Do you love a strong espresso shot or a cup of cappuccino in the morning but hate the monthly cost? If your answer is yes, we can recommend the perfect solution without messing up your monthly budget.
A decent cafe-quality espresso machine should be your savior of the day, but it costs a lot. So, the best espresso machines under 200 are the closest things we could find under a budget.
Besides reviewing of some best possible products within 200 bucks, we will also tell you about some other items. Those items (or you can call them accessories) along with the machine, will almost be the same experience as the real drink.
Here are our top recommended affordable espresso machines:
⇒ Best overall: De’Longhi Essenza Mini
- 19-bar pressure
- Compact size
- Hot water under 30 sec.
- 2 programmable espresso
De’Longhi Essenza Mini is fast, powerful, and compact, making it the allrounder coffee machine.
⇒ Best 3 in 1: Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- 15-bar pressure
- 3 in 1 espresso maker
- Long cord
- Intuitive control panel
Mr. Coffee is offering such features that you can only find in expensive models from other manufacturers.
⇒ Best budget: SOWTECH Espresso Machine
- 5 bar pressure
- 4 cups
- Steam Milk Frother
- Glass Carafe
SOWTECH Espresso Machine is the best budget model that offers more than just espresso.
The Best Espresso Machine Accessories You May Need
- Greater Goods Digital Pocket Scale
- Vencino Coffee Tamper
- Osaka Knock Box
- Urnex Tabz Coffee Brewer Cleaning Tablets
- Rattleware Latte Art Milk Frothing Pitcher
What Is Espresso?
An espresso is a form of coffee that is one of the most popular beverages. Its origin is in Italy, and the process makes espresso a lot different than a simple cup of coffee. So, you can say that all espresso is coffee, but all coffee is not espresso.
The process involves a certain amount of finely-ground coffee and nearly boiling water. It starts with the water being forced through the ground under very high pressure. As a result, the extraction contains a rich flavor and aroma without the ground particles.
As the brewing time of espresso is less than making coffee, it contains less acid and the unpleasant taste of the coffee. Nonetheless, speed won’t affect the amount of caffeine one can get from a cup of coffee.
What are the types of Espresso Machines?
Different techniques divide all of the espresso machines into three main groups. There are subdivisions, too, and let’s talk about the types in short.
⇒Steam: Espresso machines using steam pressure has the simplest construction of all. These are affordable, but steam is the least preferable way of brewing. The reasons are its low-pressure and high-heat features that deteriorate the taste of the espresso.
⇒Manual: For those who want to become a barista must use manual machines. It is because you can do experiments by controlling the pressure, flow rate, and pre-infusion time. Moreover, the lack of electrical circuits makes them the most durable models.
⇒Automatic: The last and most popular type is the automatic espresso machines. From inexpensive to very expensive, you will find all kinds of models in this category. It also varies depending on the functionalities and capabilities.
Among all of the types, this one is capable of providing the highest pressure possible without powerful pumps.
There are three types of Automatic Espresso coffee machine –
a) A semi-automatic machine can only provide the high-pressure hot water and pass the water through the grounds. So, you will be responsible for the other parts of the process, which is close to a manual machine.
b) An automatic machine is better as it ensures the exact amount of water every time. So, you can fill the tank with water, put freshly ground coffee, and the machine makes sure a perfect shot of espresso without your supervision.
c) In the fully-automatic machines, you only need to put the coffee beans and water in the machine. The espresso maker automatically grinds the beans, measures it, temps, and runs hot pressurized water through the portafilter.
That’s enough info, for now, to get familiarized with the espresso machine types. So, let’s jump right into the reviews.
5 Best espresso machines under 200 dollars Review
What We Like
- Good pump pressure
- Very fast
- Energy saving
Specs At A Glance
- Pump Pressure: 19 bars
- Water Tank: 20.3 oz.
- Power: 120V
- Body Material: Plastic
- Weight: 4.35 pounds
Considering the best espresso machine under 200, we think you can’t get a more reliable and capable model than this one. It is fast and has a good design that can provide you a satisfying cup of coffee.
Faster brewing ability of this model is possible because of the 19-bar pump pressure and good-quality heating element. The heating unit can reach the desired temperature within 30 seconds.
We know that time is a luxury in our busy schedule, and that is why the machine supports pre-ground capsules. Inside the package, you will find complimentary Nespresso Original capsules to get started right away.
