thanks to the froth enhancer. The espresso is rich enough to make your next visit to the local coffee shop unnecessary.
It also packs a tamping tool as well as a large, removable water tank that is perfect for preparing plenty of batches of coffee (40.6 ounces) before it needs to be refilled. The drip tray is easily removable for quick cleaning.
The froth enhancer is great for making a hot cup of cappuccino that tastes just as good as the ones you would get at your nearest cafe. The dual-wall filter also allows you to extract the grounds better by offering a more precise and concentrated filtration process.
The ESP8XL is very easy to use and clean. It also accommodates ground coffee as well as regular coffee pods.
It is worth mentioning the additional milk frothing pitcher which is also included. It allows you to pour some of that excellent cream into the espresso in any pattern you want.
It is a solid budget espresso machine that is well worth a shot.
8. Capresso EC100
For a budget price, the EC100 lets you pull a hot and strong shot of espresso that doesn’t have a tinge of aluminum in it, as its design prevents the water from having direct contact with the aluminum build.
You can brew yourself a single or double shot at the touch of a button as it features two spouts for pouring your drink.
The variety of coffee beverages you can prepare with the Capresso is not limited to espressos either. It comes with a two-part frother with a steam inducing nozzle that lets you brew hot cups of latte and cappuccinos with an extra thick layer of foam.
The dual frother has a steam tube as well as a frothing sleeve. The frothing sleeve lets you hit the cup of coffee with a combination of heavy steam and air perfect for the dense foamy surface that is so desirable with cappuccinos. The steam tube, on the other hand, can be exclusively used for perfect lattes.
It has a large 46-ounce water reservoir sufficient for preparing plenty of cups before you ever have to remove it for a cleanup. There is also a stainless steel cup warming plate to ensure that your coffee doesn’t run cold.
Like a lot of ideal espresso machines, it comes with a 15 bar pressure pump perfect for extracting grounds for a good cup of espresso. You can also use coffee pods instead of grounds if that’s what you prefer.
Both the water reservoir and drip tray are removable and easy to clean. However, they aren’t compatible with dishwashers so you might have to put in a little extra effort in cleaning them with your hands.
There are also some helpful safety measures incorporated into the design. The plugging cord is short and easy to keep out of children. Also, the machine is equipped with light indicator features that tell you whether the machine is on or not.
The Capresso is a bang for your buck and definitely is included in the list of the best espresso machine under 200. It will not disappoint you as long as you don’t mind hand-washing the water tank and the drip tray every once in a while.
9. Mr.Coffee One-touch Coffeehouse
You might recall that the Mr.Coffee already has an excellent budget coffee maker: the Cafe Barista. So what exactly makes the one-touch stand out enough to be on par with the Barista, you might ask.
The truth is that both machines are similar in many ways.
Where the Coffeehouse differs from the Cafe Barista is with its automated frother that allows you to have the milk whipped automatically to create a foamy layer. This works really well if you don’t have a particular preference regarding how foamy you want your cappuccino to be. It is also convenient when you’re in a hurry and don’t have to time to froth the cappuccino by yourself. The downside to this is that if the automatic frothing doesn’t seem in tune with your taste, there isn’t much you can do about it unless you get a manual frother separately.
Unlike the Capresso EC100, it does have a cleaning cycle but not a rinse cycle, so after every cup of cappuccino you would have to go through a steady and complicated process of methodically cleaning the milk jar after you empty it.
The milk tank’s build is also rather average. However, it does have a slightly bigger storage capacity (650ml) than the Cafe Barista’s (475 ml).
The defining feature of the One Touch is the 19 bar pressure pump and the pressurized filter it uses to make espresso. This is great for extraction even with uneven coffee grounds and big tamping tools.
The control layout is rather simple and effective. You get to brew single and double shots of espresso, latte, and cappuccino.
The One Touch also requires you to prepare the espresso manually. You would have to pour the coffee grounds into the portafilter, tamp it and attach it to the machine. You would also have to clean the filter after each use.
The volume of latte drinks is comparably low sometimes, but apart from that, if you don’t mind having to clean the milk jar regularly, the quality of brew isn’t bad at all. While the filters do tend to let the water out a bit faster than you’d like, giving the coffee a slightly flat taste at times. While this is by no means intolerable, the filters could definitely be improved.
10. Nescafe Dolce Gusto Esperta 2
Like several other budget coffee makers of its kind, it also features a 15 bar pressure pump for cafe-quality crema extraction that makes it perfect for your daily domestic coffee needs.
It features an LED display screen that you can surf through, using a scroll wheel to customize your coffee to prepare several varieties from Americanos and Machiattos to Lattes and regular Cappuccinos.
Instead of coffee grounds, The Dolce Gusto favors coffee capsules, which are then extracted to produce a rich and aromatic blend of espresso. The downside here is that Nescafe’s branded coffee capsules are the only pods that the Esperta 2 is compatible with, exclusively . All things considered, this is a bit of a letdown.
