As a matter of fact, you can only get the best-quality espresso machines with a budget of more than 800 bucks. Now, the curious minds want to know whether getting the best espresso machine under 200 is a total waste of money or not.
All models on the market are not capable of providing sufficient pump pressure, maintain the right temperature, and last long. So, we researched a lot and finalized 4 different models in 4 different categories so that your investment doesn't get wasted.
In this article, you will get to know about the best semi-automatic espresso machines under $200, Nespresso models, and portable ones along with the brewing process. Here, knowing about the proper brewing method is important to get the results like high-end machines. So, let's start the review without further ado.
Jump Ahead To
- Espresso Machine Accessories You May Need
- Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?
- Types Of Top-Rated Espresso Machines Under 200
- Product Review Of The Best Espresso Machines Under 200
- 01. Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker - Best Overall
- 02. Breville-Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine - Runner-Up
- 03. AmazonBasics Espresso Machine and Milk Frother - Best Budget
- 04. STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine - Best Portable
- 05. Nespresso Essenza Mini Original Espresso Machine by De'Longhi
- 06. De'Longhi EC155 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- What To Consider Before Buying The Best Espresso Machine Under 200
- How To Make Perfect Shots Using The Best Espresso Machine Under $200
- How Do You Get Perfect Crema In Espresso?
Espresso Machine Accessories You May Need
GreaterGoods Digital Pocket Scale
Vencino Coffee Tamper
Espresso Steaming Pitcher 12 oz
51mm portafilter basket
Mueller Ultra-Grind Conical Burr Grinder
Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?
You might wonder why we are talking about the strength of the drink instead of talking about the models. It is relevant as the answer will let you set the priorities straight.
If you love small shots with thick, dark, creamy, and syrupy texture, espresso is the best option. On the other hand, a cup of coffee contains more caffeine than a small shot of espresso, making it convenient for night-time lovers.
But a cup of coffee doesn't contain as much caffeine as the same amount of espresso. So, espresso is the winner in both categories meaning espresso is stronger than coffee. Now, think whether you like to start your day with a strong or lighter punch and decide accordingly.
Types Of Top-Rated Espresso Machines Under 200
From the best espresso machine brands and a price tag of only 200 bucks, you won't get a lot of options. In this espresso machine reviews under 200, we have talked about 4 different types of espresso coffee machines.
These are the machines that require you to grind the coffee beans separately. Some are even less helpful as you have to froth the milk and control the water flow manually. Depending on the price, the number of features and functions vary.
Such machines are capable of extracting coffee from pods or capsules containing pre-ground coffee. However, some expensive models also support freshly ground coffee along with Nespresso pods.
The most inexpensive full-functional models fall in the steam-operated espresso machine category. One big downside of this type is that it can't produce more than 3.5 bars of pressure, which are not sufficient to make a refreshing shot of espresso.
Manual espresso machines are lightweight and portable with the necessary features of high-end models. It requires your physical strength to achieve the expected pressure. Also, this type of machine can't heat the water itself.
So, which is the right type according to your needs? Now, let's see the best model that falls into your favorite category.
Product Review Of The Best Espresso Machines Under 200
01. Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker - Best Overall
A 3-in-1 function, large water tank, removable drip tray, easy one-touch control, and powerful pump are the factors that made this one the best espresso machine under 200 dollars. There are other less time-consuming models on the list, but we love this one for its features to help bring out the barista in you.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista comes with lots of useful features and functions that help learners. With this machine, you have to ground the coffee yourself, prepare the portafilter, and froth milk.
Pressure, temperature control, and frothing are automatic processes, but perfecting other parts can surely train you to be a 65% professional barista. Its powerful 1040watt heating equipment can make 55 ounces of water ready within 3 minutes.
Besides, the front panel has large buttons to choose from an automatic or manual, double or single shot, and 3 different beverage options. The machine is more convenient as the water tank, and the milk reservoir is removable.
So, you can fill the water tank without making a mess and store the unused milk in the refrigerator. Within the package, a measuring scoop and tamper are given to save you some money on accessories.
So, is this the top espresso machine under 200?
Yes, it is, and thousands of users think the same. Within our budget range, there is no other more capable and durable 3-in-1 machine than this one. If you love espresso a lot and want to taste expert shots at your home, this is the machine to choose from. Read the customer reviews, and it might be the one to make you café-independent.
Summary: You don't need to do guesswork with Café Barista as it has automatic milk frother and a pump capable of 15-bar pressure. Its easy-to-use one-touch control panel will let you practice making espresso, cappuccino, or latte at home.
Special Note: For perfectionists, this is a major design issue that needs to be fixed by Mr. Coffee. However, it won't cause you major problems brewing coffee. Besides, another issue is its heating time that can take almost 3 minutes. If you grind the coffee beans in that waiting period, the time won't be a waste. So, we recommend you keep it in your shortlist and make a final move.
02. Breville-Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine - Runner-Up
Nespresso Essenza Mini from Breville is also a great choice for its fast and hassle-free brewing mechanism. Its compact size, powerful pump providing 19 bars of pressure, 25-sec heating, and auto-shutoff feature are great for busy persons. Those are the reasons that make it the best pump espresso machine under 200.