Also, you will get two programmable options where one is for the espresso shot, and another is for lungo. You can choose any of the drink by pressing a button that anyone can understand.
Moreover, it saves energy, too, as the internal timer sets the machine off after only 9 minutes of inactivity. Its brand-new elegant design can match your kitchen décor, and it won’t take much space either.
So, is this the best bet?
Yes, within the budget, getting 8 or 9 cups of coffee is a great deal for small families or singles. One can wake up late and still have a cup of coffee within a minute or two.
Summary: Those who are don’t have a lot of time to prepare an espresso shot must get this model. The capsules and easy-to-use options will save you a lot of time and money every day. We had to reconsider the body material as the taste matters most. However, don’t worry about durability as the body is strong enough to provide espresso for years.
+ Quick brewing
+ 2 espresso options
+ Energy saving
+ Compact size
– Plastic body
What We Like
- Large water tank
- One-touch control
- Good quality
- Steam wand
Specs At A Glance
- Pump Pressure: 15 bars
- Water Tank: 55 oz.
- Power: 120V
- Body Material: Stainless Steel
- Weight: 10.37 pounds
Even with more options and attractive features, we couldn’t agree to declare as the best espresso maker. There are 3 reasons for such a decision. You can’t get as much pressure as the top-pick, a quick cup of coffee, and poor wand quality.
But still, it can generate more than enough pressure for brewing, which is 15-bar. Using a good-quality grinder and your frothing skills, you can improve the taste significantly.
Why are we considering this model?
The main beneficiary of this model is the medium families or small offices with more demands. Its large water tank of 55 oz. will provide more cups of coffee than other models on the list.
On the other hand, this unit comes with a 26′ long cord that is helpful to place it in a suitable position. Also, durability is a concern for budget models, and Mr. Coffee has made sure that its stainless-steel body can serve for years without any problem.
Cleaning and maintaining this unit are easy as you can remove the water tank, portafilter, and other parts easily. The manufacturer doesn’t’ recommend dishwashing, but you can use cleaning tablets to perform the cleaning quickly. Check out our list of accessories, and you will find the tablets we are talking about.
Summary: Under the price range of this model, you can’t get a better performing 3-in1 espresso machine. So, if you love latte and cappuccino along with espresso, you can rely on this model. It is no doubt that Mr. Coffee should improve the quality of the wand. At the same time, it is also true that we couldn’t find a better-quality wand under 200 bucks.
+ Durable body
+ Easy to use
+ One-Touch control panel
+ Good quality milk frother
– Frothing ability is not satisfactory
What We Like
- Single knob control
- Steam wand
- No temperature loss
- Compact design
Specs At A Glance
- Pump Pressure: 3.5 bars
- Water Tank: 8.5 oz.
- Power: 120V
- Body Material: Plastic, SS
- Weight: 4.99 pounds
SOWTECH Espresso Machine is a steam-method espresso maker, and naturally, it can’t provide more than 3.5 bars of pressure. That is the main downside of this model, and it is acceptable for its price tag.
Some of you might have got excited seeing its price from Amazon. If you are seriously considering buying this model, we won’t demotivate you for some reason. Think about the benefits and its ability to meet your requirements.
Despite the low steam pressure, you can still get a decent cup of coffee, latte, or cappuccino. Using the steam wand, you can get the foam exactly as you like.
Even with its small water tank, it is possible to get up to 4 cups of espresso at once. After the brewing capacity, let’s talk about its durability. The body parts have a combination of stainless steel and plastic to ensure longevity.
On the other hand, we expected SS carafe, which is the norm for low-price models. But surprisingly, SOWTECH is offering good quality glass carafe. It can keep the coffee warm for some time.
Summary: Durability, easy-to-use, time-saving are the main benefits of this best budget model from SOWTECH. For singles without too many expectations about the espresso quality can consider it. You have already known that steam machines have some limitations. So, we had to accept it as it is a trade-off between capability and money.
+ Strong body
+ Good tasting coffee
+ easy to operate and clean
– Small water tank size
– Not enough pump pressure
The following two models are very popular among espresso lovers, but we couldn’t place them in our top list for some reason.
Breville-Nespresso Pixie is one of the most desired and a great espresso machine under 200. But it has a flaw in making frustrating noise while brewing. The sound is not so loud, but it is enough for not recommending it.
Other than that, this can make great cups of espresso as our selected allrounder model. Its fast-brewing ability is possible for the quick heating mechanism and high 19-bar pressure.
