Ah, espresso, otherwise known as the sweet nectar from the gods. To some, it’s just a beverage you down in the morning to get you charged up for work, while to others, it is almost as valuable as water when it comes to sustaining life. If you fall in the latter, then you know that this precious drink needs to be savored in all its glory.
You expect to get that dark, robust, high-intensity flavored beverage, topped by a distinct layer of foam at the top. Well, for this, you are going to need an espresso machine. Traditionally, only the top one percent could own such equipment, but thanks to all things science, now you can get a pretty decent espresso machine at just under 200 bucks.
Despite their surprising levels of affordability, these machines are still able to deliver a high-quality espresso. The $200 price tag is kind of like a sweet spot between the low-end machines and the more expensive models. With this, they are able to afford a pretty decent array of features, enough to live up to your expectations.
They are made easy to use and will often feature a variety of brewing options you can use to personalize your experience. These include capsule models, where you insert your beans as capsules, and automatic models, which basically do all the work for you.
But before you go spending your hard-earned money on the first machine that gives out some dark liquid, you need to look for affordable deals. Well, that is what we are here for. Below are some of the best espresso machine under 200 you’ll find out there.
Best Espresso Machine Under $200 Reviews in 2022
Espresso Machine 3.5 Bar 4 Cup Espresso Maker
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Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine
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Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso
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De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine
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Gevi Espresso Machine
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1. Espresso Machine 3.5 Bar 4 Cup Espresso Maker
Measuring only 10.63 x 7.68 x 13.78 inches, our number one, the Sowtech Espresso Machine, boasts of the best combination of cost, aesthetics, and space efficiency. This makes it perfect for any minimalists and smaller-sized kitchens.
But despite its compact size, this machine is not to be underestimated. Using its 3.5 bar pressure capabilities, it can make up to 250ml of quality espresso in no time. Users claim it tastes almost the same as more expensive models, thus explaining the thousands of positive reviews on Amazon.
But perhaps the best thing about the machine is just how easy to use it is. It has in place a single switch knob with a function transform steam/coffee selector. It also features accurate temperature control to make sure it gives off that perfect espresso taste.
Coffee makers are notorious for being difficult to maintain; however, you don’t have to worry about that with this fine machine. It features a simple design, with a removable drip catcher that makes it especially easy to clean.
When it comes to size, the Sowtech is large enough to make up to 4 cups of espresso. Its easy-pour glass cup is also marked so you can pour the same amount every time. On top of that, it has a frothing arm, so you can get that creamy froth on your lattes and cappuccinos.
- Really affordable
- Easy to operate
- Great frothing for cappuccinos
- Impressive reviews on Amazon
- Doesn’t vent pressure in the tank after you turn it off.
- Instructions may be difficult to interpret
2. Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine
Of course, you just can’t navigate the world of coffee makers without coming across a product from Nespresso. And here to represent the reputable brand is none other than the Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine. At a glance, the mini is quite hard not to notice.
It features this elegant design that you can’t help but fall in love with. The espresso maker also has the title mini to its name. With this, you can expect to get a nice compact appliance, perfect for portability and saving precious counter space. At around $150, the machine is one of the more expensive units on our list, but the quality you get with this fine device is well worth it.
Thanks to its one-touch operation and extraction system, the Nespresso Mini is able to deliver 19 bars of pressure. What this means is that you get that prime, robust, barista-style espresso every time. It is crafted to be energy efficient, so the water can reach its ideal temperature in just 30 seconds.
You’ll also appreciate its energy-saving mode that turns off the machine automatically after 9 minutes. Also included is an adjustable cap with two different espresso settings. They include a 1.34 ounce and 5-ounce button. If you are looking for a premium unit and can spare a few bucks, then the Nespresso is what you need.
- Sleek, elegant design
- It comes with a lot of intuitive features
- A little more costly than its counterparts
- Users claim the espresso comes out warm
3. Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso
The Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso looks like some mean machine you expect to find at Starbucks. With its sleek dual tap design, coupled with a stainless steel drip tray finish, the machine would look well resting in any modern kitchen.
But it’s not for aesthetics alone. The dual shot title means that you can make up to 2 single shots at once. Like any other machine worth its salt, it has a frothing arm that you can use to make the creamy froth on your lattes and cappuccinos.
Unlike the 19 bar Nespresso we saw above; the Mr coffee falls a bit short with a 15-bar pump system. However, this is still powerful enough to extract that dark and rich espresso. The machine also comes backed with a thermal block heating system for lightning-quick brewing with a heating cord that stretches to up to 26 inches. The drip tray is removable, so cleaning is a breeze, and your space is always neat and tidy.
- Well-built with stainless steel finish
- Produces nice frothing
- Reservoir and frother parts are separate for easy operation.
- The frother can be a bit hard to clean
- It feels a bit light
4. De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine
Coming at a close 4th, the De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine takes on quite a similar appeal to the Mr coffee we saw above. With this, you get that same futuristic type, stainless steel design, and slim profile. It also has double taps, so you can enjoy your 2 cups at once.