Where the Esperta 2shines is the capsule sealing feature that helps preserve the rich and fresh aroma of the coffee.
While the cappuccino tastes great, there is a limit to how many cups you can make in a day (about 12 ) before the machine starts dispensing a shot with a somewhat inconsistent temperature.
The great quality of the coffee brewed is offset by a few of the limitations, namely the highly resistant water tank which is a chore to pull off for a refill and the lack of any available capsules that come along with the Dolce Gusto. You would have to order them separately even for your first time using the machine.
While it hardly is the absolute best espresso machine under 200, if you prefer quality over high functionality and do not mind buying some Nescafe coffee capsules and working a bit hard to clean out the water reservoir, the Esperta 2 should do just fine to suit your daily coffee routine.
11. Krups XP3208
It is a simple yet elegant espresso machine at a very affordable price. It might not pack a whole variety of features like a lot of other coffee makers, but it does come with all the essentials required to brew a cafe-grade cup of espresso.
The water tank has 1.5-liter storage capacity, which is just perfect for your family’s daily morning-coffee requirement. It also has a steam wand that can be used to adjust the foam level on the milk for a quality cup of latte or cappuccino as you please.
The compact design makes it easy to set on the kitchen top or your living room without being a hindrance to the rest of the utensils.
It is also low-maintenance, so besides cleaning out the water reservoir every once in a while, you barely have to worry about anything else regarding maintenance.
Like many other standard espresso models, the XP3208 uses a 15 bar pressure to churn out a rich and highly aromatic cup of strong espresso with a lovely layer of crema on top.
The steam nozzle needs to be manually controlled, so you can expect there to be a learning curve. However, once you get used to it, the manual control can actually work in your favor allowing you to perfectly brew your own cup of cappuccino the way you prefer.
You can pull out single or much stronger double shots of espresso at a go thanks to the two filters.
What’s great about the Krups is that it is very easy to use. Its operation are fairly simple with a very minimalistic control layout that comprises the on and off switches, a preheating setting and an option to switch from espresso to steam mode for the milk.
It also comes with a tamping tool that you can use to tuck the coffee grounds into a more tighter pack. This way you can ensure better extraction when the water runs through the grounds.
The only noticeable drawback is the filter that requires considerable force to get it to click into place.
If you’re looking for a purely functional, easy to use and even easier to maintain coffee maker that comes at an affordable price, the Krups XP3208 is a great choice.
12. Klarstein Bellavita 3 In 1
A beginner-friendly espresso machine, the Bellavita is equipped with a built-in frother that does a great job at letting you brew an astonishingly good cup of cappuccino or macchiato as you wish.
The only thing to note is that the machine lacks a timer so you would have to shut it down after your cup is filled, manually..
The quality of the espresso is amazing thanks to the 20 bar pressure pump that offers you excellent flavor extraction with that deep aroma every single time.
The extraction process may cause the hot water to cool down a little at times. So, it is recommended that you try warming your cup just a little bit while you’re waiting to pour your shot.
The self-cleaning cycle allows you to rinse the machine at the gentle push of a button and as soon as you do: voila! It is ready to go again.
As you can expect from a coffee machine under 200, it doesn’t come with a built-in coffee grinder, which you might have to invest in separately.
The Bellavita’s extraction works best with a medium grind that isn’t too coarse and not too fine either.
An advantage that the Bellavita has over competing espresso machines is how quiet it is. Apart from a gentle hum, the machine barely makes any noise while operating. If you find yourself craving coffee in the early hours of the morning, you can quietly slip into the kitchen and make yourself a cup of coffee without having to worry about accidentally waking your family up.
In short, the Bellavita is an excellent budget coffee maker that packs a great punch for its price and most highly recommended by most reviewers.
13. Aicook OneTouch Espresso
The Aicook One Touch does a good job of taking a lot of the work that goes into preparing a cup of coffee and doing it for you. While the silver coating does make it look as if built of metal, it is still plastic.
The control layout is fairly easy to use and just as intuitive, but the durability of the machine is questionable, given its plastic build.
Now what makes the Aicook stand out is its significantly large water and milk reservoirs, each carrying a storage capacity of 61 oz and 22oz respectively. Compared to a lot of other competing coffee makers, the storage space alone puts the Aicook in a class of its own.
As far as features go, all the basics are present here: The 15 bar pressure pump for the espresso, a thermoblock heater which primes the machine for use in a matter of 30-40 seconds (way faster than a machine that uses a boiler), and the milk jar that automatically creates froth for your cappuccino.
The seven button layout is also very convenient, with each button assigned a singular operation. This makes it a lot easier to use.
However, the Aicook, despite its ample storage and dispensing capacity and all of its useful automation features, is not without its flaws and shortcomings.