The capsules with pre-ground coffee have a different and unique aroma that you will love. Inside the package, you will find some complimentary capsules to do a test-run almost immediately.
One of the biggest advantages of this one is that you can easily carry it around. Check it out on Amazon, and you will see a practical design with carrying handle. At the same time, check the reviews and make a decision.
Just like the Pixie, we couldn’t recommend Inissia strongly for its durability issue. Lots of users complained about its poor build-quality, and Breville should seriously look into it.
Comparing Nespresso Pixie vs. Inissia, you will see that the specifications are the same. So, Inissia’s low-price tag can only explain the flaw we are talking about.
Now, it is not all bad as there are some impressive features under its hood. With quick heating under 25 seconds and high pump pressure, you will be able to get a shot in the morning even if you are in a hurry.
Use a capsule, press a button for either espresso or lungo, and get it within a minute or two.
If you are new using automatic espresso machines, you can get this one as it is fairly easy to use. Also, the package includes 14 recyclable capsules to let you start experimenting right away.
Key Features Of The Best Espresso Machine Under 200
While choosing the best home espresso machine under 200, we considered the following parameters. You can make a checklist based on the data below and find the most suitable model that can meet your requirements.
The first feature is one of the most significant ones for espresso shots. Another one is the grinding quality, but that is not the concern here as the espresso machines under 200 dollars don’t have grinders.
⇒What does pump pressure mean?
Pump pressure means the water pressure created by the pump inside the machine. For better understanding, you know that the atmosphere we live in has 1 bar pressure, and the pump creates more. This much pressure brews in the shortest time possible to ensure less acidic flavor.
⇒So, how many bars are good for an espresso machine?
9-bar pressure is the minimum requirement for the best espresso shots. We have selected models that can deliver from 15 to 19 bar pressure.
However, there’s an exception for the steam espresso machines. These models use steam to make espresso, and it can’t produce much pressure like the other models.
After the pump pressure, brewing capacity is the second most important factor. It is directly dependent on the water tank capacity of the machine. Larger tanks can offer more cups of coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino, or lungo.
Now, check the specs of the machine and see whether it can deliver according to your requirement or not. On another note, we are reviewing single-serve espresso and coffee machine and set your needs accordingly. Under 200 bucks, you won’t find a decent double-serve machine.
Latte and Cappuccino Options
All of the models we are reviewing are capable of making espresso shots almost perfectly. But some models can also help to make latte or cappuccino as they come with a steam wand for frothing.
The wand releases hot steam in the milk so that the milk gets hot and prepared for the drink. It also injects high-pressure air in the milk to make tight microfoams and ensure a creamy texture.
A lot of our friends live in small apartments in the cities with tight kitchen spaces. So, the dimension can be an important matter where space is a luxury for them. Before you buy your chosen one, finalize a spot in your kitchen.
Then, measure the spot and compare it with the dimension of the top-rated espresso machines under 200 that you have selected. If there is at least a 2-inch gap on the sides and the back, you can go for it. Otherwise, you will go insane rearranging appliances.
Looks and dimensions of an espresso machine are significant. Also, keep the material quality in mind as the durability and taste of the coffee depend a lot on it. We know that one can’t expect much from a budget machine, but you should give time to research to find the best model possible within the budget.
Metal parts are always preferable, but you can also go with the plastic ones if you don’t have a choice. In that case, read the customer reviews and make sure that the plastic doesn’t have BPA or change the taste of the drink.
Depending on the brewing method, some models are easy to use, and some are not. We have already talked about the types of espresso machines. The models we have listed in this article are automatic, and anyone can get a cup of coffee just by pressing a button.
Cleaning and maintaining an espresso machine take a lot of time, and it can be difficult in some models. If your selected model comes with a self-cleaning feature, it will save you some time. Otherwise, make sure that you maintain a slot in your schedule to clean it regularly.
What Else Will You Need For Brewing?
Apart from the machine, you will also need a burr grinder and some accessories. Here, we have gathered a complete set to get the real feel of the espresso-making process.
Espresso is not a simple drink; it is the experience of the whole process.
1. The first item is a burr grinder that you must buy unless you are comfortable with pre-ground Nespresso capsules. According to espresso experts, one of the best grinders under 500 bucks is the Baratza Sette 270 Conical Burr Coffee Grinder. But if you want something cheaper, we can suggest you Kalita coffee Mill KH-3 Retro one, which is a manual grinder. This Japanese piece of beauty can help you become the in-house barista.