But it couldn't make it to the top because of some reason. Firstly, the machine only accepts pods with pre-ground coffee. So, the taste of the espresso is not like the freshly ground ones.
Secondly, there are not many options such as cappuccino, latte, double or single shot, etc. For the same price, you can get more versatile models like our top pick.
So, should I even consider it?
Yes, you should, as the coffee critics, are not so mad at the quality of the Breville espresso machines. To get a decent cup of espresso reliably and quickly, you won't get a better option than this machine.
Brewing in this coffee maker is comparatively easy as you only have to load a pod, fill the water tank, and wait a minute. Pressing one of the two buttons on top of it, you can get either a small shot of espresso or a 5 ounce shot of lungo.
Its pod-holder can store up to 6 used pods. So, you can get up late in the morning, and still have a strong shot without worrying about the dumping the used pod or shutting it down. If you own a small apartment, it will be perfect for its 3.3(W) x 12.9(H) x 8(D) dimension.
Summary: 19 bars of pressure, 25-second heat-up time, 20.29-ounce removable water tank, 9-min auto-shutoff, and compact design are the main factors people love Essenza Mini as one of the best espresso makers under 200. So, if you like a small reliable and low-maintenance espresso maker, this will be the right choice for you.
Special Note: It surely costs some money to buy refill pods every day, but the cost is way less than cafés. Also, we couldn't complain about its lack of latte and cappuccino options because of the compact design.
03. AmazonBasics Espresso Machine and Milk Frother - Best Budget
We are already in the domain of the budget-friendly espresso makers, but some of us want to spend even less. So, we found AmazonBasics Espresso Machine and Milk Frother that has all the basic features to brew espresso, cappuccino, and latte.
However, we don't want to sugarcoat it. Cheap things come with cheap build-quality and flimsy materials, and this is not an exception. As there is no automatic brewing option, you have to do some trial-and-error to get things right.
Also, you can't depend on the scoop and tamper that comes with the package. Check out our accessory's list to buy high-end accessories for hassle-free brewing. Another important thing is that there is no auto-shutoff feature. So, you can't really do other things while the machine is working.
Now, who can get benefited from this espresso maker with milk frother?
We have already admitted that this is not the high-end espresso machine. But it still has some appeal to the low-budget customers who want to experience the brewing method. If you have zero experience around espresso, cappuccino, or latte, this will be the ideal model to get started.
Summary: It is a wonder that you can get 15 bars of pressure, steam wand with control-knob, large water tank, and removable drip tray within a very low price. Apart from the build quality, you will love the overall performance of the AmazonBasics Espresso Machine.
Special Note: We could guess the complaint miles away right after seeing the product. For the price, we couldn't blame the manufacturer. But there is another option with better build quality but only 3.5 bar pressure. Check out Espresso Machine 3.5 Bar 4 Cup Espresso Maker that has all the functionalities of this AmazonBasics model.
04. STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine - Best Portable
Do you love personally brewed espresso so much that you wish you could bring the gear while traveling? Your wish can be a reality with the help of STARESSO Portable Espresso Machine.
It has the ability to generate 15 to 20 bars of pressure depending on your pressing strength. The modular design of this manual high-quality espresso machine can mimic the results of the top 2 models on the list. Its design without compromising the brewing quality gave it the reddot design award in 2016.
Do you know what the best part is?
STARESSO supports both freshly ground coffee and Nespresso pods so that every traveler can conveniently carry it. The machine weighs only 0.97 pounds and can hold up to 80ml of water.
Who should go for this portable model?
You can keep it in your kitchen, take it out while camping, traveling, or use it while working in the office. Such a low-budget model is also convenient and a good alternative to the AmazonBasics Espresso Machine.
Summary: Lightweight, compact and cylindrical modular design, 15-20 bars of pressure, and BPA-free material are what make it ideal for backpackers or office workers. Also, Nespresso pods and easy-cleaning features can give you quick espresso or other sweet drinks of your preference.
Special Note: Heat the water up to 215-degree Fahrenheit and transfer it to the water reservoir. In this way, the heat loss while transferring won't affect the quality of the espresso.
05. Nespresso Essenza Mini Original Espresso Machine by De'Longhi
De'Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini is the best-rated espresso maker compared to the Breville Essenza Mini. But we couldn't make it to the top list for some reason.
Both machines have the same features, but De'Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini is slightly slower at heating the water and takes more space than the Breville one.
Those are negligible concerns, and that is why we recommend this De'Longhi model with the same priority. If space is not an issue for you, this one can be a better option.
06. De'Longhi EC155 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
We didn't want to talk about this model for some serious flaws in design and quality. But its popularity and praise-worthy features offered under 100 bucks made us rethink.
If you don't mind the small space supporting only shot glasses, you can consider this as one of the best home espresso machines. The 15-bar pressure system with a steam wand will let you prepare espresso, cappuccino, or latte effortlessly.
However, don't get too excited because there is no automatic brewing option or auto-shutoff feature. So, the espresso maker needs your undivided attention while running.