The Aicook creates the foamy milk layer and dispenses it into your cup. The shot of espresso is poured into the cup to make a cappuccino. It should actually be the other way around. The froth should be added to the espresso. That’s the traditional way of making a cappuccino.
The espresso tastes a bit average, but this is usually hard to tell in the case of a cup of cappuccino or latte because the taste is usually masked by the milk.
If you’re willing to overlook the questionable build quality and rather unconventional method of brewing coffee beverages in favour of storage and easy operation, the Aicook could work well for you. If not, however, there are still plenty of other options to choose from.
14. Delonghi ECO310
It accommodates both ESE coffee pods as well as ground coffee. If you’re using grounds, then you get to choose between a single or double shot. A double shot is called a two cup. The filter holder has two drip holes that you can use to fill up two cups of coffee at the same time.
What makes it great for cappuccinos is the pannarello frothing wand that can be used to adjust the steamed milk to make it as frothy as you wish.
Brewing a decent cup of espresso on this machine does have a learning curve. While the 15 bar pressure pump does a great job at extracting the coffee grounds, getting the ground and the tamp just right, takes some time getting used to. However, the built-in tamper does significantly make things easier for you.
The three button layout is simple to use, but figuring out the controls for the first time can be a chore. Once you get the hang of it though, you’ll find that it is super intuitive.
Unless you want to end up with a lukewarm cup of espresso, you would have to pour a round of water before you add the grounds into the portafilter. It would be best if you also cleaned up the espresso machine after each use or else the drip can get uneven, and the frothing wand may not work as efficiently.
All of that is to point out the fact that you can make a great cup of espresso with the ECO310, you just need the time, and the patience to learn how. The automated features can only help you so much.
At the top of the machine is a warming surface to keep your cups warm. The removable drip tray is also perfectly dishwasher safe, so you don’t have to worry about having to clean it up every single day by yourself.
Just as low-maintenance and easy to clean is the water tank that comes with a storage capacity of up to 48ounce, which is pretty solid. It also has a handle that makes it easier to remove for quick refills and washing.
However, the built-in tamper is inconveniently located in the filter, thus making the process of applying pressure a whole lot difficult for you. The ECO310 can also be a bit noisy, so if you’re prone to waking up at midnight for a cup of coffee, this could be a problem.
The ECO310 has a lot to offer. The ESE pod compatibility makes it perfect for brewing a quick cup in your morning rush to get to work. The steam wand lets you experiment with different espresso varieties. Sure it has its flaws, but if you’re a casual coffee enthusiast who isn’t too picky about your beverages, it is definitely worth a shot.
15. Capresso Ultima Pro
It features a 15 bar pressure pump and an automatic tamper built into the portafilter that compresses the coffee grounds for you without the need for any intervention on your part.
You can pull single or double shots of espresso from the machine in varying cup sizes, and all you have to do is press the programmable buttons which are remarkably easy to use.
It also comes with a powerful steam wand for brewing a rich blend of cappuccino.
The stainless steel build is one of the things that make the Ultima Pro stand apart from the rest of the coffee machines. It promises a sturdy and uncompromising stance on your kitchen counter and is durable enough to last you several years.
The thermoblock allows for the machine to heat up and get ready to brew in a matter of seconds.
Pouring yourself a cup of coffee from the Ultima Pro is incredibly simple. First of all, choose whether you want a double or a single shot. All you have to do is press and hold the respective button until the cup fills up to the required volume, which is when you lock it at that setting.
The water tank is removable but only has a storage capacity of about 34 ounces, perfect for domestic use.
The self tamping feature is great in making your task easier for you. With minimal effort, you can get your coffee grounds compressed nice and easily and brew a strong and aromatic cup of espresso in no time without having to fret about the tamping.
The downside to it is that the portafilter can get slightly loose at the sides and some reviewers have reported occurrences of leaking.
So all in all, it has a high-pressure steam wand that froths a mean cup of cappuccino, the self tamper is great for lightening your workload when it comes to preparing shots of espresso, and it just so happens to be affordably priced.
If all you require it for is making coffee at home, then it is a great choice for you as long as you don’t mind regularly cleaning out the compact size water tank daily.
Best Espresso Machines Under $200 – Your pick?
So that’s it, folks. Those are our top 15 picks for the best espresso machine under 200. If you’re a coffee lover who’s tired of visiting the nearest cafe every day for a premium grade cup of espresso, you might want to consider getting an espresso machine for yourself.
A lot of them are incredibly easy to set up and even easier to use. They can save you the hassle of getting up every morning and taking the time and energy to brew a cup of coffee on your stovetop. You also wouldn’t have to worry about waking up too late and missing your daily cup of coffee in your rush to get to work.
What’s even better is that a lot of these espresso machines are very economically priced and durable enough to last you a very long time. You could also easily save yourself a lot of money that you would normally have spent at the local coffee shop.
What more? You get to be your own barista. Now, how’s that for a change?