2. The second item is a tamper that distributes, compresses, and levels the ground for the ultimate espresso shot. There are some very expensive models, but you can’t get a better one than the Vencino Coffee Tamper under 10 bucks.
3. Nest, you can get a Silicone Coffee Tamper Mat, which will help you not making a mess while taming the ground.
4. Then, consider a small pocket scale to measure the ground precisely. With 0.1g precision, you will be able to customize the taste as you want as a professional. For just over 10 bucks, you can rely on the GreaterGoods Digital Pocket Scale.
5. In real life, it is impossible to take out the puck of coffee grounds without making a mess. It can be the perfect breathing ground for germs, and you need something to dispose of the puck safely. So, check out the Osaka Knock Box that has an antibacterial body and shock absorbent property.
6. The next items are the shot-measurement glasses and comfortable-to-hold cups. Here, we can recommend Espresso Shot Glass from BCnmviku and JoyJolt Savor Double Wall Insulated Glasses Espresso Mugs.
7. As a barista, you need to improve your skills to create latte art, and the Rattleware Latte Art Milk Frothing Pitcher can help you with that.
8. Finally, get a microfiber cloth and Urnex Tabz Coffee Brewer Cleaning Tablets for cleaning and maintaining the machine. The cloth can clean the counter spills and the machine after washing. For safe washing, we recommend cleaning tablets that leave no residue or don’t change the taste of the drink afterward.
We couldn’t talk about grinders in detail for some limitations. So, you can read our article on how to choose the best grinder.
How To Brew Using The Best Pump Espresso Machine Under 200
From our espresso machine reviews under 200, you have already known that there are some limitations. One needs to arrange the water and pre-ground coffee to get a cup of espresso.
The fastest option involves using a Nespresso capsule, and the slowest one requires grinding the beans by yourself. If you are familiar with the processes, you can skip to our FAQ section and read our verdict at the end.
- Firstly, read the owner manual and see whether the model accepts capsules and which brand. Buy the pre-ground coffee capsules, and there are different flavors.
- On top of the model, you will see a port to insert the capsule.
- After putting the aluminum pod, closing the lid, pour water into the tank.
- Then, turn the machine on and wait for some time to heat the water.
- Finally, press the button for espresso or lungo (if it is available), and enjoy the espresso.
If your machine comes with a steam wand, you can arrange frothed milk and make a cup of latte or cappuccino.
- Firstly, fill the water tank of your machine and let it warm the water to the boiling point while you grind the beans.
- Secondly, put the beans into the grinder and turn it on if it’s an automatic one. For manual machines, keep rotating the handle of the grinder until you get enough powder to make a shot.
- Then, lay the freshly ground coffee in the portafilter and tamp using our recommended tamper. It is important to compress the ground and make sure that there is no air in between the particles.
- Place the portafilter basket to its place, and press the button for an espresso shot. At this point, the espresso maker passes the water through the ground at very high pressure.
- Finally, placing your shot glass under the dispenser, you will see that the espresso is slowly but steadily pouring down.
After the last drop, have a sip and enjoy the taste of freshly ground coffee to start the day perfectly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many bars are good for an espresso machine?
Ans: It is widely accepted that 9 bars of pressure are perfect for making espresso.
Is an automatic milk frother important?
Ans: Yes, it is important to get the perfect texture of milk for a cup of cappuccino or latte.
Can I Use Vinegar to Descale my Espresso Machine?
Ans: Yes, you can use Vinegar to descale your espresso machine but make sure that you are following the user instruction from the manufacturer. Otherwise, you may use stronger solutions mistakenly and damage the parts in the process.
Our Verdict (Must Read)
All we can say that the best espresso machines under 200 can only serve a high-quality coffee and the not perfect espresso. If you have tested classic shots, you can tell the difference immediately.
Now, you may wonder whether to spend on a machine with such warnings. But don’t hesitate as you can consider such budget models to adapt the brewing process and invest in something expensive later.
Also, it is the perfect option to choose between freshly ground or pre-ground coffee beans. Those who are not looking for perfection and prefer a faster solution, then they must go for one of the best automatic espresso machines under 200.
I’m Louis Huynh & I’m the guy behind COFFEE MINISTER. In my blog, I share my expertise and help you with your coffee-struggles. I can read coffee like the back of my hand and brew it like it is in coffee shops.