What To Consider Before Buying The Best Espresso Machine Under 200
An authentic shot of espresso demands perfection in multiple sectors. From water to brew-timing, all steps must be orchestrated in a timely manner without compromising quality.
The reality is that you can't maintain such perfection in the best espresso machines under 200. Scrolling down some more, you will see how to make up those compromises with techniques and accessories. So, instead of buying consideration regarding a perfect espresso machine, let's talk about the main factors for inexpensive models.
Firstly, the pressure is important for brewing espresso, and most of our reviewed models have 15 bars or more pressure. Only the steam-operated one has 3.5-bar pressure, which does the job.
Powerful machines can heat the water within 30 or 40 seconds and feature warm plates. But cheaper models can take longer to be ready and underheat the water.
Some brewers come with a single shot or double shot, espresso or cappuccino or latte, clean, steam control, or other functions, and some do not. If you need those functionalities badly, you should choose a model accordingly.
The number of cups a brewer can brew at a time is the brewing capacity. Check out the water tank capacity to get an idea about how frequently you need to refill the tank to match the demand.
Not all of the espresso machines can brew cappuccino, latte, or other drinks. So, you must get a versatile model similar to the top pick if you love different beverages.
Maintaining and cleaning can take a lot of time for versatile models that offer milk frothing too. Those who have a busy schedule and can't make time for regular cleaning should go for a portable or simple espresso model.
Some other factors, like auto-shutoff, auto-brew, etc. can make your life easier. We know that all models come with BPA-free materials and safety features, but you should double-check them before buying.
How To Make Perfect Shots Using The Best Espresso Machine Under $200
We all know that there are some differences between espresso machines under 200 and other expensive models. Those differences make the espresso taste different, and you can realize it in the first sip.
Adding some good-quality accessories to your buying list can do the trick. So, let's get to know how you can get the results like high-end machines even after using a budget-friendly model.
- Firstly, a grinder is the most important part, and you can check out this Mueller model for the best results.
- Next, get a 51mm portafilter basket that has a single stainless-steel wall. You should choose the basket that fits your espresso machine.
- Now, buy a decent tamper that can help you put enough pressure on the ground.
- After that, get a frothing pitcher to dispense milk and practice the artwork.
When you have those accessories in your hand along with the espresso brewer, you can watch some YouTube videos on dialing in the shots and temperature surfing. Those tutorials will help you make great shorts consistently.
As there are no preinfusion modes, you should turn the brew mode without the ground for a second and turn it off for a second before starting the brewing process. Finally, prepare some shots in your machine and make little adjustments to achieve perfection.
How Do You Get Perfect Crema In Espresso?
The perfect crema in an espresso shot is considered not too thick or thin, which is tough for a lot of people to achieve. Let's see how you can get closer to the perfect crema following 5 simple steps.
- Firstly, you have to source the freshly roasted coffee beans. Don't let it sit more than 24 hours after roasting to get the best results.
- Secondly, use almost 30 pounds of pressing force to tamp the ground so that there are no gaps or air between the particles.
- Thirdly, don't rely on the cheap espresso makers as they can't maintain the factors to perfectly extract the drink.
- Fourthly, use a timer to see whether the shots are coming after approximately 25 seconds. If you have maintained the third step properly and ground the coffee perfectly, it will take about 25 seconds to come out. Otherwise, change the grind settings to match the timing.
- Finally, avoid tap water, and arrange clean and filtered water for the perfect crema. Water plays a big role in the effects and taste of the espresso.
How many BARs of pressure is good for espresso?
Anything above 9 bars of atmospheric pressure is good enough to make espresso.
Is 15-bar pressure enough for espresso?
Yes, 15-bar pressure is enough because any machine producing more than 9 bars of pressure is considered ideal for espresso.
What are the 3 layers of a shot of espresso called?
The 3 layers of a shot of espresso are called crema, body, and heart, where crema is the top layer, the body in the middle, and the heart is the bottom.
How long will espresso keep you awake?
The effect of an espresso shot varies from person to person, and it depends on several factors. All things aside, if your body takes about 5 hours to remove 50% of the caffeine from an espresso shot, you may stay awake for about 7 or 8 hours.
Can any coffee be used for espresso?
Yes, you can use any coffee beans to make espresso, but the taste varies depending on the quality of the bean. The experts recommend using dark roasts so that you don't have to experience sour, funky, and tart taste from the shot.
What is the best espresso coffee brand?
Death Wish Coffee Company has one of the best dark roast ground coffee for espresso. There are many other brands that also make markets freshly ground good-quality coffee where Lavazza Kicking Horse Coffee are some notable ones.
Best espresso machines under 200 are perfect for beginners to practice or espresso lovers with a low budget. Here, we have included Nespresso models thinking of the requirements of busy people.
But you should choose the best overall model to get better tasting shots. Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker are also great for latte and cappuccino, making it the best home espresso machine under 200.
We hope that you have found a model as per your needs from our espresso cappuccino machine reviews. Finally, maintaining our guidelines to get the best out of the model, you won't feel regret buying a budget-friendly coffee maker.