The most outstanding difference is that the De’Longhi Stilosa uses a knob, which can be easier to operate, depending on your preference.
Like its predecessor, the Stilosa comes packed with a lot of likable features, including a 15 bar pump for extracting a richer coffee, a manual milk frother for making cappuccinos and lattes, and stainless steel boiler design, which makes it especially durable for years of consistent performance. To sweeten the deal, the machine is ergonomically designed to incorporate a portafilter with two filters.
- Compact and easy to use
- Elegant stainless steel finishing
- Applies 15 bar of pressure
- Steaming wand isn’t as efficient
- Frothier doesn’t make milk as hot
5. Gevi Espresso Machine
The Gevi Espresso Machine can best be described as a sweet little compact machine, meant for the smart user with limited countertop space to spare. Despite its slim profile, the Gevi comes with all the tweaks of modern-day espresso technology, working overtime to deliver an espresso that would rival any high-end machine.
This is because it is backed by an advanced 1350w thermoblock system, which enables fast heating. With this, you can have your coffee ready for drinking in as little as 45 seconds. Another outstanding feature is its 20 bar pressure system, which is by far the highest we’ve seen so far. With this, you get stable and super-fast extraction for a richer, more fragrant espresso
Another thing users appreciate about the Gevi is its special 3 functions. You can either choose the manual setting, where you get to control the amount of coffee yourself, the 1-shot brew, which delivers 30 ml of espresso, and the 2 shot brew, which gives out 60ml of coffee. The device also incorporates an NTC intelligent temperature control system, backed with 2 thermostats.
The feature works to control the temperature during milk extraction and espresso extraction, so the coffee and milk foam reach their own separate ideal state. The 360-degree rotating frothing wand itself is unique as well. It is simply more convenient to use and control.
- Compact, sleek, modern design
- It heats up really quick
- Comes with an ESE filter for ESE pods
- Has a 20 bar pressure system
- Some users experience leaks when the water pressure is too high.
Choosing The Best Espresso Machine Under 200: For Home & Commercial Use – Ultimate Buying Guide
If the prospect of enjoying that dark, robust shot of espresso every day has you charged up, then it is about time you invested in an espresso machine. However, not all of these machines are made equal. In order to get true value for your money, you need to understand what to look for.
For this reason, we have put together a short buying guide, discussing all the fundamentals as well as things people look for when buying espresso machines.
What Can You Make With An Espresso Machine?
Espresso machines are primarily made to make espressos. However, with a few extra ingredients, you can use these machines to make different espressos variations, rather than have the same cup every day. They include:
Espresso shot: this is the espresso in its most basic form. It is the liquid in its natural state, just as it comes out of the machine. Usually, it will look like a darker form of coffee.
Macchiato: now this is just like the espresso shot but with a little steamed milk added on the top to give it flavor and foam
Cappuccino: Cappuccino is one of the most common ways people drink espressos. Like the macchiato, it has steamed milk; only, you’ll need to add a more generous amount of the milk in this case.
Latte: a latte is basically a cappuccino, with a thin foam layer and more milk.
Mocha: Mocha is also similar to a cappuccino but with some chocolate added in.
Types of Espresso Machines
Manual espresso maker
If you don’t mind putting a little elbow grease in your coffee making, then you’ll do just fine with a manual espresso machine. As the name suggests, manual machines are more hands-on. Therefore, you’ll have to physically work the device to yield coffee.
Because of this, the user gets to control every aspect of their coffee. Sure, pulling that lever might require some level of mastery, but once you get the hang of it, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor with an exquisite and perfect espresso.
Usually, these machines will have a lever of sorts that the user pulls to function. Some feature a direct lever, while others will have a spring-piston design. You want to veer away from the direct lever, as it requires a bit more work.
Manual espresso machines will often feature beautiful designs but are relatively more costly than other models. If you work it wrong, you might screw up the taste of the espresso. But, on the other hand, you stand to gain a much higher quality cup if you get it right. These espresso machines tend to last much longer than the rest.
Semi-automatic espresso machine
Unlike their manual counterparts, semi-automatic espresso machines work using electric pumps, which basically do the work for you. However, since they are not fully automatic, they still have a manual element to them.
Therefore, the user gets some level of control over the coffee-making while offering the ease of use you’ll expect from fully automatic models. Semi-automatic models are the most popular of the three. Most of our recommended units above fall under this category.
Fully automatic espresso maker
As you might already have guessed, fully automatic espresso makers fully automate the espresso-making process. This includes the amount of water and ingredients delivered at the time. In most cases, all you’ll need to do is add your ingredient, press a button, and let the machine do the work for you.
The downside is that this takes away control over the taste of your espresso. The electronic parts are also a bit liable to breakages. Like their semi-automatic counterparts, fully automatic espresso machines have a wide price range. You can get one for a few hundred dollars, while others go for thousands.
Alternatively, there’s the super-automatic version of the same, which takes the ease of use to a whole other level. These ones will often be all-in-one, meaning all its features, like grinders, are built-in. Therefore, once you put your beans, you only have to press a button for it to deliver a steaming cup.
Factors to Consider When Buying An Espresso Machine
Just as you look for the best air fryer for your healthy recipes, when looking for an espresso machine, you want something that fits your needs perfectly. And with the tons of options out there, this can be a bit difficult. However, there are some features that you can consider to get a more personalized selection. We shall look at them down below.
Ease of Use: A Simple Flick of The Switch!
One of the main factors differentiating most espresso machines is their convenience of use. As we’ve seen, the easiest machines to use are automated models. With these, the process basically falls to the press of a button.
If convenience is your priority, you should look for an automated type machine or one with programmable settings. You want to ensure that the buttons and features are intuitively set up and ergonomically positioned.
However, the thing about automatic makers is that you stand to lose some level of control over the brew and its quality. If you are really specific about the taste of your espresso, you’d be better off investing in a higher-end model or a manual-type espresso machine.
Ease Of Cleaning: A Clean Machine Is A Mean Machine!
When using most machines, the espresso-making process is just a breeze, but then comes the aftermath, where you have to endure the pain of cleaning it. As any connoisseur will say, cleaning your machine is crucial in maintaining your espresso’s quality. With this, you get to eliminate any residue that may compromise the freshness of your coffee while maintaining its sparkly appeal, so everything works accordingly.
Therefore, before buying your espresso machine, check that it is actually easy to clean. Note that the more components your device has, the harder it will likely be to clean. To save yourself some time, make sure that they are easy to take apart and put together.
Cost: You Don’t Have To Empty Out Your Pockets!
In the past, espresso machines were incredibly costly. Luckily now, they come in a wide range of prices. Naturally, you stand to get better quality and durability from the higher-end models; they’ll also have some extra features.
However, there are still some affordable options that are backed with just the right features. This way, they can deliver a decent cup without burning a hole in your pocket.
Most machines on our list are like that. They fall somewhere in between the high end and the lower end range. With this, you get a machine that delivers satisfactory espressos but is still durable enough to last you through the winter.
Sure, the higher-end models would be better suited for commercial use, but if you are only using it for your office or home, then these mid-range machines should suffice.
Durability: Stronger For Longer!
Most high-end machines will come with a warranty of sorts. This should give you a basic idea of the machine’s durability. Also, check out the brand’s reputation and user reviews on Amazon. With this, you get to know just how long you can expect your machine to survive.
It is also important to check the build quality of your machine. Check on the material used in the making of the machine. In this case, steel is preferred because it doesn’t blot or corrode. Steel is also able to maintain the heat more efficiently.
Whether you are a student in high school or college studying for a long exam, a busy CEO or an avid workaholic getting ready for your second shift, a quick shot of espresso can be vital in getting you through. If you are reading this, it means that you are just not able to settle for a standard coffee.
Hopefully, with our top recommendations, plus a little help from our buying guide, you have the knowledge to choose a machine that can satisfy your palates the way you deserve. Remember, as with anything else involving taste, your coffee preference is subjective. What works for one might not work for another.
Therefore, as you choose your machine, check for features that appeal directly to you. A good way to experiment is with some of these mid-range models.
- How to use an espresso machine
The use of your espresso machine varies according to the type of machine you have. But for most machines is falls to a few basic steps. Start by turning on the machine and preheating it. Let it go on for about 10 minutes.
Then grind your beans and measure them into the right proportions. You can do this in relation to your portafilter size. If your machine has a built-in grinder, you can skip this step. Finally, adjust your settings, press the pull button, and let the machine work its magic.
- How to clean an espresso machine
Daily cleaning of your espresso machine is fundamental in maintaining the quality of your espresso, as well as increasing the lifespan of the machine. Therefore start by taking out all the easily removable parts like the portafilter. Using a nylon brush, clean the basket separating the unit from the portafilter.
Then wash the whole underside, removing any debris lying on either side of the screen. Wash the portafilter separately. Once done, reattach it to the machine and let the hot water run through it for a minute or two. You can also do a deep cleaning once a week using a cleaning solution. In this case, you’ll need to disassemble most other parts and clean them individually.
- How does an espresso machine work
An espresso machine basically operates by forcing really hot water under about 9 bars of pressure through ground coffee tamped (pressed) into a filter. Depending on the type of machine you have, this can be achieved either using a pump, lever, or steam.
- How to descale the espresso machine
Descaling an espresso machine can be achieved using a variety of descaling agents. If you’re using an automatic machine, begin by dissolving your descaling agent of choice into a full reservoir. Then insert the solution in your boiler and close the machine’s steam knob. Turn your machine off and let it rest for 20 minutes.
This should let the solution do its work. Afterward, run half of the reservoir out through the steam wand. Turn it off once more and let it rest for another 20 minutes. Finally, flush the rest of the water out, then run some clean water through the espresso maker.
- How to steam milk with an espresso machine
Steaming milk using an espresso machine is a pretty straightforward process. Start by putting cold milk in an equally cold pitcher. Then proceed by immersing the edge of your pitcher right below the surface of the milk. Before you turn the steam wand on, let a little air in and finally make a whirlpool. Once done, swirl it around to incorporate the foam.